SC: Smokey wows the crowd, including Aretha

Chuck Bennett

Smokey wows the crowd, including Aretha, at Chene Park

Smokey Robinson performed at Chene Park on Saturday and he did not disappoint. The evening started with a pre-concert meet-and-greet attended by Judge Greg Mathis, TV personality Ed Gordon, Motown Museum President Robin Terry, celebrity bassist Kern Brantley and Aretha Franklin, who surprised Smokey and presented him with a City of Detroit award. For the show, Smokey wore a beautiful double-breasted silk aqua suit, backed by a band and background singers all dressed in white. He performed many of his hits in perfect voice, along with an audience that sang along to every word. Terry and the Motown crew arrived to the venue via the complementary shuttle for Andiamo diners. Aretha sat in a loveseat in front of the stage with a small table dressed with homemade ice tea and fruit.

Fun, flutes and fish at 711 birthday bash

As usual, it was an absolute blast. Retired Highland Park Council President June Ridley hosted her annual 711 party, celebrating her birthday on the stylish deck of her Highland Park home. She was born on 7/11 and the party is always held from 7-11 p.m. So many cool things at this bash: Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale masters the music combining her amazing record-spinning talents with a trio of live female musicians who play violins, flutes and an assortment of conga drums; an array of interesting guests, including retired Judge Wendy Baxter; State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit; political activist Sam Riddle, celebrity photographer Monica Morgan; former Highland Park emergency manager Art Blackwell; and the pièce de résistance, the guy frying the most-amazing fish ever in the alley behind the house, where guests continue to lineup throughout the evening to load and reload their plates. Great party. Happy Birthday, June.

Carnegie program for teens continues, thanks to Bob Seger

Rocker Bob Seger has teamed up with personal development pioneer Dale Carnegie’s training program again this year to help troubled teens in Oakland County, bringing powerful life-changing skills to those who need it most. With Seger’s support, the Dale Carnegie Teen Program will be offered at Children’s Village in Pontiac. The program was launched at Children’s Village in 2016, thanks to the tenacity of Brother Rice High School student Aaron Danish, who is a graduate and volunteer graduate assistant of the Dale Carnegie Teen Program. He talked to his mother, Dr. Myra Danish, a board member of Children’s Village Foundation, and they contacted Seger, who immediately embraced the program. The first class of 12 at-risk teens graduated in June. Based on the inspiring and lasting results achieved in 2016, Seger agreed to support it again this year. Instructor Kathy Tosoian will return this year to lead the course, with Danish by her side as graduate assistant.

Chuck Bennett hosts “Chuck’s Closet” every Saturday from 4-5 p.m. on Super Station 910AM. He also is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.