An Ode to Detroit's Lost Paradise Valley

“Boogie Chillun” is about the neighborhood of Paradise Valley in Detroit, which was destroyed by urban renewal. The Valley, or the “Black Bottom,” was much like the Harlem of Detroit.

From Experience Detroit:

Like many other Paradise Valley residents, John Lee Hooker moved north from the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s.  Hooker brought with him not only a desire for factory work, but also the foundations of the Delta Blues.  He, along with other Detroit bluesmen such as Baby Boy Warren, Calvin Frazier, and Bobo Jenkins transformed traditional Delta Blues with electric amplified instruments and the infusion of a more eclectic assortment of instruments such as the bass and piano.  They worked in factories during the day and at night performed at classic Hastings Street clubs such as the Flame Show Bar, Three Star Bar, and Forest Club.  Hooker went on to become internationally famous and perhaps the greatest Blues performer of all time with his unique brand of foot-stomping boogie.  Despite their significant influence, Detroit’s other bluesmen were less prolific due to the lack of record labels in Detroit at the time.  Sadly, Hastings Street is no longer and is now buried beneath the Chrysler Freeway (I-75).  However, the sounds of that era are captured in the extensive recordings of John Lee Hooker and the rarer performances of the other Detroit bluesmen.

— This whole post is basically a rip-off of a Facebook post by Sean Posey.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Featured

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s