Reflections: Never-ending impact

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    Michael JacksonTwo and a half years later, it still seems very wrong for Michael Jackson to not be here, even though we all know that he helped pave the road that zigzagged and ultimately led to his demise. 

    But that part doesn’t really matter anymore. We have to accept what is and appreciate the shining star we had — and, in a way, still do. The music continues to sell in massive quantities, the songs still sound fresh…and then there’s his impact.

    Whenever we see Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake or any of a number of others perform, including his sister, Janet, the Michael Jackson influence is evident.

    As for his untimely passing — and Dr. Conrad Murray deserved his sentence and more — a verse sung by 1960s/70s  “I Can See Clearly Now” recording star Johnny Nash comes to mind: “There are more questions than answers.”

    ENTERTAINERS who are among the small number of those who find success in the extremely competitive, unpredictable, volatile and sometimes just plain mean show business industry generally handle more money than the average person.

    That being the case, it is hard to feel much compassion when they mess up. 

    T-Boz (Tionne Watkins) from the group TLC recently filed for bankruptcy — for the second time. She owes $768,643 to creditors, mostly the mortgage on her 1.2 million dollar home.

    I like T-Boz, but come on now! Surely there is some business sense in there. And why buy a house that expensive when there is no certainty that you will later be taking in the amount of money you were at the time you signed the papers?

    THOSE WHO read this column have all kinds of opinions pertaining to the music industry, specific artists, Hollywood, radio, etc. Or for that matter, something the “Reflections” columnist said. 

    Frequently readers express themselves (with great honesty), and right now we are encouraging more to do so. Soon we will introduce a forum titled “What’s On Your Mind?” 

    If you have something to say, send it to me at or PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202. Say whatever you please, but don’t write a book! (Smile.) No anonymous submissions.

    FOR ABOUT as long as there has been recorded music, people have used music as a part of their romantic endeavors. Some even call it “baby-makin’ music.” Artists like Barry White, Marvin Gaye and Johnny Mathis have long been favorites.

    White R&B star Robin Thicke says his wife, Black actress Paula Patton, seen most recently in “Jumping the Broom,” have differing feelings on this matter. It’s kind of funny.

    “My wife tries to play my music when we have sex,” said Thicke candidly. “I can’t possibly listen to my own music when we make love.”

    THE MOTOWN MUSEUM is putting together an exhibit honoring their female vocal groups from the golden era that is scheduled to open early next year.

     Since the Supremes have received so much attention, we hear the exhibit will be more focused on the other groups — the Marvelettes, Martha & the Vandellas, the Velvelettes and the three ladies who sang background on hundreds of Motown hits, Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks, better known as the Andantes (pronounced ahn-don-tays).

    Which brings to mind the fact that on Dec. 13 a deluxe set of the Marvelettes’ last four albums, plus plenty of rarities, alternate takes, etc., and a color booklet, titled “Forever More: The Compete Motown Albums, Vol. 2,” will be released. Only 5000 copies are being manufactured.

    The price is not cheap, but this is a must for Marvelettes fans, as was “Forever: The Complete Motown Albums, Vol. 1”

    JIMI HENDRIX was named the No. 1 guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine’s panel of top guitarists and experts. 

    Sixteen other African Americans placed among the Top 100, including B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Prince, Otis Rush, Freddy King, Elmore James, Curtis Mayfield, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, Eddie Hazel and Robert Johnson.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Johnson.

    MEMORIES: “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (Barry White), “Let’s Do It Again” (the Staple Singers), “Cold Blooded” (Rick James), “Scorpio” (Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band), “Rhythm of the Night” (DeBarge), “Our Love” (Natalie Cole), “Atomic Dog” (George Clinton), “Call Me” (Skyy), “Baby Hold On To Me” (Gerald Levert with Eddie Levert), “Ring My Bell” (Anita Ward).

    BLESSINGS to Michael Wimberly, Valerie Lockhart, Derek Thornton, Patrice Gordy, Belinda Blythe, Henry Tyler, Sabrina Owens, Delphine Reeves, Carolyn Crawford and Bob Kerse. 

    WORDS OF THE WEEK,  from Maxwell: “People say a lot of things about you because they don’t know anything.”

    Let the music play!

    (Steve Holsey can be reached at and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)


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