Google+ Followers

Monday, December 26, 2011

Remebering "Ivory Queen" Teena Marie 1956-2010


Wow! I can't believe a year ago today we lost a true Icon in Teena Marie. As a child growing up I listen to a lot of radio and when I heard this raspy soulful voice I thought she was black until I saw her video "LoverGirl" I knew than we had an Icon. She is one of my ALL time favorite singers and one of the reasons why I love to sing because there is NO ONE like my GIRL Lady T here is her Story.

Teena Marie (born Mary Christine Brockert on , 1956) is an American Grammy Award-nominated singer,songwriter,producer. Marie, nicknamed Lady T, is a protege of late funk legend Rick James, and is notable as one of the few successful white performers of R&B. She sings R&B with strong, robust vocals and plays rhythm guitar, keyboards and congas. She also has written, produced, sung and arranged virtually all of her songs since her 1980 release Irons in the Fire. She has quoted this as being her favorite album. She has a daughter named Alia Rose who, as of 2009, sings under the name Rose Le Beau.

Early Life

Marie was born in Santa Monica, California. She is of Belgian, Portuguese, Irish, Italian, and Native American ancestry. Marie grew up in Oakwood, a neighborhood in West Los Angeles. As a child, she had an acting role on The Beverly Hillbillies, credited as Tina Marie Brockert. She also sang at the wedding of actor Jerry Lewis's son when she was 10 years old. Marie worked briefly at Pup 'n' Taco in the mid 1970s while attending Venice High School, where she joined the Summer Dance Production, and also had a role in the school's production of The Music Man.

1979-1981: Motown era

Marie signed with Motown Records in 1976, having gained an introduction to staff producer Hal Davis (best known for his work with the Jackson 5) and then auditioned, with her then band, for label boss Berry Gordy. She recorded unreleased material with a number of different producers, including Kerner and Wise, but was then spotted by Rick James, who effectively became her mentor. (Some of the earlier unreleased material has since been made available on compilation albums.) Her debut album release, Wild and Peaceful, was originally conceived as a project to be produced by James for Diana Ross, but James preferred to work with Marie. The album was at one point due to be credited to "Tina Tryson", but ultimately was put out under Marie's now-established stage name. It scored Marie her first top-ten R&B hit, "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love" (#8 Black Singles Chart), which was a duet with James. Neither the album sleeve nor other packaging showed a picture of Marie, apparently on the theory that black audiences might be reluctant to buy an album by a white artist. In fact, many radio programmers wrongly assumed Marie was African American during the earliest months of her career. This myth was dispelled when, in 1980, her sophomore album, Lady T, sported a picture of her on the cover.

Marie's second album, Lady T, is noted for having production from Richard Rudolph (husband of R&B singer Minnie Riperton who passed a year earlier). Marie had asked Berry Gordy to contact Rudolph and secure his input as Rick James was unavailable and she did not feel quite ready yet to be sole producer of her own material. Rudolph intended for the song he penned, "Now That I Have You", to be sung by his wife, but was later given to Marie.. Rudolph also co-composed the single "Behind The Groove", which reached number 21 on the black singles chart.. The song was also included on the soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the Fever 105 station. . Another notable track, "Too Many Colors," featured Rudolph and Riperton's then 7-year-old daughter, Maya Rudolph, who became Teena Marie's god-daughter.

Also in 1980, Marie released her third LP, Irons in The Fire, in which she handled all writing and production herself, including the horn and rhythm arrangements of her band and all backing vocals . The single "I Need Your Lovin'" (#37 Pop, #9 Black Singles) brought Teena her first top 40 hit. That same year, Teena Marie appeared on James' hugely successful album Street Songs with the steamy duet "Fire and Desire." The two would perform the single at the 2004 BET Awards, which would be the two's last TV appearance with one another as Rick James passed later that year.

Marie continued her success with Motown in 1981 with the release of It Must Be Magic (#2 Black Albums Chart), her first gold record, which included her then biggest hit on R&B, "Square Biz" (#3 Black Singles). Other notable tracks include "Portuguese Love" (featuring a brief, uncredited cameo by James, #54 Black Singles), the title track "It Must be Magic" (#30 Black Singles), and album only track "Yes Indeed" which Marie cites as a personal favorite.

In 1982, Marie got into a heated legal battle with Motown records over her contract and disagreements on releasing her new material. The shuffle resulted in "The Brockert Initiative", which makes it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. The artist would then be able to sign and release with another label instead of being held back by an unsupportive one. Teena Marie commented on the law in an LA Times article, saying, "It wasn't something I set out to do. I just wanted to get away from Motown and have a good life. But it helped a lot of people, like Luther Vandross and the Mary Jane Girls and a lot of different artists, to be able to get out of their contracts".

