Classic Music & Movie Reviews/MultiCultural Blogger
What I’m Listening to?
Yes, believe it or not, I like quite a few of Willie Nelson's music. I really don't like today's country music much. Then again, for some reason, I didn't really consider his music country at all. Most of it seemed closer to "easy listening" in my opinion. I'd say I stopped listening to newer country before Randy Travis came out with that song "I'm Digging Up Bones (1986)." Well, probably even before that actually. I really admired Willie Nelson, because he was one of the few musical artists, who has tirelessly help the farming communities; particularly during the 80's. During the eighties decade, it appeared that the farmers were plagued with bad Weather and spoiled Crops. He sang along side many artists, including the legendary Ray Charles. The songs I like from Willie borderlines folk music. But if your in to very slow easy listening music, check him out. My favorite songs are "You Were Always On My Mind ()".

Yes, believe it or not, I like quite a few of Willie Nelson's music. I really don't like today's country music much. Then again, for some reason, I didn't really consider his music country at all. Most of it seemed closer to "easy listening" in my opinion. I'd say I stopped listening to newer country before Randy Travis came out with that song "I'm Digging Up Bones (1986)." Well, probably even before that actually. I really admired Willie Nelson, because he was one of the few musical artists, who has tirelessly help the farming communities; particularly during the 80's. During the eighties decade, it appeared that the farmers were plagued with bad Weather and spoiled Crops. He sang along side many artists, including the legendary Ray Charles. The songs I like from Willie borderlines folk music. But if your in to very slow easy listening music, check him out. My favorite songs are "You Were Always On My Mind (1982)", "On The Road Again (1980)", and "To All The Girls I've Loved Before/featuring Julio Iglesias (1984)". By the way, now that I think about it, doesn't Julio sound just like Andrea Bocelli? © 2014 VintageNewscast

The group called "The Fifth Dimension" had a harmonic sound equivalent to "The Mama's and The Papa's." The only real difference between them was that "The Fifth Dimension" had more soul in their music (in my opinion). One reason I loved The Fifth Dimensions, was the fact that they sang a range of different types of music; including jazz. The lead singer was Marilyn McCoo. She had one of those distinct voices; when she sang, you knew immediately who it was. To my understanding, McCoo left the group in the mid 1970s. Interesting that all of my favorite hits seem to all have Marilyn McCoo in them. My number one favorite is "Aquarius (1969)," "Up Up and Away (1967)," "Wedding Bell Blues (1969)," "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All (1972)," and "Go Where You Wanna Go (1969)".

The group called "The Fifth Dimension" had a harmonic sound equivalent to "The Mama's and The Papa's." The only real difference between them was that "The Fifth Dimension" had more soul in their music (in my opinion). One reason I loved The Fifth Dimensions, was the fact that they sang a range of different types of music; including jazz. The lead singer was Marilyn McCoo. She had one of those distinct voices; when she sang, you knew immediately who it was. To my understanding, McCoo left the group in the mid 1970s. Interesting that all of my favorite hits seem to all have Marilyn McCoo in them. My favorite number one hits are the following: "Aquarius (1969)," "Up Up and Away (1967)," "Wedding Bell Blues (1969)," "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All (1972)," and "Go Where You Wanna Go (1969)".

Though Joe Simon had quite a few hits in the 70's, I only liked very few of them. His rhythm is the same for almost all his music it seemed.  I used to confuse him a lot with Percy Sledge, because both of their voices sounded so much a like. The only difference between them I think is, when Percy tries to hit those high notes, he sounds like he is singing from the back of his neck (I hated that). However, Joe Simon actually sings, and he doesn't necessarily try to over do it for his audience; and that is the kind of performance I can appreciate. My favorite songs are "Chok'n Kind (1969)," and the theme song for the movie "Cleopatra Jones (1973)." I really love Cleopatra Jones I guess it's because it came from the blaxploitation era. There also was a song called "Music In My Bones (1975)."

