I Miss You – A Poem

I can no longer hear your voice

It’s gone, but not by choice

I can no longer feel your face

Memories of You, time can’t erase

I can no longer hear your footsteps

Many nights I listened for them as I wept

Last night I dreamed of You

I melted in your arms as I used to do

I no longer hear your whispers

I am feeling more like a drifter

Drifting further out to sea

I miss You, do you miss me?

 

 

 

The Beautiful Poetry of Robert Frost – Poets Who Inspire!

See the source image

Such a true quote!

Photo Credit: http://www.bing.com/images

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.

Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.

This is a short biography on this amazing poet. For more information and to read his full biography, please visit the link below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Frost

Storm Fear –
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

The Road Not Taken –

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Nothing Gold Can Stay –
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

I Was Free – A Poem

He struck a chord with me, unlike any other. He lit a fire that burned and crackled with a smell that ignited memories of somewhere in time. He turned to me and held my hand, while tenderly twirling me around to the soft tunes of the music.

As I twirled round and round, I felt free. Free to feel the warmth of the fire,  his hands around my waist, free to be happy as I danced the night away. I was happy, I was no longer hiding inside myself, in captivity, yearning to be heard, and loved. I was in love, and in love with me was he.

 

“Halloween Is Coming” – A Poem

See the source image
See the source image

Halloween is coming, Halloween is coming, Halloween is coming to town!

Get that truck a running, and the engine humming, to hall those pumpkins to town.

Hook that trailer up, the hitch is good and tuff, the hay is neatly stacked with kiddos in the back.

Happily, they ride, hay, and pumpkins by their side, cleverly disguised, off to town to terrorize.

Trick or Treat, they shout, no child left in doubt of the goodies thrown about, Halloween has come to town!

Written by: Jasmine Parker ©

Photo credit:bing.com/images

“Spread Your Wings” – A Poem

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

May each hole in your heart is filled with the goodness of love,

and every hurtful thought you ever had will diminish.

Oh, how I wish nothing but positive things for you,

and you will strive to be your best from start to finish.

 

It will not hurt you to acknowledge your achievements,

believe in yourself, know that you can do all things.

One of the best times to tackle your goals is all day long,

don’t be hard on yourself; go ahead, spread your wings.

 

Life is full of blocks that will make you stumble,

get up, dust yourself off, and hit the pavement running.

You may cry a river of tears before you achieve your goals,

but you’ve been through the fire and now stand for something.

 

Don’t get caught up in the world of trying to be someone else,

Take it easy, stay the course, and everything will work out you’ll see.

Take no wooden nickels, be smart, and play the right deck of cards.

when your journey is over and you’ve succeeded, Breathe gently, then, Exhale.

 

Written by: Jasmine Parker ©

I Don’t Like Veggies – A Poem

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

This cute poem was written by one of my 9-year-old grandsons and myself. He doesn’t like vegetables and was having a hard time one weekend day eating some broccoli that his dad, which is my son wanted him to eat.  After struggling to take a bite of broccoli, he stated, “I don’t like veggies,” that’s when I said to him, “Joshua, why don’t you sit down with grandma after you finish your food and we can write a poem about you not liking veggies.” He agreed and we wrote this poem using many of his own words as to why he doesn’t like veggies.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!                  

I don’t like veggies

they are such a waste

Their colors are pretty

but they taste like paste

 

I don’t like veggies

they look quite funny

I’d rather eat pancakes

with butter and honey

 

I don’t like veggies

they don’t taste sweet

Like brownies & cookies

Yum, yum what a treat

 

Daddy wants me to eat them

Mommy says it’s a must

Grandma hides them in recipes

rolled up in biscuit crust

 

Veggies are hidden in casseroles

I may have eaten more than I think

Grownups hide them so well

They’re probably hidden in my drinks

Written by: Jasmine Parker and Joshua Bell ©

Laura Nyro – An American Singer, Songwriter, and Pianist

 

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

Laura Nyro (/ˈnɪəroʊ/ NEER-oh; born Laura Nigro, October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs. Her style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazzrhythm and bluesshow tunes, rock, and soul. She was praised for her strong emotive vocal style and 3-octave mezzo-soprano vocal range.

Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with “Blowing Away,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Sweet Blindness,” and “Save the Country;” Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul and Mary, with “And When I Die;” Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson, with “Eli’s Comin;” and Barbra Streisand with “Stoney End,” “Time and Love,” and “Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man).” Nyro’s best-selling single was her recording of Carole King‘s and Gerry Goffin‘s “Up on the Roof

Nyro was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Early life

Nyro was born Laura Nigro in the Bronx, the daughter of Louis Nigro, a piano tuner and jazz trumpeter, and Gilda (née Mirsky) Nigro, a bookkeeper. Laura had a younger brother, Jan Nigro, who has become a well-known children’s musician. Laura was of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, with Italian ancestry from her paternal grandfather.

“I’ve created my own little world, a world of music since I was five years old,” Nyro told Billboard magazine in 1970, adding that music provided, for her, a means of coping with a difficult childhood: “I was never a bright and happy child.”  As a child, Nyro taught herself piano, read poetry, and listened to her mother’s records by Leontyne PriceNina SimoneJudy GarlandBillie Holiday, and classical composers such as Debussy and Ravel. She composed her first songs at age eight. With her family, she spent summers in the Catskills, where her father played trumpet at resorts. She credited the Sunday school at the New York Society for Ethical Culture with providing the basis of her education; she also attended Manhattan’s High School of Music & Art.

Nyro was close to her aunt and uncle, artists Theresa Bernstein and William Meyerowitz, who helped support her education and early career.

While in high school, she sang with a group of friends in subway stations and on street corners. She said, “I would go out singing, as a teenager, to a party or out on the street, because there were harmony groups there, and that was one of the joys of my youth. Nyro commented: “I was always interested in the social consciousness of certain songs. My mother and grandfather were progressive thinkers, so I felt at home in the peace movement and the women’s movement, and that has influenced my music.

Early career

Louis Nigro’s work brought him into contact with record company executive Artie Mogull and his partner Paul Barry, who auditioned Laura in 1966 and became her first manager. However, Nigro later said he did “not even once” mention Laura to any of his clients, adding “they would have laughed at me if I did.

As a teenager, Laura went by various surnames. She just happened to be using “Nyro” at the time she was discovered, and it stuck.

Mogull had negotiated her a recording and management contract, and she recorded her debut album, More Than a New Discovery, for the Verve Folkways label (later re-named Verve Forecast). Later, other songs from the album became hits for The 5th Dimension, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Barbra Streisand.

On July 13, 1966, Laura Nyro recorded “Stoney End” and “Wedding Bell Blues”, as well as an early version of “Time and Love”, as part of More Than A New Discovery at Bell Sounds Studios, 237 West 54th Street, Manhattan. About a month later, she sold “And When I Die” to Peter, Paul, and Mary for $5,000. On September 17, 1966, Laura Nyro and Verve-Folkways released “Wedding Bell Blues”/”Stoney End” as a single. “Wedding Bell Blues” became a minor hit, especially on the west coast. She completed More Than A New Discovery in New York on November 29, 1966, and, starting on January 16, 1967, Laura Nyro made her first extended professional appearance at age 19, performing nightly for about a month at the “hungry i” coffeehouse in San Francisco. In February 1967, Verve Folkways released More Than A New Discovery. On March 4, 1967, Laura Nyro appeared on Clay Cole’s Diskoteck, Episode 7.23, along with Dion and the Belmonts and others, but unfortunately, the recording of that episode is lost. On March 21, 1967, she appeared on TV Show Where the Action Is, Episode 3.140 with videos of “Wedding Bell Blues” (partially extant), “Blowin’ Away” (lost), and “Goodbye Joe” (lost).

On June 17, 1967, Nyro appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival. Although some accounts described her performance as a fiasco that culminated in her being booed off the stage, recordings later made publicly available contradict this version of events.

Soon afterward, David Geffen approached Mogull about taking over as Nyro’s agent. Nyro successfully sued to void her management and recording contracts on the grounds that she had entered into them while still a minor. Geffen became her manager, and the two established a publishing company, Tuna Fish Music, under which the proceeds from her future compositions would be divided equally between them. Geffen also arranged Nyro’s new recording contract with Clive Davis at Columbia Records and purchased the publishing rights to her early compositions. In his memoir Clive: Inside the Record Business, Davis recalled Nyro’s audition for him: She’d invited him to her New York apartment, turned off every light except that of a television set next to her piano, and played him the material that would become Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. Around this time, Nyro considered becoming the lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears, after the departure of founder Al Kooper, but was dissuaded by Geffen. Blood, Sweat & Tears would go on to have a hit with a cover of Nyro’s “And When I Die”.

The new contract allowed Nyro more artistic freedom and control. In 1968, Columbia released Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, her second album, which received high critical praise for the depth and sophistication of its performance and arrangements, which merged pop structure with inspired imagery, rich vocals, and avant-garde jazz, and is widely considered to be one of her best works. Eli was followed in 1969 by New York Tendaberry, another highly acclaimed work which cemented Nyro’s artistic credibility. “Time and Love” and “Save the Country” emerged as two of her most well-regarded and popular songs in the hands of other artists. During the weekend after Thanksgiving in November 1969, she gave two concerts at Carnegie Hall. Her own recordings sold mostly to a faithful cadre of followers. This prompted Clive Davis, in his memoir, to note that her recordings, as solid as they were, came to resemble demonstrations for other performers.

In 1969 Verve re-issued Nyro’s debut album as The First Songs. The same year Geffen and Nyro sold Tuna Fish Music to CBS for $4.5 million. Under the terms of his partnership with Nyro, Geffen received half of the proceeds of the sale, making them both millionaires.

Nyro’s fourth album, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat was released at the end of 1970. The set contained “Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp” and “When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag” and featured Duane Allman and other Muscle Shoals, musicians. The following year’s Gonna Take a Miracle was a collection of Nyro’s favorite “teenage heartbeat songs”, recorded with vocal group Labelle (Patti LabelleNona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash) and the production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. With the exception of her attribution of “Désiree” (originally “Deserie” by The Charts), this was Nyro’s sole album of wholly non-original material, featuring such songs as “Jimmy Mack“, “Nowhere to Run“, and “Spanish Harlem“.

In 1971, David Geffen worked to establish his own recording label, Asylum Records, in part because of the difficulties he had encountered in trying to secure a recording contract for another of his clients, Jackson Browne (with whom Nyro was in a relationship at the time). Geffen invited Nyro to join the new label and announced that she would be Asylum’s first signing, but shortly before the official signing was due to take place, Geffen discovered that Nyro had changed her mind and re-signed with Columbia instead, without giving him prior notice of her decision. When interviewed about the matter for a 2012 PBS documentary on his life, Geffen, who considered Nyro his best friend, described Nyro’s rejection as the biggest betrayal of his life up until that point, noting that he “cried for days” afterward.

By the end of 1971, Nyro was married to carpenter David Bianchini. She was reportedly uncomfortable with attempts to market her as a celebrity and she announced her retirement from the music business at the age of 24. In 1973 her Verve debut album was reissued as The First Songs by Columbia Records.

Later career – 

By 1976, her marriage had ended, and she released an album of new material, Smile. She then embarked on a four-month tour with a full band, which resulted in the 1977 live album Season of Lights.

After the 1978 album Nested, recorded when she was pregnant with her only child, she again took a break from recording, this time until 1984’s Mother’s Spiritual. She began touring with a band in 1988, her first concert appearances in 10 years. The tour was dedicated to the animal rights movement. The shows led to her 1989 release, Laura: Live at the Bottom Line, which included six new compositions.

Her final album of predominantly original material, Walk the Dog and Light the Light (1993), her last album for Columbia, was co-produced by Gary Katz, best known for his work with Steely Dan. The release sparked reappraisal of her place in popular music, and new commercial offers began appearing. She turned down lucrative film-composing offers, although she contributed a rare protest song to the Academy Award-winning documentary Broken Rainbow, about the unjust relocation of the Navajo people.

Nyro performed increasingly in the 1980s and 1990s with female musicians, including her friend Nydia “Liberty” Mata, a drummer, and several others from the lesbian-feminist women’s music subculture, such as members of the band Isis. During this period, Nyro made appearances at such venues as the 1989 Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and the 1989 Newport Folk Festival, of which a CD containing portions of her performance was released. On July 4, 1991, she opened for Bob Dylan at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.  Among her last performances were at Union Chapel, Islington, London, England in November 1994; The New York Bottom Line Christmas Eve Show in 1994; and at McCabe’s in Los Angeles on February 11 and 12, 1995.

