Archives for : May2014

Happy Birthday Sharon Marguerite Gless

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday to Sharon Marguerite Gless (born May 31, 1943)…character actress of stage, film and television, who is best known for her roles as Maggie Philbin on Switch (1975–1978), as Sgt. Christine Cagney in the police procedural drama series Cagney & Lacey (1982–1988), as Debbie Novotny in the Showtime cable television series Queer as Folk (2000–2005), and as Madeline Westen on Burn Notice (2007–2013). Gless has won two Emmy Awards and has received 10 Emmy nominations, has been nominated seven times for the Golden Globe (winning two in 1986 and 1991) and has received her own Star on the Walk of Fame in 1995.

 

Lee Chamberlin (February 14, 1938- May 25, 2014)

 

 

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Lee Chamberlin is an actress and playwright whose career spanned four decades on the stage, television and films, died of cancer at 76 on May 25, 2014. Her death was confirmed by her family.

Her acting career began on the New York stage in a production of Amiri Baraka‘s, then known as LeRoi Jones, “Slaveship.” She was an original cast member of “The Electric Company” on PBS from 1971-73, along with Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno and others.

In 1973, she played Cordelia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of “King Lear” alongside James Earl Jones, Paul Sorvino, Rosalind Cash and Ellen Holly.

She co-starred with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier in two of the more popular film comedies of the 1970s, “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974) and “Let’s Do It Again” (1975). Both of these comedies were popular with black audiences who sought out more positive African American representation in the media, other than the “Blaxploitation” genre so popular at the time.

During the 1970s and 80s, Chamberlin appeared or starred in many popular television shows such as “Lou Grant,” “The White Shadow,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Practice,” “Moesha,” “NYPD Blue,” “Roots: The Next Generations,” “Touched By an Angel” and many others.

From 1983-95, she was a regular on the ABC soap opera “All My Children” as Pat Baxter.
Her first love was the theater, however, and in 2010 she founded the Playwrights’ Inn Project in France. The Playwrights’ Inn Project developed works of diverse American playwrights, including women and people of color, traditionally underserved in the play development process. http://playwrightsinnproject.org/

She is survived by her father, Bernando LaPallo (b. August 17, 1901) a sister Nandra Gant of Lexington, NC, a daughter Erika Chamberlin of Brooklyn, NY (51) and a son Matthew Chamberlin (47) of Chapel Hill, NC. She also had two grandchildren.

by BWW News Desk

Stevie Wonder: This Day In Music

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This day in music Stevie Wonder released his first album, “The 12 Year Old Genius.” It would become Motown’s first #1  in 1963!

Lupita Nyong’o: Classic Selfie!

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Polo Selfie. ‪#‎VeuveClicquotPoloClassic‬, NJ

Happy 49th Birthday Brooke Shields

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Brooke Shields is an American actress. “Want to know what gets between me and my Calvins?
Nothing”. If you hadn’t heard of Brooke Shields before, this tag line from her Calvin Klein Jeans ad had to grab your attention.
Not that she hadn’t had a previous noteworthy resume.  She was born in New York City in 1965 and, at age 12, she starred as a child prostitute in Pretty Baby (1978). Could this movie even be made today?
It was considered risky and controversial in 1978. It was followed by another hit, The Blue Lagoon (1980).

Brooke has proved herself to be so much more than her early films. Her broad range of work as an adult would be quite an achievement for anyone, especially given how difficult transitioning from child actor to adult often is.

She has never stopped working, whether it be a Bob Hope Christmas special, her own sitcom “Suddenly Susan” (1996) or as an author. She also managed to work on a degree from Princeton University.

She has received a number of awards during her career, most notably The People’s Choice award for 1981 through 1984 in the category of Favorite Young Performer.

In 1997, she was honored again with The People’s Choice award for Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series in 1997 for her work in “Suddenly Susan” (1996

 

Happy Birthday Vicki Sue Robinson (May 31, 1954 – April 27, 2000)

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Vicki Sue Robinson is an American theatre and film actress and singer, closely associated with the disco era of late 1970s pop music; she is most famous for her 1976 hit, “Turn the Beat Around.”
Born in Harlem, New York, to African-American Shakespearean actor Bill Robinson and his European-American wife Marianne, a folk singer. Vicki Sue Robinson was reared in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for most of her early years, returning with her family to New York City when she was ten.