Though Joe Simon had quite a few hits in the 70's, I only liked very few of them. His rhythm is the same for almost all his music it seemed. I used to confuse him a lot with Percy Sledge, because both of their voices sounded so much a like. The only difference between them I think is, when Percy tries to hit those high notes, he sounds like he is singing from the back of his neck (I hated that). However, Joe Simon actually sings, and he doesn't necessarily try to over do it for his audience; and that is the kind of performance I can appreciate. My favorite songs are "Chok'n Kind (1969)," and the theme song for the movie "Cleopatra Jones (1973)." I really love Cleopatra Jones I guess it's because it came from the blaxploitation era. There also was a song called "Music In My Bones (1975)." © 2014 / Yogi

I loved Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Actually, I should say, I loved Teddy Pendergrass in HM & TBN. Having said that, I realized two things I took issue with concerning this group. First, whilst the group was officially called "Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes", Teddy Pendergrass has always been the lead singer for 90% of all their hit songs.  Second, They never really acknowledged him in any of their albums (that I'm aware of); they didn't at least print the words "featured Teddy P" on any of the albums I own. I guess that's one of the reasons Teddy went solo. Not that the entire group wasn't talented, but, let's be serious here, after Teddy left the group, it was curtains for the group entirely. I shouldn't be surprised. The Commodores career died the same way after Lionel Ritchie left the group. Thank goodness they have all those royalties to  fall back on. My most favorite, and probably the their biggest hit is called "Bad Luck (1975)" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)" and "The Love I Lost (1973).

I loved Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Actually, I should say, I loved Teddy Pendergrass in HM & TBN. Having said that, I realized two things I took issue with concerning this group. First, whilst the group was officially called "Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes", Teddy Pendergrass has always been the lead singer for 90% of all their hit songs. Second, They never really acknowledged him in any of their albums (that I'm aware of); they didn't at least print the words "featured Teddy P" on any of the original albums I own (not including the best of). I guess that's one of the reasons Teddy went solo. Not that the entire group wasn't talented, but, let's be serious here, after Teddy left the group, it was curtains for the group entirely. I shouldn't be surprised. The Commodores career died the same way after Lionel Ritchie left the group. Thank goodness they have all those royalties to fall back on. My most favorite, and probably the their biggest hit is called "Bad Luck (1975)" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)" and "The Love I Lost (1973)". © 2014

To be honest, I've never really been a Nat King Cole fan, his music just wasn't my cup of tea. His style of singing was more like a Black version of Lawrence Welk. Although I was listening to one song today I forgot he sang, and it appears to be the only song from him I really like, and it's called Unforgettable (1954). This song "unforgettable is clearly nostalgic, and each time I hear it I go through childhood flash backs when my grandpa used to listen to it. The only other music I used to like from him was his xmas music. Come to think about it, that may have been the problem as to why I didn't like his music; I've always associated his voice with xmas. He could have sang a song about a bicycle  and it would still sound like xmas.

To be honest, I've never really been a Nat King Cole fan, his music just wasn't my cup of tea. His style of singing was more like a Black version of Lawrence Welk. Although I was listening to one song today I forgot he sang, and it appears to be the only song from him I really like, and it's called "Unforgettable (1954)". This song "unforgettable" is clearly nostalgic, and each time I hear the song it invokes childhood flash backs when my grandpa used to listen to it. The only other music I used to like from him was his xmas music. Come to think about it, that may have been the problem as to why I didn't like his music; I've always associated his voice with xmas. He could have sang a song about a bicycle and it would still sound like xmas. ©2014/VintageNewscast

I absolutely love James Taylor's music. His music is the kind of music you would listen to, to relax your mind from a ruff day. I consider his genre of music "easy listening/modern folk". The mood of his music and tempo is similar to Jim Croce.  James Taylor is another artist that looks nothing like himself as he got older. However, he still has that same smooth soothing voice. James has been around musically for a very long time, and continues to have a long successful  career. If you're not a member of Rhapsody or Spotify, your better off finding one of his greatest albums. My favorite hits are "Carolina In My Mind (1968)", "Fire And Rain (1970)", "You've Got A Friend (1971)" (I also like Carole Kings Version too), "Handyman (1977)", "Shower The People (1976)", and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1975)"

I absolutely love James Taylor's music. His music is the kind of music you would listen to, to relax your mind from a ruff day. I consider his genre of music "easy listening/modern folk". The mood of his music and tempo is similar to Jim Croce. James Taylor is another artist that looks nothing like himself as he got older. However, he still has that same smooth soothing voice. James has been around musically for a very long time, and continues to have a long successful career.
If you're not a member of Rhapsody or Spotify, your better off finding one of his greatest hits albums.Please note, if you're not in to folk music, chances are you will not like James Taylor's music. My favorite hits are "Fire And Rain (1970)", "You've Got A Friend (1971)" (I also like Carole Kings Version too), "Handyman (1977)", "Shower The People (1976)", and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1975)"

