Sunday, 26 August 2012
The Scene, a daily dance show that featured many national and local guests artists as well as many youngsters from the community. The show ran for a record twelve consecutive years from 1975 to 1987 and retired as one the most popular and successful shows in the history of WGPR-TV, Channel 62. The Scene had a strong loyal following of viewers that grew to include city and suburb, white and black, the young and the young at heart. Nat Morris, executive producer and host, provided opportunities for unknown artists, launching many careers that went to national and international fame. The Scene paved the way for all the Detroit local entertainment TV shows that followed and had the impact on Detroit Black television in much the same way that Soul Train and Don Cornelius had on a national level."
Most people of a certain age automatically think of the New Dance Show in terms of a classic Detroit television show to feature local dancers, but a lot of people aren’t readily aware of the fact that the New Dance Show had a local predecessor. And when you consider that they called it the “New” dance show, that should make it even more obvious. The Scene, which aired on WGPR-TV 62, is in fact the New Dance Show’s predecessor and ran from the late ’70s to early ’80s. It was essentially designed to be a local version of Soul Train, but what’s cool is that The Scene featured a lot of local music of that era, some of which immediately sounds like the music the Belleville 3 (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson) were beginning to make around the same time.
This is a real shout out to Detroit. With all the mayhem, devastation, and death the media claims to be running the city right now, here is something that hollers back to the “olden days” of the city. This was a time when jobs were plentiful and Mayor Coleman Young was still alive to see the city being run with love. The city has its own local television and radio station, channel 62 and 107.5 WGPR. And after you got off at the plant, you could hear MOJO, one of the baddest DJ’s ever to spin a record on the radio. But on the TV channel, you were privy to The Scene, the local dance show hosted by none other than the infamous Nat Morris. Young people gathered to show off their best moves, clothes and be entertained by the latest local group or national sensation. Yeah, those were the days when the city popped.
I’m not saying that there wasn’t any crime because that element of Detroit has been known for a long time in the place I like to affectionately call the D. But, in 1987, the community still stood strong. The Pistons reigned supreme in basketball; even against the best, Mr. Michael Jordan. There wasn’t a Hockeytown downtown, there was no Comerica Park or Ford Field, just Joe Louis arena, Cobo Hall and Tiger Stadium and the authentic people of the city who liked to have a good time after 5pm when the whistle blew for many at the Big 3. The Scene was on and on this day, we were watching Gumby Live. Enjoy, Detroit.