Special moments do not generally come along as often as we would like them to. When they do, they should be cherished — and attempts to replicate them usually come up short.
For example, when Natalie Cole recorded a duet with her father, the legendary Nat “King” Cole, made possible by modern technology, it was touching. But then she did it again…and again…and again. The warmth cooled and the word “exploitation” popped into some people’s heads.
Woodstock was a monumental, era-defining, landmark music festival. But then someone decided to attempt to do it again. “Woodstock 2” clearly lacked just about everything that made its predecessor special.
Now we fast-forward to “We Are The World.” Without a doubt, the 1985 original, by a group of big-name music artists working as USA For Africa, was one of the greatest events in music and world history, for a wonderful cause.
It is a sure thing that Quincy Jones and all the others are sincere in their desire to raise money for Haiti, but I wish they had done something other than make a new version of the song with different artists: “We Are The World 25 – For Haiti.”
I hope the recording brings in a massive amount of money for the ravaged country, but there is something to be said for developing something new and innovative for a different place and time.
IT WAS NICE to hear that after being mostly off the scene for several years, Faith Evans is returning. Right now she is working on her album — and on the development of her reality TV show, “It’s All About Faith.”
Reality TV shows have reached the saturation point. Eventually everyone will have a reality show! Also, reality shows of a certain type are narcissistic. A television show all about you and what you’re doing 24/7. How vain is that?
Speaking of returns, now that he is again a free man, Ronald Isley is planning a U.S. concert tour. He is also booked to perform with the Whispers and Teena Marie in Atlantic City in May. Good for him. He paid his debt to society (the sentence was too harsh) and he has a right to get on with his life and career.
A unique voice like Ron Isley’s should be heard, and not just on past recordings. Think of all the musical joy he has provided with songs such as “It’s Your Thing,” “For the Love of You,” “Twist and Shout,” “Fight the Power,” “Between the Sheets,” “That Lady,” “Harvest For the World,” “Shout” and “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You).”
The Isley Brothers are a treasure.
FOR THE PAST few days I have been rediscovering “Purple Rain” by Prince & the Revolution, one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Every cut (“When Doves Cry,” “The Beautiful Ones,” “Darling Nikki,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” etc.) is a masterpiece and exceptionally well produced.
There is no one out there now as talented, creative and daring as Prince was then. He stands alone.
Sade, who is back on the charts with “Soldier of Love” following a decade-long absence, says there is definitely a down side to being successful in show business. That includes people gossiping, speculating and the paparazzi following you around.
But the somewhat mysterious lady with the “exotic allure” says the good, like reaching an audience, outweighs the bad.
She said recently, “Whatever anybody might say about me, when I feel the warmth I get back from audiences, especially in America, I think its worth all the b——-.”
Maxwell, another semi-enigma who has been speculated on, said that when some people do not have any information on someone, they make things up.
CARESSA CAMERON, as you probably know, is the new Miss America. It’s nice to have another Black Miss America, but people are clearly not as interested in pageants as they used to be.
There have, by the way, been eight Black Miss Americas: Vanessa Williams (1984), Suzette Charles (1984) (she finished out Williams’ tenure when she resigned), Debbye Turner (1990), Marjorie Vincent (1991), Kimberly Aiken (1994), Erika Harold (2003), Ericka Dunlap (2004) and Caressa Cameron (2010).
There are times when relatives and business do not mix. One glaring example is Joe Jackson. None of his children wanted him to continue to be their manager. As soon as they could, they severed those ties.
Jonetta Patton had been managing her son, Usher, for quite a few years, but she resigned a few months ago. She realized that to continue would hurt their personal relationship.
It was a big surprise to hear that Justin Timberlake and talented, flamboyant “American Idol” alumnus Adam Lambert are planning to record together.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that even though Marvin Gaye’s best known singing partner is Tammi Terrell, his first recording partner was Motown’s leading lady at the time, Mary Wells. They had a two-sided hit, “Once Upon a Time”/“What’s the Matter With You Baby?”
MEMORIES: “Stop Your Weeping” (the Dramatics), “I’m So Excited” (the Pointer Sisters), “Do You Love What You Feel?” (Rufus featuring Chaka Khan), “I’m Stone in Love With You” (the Stylistics), “Use Me” (Bill Withers), “You Should Be Dancing” (the Bee Gees), “Give It Up (Turn It Loose)” (Tyrone Davis), “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” (McFadden & Whitehead), “Call Me (Theme From American Gigolo)” (Blondie), “(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You?” (Ronnie Dyson).
BLESSINGS to Al Allen, Joan Hooks-Polk, Ann Jamerson, LaWanda Gray, Joe Billingslea, Greg Hendricks, Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, Anita Baker, Walter Bridgforth Jr. and Ernest Kelley.
WORDS OF THE WEEK: “Hate is a disease. Don’t be a carrier.”
Let the music play!
(Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)