I could be wrong about this but, I'm going to be bold enough and say, anybody younger than 20 years of age probably never heard of the Osmonds. According to Wikipedia, the Osmonds started performing around 1958, and still continues to perform today. To be honest, I only like 3 songs out of their entire career, but I think these songs are great enough to mention on my blog. When they started performing, they started off with "Lawrence Welk" type of music (which I find very BORING unfortunately), but when Donny Osmond was added to the group, they obviously became the "Jackson 5 sound-a-likes". When they released a song called "One Bad Apple (1971)", every single person (even till today) mistaken them for The Jackson 5. Later on, I guys as Donny grow older and passed puberty, he no longer had that same "Jackson 5 magic", then the next thing we new, the Osmonds were singing country (and pretty much been their type of music ever since). I remember as a young kid, I used to watch their TV show called "Donny & Marie" in the late 70's. Unfortunately, thi show was boring as all hell. This show was so boring, I would not even tell you to rented on Netflix, it's that boring. I've noticed that Marie is like a male version of Dick Clark, this bitch will not grow old for nothing LOL! She still looks fabulous after all these years, and I don't remember reading about any plastic surgeries either click here. Well, after they gone country, there were only two other songs I liked from them, and they were "I'm leaving It Up To You", and "Love Me For A Reason".

I could be wrong about this but, I'm going to be bold enough and say, anybody younger than 20 years of age probably never heard of the Osmonds. According to Wikipedia, the Osmonds started performing around 1958, and still continues to perform today. To be honest, I only like 3 songs out of their entire career, but I think these songs are great enough to mention on my blog. When they started performing, they started off with "Lawrence Welk" type of music (which I find very BORING unfortunately), but when Donny Osmond was added to the group, they obviously became the "Jackson 5 sound-a-likes". Yet when we watched them perform on TV they looked more like the first Menudo. When they released a song called "One Bad Apple (1971)", every single person (even till today) mistaken them for The Jackson 5. Later on, I guys as Donny grow older and passed puberty, he no longer had that same "Jackson 5 magic", then the next thing we knew, the Osmonds transitioned to singing country (and pretty much stayed with that genre of music ever since). I remember as a young kid, I used to watch their TV show called "Donny & Marie" in the late 70's. Unfortunately, this show was boring as all hell. This show was so boring, I would not even tell you to rented on Netflix, it's that boring. I've noticed that Marie is like a male version of Dick Clark, this bitch will not grow old for nothing LOL! She still looks absolutely fabulous after all these years (better than all her brothers), and I don't remember reading about any plastic surgeries either click here, in fact she almost looks like Valerie Bertinelli (from One Day At A Time). Well, after they gone country, there were only two other songs I liked from them, and they were "I'm leaving It Up To You", and "Love Me For A Reason". Update: I couldn't find any official news on Youtube so far about any work done to her face, but I read a few articles on the net about face lifts. I'm skeptical because a lot of them came from gossip sites and "plastic surgery sites" which are notorious for making celebrities appear to endorse something. The other thing is, she had a tremendous weight loss, which can alter facial features significantly, as well as make you look younger. I did see a video that stated she had an obsession with trying to look younger, so I guess it is likely she had something done. If she did have something done, thank goodness she didn't go overboard. there are some celebs that have faces that look like plastic now. ©2014

Yes guys! Believe it or not, I like Paul Anka's music too! Like I've said I'm musically diverse. I bet my younger blog fans probably have never heard of Paul Anka (unless you've heard your grand parents play his songs). Mr. Anka was one of those teen heartthrobs that girls used to scream their heads off for. Personally, I didn't think he was all that handsome, but I did and still do like some of his music. If you see the way he looks now you would never think he was the same person. Growing up, I remembered my grandfather  jamming to a long called "Diana". This was a very catchy and infectious tone back then; and even as a small child, I remember singing this all over the place. There were two more favorites of mine, the first is called "Put Your Head On My Shoulders", which was a huge hit in 1968. The other song is "Puppy love". © 2014

