Category Archives: We Remember

‘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.”

IMG_4565

Continue reading

It’s Black History Month, What’s Happening? We Got You Covered! (Watch)

Black History Month Events

*Black folk get ONE MONTH, the shortest of the twelve (But hey, we’ll take it!) to commemorate the impact our race and culture have had on the world. Our people have done a LOT to develop the many treasures that make this country what it is today. A country that everyone in the world is trying to get to and build a life for themselves and their families.

And now, thanks to the site Discover Los Angeles, we don’t have to wonder about all the events set up to help us and anyone else celebrate and learn more about Black History.

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their important role in U.S. history. The event was originally the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

Here are some of the exciting events (and cultural institutions) participating in Black History Month events in the Los Angeles area.

Battleship Iowa (February 2017)

battleship-iowa-celebrating-american-spirit
“Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month” | Photo courtesy of Battleship IOWA

Located at the L.A. Waterfront in San Pedro, Battleship IOWA is presenting events and tributes throughout February to honor Black History month. There is no better place in Los Angeles to celebrate and commemorate the impact African Americans have had in the United States Navy and to this country than on the “Battleship of Presidents,” the same ship where Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, the first African American to command a Navy warship, served during his illustrious Naval career.

The Battleship IOWA Museum is featuring Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month, a temporary display that will be part of the ship’s tour through Feb. 28. Guests will learn about the achievements that many African Americans made in the United States Navy and service for this country. The exhibit focuses on five pioneering black servicemen: Robert Penn, a Medal of Honor recipient; Alex Haley, the first chief journalist for the Coast Guard; John Henry “Dick” Turpin, one of the first African American Chief Petty Officers in the United States Navy; Doris “Dorie” Miller, the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross; and Samuel L. Gravely. Continue reading

Jealous MJ Fans, This Interview with ‘Michael and Me’ Author, Shana Mangatal, Won’t Cure You

Shana3
Photo courtesy: Shana Mangatal / Credit: Basim Abdel

*Sorry. They say truth can be hard on the ears. But face it, some things you’ve just got to live with. So I’ve got one bit of advice for the Michael Jackson fans who continue to throw shade at Shana Mangatal, the beautiful woman who had a decades long friendship and romance with the King of Pop, and seven years after his passing turned her diaries into a book titled, Michael and Me.

Get over yourself. 

Hear me out, will ya? When I was first approached by veteran publicist Lynn Jeter, to review ‘Michael and Me,’ I had the same apprehension as many of you. Afterall, how easy would it be for some twit to fabricate a story about a romance with the world’s biggest star…after he died and couldn’t refute it!

I was prepared to not like it, or HER, at all (and would later tell her this)! The invitation to review the book came with a package that included several reviews that had already been written. But I trashed them without even looking (still haven’t!) as any writer worth his or her salt relies on her own thoughts and this writer didn’t need help from anyone.

So I read and reviewed the book. And if you haven’t already, you can  read that review hereBut afterwards I felt I had to interview Shana Mangatal. I felt a connection with her. Not only because many of the things in her book checked out against my own personal knowledge, the history of the times, etc., but because we both shared a rare, yet similar relationship with larger-than-life men.

I, with another celebrity…icon.

I purposely chose to write about my interview with Shana on ThisNthat, a blog site that would allow me, as a writer, the freedom I don’t have while writing a review; or writing on a site such as EURweb.

One thing Shana and I understood from the onset of that interview is, with all due respect, these kinds of stories will not be believed by many. Innately, people just don’t believe things like this can happen. There probably isn’t a tween girl alive that hasn’t dreamt about meeting their celebrity crush, and even marrying him. Shoot, these things don’t really happen, right?

Wrong. Especially if you live in a place like Los Angeles. Continue reading

1950s TV Western Features Con Man Named Trump Who Wanted To Build A Wall

maxresdefault

*They say life imitates art.  Sometimes, it’s the other way around.

