Reflections: Strange but True

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    UsherNo one could deny that if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened, things would be pretty dull. With that in mind, we are focusing on some of the unexpected in show business.
        On June 5, 1974, Sly Stone, who today lives in a camper van, as hard as that is to believe, married girlfriend Kathleen Silva at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 fans. However, the new bride filed for divorce five months later, saying she could not live in “that world of drugs and weirdness.”
        There was a fairly recent TV special called “The Disco Ball.”  Usher performed McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” but messed up some of the words. The line goes, “We’re polishing up our act,” but Usher sang, “We’re polishing up our back,” which, of course, made no sense.
        Actor Matthew McConaughey believes in keeping his body clean, but not  in using deodorant. Everyone has a natural scent, he said.
        At one Miles Davis concert, fellow trumpeter Wynton Marsalis thought it would be a great idea to join Davis on stage for what could be a historic partnering, so he walked onto the stage with his horn, uninvited. Davis was furious and told Marsalis to get off the stage immediately, in the raw language Davis was known for.
        Radio personality and last season “Dancing With The Stars” contestant Mike Catherwood says that whenever something requires his full concentration, he finds that it helps to be completely without clothing. He said it’s part of his MO. (Hey, whatever works!)
        One hitmaking Detroit band from the 1970s and 1980s may be the only group in R&B history to have five different names. They started out as Al Hudson & the Soul Partners, then altered it to Al Hudson & the Partners, evolved into One Way featuring Al Hudson, changed it to One Way, then concluded as Al Hudson & One Way.
                                Motown recorded the last four Marvelettes albums using only the lead singer and the company’s excellent backup singers, the Andantes (pronounced ahn-don-tays).
    However, original member Katherine Schaffner and replacement member Anne Bogan were still asked to pose for the cover of the last release,  “The Return of the Marvelettes.” Bogan wasn’t available and Shaffner flat-out refused.  She  told them, “I’m not singing on the album, so why should I be on the cover?”
        THEO PEOPLES is no longer a member of the Four Tops. It is reported that for some reason, original member and group leader Duke Fakir let him go.
        Peoples joined the Four Tops in 1998, replacing the late Lawrence Payton. But when lead singer Levi Stubbs could no longer perform due to health issues, Peoples took over the lead, although no one could ever even come close to  “replacing” Levi Stubbs. The vacancy created by the new arrangement was filled by Ronnie McNeir.
        Today the Four Tops are Duke Fakir, Ronnie McNeir, Roquel Payton (son of Lawrence Payton) and newcomer Harold (“Spike”) Bonhart.
        Theo Peoples, whose first name is actually Theopolis,  sang with the Temptations from 1992 to 1998.
        RIHANNA has been speaking glowingly of her former boyfriend, Chris Brown, who physically abused her badly in 2009.  This adds credence to the belief some people have, yours truly included, that they could eventually end up back together.
        “I’m really excited to see the breakthrough he’s had in his career,” Rihanna said. “It is incredible to see how he has pulled out the way he did, even though the world seemed like it was against him. I’m a fan. I’ve always been a fan. (Being mad at him) was taking up too much of my time.”    
        Even though I am pleased that Chris Brown has gotten on with his life and career, if the couple were to reunite it could be problematic because something like that could happen again. Brown has temper control issues.
        ENTERTAINMENT Weekly magazine named Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas “TV’s Coolest Cops.” They were, of course, Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs on “Miami Vice” from 1984 to 1989. Remember the pastel-colored clothes?
        Lee DeWyze is the latest on the growing list of “American Idol” winners and finalists to be dropped by a record company. Among the many others are Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, David Archuleta, LaToya London and Clay Aiken.
        The problem is that the record companies expect too much. They  count on through-the-roof sales rather than just satisfactory ones, and when that doesn’t happen, deals are severed.
        DeWyze is talented, but he was a season nine contestant and that was the show’s dullest season.
        Kanye West was ranting and raving in public yet again, this time because his clothing line, KW, received mixed reviews when it was introduced in Paris.
        STEVE ALLEN, the late, great television personality, musician, comedian, songwriter and author, hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “The Bible has been interpreted to justify slavery, the slaughter of prisoners of war, capital punishment, polygamy, gross superstition and the discouraging of the teaching of scientific truths.”
        I have a great belief in God and have had many experiences no one could ever deny. However, I basically give organized religion a thumbs down, which is not a put-down of all churches or the people who find comfort in them.
    But the hard truth is that not many entities are more divisive, or more inclined to be narrow-minded, prejudiced and judgmental against whole groups of people than religions and churches. Their victims include Middle Easterners, gays, liberals and people of differing faiths, among others.
    Everyone has a right to be who and what they are.
        And I cringe every time I hear people say they have “God’s favor,” the implication being that most other people do not, or cannot unless they subscribe to what they believe.
        We’re all flawed human beings who need a positive spiritual dimension, and God is as available to one person as another.
    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that in 1963  Cicely Tyson became the first African-American to be a regular on a prime time dramatic television series. The show, “East Side/West Side,” aired on CBS.
    MEMORIES: “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” (Toni Braxton), “Grazing in the Grass” (the Friends of Distinction), “Sherry” (the Four Seasons), “Disco Inferno” (the Trammps), “Something Just Ain’t Right” (Keith Sweat), “Don’t Walk Away” (Jade), “Nothing But Heartaches” (the Supremes), “Head to Toe” (Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam), “Toast to the Fool” (the Dramatics), “When Love Calls” (Atlantic Starr).
    BLESSINGS to Eddie Allen, Vickie Winans, Walter Bridgforth Jr., Henry Tyler, Kim Logan-Nowlin, Al Chism, Patricia L. Parks, Derek Smith, Keena Green, David Craig, Yvonne Gullick, Rita Ross and Carolyn Crawford.
    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Morgan Freeman: “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”
    Let the music play!
    (Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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