Yes guys! Believe it or not, I like Paul Anka's music too! Like I've said before I'm musically diverse. But how many of my younger blog fans actually heard of Paul Anka (unless you've heard your grand parents play his songs maybe)? Mr. Anka was one of those teen heartthrobs that girls used to scream their heads off for. Personally, I didn't think he was all that handsome, but I did and still do like some of his music. If you see the way Mr. Anka looks now you would never think he was the same person. Growing up, I remembered my grandfather jamming to one of his songs called "Diana". Here is the first original version, however, I like his remake better when he was older. This was a very catchy and infectious tone back then; and even as a small child, I remember singing this all over the place. There were three more favorites of mine, the first is called "Put Your Head On My Shoulders", which was a huge hit in 1968. Also song "Puppy love" and "Lonely Boy". I liked only boy, because it was one of the few sad songs you heard that had an up beat tempo. © 2014

I really love the temp of many of Gregory Isaacs's music. R.I.P. Although his sometimes nasally voice in some of his music gets a little annoying at times. However, one of his biggest hits called "Night Nurse (1982) was the exception to the rule. I love this song so much. I also think he did a remake with Lady Saw. I don't like Lady Saw's music at all, but I loved the collaboration with this particular song. Gregory has been around musically for a long time, and has had a long healthy music career before his passing a few years back. Some of these hits were "No Speech (1991)", "Each Day (2001)", and "Willow Tree (1995)" just to name a few. Just to give you a fair warning, a lot of his very early 70's reggae albums tend to sound a lot a like. However, I think my older Caribbean blog members can appreciate his music.

I really love the temp of many of Gregory Isaacs's music. R.I.P. Although his sometimes nasally voice in some of his music gets a little annoying at times. However, one of his biggest hits called "Night Nurse (1982)" was the exception to the rule. I love this song so much. I also think he did a remake with Lady Saw. I don't like Lady Saw's music at all, but I loved the collaboration with this particular song. Gregory has been around musically for a long time, and has had a long healthy music career before his passing a few years back. Some of these hits were "No Speech (1991)", "Each Day (2001)", and "Willow Tree (1995)" just to name a few. The "Willow Tree" has been remade by so many reggae artists, but I think the original singer was Elton Ellis. Just to give you a fair warning, a lot of his very early 70's reggae albums tend to sound a lot a like. However, I think my older Caribbean blog members can appreciate his music.

Rap is one type of music I rarely listen to know-a-days, because the quality of rap has really tanked over the last 20+ or so years. We've gone from "saying no to drugs" to glorifying anything that degrades women, and total disregard for respect, and a host of other things. I will say this, I will not get in to a long winded speech as to whether or not rap is an art form or not. I think this is a separate issue in terms of the quality of rap being played to day, and the o' so willing record companies willing to promote negative rap. I digress. Now, don't get wrong, rap was always about the rappers telling their story about the streets, however, it was very different in the 80's. In terms of rap, I don't really listen to anything else past bubble gum 80's, and maybe a few 90's stuff. Lately, I have been grooving to a old 2 man group called EPMD. One of the two named Erik Sermon wasn't particularly handsome, but he had beautiful eyes. It kinda kept me watching their videos, because his facial features were so unique. I kinda forget just how long they've been around. The first rap they did that drove me crazy was a song called "It's My Thing (1988)". This song had a sick beat, and most importantly, I understood what he was saying! It had a funk/James Brown kinda beat that I absolutely loved. Other favorites are "You Gots To Chill (1988)", "The Big Payback (1991)" and Your A Customer (1991)"

Rap is one type of music I rarely listen to now-a-days, because the quality of rap has really tanked over the last 20+ or so years. We've gone from "saying no to drugs" to glorifying anything that degrades women, and total disregard for respect, and a host of other things. I will say this, I will not get in to a long winded speech as to whether or not rap is an art form or not. I think this is a separate issue in terms of the quality of rap being played to day, and the o' so willing record companies willing to promote negative rap. I digress. Now, don't get wrong, rap was always about the rappers telling their story about the streets, however, it was very different in the 80's. In terms of rap, I don't really listen to anything else past bubble gum 80's, and maybe a few 90's stuff. Lately, I have been grooving to a old 2 man group called EPMD. One of the two named Erik Sermon wasn't particularly handsome, but he had beautiful eyes. It kinda kept me watching their videos, because his facial features were so unique. I used to mistaken Parrish Smith for Coolio a lot. I kinda forget just how long they've been around. The first rap they did that drove me crazy was a song called "It's My Thing (1988)". This song had a sick beat, and most importantly, I understood what he was saying! Other favorites are "You Gots To Chill (1988)", "The Big Payback (1991)" this song had a funk/James Brown kinda beat which I loved, and everyone could dance to this rap too, and "Your A Customer (1991)".

