Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:55 am:

Pogo suggested that it would be a good idea to give this legendary Detroit DJ his own thread. I agree. How appropriate for Soulful Detroit. Let's hear those Frantic Ernie stories everyone. Millie, my little sista, I know you have one or two in you.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eugene Brown ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 04:18 pm:

Ralph, Man...Ernie Durham...Fantastic...I met Mr. Durham at the Warehouse niteclub in Detroit back in '92 at a tribute for David Ruffin...His face lit up when I told him he was one of my heroes...He responded by telling me how glad he was to see that his legacy had filtered down many generations...I was just 25 at the time and this was not long before he passed away. What bugged me completely out was that Mr. Durham cut his teeth in my hometown of Flint at a radio station named WAMM...Casey Kasem worked their around the same time, the mid 50's...My grandmother confirmed this when she told she used to listen to his show!!! I must say that I have been blessed to have had an opportunity to thank many of my heroes that have paved the way for those of us that are in the entertainment world in some capacity today...When talking with Mr. Durham that June night I just wish I could have been a part of the 50's. 60's era. I seemed magical...But like Claudette Robinson told me a couple of years ago, It's people like me that will keep the lagacy going...I'm really trying:)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 05:06 pm:

You're lucky to have met the guY. I never did. years ago there was a tribute party for him and the entire Detroit music community turned out for it. it was quite a bash. Ernie was very popular with everyone in the business. He was a great DJ.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ron Murphy ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 05:15 pm:

oh yeah "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"(Red Prysock)Ernie's main theme song starting in 1960 and before that "Foot Stompin'" also by Red. oooh weeeeeeeee! yes indeed, my all time favorite, and such a nice guy. starting in the summer of 1960 I would go downtown and go up to the 31st floor of the David Broadwick Tower and watch the WJLB broadcasts...I didn't mess with anybody and stayed out of the way, I think I was the only one they let stay up there like that. it was said that he got the name "frantic" by racing back and forth doing a morning show in Flint and an afternoon show on WJLB in Detroit.

Ernie was competeing with DJ Larry "Mr. DI" Dixon who was on afternoons at the same time at WCHB. When I started listening Ernie was on from 3 to 6PM and then back on live from the gold room of the Twenty Grand club from 12 Midnight till 2AM, I would run home from school and turn on Ernie and switch back and forth to Larry Dixon, and then back on at midnight until I fell asleep.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 05:50 pm:

"Franic"Ernie Durham was the best!!!PERIOD!!! Like Ron Murphy I'd be switching back and forth between Ernies show and anything on wchb.

When Bob Babbitt and myself first worked together as teen agers (we worked together in about three different groups}we would play for Larry Dixon at his record hops sometimes at St. Stevens community Center and other places. One of Larry Dixons record hops was at Dearborn High School.We got up there and played, then Larry Dixon introduced this new group from Chicago promoting their record. It was called "Your Precious Love".The group was called the Impreessions.They wore bright pink suits and they looked sharp.The tenors were unbelievable,we thought at the time.
Little did we know we were on the same stage with Jerry Butler,Curtis Mayfield and all the rest.They were just one of many groups that Latty Dixon and Ernie Durham would always have at their weekly record hops promoting their latest records.

We would play for free because Ernie and Larry would mention the name of our group on the air which in turn would help us get gigs.

Ernie was the first guy that I had ever heard rap and he did it to introduce his tunes. He was way ahead of his time.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Gary ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 05:55 pm:

I can remember attending a high school dance at Ernie D's Campus Ballroom on Fenkel and Livernois, just around the corner from Terra Shirma. This was in the early 70s; Ernie D's was a hot neighborhood spot in more ways than one.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ron Murphy ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:12 pm:

Ernie D: "I want to thank you my dear for being here, I wanta thank you too my friend, please come back again and bring another friend..I'm reaching for the end..and oooohoo weeeeeee!"

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:16 pm:

Great memories of the Impressions! Their manager Eddie Thomas is a mentor of mine in the biz!

BTW - the group at that time consisted of Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Richard Brooks, Arthur Brooks & Sam Gooden.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Pogo ( on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:51 pm:

Thanks for taking the initiative on this thread.
Ernie & Butterball Jr. taught us white kids about soul & soul music. Talked to him once on the radio in the 80's. What a great guy. Can never forget his "Ernieisms":
"Half a lean green to make the scene, jelly bean at the Twenty Grand".
"Jet Malt Liquor sure acts quicker".
And who acn forget Oolya Cool?
I've got one smidgen of Ernie on a reel to reel tape, taped on my portable recorder, from mid 60's. He was playing James Brown's "I feel Good" and Ernie was doing his thing through the whole song. Would love to hear more of Ernie. Does anybody have any of his radio jive on tape?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Millie ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 12:08 am:

Ernie Durham....his laugh, his warmth, his wit, and his incredible gentleness...a truly wonderful man. Gene Elzy, a longtime Detroit jazz lover/DJ (now on WDET) was Ernie's best friend, and I have never seen such love between two friends. Jackie, Ernie's wife, was also a lovely woman who was very much in love with her husband and who at her husband's funeral, held her head up high and thanked everyone for being there to celebrate Ernie's life. Amazing. Ernie was Ernie, and there will never be another like him. All who knew him miss him very much.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Malcolm T ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 09:32 am:

Get outta bed sleepy head,,put your feet on the floor,,it`s go man go,,show man show time. Frantic Ernie.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 09:45 am:

Great memories folks

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