Both The Tonight Show and the Late Show with David Letterman staffs heavily pursued Nyro for a TV appearance during this period, yet she turned them down as well, citing her discomfort with appearing on television (she made only a handful of early TV appearances and one fleeting moment on VH-1 performing the title song from Broken Rainbow on Earth Day in 1990). According to producer Gary Katz, she also turned down a request to be the musical guest on the 1993 season opener of Saturday Night Live. She never released an official video, although there was talk of filming some The Bottom Line appearances in the 1990s.

Personal life – 

Nyro was bisexual, though this fact was only known to her closest friends. She had a relationship with singer/songwriter Jackson Browne in late 1970 to early 1971. Browne was Nyro’s opening act at the time.

Nyro married Vietnam War veteran David Bianchini in October 1971 after a whirlwind romance and spent the next three years living with him in a small town in Massachusetts. The marriage ended after three years, during which time she had grown accustomed to rural life, as opposed to the life in the city, where she had recorded her first five records.

After Nyro split from Bianchini in 1975, she suffered the trauma of the death of her mother Gilda to ovarian cancer at the age of 49. She consoled herself largely by recording a new album, enlisting Charlie Calello, with whom she had collaborated on Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

In 1978, a short-lived relationship with Harindra Singh produced a son, Gil Bianchini (also known as musician Gil-T), who she gave the surname of her ex-husband.

In the early 1980s, Nyro began living with painter Maria Desiderio (1954–1999), a relationship that lasted 17 years, the rest of Nyro’s life.

Nyro was a feminist and openly discussed it on a number of occasions, once saying, “I may bring a certain feminist perspective to my songwriting because that’s how I see life.

By the late 1980s, Nyro had become an animal rights activist and vegetarian and began to offer literature on the subject at her concerts.

Death – 

In late 1996, Nyro, like her mother, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After the diagnosis, Columbia Records, with Nyro’s involvement, prepared a two-CD retrospective of material from her years at the label. She lived to see the release of Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro in 1997.

She died of ovarian cancer in Danbury, Connecticut, on April 8, 1997, at 49, the same age at which her mother died. Her ashes were scattered beneath a maple tree on the grounds of her house in Danbury.

Legacy

Posthumous releases – 

Nyro’s posthumous releases include Angel In The Dark (2001), which includes her final studio recordings made in 1994 and 1995, and The Loom’s Desire (2002), a set of live recordings with solo piano and harmony singers from The Bottom Line Christmas shows of 1993 and 1994.

Influence – 

Nyro’s influence on popular musicians has also been acknowledged by such artists as Joni MitchellCarole KingTori AmosPatti SmithKate BushDiamanda GalasBette Midler, Rickie Lee JonesElton John, Jackson BrowneAlice Cooper,  Elvis CostelloCyndi Lauper, Todd RundgrenSteely Dan, Sarah CracknellMelissa ManchesterLisa Germano, and Rosanne Cash.

Todd Rundgren stated that once he heard her, he “stopped writing songs like The Who and started writing songs like Laura.

Cyndi Lauper acknowledged that her rendition of the song “Walk On By“, on her Grammy Award-nominated 2003 cover album, At Last, was inspired by Nyro.

Elton John and Elvis Costello discussed Nyro’s influence on both of them during the premiere episode of Costello’s interview show Spectacle. When asked by the host if he could name three great performers/songwriters who have largely been ignored, he cited Nyro as one of his choices. Elton John also addressed Nyro’s influence on his 1970 song “Burn Down the Mission“, from Tumbleweed Connection, in particular. “I idolized her,” he concluded. “The soul, the passion, just the out and out audacity of the way her rhythmic and melody changes came was like nothing I’ve heard before.

Bruce Arnold, leader of the pioneering soft rock group Orpheus was a fan of Nyro’s music and like her, worked with legendary studio drummer Bernard Purdie. While recording with Purdie, Arnold mentioned his love of Nyro’s music; the drummer responded with a story about Nyro: At Nyro’s home one night in the late 1970s, Purdie mentioned that he had been the uncredited drummer for Orpheus. Nyro got excited and brought him into a room where she kept her record collection. She pulled out well-worn copies of every Orpheus LP, as well as copies sealed for posterity.

Diane Paulus and Bruce Buschel co-created Eli’s Comin’, a musical revue of the songs of Nyro, which, among others, starred Anika Noni Rose.

Louis Greenstein and Kate Ferber wrote “One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro,” a one-woman show featuring Ferber and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. “One Child Born” was developed at CAP21 in New York City and has sold out Joe’s Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, and other venues.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the National Ballet of Canada have also included her music in their performances; notably, “Been On A Train” from Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, in which a woman describes watching her lover die from a drug overdose, comprises the second movement of Ailey’s 1971 solo for Judith Jamison, Cry.

On October 2, 2007, three-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn released her new album Serious Playground: The Songs of Laura Nyro. The album, which debuted as a concert to a sold-out house at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series in January 2007, includes several of Nyro’s biggest hits (“Stoned Soul Picnic”, “Stoney End”) as well as some of her lesser-known gems.

In 1992, the English shoegaze/Britpop band Lush released a song about Laura Nyro (“Laura”) on their first full-length album Spooky. Several of the band’s songs (specifically those written by Emma Anderson) have echoed Nyro’s music in their titles – “When I Die”, “Single Girl”. More recently, in 2012, Anderson has referred to Laura Nyro as “wondrous” on her Twitter account.

On her 2006 album Build a Bridge, the operatic/Broadway soprano Audra McDonald included covers of Nyro’s songs “To a Child” and “Tom Cat Goodbye”.

The musical theater composer Stephen Schwartz credits Nyro as a major influence on his work.

Alice Cooper has mentioned on his syndicated radio show that Laura Nyro is one of his favorite songwriters.

Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, when promoting her 2006 solo album Rabbit Fur Coat repeatedly cited Nyro’s 1971 album Gonna Take a Miracle as a big influence on her music. Lewis performed the first track on that album “I Met Him on a Sunday” on the Rabbit Fur Coat tour.

In the 2004 drama film A Home at the End of the World can be heard Nyro’s recordings of “Désiree” and “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle”, both songs from the album Gonna Take a Miracle.

Paul Shaffer, the bandleader for the CBS Orchestra and sidekick on the Late Show with David Letterman, stated that his desert island album would be Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

Paul Stanley of Kiss has mentioned on several occasions that he is a big admirer of Nyro’s music.

Exene Cervenka of the punk rock band X listed Nyro as one of her favorite songwriters.

Biographies, analyses, and tributes – 

On October 27, 1997, a large-scale tribute concert was produced by women at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Performers included Rickie Lee JonesSandra BernhardToshi Reagon, and Phoebe Snow

And a World to Carry On, an original tribute show celebrating the music and life of Laura Nyro, written by Barry Silber and Carole Coppinger, was first performed in 2008 (2nd performance late August 2015) at Carrollwood Players Theatre in Tampa, Fla.

To Carry On, an original tribute show celebrating the music and life of Laura Nyro, starring Mimi Cohen, is in its second return engagement as of January 19, 2011, at Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan.

A biography of Nyro, Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro, written by Michele Kort, was published in 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

An analysis of Nyro’s music by music theorist Ari Shagal was written at the University of Chicago in 2003, linking Nyro’s work to the Great American Songbook by demonstrating the similarities between her chordal language and those of Harold ArlenHarry Warren, and George Shearing.

Nyro’s life and music were celebrated in a 2005 BBC Radio 2 documentary, Shooting Star – Laura Nyro Remembered, which was narrated by her friend Bette Midler and included contributions from her one-time manager David Geffen, co-producers Arif Mardin and Gary Katz, and performers Suzanne Vega and Janis Ian. It was rebroadcast on April 4, 2006.

Janis Ian, who attended the High School of Music and Art in New York at the same time as Nyro, discussed her friendship with Nyro during the late 1960s in her autobiography, Society’s Child. Ian described her as looking like a “Morticia Addams” caricature with her long, dark hair, and called her a “brilliant songwriter” but “oddly inarticulate” in terms of musical terminology. Ian was a fan of Nyro’s work with producer Charlie Calello and chose him as the producer of her 1969 album Who Really Cares on the basis of his work with Nyro.

Comedian, writer and singer Sandra Bernhard has spoken extensively of Laura Nyro as an ongoing inspiration. She dedicated a song, “The Woman I Could’ve Been” on Excuses for Bad Behavior (Part One), to her. She also sang Nyro’s “I Never Meant to Hurt You” in her film Without You I’m Nothing.

Rickie Lee Jones‘s album Pirates and songs such as “We Belong Together” and “Living It Up” are reminiscent of early Laura Nyro’s songs, and Jones acknowledged Nyro’s influence.

Todd Rundgren has also acknowledged the strong influence of Nyro’s 1960s music on his own songwriting. While a member of the pop group Nazz, his great admiration for Nyro led him to arrange a meeting with her (which took place shortly after she had recorded the Eli and the Thirteenth Confession LP). Nyro invited Rundgren to become the musical director of her backing group, but his commitments to Nazz obliged him to decline. Rundgren’s debut solo album Runt (1970) includes the strongly Nyro-influenced “Baby Let’s Swing” which was written about her and mentions her by name. Rundgren and Nyro remained friends for much of her professional career and he subsequently assisted her with the recording of her album Mother’s Spiritual.

On April 14, 2012, Laura Nyro was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction speech was delivered by singer Bette Midler and the award was accepted by her son, Gil Bianchini. The song “Stoney End” was performed by singer Sara Bareilles at the induction ceremony.

hybrid daylily named for Laura Nyro was introduced in 2000.

The Scottish band Cosmic Rough Riders released a touching tribute song, “Laura Nyro,” on their 2001 album Pure Escapism.

The song “Mean Streets” by the band Tennis is a tribute to Nyro.

On July 22, 2014, composer/arranger Billy Childs released Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. The album features ten Laura Nyro songs performed by a long list of stars including Rickie Lee JonesShawn ColvinAlison KraussDianne Reeves, and Wayne Shorter. The album was nominated for three Grammy’s, with the “New York Tendaberry” track featuring Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma winning for Best Arrangement, Instrumental, and Vocals.

In 2015, The Christine Spero Group released “Spero Plays Nyro”, the Music of Laura Nyro along with a highly acclaimed live tour. The album features eleven of Nyro’s songs and an original song, “Laura and John” by Christine Spero, a tribute to Laura Nyro and John Coltrane, whom Nyro admired.

Credit: Wikipedia.com

Video credit: YouTube.com

Barbra Streisand – “Stoney End!”

Photo credits: Yahoo.com/images

A beautifully written song of the 60s. Stoney End is the twelfth studio album by Barbra Streisand. Released in 1971, it was a conscious change in direction for Streisand with a more upbeat contemporary pop/rock sound and was produced by Richard Perry. The album peaked at #10 in the United States, her first to reach the top 10 in five years. The cover photography as taken at Sunrise Mountain, Nevada. Exerpt taken from Wikipedia.com

This was from Streisand’s first album of songs that weren’t from Broadway/film musicals and weren’t standards. On the album, she recorded two songs written by Laura Nyro, including “Stoney End.”

Producer Richard Perry looked at several Laura Nyro songs for Barbra Streisand to sing on her second Pop-Rock album. He selected this song and convinced Streisand to sing it, despite her not being comfortable with the line “I was raised on the good book, Jesus.” It was Streisand’s biggest Hot 100 hit until “Evergreen.”

Many of Streisand’s fans were initially bothered by this song because it had more of a rock feel, with heavy bass and drums and her searing vocal. It was Streisand’s biggest Pop/Rock hit until Evergreen in 1976.

Richard Perry produced this album with Phil Ramone as the engineer. Ramone would later produce several Streisand albums.

Nyro recorded this in 1967 on her album “More Than a New Discovery.” In 1968, Peggy Lipton recorded it.

