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Grapevine: The Times' Carr dies; Mei Lin is Top Chef


Holland-Dozier-Holland make Walk of Fame

The Motown songwriting/producing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (comprising Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland) were honored Friday morning with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. H-D-H, all products of Detroit schools, were famous for writing and producing hits such as such as "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love" and "Stop In The Name Of Love" for the Supremes; "(Reach Out) I'll Be There," and "Bernadette" for the Four Tops, and many others for The Temptations,Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas, etc. Others honored this year included chef Bobby Flay, "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe and actress Amy Poehler.

Timesman David Carr dies

It's been a rough week for journalism. First Brian Williams of NBC was deposed from the "Nightly News" for six months (but most likely, permanently); CBS' Bob Simon survived reporting in Vietnam and Iraq only to perish in a New York car accident; and on Thursday David Carr, the savvy, highly regarded media columnist for the New York Times, collapsed in the Times' Manhattan newsroom and died at the hospital shortly after.

'Laugh-In''s Owens, 'Big Brother' musician Andrew die

Radio, TV and voiceover performer Gary Owens' death was disclosed Friday. Owens, who is best known as the announcer on NBC's "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" in the late '60s and early '70s, died Thursday in Los Angeles. Owens, 80, had been a diabetic since childhood. He also was known for coining the catchphrase "Beautiful downtown Burbank" on his KMPC radio show, it was adopted by Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show." And Sam Andrew, 74, a founding member of Big Brother and the Holding Company (which Janis Joplin joined later) also died Thursday, in northern California. Andrew suffered from heart problems, and underwent open heart surgery in recent years.

Detroit mini-mansion in 'Fine Art Connoisseur'

Detroit's Freer House, owned by Wayne State University, is the subject of a big article in February's "Fine Art Connoisseur" magazine. Charles Lang Freer's Shingle-style mini-mansion on Ferry Street was designed by Philadelphia architect Wilson Eyre Jr. and built in 1892. The house sits just north of where the Detroit Institute of Arts would rise 35 years later. A millionaire from the railroad-car business, Freer was an early, important collector of Asian art. He was also patron to artist James McNeill Whistler (yes, of "Whistler's Mother" fame), and brought one of Whistler's greatest creations — the paneled "Peacock Room," originally designed for a London shipping magnate — to Detroit, and installed it in his house. Today you'll find the "Peacock Room," along with Freer's vast collection of Asian art, in the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Detroit's Freer House opens periodically for tours; call (313) 664-2500.

'Detroit Remember When' premiers March 3

Former WXYZ Channel 7 morning news anchor Erik Smith will be hosting a Detroit Public Television WTVS special, "Detroit Remember When: Made in the Motor City," premiering 8 p.m. March 3. The program features many of Detroit's most beloved brands, whether defunct or still going. They deal with food and beverages such as Vernors, but it also goes into radio, music, etc. "I'm voicing some of it in Florida, 1,500 miles away," Smith said from his enviable winter perch in the Keys. "I'm recording the last of it tomorrow. We talk about Vernors, coney islands, radio stations, even younger folks will find some fun with it. And hopefully we can raise a little money for public television." If the interest is there, Smith says there could be more shows focusing on Detroit brands. He'll return to appear on the live segments in early March.

Dearborn's Top Chef

Chef Mei Lin, who's from Dearborn, vanquished Portland-based chef Gregory Gourdet to win the "Top Chef: Boston" finale Wednesday, making her only the third woman to win the competition's top $125,000 prize in 12 seasons. "My parents are definitely going to be really proud of me," Lin told Us Weekly. "Michael Voltaggio (Linn's boss, and Top Chef Season 6 winner) is going to be really proud of me. But most of all I'm really proud of myself and where I am right now. Lin worked at Voltaggio's Ink restaurant in L.A. before "Top Chef," and apparently will return there. Her family still lives in metro Detroit.

Great Michigan Read picks 'Station Eleven'

The Michigan Humanities Council has chosen the book for its 2015-2016 Great Michigan Read: the novel "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel. The novel, St. John Mandel's fourth, is a dark, futuristic work that has drawn critical praise and made her a finalist for the National Book Award. St. John Mandel was in Ann Arbor Thursday, and told Michigan Radios: "Station Eleven … is about a traveling Shakespearean theater company in a post-apocalyptic North America, which in fact is a post-apocalyptic Michigan, which is why I was so thrilled and honored and happy to have the book be chosen this year." The Council will present events all year relating to the book, and encouraging Michiganians to read.

Michael Hodges and Melody Baetens contributed

Today's birthdays

Rob Thomas, 43

Meg Tilly, 55

Florence Henderson, 81