Archives for : LEGENDARY WOMEN

Diana Ross: Vintage Beauty!

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jan Gaye: After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye

 

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Gaye, Jan. After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye. Amistad: HarperCollins. May 2015. 224p. ISBN 9780062135513. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062135537. MEMOIR
On her 17th birthday, Janis Hunter met rhythm-and-blues legend Marvin Gaye as he was stumbling out of his first marriage, and despite a 16-year age difference, they launched a too-hot-to-handle affair.

Their own marriage eventually collapsed under the weight of fame, drug abuse, and domestic strife. Here, Jan speaks out for the first time since Marvin was shot and killed by his father in 1984. Reportedly sizzling stuff, with many famed music figures of the day drifting through; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

 

This searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of legendary soul icon Marvin Gaye.

On her seventeenth birthday in 1973, Janice Hunter met Marvin Gaye-the soulful prince of Motown with the seductive liquid voice whose chart-topping, socially conscious albumWhat”s Going Onmade him a superstar two years earlier. Despite a sixteen-year-age difference and Marvin”s marriage to the sister of Berry Gordy, Motown”s founder, the star-struck teenager and the emotionally volatile singer began a scorching relationship.

One moment Jan was studying high school history; the next she was accompanying Marvin to parties with other pop stars, lounging with Don Cornelius on the set ofSoul Train,and helping to discover new talent like Frankie Beverly. But the distractions and burdens of fame, the chaos of dysfunctional families, and the irresistible temptations of drugs overshadowed the love they shared and their marriage disintegrated.

Silent since Marvin”s tragic death in 1984, Jan at last opens up, sharing the moving, erotically charged story of one of music history”s most fabled marriages. Unsparing in its honesty and insight, illustrated with sixteen pages of color and black-and-white photos,After the Dancereveals what it”s like to ride shotgun on a wave of fame and self-destruction with a tortured genius who helped transform popular culture and whose artistry continues to be celebrated today.

 

 

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962)

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On this date in 1962, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe was found dead at the age of 36yrs old.

New York, August 5

Marilyn Monroe was found dead in bed this morning in her home in Hollywood, only a physical mile or two, but a social universe, away from the place where she was born 36 years ago as Norma Jean Baker. She died with a row of medicines and an empty bottle of barbiturates at her elbow.

These stony sentences, which read like the epitaph of a Raymond Chandler victim, will confirm for too many millions of movie fans the usual melodrama of a humble girl, cursed by physical beauty, to be dazed and doomed by the fame that was too much for her. For Americans, the last chapter was written on the weekend that a respectable national picture magazine printed for the delectation of her troubled fans a confessional piece called “Marilyn Monroe pours out her soul.”

The plot of her early life is as seedy as anything in the pulp magazines, and to go into the details now would be as tasteless as prying into the clinical file of any other pretty woman whose beauty has crumbled overnight. It is enough, for summoning the necessary compassion, to recall her miserable parents, her being shuttled like a nuisance from foster home to orphanage, the subsequent knockabout years in a war factory, her short independence as a sailor’s wife, the unsuspected first rung of the ladder provided by a posing job for a nude calendar.

She talked easily about all this, when people had the gall to ask her, not as someone reconciled to a wretched childhood but as a wide-eyed outsider, an innocent as foreign to the subject under discussion as Chaplin is when he stands off and analyses the appeal of ” The Little Man.”

Then she wiggled briefly past the lecherous gaze of Louis Calhern in John Huston’s ” Asphalt Jungle,” and his appraising whinny echoed round the globe. Within two years she was the enthroned sexpot of the Western world. She completed the first phase of the American dream by marrying the immortal Joe Di Maggio, the loping hero of the New York Yankees; and the second phase by marrying Arthur Miller and so redeeming his suspect Americanism at the moment it was in question before a House committee.

To say that Marilyn Monroe was a charming, shrewd, and pathetic woman of a tragic integrity will sound as preposterous to the outsider as William Empson’s Freudian analysis of Alice in Wonderland. It is nevertheless true. We restrict the word “integrity” to people, either simple or complex, who have a strong sense of righteousness or, if they are public men, of self-righteousness. Yet it surely means no more than what it says: wholeness, being free to be spontaneous, without reck of consistency or moral appearances. It can be true of forlorn and bewildered people as of the disciplined and the solemn.

In this sense, Marilyn Monroe was all of a piece. She was confused, pathologically shy, a straw on the ocean of her compulsions (to pout, to crackwise, to love a stranger, to be six hours late or lock herself in a room). She was a sweet and humorous person increasingly terrified by the huge stereotype of herself she saw plastered all around her. The exploitation of this pneumatic, mocking, liquid-lipped goddess gave the world a simple picture of the Lorelei. She was about as much of a Lorelei as Bridget, the housemaid.

This orphan of the rootless City of the Angels at last could feel no other identity than the one she saw in the mirror: a baffled, honest girl forever haunted by the nightmare of herself, 60 feet tall and naked before a howling mob. She could never learn to acquire the lacquered shell of the prima donna or the armour of sophistication. So in the end she sought the ultimate oblivion, of which her chronic latecomings and desperate retreats to her room were token suicides.

The Supremes: Motown Monday!

 

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(L) Mary Wells Florence (center) “Blondie” Ballard (R) and Diana Ross.

The Supremes:Throwback Thursday!

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In 1967, at The Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas. Florence was sent home during this gig and Cindy Birdsong, who had been secretly rehearsing with Diana & Mary, stepped in. Florence would never return to the stage as a Supreme.

Three years later the group would record their final performance on January 14, 1970 at The Frontier Hotel. “Farewell,” a double-lp, is the rare Motown live album that is great from start to finish. Listening to it, it’s hard to believe they were barely speaking to each other at this point.

