Hello Detroit Proud Playlist followers! Did you know that the Sony Cassette Walkman celebrated their 35th birthday on July 1st? Can you believe it’s been a whopping 35 years since Sony revolutionized the way we listened to music? That’s right, Apple, they were decades ahead of the iPod.
It was the coolest and most sought-after device in music, so we thought it was only appropriate to do a throwback playlist this week, featuring some of Detroit’s best music from that time…a time when sharing music meant catching your favorite tunes on the radio and recording them on a cassette tape.
Check them out!
Madonna – “Like A Virgin”
Quite possibly one of Michigan’s most notorious celebrities, according to Forbes, “Madonna is a cultural icon, and undoubtedly one of the most successful entertainers of all time.” She’s definitely a name that won’t be forgotten. Check her out here!
Marshall Crenshaw – “Someday, Someway”
Marshall Crenshaw is a singer-songwriter from Detroit. Before he went solo with his music, he led the band Astigafa (an acronym for “a splendid time is guaranteed for all”, a lyric from The Beatles’ “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”). Coincidentally, got his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway touring company of the musical Beatlemania. Check him out here!
Aretha Franklin – “Freeway Of Love”
“Freeway of Love” is a Grammy Award-winning hit song released as the first single from Aretha Franklin’s Platinum-certified 1985 album Who’s Zoomin’ Who? Aretha’s music video for the hit song was also filmed entirely in Detroit and was one of the most popular videos of the year. Check out the “Queen of Soul” here!
The Contours – “Do You Love Me”
The Contours were one of the early African-American soul-singing groups signed to Motown Records. They’re best known for their chart-topping 1962 hit, “Do You Love Me,” a million-selling single that became a major hit all over again in 1988 when it was featured in the beloved classic movie Dirty Dancing. Check them out here!
Glenn Frey – “The Heat Is On”
Glenn Frey is best known as one of the founding members of the band The Eagles. He grew up in Royal Oak, where he studied the keyboards with concert pianist John Harrison and became part of the mid-1960s Detroit rock scene. “The Heat Is On” was recorded by Frey for the 1984 smash-hit Beverly Hills Cop. Check him out here!
Ray Parker Jr. – “Ghostbusters”
How many of you knew the iconic theme song for the movie Ghostbusters was actually written and performed by a musician from Detroit?! Ray Parker, Jr. is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and recording artist, best known for the hit “Ghostbusters” from the cult-classic 1984 film Ghostbusters. So, who ya gonna call? Check him out here!
Stevie Wonder – “I Just Called To Say I Love You”
“I Just Called To Say I Love You” was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful singles. The song was first featured in the 1984 comedy The Woman in Red. The song also received three nominations at the 27th Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Check out Stevie Wonder here!
Ted Nugent – “Little Miss Dangerous”
The single “Little Miss Dangerous” was Ted Nugent’s most successful US single at the time – many credit the success because the song was featured in an episode of the highly popular ‘80s American TV show Miami Vice. Over the course of Ted Nugent’s career, he has released more than 34 albums and has sold a total of 30 million records. Check him out here!
Tommy James & The Shondells – “Mony Mony”
Tommy James & the Shondells are an American rock and roll group whose greatest period was in the late 1960s, where they mostly dabbled in garage and psychedelic rock. Their top-ten hit “Mony Mony” has been covered by many artists, including Billy Idol, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Amazulu, Status Quo, The Scenics, and The Beach Boys. Check them out here!
Model 500 – “No UFOs”
Did you know that iconic techno music producer Juan Atkins has a pseudonym? That’s right, sometimes he goes by Model 500. Atkins began recording as “Model 500” in 1985 and founded the Metroplex label. His first single as Model 500, “No UFOs,” was a hit in the Detroit and Chicago areas, and he followed it with a series of landmark techno tracks, earning him the nickname “the godfather of techno.” Check him out here!
What’s your favorite throwback track? Tell us in the comments!
Oh, and Happy Birthday, WALKMAN!