Volume 19 Number 8 â€˘ $4.95 U.S./$5.95 Canada
VOLUME. 19, NO. 8
table of contents 6
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: BISHOP WAYNE
TIME, TESTED + TRUE FEATURED MUSIC FROM GIL SCOTT-HERON, ALEX BUGNON, PATRICE RUSHEN, CORINNE BAILEY RAE, MAYSA AND WHITNEY HOUSTON COVER STORY OF SOLDIERS, SAVIORS AND HEARTBREAKERS – THE NEW SADE HOTTNESS 2010 CADILLAC SRX… SUPERB PERFORMANCE, SUBTLE ELEGANCE AND 2010 BUICK LACROSSE… BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: RISING STAR ARIKA KANE
INSPIRED EDITOR’S NOTES
INSPIRED WE HEARD
REFLECTIONS BY MARILYN A. BATCHELOR
INSPIRED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: BRO. JOEL MASSEY
REMEMBERING TEDDY PENDERGRASS
K E E P I N G
Y O U
I N D U S T R Y
C O N N E C T E D
EDITORIAL VICE PRESIDENT/MANAGING EDITOR Tosha Y. Thomas MUSIC EDITOR A. Scott Galloway THEINDI/LAKEVIEW MEDIA PUBLISHER Ron Daniels EDITOR Rhonda Hyman GOSPEL/URBAN INSPIRED URBAN INSPIRED EDITOR Lin. Woods CONTRIBUTOR Licia Shearer CONTRIBUTOR Marvin Woods, Jr. MIC CHECK/HIP-HOP
Justin Miller L I F E S T Y L E / FA S H I O N LIFESTYLE EDITOR Tosha Y. Thomas ART ART DIRECTOR Vera Paras GRAPHIC DESIGN Delvin Stevenson WEST COAST CONTRIBUTORS
The Urban Buzz, Tiffany Jameson EAST COAST CONTRIBUTORS
Isha Edwards, Daylle Deanna Schwartz, Gerald A. Radford SALES & ADVERTISING
Miller London firstname.lastname@example.org SR. ACCOUNTS MGR. INDEPENDENT LABELS David Lilly email@example.com HOME VIDEO/THEATRICAL RELEASES Ron Daniels 661.947.6904 DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE AFFAIRS Warren Griffin Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org MAJOR LABELS
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM VP/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SPECIAL EVENTS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DIRECTOR, UN RADIO & UN TV INDEPENDENT LABEL RELATIONS/MUSIC DIR., UN RADIO/UNTV INDEPENDENT ARTISTS RELATIONS
Arthur Mitchell San Diego - 619.401.4014 Shataya Mitchell 404.447.3029 Chanda Simon D.C. Ensley Harold Whaley 619.717.6019 Kevin Briscoe 619.401.4014 Steven Topham 619.401.4014
C I R C U L AT I O N
David Lilly C O N F E R E N C E C O O R D I N AT O R
Carole Carper/PMI MARKETING SERVICES MAINSTREAM/URBAN AC CD GOSPEL/URBAN INSPIRED CD COMPILATION DVD
Tosha Y. Thomas Lin. Woods David Lilly
© The URBAN NETWORK, LLC
email@example.com • www.urbannetwork.com © THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
Well, we are in 2010 and the world has not come to an end. Our new president has been in office one full year and the country has not fallen completely apart as some had predicted. In fact, if you ask most you will find that they are still optimistic about the future; even though the polls say that the confidence level has changed dramatically. In a perfect world we could be farther ahead if the parties would just give hope and change a chance. If the politicians had approved the health plan even though it was not perfect; it would have been a great start. We could address the economic condition of our country while we worked on how to get our troops home, while leaving the world in a some what safe condition; as safe as one can be during these times of terrorism. What is the opposition afraid of, that he might do a good job and the Republican Party would loose face or political presence? Each party should be concerned about the well-being of the American people and not play politics with our lives. Most of our politicians are well off and don’t have the same problems as most Americans, so there is no immediacy to address issues that could positively affect our lives. They can’t play political games with our lives. I think that we need to vote for the politicians that are suited for the job and not just because we have a loyalty to our party. I feel that is why we have a leader like President Obama. It seems that the whole country was watching the Massachusetts election as if it was going to change the world. I hope the new Senator will look at things based on the need of the people and not just give his party another vote against the Democrats. The parties came together for the good of the nation when it came to war, but we can’t come together to help save American lives through a new, but maybe not perfect health plan. What if the Democrats had played the game of politics with President Bush and his war efforts as they are playing with our new President? It is time to stop playing politics and put this country back on its feet. Greed and anarchy destroyed Rome, Egypt, and Britain; lets us not go down that road. We must encourage our friends, family and co-workers to let our political officials know we want to give change a chance. If we are not careful we could become the United States of the Eastern Hemisphere. Like 2009 I m gone…Happy 2010!
Miller London CEO & Publisher The Urban Network www.urbannetwork.com
© THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
COMPILED BY TOSHA Y. THOMAS
GRAMMY WEEKEND RE-CAP There were a lot of celebs in town for Los Angeles’ Grammy week. From receptions, to hot concerts and the amazing show itself, a good time was had by all. Check out some of the hot shots from some of the festivities.
Dyanna Williams hangs out with UN’s Tosha Y. Thomas at the Kiss n’ Grind showcase that featured Grammy nominated artists Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Viktor Duplaix, Foreign Exchange and Robert Glasper.
Josefa Salinas, Michael Mauldin, Jerry Boulding, Ernie Singleton, Cliff Russell, Miller London, Greg Street at the 2010 pre-Grammy mixer, “A Toast to the Urban Executive”.
Dennis Wilson (l) and Vince Wilburn, Jr. (nephew of Miles Davis) pose for this photo at the MusiCares – Person of the Year event honoring Neil Young during GRAMMY Week. Miles Davis Properties, LLC donated the “Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Album Collection,” a 71-disc set to the MusiCares Silent Auction. PHOTO CREDIT: KAREN SUNDELL.
Michael Mauldin (l) is honored by Ernie Singleton (r).
Chillin’ at Kiss n Grind are Kia Jones-Glen, recording artist Nicki Richards and UN’s A. Scott Galloway and Tosha Y. Thomas. Ernie Singleton salutes UN’s Miller London (l). © THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
Gramminated artists unite! Showing at lot of love before the Kiss n Grind show are: Foreign Exchange, Eric Roberson, Ann Nesby, Elsa Lathan, Tosha Y. Thomas, Brett Baker, D Mo Macklin, Michelle Renee, Shah Copeland and Ben O’Neill.
Bam….Eric Roberson Officially Gramminated!
The sweetest person in the industry Ann Nesby just picked up her Grammy medallion at the NARAS Nominees reception and is seen here with UN’s Tosha Y. Thomas.
A. Scott Galloway, Nicki Richards and SESAC’s James Leach hang out at Kiss n Grind.
Fellow Grammy-nominated recording artists Eric Roberson and Ann Nesby met for the first time this week.
© THE URBAN NETWORK
Grammy-nominated crooner Anthony Hamilton poses with UN’s Tosha Y. Thomas after picking up his Grammy medallion at the NARAS Nominees reception.