She had given her first public performance in 1960 at the age of six, when she accompanied her mother on stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Ten years later, at the age of sixteen, while a student at the New Lincoln School, Robinson made her professional performing debut when she joined the Broadway cast of the musical Hair.

Robinson remained with Hair for six weeks before moving to a new Broadway production, Soon, whose cast included Peter Allen, Barry Bostwick, Nell Carter and Richard Gere.
After the show’s short run, Robinson appeared in the Off Broadway play Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone in which she and Richard Gere played Mimi and Richard Farina. New York magazine opined Robinson “sings with gentle power, accompanying herself on guitar and dulcimer, and moves with astounding confidence.”

Robinson also had bit parts in the films Going Home (1971) and To Find A Man (1972). After a sojourn in Japan Robinson returned to Broadway in 1973 joining the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Robinson made her recording debut as one of several Hair veterans invited to sing background on Todd Rundgren’s Something, Anything album released in 1972. In 1973 she spent time in Japan with Itsuro Shimoda with whom she did session work on his album Love Songs and Lamentations and toured nationally.
In 1975, Robinson was providing vocals at a New York recording session for the album Many Sunny Places by Scott Fagan, a singer she had performed with in Greenwich Village clubs. Warren Schatz, a producer/engineer affiliated with RCA, was struck by Robinson’s voice and saw her potential as a disco-oriented artist. Schatz invited Robinson to cut some demos including a remake of the Foundations’ “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” which became Robinson’s first solo release.
Despite that track’s failure, RCA green-lit Schatz’s producing Robinson’s debut album Never Gonna Let You Go.

The title cut, a Schatz original, became a #10 disco hit but another album track, “Turn the Beat Around,” began to build “buzz” and was expediently released as a single, topping the disco charts on March 20, 1976. “Turn the Beat Around” broke on Top 40 radio in Boston in May, almost immediately topping the charts there. Despite failure to crack the major markets of New York City and Los Angeles, “Turn the Beat Around” reached the U.S. Top 10 in August, spending around six months overall on the Billboard Hot 100 and propelling the Never Gonna Let You Go album to #49. “Turn the Beat Around” would chart internationally, reaching #14 in Canada, #44 in France,[4] #11 in the Netherlands and #12 in South Africa. The track would earn Robinson a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

In 1976, Robinson toured across the United States promoting her hit tune, “Turn the Beat Around.” She performed on all the major TV shows such as The Midnight Special, Don Kirshners Rock Concert, The Merv Griffin Show, Mike Douglas, American Bandstand, and Soul Train.
She also performed at the top venues around the country such as the Boarding House in San Francisco, The Starwood, in Los Angeles, The Bottom Line, Felt Forum, and Carnegie Hall in New York. The original touring band consisted of Dan Pickering on trumpet and flute, Bill Cerulli on drums, Wendy Simmons on bass guitar, Nacho Mena on percussion, Vernie “Butch” Taylor on guitar, and George Pavlis on keyboards.

George Pavlis would be later replaced by Joey Melotti on keyboards. The touring band members recorded four tracks on Robinson’s second album, Vicki Sue Robinson

On April 27, 2000, eleven days after the release of Red Lipstick, Robinson died of cancer at her home in Wilton, Connecticut.

 

Happy Birthday Rev. Marvin Yancy (May 31, 1950 – March 22, 1985)

 

Natalie Cole and Husband Marvin Yancy

 

Remembering singer-songwriter Rev. Marvin Yancy (May 31, 1950 – March 22, 1985)formerly of The Independents; Grammy-winning musical producer for his former wife, Natalie Cole; and a solo artist.

Sea Salt & Honey Ice Cream (No Machine Needed!)

