Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today's "Betcha Didn't Know This About Detroit" Story!

Did you read Alice Walker's The Color Purple? Did you see the movie The Color Purple? Have you seen The Color Purple Broadway musical executive produced by Oprah Winfrey?

Betcha didn't know that one-third of the lyrics and music writing team for the Tony-nominated musical The Color Purple is from right here in Detroit: graduated from Mumford High School! (Ms. Willis teamed up with Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray.)

(Photos by: Judy Pearlman and C Major Marketing)

Yes, Allee Willis, Mumford Class of '65, is an award-winning, very talented and prolific lyricist! In addition to The Color Purple, Ms. Willis also wrote: "Neutron Dance" for the Pointer Sisters (included in the Beverly Hills Cop movie--a movie about a Detroit Cop); "Boogie Wonderland" and "September" for Earth, Wind, and Fire, and the Emmy-nominated theme for the "Friends" TV Show!

Update: a reader of this blog commented to let me know that Stephen Bray is originally from the "D", too! Thanks!

When The Color Purple opened here in Detroit recently, Allee Willis was on hand, and Mumford High School rolled out the red carpet for their home girl. Ms. Willis also received a plaque from the Detroit City Council, who grew up on Sorrento in northwest Detroit.

There is so much to find out about Allee Willis, you'll have to visit her website!

Shameless Plug for my husband's blog: Read The "D" Spot!


  1. It's 2/3's of the TCP music team - Stephen Bray is from Detroit, too

  2. Thank you! I'll add that to the post!


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