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
Looking for a crowd pleasing, truly outstanding act with showmanship to burn? We've got just the Artist for you; that Artist is hot and sultry, Bishop Wayne. When it comes to outstanding R&B, Bishop Wayne's music is in a league of its own. Bishop Wayne's independently produced CD, "I'm Just Me," is one classy musical ride, delivering to fans 16 tracks of what Bishop Wayne describes as "Alternative R&B". To elaborate further his style: it is a combination of the romantic and sexy 'old school style R&B', (in the vein of such unforgettable greats as Marvin Gaye and Al Green), combined with a more contemporary style, (Tracy Chapman, John Legend); mix in a little Santana-esque guitar work, a little Bruce Hornsby-esque piano work, backing the super smooth vocal capabilities very distinctive of Bishop Wayne's sound. One more element that is added that makes Bishop Wayne's sound unique, (even beyond the unique combination of elements so far), is the 'island vibe' mixed in, with songwriting skills comparable and reminiscent to the late, great and legendary Lucky Dube. Bishop Wayne has performed at a variety of venues including festivals, concerts and clubs, from the smaller, intimate settings to the larger venues like the opening act for Ryan Shaw, making him an excellent choice as the opening act for your event both national and international. Bishop Wayne has a steadily growing fan base and has recently been heavily covered in the press both nationally and worldwide, and is gaining interest in the media, so fans are well aware of his upcoming tour, and are looking forward to seeing Bishop Wayne perform live. Since the release of Bishop Wayne's CD "I'm Just Me, tracks from the CD have gained an impressive and steadily increasing amount of airplay on a number of mainstream and internet radio stations, both nationally and worldwide, during the on going radio airplay campaign that is currently underway for the CD's promotion. Bishop Wayne is also gaining a significant amount of requests as a guest on radio stations. Interested execs can listen to tracks off of Bishop Wayne's excellent CD "I'm Just Me", gain info, and watch videos and more by visiting: http://www.myspace.com/bishopw. Currently Bishop Wayne and management are seeking and accepting further dates for a US tour to promote this new CD, as well as seeking corporate sponsorship to further extend Bishop Wayne's tour beyond US borders to embrace fans worldwide. Bishop Wayne has expressed a desire to perform for fans in such countries and locations as: England, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Norway, Greece, all of Europe and Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, Dubai, Central and South America, Australia and other destinations. Talent buyers, venues, concert and festival promoters that are interested in booking Bishop Wayne for an upcoming event, or headlining act, please contact Bishop Wayne's management at 813-967-4950 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ÂŠ THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
GRAMMY WINNERS AND NOMINEES TAKE CENTER STAGE AT BMI’S ‘HOW I WROTE THAT SONG’ PANEL S P O N S O R E D
LOS ANGELES TIMES, BRAND X & LEVI’S® U.S. performing right organization BMI presented a Grammy-infused version of its acclaimed “How I Wrote That Song” panel discussion series on Saturday, January 30 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, Brand X, and Levi’s, the discussion featured insight from Grammy Award-winning rapper and songwriter Common; multiple Grammynominated singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat; multiple Grammy-winning rapper and songwriter Nas; multiple Grammy-winning producer Sebastian Krys; 2010 Best New Artist Grammy-nominee Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band; and super film and music producer Salaam Remi. BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton and the Times Pop Music Critic Ann Powers moderated the conversation, which focused on the composing processes of the panelists, whose hits include “The People,” “Testify,” “Bubbly,” “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” “Hate Me Now,” “Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” and more. PHOTOS BY MARK SULLIVAN/WIREIMAGE
(top row l-r) are: BMI Associate Director, Writer-Publisher Relations, Nicole Plantin; BMI Senior Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations, Phillip R. Graham; rapper/songwriter Common; singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat; best new artist nominee musician Zac Brown of The Zac Brown Band; BMI Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations Atlanta, Catherine Brewton, music producer, Sebastian Krys; BMI Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations, New York; BMI Senior Director, Writer-Publisher Relations, New York Wardell Malloy. Pictured (bottom row l-r) BMI Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations, Nashville, Jody Williams; Los Angeles Times Pop Music critic Ann Powers; BMI Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations, Los Angeles Barbara Cane; BMI Assistant Vice President, Writer Publisher Relations, Latin Music, Delia Orjuela and rapper/songwriter NAS attend the BMI “How I Wrote That Song” panel discussion at House of Blues Sunset Strip.
Common and Colbie Caillat talk shop.
Pictured (l-r) are: BMI Senior Vice President WriterPublisher Relations Phillip R. Graham, artist/songwriter Tanvi Shah and Senior Vice President Performing Rights Allison.
The How I Wrote That Song” panelists
© THE URBAN NETWORK
and Salaam Remi chop it up.
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
the tale. This is not your grandfather’s Gil. Gone are the alternating militant jazz and soothing Fender Rhodes. In their place are ghostly industrial tracks provided by alternative rock producer Richard Russell (also owner of XL Records). Over those tracks, Brother Gil drops one the most blood-curdling spoken word blues albums ever committed to CD. I’m talking hair-raising sung covers of Robert Johnson’s “Me and The Devil” and Bobby Blue Bland’s “I’ll Take Care of You,” arresting poems such as “Where Did the Night Go,” “The Crutch” and particularly “Running.” The only relief comes at the opening and closing bookends “On Coming From a Broken Home” on which he shares his love for the women in his life; his mother and grandmother. Though the project clocks in at just over a half hour, it wipes you out like a 3-CD set of Cecil Taylor would. For maximum effect, I dare you to listen to it alone…in the dark.
BY A. SCOTT GALLOWAY Urban Network Music Editor
Seawind REUNION (Seawind Jazz)
Growing up, it was so inspiring to discover a band of amazing musicians embracing Christian themes of faith and brotherhood and turning these sentiments into some of the funkiest and hottest soul-jazz-pop music imaginable. With so much talent in the band – from leader drummer Bob Wilson and lead singer Pauline Wilson to master horn arranger/brass man Jerry Hey and keyboardist/saxophonist/composer Larry Williams, it was sadly inevitable that they would not stay together for long. This pioneering 7piece band formed in Hawaii got four amazing albums onto the market from 1976-1981 before calling it quits. Last month, I was thrilled to find out that not only are the group’s dynamic first two albums available on CD (Seawind and Window of a Child, originally recorded for CTI), but 6 of the 7 members also recorded a wonderful new CD titled Reunion their first full release in 20 years! Appropriately, it contains both new songs plus new arrangements of past gems such as “He Loves You” (f/ special guest and fan Al Jarreau), “The Devil is a Liar,” “Follow Your Road” and “Free.” I am thrilled to report that the new music continues the compositional depth and emotional commitment of the classics that came before. Highlights include the funky bass-driven groove “You’re My Everything,” an instrumental tribute to the great Wayne Shorter (titled “Wayne”) and the gorgeous “Sunshadow.” Only officially released in Japan for now, the CD is nonetheless available to all via the Website www.seawindjazz.com. Be looking for my interview with the reunited soul soothers soon on our Website.
Alex Bugnon GOING HOME (Xela)
For two decades, Swiss-born keyboardist Alex Bugnon has been a romantic yet energetic force on the contemporary jazz scene - in possession of chameleonic skills befitting him as a straight ahead jazz piano leader and as a soul sideman. On his new album Going Home, he boldly explores that music – his first love – more explicitly than ever before. From originals inspired by his early idols Horace Silver and Ahmad Jamal to covers of old favorites from WAR’s “The World is a Ghetto” and Herbie Hancock’s “Oliloqui Valley,” to an adaptation of “Nothra Dona di Maortse” (a song he discovered at his father’s funeral), the 8-song project taps deep roots from multiple plains. “Going Home represents me returning to what I really love to do…which is to play as hard as I possibly can,” he states. Joining him for this careerredefining project are old friends Poogie Bell on drums and Victor Bailey on bass, among others. This is the best album of Bugnon’s catalog, thus far, and the first on his own Xela Records imprint. Support this!
