Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vesta Williams TV Commercial

Wow, it's been a long time as I've had a ton of business clients along with interviews to deal with.

Anyway, I chose this blog to post my feelings about the passing of R&B recording artist Vesta.  My condolences go out to her family and close friends.

So far, what I've read on the blogs is that this was a very nice woman despite being in a business that is not nice. On the other hand, I hate that commenters have used this as a format to say what a grown woman did in her life.  From her dating life to alleged beef with other singers has been a thread on boards aimed at an older audience.

The topic of mental illness is a sensitive one for me as there isn't a day that goes by I don't hear about the Kelly Thomas case going on in Fullerton, CA.  Anyone who has conquered this without meds should be commended.  I'm not judging those who take meds but from observing a close relative, I think faith should be of equal dosage.

Here is a piece about the late singer from veteran journalist Steven Ivory.  Like most of his work, it is honest without being sugary or judgmental.  One thing I might add that was ironic about Ms.Williams' career is that she gained popularity as a plus-sized woman.  Yet, due to alleged pressure from her record company, she lost almost half her weight but never had another hit and continued to do background work along with oldies revues with other artists from the same era.

I couldn't find her appearance on 'Sister, Sister' but I thought this commercial was pretty sweet to the ear.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Scott Joplin Biopic (1977)

Recently, TV One ran this late at night and I recorded it.  Though a little slow-moving, this is a whole helluva lot better than some EBT church play  for a dull-ass Sunday afternoon.  I wish TV One would bring back other classics like Dummy or Battered where Chip Fields plays an abused wife.  (I guess I got a thing for Levar Burton this week, LOL.)

Fine @ss Billy Dee played the underrated musical genius alongside a very young Clifton Davis, whose performance was not half-bad.  Margaret Avery plays Belle, one of many wives the composer would have in his short life.

In short, this is about a man and his craft.  He created great music that was associated with the negativity that comes with being colored/negro/black/AA and like hip-hop today, it is eventually "stolen" by others once it receives national recognition.  To learn more about this great master of sound, click here.