Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

Mystery of the Flying Wedge

Alina Simone’s Madonnaland, was selected by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the Top Ten Music Books of 2016. It was also the very best Michigan rock and roll book of that year as it examined fame and its aftermath through the stories of its three main subjects: Madonna the most successful female recording artist in history; Question Mark and the Mysterians, a Mexican-American band known around the world for their # 1 hit “96 Tears”; and the Flying Wedge, a here-to-fore unknown band, that recorded one of the Michigan’s most mysterious and collectible 45s in 1972.


Simone’s account of the reluctance of Madonna’s hometown, Bay City, Michigan, to appropriately recognize one of the world’s most famous women and the reasons behind it is fascinating. The same goes for the city’s continued acceptance of a little-known song with racially insensitive lyrics as its official anthem rather than the chart-topping hit that was both written and recorded in Bay City in 1966. But according to the reviewer in the New York Times, the highlight of Madonnaland was the final chapter which documented the author’s doggedness in pursuing the unusual story of one of Michigan rock and roll’s most curious recordings. Because of her persistence and ability to track down leads, Simone was finally able to get a handle on the four-decade-long mystery of the Flying Wedge; and her detective work would help lead to the rerelease of the band's rare single in 2017.

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Best Albums Of 2017: Two Views

For the 9th consecutive year, two music loving septuagenarians set out to prove that “you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll” by sharing what they consider to be the greatest albums of 2017.

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"5,000 Ways" Revisits Detroit's Glory Days

Although I confess that I wasn’t born in Detroit and I haven’t read many books about the city, I find it hard to believe that there could be a more beautiful and interesting publication on the market than 5,000 Ways You Know You’re From Detroit by Chris Edwards and Elaine Weeks. Subtitled Recollections & Images From The Baby Boomer Years, the 480-page coffee table book focuses on a 50-year period from roughly 1930 to 1980 when Detroit was thriving as one of the nation’s most important cities.

Read more: "5,000 Ways" Revisits Detroit's Glory Days