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Chuck Berry Early Rock and Roll Great

Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry passed yesterday at the age of 90. His music shaped Rock and Roll for decades.

“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll,” said Stevie Wonder. “His name is Chuck Berry.”

The Chicago bluesman, who has died aged 90, basically invented rock.

Sure, there were other contributors: Bill Haley’s northern band rock ‘n’roll; Pat Boone and his New Orleans dance blues; and Berry’s label mate at Chess Records, Bo Diddley.

But no-one else shaped the instrumental voice and lyrical attitude of rock like Chuck. His recordings were lean, modern and thrilling. In the words of pop critic Bob Stanley, “they sounded like the tail fins on Cadillacs”.

He was the first to admit he drew inspiration from days of old. “There is really nothing new under the sun,” he said in the mid-1980s tribute film Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll – citing the likes of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian as his forebears.

Even the famous “Chuck Berry guitar riff“, which opened hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode, was lifted – by his own admission – from a Louis Jordan record.

What he did with those influences, though, was something else. He gave country the bite of the blues, writing defiant odes to cars and girls at a time when rock lyrics were all Tutti Frutti and A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.

As Brian Wilson said, he wrote “all of the great songs and came up with all the rock and roll beats”.

“He laid down the law,” added Eric Clapton.

 

The biggest knock on Chuck Berry is he typically performed with pickup bands. As such, the quality of his live performances varied wildly – often not to the good. In this video, he does his classic “Nadine”, backed up by Kieth Richards of the Rolling Stones.

 

Lastly, and interview with Johnny Carson in 1987…

 

 

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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Rev Eddie Long…Dead.

Atlanta institution and controversial “Bishop” Eddie Long is dead at 63.

Image result for bishop eddie long bathroom pictures

Bishop Eddie Long, controversial and influential megachurch leader outside Atlanta, dies age 63

The influential and controversial megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long has died at age 63, his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said.

Long had been battling cancer for a long time, reports CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL.

In a statement, the church said: “Bishop Long was known as one of the most influential faith leaders in the world. He stood strong as a Kingdom Builder, pioneering leader, and revolutionary mind changer. Long was a family man and spiritual leader who was well respected and loved for his passion to unapologetically and courageously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The bishop was well-regarded in Lithonia, just outside Atlanta in DeKalb County, home to one of the most affluent African-American communities in the U.S. Long has been the senior bishop of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for nearly 30 years.

WGCL reports he grew the congregation from 300 when he started to more than 25,000 today. Along the way he built an international televangelist empire that included athletes, entertainers and politicians.

Long’s wife, Vanessa Long, filed for divorce in 2011 after a string of sexual infidelity allegations involving young men. She stayed legally married to Long, however, and released a statement marking his passing.

“I am confidant through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place.  Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” Vanessa Long said.

Long, who has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, built his empire with charisma and a prosperity Gospel message that told followers God would reward the faithful with wealth. It was an idea he embodied, sporting jewels on stage, living in a mansion and driving a luxury car.

In 2011, Long settled a case involving allegations of sex between him and four teenage boys. The four young men accused him of using his power to influence them into sexual relationships with him.

Long’s first wife, Dabara S. Houston, claimed the pastor physically abused her when she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant with their only child.

Long has also been accused by former member of misusing and losing retirement funds.

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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Black Conservatives, Giant Negros

 

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Gwen Ifill…9/29/1955-11/14/2016

This one is tough. Gwen Ifill was one of the most intelligent people in the News business. Goodbye Gwen! You will surely be missed.

Gwen Ifill, a pioneering figure as the first African-American woman to co-anchor a national newscast and serve as solo anchor of a weekly public affairs show, died Monday of cancer at a hospice in Washington. The former Baltimore Evening Sun reporter was 61.

Ifill covered government in Maryland and Baltimore for The Evening Sun from 1981 to 1984. She left for a position at the Washington Post.

Her broadcast career began at the Evening Sun when she appeared on “Maryland Newswrap,” a production of Maryland Public Television.

