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Don Was Preps New Motor City Radio Show

Of the Oakland Press

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Don Was, the Grammy Award-winning, Detroit-born musician, record producer and founder of Was (Not Was), will be tooling around town Thursday and Friday (June 4-5) as part of a trip home to record the first eight episodes of his new satellite radio show “Motor City Hayride.”

The program, which Was (né Fagenson) describes as a showcase for “the upside of Detroit,” will begin airing in late June on Little Steven’s Outlaw Channel (No. 63) on XMSirius.

“I was trying to think, ‘What can I bring to the Outlaw Channel?’ ” Was recalls. “There’s no point in me pretending I’m from Texas. But ... people like this music from Detroit. Let’s just do something cool from Detroit and have cool people on.”

Was’ guests will range from rocker Mitch Ryder to Detroit City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr., to urban farmer Taja Seville and former WGPR radio personality Nat Morris, whose afternoon broadcasts from furniture stores and other remote locations inspired Was’ concept for “Motor City Hayride.”

“Community radio is a great thing,” explains Was, who plans to tape episodes outside Comerica Park, at the Garden Bowl and other Detroit locales. “There’s something about some random person dedicating a song to the guy at the Shell station across the street that’s missing from radio now. I want to try to bring some of that into the picture.”

The music, meanwhile, will reach from John Lee Hooker to Bob Seger and Kid Rock. “It spans pretty well with (the Outlaw Channel format), and if it doesn’t, we’ll just stick a fiddle on (the MC5’s) ‘Kick Out the Jams’ and make that work,” Was says with a laugh.

In addition to the radio show, Was is making preparations for his second annual Detroit All-Star Revue at the Concert of Colors, taking place July 18 this year at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. This year’s lineup includes Blanche, Sir Mack Rice, Thornetta Davis, Scott Morgan, The Go, the Gorevettes, the Layabouts, Mick Bassett & the Marthas, Amp Fiddler and Teegarden & Van Winkle.

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