I’M NEW HERE
Drummer Cindy Blackman has had an enviable career as a touring musician with rocker Lenny Kravitz, as a side woman for many jazz artists and as a leader in her own right for albums that have stretched from straight ahead jazz to forward thinking contemporary projects such as her previous double-disc Music for the New Millennium. Her latest CD finds her paying tribute to the most influential musician of her lifetime, Tony Williams. Williams, who died unnecessarily at 51 due to health facility neglect, was a drummer of galvanizing power and ceaselessly searching musical ambition. Miles Davis praised him for pushing any musician he played with to their highest potential. Blackman’s reverence is palpable on Another Lifetime, on which she reexamines many of the pieces he created in his pioneering and chameleonic jazz-rock fusion unit band The Tony Williams Lifetime. It takes guts to even attempt covering this music – the originals of which literally crackle with electricity and the rawness of freshly chiseled granite. This recording is a little too polished in places, but Blackman never ceases to bring the fire to the proceedings, representing her mentor to the fullest. She made some interesting choices, particularly as it came to including (or not) the lyrics on classics such as “Beyond Games” and “There Comes a Time.” But she plumbs Tony’s singular gift for funk in her original spoken word piece “40 years of Innovation,” flies free in a sax/drums duet with Joe Lovano on “Love Song” (from Tony’s avant garde ‘60s Blue Note period) and especially on the third of three versions of “Vashkar” titled “The Alternate Dimension Theory” where she and the band stretch into the outer limits. I imagine Tony smiling down after hearing this one and offhandedly remarking, “Yeah…sharing.” Musicians include Mike Stern, Vernon Reid, Doug Carn, Carlton Holmes, Benny Rietveld, David Santos…and Patrice Rushen on a majestic “Wildlife.”
Gil Scott-Heron scared me half to death the first time I heard I’m New Here, the word shaman’s first work in 15 years. As I listened long past the witching hour…under cover of darkness…alone, this work literally sounded like what it is - a once powerful black man that’s been to Hell and back and lived to tell
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
MASTERS OF AMERICAN MUSIC
SHOUT IT OUT
The acclaimed television series has released four of it finest jazz related programs on DVD in limited edition digitally re-mastered editions that are a must or connoisseurs’ libraries. We’re talking Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and a fourth disc titled “The Story of Jazz” that polls a plethora of greats – many now deceased including Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Illinois Jacquet, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine and many more. Seeing these timeless artists profiled and sharing their side of the jazz story in such a first class presentation is priceless.
U.K. based Soul Brothers Records is to be commended for bringing to CD for the first time Patrice Rushen’s third and funkiest Prestige Records CD, Shout it Out (1976) onto the market. The remastering is full and pristine, and the 8 tracks within bowl you over with deep, deep, DEEP funk…and taste. Heavily contributing to the funk factor are drummer James Gadson, former Earth Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay (check out The Hump”), percussionist Bill Summers, and then-Chuck Mangione bassist Charles Meeks (“Shout it Out,” “Roll with the Punches” and “Let There Be Funk”). The single from the album was the tamer, uplifting “Let Your Heart Be Free” and Quiet Storm radio got much drive time mileage out of the lovely “Stepping Stones” (composed by Charles Mims) and the exquisite “Yolon” (composed by L.A. unified school district music program savior Reggie Andrews). Throughout, Patrice is a wonder – singing, playin’, groovin’, composin’ and laying the foundation for breakthroughs ahead such as “Look Up,” “Haven’t You Heard” and, eventually, “Forget Me Nots.” All that funk…started here.
Hiromi A PLACE TO BE (Telarc)
Following her escalating work in the jazz fusion realm and the acoustic trio project she participated in with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, Hiromi returns to solo piano with this impressive CD. The lady’s piano dexterity and versatility matched with her penchant for compositional forms that stretch from Phillip Glass (“BQE”) to Chick Corea (“Sicilian Blue”) reveal much about the crazy classical, jazz hybrid that bursts forth from the creative nooks of her cranium. Put this on and prepare for your head to swim in a place where brilliance meets beauty.
Maysa A WOMAN IN LOVE (Shanachie)
Singer Maysa Leak has left indelible footprints behind her as a guest of Stevie Wonder, as a co-member of Incognito and as a solo artist. But she has never created a full CD statement quite as powerful as this one. From sexy samba of the opener “Am I Wrong (For Lovin’ You),” a pendulum swing duet with Will Downing titled “Love Theory” and a slick surprisingly contemporary take on Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” to a lovely rendering of Michel Legrand & The Bergman’s “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” the percolating title track and a lovely version of the Michael Jackson chestnut “The Lady in My Life” from a woman’s p.o.v., it’s one of those perennial collections for which all the stars aligned and everything came together just right. Perfectly balanced between choice covers such as “Willow Weep For Me” and “I Put a Spell on You” to a spicy new original titled “Honey Bee,” this is indeed a woman in love with her craft…and that makes it Maysa to the third power.
Whitney Houston WHITNEY HOUSTON: DELUXE ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Legacy/Arista)
Just call it a Whitney fan’s wet dream (like her standing in the ocean on the back cover). This dual CD and DVD presentation offers the original hit-laden 10-song album plus great dance remixes of “Thinking About You” and “Someone for Me” (which should have been a U.S. single) and a live rendition of “Greatest Love of All.” The 41-minute DVD gives us four music videos including “You Give Good Love,” “Saving All My Love For You” and “How Will I Know,” plus her 1983 TV debut on “The Merv Griffin Show” singing “Home” and the Arista 10th Ann. Party live version of “I Am Changing.” Deluxe booklet includes lots of photos and a Q&A with Svengali Clive Davis, but it would have been nice to hear reflections from others involved with the album such as Jermaine Jackson, Raymond Jones and Kashif.
Corinne Bailey Rae THE SEA (Capitol)
With the sudden tragic death of her husband, it is not surprising that Ms. Rae’s sophomore album is largely a way for her to mend and to say goodbye. What is surprising is how much light there is instead of darkness. Songs like “Feels Like the First Time” recall the joy he brought while he was here while the beautiful “I Would Like to Call it Beauty” and “Diving For Hearts” find her weaving her pain into reflective poetry. This project is a deeper step inward for the singer/songwriter who came out of nowhere a few years back with a billowy debut. The Sea marks a giant step onward and upward.
© THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
Of Soldiers, Saviors and Heartbreakers –
G A L LOWAY
The enigma that is Sade reared its lovely head December 8, 2009, and sent hearts racing with the early Christmas present of what instantly became Single of the Year, “Soldier of Love.” Soldier of Love is also the title track of the 50 million-selling and 3x-Grammy-winning quartet’s sixth album and first in ten years. In no rush to feed the beast or face the nations, the foursome poetically convened from four corners of the globe at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio when inspiration was as full and ripe as Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.” Ravenously anticipated yet totally unexpected and completely captivating in its innovations, the song sent a shockwave of electricity through a dull pop music scene with its bracing combination of beats, message and soul opera. “I’m at the borderline of my faith / I’m at the hinterland of my devotion.” More maelstrom than Quiet Storm, this audiophile attention arrester is a razor sharp reflection of the reamed-raw times everyone it seems is fighting through – artistically, spiritually, financially, and globally – yet penned with a lyric of vague obliqueness chased with defiant optimism into which everyone can slot their singular cross to bear. Whether you’re wrestling Wall Street woes, struggling through unemployment, nursing crises of faith or fighting at war on behalf of your country abroad, somewhere in the smoky mist you will recognize yourself among the song’s walking wounded with heart in hand.
“I’ve been torn up inside / I’ve been left behind / So I ride / I have the will to survive / In the Wild, Wild West / Trying my hardest…doin’ my best / To stay alive.” With its high voltage jolts and martial cadences of soulsonics as soundtrack, “Soldier of Love” found the four musketeers of Sade (singer/lyricist Helen Folasade Adu, guitarist/saxophonist/mood shaman Stuart Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale and bassist Paul S. Denman) riding back into town in funky formation – busting down barricades along both the battlefields of life and global pop. Their canon torn flag bore two messages. On one side to the world at large: “Stay strong – Love will prevail.” On the other side to the music industry: “We’re comin back, kickin’ ass, reclaiming soldiers…and collectin’ up more.”
