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Rob Bliss’ ‘Pure Michigan’ Adventure: A ‘Michigan Matters’ Exclusive

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Jeff Barrett Carol Cain Rob Bliss

Jeff Barrett (left) and Rob Bliss, of Status Creative, talk to “Michigan Matters” host Carol Cain about their epic road trip across the state to 50 cities in seven days for their new music video. (credit: Greg Shattuck / CBS 62)

(credit: WWJ-TV) Carol Cain
An Emmy Award winning journalist, Carol Cain is also the se...
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By Carol Cain
CBS 62

A generation ago Motown’s Martha Reeves sang a hit song about people dancing in the streets and this week Grand Rapids lip dub czar Rob Bliss will take to the streets of Detroit and other towns to ask folks to sing “Good Time” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

It’s part of Bliss’ newest project along with business partner, Jeff Barrett, to create a viral video with folks at Comerica Park, the Grand Hotel and other places singing the top 10 song whose lyrics have been modified to talk up the Great Lakes state.

The video, which will be three and a half minutes in total, will be posted on YouTube on Sept. 5. It is intended to tell the story of Michigan as a wonderful place to live, work, play and build a business.

Jepsen is the artist who also sang the wildly popular “Call Me Maybe” song that’s also been parodied as a lip dub on YouTube by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team, singer Katy Perry and others.

“The lyrics of ‘Good Time’ have been tweaked to talk up Michigan and the individual performances we film will be edited together to create one fluid piece,” Bliss added.

“Think of it as a statewide sing-along,” he said during a taping of “Michigan Matters” that will air Sunday at 11:30 am on CBS 62.

Bliss, 23, appeared with Barrett, 27, his partner at Status Creative, appear on the show. They are the duo who created the Grand Rapids lip dub video which had nearly five million views.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation is underwriting the new project as part of its “Pure Michigan” effort. Chrysler also is a sponsor and providing a Chrysler 200 for their epic road trip.

Bliss talked of their ambitious plan to visit 50 cities in seven days to film people singing a line from the song.

“It would have been easier to pick 10 cities but we always shoot for the stars,” Bliss said.

The adventure kicks off Sunday in Marquette and winds up in Harbor Springs next Sunday. They will also be filming at the JW Marriott helipad in Grand Rapids on Thursday.

The music video is a sequel to last year’s Grand Rapids lip dub video, which Bliss and Barrett created it in response to Newsweek which called their town dying.

“We wanted to show them our town had energy, creativity and they were wrong,” Bliss said.

The lip dub was branded the “greatest music video ever made” by Roger Ebert.

Bliss wanted to do a sequel. And he wanted to promote Michigan but given its size knew it would not be possible to do it in one contiguous take which is what a lib dub is — a parody of a song done in one single take.

He came up with his grand idea six weeks ago.

Barrett will tweet along the way and tell people where they can go to watch filming and possibly be part of the statewide sing-along.

They will be in Metro Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday at Comerica Park and other places.

The state’s Pure Michigan effort has shifted from tourism to include growing businesses as well. It’s become a force on social media as the Pure Michigan Facebook page has over 400,0000 fans.

With so much fanfare, Bliss said he’d be shocked if their new video didn’t gain millions of views.

“It will show everyone the great times they can have by coming to Michigan!” he added.

You can follow Jeff Barrett on Twitter (@BarrettAll).

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer and Host of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters.” You can read her columns on politics and business in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com.

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