Society Confidential: Radio’s best friend and employment service

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Phlash Phelps, the Sirius XM “60s on 6” morning host, was entertaining well-wishers on the air Thursday morning to celebrate his 14th year on the satellite broadcaster when who should call in but “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo of Novi. “Art is the one who got me my job here!” Phelps exclaimed. Well, sort of — Vuolo has videos of innumerable radio stars at, and he often touts new talent to programmers. Ph­elps recounted how in 2000 Vuolo sent a 10-year-old videotape of the jock to Dave Logan and Lee Abrams when they were launching what was then XM Radio. “They hired me in 2000, on the basis of a 10-year-old video,” Phelps laughed. “I didn’t even know what satellite radio was.” He quickly found out and gave kudos to Vuolo for the hire. How about a commission?

Giving up the finger

Alan Markovitz, the adult entertainment impresario who bought the house next door to his ex-wife in Bloomfield Hills and mounted a giant, bronze middle finger statue on his back patio as a rude message to her, hosted more than 500 people at his magnificent lakefront home Saturday. And though the occasion was a noble one — a fundraiser for Heart to Hart, a nonprofit founded by Markovitz’s high school buddy, Larry Oleinick, that distributes food, toiletries and clothing to the needy in Detroit — more than one guest wondered, where was the naughty finger? It turns out this was not the same house. Not only did Markovitz move from that particular abode, he auctioned the famous finger statue and donated the $5,000 raised to, you guessed it, Heart to Hart. The evening included cocktails, dinner, entertainment, fireworks, and a surprise, high-energy performance by rapper Trick Trick.

Hair wars

Peter Marks from 6 Salon in Birmingham and Royal Oak is one of nine finalists who made the cut in the TIGI Inspirational Youth Team web series competition for hairdressers sponsored by TIGI and Contestants were flown to London to take part in the weeklong boot camp shown in the web series, including hands-on training with haircare guru Anthony Mascolo, founder of the haircare lines TIGI and Bed Head. Now you, the public can become involved by voting by Sept. 1 to help Peter win the grand prize. Two winners will be named at the end of the web series and will go on to World Release (TIGI’s international hair show) in Germany later in September and will then compete at World Release Las Vegas in 2015. To vote for Marks, go to:

Farewell to a freedom fighter

Claudia Morcum, a tireless champion of the rights of women and minorities, died earlier this week at age 82. As a young lawyer, she moved to Mississippi in a very dangerous year — 1964 — to help register voters and give legal assistance. In 1983, Morcum became the first African-American woman appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court. Morcum was an American icon in the truest sense of the word, and friends and admirers will miss her passion, intelligence and wit.