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Contact: Amanda Harrison Keighley

Phone: 248-650-7124

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For Immediate Release                                                                                                                

Feb. 13, 2019






The Rochester Hills Public Library Brings You The Roots of Motown


(ROCHESTER HILLS- Feb. 13, 2019) Historians Lars Bjorn and Jim Gallert will be at the Rochester Hills Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 28 to discuss the Roots of Motown.

In this presentation, Bjorn and Gallert will dive into Detroit’s late 1940s music scene, with a special emphasis on “John R: The Street of Music.” John R was home to many clubs, hotels and other music sites, including the fables Flame Show Bar. Many of the musicians who worked on John R were later employed by Motown.

“We wanted to take people back in time to just before the Motown music boom,” said Gallert. “We wanted to look at where these musicians came from and what music in Detroit was like before it’s became of national interest.”

“The music history in Detroit is extremely rich, with so many different genres and artists that have roots in the motor city. But even just a glimpse into the 1940s music scene in Detroit is filled with fascinating stories and triumphs.” said Bjorn.

Bjorn and Gallert have been researching, interviewing musicians and writing about Detroit music for 35 years. They have conducted over 100 interviews with musicians and club owners who contributed to the music culture in Detroit. They have hundreds of photographs and other images—many never published—that they use in their presentations. Also featured are rare audio tracks, some of which are unreleased or privately recorded, and some video segments.

“Motown is such a large part of Michigan history, it’s always fascinating to hear more about the golden age of Detroit music. We’re proud to offer programs that dive into interesting historical time periods and uncover things that our patrons may not know,” said Community Relations Specialist Amanda Harrison Keighley.

The program is Feb. 28 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room and is open to everyone with an RHPL library card. This program is geared toward adults but all ages are welcome. Please register in advance at



Rochester Hills Public Library provides life-long learning opportunities, instills a love of reading, and offers equal access to information. The library serves as a community town square, where over 45,000 monthly visitors enjoy innovative ways to learn and socialize through a variety of programs including Sunday concerts, a summer reading challenge, parent-child workshops, and weekly lectures. The library’s expansive and user-friendly database system allows its 70,000 card holders to utilize eBooks, movies, and music downloads, language and genealogy services, and consumer reports from the comfort of their own home at no cost. Find more information on Rochester Hills Public Library’s unique offerings at