*A Motown legend is calling. Will you answer? See message from Motown’s ‘Original A&R’ man below.
I had the pleasure of interviewing William ‘Mickey’ Stevenson recently for an upcoming EURweb feature about his involvement in the upcoming “50th Anniversary” celebration of the late C. Bernard Jackson‘s “Inner City Cultural Center” taking place on November 4-6, 2016 in Los Angeles.
In the process of that interview (look forward to the feature soon) I learned of this casting call and wanted to pass it along to you.
Having just seen the group’s new video, “exciting” has got to be the understatement of the decade.
“The Mood” is a classic, throwback mid-tempo R & B jam that will be in my music library as soon as it’s available on iTunes on October 14. The video features a characteristically gorgeous Watley (does that woman age?), along with Rosero McCoy and Nate Allen Smith who both know how to strike a sultry pose. The video’s majestic Oahu setting almost gives the three pretty people of Shalamar Reloaded a run for their money.
But the video’s showstopper is when the gloriously shirtless McCoy shows viewers just what kind of “mood” he’s in [SPOILER ALERT], as the camera pulls back to reveal his hot, tattooed male bedmate just before the two of them join an equally sexy woman in the shower. And the shower door closes.
Do your thing, Rosero. Hot. HOT. HAWT!
A brutha could use a little warning before he gets hit with all of that in the middle of the workday. I almost scheduled a pregnancy test. It is quite simply one of the sexiest music videos I’ve ever seen. After watching it (three times), I got up and took a cool shower. Literally.Continue reading →
*“…the beautiful thing about being broken is that it allows you to pick up the pieces of your life, if that’s the route you want to go.”
That’s a quote from the introduction of Ruth Pointer’s unflinchingly candid, heartfelt new memoir Still So Excited, which she published earlier this year, as she celebrated her 30th year of sobriety.
You’ll remember Ruth as one of the founding members of the legendary singing group The Pointer Sisters. After reading her book, you’ll never forget her.
Along with co-writer Marshall Terrill, Pointer, 70, lovingly walks the reader from Oakland, California where she and her siblings were raised, to her father’s church, to early stardom. She hysterically tells of family times both good and bad, detailing tiffs and rifts with her famous siblings, including Bonnie who left the group in the 1970s, before they achieved their biggest successes. Continue reading →
*“Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”
I saw that quote on jazz legend Gerald Albright’s Facebook page, and instantly fell in love with it. As it had no attribution, I called Albright to get the scoop on who was behind those wondrous words.
“I’m not sure who said it,” Albright confessed with a laugh, “but that is one of the main quotes from my life right now — on a lot of different levels, musical and otherwise.”
(As it turns out, the quote is from psychotherapist and yoga instructor Augusta F. Kantra…but I’ll have to tell you about her another time!When you have a jazz legend on the phone, and he mentions his musical path, you have to ask him about that! And when I did, I found out about Albright’s upcoming album, G.)
“Top to bottom,” Albright says, “I wanted my new album to take the listener on a musical journey with different textures, rhythms, chord progressions and moods. I want people to know where I’ve been and where I’m going, and to let them hear that I’m in a really good place in my life.”
After listening to G, I’ve concluded that Albright may be in the best place he’s ever been, as G may be the best album he’s ever released. The first track and lead single, “Taking Control,” is a rhythmic romp that has special meaning for Albright. Continue reading →
As the superb series’ first season prepares to wrap up next week, and OWN releases an accompanying soundtrack album, I had to catch up with Winans and ask her about this “no singing” thing.
“My dad [Carvin Winans, one of the original Winans group] and mom never wanted to force us into the singing thing,” Winans, 32, told me. “They wanted us to find our own path. Singing was just never a passion. Since I was a little girl, I felt that acting was what I was called to do.”
Winans acted on that calling, ultimately earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in theater. As she performed in workshops playing CeCe Winans for the stage play Born For This, Winans caught the eye of a woman in the audience who would guide her towards God’s purpose for her life — and her own heart’s desire.
“I was at a point of asking God whether acting was what He really wanted me to do,” Winans recalled. “Oprah Winfrey came to one of my workshops, and a couple of months later she reached out to Uncle BeBe, who co-wrote Born For This. Oprah told him she was interested in me for the role of “Charity” on Greenleaf, and asked him to help her contact me.” Continue reading →
*Historically, African American men haven’t had a chance to control their own narratives. A story like music legend BeBe Winans’, which has taken him from a working-class home in Detroit to the top of the world’s music charts, could have easily wound up as a subpar cable movie.
In typical fashion, the six-time Grammy-winning songwriter and artist decided to pen his life story himself, and the result is the breathtaking Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story, co-written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. The show is playing at the Arena Stage in Washington DC through August 28.
Any presentation of Winans’ life would be incomplete without music, as he’s one of nine siblings in a gospel music dynasty that has influenced generations of musicians. But Born For This is much more than a musical: it’s a riveting account of a man who decided early on to take the proverbial high road.
“I’ve always understood that with everything I faced — including racism and bigotry — there is a choice,” Winans reflected by phone. “I chose laughter instead of anger. I chose love instead of hate. I chose to understand instead of misunderstand.”
“People who have come to see Born For This have left with inspiration to reach for those dreams again,” Winans continued. “They’ve told me that the show reminded them that they have a purpose, that it’s not over, no matter what age or what’s happened in life.” Continue reading →
*What does a woman do when she gets a last-minute call to sub for a recovering Chaka Khan at the California State Fair?
If you’re the legendary Jody Watley, you do what legends do: you take the stage and shut it down…in a black catsuit, no less!
Watley started with a declaration wrapped in one of the original Shalamar’s earliest hits: “I Can Make You Feel Good.” She and her new bandmates Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy, who formed Shalamar Reloaded last year, more than kept that promise with a first set that included a few other late 70s anthems including “In The Socket,” “Take That To The Bank,” and the group’s first smash, “The Second Time Around.”
Watley paused for a moment to offer a “prayer for healing” for Khan, who had to cancel her scheduled performance at the fair as she battles substance addiction. Afterward, Watley and Shalamar Reloaded eased into a subdued, sultry version of the classic “Full Of Fire” before treating the crowd to two original tunes, “Slow Dance” and “O.R.I.G.In.A.L.,” both of which hold up to anything that Watley or any incarnation of Shalamar has ever done. Continue reading →