The Grande Ballroom: Detroit’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace
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In the 1920s, a jewel of Detroit entertainment arose on the Westside—the Grande Ballroom. The venue flourished under the ownership of infamous gambler Harry Weitzman and management of dance scion Paul Strasburg. The advent of rock 'n' roll pushed the ballroom into hard times, but in 1966, local schoolteacher and disc jockey Russ Gibb resurrected it with the promise of live rock music. The new psychedelic ballroom style attracted scores of suburban baby boomers and helped launch the careers of local legends like the MC5, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Soon the ballroom's prestige attracted international acts like Cream, the Who and the Jeff Beck Group. Detroit music history expert Leo Early celebrates this beloved venue.
The History Press
: 9781626197817
: The History Press
: 10/03/2016
: Michigan
: Landmarks
: 116 Color sigs / inserts
: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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About the author
Leo Early is an author, musician, historian and preservationist. He enjoys researching and writing about Detroit history, focusing especially on Detroit's rise and reputation as a music capital. In 2003, Leo launched the GrandeBallroom.com to share his research, and the result was an unexpected groundswell of interest in the ballroom. Early has since met and corresponded with many who experienced the Grande firsthand and, in so doing, has inadvertently become a subject-matter expert on this building, a nexus of Detroit music.
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