1983-1991: Epic Records

After leaving Motown in 1982, Marie signed with Epic Records in 1983 and released the concept album Robbery, which featured the hit "Fix It" (#21 R&B), as well as "Shadow Boxing" and "Casanova Brown." The latter was one of a number of tracks Marie would write over the years about her real-life romance with one-time mentor Rick James. The relationship had ended by that point, but the two would continue a sometimes tempestuous friendship until James's death. In 1984, Marie released her biggest-selling album, Starchild. It yielded the singles "Lovergirl" and "Out on a Limb," the former of which became Marie's highest-peaking single to date on the US pop charts, peaking at #4, while peaking at #9 on the R&B charts. "Out on a Limb" was not as successful as "Lovergirl" on the R&B Charts, however, peaking only at #56. Also in 1985, "14k" (R&B #87) was featured on the soundtrack of the film Goonies.

In 1986, Marie released a rock-music-influenced concept album titled Emerald City. It was controversial with her established fan base and not as successful as its predecessors. She also recorded another rock-influenced track, "Lead Me On", co-produced by Georgio Moroder, for the soundtrack of the box office hit film Top Gun that year. In 1988, however, she returned to her R&B and funk roots releasing the critically-acclaimed album Naked to the World. That album contained the hit "Ooo La La La," which reached the top of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and remains her only #1 single on that chart to date.

Marie released Ivory in the fall of 1990. Despite the success of the first two singles, "Here's Looking at You" (#11 R&B) and "If I Were a Bell" (#8 R&B), Epic Records was not totally pleased with sales of the album, so Marie and her label mutually agreed to go their separate ways.

Mid 90s Hiatus: Passion Play and Black Rain

During the 1990s, Marie's classic R&B, soul and funk records were either sampled by hip-hop artists or covered by R&B divas. Marie herself is regarded as something of a pioneer in helping to bring hip-hop to the mainstream by becoming one of the first and only artists of her time to rap one of her singles?the aforementioned "Square Biz." In the hip-hop portion of that song, she mentions some of her inspirations: Sarah Vaughn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni, "just to name a few," as she said. In 1996, the Fugees paid tribute to her by interpolating the chorus of her 1988 hit "Ooo, La, La, La" on its own "Fu-Gee-La," which was a huge hit.

In the fall of 1994, Marie released Passion Play on her own independent label, Sarai. Lacking the backing of a major label, this album sold less well than her earlier work, but was well received by fans.

Subsequently Marie devoted most of her time to raising her daughter Alia Rose (who has since adopted the name Rose Le Beau and is pursuing her own singing career). During the late 1990s, she made appearances (as herself) on the TV sitcoms The Steve Harvey Show and The Parkers. She also began work on a new album, entitled Black Rain. She was unable to secure a major label deal for this, and did not want to put it out on her own Sarai label in light of the modest sales of Passion Play. However, a version pressed for promotional purposes was widely bootlegged amongst fans. This contained the tracks: "The Mackin Game", "I'll Take the Pressure", "Baby I'm Your Fiend", "My Body's Hungry", "Ecstasy", "I'm On Fire", "Watcha Got 4 Me", "Black Rain", "1999", "Butterflies", "Spanish Harlem", "Blackberry Playa", "The Perfect Feeling" and "Rainbow Outro". Some of these tracks have resurfaced on the later albums La Dona, Sapphire and Congo Square, in some cases (e.g. "The Mackin Game") in significantly reworked versions. Although there have been rumours of other tracks recorded during the Black Rain sessions, including one called "Underneath the Covers" and another (allegedly a duet with Rick James) entitled "Pretty Tony", these would appear to be apocryphal.

2004-2006: La Do a and Sapphire

After a 14-year sabbatical from the national spotlight, Marie returned to her musical career by signing with the Classics sub-label of the successful hip-hop label Cash Money Records, and she released her comeback album, La Do a, in 2004, and follow up Sapphire, in 2006. La Do a became a gold-certified success (and the highest-charting album of her career, peaking at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart) on the basis of the Al Green-sampled "I'm Still In Love" (#23 R&B, #70 Pop) and a duet with the late Gerald Levert, "A Rose by Any Other Name." Marie was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for "Still in Love." Marie quickly followed this success with the release of Sapphire in 2006. While sales were not as great this time around (the album peaked at #24 on the Pop Chart), the release did give Marie yet another R&B Top-40 hit, "Ooh Wee" (#32); it also reunited her (on "God Has Created" and "Cruise Control") with Smokey Robinson, the early Motown mentor whose style she had emulated on early hits such as "Young Love." Marie parted ways with Ca$h Money records after the release of Sapphire.

2009-present: Congo Square

On September 19, 2008, Teena performed in concert at BB King's restaurant in NYC. Marie took this time to play a couple of finished tracks from her upcoming album, Congo Square, and she received a positive response from the crowd. Congo Square was released on June 9, 2009 on the Stax Records/Concord Music label. She has described the album as "personal and spiritual" and indicated that it is more jazz-influenced than most of her previous work. Can't Last a Day, a duet with Faith Evans, leaked to the internet in March 2009. Teena Marie says of Evans, "It was after I had recorded the song (Can't Last a Day) I got the idea to put Faith on it. I've always loved Faith and her vocal style. She reminds me of me. Her correlation with Biggie ? having a career with him and without him reminds me of me and Rick (Rick James). I feel like she's a younger me. Of the younger ladies, she's the one I love most. The album proved another success, reaching the Top 20 on Billboard's Top 200, and giving Teena Marie yet another Top 10 R&B chart entry. Now here are some of my Favorite songs by Lady T

