A joyful movie

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    Joyful NoiseBased on the previews, I had every reason to believe that I was going to like “Joyful Noise,” but “like” is an understatement. I loved it!

    Much praise to all of the actresses and actors, including Queen Latifah (she gives an amazing, award-worthy performance), Dolly Parton, Jeremy Jordan, Keke Palmer, Dexter Darden and Courtney B. Vance. 

    Kudos also to Jesse L. Martin and no one could ever forget Kirk Franklin’s James Brown flavored performance, complete with fancy footwork.

    “Joyful Noise” has a lot of heart, plenty of powerful dramatic scenes, many funny lighthearted moments and, of course, an abundance of great music, some of which will practically elevate you from of your seat.

    I left the theater feeling uplifted and satisfied, and what more could  you ask from a movie of this type?

    NE-YO (real name: Shaffer Smith Jr.) is one of the most talented artists out there today, and he always seems to have something new gong on.

    The latest is becoming a Motown artist by way of bringing his Compound Entertainment production company into the Motown complex.  In addition, he has been appointed to the position of senior vice president of A&R (artists and repertoire) for Motown.

    Ne-Yo’s new allbum will be released this summer, and let’s hope it’s even half as good as “Year of  the Gentleman.”

    SPEAKING of new ventures, Lionel Richie’s upcoming album, titled “Tuskegee” (he’s from Tuskegee, Alabama), will consist entirely of remakes of his hits sung with many of today’s top country artists, including Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain and Darius Rucker.

    The album is set for March 27 release and later  there will be a television special.

    Actually, this is not Lionel Richie’s first foray into country territory. “Sail On,” the Top 10 hit recorded and written by Richie in 1979 when he was with the Commodores, was essentially a country song.

    THE PHRASE “a man of many talents” certainly fits Barack Obama. Very few people even had a clue that the great president can sing. I mean, really sing, as was made evident at a recent fundraiser at the Apollo Theater.

    Obama sang a couple of lines from “Let’s Stay Together” and sounded very good, and smooth. (Think of how flattered this was for Al Green!) 

    Wouldn’t it be something if one day Barack Obama — when he is no longer in office, of course — made an album!

    And by the way, Obama’s State of the Union speech was incredible. For him to not be re-elected would be a travesty. Everything is right about the words “four more years!”

    AN INFLATED ego is one of the most dangerous things a person can have. It can bring down even the most powerful, no matter how much they have deluded themselves into believing they are invincible.

    Add resentment to the mix and it’s poison.

    I used to like Tavis Smiley and watching his talk show was frequently on my agenda. But now I watch very seldom and it’s well on its way to becoming “never.”

    Smiley’s mean-spirited, unwarranted criticism of President Obama is a complete turnoff. Many people believe it all stems from Obama not attending an event Smiley organized when Obama was a candidate.

    And no doubt Smiley is being aided and abetted by his close friend, Dr. Cornel West, who we believe, as we’ve said before, thinks the sun doesn’t rise until he gets up. I would not be surprised if he was expecting to be consulted, directly by the president, every time President Obama made any decision even remotely connected to African Americans. 

    Of course, each person has a right to their own opinion, and Black people should never allow themselves to be put in a box, suppressing their individuality and free thought.

    But even so, I share the “disgust” Tom Joyner and so many others now have for Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. 

    Joyner has said he is “sooo done with them.” That makes two of us.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that Marvin Gaye is the drummer on the classic Marvelettes hit “Please Mr. Postman.”

    MEMORIES: “Kissing You” (Keith Washington), “Just Because” (Anita Baker), “I Feel Good All Over” (Stephanie Mills), “Spirit of the Boogie” (Kool & the Gang), “She Works Hard For The Money” (Donna Summer), “Young Hearts Run Free” (Candi Staton), “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” (Luther Ingram), “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” (Baby Washington), “Love Rollercoaster” (the Ohio Players), “Miss You Like Crazy” (Natalie Cole), “We’re In This Love Together” (Al Jarreau).

    BLESSINGS to Maxine Michaels, Cliff Russell, Mildred Gaddis, Al Allen, Deborah Smith Pollard, Freddy Anderson, Ed Phillips, Claudreen Jackson, William Staiger, Damon Williams and Donafay Collins.

    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Johnny Carson: “If you are happy in what you are doing, you will have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”

    Let the music play!

    (Steve Holsey can be reached  at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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