Michael Garnes, Sr.
Detroit has lost another promising and dedicated musical talent, Michael Garnes, Sr., a singer, songwriter, teacher, community activist, ordained minister and author or poetry and a book for children “Learn the Seasons.”
Michelle McKinney, a vocalist, librarian and archivist for The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, says: “Michael Garnes’ search for knowledge and his love of music led him to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Marygrove College. He was a lovely, encouraging person who loved his music and community.”
Adds Rene’ D. Buright, an actress of The Dorothy Robinson Playhouse, Michael Garnes is a wonderful, inspiring and uplifting songwriter. “His songs and message had beauty in them it pulled at your heart,” she says. Michael arranged songs for the Dorothy Robinson play “Captain and the Show Girl,” which Buright starred in and sang. “Stranded,” “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Lonesome Girl Blues” are some of the songs Michael arranged for the play. People who saw the show say they can sometimes hear Michael’s music reverberating in their heads.
Michael was a very versatile person who displayed many interests. He was very concerned about the poor and the needy. This concern led him to travel to Ethiopia and Egypt to speak to impoverished people, says his brother, Robert “Bobby” Garnes. “He wanted to help build up their morale,” Bobby says. Michael Garnes tried to make a difference. Before his passing, he worked with Sorella Johnson’s group “Unity in the Community.” His friends, Colleen Garnes and Ida Jackson, said Michael’s biggest love was for his children and his music.
Michael Garnes, Sr. was born June 29, 1955 and departed this life Oct. 9, 2011. His funeral was held Oct. 21. at Trinity Funeral Home. He leaves to mourn: three children, Michael, Jr., Marie and Constance; three grandchildren, Michael Garnes III, Marcus, Miya; three brothers, Robert, Colbert and Bennie; a sister, Elaine Garnes; an aunt, Colleen Garnes; and a host of relatives and friends.