Credit: Songfacts.com

Song Lyrics –

I was born from love
And my poor mother worked the mines
I was raised on the Good Book Jesus
Till I read between the lines
Now I don’t believe

I wanna to see the morning
Going down the stoney end
I never wanted to go
Down the stoney end
Mama, let me start all over
Cradle me, Mama, cradle me again

And I can still remember him
With love light in his eyes
But the light flickered out and parted

As the sun began to rise
Now I don’t believe
I want to see the morning
Going down the stoney end
That I never wanted to go
Down the stoney end

Mama, let me start all over
Cradle me, Mama, cradle me again
(Cradle me, Mama, cradle me again
Mama, cradle me again)

Never mind the forecast
‘Cause the sky has lost control
‘Cause the furry and the broken thunders

Come to match my raging soul
Now I don’t believe
I wanna to see the morning
Going down the stoney end

I never wanted to go
Down the stoney and
Mama, let me start all over
Cradle me, Mama, cradle me again
(Going down the stoney end
I never wanted to go
I never wanted to go)

I never wanted to go
Mama
I never wanted to go

(Going down the stoney end
I never wanted to go
I never wanted to go)

Song Writer: LAURA NYRO

John Lester Nash Jr. aka “Johnny Nash”, The Texas Born Singer, Songwriter & First Non-Jamaican Artist to Record Reggae Music in Kingston!

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

The music of the 70s & 80s were a huge part of growing up and hanging out with friends or attending sock-hops with class mates for many.  Johnny Nash’s music is part of the generation that I grew up listening to and appreciating its cleanliness. Adding Reggae to his music was such a smart move which introduced a different vibe to his music, and quickly caught on here in the United States.

John Lester Nash Jr. (August 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter, best known in the United States for his 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now” Primarily a reggae and pop singer, he was one of the first non-Jamaican artists to record reggae music in Kingston.

 Early life – 

Nash was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Eliza (Armstrong) and John Lester Nash.  He sang in the choir at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in South Central Houston as a child. Beginning in 1953, Nash sang covers of R&B hits on Matinee, a local variety show on KPRC-TV  from 1956 he sang on Arthur Godfrey‘s radio and television programs for a seven-year period. Nash was married three times and had two children.

Career – 

Signing with ABC-Paramount, Nash made his major-label debut in 1957 with the single “A Teenager Sings the Blues”. He had his first chart hit in early 1958 with a cover of Doris Day‘s “A Very Special Love” Marketed as a rival to Johnny Mathis, Nash also enjoyed success as an actor early in his career, appearing in the screen version of playwright Louis S. Peterson‘s Take a Giant Step in 1959. Nash won a Silver Sail Award for his performance from the Locarno International Film Festival. Nash continued releasing singles on a variety of labels such as Groove, ChessArgo, and Warner Bros.

Nash sang the theme song to the syndicated animated cartoon series The Mighty Hercules, which ran on various television stations from 1963 to 1966.

In 1964, Nash and manager Danny Sims formed JoDa Records in New York. JoDa released The Cowsills‘ single “All I Really Want to Be Is Me.” Although JoDa filed for bankruptcy after only two years, Nash and Sims moved on to marketing American singers to Jamaica, owing to the low cost of recording in that country.

In 1965, Nash had a top five hit in the US Billboard R&B chart, the ballad “Let’s Move and Groove Together. That year, he and Sims moved to Jamaica. Their lawyer Newton Willoughby was the father of Jamaican radio host Neville Willoughby. After selling off his old entertainment assets in New York, Sims opened a new music publishing business in Jamaica, Cayman Music. Nash planned to try breaking the local rocksteady sound in the United States. Around 1966 or 1967, Neville Willoughby took Nash to a Rastafarian party where Bob Marley & The Wailing Wailers were performing. Members Bob MarleyBunny WailerPeter Tosh, and Rita Marley introduced Nash to the local music scene. Nash signed all four to an exclusive publishing contract with Cayman Music for J$50 a week.

In 1967, Nash, Arthur Jenkins, and Sims collaborated to create a new label, JAD Records (after their first names Johnny, Arthur, and Danny), and recorded their albums at Federal Records in Kingston. JAD released Nash’s rocksteady single “Hold Me Tight” in 1968; it became a top-five hit in both the U.S. and UK. In 1971, Nash scored another UK hit with his cover of Marley’s “Stir It Up“.

Nash’s 1972 reggae-influenced single “I Can See Clearly Now” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in November 1972. “I Can See Clearly Now” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, and remained atop the chart for four weeks, spending the same four weeks atop the adult contemporary chart. The I Can See Clearly Now album includes four original Marley compositions published by JAD: “Guava Jelly”, “Comma Comma”, “You Poured Sugar On Me”, and the follow-up hit “Stir It Up”. “There Are More Questions Than Answers” was a third hit single taken from the album.

Nash was also a composer for the Swedish romance film Vill så gärna tro (1971), in which he portrayed Robert. The movie soundtrack, partly instrumental reggae with strings, was co-composed by Bob Marley and arranged by Fred Jordan.

JAD Records ceased to exist in 1971, but it was revived in 1997 by American Marley specialist Roger Steffens and French musician and producer Bruno Blum for the Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967–1972 ten-album series, for which several of the Nash-produced Marley and Tosh tracks were mixed or remixed by Blum for release. In the UK, his biggest hit was with the song “Tears on My Pillow” which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in July 1975 for one week.

After a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” in 1976 and “Let’s Go Dancing” in 1979, for many years Nash seemed to have dropped out of sight. He had a brief resurgence in the mid-1980s with the album Here Again (1986), which was preceded by the minor UK hit, “Rock Me Baby”. Younger audiences were introduced to Nash’s music with the appearance of Jimmy Cliff‘s cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” in Disney’s 1993 hit film Cool Runnings, and Nash’ original version appeared over the opening scene of John Cusack’s 1997 film, Grosse Point Blank.  In May 2006, Nash was singing again at SugarHill Recording Studios and at Tierra Studios in his native Houston. Working with SugarHill chief engineer Andy Bradley and Tierra Studios’ Grammy-winning Randy Miller, he began the work of transferring analog tapes of his songs from the 1970s and 1980s to Pro Tools digital format.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Nash among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Acting career – 

Nash has four acting credits in film and television. In 1959, he had the lead role as Spencer Scott in Take a Giant Step, directed by Philip Leacock, one of the first black family films written by a black writer. In 1960 he appeared as “Apple” alongside Dennis Hopper in the crime drama Key Witness. In 1971, he played Robert in the Swedish romance Vill så gärna tro.

Death – 

Nash died at his home of natural causes in Houston on October 6, 2020, after a period of failing health. He was 80.

Credit: Wikipedia.

Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen – The Man Behind the Band, “Van Halen” & One of the Greatest Guitar Players of All Time

 

 

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

The band “Van Halen” was a huge part of my teenage years. I don’t have cool stories of going to any of their concerts as most people do, but I can say with all honesty that they were a huge part of the teen years, not only of mine but many of the people I grew up with. It’s sad to have to say goodbye to Eddie, but I am so happy he is leaving us a huge collection of some of the greatest music of all time. R.I.P., Eddie, and Rock On!

Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen (Dutch: [ˈɛdʋart ˈloːdəˌʋɛi̯k fɑn ˈɦaːlə(n)]/væn ˈhlɛn/ van HAY-len; January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) was an American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor. He was the main songwriter and lead guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll for “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Eddie and his brother Alex formed a band in 1972. Two years later, the band changed its name to “Van Halen” and, at the same time, became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene while playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky a Go-Go.  In 1977, Warner Records offered Van Halen a recording contract.

Upon its release, the band’s album Van Halen reached number 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, becoming one of rock’s most commercially successful debuts. It was highly regarded as both heavy metal and hard rock album. By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time. The album 1984 went five-times platinum a year after its release. The lead single “Jump” became the band’s first and only number-one pop hit and garnered them a Grammy nomination.

The band won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocals for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. In 2019, the band ranked 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists with 56 million album sales in the United States and more than 80 million worldwide. Additionally, Van Halen charted 13 number-one hits in the history of BillboardMainstream Rock chart; meanwhile, VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time and, in 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Individually, Eddie received acclaim for his guitar work in the band.

Other work

Eddie engaged in several projects outside of his eponymous band, including solo work and partnerships with his brother on film soundtracks (such as The Wild LifeTwister, and a pornographic film) as well as musical collaborations with Kiss bassist Gene SimmonsNicolette LarsonMichael Jackson, Brian May, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and LL Cool J. In addition, Eddie made cameo appearances in the music video for Frank Sinatra‘s “L.A. Is My Lady” and an episode of Two and a Half Men.

Eddie was also an inventor on three patents related to guitars: a folding prop to support a guitar in a flat position, a tension-adjusting tailpiece, and an ornamental design for a headstock.

Style and influence

Tapping

 
Eddie Van Halen using the tapping technique

Eddie’s 1978 instrumental solo “Eruption“, which was voted number 2 in Guitar Worlds readers poll of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”, showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. Although he popularized tapping, he did not invent the tapping technique, which had been used by flamenco guitarists for at least a century, as well as the likes of Western virtuosos like Paganini on both violin and guitar. According to MusicRadarSteve Hackett – lead guitarist with Genesis in the 1970s – is “widely credited with inventing two-handed tapping” and was an influence on Eddie. When asked about this, Hackett said, “Eddie and I have never spoken about it, but yes, he has credited me with tapping… Eddie is a fine player, of course, and he’s the one who named the technique.”

George Lynch said in an interview that he and Eddie saw Harvey Mandel tap at the Starwood in the 1970s. Eddie named Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin as an influence, saying in one interview with Guitar World:

I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his “Heartbreaker” solo back in 1971. He was doing a pull-off to an open string, and I thought wait a minute, open string … pull off. I can do that, but what if I use my finger as the nut and move it around? I just kind of took it and ran with it.

Until it expired in 2005, Eddie held a patent for a flip-out support device that attaches to the rear of the electric guitar. This device enables the user to employ the tapping technique by playing the guitar in a manner similar to the piano with the face of the guitar-oriented upward instead of forward.

Guitars

 
The “Frankenstrat”

Eddie used custom equipment throughout his career. His original choice of the guitar was a Gibson Les Paul, which he replaced the original P90 pickup on the bridge with a humbucker in order to sound like Eric Clapton. He is most associated with the Frankenstrat, a custom guitar he built from parts. The ash body and maple neck cost $130, while the body was bought for $50 as the wood had a knot in it. The tremolo arm was originally taken from a 1958 Fender Stratocaster and was later replaced with a Floyd Rose arm. The guitar had a single Gibson PAF (patent applied for) bridge pickup from a Gibson ES-335, which he enclosed with paraffin wax to prevent feedback. The Frankenstrat was originally painted black but was recoated with Schwinn red bicycle paint in 1979.

For Van Halen’s 2012 tour, and early 2015 television appearances, he used a Wolfgang USA guitar with a black finish and ebony fretboard. For the 2015 tour, he used a white Wolfgang USA guitar designed by Chip Ellis, featuring a custom kill switch.

Pickup selection

Eddie used a variety of pickups including 1970s Mighty Mites, which were made by Seymour Duncan and were copies of DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups. Eddie also used Gibson PAFs, one of which was rewound by Seymour Duncan in 1978.

In an interview with Guitar World in 1985, Eddie stated that his guitar sound style which he called “brown sound” is “…basically a tone, a feeling that I’m always working at … It comes from the person. If the person doesn’t even know what that type of tone I’m talking about is, they can’t really work towards it, can they?” In an interview with Billboard magazine in June 2015, he stated that with the expression “brown sound” he actually tried to describe the sound of his brother Alex’s snare drum, which he thought “…sounds like he’s beating on a log. It’s very organic. So it wasn’t my brown sound. It was Alex’s.”

Personal life

 
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the 1993 Emmy Awards

In 1980, Van Halen met actress Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. They married in California a year later and had one son, Wolfgang. In 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce in Los Angeles after four years of separation. The divorce was finalized in 2007.

The following year, Eddie proposed to his girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who was Van Halen’s publicist at the time. The two married in 2009, at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang and ex-wife Bertinelli in attendance.

Health and death

Van Halen struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He began smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he stated that he eventually needed alcohol to function. He entered rehabilitation in 2007 and later shared in an interview that he had been sober since 2008.

Suffering from lingering injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage performances and crashes, Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. He began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. He blamed the tongue cancer on his habit of holding guitar picks in his mouth, stating in 2015: “I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. … I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”

In 2012, Van Halen underwent emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. Recovery time required due to the surgery led to the postponement of Van Halen tour dates scheduled in Japan. Van Halen was later hospitalized in 2019 after battling throat cancer over the previous five years. He died from the illness on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65.

Credit: Wikipedia

Both Video credit: YouTube.com

Helen Reddy – Remembering a Legend, “Queen of ’70s Pop” & “Feminist Icon!