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VOLUME 19 19 NUMBER NUMBER 68 VOLUME
There’s not another song on the album with the feel of this riveting single. The project sauté’s in a somber ambience for the group that dually embraces grassroots strains of blues and country but with the airy spaciousness of a Mark Isham (or “Cottonbelly”) film score. It is a 10-song set of evocative and introspective mood pieces with not one sexy soothing love song in the lot. For a woman who seems to have the best of artistic worlds – global success, a corporation that works on her timetable, financial security, a husband and a daughter – her themes continue to paint her as not queen but “King of Pain” (as the song on her last album insisted – move over Mr. Sumner). No matter her worldly contentment, the woman understands and deeply empathizes with pain…and seems ever-ready to return there on behalf of like lost souls…in need. Sade’s core followers will faithfully melt into the molten dark chocolate melancholy and stir in its bittersweet bliss. The opener “The Moon and The Sky” is a heart-grabber with its sweet weeping guitar refrain and the bleak beauty of its lyric. This will likely be the next single with its aching sentiment: “You’ll always know the reason why the song you heard will stay on your mind and ain’t gon’ let you go, no / You were the moon and I the endless sky.” “Morning Bird” is a mesmerizing meditation on some betrayal with its cinematic layering of piano, strings, voice and percussion. “Babyfather” is easily the sunniest of the songs, a reflection of her daughter’s devoted daddy set to a mod reggae feel and an endlessly repeating chorus. “Long Hard Road” is an acoustic guitar blues reminiscent of vintage Bill Withers – sadness laced with resolve, reassurance and an aura of moving on with one’s life. “Be That Easy” boasts a lazy country Sunday lope as Sade swoon-croons in the wide open spaces about “just fallin’ somewhere…” She even whistles at the end. “Bring Me Home” goes on about a barren emptiness inside that is ironically set to a hummable melody and a bouncing beat. “Skin” is about shedding off a love that wasn’t meant to be like so much rattlesnake dermis – set to a light techno groove with a lyrical nod to Michael Jackson. “The Safest Place” closes the 42 minute sojourn with our heroine cradled in graceful guitar and the loving arms of her “savior of love” in a picturesque place of lyrical serenity. However, I have saved a different song for last. “In Another Time” is the “pearl” masterpiece of Soldier of Love…a spare comforter for dashing despair that finds Sade at her soothing, sympathetic best. “You’ve been down, girl,” she consoles, “Their whispers are hailstones in your face // They don’t know what to do with something so good.” Word is that this song may have been inspired by a girl who has suffered abuse from both her parents. After the sweetest succession of picked and pendulum guitars, string quartet, piano, violin, rim shot, and the sumptuous, heroically swooping return of Stuart on tenor, Sade assures, “Darling, I just want you to know your tears won’t leave a trace / In another time, girl…in another place.” And though it clocks in as the longest song of the ten, you wish it went on for another ten. I continue to be spellbound by the swagger of the planet’s most bewitching barefoot Braveheart…and her brotherhood of masterful minimalist monks.
A . S C O T T G A L L O WAY
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VOLUME VOLUME19 19NUMBER NUMBER 86
TEST-DRIVEN & REVIEWED BY TOSHA Y. THOMAS
2010 SRX… SUPERB PERFORMANCE, SUBTLE ELEGANCE Very rarely do I get the chance to test drive a vehicle on more than one coast, let alone in two extreme climates; but recently I was granted that opportunity with the sexy SRX Luxury Crossover SUV. Juxtapose if you will, the sunny skies of Southern California and the blistering cold air whipping off the Great Lakes of Michigan; then you’ll understand the excitement of putting the SRX through the paces on various terrains. Whether cruising up the coast in Southern California or navigating the ice covered roads of metropolitan Detroit, the SRX stepped up to the plate and delivered a secure and luxurious ride; no matter the driving condition. The V-6, 3 liter engine with its 6-speed automatic transmission was equally responsive on the winding roads of the Malibu Hills as it was on the snow covered streets of Detroit. The SRX is forward thinking in its early alerts for icy roads on the instrument panels as well as the 4 wheel vented brakes with an anti-locking brake system; both of which came in handy after a fresh dusting of snow camouflaged a city block of sheer ice. The ‘Ice Possible Drive with Care’ alert was a welcomed surprise in the Driver Information Center as it primed this driver for the impending traffic conditions. The All-Speed Traction Control feature also came in handy as I avoided fishtailing around a hairpin turn. The traction control was equally response on the unzpaved gravel laden roads the seaside communities of Ventura, CA.
Entertainment System was great for passengers (the niece and nephews loved it), the 40 gig hard-drive put my iPod to shame as my favorite play lists blared through the 10 Bose speakers and the leather appointed interior blanketed the SRX in extreme luxury, but all the small and special touches put this crossover in the upper echelon of the luxury crossover segment. The jeweled-interior turning signal indicators added a royal touch to the SRX. The top-stitching evokes a pride in craftsmanship and the coup de’ grace for this reviewer was the subtle fade-out of the sound system for an incoming call. No abrupt disconnect of the entertainment; it’s the little things like that made this driving experience complete.
While I appreciated the easy and adaptive driving experience that the SRX is capable of, the subtle nuances were just as impressive. Don’t get me wrong, the Rear
MSRP $47,010 For more info on the SRX visit www.cadillac.com
2010 BUICK LACROSSE… BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME In the past, the Buick brand was synonymous with the octogenarian sector; those days are long gone. Sixty years later, the design of the all-new LaCrosse has widened its new fan base to include a younger and hipper crowd. Gone are the days of the little old lady from Pasadena-persona and now it has been replaced with the sexy and free-spirited consumer who appreciates the finer things in life; without breaking the budget. The only thing that still has remnants of the ‘old’ Buick style is the front grille, but even that is slight with its rounded corners. The profile has completely been revamped with flowing lines that cascade up over and around the frame. Without disrespecting the design engineers, the LaCrosse has a European look and feel that is poised to challenge their foreign counterparts. The new, sleek and curvaceous body style of the LaCrosse appeals to the new consumer without totally alienating Buick’s loyal brand enthusiast. The feel of the interior of the new LaCrosse has also been updated. With defined ‘quarters’ the driver and the passengers have integrated zones. While the driver is definitely in control with an ergonomically sound cabin, the passenger is part of the driving experience with features like dual climate control and a sweeping dashboard; instead of an afterthought. Even though the LaCrosse is experiencing rebirth if you will, it’s not too advanced to lose the level of sophistication Buick has worked so hard to achieve. None of the bells and whistles like the navigation system, Bluetooth capability and satellite radio are too cumbersome to use and all are integrated into the design of the LaCrosse seamlessly.
Buicks of the past. Dispensing a respectable 255 ponies through a 3 liter, V6 engine; the LaCrosse is not a sedan with sports car envy. It’s a sedan, that holds its own in its class. Additionally, the fuel efficiency of the LaCrosse is equally as respectable with 17/27. Buick is not leaving behind their loyal consumers; they are bringing them into the future… one car at a time. MSRP around $33,000 For more info on the Buick LaCrosse visit www.buick.com
The look of the LaCrosse is not the only element that has been overhauled. It’s no secret that speed and agility were NOT terms that were synonymous with the © THE URBAN NETWORK
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
ARIKA KANE Frankie Beverly and Arika Kane
Valerie Simpson, Arika Kane and Nick Ashford
Radio One’s Kathy Brown, All Access’ Jerry Boulding, Arika Kane and CEO of BSE Recordings, Louis Humphrey.
BSE Recordings rising star, singer/songwriter ARIKA KANE is taking the music industry by storm. July 2008, ARIKA met Louis Humphrey, CEO of BSE Recordings, and he heard her soulful voice with a Pop flair and knew right away she was the female artist he was looking for. Not only could she sing, but she was serious and disciplined. ARIKA is no stranger to the music world; her parents are musicians.
CEO of BSE Recordings, Louis Humphrey, Arika Kane and DJ Red Alert.