Monthly Archives: December 2007

panther.gifHistory of THE BLACK PANTHERS. In 1966, two young black men, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, met at the campus of Merritt College in Oakland, California. Finding that they shared each other’s frustration with the police brutality, poverty, and repression that blacks suffered in the Oakland community, they founded an organization in an effort to fight back. They called their new organization the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. It differed from other black rights groups of the time, which were almost all non-violent, in that it advocated armed defense and self-reliance for the liberation of American blacks. Newton and Seale believed that the non-violent traditions of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. concentrated wrongly on the integration of whites and blacks. This integration, they believed, hinged on proving to whites that blacks were good enough, intelligent enough, even human enough to “deserve” equality. Rejecting this notion, Seale and Newton countered that blacks should instead focus on correcting the discrepancy in power, political and financial, that existed between whites and blacks.

To that end, Bobby Seale, along with a small group of fully-armed followers, marched on the California State Legislature in May of 1967 in order to protest a gun control bill that would have limited blacks’ ability to arm themselves against police and government brutality. This audacious act, along with the arrest in October of Huey Newton for the alleged murder of a policeman, propelled the Party to the national stage. The Party renamed itself the Black Panther Party and new branches began forming all across the country. Soon, the Panthers had their own newspaper, edited by Eldridge Cleaver, the Party’s Minister of Information. In it, and in other forms of the establishment media apparatus including television, the Panthers perfected what would become a very powerful propaganda machine. This machine spread the party’s socialist and nationalist messages to very great effect, so much so, that despite the Party’s demise nearly three decades ago, the clenched fist continues on as a powerful symbol today.

The socialist tendencies of the Party were very important to the creation of its Ten-Point Program, a list of what were basically demands from the government. The Program calls for, among other things, an end to the Vietnam War, free health care, housing, full employment, and the payment of reparations promised after the Civil War. This extremely ambitious list of demands represented all the things that the Party believed black people deserved from the government, but seemed almost to call more for the dissolution of the government, since the demands are probably more than what any government, short of a socialist one, could achieve. Since the U.S. government wasn’t interested in providing for any of the Panther’s demands, they, in the spirit of self-reliance, decided to provide the black community with some of the programs themselves. The so-called “Survival Programs” of the Black Panthers were grassroots efforts to effect the real life problems of poor blacks and included ground breaking programs such as free breakfast for inner-city children, free clothing drives, healthcare clinics, tenants’ rent strikes, and campaigns for community control of schools, police, and gun and drug violence. They also formed the Liberation School for grade-schoolers and the first ever hospital program to address sickle cell anemia, a disease that affects black children disproportionately.

The socialism of the Party, along with its agenda of armed self-defense, caused J. Edgar Hoover to dub it “the greatest threat to the internal security of America.” He launched a counter intelligence program, called COINTEL PRO, in order to destroy the Panthers using many different means. These included sowing internal dissent within the party through covert operatives, forging documents, murdering members in raids on Party offices and residences, and imprisoning the leadership of the party, including Huey and Seale. The FBI even pitted the Black Panthers, through spies and forged letters, against other black nationalist groups, such as US (United Slaves) and a black gang called the Blackstone Rangers. These groups, though they had similar problems and goals, would end up killing each other in violent confrontations, in effect killing two birds with one stone for COINTEL PRO.

This internal and external fighting during the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with the later focus on installing members of the Party in Oakland political office, led to the gradual decline and death of the party by 1980. The legacy of the party lives on mostly in the effect it has had on social programs. Shamed by the success of the free breakfast programs, the U.S. government took over control of these programs and expanded programs that work for the benefit of poor urban children. The government even began funding research on sickle cell anemia. Though the ten-point program’s demands were never met, the Black Panthers helped spur the government on to a more comprehensive treatment of the ill effects of poverty and showed just how powerful small revolutionary groups could be in the U.S.

Those interested in watching footage about the history of the Black Panthers can visit online educational videos publishers.

THE AUTHOR:

Beth Schelle is an educational video consultant for the historical film company Quality Information Publishers, who maintain a library of historic film and video collections at http://www.qualityinformationpublishers.com. She’s cuurently sifting through their Civil Rights Movement collection of film footage.

