Reflection: Evil Among Us

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    One of my longtime coworkers said recently that she believes that people are basically good, that the bad are abnormalities. I believe that too, but sometimes I wonder. The people who are mean-spirited, dishonest and without conscience continue to make their presence felt.

    I am not a “Madea” fan, but it is a shame that Tyler Perry had to cut the “Madea Gets a Job” stage play tour short because he was fed up with bootleggers and scalpers.

    And to make matters worse, as Perry put it, “There are some horrible people who are pretending to be me or representing me on Facebook. They are telling people they are me or working for me, charging people money (as much as $150) to attend a meet and greet after the show. Please don’t fall for it! That is not me!”

    LEAVE IT to the always honest Bettye LaVette to tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” in her just-published autobiography, “A Woman Like Me,” about herself and others because “that is what happened,” as she put it.

    Back in the mid-1960s Diana Ross, right at the time when the Supremes had just made it big, was known in some circles to be having an affair with producer-songwriter Brian Holland, of the prolific and legendary team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (“Holland-Dozier-Holland”) who wrote, produced and arranged the vast majority of the Supremes’ biggest hits.

    LaVette recalls — and there were many witnesses — that Ross was at the 20 Grand one night, the hottest club in Detroit, with Holland, even though he was married. (Is it possible that she didn’t know that? Just asking!)

    Someone called his wife, Sharon, and gave her the news. Furious, she got dressed and charged down to the nightclub at 14th and West Warren and proceeded to give Ross what today would be described as a beat-down, right in front of everyone.

    Oh well, we all have our unfortunate experiences but, embarrassment notwithstanding, that or nothing else could stop Diana Ross from becoming one of the all-time greatest superdivas.

    IN 2005, there was a top-selling album by Destiny’s Child titled “#1’s” featuring all of the supertrio’s biggest hits (16 songs). It is still easily attainable. Now comes word that on Oct. 9 a Destiny’s Child album titled “Playlist” will be released, featuring the same songs only minus two. What’s up with that?

    There is no end to the wit and quick thinking of President Barack Obama. He half-jokingly commented that he and Jay-Z have a bond because “our wives are more popular than we are!”

    Which brings to mind André Cymone, the singer, musician, producer, writer and former husband of Jody Watley and member of Prince & the Revolution that we haven’t heard from lately. (His last album came out in 1985!) Well, he has a new one coming very soon.

    Recently he made available for a limited time a digital single titled “America,” with proceeds going to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

    And by the way, Cymone’s birth name is André Simon Anderson.

    I love watching former pro-football star Emmitt Smith and super dancer Cheryl Burke perform on “Dancing With The Stars.” They are perfect together.

    Also I like the way veteran Rolling Stone magazine writer David Fricke described Aretha Franklin’s 1967 breakthrough album and single, “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You”: “Aretha Franklin’s rebirth at Atlantic Records was launched by the title hit, a masterful Memphis-cut declaration of exhilarating passion and crippling need, set in the bedroom but sung like church.”

     the great but far-too-temperamental supermodel icon, was asked about what kind of music she has been listening to lately. She responded, “I usually listen to typical R&B and pop music, but right now I’m really loving old school music and I’ve recently rediscovered Kid Creole & the Coconuts.”

    That group evolved from another unique group, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, a disco band with very strong swing and big band influences. Their biggest hit was “Cherchez La Femme/C’est Si Bon” in 1976-77.

    Two weeks ago I wrote a story titled “Athletes With Other Talents.” Reader Will Geiger rightfully noted that the great Paul Robeson could have been included. He was a football player, singer, actor and more.

    Time sure does fly, as the cliché goes. In December, Denzel Washington will be 58, but he is still recognized as “a hunk” by women of various ages, and probably some men too. Great quote from the two-time Grammy-winning actor: “My professional work is being a better actor. I don’t know how to be a celebrity.”

    And a funny quote from Lamont McLemore, formerly of the 5th Dimension: “When you’re on the road you have so many of your square meals on those round buns.”

    If someone were to ask me to name the two best (Black) party songs of all time, I would choose Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and “Doing It to Death” by Fred Wesley and J.B.’s (featuring James Brown). Timelessly exciting.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that Eunice Waymon is the real name of the legendary Nina Simone.

    MEMORIES: “I Want to Take You Higher” (Sly & the Family Stone), “Three Little Birds” (Bob Marley), “Women’s Love Rights” (Laura Lee), “Jimmy Mack” (Martha & the Vandellas), “The Letter” (the Box Tops), “Hey Girl” (Freddie Scott), “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” (Marvin Gaye), “These Boots Are Made For Walking” (Nancy Sinatra), “Baby Love” (the Supremes), “Ask the Lonely” (the Four Tops).

    BLESSINGS to Willie D. Williams, Fred Goree, Ivan Cotman, David Craig, Deborah Smith Pollard, Delores Wyatt, Jackie Hicks, Eric Hunter, Aaron Riser and Fannie Tyler.

    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Alan Cohen: “If you believe that you are less than whole and look to someone else to make you whole, you will only lose. You should bring yourself as a whole person to another whole person, and it would be blasphemy to define the other person as half. Both are reflections of a complete God.”

    Let the music play!

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


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