Monday, June 28, 2010


While I was on Facebook this morning a good friend had wrote a post about Chris Brown giving a wonderful tribute to the late Michael Jackson. I gave him a thumbs up and later check it out on You Tube and I was excited. Chris had the moves down packed, but when he attempted to perform MJ's inspirational anthem "Man In The Mirror" he started to break down in tears to the point where he began to cry. He was so overcome with grief that the audience started to applaud and give him love; love that he needs and the love that MJ would have given him despite of the incident that occured with his ex Rhianna.
Looking at the performance I could imagine what the award-winning star was going through; last year his idol had died while preparing to make a comeback, and he was told at the last minute that he couldn't perform due to sponsors and politics and the sentence he received. That had to have been devestating to be looked down upon while other celebrites who had done far more worse than he did (including R. Kelly who co-wrote Jackson's ballad "You Are Not Alone") got several passes. At least Chris apologize for what happen unlike the Pied Piper who still denies what he did to those girls despite it being on tape.
I could imagine Chris feeling sad because he had to wait for a whole year to give MJ who had praised him in his last interview with Ebony Magazine a heartfelt tribute. MJ's music has touched many people and his death still has many fans sad, but for Chris to have personally known and interacted with the Motown Legend has to be too much to bear, and I'm so glad that Chris was finally able to give the King of Pop the heartfelt tribute that he desereved and would have loved.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I still can't beleive that my favorite singer Michael Jackson has passed away.
It's been a year since he's gone to the Motown studio in Heaven and since his passing many people have kept his memory alive by playing his music and remembering the love he provided for many arouond the world
It's hard for me to accpept that he has gone; sometimes I can't say his name in the past tense but I feel his spirit whenever I watch his short films and whenever I see Chris Brown Usher and his sister Janet perform.
I would love for the media to address him by his government name and respect his kids

Friday, June 11, 2010


Bassit/songwriter Marvin Isley died last week after battling complications from diabetes. The talented and suave bassits/songwriter had died in Chicago after battling the disease for many years at the age of 56.
Marvin was the youngest member of The Isley Brothers, who had played bass and helped his older brothers co-write and produce several of their hits including "For The Love of You," "Sensuality," "Don't Say Goodnight," "Voyage To Atlantis" and the classic heavily sampled hit "Between The Sheets."
Marvin was born in Ohio on August 18th 1953 where he was exposed to music by his mother and older siblings Ronald, O'Kelly and Rudolph who was already pursuing their successful career. When his older brothers reached their peak, Marvin had relocated to Teaneck New Jersey with his family and began to play bass. After graduating from high school, he, his brother Ernie and cousin Chris Jasper had joined the older brothers band and later became members of the group making the Isley Brothers a sextet who conquered the music world with their classic albums "3+3" and the classic "The Heat Is On," which topped both the Soul and Pop album charts and released the classics "For The Love of You," "Fight The Power," and the radio hits "Make Me Say It Again Girl" and "Sensulaity." Other hits include "Voyage To Atlantis" "Here We Go Again" and "Between The Sheets" which was the last album to feature the classic sextet. Marvin, Chris and Ernie had left their older siblings and formed their own trio Isley/Jasper/Isley and released their first album "Broadway's Closer To Sunset Boulervard" which showed their Rock side, which sold poorly, due to many of their Soul music fans not accepting them perform anything form of music than R&B, so they retunred to their Soul roots with their classic "Caravan of Love" which topped the R&B charts followed and was remade by UK group The Housemartins, whose version topped the UK charts follow up "Irrestiable Woman." After releasing a third album in 1987, the group spilt and began to pursue other projects. In 1990, Marvin rejoined his older brother Ron after their brother Rudolph decided to retire and pursue a career in ministry four years after the death of their brother O'Kelly and their mother. Marvin started to play electric guitar until Ernie returned making the group a trio who recorded two hit albums "Tracks of Life" and the mulit-platnium classic "Mission To Please" which featured the album track "Let's Get Intimate" which the trio wrote and produced. The album became a hit and introduced the group to younger generation of music and an invittion to meet President Bill Clinton, but almost a year after the album's release, Marvin was forced to leave the group due to complications of diabetes, which sadly resulted in him having both of his legs ampultated. During an interview in 2001, he spoke about his regret of not making his health a priority.