“She’s got a good nose for news and she knows how to explain stories,” Everett Marshburn, then a vice president at MPT said in an interview with “Broadcasting & Cable,” a trade publication. “She’s tenacious and she’s intelligent.”

 

Gwen Ifill dies at 61

Gwen Ifill, an award-winning television journalist for NBC and PBS, former reporter for The New York Times and author who moderated vice-presidential debates in 2004 and 2008, died on Monday in Washington. She was 61.

Her death, at a hospice facility, was announced by Sara Just, executive producer of “PBS NewsHour.” The cause was cancer, PBS said.

Ms. Ifill was the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and the co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of PBS NewsHour, the culmination of a career that began in 1981 at The Baltimore Evening Sun. Both she and Ms. Woodruff moderated a Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in February.

Ms. Ifill later reported for The Washington Post and The Times, covering Congress, presidential campaigns and national political conventions.

She is also the author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which was published on inauguration day in 2009.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Morley Safer 1931-2016

Don’t know about anyone else, but Sunday Evening in my house we almost always had 60 Minutes on. With their senior news reporters the show embodied the sort of gravitas and professional skill long gone from the “News” networks.Who can forget the voices of Ed Bradley, Bob Simon, Leslie Stahl, Steve Kroft, Mike Wallace and Morley Safer as they brought context to often complex subjects?

60 Minutes’ Morley Safer dies at 84

Longtime CBS newsman Morley Safer of “60 Minutes” and Vietnam War reporting fame dies at 84

Morley Safer, the CBS newsman who changed war reporting forever when he showed GIs burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers and went on to become the iconic 60 Minutescorrespondent whose stylish stories on America’s most-watched news program made him one of television’s most enduring stars, died today in Manhattan. He was 84. He had homes in Manhattan and Chester, Conn.

Safer was in declining health when he announced his retirement last week; CBS News broadcast a long-planned special hour to honor the occasion on Sunday May 15 that he watched in his home.

A huge presence on 60 Minutes for 46 years — Safer enjoyed the longest run anyone ever had on primetime network television. Though he cut back a decade ago, he still appeared regularly until recently, captivating audiences with his signature stories on art, science and culture. A dashing figure in his checked shirt, polka dot tie and pocket square, Morley Safer — even his name had panache — was in his true element playing pool with Jackie Gleason, delivering one of his elegant essays aboard the Orient Express or riffing on Anna Wintour, but he also asked the tough questions and did the big stories. In 2011, over 18.5 million people watched him ask Ruth Madoff how she could not have known her husband Bernard was running a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The interview was headline news and water cooler talk for days.

In some of his later 60 Minutes pieces, Safer profiled the cartoonists of The New Yorker, interviewed the founder and staff of Wikipedia and reported on a billion-dollar art trove discovered in a Munich apartment. In his last story broadcast on March 13, he profiled the visionary architect Bjarke Ingels.

“Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever,” said CBS Chairman and CEO, Leslie Moonves. “He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur – all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS’ and journalism’s greatest treasures.”

“This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News. Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways. He was a master storyteller, a gentleman and a wonderful friend. We will miss him very much,” said Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and Safer’s close friend and one-time 60 Minutes producer…More

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Men, News

 

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Prince Dead – Prince Rogers Nelson 1958-2016

A shock. At 57 years of age, Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at his home.

Prince, the legendary musician who brought us countless hits, such as “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” has died. He was 57.

The singer’s publicist confirmed the tragic news to The Huffington Post on Thursday.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” the rep said in a statement. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

TMZ was the first to report the news.

Earlier this week, the performer was treated for the flu aft er his plane made an emergency landing.

A representative for Prince told TMZ that the singer was feeling under the weather during his shows last week and began to feel worse on the plane. After the emergency landing, he was treated at a hospital and released three hours later.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson (after the Prince Roger Trio) on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the multi-talented performer has been called “one of the most naturally gifted artists of all time,” by Rolling Stone.