ARIKA officially signed with BSE, August 2008. ARIKA’s hit single, “Bcuz I Luv U,” is climbing the charts on Urban/Rhythmic radio reaching over 5 million listeners; ranking #8 on the Rhythmic/Indie charts, #2 on the Urban/Indie charts and the single continues to receive excellent response in all major markets. ARIKA has interacted with various icons in the music industry from All Access’ Jerry Boulding to sharing the stage with Radio One’s Kathy Brown and world renowned DJ Red Alert. National CBS radio host Barry Z and veteran Billboard editor/pop-culture commentator Larry Flick of Sirius radio both fell in love with ARIKA’s sultry music and personality. She has performed at Ashford & Simpson’s famous Sugar Bar venue in NY and received rave reviews for her performance. ARIKA appeared on ABC television in Memphis, TN promoting her appearance on stage with legendary R&B artists Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, BabyFace and Charlie Wilson.
you feel really good. BSE Recordings has given me the opportunity I only dreamed of.” It is obvious that BSE and ARIKA KANE is on the rising path to success and intend on sticking around for a very long time. ARIKA KANE’s self-titled debut album and hit single, “Bcuz I Luv U,” is available now on iTunes, CD Baby and www.bserecordings.com
ARIKA’s debut album has been remixed by veteran music producer Louis Humphrey and mix master Edwin Ramos with remixes of the hit single “Bcuz I Luv U” in stores, February 23rd 2010. The self-titled Pop/R&B Album is as much upbeat and energetic as it is smooth and soulful. ARIKA says, “I want to connect and relate with people through my music and at the same time make
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For Further Information please visit: email@example.com Interviews and appearances: Contact Lillian Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org BSE website at www.bserecordings.com
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
2010 year started off with me hitting the road covering award shows and fellowshipping with family and friends. Being appreciative of family and friends and my way of life in the United States of America really hit home when the tragic earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, killing thousands of people and making life even more difficult for so many who were already living in a state of poverty. This spawned a huge “giving” effort world-wide. The tragedy made nations of the world, the USA in particular, really look at Haiti in ways they had been ignoring for years. While we opened our doors to neighboring countries Cuba and the Dominican Republic, we had in many ways turned our back on this tiny nation, and literally returned Haitians home, who tried to make it by boat to our shores. Yes, we saw the often poor quality of life many people had in Haiti, but we chose to ignore it. It is truly sad that it took a devastating earthquake to get our attention. And now that the world has its eyes open and is offering help to the people of Haiti, and as the USA has declared it would do, partner with Haiti to rebuild Haiti, let’s embrace these descendants of slaves who staged a revolt against the French so powerful that it lead to the elimination of slavery and the French relinquishing control of the island nation to the very people they had enslaved. Haitians are a proud resilient people who need our help. Let’s do it by giving to charities supporting the Haitian relief effort, including the Red Cross, United Way, clintonbushhaitifund.org, WorldVision.org and others. Most major US cities are hosting benefits to raise money for the Haitian relief efforts. Please do your best to contribute. And, don’t forget to continue to pray for the people of Haiti and their families outside of Haiti. I must say that I am so very proud of the Gospel music industry in the way that it stepped up to lend its support to the Haitian relief effort. Churches and organizations all over are hosting fund raisers. And I commend Kirk Franklin for using his song “Are You Listening?” as a tool to pull the gospel music artists together, record and release the song to raise money for the cause. He received the blessing of the Stellar Awards founder/creator, Don Jackson, to tie in the recording with Stellar Awards week and get the best of the best artists who were in town for the Stellars. The artists donated their time and talent, and the result is a song that is so wonderful it will bring you to tears. And it is available via download. So please make sure you support by purchasing and downloading a copy of the song. Speaking of the Stellar Awards, this year marked the 25th year of the show. The production was the best one I’ve seen to date. It features collaborations by such greats as Donnie McClurkin, Byron Cage and Marvin Sapp. The opening was a gospel performance masterpiece featuring Ricki Dillard and Hezekiah Walker, and still other performances by Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, Tramaine Hawkins and more. Select artists performed golden hits down through the years helping commemorate the benchmark year for the Stellar Awards. Kirk Franklin, Vickie Winans and Donnie McClurkin did a great job as hosts. And that Vickie Winans is hilarious! The Stellar Awards show is airing in national syndication. Check your TV/cable listing for stations and times. For a complete list of the winners go to www.ccptv.com Since we just celebrated Valentine’s Day, I want to share with you my favorite scripture about love. And ladies, if you are in any kind of relationship that hurts, demeans or does not celebrate you, be a blessing to yourself and leave. And if you have not found that special kind of love yet, don’t settle…hold on…God will send just what you need. It may not be packaged how you envisioned him or her to be, but when they arrive, you’ll feel a special warmth all in your spirit and a voice from inside letting you know this person is God sent, just for you. SCRIPTURE:
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-5 (NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION) LOVE IS PATIENT, LOVE IS KIND. IT DOES NOT ENVY, IT DOES NOT BOAST, IT IS NOT PROUD. IT IS NOT RUDE, IT IS NOT SELF-SEEKING, IT IS NOT EASILY ANGERED, IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
Stay Inspired! Lin. Woods Urban Inspired Gospel Editor/Writer Gospel Department Head LFWoods@aol.com or email@example.com
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VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
coming book titled, “Why Can’t I Sing,” and his CD is slated for release in April. PJ also has a joint venture as an artist with KOCH and Light Records. In the meantime the gifted musician continues to travel with his father and support dad’s music and preaching ministries.
By Faye Truth firstname.lastname@example.org
Integrity Music recording artist Stephen Hurd is writing a book. Speaking of books, Yolanda Adams’ The Points of Power is expected to be published this year.
BeBe and CeCe Winans continue to heat up the charts with their smash hit “Close To You” showing up on both Gospel and Urban music charts. And did you stay up late and see them recently on BET’s The Monique Show? Not only were they fabulous, but host Monique, treated them with the utmost respect and loves their music.
BEBE AND CECE WINANS
Dottie Peoples has a new make-up line that will be available in malls. Pastor Shirley Caesar has a new video to look out for, “Heaven’s Playground.” And, she says she will join The Caravans and sing with them on their next CD which will be in the works soon. By the way, word is Pastor Caesar may be giving up her duties as a pastor this year.
Kudos to Kirk Franklin for writing and producing the fund raising single, “Are You Listening?” to benefit the people in Haiti who suffered insurmountable loss as a result of the devastating earthquake back in January. It is an awesome song that features a who’s who list of Gospel and Christian music recording artists, including MaryMary, Dorinda Clark Cole, Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard, J Moss, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Bishop Paul Morton, and more.
Earl Bynum is working on both a choir and solo project. And he’s getting all of this done in between his gig as an International Booking Agent. He just completed a world tour with stops in places like Italy and Switzerland. The BMI Trailblazer Awards saluting gospel legends Andrae Crouch and Donnie McClurkin debuts Sunday, February 21s, 8p.m. EST on GMC. Hosted by Byron Cage, the show was taped in Nashville during Stellar Awards week and features soul stirring performances by some of Gospel’s best, including Pastor Marvin Winans, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Dorinda Clark Cole, Micah Stampley, Yolanda Adams, TaTa Vega, Latice Crawford and MaryMary.
The star-studded song was recorded during Stellar Awards week in Nashville. UN’s Lin. Woods says she KIRK FRANKLIN was at the Industry and Artist Prayer Service hosted by Kirk and CeCe Winans at CeCe’s home church, Born Again, where Kirk requested all the artist in the house to come and record that night and subsequent nights that week. “There were no egos, just complete cooperation and comradery between everyone there,” says Lin. The song has received immediate radio airplay and is available for purchase on iTunes. The video is airing on Gospel Music Channel (GMC).
Central City Productions’ Stellar Awards is airing in syndication. This year’s show is hosted by Vickie Winans, Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin and features performances by Donald Lawrence, Marvin Sapp, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, MaryMary and more. Check your local TV and cable listings and tune in.
ON THE MOVE… Licia Shearer has exited her position as producer of Serving Up Soul with Dorinda Clark Cole. Erin DeVeaux who moved up from the Production Coordinator position has been promoted to producer. Andy Giner has stepped in as Production Coordinator of the Pasadena, CA-based national syndicated radio show.
Kirk is currently holding national auditions for the third season of BET’s gospel talent competition show, Sunday Best. The show will host its first time ever international auditions in Lagos, Nigeria in Africa. MaryMary will return this season as judges. Joining them will be first time judges, Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams. Sunday Best premiere’s on BET in April.
