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Old 08-23-2014, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
Lord Larehip
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 895

Shortly before being demolished in September 2001, with it went one of the greatest musical institutions in the world. Hi-Q and Strate 8 were Fortune’s two subsidiary labels. Over the years, Fortune, Hi-Q and Strate 8 released over 400 singles and quite a number of full albums. Their repertoire consisted of everything from doo-wop to blues to soul to rockabilly to country and even polkas.

The shame of Detroit is that it has fallen so badly that its musical heritage has vanished. Paradise Valley is gone. Hastings Street is just another rundown inner city road—none of the old clubs remain—even their ruined hulks were demolished years ago (much of that area is now under the Detroit Medical Center). The Gotham Hotel is gone. No one remembers King Porter or Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams or McKinney’s Cotton-Pickers (under Don Redman became one of the world’s first jazz big bands). Even more recent singers as Nolan Strong and Spyder Turner, both Fortune recording artists, elicit blank stares. One of the greatest jazz guitarists ever--Kenny Burrell--was also a Fortune artist. What audiences these great black entertainers have today are mainly white, mainly European. Blacks have largely tossed them aside. Among kids today, it’s all rap and hip-hop, rap and hip-hop, rap and f-ucking hip-hop. And when was the last time Detroit produced a major black rapper? Never, that’s when. Who can blame Berry Gordy for pulling up stakes? Had he not done so, Motown would have gone the way Fortune did—into obscurity.

So let us pay homage to the originals and the people who gave us a medium by which we can still hear them. Maybe, just maybe, a dying ember will spark a new fire. Thank you, Fortune.

“Fortune Records is the great secret record company in the history of Detroit rock ‘n’ roll. They’re the missing piece in the Detroit rock ‘n’ roll historical equation. Any discussion... without mentioning them is totally inaccurate and incomplete.” –Cub Koda
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