"If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn't have happened," Isley told the Atlanta Jounral Constitution newspaper.

While he was retired, his music was being played on radio and was sampled by several artists including rap group Rottin Razkals who sampled the classic "Caravan of Love" for their hit "Hey Alright."

In addition to his brothers Ronald, Rudolph and Ernie, Marvin is also survived by his cousin Chris Jasper, sister-in-law Elaine, wife, son and two daughters.


Last week the Bowery Poetry Cafe was blessed with a hot performance by many of today's talented Gay and Lesbian and Gay-Friendly performers, who used their God-given talents to help promote the Emerald Cith Mixtape release party, and let me tell you I've never been to a show that was hot, creative and fun. Especially when they had only 15 minutes to have sound checks.
The show began with Kraven Seneca opening with some hot dance moves to the Black-Eye Peas that had the audience cheering followed by Harlem based rapper Infinitie performing her joint "Why U Hating" with Velocity award winning artist Baron who strutted around the room in Jody Watley mode, while Ifinitie brought her hardcore swagger and flow showing people that women can rock the mic without showing skin. Next up was Pop singer Dy'Ari performed his single "The Girl In Me" showing his well sculpted chest. Vocals started off light, but improved during the end of the song which got a great round of applause. While the crowd was socializing, Last Offence grabbed the mic and performed his latest single "Back It On Up" showcasing his flow and showing New York Midwestern and West Coast love. Jesse-O rocked the stage by performing his hit "I Can't Help It" along with incorporating two songs from his newly released album "Love And Go Crazy." What made his performance hot was the duet he sang with a male singer who Jesse showed intamcy with before performing a breaking out of bondage performance with the dancers. Next Dance artist Sir Ben Marx performed his hot dance single Miraclous Phenonamal wearin' athletic sweat suit and rope chain, while rapper Bry'nt rocked the crowd performing a medley of his hits "Dicks Over Chicks (The Slogan) and "Hello Goodbye" on another stage with posters of himself and with a microphone stand before going into the audience and asking the crowd to say 'get money.' Another hot highlight of the show was when Dancehall Ihsan performed her hot single "Jamaican Lady" which had all the guest of African and Caribbean descent grinding and shaking their groove things. A good and great move to show people that there are Caribbean people in the world who are Gay-Friendly and that being homophobic is not cool.
The show ended with Baron taking the stage and performing a remix of his hit "Golden" and expressing his gratitude of the show along with Lynne Rene, who helped coordinate the show.
After the show most of the artist mingled with the crowd and dance to sounds of DJ Stereotype playing hot joints by Janet Jackson, Lil' Kim, Biggie Smalls and other talented artists.

For those who are interested you can download the mixtape for free on this link

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When UK R&B trio Loose Ends emerged onto the music scene in 1985, they captured America by story with their music, lyrics and accent. The group was founded by Steve Nichol, a classically trained musician, who discovered Carl McIntoish at a club and Jane Eugene at a college fashion show.
The trio inked a deal with MCA Records and released their debut album "So Where Are You" which contained the single "Hanging On A String" which topped the US R&B Charts and became a favorite among music lovers, who loved the opening line 'Put your loving arms around me boy." The group appeared on many shows in the US including Soul Train, while their video were in heavy rotation on New York City Hot Tracks.
Their follow up Zarago fared better by peaking at # 7 on the US R&B/Soul charts thanks to the hit "Stay A Little While" which peaked at the top of the R&N/Soul Charts making them the first Black British Group to have two # 1 R&N hits in the US. Their follow up single "Slow Down" became a hit as well and many fans were waiting to see how far the group was going to go.
Sadly they didn't reach their peak. By the late 1980's the group became to have creative differences: Nichol had wanted to experiment with other styles of music while Jane and Carl wanted to continue recording Soul and Pop music so they two left and were replaced by two female vocalists Linda Carriere and Sunay Suleyman, and while the new line-up scored a top then hit with "Don't Be A Fool," many of the fans weren't feeling the new line-up, so they disbanded two years later.
During the late 1990's many Hip-Hop and R&B artists had began to honor the group's legacy by sampling and redoing their songs including Mariah Carey, who sampled the trio's hit "Stay Awhile" for the remix of her ballad "My All" which featured rap duo Pete Gunz and Lord Tariq, while Hip-Hop producer and DJ Pete Rock asked original vocalist Jane and Carl to sing on his single "Take Your Time" introducing the group's music and legacy to a new generation and legion of fans, while having longtime fans excited and anticipating a reunion. Well the trio has plans to reunite soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