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/Images

Helen Maxine Reddy (25 October 1941 – 29 September 2020) was an Australian-American singer, songwriter, author, actress, and activist. Born in Melbourne, Victoria, to a show-business family, Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four. She sang on radio and television and won a talent contest on the television program, Bandstand in 1966; her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which was unsuccessful. She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago, and subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles “One Way Ticket” and “I Believe in Music” in 1968 and 1970, respectively. The B-side of the latter single, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him“, reached number eight on the pop chart of Canadian magazine RPM. She was signed to Capitol Records a year later.

During the 1970s, Reddy enjoyed international success, especially in the United States, where she placed 15 singles on the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the top 10 and three reached number one, including her signature hit “I Am Woman“. She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the top 10 and eight reached number one, six consecutively. In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. On television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” became her last to chart in the US, Reddy acted in musicals and recorded albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002. She returned to university in Australia, earned a degree, and practiced as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond’s birthday, Reddy decided to return to live to perform.

Reddy’s song “I Am Woman” played a significant role in popular culture, becoming an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a “feminist poster girl” or a “feminist icon”.[6] In 2011, Billboard named her the number-28 adult contemporary artist of all time (number-9 woman). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the “Queen of ’70s Pop”.

Early years

Helen Maxine Reddy was born into a well-known Australian show-business family in Melbourne to actress, singer, and dancer Stella Campbell (née Lamond) and Maxwell David “Max” Reddy (born 1914 in Melbourne, Victoria), a writer, producer, and actor. Her mother performed at the Majestic Theatre in Sydney and was best known as a regular cast member on the television programs Homicide (1964), Country Town (1971), and Bellbird (1967). During Reddy’s childhood, she was educated at Tintern Grammar. Her half-sister Toni Lamond and her nephew Tony Sheldon are actor-singers.

Reddy had Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry. Her great-great-grandfather Edward Reddy was born 1855, in Dublin, Ireland. Her Scottish great-grandfather, Thomas Lamond, was a one-time mayor of Waterloo, New South Wales, whose patron was Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead.  Patsy Reddy, New Zealand’s governor-general, is a distant cousin.

Reddy was born during World War II. Her father was a sergeant in the Australian Army with a unit of entertainers; he served alongside one of his actor friends, Peter Finch. They were serving together in New Guinea at the time of Reddy’s birth. Her father returned to service during the Korean War.

At age four, Reddy joined her parents on the Australian vaudeville circuit, singing and dancing; she recalled: “It was instilled in me: ‘You will be a star’. So between the ages of 12 and 17, I got rebellious and decided this was not for me. I was going to be a housewife and mother.” At age 12, due to her parents’ constant touring nationwide and their arguing, Reddy went to live with her paternal aunt, Helen “Nell” Reddy, “… who was her role model,” and as her aunt, “she gave her niece stability, a sense of morality, and strength” for her future career as a singer who motivated women. The younger Helen’s teenaged rebellion in favor of domesticity manifested as marriage to Kenneth Claude Weate, a considerably older musician and family friend; divorce ensued, and to support herself as a single mother to daughter Traci, she resumed her performing career, concentrating on singing, since health problems precluded dancing (she had a kidney removed at 17). She sang on radio and television, eventually winning a talent contest on the Australian pop music TV show Bandstand, the prize ostensibly being a trip to New York City to cut a single for Mercury Records. After arriving in New York in 1966, she was informed by Mercury that her prize was only the chance to “audition” for the label and that Mercury considered the Bandstand footage to constitute her audition, which was deemed unsuccessful. Despite having only US$200 (equivalent to $1,576 in 2019) and a return ticket to Australia, she decided to remain in the United States with 3-year-old Traci and pursue a singing career.

Early career

Reddy recalled her 1966 appearance at the Three Rivers Inn in Syracuse, New York – “there were like twelve people in the audience” – as typical of her early U.S. performing career. Her lack of a work permit made it difficult to obtain singing jobs, and she was forced to make trips to Canada, which did not require work permits for citizens of Commonwealth countries. In 1968, Martin St James, an Australian stage hypnotist she had met in New York City, threw Reddy a party with an admission price of US$5 (equivalent to $36.76 in 2019) to enable Reddy – then down to her last US$12 (equivalent to $88.23 in 2019) – to pay her rent. On this occasion, Reddy met her future manager and husband, Jeff Wald, a 22-year-old secretary at the William Morris Agency, who crashed the party. Reddy told People in 1975, “[Wald] didn’t pay the five dollars, but it was love at first sight.”

Wald recalled that Reddy and he married three days after meeting, and along with daughter Traci, the couple took up residence at the Hotel Albert in Greenwich Village. Reddy later stated that she married Wald “out of desperation over her right to work and live in the United States.” According to New York Magazine, Wald was fired from William Morris soon after having met Reddy, and “Helen supported them for six months doing $35-a-night hospital and charity benefits. They were so broke that they snuck out of a hotel room carrying their clothes in paper bags.” Reddy recalled: “When we did eat, it was spaghetti, and we spent what little money we had on cockroach spray.” They left New York City for Chicago and Wald landed a job as talent coordinator at Mister Kelly’s. While in Chicago, Reddy gained a reputation singing in local lounges, including Mister Kelly’s, and in 1968, she landed a deal with Fontana Records, a division of major label Chicago-based Mercury Records. Her first single, “One Way Ticket“, on Fontana was not an American hit, but it did give Reddy her first appearance on any chart, as it peaked at number 83 in her native Australia.

“I Am Woman” era and stardom

Within a year, Wald relocated Reddy and Traci to Los Angeles, where he was hired at Capitol Records, the label under which Reddy was to attain stardom; however, Wald was hired and fired the same day. At the same time, in 1969, Reddy enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles to study parapsychology and philosophy part-time.

Reddy became frustrated as Wald found success managing such acts such as Deep Purple and Tiny Tim without making any evident effort to promote her; after 18 months of career inactivity, Reddy gave Wald an ultimatum: “he [must] either revitalize her career or get out… Jeff threw himself into his new career as Mr. Helen Reddy. Five months of phone calls to Capitol Records executive Artie Mogull finally paid off; Mogull agreed to let Helen cut one single if Jeff promised not to call for a month. She did “I Believe in Music” penned by Mac Davis backed with “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Jesus Christ Superstar. The A-side fell flat, but then some Canadian DJs flipped the record over and it became a hit – number 13 in June 1971 – and Helen Reddy was on her way.”

Reddy’s stardom was solidified when her single “I Am Woman” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1972. The song was co-written by Reddy with Ray Burton; Reddy attributed the impetus for writing “I Am Woman” and her early awareness of the women’s movement to expatriate Australian rock critic and pioneer feminist Lillian Roxon. Reddy is quoted in Fred Bronson‘s The Billboard Book of Number One Hits as having said that she was looking for songs to record which reflected the positive self-image she had gained from joining the women’s movement, but could not find any, so “I realized that the song I was looking for didn’t exist, and I was going to have to write it myself.”  “I Am Woman” was recorded and released in May 1972, but barely dented the charts in its initial release. However, female listeners soon adopted the song as an anthem and began requesting it from their local radio stations in droves, resulting in its September chart re-entry and eventual number-one peak. “I Am Woman” earned Reddy a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. At the awards ceremony, Reddy concluded her acceptance speech by famously thanking God “because She makes everything possible”. The success of “I Am Woman” made Reddy the first Australian singer to top the U.S. charts.

Three decades after her Grammy, Reddy discussed the song’s iconic status: “I think it came along at the right time. I’d gotten involved in the women’s movement, and there were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sorts of things. All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty,” she said.

Over the next five years following her first success, Reddy had more than a dozen U.S. top-40 hits, including two more number-one hits. These tracks included Kenny Rankin‘s “Peaceful” (number 12), the Alex Harvey country ballad “Delta Dawn” (number one), Linda Laurie‘s “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” (number three), Austin Roberts‘ “Keep on Singing” (number 15), Paul Williams‘ “You and Me Against the World” (featuring daughter Traci reciting the spoken bookends) (number 9), Alan O’Day‘s “Angie Baby” (number one), Véronique Sanson and Patti Dahlstrom‘s “Emotion” (number 22), Harriet Schock‘s “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” (number eight), and the Richard Kerr/Will Jennings-penned “Somewhere in the Night” (number 19; three years later, a bigger hit for Barry Manilow).

On 23 July 1974, Reddy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the music industry, located at 1750 Vine Street.

At the height of her fame in the mid-1970s, Reddy was a headliner, with a full chorus of backup singers and dancers to standing-room-only crowds on the Las Vegas Strip. Among Reddy’s opening acts were Joan RiversDavid LettermanBill Cosby, and Barry Manilow. In 1976, Reddy recorded the Beatles‘ song “The Fool on the Hill” for the musical documentary All This and World War II.

Reddy was also instrumental in supporting the career of friend Olivia Newton-John, encouraging her to emigrate from England to the United States in the early 1970s, giving her professional opportunities that did not exist in the United Kingdom. At a party at Reddy’s house after a chance meeting with Allan Carr, a film producer, Newton-John won the starring role in the hit film version of the musical Grease.

Career eclipse – 

Reddy was most successful on the Easy Listening chart, scoring eight number-one hits there over a three-year span, from “Delta Dawn” in 1973 to “I Can’t Hear You No More” in 1976. However, the latter track evidenced a sharp drop in popularity for Reddy, with a number-29 peak on the Billboard Hot 100. Reddy’s 1977 remake of Cilla Black‘s 1964 hit “You’re My World” indicated comeback potential, with a number-18 peak, but this track – co-produced by Kim Fowley – would prove to be Reddy’s last top-40 hit. Its source album, Ear Candy, Reddy’s 10th album, became her first album to not attain at least gold status since her second full-length release, 1972’s Helen Reddy.

In 1978, Reddy sang as a backup singer on Gene Simmons‘s solo album on the song “True Confessions”. That year also saw the release of Reddy’s only live album, Live in London, recorded at the London Palladium.

Of Reddy’s eight subsequent single releases on Capitol, five reached the Easy Listening top 50 – including “Candle on the Water“, from the 1977 Disney film Pete’s Dragon (which starred Reddy). Only three ranked on the Billboard Hot 100: “The Happy Girls” (number 57) – the follow-up to “You’re My World”, and besides “I Am Woman”, Reddy’s only chart item that she co-wrote – and the disco tracks “Ready or Not” (number 73) and “Make Love to Me” (number 60), the latter a cover of an Australian hit by Kelly Marie, which gave Reddy alone R&B chart ranking at number 59. Reddy also made it to number 98 on the Country chart with “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”, the B-side to “The Happy Girls”.

Without the impetus of any major hits, Reddy’s four Capitol album releases subsequent to Ear Candy failed to chart. In 1981, Reddy said: “I signed [with Capitol] ten years ago…And when you are with a company so long you tend to be taken for granted. For the last three years, I didn’t feel I was getting support from them.”

May 1981 had the release of Play Me Out, Reddy’s debut album for MCA Records, which Reddy said had “made me a deal we [Reddy and Wald] couldn’t refuse”; “we shopped around and felt the most enthusiasm at MCA.” Reddy’s new label affiliation, though, would result in only one minor success; her remake of Becky Hobbs‘s 1979 country hit “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” returned her for the last time to the Billboard Hot 100 at number 88; it also returned Reddy to the charts in the UK and Ireland (her sole previous hit in both was “Angie Baby”). Reddy’s 14 November 1981 Top of the Pops performance brought “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” into the UK top 50; the track would rise there no higher than number 43, but in Ireland reached number 16, giving Reddy her final high placing on a major national chart. MCA released one further Reddy album: Imagination, in 1983; it would prove to be Reddy’s final release as a career recording artist.

The unsuccessful Imagination was released just after the finalization of Reddy’s divorce from Wald, whose alleged subsequent interference in her career Reddy blamed for the decline of her career profile in the mid-1980s: “Several of my performing contracts were canceled, and one promoter told me he couldn’t book me in case a certain someone ‘came after him with a shotgun’.” Reddy states that she was effectively being blacklisted from her established performance areas, which led to her pursuing a career in theatre, where Wald had no significant influence.