A western drama TV series called “Trackdown,” ran from 1957 to 1959.  One of the series’ episodes, entitled “End of the World,” featured a con man named Walter Trump who told everyone that he could prevent the world from ending by…

wait for it…

building a wall.

For real.  

While OUR Trump wants to keep all of the raping, murdering Mexicans out of the country, the fictional Walter Trump’s wall was envisioned as the ultimate protector from a “cosmic explosion.”

Hilariously, the similarities don’t end there.   OUR Trump and THAT Trump had similar speaking patterns.  Check out this snippet of dialogue from the 1958 episode, and see if you agree: Continue reading

Jesse Jackson: “Trump Threatens 50 Years of Civil Rights,” Jackson’s Critics Call Him a “Maggot” and “National Disgrace”

jesse-jackson

*The Reverend Jesse Jackson has been at the forefront of the civil rights movement for over 50 years.

Well, kinda.  He stood next to MLK as he was gunned down in 1968, having been one of his closest advisers and mentees.  Twenty years later, Jackson vied for the Democratic presidential nomination, helping to lay the groundwork for President Obama’s successful bid twenty years after THAT.

But sometimes, Jackson seems to kinda hang out at high profile events, raising the ire of black and white folks alike.  He has been openly critical of President Obama, and was once caught on a live mic making crude comments about him.  

And now, folks on people.com say he’s just not “relevant.”  

We want to know what YOU think of the Reverend Jesse Jackson.  Don’t let people.com’s readers speak for you!  Here’s the background:   Continue reading

Accused of Three Murders, Markeith Loyd Cusses Out Judge at Bond Hearing (Watch)

Lt. Debra Clayton
Lt. Debra Clayton

*If anyone ever wondered what the face of hate looks like, Markeith Loyd might give you a clue. Enraged by the way he is being portrayed after allegedly killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, her unborn child, and now, the female officer who approached him in a Walmart parking lot nearly a month later, he took aim at the bond judge. His mouth being the weapon.

Let’s catch you up, shall we?

On December 13, 2016, Loyd was heard arguing with 24-year-old Sade Dixon outside of her parents home in the 6000 block Long Peak Drive near Clarcona Ocoee and Pine Hills Road in Orange County, Florida. Witnesses rushed outside to see Loyd running towards his car, firing a gun towards the house.

Sade Dixon
Sade Dixon

Dixon’s younger brother was injured too, but not fatally. He remains hospitalized in critical condition as of this writing. Continue reading

The Legacy of President Barack Obama…and an Apology to President George W. Bush

US President Obama Visits Berlin

*Prior to 2008, Barack Hussein Obama did what I’d thought was impossible, or at the very least improbable during my lifetime: he, an unapologetically brown-skinned man, got elected President of the United States. In doing so, he began an eight year journey that led our country to a better place, while affirming a declaration my mother made to me when I was a little boy about everyone being able to be president. Continue reading

PA Parents Found Dead from Apparent Heroin Overdose, Infant Daughter Starves to Death Days Later

Jason Chambers (Via Facebook) and Chelsea Cardaro in earlier times
Jason Chambers (Via Facebook) and Chelsea Cardaro in earlier times

*Hand on heart here. A five-month-old child is said to have died of starvation after her parents died from an apparent overdose days earlier. Authorities confirm that the bodies of Jason Chambers, 27, and Chelsea Cardaro, 19, who were new to the Pennsylvania area, was found dead in their home in the Kernsville section of Johnstown.

The couple, who is said to have died within moments of each other, was found by a friend approximately one week after they died.

An autopsy reports the baby, named Summer, who was found on the second floor of the home, had died from starvation and dehydration approximately four days after her parents.

“It was hard going in there and being the one to see them like that,” the friend, James Grant, told local station WAJC-TV. “They cared for their daughter. For two flawed people, they did their best to hold it together.”

This wasn’t the first time an overdose had occurred at the home. Jason is said to have OD’d once before, but was revived by medical personnel. Continue reading