Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Motown star comes back to public stage as city councilwoman

Martha Reeves sang the hits like Dancing in the Streets and Heat Wave. But after some forty years in the record business, at age 64, she wasn't getting the amount of work she was accustomed to. It was quiet, too quiet. So she ran for and won a seat on the Detroit City Council (2005). Her platform: cut crime, build tourism. She credits Motown etiquette coach Maxine Powell, who many years earlier taught her to build a life outside of music, because when the money and fame are gone, you need something else. So she did, keeping her roots strong in Detroit, and now it paid off.

How is the new life as a neophyte working politician? Hard work. To keep pace, she takes copious notes in council meetings, and reads even more. (Her desk is stacked high.) Still, there are bumps in the road, such as when a local newspaper reported that several of her commercial properties had code violations (she fixed the problems).

Her term runs to 2010. Will she run again? Maybe, maybe not. But as a result of her new job, and the attendant publicity, her concert bookings have picked up again.

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