VintageNewscast.com has received permission by the author to republish this article.

american_gangster.jpg‘American Gangster’ Tells True Story of Harlem Drug Dealer

Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe co-star in a crime drama directed by Ridley Scott and based on the true story of the man who ran the illegal drug trade in New York’s Harlem 40 years ago. Alan Silverman has a look at American Gangster.  Frank Lucas was ‘somebody’ in the shady underworld of New York in the 1960′s. A protege of ‘Bumpy’ Johnson, the local crime boss who ran the streets of Harlem for decades, Lucas took over when his mentor died.

Lucas smuggled heroin in the coffins of dead American soldiers returning to the United States from Vietnam. Uneducated – except for what he learned on the streets – Lucas used his innate business sense to build a criminal empire that was rivaled only by the Italian Mafia. He was brought down by dogged investigator Richie Roberts, a New Jersey police detective-turned-prosecutor who headed a special narcotics task force.

When he was finally arrested and convicted, the crime boss formed a remarkable alliance with the prosecutor; and in return for a shortened sentence, Lucas helped bring down the network of bribed officials and high level drug dealers. American Gangster stars Denzel Washington in the title role and he spent time with the real Frank Lucas to understand the character and his world. Washington describes Lucas as ‘charming;’ but says he tried to give an accurate portrayal of the man who, by his own admission, is a murderer.

“If you hang around long enough you’ll get the real story,” Washington says. “I worked with (journalist) Bob Woodward doing research for The Pelican Brief and he used to say ‘let the silence bring out the truth.’ So you hang around and listen to Frank, let him brag …’I was this, I was that’ … but you just keep hanging around and some days, after 11 hours, somebody is tired and another side comes out. You see how a person treats his nephew or somebody who works for him and you go ‘oh, okay.’ You see a look in his eyes and you go ‘oh, all right. Quite a few people who aren’t here any longer saw that look.’ So you get below the surface.”

Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts and, like the real investigator and prosecutor, Crowe admits to a grudging respect for the convicted drug baron. “You educate Frank Lucas in a different way and you probably end up in a situation where you’d name universities after this guy. He was smart. He was a good businessman. He took the attitude of a regular product into the dark, murky depths of the heroin business; but he operated it like it was a MacDonald’s,” explains Crowe. “He sold a higher quality product cheaper. He put it out on the streets at the right time, timed for when welfare payments were made and all that sort of stuff …he was a clever businessman.”

But does making his story into a major motion picture celebrate that death-dealing lifestyle? Screenwriter Steven Zaillian insists that his script was not meant to lionize Lucas or makes his world look attractive. “I didn’t worry about that,” he says. “I think that when I write a script I approach it from dealing with the events and the behaviors of the characters and what they did, tell the story in as straight a fashion as I can and let people come to their own conclusions. I certainly didn’t go out of my way to make him sympathetic. You see him kill three or four guys in cold blood. You see people dead from his product, so that was never a problem for me.”

americangangster.gifDirector Ridley Scott says the real Frank Lucas spent considerable time on the film set as a ‘technical advisor;’ and the filmmaker says he recognized something familiar in the now-retired gangster. “These guys are all performers and my life is with performers, so in a funny kind of way, with Frank it is like talking with an actor,” says Scott. “It’s as if he didn’t do it. That makes him a true sociopath. There is lots of memory, but there is no association with anything emotional.”

American Gangster features British actor Chewitel Ejiofor as Lucas’s younger brother and right-hand henchman. Screen and stage legend Ruby Dee plays their aged, but strong-willed mother. Josh Brolin plays a corrupt police detective; and the cast also includes contemporary music stars RZA and Common.

By Alan Silverman

VintageNewscast received permission by the author to reprint this article

ike.jpgRock and Roll Legend Ike Turner Dies

One of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Ike Turner, died Wednesday December 12 at his home near San Diego, California.  He was 76.  The cause of death was unknown.  While an architect of the modern rock sound, he was also notorious for his abusive relationship with his wife, Tina.  Mention Ike’s name, and most music fans will likely peg him as the drug-addicted, abusive husband of superstar singer Tina Turner.

