Saving Detroit’s Musical Legacy Becomes High Priority for Local Historians

“Music in the Archives: A Celebration of Detroit’s Aural History” seeks to bring attention to the library’s incredible audio and visual archives

Meta Stange
Meta Stange

On Thursday, January 23, Wayne State’s Reuther Library will host an unusual night of performances celebrating the library’s rich archives of Detroit’s musical legacy.

The one and only Detroit Ambassador of Soul, Melvin Davis, and celebrated jazz guitarist Ron English, will perform on the legendary stage of the now-closed Blue Bird jazz club.

A partnership with the Detroit Sound Conservancy, “Music in the Archives: A Celebration of Detroit’s Aural History seeks to bring attention to the library’s incredible audio and visual archives, as well as a new project placing Wayne State students with Detroit musicians, producers, venue owners, record labels owners, and more to record first-hand accounts of the city’s rich legacy of music.

Melvin Davis, Carleton Gholz, Director of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, and the Reuther’s Meghan Courtney joined CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire for a conversation on why archiving Detroit’s oral histories is vital to understanding our cultural history.

Click the player to hear how the Detroit Public Library and Sound Conservancy are working to preserve the city’s musical legacy.


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  • Amanda LeClaire
    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.