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Yield: Serves 6 – 8

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup honey (I like clover honey for this recipe) + 1 tablespoon for topping + a little more for serving if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fleur de sel sea salt + more for serving if desired

Directions:

  1. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the whisk attachment. Start out mixing on low speed, then slowly increase speed to high and mix until the whipping cream forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. You can also use a bowl and a hand mixer, or a bowl and a whisk and mix by hand (but it’ll probably take awhile unless you have superpowers!)
  2. Using a spatula, gently fold the sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt into the whipped cream. Continue stirring gently until completely combined. Pour into a freezer-safe container with airtight lid. Drizzle the top with 1 tablespoon honey. Seal.
  3. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.
  4. Scoop into cups, bowls, or onto cones; drizzle individual servings with a little more honey and a bonus pinch of sea salt if desired. Serve.

Ice cream base recipe from Kevin & Amanda.

Happy Birthday Clora Bryant

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Happy 79th Birthday to jazz trumpeter and singer Clora Bryant!

She started in music as a singer in her Baptist church, but took up the trumpet after her brother, Frederick Bryant, left it on going into the Army in 1941.Sh e studied improvisation using a wire recorder to record her own soloing along with jazz records, and studying the results. She became adept at a variety of genres, from jazz to classical, and performing versions of famous jazz solos of the day. In addition, she honed her own unique improvisational skills in jam sessions along Central Avenue in Los Angeles, the center of the mid-’40s West Coast African-American jazz scene.

Clora Bryant performed in high-school bands, and in the early 1940s toured Texas with an all-female band, the Prairie View Co-Eds. The Prairie View Co-Eds went to New York in 1944 for a successful gig at the Apollo Theater, where Clora Bryant scored a hit with the song “I Had the Craziest Dream” on with her version of a solo by trumpeter Harry James.

She also spent a week at the Million Dollar Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles with the legendary all-female orchestra International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and in 1948 she toured with the all-female, all Black Queens of Swing. In 1948 Bryant married Joe Stone, a bassist who played with several R&B bands. They started a family, and Clora continue to perform while pregnant and as a young mother. Later she attended UCLA, where she became influenced by bebop and gained the attention of Dizzy Gillespie. She was the only female musician to perform with Charlie Parker, at the Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, California. She subsequently toured with singers Billy Daniels and Billy Williams.

In 1951, she was a member of an all-female sextette led by Ginger Smock, on the Chicks and the Fiddle show hosted by Phil Moore[3] that broadcast for six weeks on CBS.

Her album “Gal with a Horn” was released in 1957 and in the mid-1960s she briefly did duo work with her brother, who was a vocalist. She took time off to raise her four children.

She appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and later became the first American female jazz musician to play in the Soviet Union on a request from Mikhail Gorbachev.

Since suffering a heart attack in 1996 she has been unable to play but still sings and lectures on jazz.

 

Ali-Ollie Woodson SR. (September 12, 1951 – May 30, 2010)

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In loving memory of The Late Great Temptations singer Ali Ollie Woodson, SR. whom passed away on this day in 2010.

Happy 111th Birthdy Countee Cullen (May 30, 1903 – January 9, 1946)

 

 

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Countee Cullen was an African American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. (He pronounced his name “Coun-tay,” not “Coun-tee.”)

 

Southern Style Fried Fried Okra

 

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Fried Okra Recipe
1 lb. fresh okra
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Vegetable oil
1/4 cup bacon drippings

1. Cut off and discard tip and stem ends from okra; cut okra into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices. Stir into buttermilk; cover and chill 45 minutes.

2. Combine cornmeal and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Remove okra from buttermilk with a slotted spoon, and discard buttermilk. Dredge okra, in batches, in the cornmeal mixture.

3. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a dutch oven or cast-iron skillet; add bacon drippings, and heat to 375°. Fry okra, in batches, 4 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels.

Christopher Wallace Jr: Class Of 2014

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Faith Evans and Christopher Wallace Jr. @ his high school graduation

This Day In Music: The Supremes

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May 30, 1965 The Number One Cut On The R&B Chart was, “Back In My Arms Again”, by The Supremes. It was their 5th number one (pop) song to date.

