DEE-troit Gold

Lately I have noticed the phenomenon of athletes, either ex-jocks-turned-TV-commentators or guys currently playing, black and white, referring to the largest city in Michigan as DEE-troit. I’m not sure why this happens, but it does. I always call it deh-TROIT myself, with one exception—when mentioning the Detroit Emeralds. Originally a quartet of four Tilmon brothers (Abrim, Ivory, Cleophus, and Raymond), they achieved fame as a trio (Abrim, Ivory, and James Mitchell, who apparently fit in despite his lack of a memorable handle), scoring a string of R&B hits in the 1970s. They’re from Little Rock, Arkansas, but they’re so funky that you’ll swear they’re from DEE-troit.

As a crate-digger from way back, I don’t think it’s very sporting to use eBay or iTunes to find the rarest records on your most-wanted list, even though you can. It’s a lot more fun to find them in the wild. So I was pretty happy when I found the Detroit Emeralds album You Want It, You Got It, featuring their 1972 hit single “Baby Let Me Take You,” a great little slice of R&B that started popping up on the radio 35 years ago this week. The album contains several other Emeralds hits, including the title cut and “You’re Getting Too Smart,” which is superb.

Monday Miscellany: On Sunday, this blog made the list of Top Posts at WordPress.com. “Baby Hold On” was apparently one of the 100 most-read posts in the entire universe of blogs using WordPress that day. The response I have received to that post makes the time I spend on this blog worthwhile. Thanks a lot. Also yesterday, The Mrs. and I saw Mamma Mia, the musical made up entirely of ABBA songs. I’m not a big fan of musicals, but I love me some ABBA, and as a result, I enjoyed Mamma Mia immensely. Given its success since it opened in 1999, it’ll be on the road until approximately the end of time, so you’ll have the chance to see it at some point, and you should. But if ABBA isn’t your thing, try this: a band from Philadelphia called the Blue Method, who will funk you up but good. Ickmusic has a track; the group’s MySpace page has a couple more.

“Baby Let Me Take You”/Detroit Emeralds (buy it here–an import, but cheaper if you go for a used copy)

3 thoughts on “DEE-troit Gold

  1. Nice DEE-Troit Emeralds tune, I missed that one in ’72. Must’ve been too busy wearing out the grooves ad nauseum on ‘The Candy Man’ 45 by Sammy Davis, Jr.

    Anyway, glad your “Baby Hold On” post was so well-read, it should’ve been because it was so well-written. I’m biased though, I was at the same crossroads in the early summer of ’78. In fact, everything was at a crossroads in music, disco was stating to peak (and somehow we knew it), but there were the first rumblings of the alternative rock/new wave scene; the end of the Saturday Night Fever onslaught, the beginning of the Grease onslaught… Well, I should’ve placed this comment after that earlier post, but the best segue i can think of is that ABBA’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’ was also in the air in May/June of ’78. And although the show ‘Mamma Mia’ is not my thing, I love me some ABBA, too. Glad you enjoyed the show.

    As always, thanks for the fine prose and fine memories so wonderfully captured. And for the Blue Method, too, who are definitely up for the down stroke.

  2. Shark

    I’m just wondering….didn’t the A-Teens do the first tribute to Abba? Ha-ha! What were they, anyway? They seemed like a group of kids what were “forced” to sing Abba songs and make music videos by some promoter out to make lots of money off them. In their videos, it didn’t look like they were enjoying what they were doing.

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