Music Entertainment Executive, Alvin Williams, who spent the last five years building up music programming featuring all forms of Gospel music, from Blue Grass to Contemporary Christian to Tradition Gospel to Hip Hop, at Atlanta based music TV network, Gospel Music Channel, has vacated his position as Senior Director of Music Industry Development.
Lonnie Hunter has a new project in the works. Meanwhile, his radio program, The Lonnie Hunter Show continues to add markets, most recently, Cleveland (WJMO-AM).
Gospel star Tye Tribbett reportedly has moved from his east coast digs to sunny Los Angeles. I guess he’s making a fresh start since he is said to be starting another group/choir. Where does this leave his choir, Greater Anointing?
Alvin was instrumental in bringing diverse Gospel shows to the air at GMC like Hometown Gospel, Hype and Glory, BMI Trailblazer Awards, Front Row Live and more. Without him, many of the African American themed Gospel music shows and artists might not have gotten the invaluable exposure they received on the network which is available to 46 million homes. He says he will soon let it be known what his next big thing is.
According to our sources, Tonéx will be recording Urban music and there is no certainty that he will continue with gospel. We express our continued support in whatever this talented young man does in the future.
Entrepreneur/Attorney and former President of Verity Records, Max Siegel is said to have label projects in the works which will bring him back into the Gospel recording world.
Bishop Paul S. Morton is super busy with congregations in both Atlanta and home base, New Orleans. And to add to his good deeds, he’s set up the Paul S. Morton Scholarship to help deserving young people out there who want to further their education. Speaking of the Morton’s PJ Morton, Bishop Morton’s son, a talented writer, producer and artist, has multiple projects we can look forward to. He has a forth-
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VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
Reflections BY MARILYN A. BATCHELOR
For the past five weeks, we’ve been glued to our television screens, watching the earthquake disaster in Haiti. It seems unfathomable that a country could be destroyed to this magnitude. When Californians think about the Northridge quake in the mid-90s, we envision bridges and streets in need of rebuilding, rattled cabinets with broken dishes or cracks in the foundation of a home. California is a large state and the United States is even larger. It is difficult to imagine an earthquake that would destroy us from Washington State to California, Rhode Island, Florida and all in between. How about the notion of it collapsing The White House? This is the life of our Haitian brothers and sisters in, and around its capital, Port-au-Prince.
I remember how difficult it was to explain to my family exactly what I did for a living. Some friends accused me of being on an extended vacation when I left for work each day. My mother said I did marketing. But I knew she didn’t know what that meant on a daily basis. My grandmother told friends I worked at a record store instead of a record label. With such a lack of understanding of what we do, our benevolent efforts are even more surprising to the general public. The predisposed thoughts imply we are absent from reality. However, this can only happen if we forget who we are. Sure, there are some who only care about making money, buying as many toys as possible and flossing for anyone who’ll notice. But I’d like to believe that the comfortable lifestyles and salaries for up and coming and high-level executives would not overshadow the consciousness of people who have endured the worst of times (slavery). And many have proven that they have not forgotten. Mary J. Blige formed a foundation to help young women rebuild their self-esteem and regain their place in society. U2’s Bono and Bobby Shriver launched a great effort with their (Product RED) campaign which united Corporate America, the entertainment industry and every day consumers; allowing everyone to play a part in the fight against AIDS in Africa. These are just a few of many celebrities who have chosen causes to champion.
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MARILYN A. BATCHELOR
In the entertainment world, there is a different type of rumbling and rattling, but it comes in the form of the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards. It’s the life we live, when working in the entertainment industry. These experiences create this bipolar world – or a foot in two worlds. Since Hollywood creates a land of fantasy, does it mean that we lose touch with the world’s devastations and tragedies?? Does it mean we don’t see the problems surrounding us? What we were taught as children never leaves us. Sometimes it’s in a coma. Nonetheless, it’s still there. We don’t forget.
In 2008 and 2009, I had the opportunity to go to Haiti, working in an orphanage as a mission effort. They were life-changing experiences. To find children looking like six years old were actually 21 or face the fact that these children had nothing they could claim as their own, was saddening. They had no parents, no clothes (all was shared), shoes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a washcloth. These items were considered special gifts. They wanted to go home with us and it was heartbreaking to leave. Once we fed babies at Mother Theresa’s Sisters of Mercy or played Frisbee with children on the playground who never possessed a toy, my identity returned. I wasn’t a music marketing executive/specialist. No one cared how many Super Bowls and Grammys I had attended. In fact, what was a Grammy, an Oscar or a Golden Globe to them? These children simply needed more hugs and the feeling that someone cared about them. If there is ever a time when any of us think we may be slipping away into the world of make-believe, just remember what is really important and go back to the place that keeps us grounded – home. Marilyn A. Batchelor is an entertainment and corporate marketing executive and ordained pastor in the Methodist church. She can be reached at email@example.com
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
GOSPEL CROONER BRO’ JOEL MASSEY TO RELEASE DEBUT ‘FIRST WORDS’ EP 5 Song Project to be marked with Aggressive Digital Campaign Joel’s project is Entertainment Executive John Haddock, CEO/President of BLAZT Entertainment Group LLC, a full service entertainment corporation, whom manages Bro’ Joel’s career. Haddock also occupies a position as East Coast Writer/Artist Relation Director for Urban Network. The marketing campaign surrounding “First Words,” will include an aggressive email drive, increased internet awareness, print and online magazine publicity, targeted radio airplay, topped with a series of live shows, and advertising and mobile campaigns.
agram, North Carolina’s native son Bro’ Joel Massey is a Gospel music original coupled with deep R&B roots. Now, a longtime resident of New Haven, Connecticut, the singer, songwriter and accomplished pianist is ecstatic over the December 15, 2009, digital release of his much-anticipated 5song EP, titled, “First Words,” through Universal Music Group/ INgrooves/ BroJoMass & Unionville Productions/ Massey Records; administered through BroJoMass Publishing.
Bro’ Joel received his BA in Music Education from North Carolina Central University, and was a featured vocalist/performer in the Carnegie Hall Debut of the Spiritual Heritage 4 Movements, performed by the New Harlem Symphony Orchestra, an African, Negro Spiritual, Gospel, and Contemporary Gospel/Inspirational Concert—where he performed alongside the legendary Cab Callaway, Robert Guillaume, and Simon Estes. Bro’ Joel continued to make his mark in the classical music realm and performing in such operatic works as Pagliacci, Gianni Schicchi, Madame Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca, La Boheme, and La Traviata.
The first single available for downloads and Ringtones is the memorable “BAttitudes,” written and produced by Bro’ Joel himself. God is good, and He is good all the time,” says the singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, whose resident place of worship is Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church in New Haven, Connecticut. “First Words” also includes such inspirational and memorable anthems as “I See You (Remember Me)”, “Serve the Lord”, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”, and “Praise the Lord”.
Recording commercial jingles, songwriting, collaborating with Pop and R&B artists and teaching music to students provided Bro’ Joel with the diversity and passion needed to be continually successful in the business of music. He is influenced by the likes of Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin, as well as such R&B icons as the late greats Luther Vandross and Barry White, in addition to Freddie Jackson, Teddy Pendergrass, and a host of others.
