September 15, 1964 – August 3, 2021
Kelli Maria Hand, known professionally as K-Hand, grew up in Detroit where she attended Henry Ford High School. In the 1980s, she discovered the dance scene at the Paradise Garage nightclub in New York and became hooked on the music. Before long she landed gigs as a DJ, including at the Detroit gay venue Zipper’s, and came to achieve international acclaim as the “first lady of Detroit techno.”
Between The Lines [online only], August 5, 2021
New York Times, August 9, 2021
Remembering Detroit Techno Trailblazer Kelli Hand
May 10, 1967 – September 27, 2000
Kenneth Ian “Kenny” Heron was a lifelong Detroit resident and worked for the Michigan Humane Society. He also served for nearly five years as the popular Wednesday night DJ at Off Broadway East. At age 33, Heron was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking on the city’s west side.
Between The Lines, October 5, 2000
October 4, 1955 – November 4, 1990
Detroit native William Robert “Bill” Corby II attended Ferris State University and was employed with the Chrysler Corporation. Active in the leather community, he was DJ at the R&R Saloon and the Detroit Eagle. For a time in the mid-1980s, Corby and his lover Chuck Turza worked as stewards and waiters for a Hawaiian cruise line. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Cruise, November 28, 1990
February 16, 1953 – February 14, 2011
Originally from Florida, Steve Nader got his start as a gay dance club DJ in Atlanta, Georgia. After moving to Michigan in the 1970s, he helped found the Disco Pool Detroit record pool and went on to spin discs at such bars as Five West, the Gas Station, Menjo’s, the Detroit Eagle, and Off Broadway East. He lost his life to prostate cancer at age 58.
Between The Lines [online only], May 7, 2015
May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020
A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984. He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven. A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.
Potere-Modetz Funeral Home
The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020
January 20, 1957 – November 18, 1999
Pontiac resident Kraig Marlon Knorr was born in Alpena and attended Hillman Community High School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1979 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he worked as a tutor in the writing center. In the 1990s, Knorr worked as DJ at the State Bar in Flint and at Popper’s in Pontiac.
Alpena News, November 21, 1999
September 2, 1955 – October 22, 2009
Randall Lee Seager, familiar to fans as Bucky, was longtime DJ in the 1980s and early 19980s at the Copa nightclub in Flint. He grew up in Burton Township and Mundy Township and graduated in 1973 from Grand Blanc High School, where he sang in the Mixed Chorus and the Acapella Choir. Later in life Seager worked as a cashier at Kroger.
Sharp Funeral Home
August 9, 1973 – September 30, 2010
Born in Detroit, Aaron-Carl attended Detroit schools and graduated from Harry S Truman High School in Taylor. An electronic musical artist and DJ known for house, techno, and electro-funk, he received three Performers Awards of Detroit nominations and had a Top 40 hit on Billboard’s dance chart with “My House” in 1998. He died at age 37 from lymphoma and was survived by his partner Mel Winders.
Between The Lines, October 7, 2010
March 2, 1979 – April 11, 2018
Flint native Deuntia “Deon” Jackson earned his mortuary science degree from Gupton Jones College in Atlanta and worked as a mortician in Michigan and several other states. He performed as DJ Envi, helped establish the Safe Space drop-in center for LGBTQ youth at Wellness Services and in 2011 co-founded the Flint Gay Pride celebration. Jackson was survived by his husband Casio Flood.
Sheldon T. Banks Funeral Chapel
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
Ken Collier: A Legend Remembered