Happy Birthday Mel Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989)

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Remembering voice actor and comedian Melvin Jerome “Mel” Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989). Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons, during the “Golden age of American animation”.
He later worked for Hanna-Barbera’s television cartoons, most notably as the voices of Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons. Blanc was also a regular performer on The Jack Benny Program, in both its radio and television formats. Having earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Voices”, Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry. Blanc has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6385 Hollywood Boulevard.

 

Happy 40th Birthday Cee Lo Green

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Happy Birthday to Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (born May 30, 1974), better known as Cee Lo Green… singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and actor. Initially, he came to prominence as a member of the southern hip hop group Goodie Mob, and as part of the soul duo Gnarls Barkley with Danger Mouse. Subsequently he embarked on a solo career, partially spurred by YouTube popularity. His work has earned numerous awards and accolades, including five Grammys.

Happy Birthday Gale Sayers

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Happy Birthday to Gale Eugene Sayers (born May 30, 1943), also known as “The Kansas Comet”…former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s. He played college football for the University of Kansas, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was a first-round pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, and played his entire pro career for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. He is a successful entrepreneur in the information technology field and an active philanthropist.

 

Happy Birthday Gladys Horton (May 30, 1945 – January 26, 2011)

 

 

 

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Gladys Horton (May 30, 1945 – January 26, 2011) Gladys Catherine Horton was an American R&B and pop singer, famous for being the founder and lead singer of the popular Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes.Gladys Catherine Horton was an American R&B and pop singer, famous for being the founder and lead singer of the popular Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, she was raised in the western Detroit suburb of Inkster by foster parents. By the time of her high school years at Inkster High School on Middlebelt Road, Gladys had taken a strong interest in singing, joining the high school glee club. In 1960 the teenager formed a group with fellow glee club members Georgeanna Tillman, Katherine Anderson and Juanita Cowart. She also invited Georgia Dobbins to join her new group.

Formerly calling themselves The Casinyets (can’t sing yet), the group eventually auditioned for Motown after a talent contest, and while the audition was successful, the group was requested to return to Hitsville with an original song. After member Georgia Dobbins co-created the song “Please Mr. Postman”, Dobbins suddenly left the group after her father forbade her to be in nightclubs. Dobbins, who was also the group’s original lead singer, gave Horton the spotlight to be the lead vocalist, a spot Horton was not comfortable with in the beginning. The group changed their name to the Marvelettes shortly after Motown signed the act and released “Please Mr. Postman” in the summer of 1961 when Horton was reportedly just sixteen.

The single eventually hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – becoming Motown’s first No. 1 Pop hit – and turning the group into instant Motown stars. Horton would later sing lead on Marvelettes’ classics such as “Playboy”, “Beechwood 4-5789” and “Too Many Fish in the Sea”. Horton’s position as lead vocalist ended in 1965 with Wanda Young, who had replaced Dobbins, taking over from then on as lead vocalist. Horton left the group in 1967 and was replaced by Cleveland, Ohio vocalist Anne Bogan.

In the late 1980s, Horton and Wanda Young Rogers reunited to collaborate on the 1990 Marvelettes album for Ian Levine’s Motor City Records label titled The Marvelettes…Now! though Young didn’t take part in the group’s performances. The Marvelettes released the single “Holding On With Both Hands” in 1990, which was sung on record by Wanda but performed by Gladys in public due to Wanda’s severe personal problems.

Gladys and former Marvelette Katherine Anderson were involved with Marc Taylor’s official biography of the group. She remained semi-retired from the business to take care of her disabled son. However, she still performed on occasion as “Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes”. She had resided in Southern California since the 1970s.

Gladys Horton died on January 26, 2011 in a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California following several strokes and years of declining health.

 

Mos Def: Band In The USA?

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“When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou

 

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(Photo: Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison at James Baldwin’s funeral, December 1987)

 

Maya Angelou, who died yesterday, wrote the poem “When Great Trees Fall” when James Baldwin died, and read the poem at his funeral…

“When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

 

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