During its 1993 to 1998 run, “Living Single” was among the most popular TV shows, particularly with Black viewers.
The sitcom was funny, true to Black culture without (usually) going over the top and/or embarrassing the African-American community.
It could deliver a serious message when called for, featured good writing, a likable ensemble cast with perfect chemistry, and had clearly defined characters (although I must admit I often found Kim Coles’ naive character Synclair annoying).
Queen Latifah (who portrayed Kadijah) has said she would love to bring the cast back together for her new talk show. That would include Coles, Kim Fields (Regine), Erika Alexander (Max), John Henson (Overton) and Terrence “T.C.” Carson (Kyle).
SPEAKING OF television programs, I caught part of two editions of Arsenio Hall’s new late-night show. He is a likable guy and often quite funny, but it will be more difficult for him this time around (his first show, which was groundbreaking on many levels, aired from 1989 to 1994).
The new show is okay, but not really special, which could really hurt being in a field that is already crowded (Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, etc.). But time will tell. Perhaps he can carve out a niche for himself, and we will be happy for him if he does. Just being Black sets him apart in a way that should be a plus factor.
Arsenio Hall’s pal, Eddie Murphy, recently announced that he is returning to making music, which is not to suggest that he is setting aside comedy or acting. An early 2014 release period has been set. The first single is the Bob Marley influenced reggae song “Red Light.”
Murphy, who enjoyed some recording success in the ’80s, said of his new album, “Everything’s not a masterpiece, but I’ve got a lot of stuff that’s really strong.”
KEYSHIA COLE offended a lot of people following the Destiny’s Child reunion halftime show performance at the Super Bowl in February. She launched an attack against Michelle Williams, saying she “always f—– the groove up.”
That was totally uncalled for, and many people believe it was a publicity grab.
But, fortunately, Cole has issued a public apology, and Williams, who never sank to Cole’s level, said, “Apology accepted.”
That’s the difference between class and “limited class.”
Meanwhile, Kanye West and Ray J are still exchanging barbs. Ray J started it. He used to go with West’s girlfriend Kim Kardashian (they have a child) and made a widely viewed sex video with her. To taunt West, he recorded a song titled “I Hit It First.”
West appeared on a late-night TV show and called Ray J “lame” and, worse than that, referred to him as “Brandy’s little sister.” Most likely this is not the end of this, but hopefully these two will eventually find a way to take the high road and behave like grown-ups.
BARRETT STRONG, who wrote so many classic Motown hits with Norman Whitfield, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “War,” issued a legal challenge regarding an earlier Motown superhit, “Money (That’s What I Want).”
Strong, who was also the artist, says he wrote the song with Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy Jr., but his name was removed from subsequent pressings.
I am inclined to believe that Strong is telling the truth, although why his name would be deleted is a mystery that only Gordy or maybe Bradford could answer.
Well, R. Kelly certainly continues his ability to cross lines and get people talking. His new album, due in November, will be titled, believe it or not, “Black Panties.”
It is interesting that Dionne Warwick always claims the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composed classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love” as her own when, in fact, it was Jackie DeShannon who had the Top 10 hit in 1965.
Warwick had recorded the song before DeShannon, but it was an album cut, not a single. So for that reason, Warwick should not include it among her hits.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that “My Baby Loves Me,” one of big hits of Martha & the Vandellas, was intended to be a Four Tops release. When a new decision was made, Motown just took Levi Stubbs’ voice off and replaced it with that of Martha Reeves. The background on the record remained the Tops, with the Andantes added. The other two Vandellas are not on the record at all.
MEMORIES: “Part-Time Lover” (Stevie Wonder), “Let’s Go Crazy” (Prince & the Revolution), “We Are The World” (USA For Africa), “Bette Davis Eyes” (Kim Carnes), “Another One Bites the Dust” (Queen), “Love Machine” (the Miracles), “Flowers” (the Emotions), “Say You, Say Me” (Lionel Richie), “Love Hangover” (Diana Ross), “Good Times” (Chic).
BLESSINGS to Stefanie P. White, Eddie Allen, Derek Thornton, Michael Brock, Jasmine DuBois, Leland Stein, Earline J. Franklin, Georgella Muirhead, Gerald W. Smith and Keena Green.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Wynton Marsalis: “Don’t settle for style. Succeed in substance.”
Let the music play!
Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.