Ear Hustle 411 traveled to Idlewild Michigan on July 9 through July10th to unearth a bit of history on a piece of land that is a Historical landmark. This was where the upper echelon African Americans enjoyed artful entertainment by some of the musical greats such as Jackie Wilson, Louis Armstrong, BB King, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway and The Four Tops to name a few.
Idlewild is located in a rural part of lower Northern Michigan and was a very popular retirement and vacation spot during the beginning of the 20th century and was very active at that time. Thousands would go to Idlewild to enjoy the summer festivities such as swimming, horseback riding, roller skating, fishing but mostly the nightlife entertainment.
This landmark was also known as the “Black Eden” which sat on 3000 acres of Black Owned Property and was also the largest historical land-based property owned by blacks.
Upon arriving, at Williams Island MLK Blvd we felt like we were taken back in time with all the greenery, and miles of undeveloped acres of beautiful scenery.
On Saturday, July 9th, we arrived at the campground surrounded by cabins and a large lake where the locals were jet skiing, swimming, and boating. There were several vendors that were selling many different products, from Food, Perfume, T-shirts, Jewelry, books and body oils. Each was independently owned and very well put together and charming, to say the least.
Saturday night Ear Hustle 411 had the honor and pleasure of being entertained by none other than The Zapp Band who tore the lakefront down. Their performance blew us away. The dancing , lights, and the pristine vocals were all on point. We listened to “More Bounce To The Ounce”, “Computer Love”, “Doo Wa Ditty, So Ruff, So Tuff with Lester Troutman taking the lead and showing us how real bosses get down.
The event was well put together and the Zapp Band never missed a beat, It was like they never took a hiatus because they had young and old party goers going nuts over the music and the way in which Lester used the voice synthesizer brought us back in time when his brother Roger was the lead of the group. We had such an amazing time.
On Sunday we were treated to some amazing gospel by some of Gospel and R & B music greats.
The Rance Allen Group gave us a treat. Their vocals were pristine and the performance was truly a delight. The crowd was brought to their feet and danced to the sound of pure rich old school gospel.
Christopher Bolton gave us chills when he sang “ You Reign” his melodic voice and contact with the audience were most memorable and he made everyone feel like he was singing directly to them.
Alyson Williams 90’s R&B sensation took to the stage and rocked it. She Got the crowd on their feet as she ripped the stage with that old R & B Flavor all while bringing us back down memory lane.
Ear Hustle 411 had an amazing time and look forward to having an extraordinary time for Idlewild 2017.
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