AADL-produced Podcasts

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#27 Ann Arbor Stories: The Torch Murders

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March 16, 2017

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aas_torch_murders.mp342 MBAudio

In the pre-dawn hours in August 1931, a farmer in Ypsilanti reported a car on fire at the edge of his property. When police and firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames, they found a grisly scene that shocked the state. Four bodies, burned nearly beyond recognition, were found inside the vehicle, which was intentionally set on fire.

They called them the Torch Murders, and the entire story—from the crime itself to the manhunt that apprehended the killers to the insane criminal proceedings, would forever change law enforcement and the justice system in the state.

For more on the the Torch Murders, visit oldnews.aadl.org.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:17:33
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to author Mark Ribowsky about Hank: The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams.

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January 26, 2017

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martin_bandyke_under_covers_20170126-mark_ribowsky.mp325 MBAudio

After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of twenty-nine, Hank Williams -- a frail, flawed man who had become country music's first real star --- instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights with simple songs of despair, depression, and tainted love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become in death a template for the rock generation to follow. Six decades later, Mark Ribowsky now weaves together the first fully realized biography of Hank Williams in a generation. Examining his music while also re-creating days and nights choked in booze and desperation, Ribowsky traces the miraculous rise of this music legend from the dirt roads of rural Alabama to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and finally to a sad, lonely end on New Year's Day, 1953. The result is an original work that promises to uncover the real Hank beneath the myths that have long enshrouded his legacy.

The interview was recorded on January 26, 2017.

Length: 00:25:42
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


 

#26 Ann Arbor Stories: Henry Ford's Enforcer

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March 2, 2017

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aas_henry_fords_enforcer.mp350 MBAudio

The most powerful person ever to live in Ann Arbor was Harry Bennett—Henry Ford's right hand man, union buster and general enforcer. Bennett lived behind the walls of Bennett's Castle at 5668 Geddes Road, where he ran the Ford Motor Company security division by fear and intimidation. He employed murderers, gangsters, and bad men of all types, and he was a signature away from becoming the president of Ford so many years ago. This is his story.

Music by Chris Bathgate

Length: 00:20:57
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#25 Ann Arbor Stories: The Red Light District

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February 16, 2017

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aas_red_light_district.mp350 MBAudio

There was a time in Ann Arbor’s not-so-distant past when a part of town was widely known as the red light district. Adult bookstores, topless massage parlors, prostitutes, hoodlums, and bums—all just blocks from City Hall and Ann Arbor police headquarters. Cops were raiding massage parlors every few months, rounding up a dozen massage workers at a time, but the arrests never made a dent. Crackdowns on prostitutes and the johns who solicited them didn’t make much impact either. The red light district regenerated. Persisted. Grew stronger.

How did Ann Arbor become home to this kind of brazen adult fare?

Music by FAWNN

Learn more in the AADL Old News Archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:20:52
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#24 Ann Arbor Stories: Proud History of Punching Nazis in the Face

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February 2, 2017

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aas_punching_nazis.mp333 MBAudio

Police spotted the Nazis in their rented U-Haul at the edge of the city around 11 am— two hours before anyone expected them to arrive. Fifteen members of the S.S. Action Group out of Westland—sitting three in the front and 12 in the back, riot shields and jackboots bouncing over every pothole.

It was March 20, 1982, and a crowd of 2,000 anti-Nazi demonstrators were about to show the world what Ann Arbor thought of their Aryan visitors.

Music by Diego and the Dissidents.

Learn more about this story in the AADL Old News Archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:13:44
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#23 Ann Arbor Stories: The Clairvoyant Physician

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January 19, 2017

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aas_clairvoyant_physician.mp331 MBAudio

In a time of spirits, specters, and the people who could contact them - Daniel B. Kellogg fit right in. The good doctor could diagnose you in person or halfway across the country—see inside you and prescribe the perfect cure—despite having no formal medical training. He needed only his keen sense of the spirit world and the ghosts of two medicine men to help with long distance cases. This is the story of Ann Arbor's clairvoyant physician and the family empire he built right in Lower Town.

Music by Hollow & Akimbo.

Special thanks to Katie Reeves for suggesting this topic, and our enduring thanks to the Ann Arbor District Library archives staff for providing many of our research materials.

Learn more about this story in the Old News archives.

Length: 00:12:38
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#22 Ann Arbor Stories: For All the Marbles

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January 5, 2017

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aas_marbles.mp326 MBAudio

That spring in 1936, seven years into the Great Depression, the entire city of Ann Arbor, age 14 and under, lost their marbles over the biggest sporting event the city had ever known. Hundreds of kids battled for 26 coveted spots in a tournament that could determine their futures. It was the 1936 Ann Arbor Daily News Marbles Tournament, pitting the best shooters in the best schools in the city against each other for an all expenses paid trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to compete in the Western Finals. The champion of the west would punch his or her ticket to the National Marbles Tournament on the Jersey Shore, and a chance at marbles immortality.

Music by Stepdad.

Learn more about this story in the Old News archives.

Length: 00:11:01
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to author Steve Turner about Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year.

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November 10, 2016

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martin_bandyke_under_covers_20161110-steve_turner.mp325 MBAudio

The year that changed everything for the Beatles was 1966—the year of their last concert and their first album, Revolver, that was created to be listened to rather than performed. This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John’s explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus," the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner slows down the action to investigate in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles’ lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.

By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar—and the Beatles themselves—Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the twelve months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.

The interview was recorded on November 10, 2016.

Length: 00:25:41
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


 

#21 Ann Arbor Stories: Our Own Santa's Helper

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December 22, 2016

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aas_santashelper.mp328 MBAudio

Most of Santa’s helpers are great people - guys and gals - and, as it turns out, Ann Arbor used to have one of the best.

Our Santa’s helper was so good that four U.S. presidents praised his work. As did governors, senators, congressmen - essentially any elected official looking to shake hands and smile into the camera around Christmastime. Our Santa’s Helper had the keys to the city of Ann Arbor, Detroit and Washington, D.C. Our Santa's helper was in Life magazine in 1956. Our Santa's helper was one of the best.

Music by Ben Benjamin, made possible by GhoLicense.

Read more about this story in the Old News Archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:11:39
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

AADL Talks To: U-M Emeritus Professor of English Bert Hornback

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February 23, 2016 at Downtown Library

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aadl_talks_to_bert_hornback.mp3Audio

In this episode, AADL talks to beloved University of Michigan emeritus professor of English Bert Hornback, who stopped by to chat with us during a recent return visit to Ann Arbor from Saarbrücken, Germany. Between 1964 and 1992, Hornback received two university awards for distinguished teaching. He was influential in bringing students and faculty together for literary adventures great and small, and is best remembered for his annual public reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In this conversation, Hornback brings back an Ann Arbor when poets were rock stars and students gathered at his Blunderstone Rookery to recite Ulysses through the night. He recalls bringing UK Prime Minister Edward Heath to U-M's campus; the night he ate a pig with former poet laureate, Donald Hall; and gives us his pick for the best Charles Dickens novel to help us navigate these tumultuous current times.

Length: 00:47:35
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


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