Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul

Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul


Today we caught up with Author, TV executive and radio star Stuart Cosgrove about his latest book, Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul. You might be more familiar with his work in the world of football but with a history of working at NME and being a rare soul collector he is perfectly placed to shed a little light on,what was a huge year for the so called Motor City.

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We asked him a couple of questions about the book and about any future projects he has in store.

Can you give us a brief rundown of what the book is about?

Detroit 67 is the story of Detroit in the year that changed everything. Twelve monthly chapters take you on a turbulent year long journey through the drama and chaos that ripped through the city in 1967. Over a dramatic 12-month period, the Motor City was torn apart by personal, political and inter-racial disputes. It is the story of Motown, the breakup of The Supremes and the implosion of the most successful African-American music label ever. Set against a backdrop of urban riots, escalating war in Vietnam and police corruption, the book weaves its way through a year when soul music came of age, and the underground counterculture flourished. LSD arrived in the city with hallucinogenic power and local guitar-band MC5 -self-styled “holy barbarians” of rock went to war with mainstream America. A summer of street-level rebellion turned Detroit into one of the most notorious cities on earth, known for its unique creativity, its unpredictability and self-lacerating crime rates.

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1967 ended in social meltdown, personal bitterness and intense legal warfare as the complex threads that held Detroit together finally unravelled. Detroit 67 is the story of the year that changed everything.

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Why do you think predominantly black American soul resonates with a British audience?

There is a fifty year plus fascination with black music stretching back to R&B and beyond, many of the great British sub-cultures have had a love-affair with black American music, the Beatniks with jazz and blues, the first generation modernists with early R&B, the northern soul scene with sixties and rare soul and the rave scene with house and nu R&B music. It’s a legacy now.

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What do you make of the recent resurgence in popularity of Northern Soul?

Northern soul has never disappeared and has an uncanny ability to retreat back into the underground when it fears over-exposure I’m biased but it’s the ultimate British sub-culture nothing matches it in terms of musical depth and knowledge.

Are there any similar topics you plan to cover in the future? Yes I’m working on three books will all in some way connect to Detroit 67. The book is also under negotiation for film and documentary rights.

If you want to find out a bit more about Detroit 67 see some more great pictures (all images here are from the Detroit 67 site), how you can buy it or more about future projects visit Detroit 67 site or follow Stuart Cosgrove on Twitter here.  

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