Later recordings

In 1990, Reddy issued Feel So Young on her own label – an album that includes remakes of Reddy’s repertoire favorites. Meanwhile, her one recording in the interim had been the 1987 dance maxi-single “Mysterious Kind”, on which Reddy had vocally supported Jessica Williams. The 1997 release of Center Stage was an album of show tunes that Reddy recorded for Varèse Sarabande; the track “Surrender” – originating in Sunset Boulevard – was remixed for release as a dance maxi-single. Reddy’s final album was the 2000 seasonal release The Best Christmas Ever. In April 2015, Reddy released a cover of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” for the album Keep Calm and Salute The Beatles on the Purple Pyramid label.

A frequent guest on talk shows and variety programs of the 1970s and early 1980s – with credits including The Bobby Darin ShowThe Carol Burnett Show, and The Muppet Show – Reddy helmed the 1973 summer replacement series for The Flip Wilson Show (Reddy had become friends with Flip Wilson when she worked the Chicago club circuit early in her career); the series, The Helen Reddy Show, provided early national exposure for Albert Brooks and the Pointer Sisters. Reddy also served as the semiregular host of the late-night variety show The Midnight Special in 1975 and 1976.

Reddy’s film career included a starring role in Walt Disney‘s Pete’s Dragon, introducing the Oscar-nominated song “Candle on the Water” and the role of a nun in Airport 1975, singing her own composition “Best Friend”. For her part in Airport 1975, Reddy was nominated for a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female.[42] Reddy was one of many musical stars featured in the all-star chorale in the film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), and she later played cameo roles in the films Disorderlies (1987) and The Perfect Host (2010).

Despite her late 1970s decline on the music charts, Reddy still had sufficient star power in 1979 to host The Helen Reddy Special, broadcast that May on ABC-TV, of which Jeff Wald was the producer. In September 1981, Reddy announced she would be shooting the pilot for her own TV sitcom, in which she would play a single mother working as a lounge singer in Lake Tahoe, but this project was abandoned. Reddy was an occasional television guest star as an actress, appearing on the television programs The Love BoatFantasy IslandThe Jeffersons (as herself), Diagnosis: Murder, and BeastMaster.

In 2007, Reddy had a voice cameo as herself in the Family Guy television show’s Star Wars parody, “Blue Harvest“.  In 2010, she guest-starred on Family Guy again singing the opening theme song for the show’s fictional Channel 5 News telecast.

In the mid-1980s, Reddy embarked on a new career in the theatre. She mostly worked in musicals, including Anything GoesCall Me Madam, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and – both on Broadway and the West End – Blood Brothers. She also appeared in four productions of the one-woman show Shirley Valentine.

Credit: Wikipedia.com

Mac Davis – Remembering His Life and Legacy

 

Mac Davis, a singer-songwriter who parlayed a string of hits for Elvis Presley into a varied career as an actor and recording artist, blending country and pop in chart-topping songs such as “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me” and playing a quarterback in the football movie “North Dallas Forty,” died Sept. 29 in Nashville. He was 78.

His manager, Jim Morey, announced the death in a statement, after a tweet in which Mr. Davis’s family revealed that he was “critically ill following heart surgery.”

With a Texas drawl and country charm, Mr. Davis became a crossover country-pop success in the early 1970s, performing at cow palaces and casinos, writing a No. 1 song that started out as a joke with his producer, and hosting his own musical variety show for three years on NBC. His songwriting process was simple, he said: “I try to tell the truth and hope it rhymes.”

Mr. Davis initially worked as a record-label promoter and songwriter for other artists, collaborating with Glen Campbell and Bobby Goldsboro as well as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. He broadened his range even further in recent years, working with the Swedish DJ Avicii, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and singer-songwriter Bruno Mars.

As a composer, Mr. Davis was perhaps best known for his work for Presley, at a time when the King of Rock and Roll was beginning to pivot from movies back to live performances. Mr. Davis was writing a song intended for Aretha Franklin, “A Little Less Conversation,” when it was picked up for Presley’s 1968 movie musical “Live a Little, Love a Little.”

Co-written by Billy Strange, a guitarist and arranger, “A Little Less Conversation” acquired a second life after it was featured in the 2001 heist film “Ocean’s Eleven” and remixed by Dutch musician Junkie XL, in a version that went to No. 1 in more than two dozen countries.

It was followed by hits including “Memories,” for Presley’s 1968 comeback special on NBC; “Don’t Cry Daddy,” written amid the breakup of Mr. Davis’s first marriage; and “In the Ghetto,” about “a poor little baby child” who grows up hungry, steals a car and is shot dead in Chicago. The song reached No. 3 on the charts and was featured on “From Elvis in Memphis” (1969), one of Presley’s most celebrated albums.

Mr. Davis, who was White, said “In the Ghetto” was inspired by memories of a childhood friend, the son of one of his father’s construction employees, who lived in a Black section of Lubbock, Tex.

“They had dirt streets and broken glass everywhere,” he told American Songwriter magazine. “I couldn’t understand how these kids could run around barefoot on all that broken glass; I was wondering why they had to live that way and I lived another way.”

While writing for Presley, Mr. Davis began performing his own music on TV variety shows. His song “I Believe in Music” climbed the pop charts after it was covered by the band Gallery, and in 1972 Mr. Davis broke through with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me.”

As Mr. Davis told the story, he wrote the song after his producer, Rick Hall, asked him to craft “a ‘hook’ song, one with a repeat phrase which is singles oriented.” As a joke, he took the prompt literally, suggesting the line, “Don’t get hooked on me.” Hall urged him to go into the recording studio immediately. It went to No. 1 for three weeks.

Mr. Davis had a wry sense of humor that helped him jump from music to film and television. He lent his voice to characters in the animated TV series “King of the Hill,” played country singer Rodney Carrington’s father-in-law on the ABC sitcom “Rodney” and appeared in movies such as “North Dallas Forty” (1979), based on a best-selling novel by former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Peter Gent.

Credit: Washington Post

To read more, click on the link below.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/mac-davis-singer-songwriter-who-blended-country-and-pop-dies-at-78/2020/09/30/3b0ef1da-025f-11eb-b7ed-141dd88560ea_story.html

Thomas Jefferson Byrd – Remembering a Great Actor!

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

The movie industry has lost a great actor. An actor who could play any role and make you believe it was real. Thomas Jefferson Byrd has played in many movies, but most moviegoers will probably remember him as Luther in the powerful movie, “Set It Off,” with Queen Latifa, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimberly Elise & Vivica A. Fox. He will truly be missed.

Thomas Jefferson Byrd (June 25, 1950 – October 3, 2020) was an American character actor who played in several of director Spike Lee‘s films. He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in the 2003 Broadway revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

 Career

Byrd earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Morris Brown College and later received a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from California Institute of the Arts.

Byrd starred in numerous regional stage productions including the San Diego Repertory Theatre‘s award-winning performance of Spunk. He also starred in Home by Samm-Art Evans, Two Trains RunningThe Piano Lesson and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Alliance Theater, Flyin’ West, Hamlet, and Miss Evers’ Boys at the Indiana Repertory, and in other productions of Flyin’ West at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the Long Wharf Theatre.

For his Broadway debut, a performance in the 2003 revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Byrd received a Tony Award nomination for best-featured actor.

Byrd appeared in several films by Spike Lee, including ClockersGet on the BusBamboozledRed Hook Summer, and Chi-Raq. Byrd also appeared as Stokely Darling in Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.[2] His other films credits include Set It OffRay, and Brooklyn’s Finest.

Death

After an emergency call was made in Atlanta, Georgia, around 1:45 a.m. on October 3, 2020, Byrd was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds in his back and pronounced dead by local paramedics. A spokesperson for Atlanta police said that homicide detectives were “working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

Work – 

Film – 

Year

Title

Role

Notes

1995

Clockers

Errol Barnes

[5]

1996

Girl 6

Caller #18

 

1996

Get on the Bus

Evan Thomas Sr.

 

1996

Set It Off

Luther

 

1997

Touch Me

Country Doctor

 

1998

He Got Game

Sweetness

 

1998

Bulworth

Uncle Rafeeq

 

2000

Trois

Thomas

 

2000

Bamboozled

Honeycutt

 

2001

MacArthur Park

Cody

 

2002

Never Get Outta the Boat

William Ellis

 

2002

The Kudzu Christmas

Reverend Burton

 

2004

X, Y

Marcus

 

2004

Ray

Jimmy

 

2009

Brooklyn’s Finest

Uncle Jeb

 

2010

Bronx Paradise

Jimmy

 

2012

Red Hook Summer

Deacon Zee

[6]

2014

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Bishop Zee

[7]

2015

Chi-Raq

Apollo

[8]

2020

Freedom’s Path

Abner

Posthumous release; Final film role

Television

Year

Title

Role

Notes

1992

In the Heat of the Night

Louis Arthur

Episode: “Random’s Child”

1993

I’ll Fly Away: Then and Now

Panhandler

TV movie

1997

Living Single

Mr. Leon

Episode: “Moonlight Savings Time”

1998

Mama Flora’s Family

Flora’s Pa

2 episodes

1999

Passing Glory

 

TV movie

2001

Boycott

Raymond Parks

TV movie

2004

Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Curtis Romney

Episode: “Mad Hops”

2005

Lackawanna Blues

Numb Finger Pete

TV movie

2017–19

She’s Gotta Have It

Stokely Darling

10 episodes

2020

The Last O.G.

Jimmy

Episode: “Family Feud”

Theatre

Year

Title

Role

Notes

2003

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Toledo

Nominated — Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play[1]

What Drives You Insane – A Poem

 

I am not perfect and no longer fine.

Many say I am sweet, soft-hearted, and kind.

You may be different, even a little shy.

Do not give up, get up, and at least try!

 

You may not have the best of clothes,

Keep your spirit up only your story knows.

Let go of the anger, let go of the pain.

You’re much better than what drives you insane!

Written by: Jasmine D. Parker ©

Victorious – ENDzone Volume 1

wp-1596588048221.jpg

Congratulations to Ahmad Bell aka “VICTORIOUS” on his new album titled “ENDzone.” The album is scheduled to drop on Friday, 08/07/2020, and will be available on music.apple.com.

Here’s a quote from his Facebook page:

“Hello, Fam! Everything that has a beginning has an End. I am excited and honored to be sharing my LAST albums with you guys #ENDzone Volume 1 will be out Friday and Volume 2 will be out the 21st. Please rock with me this one last time and cop the records! Ministry is present and if I do say so I made some timeless music! #Wearevictorious
Endzone Volume 1 by Victorious.”

https://music.apple.com/us/album/endzone-volume-1/1525077459

Keep fighting the good fight for God, Ahmad J Bell, the world needs more leaders like you!

Video credit: YouTube.com

Poem by Mary Angela Douglas – Children In Their Dreams, Dreamed Apple Green – Children Who Inspire!

Photo credit: yahoo.com/images

This is such a beautiful poem.  It’s so delightful to see children engaging themselves in reading, writing and using their creative minds to write stories and poems that will capture the reader in a way that they can visualize in their mind the story being told as if it were being told through their eyes. Some of the most creative poetry in the world has been written by children.  I hope you enjoy this poem!

children in their earliest dreams,
dreamed in apple green
translucent in their souls.

we are where the light shines through
their angels sang
and small bells rang.

who was there to tell them
correcting in red pencil:
this Spring may not last

when May was everywhere?

come to pass,
they breathed on windowpanes
when the frost paintings appeared.

and who could grieve
them in their primary towers
turning the page of gold,

the page of rose.

who would offend their angels now
changing the meaning of music
so that there is no sound

but only noise.
so many.
but music is from the spheres

the ancients knew
and star inscribed
like the bride doll framed

turning down the lanes
of the embellished imagination,
truculent, reprobate nations, farther

than politics can prove, disprove.
even farther than you’ll construe
in the kingdoms

that may not be overthrown.

http://www.poemhunter.com

Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band

Photo credit:yahoo.com/images

This is one of my favorite rock songs and bands.  This song has a bluesy vibe, and Don Brewer sounds like he’s been singing the Blues all of his life. The song has a nice beat, great rhythm, and is just fun to dance to, or hit the road, turn the song up and just drive, drive, drive. Some may find the drum solo at the beginning a little cheesy, but Don held it together and was able to prove that not only was he a great drummer, but a great singer / songwriter as well.