“Bro’ Joel is the ‘real deal’, and a remarkable talent primed and ready to do well at national radio and with performing in front of audiences around the world,” says Web Marketing PR CEO Arthur Mitchell, who will be directing the marketing and promotional efforts surrounding “First Words”. Mitchell is also VP of Business Development for Urban Network, one of the music industry’s longest running and most respected trade & consumer print and online publications. In addition, yet another key player on Bro’
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FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT: Arthur Mitchell at
firstname.lastname@example.org or John Haddock at email@example.com
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
“To Be Free…” REMEMBERING
There have been two men in soul music whose presence on the mic could stop a wild animal in its tracks - let alone a love-starved woman: “The Wicked” Wilson Pickett and Theodore “Teddy Bear” Pendergrass. The latter was a ferociously reverent soul singer of earth scorching sexuality that many longed to tame and claim, or be forever tamed and claimed by. He could be as seductive as Marvin or as silken as Reverend Al, but no one could match him for testosterone-fueled sex appeal. To the sacred table of soul, Teddy brought a righteous, gospel-hewn bravado along with a smoldering, head strong swagger. For lovers around the world, he was the platinum status standard of soul man. Born March 26, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA - a city he raised himself up from poverty within and loved with all his heart throughout - Theodore DeReese Pendergrass possessed the gift of soulful persuasion from a very early age. His mother, Ida, had him standing up on a chair in a storefront church at the age of 2 singing for The Lord. Amazingly, he was an ordained minister by 10. But at 15 he took another path, becoming the drummer for the group The Cadillacs which went on to back supper club soul stirrers Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. It wasn’t long after Melvin got a taste of the glowing young man’s singing that he ushered Theodore on up to the front line of his vocal quintet where he would instantly become the secret weapon Star of The Blue Notes. So dominant were his aura and authority that casual fans often mistook Theodore for Harold - for surely a man with his vocal command MUST be the leader.
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BY A . S C O T T G A L L O WAY Music Editor – Urban Network
Signed in ‘72 to Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff‘s CBS-distributed Philadelphia International Records label within a pioneering crop of talent that also included The O’Jays (f/ Eddie Levert & Walter Williams), the Intruders (f/ “Little Sonny” Brown) and Billy Paul, the Blue Notes faced stiff competition even within their own ranks. But with the musical supremacy of the company’s writers, arrangers and producers, and the lead voice of Pendergrass, the group waxed hit after hit - from the backbeat blues of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “I Miss You” to the electrifying show burners “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and two of disco’s bedrock smashes “The Love I Lost” and “Bad Luck” to the uplifting message of “Wake Up Everybody.” For four pressure cooker years (1972 to 1975), the group held its own before it became all too clear that Pendergrass demanded a stage of his own. His swan song from the group was ironically titled “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” When the man dropped his 1977 self-titled debut album - dressed casually in front of a solid white background that intimated “new beginning” - he re-introduced himself as Teddy Pendergrass with an 8-song offering that found him pulpit preachin’ “You Can’t Hide From Yourself, boudoir braggin’ “The More I Get, The More I Want,” blues croonin’ “The Whole Town’s Laughing at Me,” pillow talkin’ “Be Sure”...and slingin’ a zinger
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for done-wrong bruthas that demanded it, “I Don’t Love You Anymore” - super serving all factions of fans with 360 degrees of soul mastery. Teddy eased the world into the idea of him as a solo artist by humbly opening for the Isley Brothers during their “Go For Your Guns” tour.
newer talents like Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne and Lionel Richie occupied their own lanes. With five consecutive platinum-selling albums behind him, Teddy Pendergrass was living large as Lord of the Soul Man Mountaintop.
However, it was on Life is a Song Worth Singing, Teddy’s platinum plus-selling sophomore statement of ‘78, that he blasted his likeness into the Mount Rushmore of Soul with a filler-free 7-song classic. Thom Bell & Linda Creed graced him with the inspiring title track (arranged and produced by the prolific Jack Faith who, sadly, is also recently departed), followed by the doublebarreled club thumpers “Only You” and “Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose,” beautifully bridged by the soul-stoking balm of compassion “Cold, Cold World.” And that was just Side 1!
It all came to a screeching halt on March 18, 1982 when in an arbor mist of mystery, Teddy ran his Rolls Royce off the road, crashed into a tree and was rendered paralyzed from the waist down. A collective shudder shot through the industry as many doubted aloud that a singer so immortalized for his sex appeal could ever resurrect his career relegated for life to a wheelchair. Pendergrass proved them wrong.
Side 2 opened with what would become one of the most fool-proof baby-making classics of all-time, “Close the Door.” Upon receiving this machismodrenched declaration of desire, a woman innately understood she had granted an imperial specimen of man the pleasure of letting him “do what I want to you” - to do what a man was put on this earth to do - to lay some sho-nuff serious lovin’ on her...in equally measured long strokes of strength and sensitivity. “Let’s bring this day to a pleasant end / Let’s get lost in each other...” The song begged up a sequel/twin titled “Turn Off The Lights” on the next album, Teddy, leading many a water cooler comedian to predict further follow-ups such as “Pull Back the Sheets,” etc.... Life is a Song Worth Singing closed with two more powerfully indelible gems: the cloud-busting “It Don’t Hurt Now” and the joyously gratifying “When Somebody Loves You Back.” The hook: “Not 70/30 - Not 60/40 - Talkin’ ‘bout 50/50 Love.” Teddy was a bona-fide superstar now, embarking on sold out “For Ladies Only” tours that his most devoted femmes of all ages and races took very seriously. Long fabled are the tales of women expressing their appreciation for his cuddly teddy bear offerings and shirtless, sweat-soaked serenades by showering him back with undergarments of gratitude. Teddy volleyed back with the ultimate souvenir the double album set Live! Coast to Coast - then came back at the top of the ‘80s even stronger with his fifth LP, TP, featuring the incomparable Cecil & Linda Womack-penned “Love T.K.O.” as well as “Can’t We Try.” Fans got a special treat the next year when he recorded the duet “Two Hearts” with pint-sized Stephanie Mills, whom he whisked off to the road for the amazing “Looks Like Another Love T.K.O. Tour” and later shared the stage with in a touring production of the musical “Your Arms Are Too Short to Box With God” (1998). As if all of that weren’t enough, his sixth album, It’s Time for Love, included what now stands as among the most requested wedding songs ever, “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration.” By this time, Marvin Gaye was awash in personal drama, Al Green had become a minister, Barry White and Isaac Hayes were slipping, and
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as he ever would post-crash and swiftly ascended to #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart, where it stayed for two glorious weeks in 1988. It was one of the sweetest triumphant comeback stories in music history. Though more albums followed, Joy marked his last knockout appearance as a soul-pop force to be reckoned with. However, in 2001 he finally embarked upon a tour of intimate venues across the United States, thrilling audiences with defiantly transcendent performances of his classic hits - funk bombs, sex downs and spirited affirmations all - before an audience that he absolutely wowed by the sheer will of his conviction, bravery and talent. I will never forget the image of him up on stage at The Wiltern Theatre – Valentine’s Day 2002 in Los Angeles - literally rockin’ his wheelchair from side to side with a newfound boogie power that delighted all in attendance and on their feet – not a one feeling he had delivered anything less than his personal best and their money’s worth. Teddy’s later years found him focusing more on family, community efforts around Philly and the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance - a non-profit organization he co-founded in 1998 to assist those ailing, as he had, with spinal cord injuries. That same year he turned inward and delivered the autobiography “Truly Blessed” (penned with Patricia Romanowski and given the same title as his 1991 CD) and lived to see a stage musical based on his life titled “I Am What I Am” premier in Chicago at the Black Ensemble Theatre. He was also humorously immortalized by Eddie Murphy in the comedy, “The Nutty Professor.” We lost Teddy Pendergrass on Wednesday evening, January 13, 2010, from respiratory failure following complications of a surgery for colon cancer. He was being treated at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia after “a difficult recovery.” He was 59. His son, Teddy Pendergrass II, states, “To all his fans who loved his music, thank you. He will live on through his music.”