Laurence Fishburne earned a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Ike in the hit 1994 film, What’s Love Got To Do With It.  While Ike disputed those claims, they have overshadowed his real contributions to the birth and development of rock and roll.  Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Ike Turner was eight years old when he began doing odd jobs at a local radio station.  He carried amplifiers for blues guitarist Robert Nighthawk while learning boogie-woogie piano from his idol, Pinetop Perkins.
 
In the late 1940s, Ike formed his own group, The Kings of Rhythm.  In 1951, he recorded “Rocket 88,” which some critics call the first true rock and roll record. While working with the Kings of Rhythm in the St. Louis area, Ike Turner also became a session musician and talent scout for Sun Records.  He helped such later stars as Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Otis Rush sign contracts.
 
ike_tina.jpgIn the late-1950s, Ike hired a young singer from Tennessee named Anna Mae Bullock. Changing her name to Tina, after the popular action heroine “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,” Ike featured her in his popular soul review. After enjoying a hit single in 1960 with “A Fool In Love,” the pair wed in Mexico, and embarked upon a stormy 16-year union. Throughout the 1960s and early-70s, Ike and Tina were one of the most exciting and influential acts in rock.  They toured with the Rolling Stones, and in 1971 performed in Africa.
 
Shadowing their success, however, was Ike’s treatment of Tina.  Acting as the group’s manager and musical director, he allegedly treated his wife in a ruthless manner. In her 1986 autobiography I, Tina, she wrote that he regularly isolated and abused her, often in the form of vicious beatings.
 
By the mid-1970s, Ike Turner was in the grip of a cocaine habit.  In July, 1976, Tina fled Ike, reportedly carrying only 36 cents.  She declined to comment on his death. In 1989, Ike went to prison on drug charges, and was still behind bars when he and Tina were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.  He reportedly maintained sobriety after leaving prison in 1993, and in 2001 published an autobiography, Takin’ Back My Name.  In it, he admitted to physically abusing Tina, but denied beating her.  He also continued to perform with the Kings of Rhythm, and in 2007 won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. You can buy some of, both Ike & Tuna’s songs; by clicking HERE for my 99c music store. Select Ike & Tina.

By: Ray Mcdonald

VintageNewscast has obtained permission, to republish this article.

barryIn my day, Barry White was called a Maestro of love. With just a mere sound of his voice, he drove almost every woman around the world nuts. According to BBC news, from his first international hit, Love’s Theme, in 1973, White expounded on only one topic. Songs, such as his theme tune, You’re The First, My Last, My Everything, typically dealt with what he termed “the only subject on planet earth – love between fellow human beings”. White had not always conducted himself in such a loving way, and the theme of his songs was a long way from his own background Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood, although he was born in Galveston, Texas, on 12 September 1944. His brother Darryl was murdered in a clash with a rival gang, and White himself was jailed – at the age of 17 – for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires. Read more on this story, from BBC News.

albinia_jones.jpgAlbinia Jones, was a wonderful and, talented female blues singer, of the 1940′s era. I had a very difficult time trying to find research material on this artist. Very little is written about her; she is almost forgotten about. This woman had a voice like no other. When she sings, she means what she sings. It’s almost as the she is talking to you directly, when you hear her music. She has performed a few songs with the great Dizzy Gillespie. She was a featured performer on an album called “Evil Gal Blues”. Which I can’t seem to find either. I guess it is out of print most likely. You can download her song called, “Give it up daddy”, FREE Click here – Albinia Jones – mp3

redchin.jpgMay Tammy’s soul finally rest in peace. I remember all of the horrible comments, that people used to say about Tammy. Whether or not you loved Tammy Faye, hated her, or just thought she was 12 cans short of a 3 pack. One thing Ms. Tammy Faye Baker has shown consistently, was  unconditional love for all. Be it black, green, blue, gay, straight, or confused; Tammy demonstrated tirelessly, what true respect & compassion is all about. Despite all of the scandals, embarrassments and heartbreak with her X-marriages;  her huge heart and spirit would not break. I Think there tfb7.jpgwas so much about Ms Baker that we did not understand, but I really think that, when it comes to love and respect, many so called “Christians” could have really learned from her. Yes, I do think she is a role model in many ways. If you truly listen to a lot of the things she’s said in the past, you’ll find there was a huge amount of wisdom she shared. We were just too busy commenting about her make-up, hair, and everything else. But although a woman, she had enough BALLS, to do the only thing she could do, and that was to be herself.