March 9, 1947 – March 31, 1987
Allen Robinson grew up in Port Huron and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Robinson moved to Detroit in his early 20s, lived for a time in San Francisco, and in the early 1980s returned to Michigan, where he worked at Tiffany’s and the Interchange, and at Metra magazine as managing editor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Cruise, April 8, 1987
November 4, 1914 – January 18, 1991
Pianist Stennis Ousley accompanied Bramwell “ChiChi” Franklin at the Golden Slipper and other venues in the 1950s. She performed solo at various straight and gay bars into the 1980s, including the Willis Show Club, the Tryst Club, and the Deck.
No known obituary.
Dates of birth and death uncertain
Stephen Franklin held retail jobs at Silverman’s and National T-Shirt. As manager of Bonnie and Clyde’s disco, he testified before the Lansing City Council in 1980 about police harassment of gay men at the nightclub. He later migrated to Texas. He died of complications from AIDS.
No known obituary.
July 24, 1967 – January 28, 1991
Michael LaGatella graduated from Lincoln High School in Warren and tended bar at the Woodward in Detroit while attending Wayne State University. After he took his own life, LaGatella’s friends established a scholarship in his name for gay and lesbian students at Wayne.
Cruise, February 6, 1991
Between The Lines, September 19, 2013
June 15, 1950 – November 22, 2004
Known to customers as “Ma,” Linda Lee Smith of Maybee waited tables at the aut Bar in Ann Arbor for its first eight years. She was survived by four children, five grandchildren, and her life companion Terrie Slisher.
Between The Lines, December 12, 2004
January 9, 1949 – February 19, 1996
Known as the Godfather of House, legendary DJ Ken Collier spun music around Detroit for more than 30 years at such gay clubs as Bookie’s Club 870, Heaven, Todd’s, the Chessmate, and L’uomo. His skill with the turntable inspired a new generation of DJs and helped put Detroit’s dance scene on the global musical map.
Metra, February 28, 1996
MetroTimes, May 15-21, 1996
July 29, 1912 – March 1, 1976
For more than three decades, Danny Brown directed the Jewel Box Revue. Prior to establishing the famed touring company, Brown emceed female impersonation shows at the Club Frontenac in Detroit during the pansy craze of the 1930s.
Drag, volume 6, number 21, 1976