Black Merda

Black Merda was an American soul-funk/psych band from Detroit that released a self-titled album on Chess in 1970, followed by a second as Mer-Da on Janus in 1972. Along with Funkadelic and Purple Image, the band was pivotal in bridging R&B and psych-rock at the dawn of the 1970s. Members: Anthony “Wolf” Hawkins (guitar), VC […]

The Undisputed Truth

The Undisputed Truth were an American soul-psych group from Detroit, formed in 1970. The group released six albums on Motown’s Gordy imprint between 1971 and 1975, followed by two further albums on producer Norman Whitfield’s surnamesake label during the second half of the decade. Members: Joe Harris (lead vocals), Billie Rae Calvin (lead vocals, 1970-74), […]

The Supremes

The Supremes were an American soul-pop trio from Detroit, formed in 1961. Their classic lineup featured singers Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and frontwoman Diana Ross, who all grew up on the city’s east side. Signed to Motown, The Supremes were part of that label’s classic roster of chart-topping sixties artists, along with the Four Tops, […]

Hodges, James & Smith

Hodges, James & Smith were an American vocal trio from Detroit. The nameplate was briefly suffixed with a fourth surname, Crawford, to account for vocalist Carolyn Crawford, who recorded two singles with the group circa 1971/72. Members: Pat Hodges, Denita James, Jessica Smith, Carolyn Crawford (1971—72) Discography: “Somewhere a Valley” / “Ain’t That Right” (1969) […]

Four Tops

The Four Tops were an American soul group from Detroit, formed in 1953. Members: Abdul “Duke” Fakir (first tenor vocals), Renaldo “Obie” Benson (baritone, bass vocals, 1953-2005), Levi Stubbs (lead vocals, 1953-2000), Lawrence Payton (second tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1953-97) The Four Tops assembled in 1953 Detroit when two students at Pershing High, Levi Stubbs […]

Power of Zeus

The Power of Zeus were an American hard-rock/psych band from Detroit that released the album The Gospel According to Zeus on Motown-subsidiary Rare Earth in 1970. The band gigged for two years prior as Gangrene but changed names as a condition of their contract. Members: Joe Periano (guitar), Bill Jones (bass), Dennie Webber (Hammond organ, […]

Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd (Dec. 9, 1932 — Feb. 4, 2013) was an American trumpeter who emerged as an early member of The Jazz Messengers during the mid-1950s. He was born Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II on December 9, 1932, in Detroit. Byrd first performed behind jazz percussionist and bandleader Lionel Hampton while still a student at […]


October were an American symphonic-rock band from Detroit, Mich., that issued an eponymous album on local small-press Charisma Sound in 1979, followed that same year by the sophomoric self-release After the Fall. Members: Pat Carson (Drums, Percussion), Mark Krench (Electric, Acoustic And Prepared Pianos, Recorder, Synthesizer), Mark Stering (Mini Moog, Moog Sonic Six, Micro Moog, […]


707 were an American melodic/hard-rock band that released three albums on the PolyGram subsidiaries Casablanca and Boardwalk between 1980 and 1982. Members: Kevin Russell (vocals, guitar), Phil Bryant (vocals, bass), Duke McFadden (vocals, keyboards), Jim McClarty (drums), Kevin Chalfant (vocals), Tod Howarth (keyboards, guitar), Felix Robinson (bass), Don Bassey (bass), Denny Carmassi (drums) Discography: 707 […]

The 8th Day

The 8th Day were an American soul-funk/psych band from Detroit that released two albums with accompanying singles on Invictus between 1971 and 1973. A decade later, the nameplate was resurrected for a third album on A&M. Members: Steve Mancha (vocals), Melvin Davis (vocals, drums), Antonio ‘Tony’ Newton (bass), Carole Stallings (vocals, electric violin), Anita Sherman […]