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.

Teena Marie: Square Biz!

 

 

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I live on Don Perignon, caviar, fillet Mignon and you can best believe that’s bunk I’ve been called Casper, Shorty, Vanilla Child but you know that don’t mean my world to me ‘Cause baby, names can’t cramp my style. And Buff’s collard greens A little hot water corn bread. I love you Cat Daddy But don’t let that go to your head That’s what I’m talking, baby Square Biz, Square Biz You know I love spirituals and rock Sarah Vaughn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Shakespeare, Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni just to name a few

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928- May 28, 2014)

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Poet Maya Angelou dies at age 86Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress whose work defied description under a simple label, has died, her literary agent, Helen Brann, said Wednesday.
She died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Brann said.

A professor, singer and dancer, Angelou’s work spans several professions. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
She spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.
Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in
the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Calypso Lady.” In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”
Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.
The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.
“My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she said. From the silence, a louder voice was born.
Her list of friends is as impressive as her illustrious career. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey referred to her as “sister friend.” She counted Martin Luther King Jr., with whom she worked during the Civil Rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her birthday.
Angelou spoke at least six languages, and worked at one time as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. During that period, she wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” launching the first in a series of autobiographical books.
“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” Angelou said.
She was also one of the first black women film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.
Before making it big, the 6-foot-tall wordsmith also worked as a cook and sang with a traveling road show. “Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” she once said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”

Charlayne Hunter Gault:Pioneer Of Education

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Charlayne Hunter was born in South Carolina in 1942. Due to her father’s career in the military, her family moved around a lot. However, she and her younger brothers eventually settled in Atlanta, where they were primarily raised by her mother and maternal grandmother. She credits her grandmother for inspiring her early interest in reading and the newspaper.

In 1959, she applied to the University of Georgia, but was denied admittance, so she attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. However, every semester she would submit her application the University of Georgia with the help of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In early 1961, Judge William Bootle ruled that Hunter “qualified for… immediate enrollment at the University of Georgia”. Along with Hamilton Holmes, Hunter was one of the two first African-American students to enroll at the University of Georgia. Hunter was often the object of much hostility and aggression. However in 1963, she graduated and married fellow student Walter Stovall, a white man. They had a daughter, Susan, but divorced nine years later.

She would later go on to become an award-winning broadcast journalist, working in both broadcast and print journalism. Hunter worked for such esteemed journalism outlets as the New Yorker, New York Times, NPR, and CNN. Her work garnered her two Emmy awards as well as two Peabody awards. She currently lives in South Africa with her husband, Robert Gault. She has two children: Susan from her first marriage and Chuma from her second.

(Sources: Wikipedia and New Georgia Encyclopedia)


Donna Summer:(December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012)

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Remembering The Queen of Disco Donna Summer on the 2nd Anniversary of her death

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Sommer, later Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

Born into a devoutly Christian middle-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer. After their divorce, she would keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”.

After returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. The song was released in 1975 to mass commercial success. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following.

She struggled with depression and addiction, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Sommer, later Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

Born into a devoutly Christian middle-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer. After their divorce, she would keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”.

After returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. The song was released in 1975 to mass commercial success. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following.

She struggled with depression and addiction, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

ELLA FITZGERALD – THE RACISM SHE FACED IN THE 50’S

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Apparently in the 1950s, a popular nightclub, Mocambo would not book Ella Fitzgerald because she was black. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor, Marilyn Monroe.

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she promised she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – and ahead of her time and she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Revue Nègre: Nigros in Paris

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Brought to France by American soldiers at the end of WWI, jazz rapidly became very popular in Paris. The “Revue Nègre” which first performed in Paris in 1925 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées created a sensation. The star of the show was Josephine Baker who sang and performed exotic dances often wearing nothing but a girdle of bananas.

Moneta Sleet:Pulitzer Prize Winner

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Moneta Sleet win a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of Coretta Scott King and her daughter at her husband’s funeral, making him the first African- American photographer for journalism, May 5, 1969.

Nas & Lauren Hill: 20th Anniversary

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Legendary Rapper/ Actress Lauren Hill joins Rapper Nas at Coachella yesterday to perform there Hip Hop Classic, if I ruled the world.

Diana Ross: 50th Anniversary (1964-2014)

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Documentary celebrating the career of Motown legend Ms. Diana Ross 50th Anniversary in the music business!

http://youtu.be/QMy7oUb0E4g

Diana & Stevie: Motown Royalty!

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Foxy Brown: 40th Anniversary!

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Foxy Brown circa April 5, 1974. Starring Antonio Fargas as Link Brown.

Foxy decides to pose as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, and helps save a fellow black woman from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation. This leads Foxy to a variety of revenge-themed set pieces — often violent and sexual — that range from cremating sex slave dealers to castrating a foe and presenting his severed genitals to his girlfriend.

Aretha Franklin; This Day In Music

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This Day In R&B History: On April 5, 1967 The Number One Record On The R&B Charts was I Never Loved A Man (the way I love you) by Aretha Franklin (7 weeks at #1).

Teena Marie: Wild and Peaceful 35th Anniversary!

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35 years ago today, Wild And Peaceful was released and the world was officially introduced to Teena Marie.

Wild and Peaceful is the debut album by  Teena Marie, released in 1979 on Motown and featuring significant contributions from Rick James. He provided co-vocals on “I’m a Sucker for Your Love”.

Wild and Peaceful peaked at #18 on the Black Albums chart and #94 on the Billboard Chart. The lead single “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” reached #8 on the US Black Singles chart and #43 in the UK.

TRINA & EVE On RuPaul’s Drag Race

 

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NEW: Female Rappers TRINA & EVE On RuPaul’s Drag Race!!!! 9/8c on Logo TV MONDAY!

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