Written by Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer. In our interview, he told us:

“We started out as a trio in 1969. Everybody calls it ‘Heavy Metal,’ but the heavy metal didn’t come around until the ’80s, so we were just a hard rock trio. We were kind of riding along with the FM underground situation, so we were able to make 7-minute, 9-minute songs and we’d get the airplay because that was the in thing to do – we could get whole albums played. As we moved into 1972, FM underground radio was beginning to be very commercial, so they were looking for songs that were 3 minutes 30 seconds long. We needed to go that way. We left our former manager Terry Knight in 1972. We were going through lawsuits and all this crap and we came out with an album that was very different for Grand Funk Railroad called The Phoenix Album. We were lucky to have sort of a semi-hit off that record (Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul), but we knew that the next record had to be something big or the career was going to go down the toilet. We were touring, supporting The Phoenix Album, we were going from town to town, there were lawsuits flying all over the place, it was a very tumultuous time period. I remember lots of discussions in the back of cars going, ‘What are we going to do next?’ Our manager kept saying, ‘Why don’t you just write songs about what you do: you’re out here on the road, you’re going to this hotel, you go to different places, there are people, you come into town…’

So the thought came into my mind, ‘We’re coming to your town, we’ll help you party it down.’ That’s really what we were doing – we were coming into town and we were the party. That’s where the line came from, and the next thought I had was, ‘We’re an American band.’ It wasn’t to wave the flag or anything, it was just simply what we were. It was a true description and it kind of rolled off my mind. I went home and worked on the concept for a while and picked up a guitar; I’m not really a great guitar player, I can play tow-finger chords and that kind of stuff. I worked out the chord structure and I brought it into rehearsal one day and there you go – we just let it go from there. It had a mind of its own.”

The lyrics are about little things that were going on on the road during the Phoenix tour. All of them are true. Don explains the line, “Up all night with Freddie King, I’ve got to tell you, poker’s his thing”:

“Freddie King was the opening act for us, the great Blues guitar player from Texas. It always struck me as funny that he would make his band play poker with him every night. We used to sit in on some of the poker games, and that’s where that line came from. His band, he’d pay them, and then he’d go win all the money back so they were broke and they’d have to keep playing for him – it was a great deal. A lot of people don’t understand the Freddie King part because they don’t know who Freddie King is. Anybody who knows about Freddie King immediately picks it up. People who don’t say, ‘What are you saying, that Focus can’t sing?'”

Regarding the line, “four young chiquitas in Omaha,” Don Brewer told us that it came from a situation where they checked into a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. “There were four groupies in the lobby waiting to see the band,” he said. “‘Four young chiquitas’ sounded a lot better than ‘four young groupies’ or ‘four young girls.'”

The line, “Sweet Sweet Connie was doing her act” is about Connie Hamzy, a famous groupie known as “Sweet Connie.” Some of her rumored conquests include Brewer, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Huey Lewis, Peter Criss, and Bill Clinton 9when he was governor of Arkansas). This song made her famous, and in 2010 VH1 ran a special about her life. According to Hamzy, she didn’t have “the whole band,” as stated in the lyrics, but she came pretty close – Mark Farner was a holdout.

Brewer sang lead on this. Grand Funk guitarist Mark Farner sang most of their songs, but Don was the lead vocal on songs like “Shinin’ On,” “Walk Like A Man” and “Gimme Shelter.” He and Mark shared vocals on “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

Released in 1973 on their album, “We’re An American Band,” and peaked at #1 in the USA.

Credit: Songfacts.com

 

Song Lyrics – 

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact
Up all night with Freddie King
I got to tell you, poker’s his thing
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

Four young chiquitas in Omaha
Waitin’ for the band to return from the show
Feelin’ good, feelin’ right, it’s Saturday night
The hotel detective, he was outta sight
Now these fine ladies, they had a plan
They was out to meet the boys in the band
They said, come on dudes, let’s get it on
And we proceeded to tear that hotel down

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band, wooo
We’re an American band, wooo
We’re an American band, wooo

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real! 53 of the Best Quotes On Fear!

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

What do you fear?  Could it be open places, height, the unknown, of failing, approaching someone asking for a date, crowds, germs or maybe just fear of living in a world of complete uncertainty?  Below are 53 of the best quotes on FEAR!

 

  1. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown
  2. The first and great commandment is: Don’t let them scare you. ~Elmer Davis
  3. I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.  ~Erica Jong
  4. Do not let your fears choose your destiny. ~ Unknown
  5. Fear is never a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse.~Norman Vincent Peale
  6. Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. ~Mary Ferguson
  7. Where fear is, happiness is not. ~Seneca
  8. Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and resignation. You can eliminate all these negative habits with two simple resolves,” I can! and I will!” 
  9. Do what you fear most, and you control fear. Tom Hopkins
  10. Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy. Denis Waitley
  11. Fear is faith that it won’t work out.
  12. There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you. Leave it there. ~Donna Favors
  13. Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.
  14. Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead. ~Jerry Gille
  15. Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.~Arthur Ashe
  16. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
  17. To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your path, and don’t worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.
  18. Always do what you are afraid to do. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  19. You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. ~Dale Carnegie
  20. Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will. ~W. Clement Stone
  21. Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it…that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”
  22. The key to change….is to let go of fear. ~Rosanne Cash
  23. Somebody should tell us…right at the start of our lives…that we are dying. Then we might live to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. ~Michael Landon
  24. Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~Usman B. Asif
  25. Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.  ~Author Unknown
  26. A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.  ~George Matthew Adams
  27. To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.  ~Katherine Paterson
  28. He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  29. Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis
  30. Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.  ~Henry S. Haskins
  31. Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  ~Orison Swett Marden
  32. I’ve got more energy now than when I was younger because I know exactly what I want to do. ~George Balanchine
  33. You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey
  34. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
  35. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~Dostoyevsky
  36. I am kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~J.D. Salinger
  37. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats
  38. Go back a little to leap further. John Clarke
  39. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats

  40. I failed my way to success. ~ Thomas Edison
  41. To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves. We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here–with its gift of energy and heightened awareness–so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation. ~Peter Williams
  42. “Fearless” is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. ~Taylor Swift
  43. I must not fear.

    Fear is the mind-killer.

    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

    I will face my fear.

    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

    Only I will remain. ~Frank Herbert

  44. Start a huge, foolish project like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you. ~Rumi
  45. To live in the world of creation—to get into it and stay in it–to frequent it and haunt it…to think intently and fruitfully, to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation–this is the only thing. ~Henry James
  46. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon
  47. We are all of us failures–at least, the best of us are. ~James Barrie
  48. Wherever fear shadows…. that always means there is a light shining somewhere. ~Jonathan Santos
  49. That feeling isn’t fear, it’s just telling you to MOVE!! ~Rancid
  50. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~ E Hubbard

 

  1. Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. ~ Bill Cosby

 

  1. A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory. ~ Mike Jones
  2. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home, and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie

 

If you need to make a change and fear is holding your back, ask yourself these 3 questions:

What is the best outcome that can happen?

What is the worst outcome that can possibly happen?

What is the result of remaining the same?

Credit: http://theboldlife.com

               

Aimee Nezhukumaathil -The Woman Who Turned Down a Date with a Cherry Farmer – Poets Who Inspire

Photo credit: http://www.yahoo.com/images

Of course, I regret it. I mean there I was under umbrellas of fruit
so red they had to be borne of Summer, and no other season. 
Flip-flops and fishhooks. Ice cubes made of lemonade and sprigs of mint to slip in blue glasses of tea. I was dusty, my ponytail
all askew and the tips of my fingers ran, of course, red
from the fruit wounds of cherries I plunked into my bucket
and still—he must have seen some small bit of loveliness
in walking his orchard with me. He pointed out which trees
were sweetest, which ones bore double seeds—puffing out
the flesh and oh the surprise on your tongue with two tiny stones
(a twin spit), making a small gun of your mouth. Did I mention
my favorite color is red? His jeans were worn and twisty
around the tops of his boot; his hands thick but careful, 
nimble enough to pull fruit from his trees without tearing
the thin skin; the cherry dust and fingerprints on his eyeglasses. 
I just know when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, said
Okay. Couldn’t hurt to try? and shuffled back to his roadside stand
to arrange his jelly jars and stacks of buckets, I had made
a terrible mistake. I just know my summer would’ve been
full of pies, tartlets, turnovers—so much jubilee. 

Jonathan Platt – “I Am The Sponge!” Poets Who Inspire

Photo credit: yahoo.com/images

I was reading through some poems tonight and ran across this one.  It’s really cute, short and sweet, but enough to read to my grandchildren and watch their eyes light up with excitement.!

“I Am The Sponge” 

I think of happiness as a pool of water,
And into it, I will plunge.
I think of happiness as a pool of water,
And me, I am the sponge.

Credit: PoemHunter.com

 

11 Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Human kidneys : Stock Photo

Photo credit: https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/human-kidney

I wanted to post these symptoms of kidney disease due to my being diagnosed a few weeks ago with stage three kidney disease. I can truly say it was a huge shock to me, but it’s also something that I will not allow to take control of my life. I will fight this disease and do all I can to reverse it. I do suffer from high blood pressure, which is now under control. I am eating healthier and staying away from soft drinks and getting as much rest as I possibly can.. Most people don’t have symptoms in the early stages. When chronic kidney disease is advanced, you may:

Below you will find 11 of the symptoms of this disease.

      1.Vomit or feel like you are going to

  1. Pee more or less often than normal
  2. See foam in your urine
  3. Have swelling, especially in your ankles, and puffiness around your eyes
  4. Feel tired or short of breath all the time
  5. Not feel like eating
  6. Not be able to taste much
  7. Have muscle cramps, especially in your legs
  8. Have very dry, itchy skin
  9. Sleep poorly
  10. Lose weight for no obvious reason
     Credit: webmd.com

 

The Baby’s – “Every Time I Think of You”

 

Every Time I Think of You” is a song written by Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy and released in 1979 as the lead single from The Babys‘ third studio album Head FirstJohn Waite provided lead vocals featuring female vocals by Myrna Matthews. The track was a worldwide hit and became their last top 20 in the United States.

Released as the lead single from the Head First album in January 1979, “Every Time I Think of You” ascended to a Billboard Hot 100 peak of number 13 that April. The Babys’ previous Top 40 hit “Isn’t It Time” had also peaked at number 13; like “Isn’t It Time” – which was also a Jack Conrad/Ray Kennedy composition – “Every Time I Think of You” augmented the vocal of Babys’ frontman John Waite with prominent female vocals, with “Every Time I Think of You” featuring Myrna Matthews, Pat Henderson, and Marti McCall although Annie Bertucci features on video clips as the sole backup vocalist. Jimmie Haskell arranged and conducted the string section heard on the track.

“Every Time I Think of You” rose as high as number 8 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart. “Isn’t It Time” also peaked at number 8 on Cash Box in December 1977. “Every Time I Think of You” afforded the Babys a hit in Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, with respective peaks of number 6, number 8 and number 11; the track also reached number 41 in New Zealand.

The track which had served as B-side to “Every Time I Think of You”: “Head First”, was issued as the A-side of the Babys’ next single with another track from the Head First album: “California”, as B-side. The “Head First” single peaked at number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Babys would have a third and final Top 40 charting in 1980 with “Back on My Feet Again” (number 33).

 

 

Song Lyrics – 

Every time I think of you
It always turns out good
Every time I’ve held you
I thought you understood
People say a love like ours
Will surely pass
But I know a love like ours
Will last and last

[Chorus:]

But maybe I was wrong
Not knowing how our love should go
(How our love, how our love should go)
But I wasn’t wrong
In knowing how our love would grow
(How our love, how our love would grow)
And every time I think of you
Every time
Every time I think of you
Every single time
It always turns out good

Seasons come and seasons go
But our love will never die
Let me hold you darling
So you won’t cry
Cause people say that our love affair
Will never last
But we know a love like ours
Will never pass

People say a love like ours
Will surely pass
But I know a love like ours
Will last and last

But maybe I was wrong
Not knowing how our love should go
(How our love, how our love should go)
But I wasn’t wrong
In knowing how our love would grow
(How our love, how our love would grow)

And every time I think of you
Every time I think of you
Every time I think of you
It always turns out good

Every time I think of you
Every time I think of you
Every time I think of you (every time)
Every time I think of you (think of you)
Every time I think of you (every time)
Every time I think of you (think of you)

Written by: Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy

The Baby’s – “Isn’t it Time”

Yahoo.com/images

I have always loved this song. It takes me back to my teenage years.  This is another greatly overlooked band from the ’70s.  Their rhythm and beat were on point, the musicianship was awesome, and the lead singer, John Waite, was not only one of the greatest bassists in the industry but also an incredible singer. “Isn’t it Time,” is a mix of R&B, Soul, and Pop wrapped up in one beautiful song!