After spending six months hospitalized and following extensive physical therapy, Teddy returned in 1984 with the gold-selling Love Language album on Elektra/Asylum Records, buoyed by the sexy movie theme “Your My Choice Tonight (Choose Me)“ penned by Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller, and “Hold Me,” a duet with a then up-and-coming Whitney Houston. A tellingly titled follow-up, Workin’ it Back, faired more modestly. On July 13, 1985, he took the outdoor stage of “Live Aid” with Ashford & Simpson and before an international television audience of millions, joined them on their anthem, “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” Then after a three year hibernation and rehabilitation period - during which the act of making music proved pinnacle to his healing - came the Grammy-winning comeback smash, “Joy,” the infectious song produced by former Midnight Star members Reggie & Vincent Calloway. The feel-good groover revealed Teddy as close to the strength of his Philadelphia International heyday
His final recording was a version of Edwin Hawkins’ contemporary gospel classic “Oh, Happy Day,” produced by David Nathan and Preston Glass for the Time Life various artists CD Songs 4 Worship Soul, recorded September 2008 in Philadelphia. Having spent just shy of half his Earthly life paralyzed, Teddy Pendergrass leaves behind a legacy not only as a musical giant, he was a real life “survivor.” He dealt with and proceeded forward from the pain and suffering of his cruel circumstance to continue doing what he loved - to serve his community, provide for his family, and be a light of inspiration on multiple levels. Theodore “Teddy” Pendergrass was one of the last soul men standing despite being wheelchair-bound. Now, his soul soars on mighty, magnificent wings through the Heavens - like a high-flying falcon in restoration - “Free to Be” who he is...in all his glorious totality. Down here on the ground, his music will stir the cauldrons of masculinity meeting femininity at the crossroads of fever and ardor…forever.
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A Comprehensive Search with Online and Live Showcase Opportunities! Artists will compete in a selection process that begins online with The Official Circuit Website, and will progress to live performance showcases at venues across the country. Competition will begin regionally in Preliminary and Semi Final events, and will culminate in one Final national contest that chooses the ultimate winner. More than 60 venues across the country will provide the national showcasing platform for the contest. These showcases will have a “Red Carpet” excitement with the presence of industry insiders, video filming, photography, media attention, and a headlining band to provide entertainment during the evening. Fans and Industry Professional Judges Vote! Winners will be selected by a combination of voting by fans and industry professional judges. Artists will have the opportunity to interact with some of the music industry’s most prominent decision makers who will be judging both the online competition and the live performance showcases across the country.
T H E C I R C U I T TA L E N T S E A R C H 2 0 1 0 The Circuit Nationwide Talent Search Begins in 2010! Kevin Black, one of the music industry’s most sought after hit makers, with unparalleled experience that spans Death Row, Virgin, EMI, Interscope, and Warner Records, is looking for the next music artist phenomenon with the nationwide talent search The Circuit! Artists of all genres will compete for the opportunity to work with Kevin Black’s exciting new music management company U Can Fly, plus an array of other exciting prizes! Prize packages for winners as they progress through the selection process are still being determined, but will include an assortment of recording opportunities, marketing and promotional campaigns to further the artists’ careers, ringtones, clothing, musical equipment, and industry event tickets provided by The Circuit’s sponsors and other industry partners. And the ultimate nationwide winner will work personally and directly with Kevin Black to take their music career to the top!
Fans will play a crucial part in the advancement of artists through the competition, and their votes will carry 50% of the decision making authority in the contest at all levels. The best artists must appeal to the business sensibilities of the industry judges and the emotional sensibilities of the fans, and cultivate a fan following to help them advance.
The Circuit Will Be Filmed for Reality Television! Reality television filming will take place at all events and will be edited for viewing on The Circuit TV on the Official Circuit Website, as well as The Circuit YouTube Channel. Negotiations are taking place for placement of the programming with broadcast television as well. The Circuit Will Be Everywhere Online as a Web 2.0 Experience Too! The Circuit will maintain a strong online presence with The Official Circuit Website, The Circuit YouTube Channel, as well as social networking on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. An iPhone App for The Circuit will take all the essential details about the contest to millions of mobile phones. Important Dates! Online artist registration begins on February 1, 2010. The official launch of The Circuit takes place at the South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin TX March 17 – 20, with our first competition, and live regional competition begins in June.
Super Stars of the Industry On Board as Advisors and Judges! Also sponsoring and participating in this event will be Miller London, former Vice President of Motown Records for 21 years and the current President of Urban Network and Urban Network magazine. Mr. London’s ear for all genres of music is legendary, and he is well known for his hand in finding many of music’s most beloved stars. Also joining in the The Circuit will be Don Cody, the CEO and owner of Moses Media, Rolland Turner, the CEO of Global Music Group/Universal Fontana, and Leo Rodgers, Senior Vice President of Bungalo Records/Bungalo Universal. Watch for the names of more music industry titans to join The Circuit’s panel of advisors and judges.
© THE URBAN NETWORK
VISIT THE CIRCUIT’S WEBSITE: WWW.THECIRCUITLIVE.COM
VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8
URBAN/R&B'S TRUEFUL TO RELEASE
SOPHOMORE CD, 'TASTE OF CLASS,' FEBRUARY, 2010 ON FRENCH ROYALTY RECORDS Music video to the first single, 'Feeling you,' premiers at UrbanNetwork.com French Royalty Records to release the sophomore project of Urban/R&B singer/songwriter Trueful February, 2010 titled "Taste of Class." The CD is co-produced by Apt 6 Productions – twins Dwayne and Dwight Madison and James Robinson - and executive produced by Trueful and French Royalty Records. The music video to the single "Feeling You," featuring Israeli model Gita, premiers at UrbanNetwork.com and is current available at iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody. Trueful started his career in entertainment as a competitor at the national Uplifting Minds II talent competition and he went on to win Best Male Vocalist of 2007 at the Las Vegas Music Awards. Signed to French Royalty Records in 2007 Trueful released his debut CD in 2008 titled "Truth Be Told." That project garnered him qualification status for a 2008 Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist. His debut CD stayed amid 13-25 positioning on the music charts for nine weeks. A student at UCLA in music engineering, songwriting and business, Trueful's "Taste of Class" single, "Feeling You," has become a hot song at
iTunes in Japan. When not in the studio, on tour or in class, Trueful enjoys volunteering his time as a motivational speaker and as entertainment at fundraisers and charitable events. On December 12, 2009 Trueful performed, along with label-mate comedian Peanut (Def Comedy Jam), at the Compton Christmas Parade (1500 Ludus Park, Compton, California). Later that day at the Crystal Park Casino and Hotel the city of Compton presented Trueful with an appreciation award for all of his support by performing at their event and activities. December 31, 2009 (New Years' Eve) Trueful performed at El Tiburon Night Club (1535 Florence Avenue, Los Angeles, CA) from 9:00 – 9:30 p.m. French Royalty Records' next project is a NeoSoul group just signed, and still unnamed and its French Royalty Dancers (includes choreographer Jasmine "Jazzy" Hayes and D Valentine). The imprint has national distribution. Its' projects are available at such outlets as VIP Record stores in Los Angeles; Sound Good stores in Georgia; Mid-City Record stores in Los Angeles; East Street Record stores in Seattle Washington; Eclipse Record stores in New Jersey, and Hall of Fame Record stores and Symphony Music record stores in New York – to name a few. Bookings for Trueful performances in 2010 are already coming in and can be found at www.myspace.com/BeTrueful and www.FrenchRoyaltyEnt.com or you can "twit" Trueful at www.Twitter.com/BeTrueful.
WELCOME TO THE BIRTH OF AN ORIGINATOR.
ESTILO G -- "THE CALI DREAM" Estilo G is a positive role model that makes music for the world with no racial barriers. He is an artist that truly creates music from the heart. He has a unique style that is loved in So Cal and is being heard around the world. Through "The Cali Dream" he turns his struggles in life into a positive outcome. Some of those struggles included not having a father figure and basically motivated him with his music career. This album demonstrates his powerful producing, writing, singing, and rap skills. Estilo G is apart Cali Music Group (CMG) was founded by Sergio Salcedo alongside recording artist Estilo G in the City of Perris, Ca, 2008. CMG is a record label that is looking for-
© THE URBAN NETWORK
ward to be the home of different artist in all genres. Sergio Salcedo decided to create CMG when he saw the potential of a local artist named Estilo G. Now as partners they have formed this record label doing all that is necessary from recording to marketing, to make CMG move forward in the music industry. CMG is currently working on the release of Estilo G's new album "The Cali Dream". CMG has released promotional music to create anticipation for this new album. CMG has been gaining support from people all around the world. www.myspace.com/estilogmusic www.myspace.com/calimusicgroup
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