Category Archives: Music

Charles Wright, Funk & R&B Legend, at South Pasadena Library this Thursday! (Free)

Charles Wright
Charles Wright

*A very special Author and Music Night in honor of Black History Month brings Charles Wright, legendary L.A. musician and bestselling author of “Up From Where We’ve Come: An Eventful Journey” to the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room on Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m.  The event will also feature Petrella, “The First Lady of Country Soul” and her band, Mixed Influence. The event is free and will be presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, with special thanks to 210 eastsound!

Charles Wright is the founder of the pioneering funk and R&B band of the 60s and early 70s, The Watts 103 Street Rhythm Band, known for the hits “Do Your Thing”, “Till You Get Enough”, and “Love Land”. Their biggest and most enduring hit “Express Yourself” is among the most sampled tracks by rap and hip hop groups. Continue reading

‘The Voice Of Romance’ Johnny Mathis Kicks Off Concert Tour…at 81 Years Young

Johnny Mathis.

*A few days ago, a colleague shared her perspective about music legend Johnny Mathis as he relates to current media consumers. She said she thought that today’s online readers “…are too young to know who Johnny Mathis is…”

As a lifelong Mathis fan, I was stung by those words. Could she have been right?

I swallowed hard as I took those words in, and clicked on my iTunes “Johnny Mathis” playlist. After listening to a few classics like “Misty,” “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” and “Chances Are,” I reflected on my colleague’s perspective. If she’s right, I surmised, it’s my job as a journalist to educate, to inform. And so…

Today’s Black History Month moment is brought to you by the incomparable Johnny Mathis! 

At the age of 19, San Francisco’s John Royce Mathis was headed to the Olympic trials when he turned his back on his promising athletic career and accepted an offer to meet with a representative from Columbia Records.

“I was overjoyed to get out of high jumping,” Mathis laughed by phone. “It was such a pain — literally. I had a bad back like a lot of athletes do. It limited not only my performance but my livelihood for whatever other physical activities I wanted to do. So when the telegram came, it sounded too good to be true, to get an invitation to come to New York and make a record.”

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Stephanie Mills Featured ‘A Special Evening for Friends and Lover’s’ on Valentine’s Day

Stephanie Mills

*Rainbow Promotions, LLC will present “A Special Evening of Music for Friends and Lovers” — a Valentine’s Day concert featuring the remarkable Stephanie Mills, along with Eric Darius, and The L.A. Collective on Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Long Beach  Terrace Theater Performing Arts Center located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802

TICKET Prices range from $70 – $175  for VIP Dinner packages which includes a savory 3-course dinner and a rose for each lady.

Doors for VIP ticket holders open at 4:30 p.m. with dinner being served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Doors for regular non-dinner ticket holders will open at 6:30 p.m.

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To purchase tickets, go to Ticketmaster.com, visit http://bit.ly/Valentines2017 or call (800) 745-3000.

For more information, call Rainbow Promotions (562) 424-0013 or visit www.rainbowpromotions.com

Ah Sukie, Sukie Now…10 of the Absolute Best Soul Songs of All Time (and How They Came to Be)!

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*Some of y’all may be a tad too young to have grooved to these classics like us baby-boomers. I recall living in a huge basement apartment in the Bronx, New York (my dad was “the super” aka resident manager). There were six of us kids who, along with my parents, would blast Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Little Stevie Wonder and raise the roof off the mutha in the process.

I can recall my young stepmom, in all of her 30-something glow, laughing and dancing with us kids to songs like Martha & The Vandellas’ “Heatwave (1963),” Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood (1966),”  The Drifters “Up On The Roof (1962),” and James Brown’s “This Is A Man’s World (1966)” — which was like an anthem in our house!

My dad, who was 30 years my mom’s senior, was one cool cat. He would show us doses of his swag…after he’d had a couple of drinks, of course. I can still smell his sweet cigar, as he’d stand up and do his steps in place, wearing sunglasses and the one dashiki shirt he had to his name.