Prince was first signed to a record deal with Warner Brother Records when he was just a teenager. In 1978, he released his debut album, “For You,” followed by “Dirty Mind” in 1980 and “Controversy in ‘81.

But it was his 1982 album, “1999,” that really thrust Prince into the spotlight. The album, which went platinum, featured the Top 10 singles “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious,” and of course, “1999.”

In 1984, Prince starred in “Purple Rain,” a film for which he created the soundtrack and original score. The artist won an Academy Award for Best original Song Score and the film took home the award for Best Original Musical. “Purple Rain,” the album, which featured the songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” (as well as the title track), spent 24 weeks on the top of the chart and sold over 13 million copies.

The artist would go on to act in a number of other films, including “Under the Cherry Moon” (1986) and “Graffiti Bridge” (1990), and appear in a 2014 episode of “New Girl.”

By 1989, with the release of his 11th album, “Batman,” Prince had become one of the most successful pop artists in America. He gained success at a time when stars like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were dominating the industry, yet thanks to his ability to constantly transform, he managed to carve out a unique spot for himself.

Prince went so far as to change his name to the unpronounceable symbol O(+> in 1993, which Rolling Stone dubbed one of “the boldest career moves in rock history.” The artist used the moniker until 2000. Fans and media alike were confused by the symbol, and often referred to the singer as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” The icon famously referenced his symbolic name with his guitar during his epic Super Bowl Performance years later in 2007. The performance is hands down one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history.

After a few years of staying out of the spotlight, Prince performed at the Grammys with Beyonce in February 2004. The two played a medley of hits, including his “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” along with Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” The following month, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Prince also released the Grammy Award-winning album “Musicology” in 2004, with the accompanying Musicology Live 2004ever tour, which grossed a whopping $87.4 million.

 

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Rock Star Alex Chilton Dies From Lack of Health Insurance

The year was 1967 – middle of the Vietnam War. Those of you not familiar with Blue-Eyed Soul may or may not recall the Box Tops version of the letter.

(Did we actually dress like that in the 60s?)

Their lead singer was Alex Chilton, who would later move to NOLA and join the music scene there. Last week he passed away…

Yet another victim of the dysfunctional Health Care System right wingers fight so hard to protect-

Alex Chilton Delayed Medical Treatment Due to Lack of Health Insurance

Alex Chilton‘s unexpected death last month at age 59 might have been prevented if he had health insurance. According to a report in the Times-Picayune, Chilton’s wife, Laura Kersting, says that although he had symptoms of heart trouble, he declined immediate treatment due to lack of coverage.

Chilton, who at age 16 had a No. 1 US hit single with ‘The Letter’ in 1967 as lead singer of the Box Tops, passed away just days before he was to appear at a reunion show in Austin, Texas, of his ’70s group, the widely influential power-pop band Big Star.

“At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass,” the article reports. “But he did not seek medical attention, Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.”

The Times-Picayune reveals that on the morning of March 17, the Big Star frontman called Kersting at work to tell her he wasn’t well. She made it home before the ambulance and rushed him to the emergency room, running a red light at his insistence, before he lost consciousness when they were just a block from the emergency room.

The piece also takes a close look at Chilton’s private life in New Orleans, where the Memphis-raised Louisiana transplant lived in the mixed neighborhood of Treme, where he rode out Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “He identified with black people more than white people,” Kersting said. “He was very much a part of this neighborhood.” Neighbors across the street marveled as Chilton cut his grass with a manual push mower.

Despite his iconic indie rock stature, Chilton’s wife said, “He was kind of lazy … He took it very easy. He’d say, ‘Why work when I don’t have to?’ He wanted a very simple life. He was not interested in fame. He was interested in money — he wanted enough to be comfortable and to travel.”

The Box Tops seminal song would later be covered by a number of groups, none more famously than by Joe Cocker and Mad Dogs and Englishmen, in 1970…

In the Age before white people learned to dance in this country! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2010 in American Genocide

 

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