Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001

1967      The Ginger Blue Coffee House  Saginaw, MI

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ljirvin on 2009-Feb-26 at 09:54:34 GMT-5:
[Comment found elsewhere on the web, from 21 January 2007]: I was at Joni's Ginger Blue performance in 1967. The place was quite empty, Saginaw not being particularly hip at the time. We were seated four feet from her. She sang and played like an angel. I was riveted to her presence and sound, knowing that I was witnessing true artistry. A friend of mine at the Saginaw Library is doing some research for me regarding the former owner Mary Cady.

I'm a musician and currently live in California. I was born and raised in Saginaw.

I have just learned that Mary Cady, the former Ginger Blue owner, might still be living in the Saginaw/Bay City area. As far as the Ginger Blue is concerned, during the time-frame 1967-70 I recall there being more local bands performing, with the occasional major artist. I was in Saginaw recently, and Old Town is still there. J.B. Meinberg is also there; I didn't go in, but will on my next visit. The atmosphere of the few clubs/bars on S. Hamilton is now much louder/edgier than the Ginger Blue was, but Old Town is still the only interesting place in Saginaw.

Saginaw was once a bustling blue-collar auto town, as was most of that part of Michigan. The entire downtown area was just great. All the shops were busy. Now, the entire downtown is a ghost town. There are literally no shops or other business there anymore. It's so sad. All business have moved to outlying shopping malls. It's such a shame, because Saginaw's downtown is right on the Saginaw River bank, which divides the east and west sides of town. My dad owned a bar/restaurant downtown from the time I was 7. We had jazz trios playing nightly. Those days are long gone.

Matina Coulouris
San Bruno, California  [ed.]