May 30, 2014 at 1:00 am

Society Confidential: DSO bassoons go 'Hard Core'

Detroit's Aretha Franklin shows off her new honorary Harvard sheepskin. (Montez Miller)

DSO bassoons go 'Hard Core'

The “Hard Core Pawn” family — Les,
Ashley and Seth Gold — will host a Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassoon quartet at 1 p.m. Saturday at their pawn shop, American Jewelry & Loan, 8 Mile and Greenfield. The musicians will perform a free, hour-long recital to wrap up the DSO’s Community Support Month. All May, DSO musicians performed at small ensemble gigs around town to raise money.

We caught up with pawn patriarch Les at the shop. “I really do work,” he said with a laugh. “No more than six days a week!” He is a classical music fan. “I used to listen to classical 78 records, when I was living at home with my parents,” he says. So can we bring our 78 rpm records in to pawn? “Not unless Mozart signed it,” he quipped. The DSO bassoons will perform in the middle of the showroom, and “Hopefully we’ll get a nice crowd who will come and contribute to the DSO.” The Golds will also donate.

“Hard Core Pawn” airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays on TruTV, and Gold predicts that this season, Ashley and Seth will get along, although maybe not with their cousin.

In other Gold family news, they’re launching Ashley on PawnChickRadio.com next week. It’s a podcast radio show that will feature “a bestselling New York Times author — me!” Les says. Also among her first guests will be Grace Keros of American Coney Island and Pam Turkin from Just Baked, two women of business who know how to get things done.

Harvard Yard + Queen of Soul = honorary degree

The Queen of Soul is going to need an underground bunker for all her Grammys, doctorates and other awards, but this is an important one: Aretha Franklin received an honorary “Doctor of Arts” on Thursday from Harvard University. Franklin sat in between writer Isabel Allende and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Former President George H.W. Bush, a Yalie, was also bestowed with an honorary degree. Some knew she was getting this honor earlier, but everybody kept it on the Q.T., as Harvard doesn’t announce any of its honorees until the ceremony is under way. Franklin, who was called “her royal highness, the Queen of Soul” by a Harvard dean, also sang a very soulful national anthem for the assembled.

Ethan Davidson at Music Hall

Last week, friends and fans of Ethan Daniel Davidson — son of the late Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson — gathered at the Jazz Café inside Music Hall to watch Ethan perform with his band, the Seedsmen. We spotted Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg and wife Emma (a TV star in Sweden), KC and Ashley Crain of the Crain Communications family, the Roostertail’s Tom Schoenith, Michigan Opera Theatre CEO Wayne Brown and Detroit Symphony Orchestra CEO Anne Parsons. Ethan’s band, which includes his wife, Gretchen, on guitar, played music from his new album “Drawnigh,” a modern twist on folk music. A wandering minstrel of sorts, Ethan was on tour last time for some six years, and he gave away 50,000 copies of his album.

swhitall@detroitnews.com
chuckbennett@hotmail.com

Seth, left, Les and Ashley Gold of American Jewelry & Loan. (TruTV)
Ethan Davidson performed at the Jazz Cafe inside the Music Hall. (Martin Leflore)