While I was typing my tribute to former Temptation lead singer Ali-Ollie Woodson, I decided to whip out my "Emperors of Soul" boxed set and rock The Temptations' classic "Treat Her Like A Lady" a song that he co-wrote with Otis Williams which became a huge hit for the Motown legends peaking at # 2 on the R&B/Soul charts in 1984.
As I listened to his famous riffs, I began to reflect on seeing him.
It was October 1988 and my cousin had won tickets to see The Temptations and The O'Jays live at Radio City Music Hall. She was unable to attend becasue she and her ex had moved into their apartmetn so she gave decided to give them to me and her mother, my aunt Laurtette who like me was shocked to learn that we had front row seats.
I had enjoyed the O'Jays perform, but when the Tempts came onstage, I was excited, Dressed in a Black and yellow sweater, Black linen pants and pattern leather shoes, I was in my seat excited, and my aunt ssid Shawn look at the limo. They had a limo come from under the stage, and when the DJ were announcing the group, I was more excited. Introducing Otis Williams, Richard Street, Ron Tyson and Ali-Ollie Woodson I gagged.
'Whre happened to Dennis" I asked my self as the group performed "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" It didnt' matter because I was in my seat doing the routines amd singing along to the songs (Some I never heard before).
What I remember about the concert was how he performed bass singer Melvin Franklin's parts (Melvin was recovering from throat surgery) and how he enteracted with the crowd. He shocke my hands 5 times and gave me a thumbs up. He was suprsed to see a tall skinny Black teenager in the front row enjoying the sounds of Motown. After the concert me and Laurette went to the stage door to get autographes and Otis came to the baracade and signed my picture with my pen. Then Ali-Ollie came out and told us he would be back. He was escoritng his girlfrind to the limo. (Talk about class)
He came back and signed autographs for the fans. When my aunt pulled out a 20 she told him that was all she had his reply was 'that's alright." Then he took my pictue, signed it and shook my hand for the 5th time.
Welcome back I said
Thansk he said before he left.
It was a blessing that I had the authors of my favorite song autograph my picture (though I can't find it). I almost didnt' wash my hand for 3 days.