So take a stroll with me down memory lane, will ya. This, my friends, is what good, soul music was and is all about. You can “click” on each song title to hear the original music. Plus, check out some of the history behind these songs and afterwards, if I’ve sparked your memory, feel free to share some of your own favorites and the memories that come to mind because of them. Continue reading

Sweet Honey In The Rock’s Carol Lynn Maillard Prepares To Perform..and Goes OFF on Donald Trump!

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*The legendary Sweet Honey In The Rock and the equally legendary San Francisco Symphony are joining forces on December 23rd.

That really should be all it takes to get you to get your tickets. But if you need further persuasion, keep reading!  Just a few minutes with founding member Carol Lynn Maillard and you realize that Sweet Honey’s holiday performance in the city by the Bay isn’t to be missed.

“A little more than half of the show will be a cappella, and the other half is done with a bass accompaniment,” Maillard said. “It’s gonna be such an amalgam of different styles and sounds!We’ll perform some traditional material that people know, some songs from the African American spiritual tradition, some quartet songs, and some covers from Marvin Gaye. We’ll also perform some stuff from our latest recording.”

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Pianist Jim Brickman Delivers Comfort & Joy In Concert This Holiday Season

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*I caught one of pianist Jim Brickman’s recent tour stops during his 20th annual holiday show, Comfort & Joy.  That’s also the name of his most recent holiday CD.  Yes, I said “most recent.”  The man’s released seven holiday CDs over the years.  You’d think he’d tire of the genre.  After last night’s show, I hope he never does.

Don’t get it twisted: Brickman’s written lots of original songs that will be sung and played for generations, and he performed a few of them last night. But how can anyone be that freaking good at playing the piano and not consider himself first and foremost a pianist???

Brickman is this generation’s Liberace (Google him), a consummate showman and a flesh-and-blood Schroeder from the Peanuts gang who plays the piano with boyish abandon. In concert, he sweeps his fans up in a Yuletide whirlwind of holiday joy. Continue reading

Pasadena Playhouse Presents Student Matinee Performance of ‘A Cinderella Christmas’

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* (PASADENA, CA)  Happy Holidays! The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Danny Feldman, Producing Artistic Director)) announced on Thursday that the opening night celebration of this year’s Panto at the Playhouse, A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS, on Thursday, December 8, 2016 will be dedicated as a benefit event with proceeds supporting The Pasadena Playhouse Education Programs and a student matinee performance over the holiday season.

The benefit will be co-chaired by Anita Lawler and Julietta Perez. Benefit Committee members also include Darrell Brooke, Renee Chang, Amber Gerhardt, Kathryn Hamilton, Emilie Lanstra,   Elsa Luna, Rebecca Lythgoe, Kris Lythgoe, Pam King, Cherol Nellon, Jennifer Rogers, and Melissa Tyson.

The benefit includes a VIP pre-show reception in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre of The Pasadena Playhouse, including delicious hors d’ oeuvres, desserts, beverages, and a post-show celebration with the cast of A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS.

Julietta Perez, Panto Benefit Co-Chair, says, “I look forward to Panto at the Playhouse every year because it always such a sensational show! It’s an honor to attend Opening Night, filled with holiday cheer, and know we are helping children attend the theatre and have their first introduction to this magical art form, who otherwise would not have the opportunity.” Continue reading

Neuroscience Claims ‘This Song’ Will Cure Your Anxiety (Listen)

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*Wow! It seems science of the brain has come up with the perfect song to calm us down. Those of us who suffer from anxiety, that is. I didn’t always know exactly what anxiety was. Until I realized I have it. At least sometimes. In a nutshell, it’s when you are always on edge. In my case, thinking you should be doing something more. Better. Now. But since there is only one me, and being a woman, I multitask ALL the time, I still can’t possibly do all the things my mind stimulates me to do.

The dictionary says it’s a feeling of nervousness, worry and unease. I suppose that’s true too.  Anyway, now there may be a cure; especially if you’re like me, and don’t like to take meds for everything.

Sorry pharmacists. Actually, no I’m not! Continue reading