This was the breakout hit for The Babys, a British rock group fronted by John Waite, which also includes Wally Stocker, Tony Brock, and Mike Corby. The song is about a man torn between the possibility of experiencing his great love and the fear of the consequences of its failure. It is known for its strong backup vocals performed by The Babettes, who are Lisa Freeman Roberts, Pat Henderson, Myrna Matthews, and Marti McCall.

Released in 1977 on their album titled “Broken Heart,” the song peaked at #13 in the US and #45 in the UK.

Songfacts.com

 

Song Lyrics –

Falling in love was the last thing I had on my mind
Holding you is a warmth that I thought I could never find
(Sitting here all alone)
Just trying to decide
(Whether to go all alone)
Or stay by your side
(Then I stop myself because)
I know I could cry
I just can’t find the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey babe
Isn’t it time
(Isn’t it time it took time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
Isn’t it time
(Isn’t it time you took time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
I’ve seen visions of someone like you in my life
A love that’s strong reaching out
Holding me through the darkest night
(Sitting here all alone)
Just trying to decide
(Whether to go all alone)
Or stay by your side
(Then I stop myself because)
I don’t want to cry
I just can’t find the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey babe
Isn’t it time
(Isn’t it time it took time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
Isn’t it time
(Isn’t it time you took time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
I feel a warmth in my heart
And my soul that I never knew
This love affair gives me strength
That I need just to get me through
(Sitting here all alone)
Just wondering why
(Then I stop myself because)
I know I could cry
(Then I think of you)
And everything seems alright
I’ve finally found the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey babe
Isn’t it time
(Isn’t it time you don’t have to wait)
(Don’t have to wait)
I know it’s time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
Ooh yeah
(Isn’t it time)
I know it’s time
(Isn’t it time you don’t have to wait)
It must be time
(Don’t have to wait)
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time)
It must be time
(Isn’t time you don’t have to wait)
(Don’t have to wait)
It oughta be time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time)
(Isn’t it time you don’t have to wait)
(Don’t have to wait)
It must be time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time)

Writer/s: JACK CONRAD, RAY KENNEDY

What is Juneteenth?

 Civil War, the deadliest war in American History. To mark the anniversary TIME published The Civil War: An Illustrated History. Black History Facts, Black History Month, American Photo, Black Families, African Diaspora, We Are The World, African American History, American Indians, Thing 1

pinterest.com

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in GalvestonTexas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House two months earlier in Virginia, but slavery had remained relatively unaffected in Texas—until U.S. General Gordon Granger stood on Texas soil and read General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

The Emancipation Proclamation  – 

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” 

But, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control. However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many enslaved people fled behind Union lines.

Juneteenth and Slavery in Texas – 

In Texas, slavery had continued as the state experienced no large-scale fighting or a significant presence of Union troops. Many enslavers from outside the Lone Star State had moved there, as they viewed it as a safe haven for slavery.

After the war came to a close in the spring of 1865, General Granger’s arrival in Galveston that June signaled freedom for Texas’s 250,000 enslaved people. Although emancipation didn’t happen overnight for everyone—in some cases, enslavers withheld the information until after harvest season—celebrations broke out among newly freed black people, and Juneteenth was born. That December, slavery in America was formally abolished with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.

The year following 1865, freedmen in Texas organized the first of what became the annual celebration of “Jubilee Day” on June 19. In the ensuing decades, Juneteenth commemorations featured music, barbecues, prayer services, and other activities, and as black people migrated from Texas to other parts of the country the Juneteenth tradition spread. 

In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Today, 47 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, while efforts to make it a national holiday have so far stalled in Congress. 

Does an Exception Clause in the 13th Amendment Still Permit Slavery?

The amendment, which officially abolished slavery in the United States in 1865, includes a loophole regarding involuntary servitude.

The year the Civil War ended, the U.S. amended the Constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude. But it purposefully left in one big loophole for people convicted of crimes.

The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Scholars, activists, and prisoners have linked that exception clause to the rise of a prison system that incarcerates black people at more than five times the rate of white people, and profits off of their unpaid or underpaid labor.

“What we see after the passage of the 13th Amendment is a couple of different things converging,” says Andrea Armstrong, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. “First, the 13th Amendment text allows for involuntary servitude were convicted of a crime.” At the same time, “black codes” in the south created “new types of offenses, especially attitudinal offenses—not showing proper respect, those types of things.”

https://history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth

Beautiful Creations!

wp-1592531370566.jpg

 

When we stop and take a look at some of the beautiful fowls and animals in this world, you truly began to see the artistic craftsmanship of God, and also realize that he has a sense of humor as well! These birds may be different species and different colors, but all are beautiful and bring a natural, but glorious essence while show-casing their true colorful beauty!

Gil Scott-Heron – Top 25 Quotes

Photo credit: yahoo.com/images

With all of the violence and unrest in the United States, I just wanted to touch on a few quotes from a great man whom I admired, not only for his music but for also his quotes, poetry, and work as a humanitarian.  Here are 25 quotes from the Legendary Gil Scott – Heron.

Gilbert Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was “Bluesology”, which he defined as “a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues”.His music, most notably on the albums Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and foreshadowed later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron is considered by many to be the first rapper/MC ever. His recording work received much critical acclaim, especially one of his best-known compositions, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. AllMusic’s John Bush called him “one of the most important progenitors of rap music,” stating that “his aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry inspired a legion of intelligent rappers while his engaging songwriting skills placed him square in the R&B charts later in his career.

Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I’m New Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, The Last Holiday, was published posthumously in January 2012. Scott-Heron received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He also is included in the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) that officially opened on September 24, 2016, on the National Mall, and in an NMAAHC publication, Dream a World Anew.

credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Scott-Heron

1. Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.

2. The first revolution is when you change your mind

3. You will not be able to stay home, brother./You will not be able to plugin, turn on and cop out. / You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,/Skip out for beer during commercials,/Because the revolution will not be televised.

4. America .. the international Jekyll and Hyde … the land of a thousand disguises, sneaks up on you but rarely surprises

5. I am a black man dedicated to expression; expression of the joy and pride of blackness. I consider myself neither poet, composer, or musician. These are merely tools used by sensitive men to carve out a piece of beauty or truth that they hope may lead to peace and salvation.

6. Music has the power to make me feel good like nothing else does. It gives me some peace for a while. Takes me back to who I really am.

7. The way you get to know yourself is by the expressions on other people’s faces, because that’s the only thing that you can see, unless you carry a mirror about.

8. Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom – and lakes die.

9. I’ve always had questions about what it meant to be a protester, to be in the minority. Are the people who are trying to find peace, who are trying to have the Constitution apply to everybody, are they really the radicals? We’re not protesting from the outside. We’re inside.

10. If someone comes to you and asks for help, and you can help them, you’re supposed to help them. Why wouldn’t you? You have been put in the position somehow to be able to help this person.

11. A good poet feels what his community feels.
Like if you stub your toe, the rest of your body hurts.

12. The revolution will be no re-run brothers,
The revolution will be live.

13. I don’t mind being criticized. I enjoy being criticized personally, not by rumor.

14. I try not to take people who haven’t really thought out what they’re doing too seriously. I try not to let them get in the way of what I feel I need to do.

15. All the dreams you show up in are not your own.

16. The revolution that takes place in your head, nobody will ever see that.

17. If we meet somebody who has never made a mistake, lets help them start a religion. Until then, were just going to meet other humans and help to make each other better.

18. You see Martin Luther King is dead and Huey Newton is not. And Malcolm X is dead and Bobby Seale is not. And Vernon Jordan was shot. The thing that revolutionaries, or even people who want to claim they’re revolutionaries, often forget is that it doesn’t make no difference what kind of wardrobe you wear, and if you speak up about Black people doing better you just risked your life.

19. Colour is not the issue in America; class is.

20. Paul Robeson once said that the artist has the responsibility to either help liberate the community or further oppress it. And I think that when Eldridge Cleaver wrote it down it was interpreted as his, but there’s a history of people saying things of that nature and meaning it. And what I do is in that tradition, in that mode.

21. Everything that’s bad for you catches on too quickly in America, because that’s the easiest thing to get people to invest in, the pursuits that are easy and destructive, the ones that bring out the least positive aspects of people.

22. Womenfolk raised me and I was full-grown before I knew I came from a broken home

23. I think that the more people who speak out, and say things and take stands on positions that will better our community, the better off each and every other individual artist or otherwise, will be.

24. The revolution will not be televised.

25. We understand what the difference is between what we understand and what the community understands about what we’re doing because they have supported us long enough for me to stay out here, while other people who are doing other things have not. A lot of people have trouble pinning down what it is we do and how. But we don’t have any trouble with that. As long as that’s their problem, it’s their problem.

“Love & Loyalty” – By Ahmad Bell (Kindle Edition)

Ahmad Bell has a new book out now on Kindle. Mr. Bell has been very busy with his ministry, music and now putting pen to paper and writing a book. Through his hard work, diligence, and love for God, he is making a great impact on people who are seeking the Lord, love and loyalty!

Love a buzzword used in sonnets poems, songs, and plays. It’s a “Catch Phrase” used on holidays birthday cards and special events to denote a deep affection to or towards that said object. This book will explore our attitudes towards it both healthy and unhealthy to form a functional foundation to experience exactly what it is.

For more information on this book, or to purchase your copy in Kindle, please click on the tabs below, and they will direct you to Amazon.

Credit: Ahmad Bell

“Hardaway” by Victorious – Featuring Sahvon

Victorious just dropped a new video and song titled: Hardaway, featuring Sahvon an inspiring Hip Hop Artist.  Victorious along with the other artists he features in his videos are changing lives one song lyric at a time. That’s what it takes for some people, it’s like babies taking their first steps. Jesus is there to help us all who are striving to take those steps toward the finish line and into his loving arms.

Below you will find the links to order your copy of the song, and possibly make someone a gift of this song and his others.

You DON’T have live life the Hardaway! Change and NEVER go back. https://music.apple.com/us/album/hard… https://open.spotify.com/track/6l9m92…

Credit: Ahmad J. Bell aka Victorious, YouTube.com & Bing.com/images

“Wonder4l” by Victorious – Featuring GED

It’s plain to see that there is no stopping Victorious, he is out there and on fire to save as many souls and inspire as many as he possibly can through his music and ministry, and is doing a phenomenal job. We are living in Perilous times, and need all of the inspiration, love, support, and unity we can possibly get.  Keep on pushing, Victorious, I am inspired and so happy to see so many others reaching out to your ministry to find the knowledge that they did not receive in the home or ever had the opportunity to visit any churches to gain the knowledge needed to find what they were missing in life!

Ahmad J. Bell (AKA – Victorious ) is an American Public speaker, youth mentor, content provider, Recording Artist, Concert Organizer/Promoter and Motivational Speaker. Heeding his Pastors instructions he stood up and began to share the gospel through Christian Hip Hop and become a force in regional and national ministry platforms as a solo artist, member of The Warriors ATX As a member of the The Warriors ATX he won several Holy Hip Awards from THHHA (Texas Holy Hip Hop Awards) and was honored by the TGAG (Texas Gospel Announcers Guild) for Perseverance inside of the genre. Victorious has appeared on over 35 albums and 4 mixtapes. With the Warriors ATX he released 3 full length albums. As a solo artist he has released 3 solo records. He has also toured and ministered alongside of artist such as, Lecrae, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Bizzle, THISL,Bryan Trejo, Flame, Da T.R.U.T.H., Canton Jones, VRose, The Walls Group, Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Reynolds, JJ Hairston and many more. “None of my accomplishments mean anything if I am not pointing back to the cross!” said Victorious ” Purpose is the ONLY reason for holding the microphone and standing on stage.” Victorious’ New project is called #standforsomething and is medicine and a how to begin again when life has thrown you a curve ball. Doesn’t matter if your 15 or 35 life comes at you at the speed of life and we all must learn how to endure and Overcome Last Project #pressreset is available on iTunes.

Wonder4l ℗ 2021 Victorious Life Entertainment/Management Released on: 2021-12-03 and now available on Spotify.com.

Credit: Ahmad J. Bell aka Victorious, YouTube.com & Bing.com/images

“Snow” – A Poem by Gillian Clarke – Poets Who Inspire!