Motown Legend and former Temptations lead signer/songwriter Ali-Ollie Woodson died over the Memorial Day weekend after battling cancer. He was 58. Woodson is best known for his Gospel-trained singing and shouting, but he was also a talented songwriter, musician and arranger, who had co-wrote the group's 1984 comeback hit "Treat Her Like A Lady" with the group's founder Otis Williams (See Motown Flashback-The Tempts Classic Anthm for Women October 24, 2009), which is still a favorite among R&B music lovers around the world. This artile highlights his career.
Woodson was born on October 12, 1951 in Detroit Michiagan and like many Detroiters, he started singing at the church choir at a young age. It was singing in the choir that helped him learn apprection for harmonies. By the time he reached his adoloence and teenage years, he became fascinated by the sounds of Motown and a huge fan of The Temptations, who one of the label's and world's most loved, respected and emulated groups of all times. While many of the city's youth would rush to the Fox Theatre to see them perform, Ali-Ollie had the honor of seeing the group's lead singer David Ruffin on a daily basis.
"When I was nine or ten living in Detroit, every evening around dusk, I would see David Ruffin leave his house and go by on his motorcylce" Woodson said in the liner notes of The Temptation's boxed set "Emperors of Soul." I got a thrill out of that."
Shortly after his 19th birthday, Ali-Ollie was hired by Bill Pinkley of the Drifters as a singer and musician, but he his big break came in 1977 when he learned that The Temptations were leaving Motown for Atlantic and were in search of a lead singer to replace Dennis Edwards, the group's lead singer at the time. Ali-Ollie won them over with his pipes, but he lost in the hair department.
"For some strange reason he had Orangish hair, which was a little rough on the eyes" The Temptations' founder Otis Williams wrote in his autobiography "Temptations." "We weren't sure that he would blend in with the Tempt's visiual image, so we passed on him." Ali understood and later became the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes replacing Teddy Pendergrass and later working with various bands and singers and writing songs. In 1983, millions of fans had tuned into Motown 25, and along with Michael Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean." everybody enjoyed the seagment were the Temptations and The Four Tops performed a battle while singina a medley of their songs inlcuding Ali-Ollie, who got more than a thrill watching. On the group's Motown on Showtime special, Ali spoke of how a chill came over his body as he watched Levi sing The Tempt's classic "I Know I'm Losing You."
"As Levi looked and Dennis and sang It's all over your face. Someone's taking your plance, a cold chill came over my body and I was like could it be me?"
The answer was yes. Shortly after the Motown special, The Tempts hwere working on their "Back To Basics" album, when Edwards' personal issues was affecting his performances, and when the group knew that it was time to replace him, Melvin Franklin, the late bass singer had informed Otis that his mother was good friends with Ali's father, and when he informed his mother of the issues they were having with Edwards, she told Ali's father to get in touch with the group, who told him to meet them in Atlanta and when he arrived he didn't have that orangish colored hair anymore. In stead his hair was full of curls. "He done something with his hair, so he looked better." Williams wrote in "Temptations." "Richard asked him to squall for us and he squalled; the audition was over. We told him to be packed and ready to leave for Los Angelas, where we were recording Basics." Though the album was almost coplete, Ali did sang lead on the album track "Stop The World Right Here I Wanna Get Off" which was only a taste of his talent. When the group began to work on their next album, Ali-Ollie not only blessed the group with his vocals, he also displayed his songwriting and arranging talents, which would help The Temptations become more than a singing group. "Ollie was a songwriter, so when Melvin's interest in writing with me declined I paired up with Ollie. His strong suit was melodies; he played several instruments in addition to being a flexible singer" Williams wrote.
Former Earth, Wind & Fire member Al Mc Kay was also impressed with Ali-Ollie's talent. While he and Ralph Randolph was producing the group, he challenged them to be better musicians.
"Ollie challenged me. 'Man you should play piano like this'" Mc Kay said in the Emperor of Soul boxed set liner notes. "Then he went out there and showed me." In the fall of 1984, The Temptation's album "Truly For You" was released to rave reviews and became an instant classic and favorite among the fans and Williams, who with Ali-Ollie co-wrote the album's lead gold single "Treat Her Like A Lady" which became the group's biggest hit of the 1980's peaking at # 2 on the R&B/Soul charts and # 48 on the Pop charts.
"It's one of my favorites and not because I wrote part of it" Otis wrote in the liner note of "My Girl: The Very Best of The Temptations." "It was one of those songs that never seems to fade." The song also showed the critics and young kids who were rocking to the sounds of Hip-Hop, and New Wave that the Temptations were able to keep up with the times without losing their idenities. In fact,the song was so hot that many teenaged boys would sing and/lip-synch this song in talent shows and wound up winning first and second place. While Ali's vocal style was similiar to Edwards, he had the ability to ad-lib amd hit high notes in both tenor and falsetto style. He also had a style look and vibe that connected him with females and males.
"He had this swagger about himself. He was cool. He had a coolness about himself that was really very inviting," Billy Wilson, President of the Motown Alumni Association said.
