Grapevine: Detroit radio host Ralph Godbee joins Obama

Local restaurant artist hosts a free exhibit, Tony winner Tommy Tune to perform at Metro Detroit JCC and more celebrity news

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News
Retired Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, host of 910 AM Superstation’s weekday show “On Point with Ralph Godbee,” will join President Barack Obama for an ABC special on race relations at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Detroit radio host Ralph Godbee to join Obama

Retired Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, now a 910 AM Superstation talk-show host, will appear with President Barack Obama for a discussion on discrimination, race and violence at 8 p.m. Thursday on ABC News (Channel 7 in Detroit). The prime-time special will feature men, women, children and police officers who will share their personal stories and pose questions to the president. The segment follows the two shootings of black men by police and Black Lives Matter protests that have sprung across the country. ABC producers say they picked Godbee, a Detroit native, for the broadcast based on his credentials — 25 years with the Detroit Police Department which included posts as sergeant, lieutenant, inspector, commander, deputy chief and assistant chief. Former Mayor Dave Bing appointed him chief in 2010. Godbee retired in 2012 and now teaches criminal justice at Wayne County Community College. You also can hear him from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays on 910 AM’s “On Point with Ralph Godbee.” Before hopping on a plane Wednesday to Washington D.C., where the segment is being taped, Godbee says he feels “extremely honored and humbled” to represent the city of Detroit. Though he couldn’t share the question he’ll ask Obama, he says he hopes to be a “more moderate voice” in the conversation. “I’m a black man in America, and I’m impacted by these very issues,” he says.

‘Dr. Phil’ sues the National Enquirer

“Dr. Phil” McGraw and his wife, Robin, are suing the National Enquirer and its sister publications for falsely accused him of being an abusive husband and a hypocrite. who doesn’t practice what he preaches. Last week the couple filed a $250 million lawsuit in Palm Beach County, Florida, against the tabloid, owner American Media Inc. and sister publications, Star Magazine and the website Radar Online. The lawsuit states the publications damaged the TV psychologist’s reputation by falsely accusing him of physically and verbally abusing Robin. The lawsuit also states the allegations have harmed the couple’s reputation as outspoken opponents of spousal abuse.

Detroit resident Louise Chen, an artist who goes by Ouizi, will have her latest works on display at Will Leather Goods in Detroit Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Detroit illustrator to display work at Will Leather Goods

Louise Chen, aka Ouizi — the artist behind the whimsical floral illustrations at Detroit coffee shops and restaurants, including Astro Coffee, The Red Hook and Antietam — will have a solo exhibition featuring her latest mural, paintings and sketches at Will Leather Goods (4120 2nd Ave. in Detroit) from 6-9 p.m. Friday. The free event will include drinks by Our/Detroit and entertainment by D.J. Ryan Spencer. Ouizi, a 28-year-old Los Angeles native, moved to Detroit in 2013. Last summer, she was commissioned to paint two murals in Eastern Market. Her signature flowers can also be spotted in Iowa City, Iowa; Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh, N.C.; and China. As for her favorite flower to draw? “I love drawing flowers that resemble human body parts,” she told Playground Detroit, the creative arts agency presenting Friday’s exhibit. If you can’t make it Friday, Ouizi will lead an ArtDetroitNow Second Saturday artist talk from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 13. Check for location details.

Also …

■ The Berman Center for the Performing Arts at the Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit announced its 2016-2017 performance schedule. The lineup kicks off Aug. 25 with “Tommy Tune Tonight!” featuring 10-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, known as “Broadway’s tallest tapper.” Former “Seinfeld” writer Pat Hazell also stars in the comedic production “The Wonder Bread Years” Sept. 10-11. Actor Tom Dugan stars in “Wiesenthal” Sept. 22-25 — the true story of Simon Wiesenthal, called “the Jewish James Bond.” See the full schedule and purchase tickets at

Compiled by Stephanie Steinberg

Thursday’s birthdays

Jane Lynch, 56

Matthew Fox, 50

Tameka Harris, 41

Ben Silbermann, 34