“Snow”

The dreamed Christmas,
flakes shaken out of silences so far
and starry we can’t sleep for listening
for papery rustles out there in the night
and wake to find our ceiling glimmering,
the day a psaltery of light.

So we’re out over the snow fields
before it’s all seen off with a salt-lick
of Atlantic air, then home at dusk, snow-blind
from following chains of fox and crow and hare,
to a fire, a roasting bird, a ringing phone,
and voices wondering where we are.

A day foretold by images
of glassy pond, peasant and snowy roof
over the holy child iconed in gold.
Or women shawled against the goosedown air
pleading with soldiers at a shifting frontier
in the snows of television,

while in the secret dark a fresh snow falls
filling our tracks with stars.

Credit: https://www.panmacmillan.com

Photo credit: Yahoo.com/images

“Winter – Time” – A Poem by: Robert Louis Stevenson – Poets Who Inspire!

“Winter – Time”

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;

Blinks but an hour or two; and then,

A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,

At morning in the dark I rise;

And shivering in my nakedness,

By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit

To warm my frozen bones a bit;

Or with a reindeer-sled, explore

The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap

Me in my comforter and cap;

The cold wind burns my face, and blows

Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;

Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;

And tree and house, and hill and lake,

Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Credit: https://www.panmacmillan.com

Photo Credit: Yahoo.com/images

Walter Winchell – Biography and Timeline – People

 

Walter Winchell photographed in 1944.

No matter if the public loved him or hated him.  One thing for sure, if you were a celebrity or a person of status, there was a good chance that you could end up in one of Walter Winchell’s columns. He would later prove to be a force to be reckoned with, but was always on top of a good story.

Born Walter Winschel on April 7, 1897 and grew up poor in East Harlem, New York, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He quickly rose from vaudeville hoofer to Broadway blabber by posting gossip about his acting troupe on backstage bulletin boards. Winchell’s career took off with a notorious tabloid, the New York Evening Graphic. That became a springboard to Hearst’s Daily Mirror, to countrywide syndication, and to the new medium of radio. His signature columns were crammed with snappy, acerbic banter. His broadcasts were slangy, delivered in machine-gun staccato while clacking a telegraph key alongside. Each week, a growing audience tuned in to hear him sign on, “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America, from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press!”

Winchell invented a new form of newspaper writing and radio delivery. He created slang and “Winchellisms,” indeed a whole language, “Winchellese,” where falling in love became “pashing it,” or “Garbo-ing it,” while newlyweds awaited a “blessed event,” unless their relationship was “phffft” or about to be “Reno-vated.” Winchell would string together partial phrases, thinly veiled rumors and mere allegations. He had a knack for spinning tales about famous people, exploiting his contacts and trading gossip with friends, often in return for his silence.

“Winchell was all about the grotty exercise of power,” says cultural critic Kurt Andersen. “Relentlessly and specifically, day after day doling out bits of patronage or punishment in response to the greedy murmur of little men. Studios would pay a press agent as much as $5,000, the equivalent of $25,000 today, for giving a movie an ‘orchid,’ Winchell’s maximum praise.”

A plug in Winchell’s column could guarantee any show a successful run or raise the profile of a starlet. Equally, a dig in the column could tarnish or even destroy professional reputations, as acclaimed performer Josephine Baker and talk-show host Barry Gray learned the hard way. Winchell spewed searing attacks in print and on the air at Baker after she publicly complained that she was the object of a racial snub at his favorite haunt, the Stork Club. Her career never recovered. After radio talk show host Barry Gray invited Baker to explain what happened on his radio show, Winchell viciously and repeatedly attacked Gray as well. His shrill outbursts became a cause célèbre, stirring one rival, Ed Sullivan, to declare, “I despise Walter Winchell because he symbolizes to me evil and treacherous things in the American setup.”

Yet Winchell was nothing if not contradictory. When he wasn’t exercising his power to destroy careers, he was using it to elevate “Mr. and Mrs. America,” publicizing bureaucratic injustices and letting the common man and woman in on the secrets of the rich and powerful. The populist tinge to his early work transformed into a full-blown political consciousness following a 1933 meeting with newly elected Franklin Roosevelt, in which the president recruited Winchell to promote his agenda to America. Winchell became an effective tool in Roosevelt’s effort to persuade an isolationist-leaning America to intervene in in Europe’s looming conflict. He was also the first major commentator to directly attack Adolf Hitler and American pro-fascist organizations such as the German American Bund.

After President Roosevelt’s death, Winchell lost his moral bearings for nearly a decade. Personally, he faced successive tragedies: broken marriages and failed relationships, the death of his young daughter and his grown son’s suicide. Professionally, he played all sides, schmoozing with Al Capone even as he befriended J. Edgar Hoover. He served as Roosevelt’s most faithful mouthpiece, then inexplicably championed McCarthyism, having been recruited to the cause by the senator’s young aide. Writes Herman Klurfeld, Winchell’s ghostwriter for thirty years and subsequent biographer, “ Winchell was an egomaniac, he was stubborn and in the end he was fooled by an evil devil named Roy Cohn.”

Winchell saw yet another failure when he attempted to transition to television. He was simply not telegenic. “The familiar hat and pulled down tie are a throwback to the old news papering days,” one critic smirked. The energy Winchell projected so forcefully on radio looked manic on TV, bordering on crazy.

It is a cruel irony that Winchell created the cycle of celebrity – the meteoric rise followed by the crushing fall – and then fell to it himself. “I died on October 16, 1963,” he said the day his flagship paper, the New York Daily Mirror, folded. His final breath, drawn nine years later, was just a formality. “He was not only present at the creation of modern journalism,” concludes biographer Neal Gabler, “in many respects he was the creation.”

Winchell begins performing in vaudeville revues led by composer Gus Edwards. He would tour the national vaudeville circuit for the next 10 years.

Spring 1910
First newspaper job

Fall 1920

Winchell gets his first newspaper job at the Vaudeville News, a trade paper.New York Daily Mirror

Winchell jumps over to William Randolph Hearst’s tabloid, the New York Daily Mirror, where he remains until the Mirror folds in 1963. His column gains a nationwide audience when it is picked up by Hearst’s King Features Syndicate.

June 10, 1929
Radio debut

Radio debut

Winchell’s first radio show, “Before Dinner – Walter Winchell” debuts on WABC.

May 12, 1930

PHOTO: Young Winchell sits at an FBC mic. PHOTO: © Globe Photos, inc.

NBC-Blue network debut

 

Josephine Baker controversy at the Stork Club

Winchell's death
 Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip

 

Full Episode | Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip

Clip | Walter Winchell and the “trial of the century”

Clip | The time Walter Winchell condemned an American Nazi rally

Source: WWW.PBS.ORG & YAHOO.COM/IMAGES

Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – 1914-1953 – Poets Who Inspire

I love discovering poets of the present and past.  One of my great passions is writing poetry, although I  don’t feel as though I am a great writer, I am evolving and with will power and determination, one day I will be a much better writer.

Enjoy reading this great poem and others by this amazing writer and poet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in Swansea, South Wales. His father was an English Literature professor at the local grammar school and would often recite Shakespeare, fortifying Thomas’s love for the rhythmic ballads of Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. B. Yeats, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Thomas dropped out of school at sixteen to become a junior reporter for the South Wales Daily Post. By December of 1932, he left his job at the Post and decided to concentrate on his poetry full-time. It was during this time, in his late teens, that Thomas wrote more than half of his collected poems.

In 1934, when Thomas was twenty, he moved to London, won the Poet’s Corner book prize, and published his first book, 18 Poems (The Fortune press), to great acclaim. The book drew from a collection of poetry notebooks that Thomas had written years earlier, as would many of his most popular books.

Unlike his contemporaries, T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, Thomas was not concerned with exhibiting themes of social and intellectual issues, and his writing, with its intense lyricism and highly charged emotion, had more in common with the Romantic tradition.

Thomas describes his technique in a letter: “I make one image—though ‘make’ is not the right word; I let, perhaps, an image be ‘made’ emotionally in me and then apply to it what intellectual & critical forces I possess—let it breed another, let that image contradict the first, make, of the third image bred out of the other two together, a fourth contradictory image, and let them all, within my imposed formal limits, conflict.”

Two years after the publication of 18 Poems, Thomas met the dancer Caitlin Macnamara at a pub in London. At the time, she was the mistress of painter Augustus John. Macnamara and Thomas engaged in an affair and married in 1937.

About Thomas’s work, Michael Schmidt writes: “There is a kind of authority to the word magic of the early poems; in the famous and popular later poems, the magic is all show. If they have a secret it is the one we all share, partly erotic, partly elegiac. The later poems arise out of personality.”

In 1940, Thomas and his wife moved to London. He had served as an anti-aircraft gunner but was rejected for more active combat due to illness. To avoid the air raids, the couple left London in 1944. They eventually settled at Laugharne, in the Boat House where Thomas would write many of his later poems.

Thomas recorded radio shows and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Between 1945 and 1949, he wrote, narrated, or assisted with over a hundred radio broadcasts. In one show, “Quite Early One Morning,” he experimented with the characters and ideas that would later appear in his poetic radio play Under Milk Wood (1953).

In 1947 Thomas was awarded a Traveling Scholarship from the Society of Authors. He took his family to Italy, and while in Florence, he wrote In Country Sleep, And Other Poems (Dent, 1952), which includes his most famous poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” When they returned to Oxfordshire, Thomas began work on three film scripts for Gainsborough Films. The company soon went bankrupt, but Thomas’s scripts, “Me and My Bike,” “Rebecca’s Daughters,” and “The Beach at Falesa,” were made into films. They were later collected in Dylan Thomas: The Filmscripts (JM Dent & Sons, 1995).

In January 1950, at the age of thirty-five, Thomas visited America for the first time. His reading tours of the United States, which did much to popularize the poetry reading as a new medium for the art, are famous and notorious. Thomas was the archetypal Romantic poet of the popular American imagination—he was theatrical, engaged in roaring disputes in public, and read his work aloud with tremendous depth of feeling.

Thomas toured America four times, with his last public engagement taking place at the City College of New York. A few days later, he collapsed in the Chelsea Hotel after a long drinking bout at the White Horse Tavern. On November 9, 1953, he died at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City at the age of thirty-nine. He had become a legendary figure, both for his work and the boisterousness of his life. He was buried in Laugharne, and almost thirty years later, a plaque to Dylan was unveiled in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

source: http://www.poets.org

“Grandchildren” – A Poem by Earline Brasher – Poets Who Inspire

This beautiful poem reminds me of my 7 grandchildren, who are the apple of my eye, whom I love to the moon and back again!

Grandchildren

Sometimes I really do wonder,
Why they are called grand?
Then I know A Loving Grandmother
Can always fully understand.
You get that important phone call
You have waited for so long,
Excitement really kicks in,
As you arrive and rush down the hall.
You see that precious baby,
Gender really doesn’t matter at all.
It brings back many memories
Of when your children were so small.
You congratulate the parents,
As you see mother and baby are o.k.,
You know without a doubt,
This was done in own God’s way.
Many sacrifices made along the way,
Are very much worthwhile,
When you see that sweet little face,
And that bright cheery smile.
Time rocks on as they grow and grow,
Then comes their future, rushing to and fro,
They will always be our babies,

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/grandchildren

“Time Does Not Bring Relief” – A Poem By Edna St. Vincent Millay

About Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on February 22, 1892 in Maine. She published poems, plays, political writings, and a libretto for an opera.

Millay started to gain fame with the publication of the poem “Renascence” when she was nineteen. It was an entry in a poetry contest, and she came in fourth place. The other people whose poems were recognized above hers said hers was by far the best.

Her poem The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923. She was only the third woman to win this prize for poetry.

During the first World War, Millay was a known pacifist, but from 1940 on, she supported the Allied Forces, and even wrote poetry to support their efforts. This work for the war hurt her reputation among her peers in poetry circles.

Millay and her husband lived in a farmhouse in Austerlitz, NY for 25 years together. Her husband wanted to create a place that would be conducive to her writing. The house at Steepletop has now become a museum that is open to the public, where tours are available through the house and gardens.

Edna St. Vincent Millay passed away on October 19, 1950.

 
“Time Does Not Bring Relief”
 
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied   
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!   
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;   
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,   
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;   
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.   
There are a hundred places where I fear   
To go,—so with his memory they brim.   
And entering with relief some quiet place   
Where never fell his foot or shone his face   
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”   
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com