Ali-Ollie also had great showman ship and a great sense of humor which he blended together in concert. Right before the group would perform, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," Ali would tell the men, 'fellas, I want you to turn to your woman, look her in the eyes and say baby,' and before you knew it, he was sining the opening line of the classic, which would have men shocked and laughing. Right before he performed "Treat Her Like A Lady," he would speak about the ladies needs, and would launch into the classic.
Ali also co-wrote the group's follow up albums "Touch Me" and "To Be Continued.." along with singing on the singles "Do You Really Love Your Baby," "Lady Soul" "To Be Continued,," and "Someone" which showcased his Gospel roots. During his first tenuere with the Temptations they had embarked on a successful tour with The Four Tops on the legendary T-N-T tour and performed on the special "Motown Returns To The Apollo" and on "Moonlighting" where the star Bruce Williams asked the group to perform on his single "Under The Boardwalk" which became a huge hit in the UK and in Europe.
Ali-Ollie was a great asset to The Temptations, but unfortantley, he began to have personal issues and show up late for performances, which would force Otis to confront him about his latness with pep talks in hotel rooms. "I've been around some singing ass brothers and you can hold your own wit the best of them and I'm including David Ruffina nd Dennis Edwards. But if you don't get your act together, you're going to be sorry" Otis told him constantly. In January 1987, he was let go and Dennis Edwards had retuuned to the group, but during the summer of 1988. Edwards left permantely, and Ali-Ollie was given another opportunity and he didn't disappoint. In fact, when the group performed at Radio City Music Hall and at Showtime on The Apollo, the fans were happy that he had returned. Especially when the group performed "Treat Her Like A Lady."
"I had my ups and downs" he confessed in the "Emperors of Soul" liner notes. "But I picked myself up and dusted myself off. I survived." When he retunred, Motown had been sold to MCA Records and under the leadership of Jheryl Busby, the group had recorded two albums "Special" and "Milestone" and scored with the singles "All I Want From You." "Special" and "Soul To Soul" which became a favorite among fans thanks to the video being in heavy rotation on Video Soul. While the latter album wasn't a big hit, it was the group's 50th album and critics had noticed Ali's ability to make a song his own. Especially on the album's single "Hoops of Fire." which he sang to his wife while cutting it. "My girlfriend at the time-my wife now-was sitting in the control room and I looked straight at her. I said baby I love you baby' and sang the first lines.
During his second tenure with the Motown legends, Ali-Ollie was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame and received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The group. In September 1995, The Tempations released their classic album "For Lovers Only" which featured their renditions of classic love songs including "Some Enchated Evening," "Time After Time," "You Send Me" and "Life Is But A Dream" and while the album received excellent reviews, it was a bitter sweet moment for the group. While recording, the group's bass singer Melvin Franklin had died, leaving a void that has yet to be filled, and the lack of promotion and changes of Presidents at Motown forced Ali-Ollie to leave along with a diagnosis of throat cancer, something he would battle for the rest of his life. He was replaced by Terry Week. While the group would gain larger success with the release of the mini-series and it's double platnium album "Phoneix Rising," Ali-Ollie continued to be active in the world of entertainement. He made numerous guest appearances on many televison shows including the short-lived series "Good News" where he played a member of the choir and on The Jamie Foxx, where he played a patient in a mental hosptial and performed "Treat Her Like A Lady" on piano. In addition to starring in several musicals, he also pursued a solo career releasing his music independebtly as well as forming his own group Emperors of Soul with Richard Street a former member of The Temptations and Franklin's cousin for a number of years before joining Dennis Edwards' group The Temptations Revue, where the group won reviews for their performances of "Some Enchantment Evening" and his signature hit. Woodson had also temporarily rejoined Otis' line-up for their 2002 Japanese tour when member Barrington Bo Henderson wasn't able to perform with them due to visa problems.
In late 2008 Ali-Ollie was diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitlaized for many weeks before dying from the disease in Southern California after battling it for 18 months.
Many are sadden by his death including Wilson, who describe him as a cool and caring person. "Woodson was "always a gentleman and always polite and kind to everybody. If we ever asked him to do anything, he never said, 'well, it's going to cost you.' He'd always say, 'yeah, let's go,'" said Wilson
Survivors include his wife Juanita, several children, fans, collegues and Temptations Otis Williams, Richard Street, Ron Tyson and Dennis Edwards who he was blessed to perform with.
Ali-Ollie Woodson was a very talented man, who shared his gift of singing and writing with the world, and he left us with one of The Temptations' biggest hits and favorite songs "Treat Her Like A Lady" a song that will be played for many years and will hopefully let the new breed of aspiring singers know that you have to have showmanship, classy swagger and talent.

Temptation Forever

This tribute is deciated to the memory of Ali-Ollie Woodson.