Marching Band Rehearsal
Mumford Fox Event
On April 9, 2011 I conducted my high school marching band playing a medley of some of my greatest hits with the cast of my musical, The Color Purple, singing along. It took place in the theater I grew up in in Detroit, the Fox, and was a benefit to buy the Mumford marching band new uniforms. The last time they got new uniforms was in 1985, when Jerry Bruckheimer, also a Mumford grad, bought them for the premiere of his second film, Beverly Hills Cop. Mumford became famous when Eddie Murphy wore a Mumford Phys Ed t-shirt throughout the film. I received a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop, which featured my songs, "Neutron Dance " and "Stir It Up ". Go Mumford!!
folks I spent time with in detroit
Detroit is filled with wonderful and soulful people, proud of their city, with a fighting spirit to not only survive but rise to their true potential and that of the city. Among those featured here are old friends, classmates, family members, students, teachers and alumni of Mumford High, folks who had the good taste to see my musical, The Color Purple, at the Fox Theatre as well as unbelievably friendly people I met on the street. These folks are a large part of why my week in Detroit was one of the best of my life.
Places in Detroit
You know I’m not going to feature the usual tour suspects here – The Detroit Institute Of Art, The Detroit Historical Society or the new or restored buildings that represent the best of the renewal of Detroit.. All completely beautiful or historic but my mission on this trip was to see the spirit of the city as evidenced by how people express themselves via their homes, lawns and businesses. I’ve long believed that one’s immediate environment is a canvas for self expression. Most of these places would be off the beaten track of any normal tour of the city. But their vintage and/or kitsch aspects were just what my eyeballs wanted to see.  By no means is this a comprehensive compilation. It’s only places I passed on the way to meetings and engagements between April 4 and 10, 2011.
Official Commendations from the City of Detroit
The Color Purple
The Color Purple, the musical I co-wrote with Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray and Marsha Norman, returned to the Fox Theatre for the third time since being on National Tour, which started in 2007 after opening on Broadway in 2005. The cast also joined me at my Allee Willis Marches on Detroit event on April 9, leading a sing-along when my high school marching band played a medley of some of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater.
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