Teena Marie- LoverGirl


Teena Marie- Square Biz


Teena Marie- Portuguese Love


Teena Marie- OOO La La La


Teena Marie- Dear Lover

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Celebration-HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS


Wow! As Christmas is coming to a close I am constantly being reminded that it's NOT about the gifts and presents Okay I'm just kidding maybe it is ALL about those gifts and presents that we receive from family and friends but to me the true meaning of Christmas is the obedience of two people name Mary and Joseph who were obedient to God in giving the World the GREATEST gift and that was JESUS! I am so amazed that I understand the true meaning of Christmas and that is why I humble myself in AWWWWWW of just that amazement that bring me JOY UNSPEAKABLE. So as you are celebrating with your Family and Friends that have traveled in and out of town remember that this is JESUS BIRTHDAY! and let's be in AWWWWW of his Splender and Glory. Here is my Song to you JESUS

Mariah Carey-Jesus Born on this Day


Wishing everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! JESUS LIVES

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Reflection- Joseph Story


As millions ALL over the world are finishing up there LAST Minute shopping preparing Christmas dinner for family, friends and those that are traveling in and out of towns I am STOPPING to take this time to honor and reflection on My Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST YESSSS I am talking about The King of Kings and the Lord Of Lords who is soon to Return but I want to focus on is the Man behind JESUS his Father Joseph Here is is Story.

Joseph- may He(Yahweh)increaser
The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to suffer for those beliefs. Joseph was a man with strong beliefs. He was prepared to do what was right despite the pain he knew it would cause. But Joseph had another trait-he not only tried to do what was right, he tried to do it in the right way. When Mary told Joseph about her pregnancy, Joseph knew the child was his. His respect for Mary's character and the and the story she told him, as well as her attitude toward the expected child, must have made it hard to think his bride had done something wrong. Still, someone else was the child's father-and it was difficult to accept that the "someone else" was God.

Joseph decided he had to break the engagement, but he was determined to do it in a way that would not cause public shame to Mary. He intended to act with justice and love. At this point, God sent a messenger to Joseph to confirm Mary's story and open another way of obedience for Joseph-to take Mary as his wife. Joseph obeyed God, married Mary, and honored her virginity until the baby was born. We do not know how long Joseph lived his role as Jesus' earthly father-he is last mentioned when Jesus was 12 years old. But Joseph trained his son in the trade of carpentry, made sure he had good spiritual training in Nazareth, and took the whole family on the yearly trip to Jerusalem for the Passover, which Jesus continued to observe during his adult years. Joseph knew Jesus was someone special from the moment he heard the angel's words. His strong belief in that fact, and his willingness to follow God's leading, enabled him to be Jesus' chosen earthly father.

Strengths and Accomplishments
A Man of Integrity
A descendant of King David
Jesus' legal and earthly father
A person sensitive to God's guidance and willing to do
God's will no matter what the consequence

Lessons from his life
God honors integrity
Social position is of little importance when God chooses to use us
Being obedient to the guidance we have from God leads to more guidance from him
Feelings are not accurate measures of the rightness or wrongness of an action

Key Verses

"Then Joseph her husband being just a man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeard unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:19,20)

As I have reflected on the Life of Joseph I am AMAZED and I just LOVE the simply fact of his humbleness and his obedience to God, thats why Christmas takes on a Special meaning to me to know that Joseph was Jesus legal and earthly father that is the reason why JESUS is the reason for ALL Seasons. You know that I can't leave without playing you some of my favorite Christmas Music by some of my favorite singers

Mariah Carey-O Holy Night


Mariah Carey- Joy to the World


Helen Baylor- Mary did You Know



Wishing you and yours a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS! Lets Keep Christ in Christmas

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Bithday 2 Morris E. Day


With his trade mark saying like Yessss and "WHAT TIME IS IT" and who can forget that signature laugh WHOOOOHAAAAA Millions ALL over the world know of this man that was apart of the Minneapolis rival band called The Time I am talking about none other than Morris E. Day born on December 13th YESSSSS December 13th we the Purple Hippies and Millions all over celebrate and honor Morris E. Day 54th Birthday so here is his story.

Morris Day (born December 13, 1957, in Springfield, Illinois) is an American musician and composer. Although a gifted drummer, he is best known as the charismatic lead singer of The Time, a band that also launched the careers of famous producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Day was a high-school classmate of both Prince and André Cymone and the trio formed an early band called “Grand Central”, later renamed “Champagne”. Later, Prince embarked on a solo career but retained Cymone for his backing band. The two began to plan a side-group that would focus more on R&B, while Prince would continue to explore various musical styles. The Time was composed of 4 members from an earlier funk group called “Flyte Tyme”, but the lead singer had not been chosen. Sue Ann Carwell was auditioned and Alexander O’Neal nearly became The Time’s lead singer, but dropped out due to payment negotiations. Day, who was now in a band called “Enterprise” allowed Prince to have a song called “Partyup” for his Dirty Mind album and Prince would soon return the favor by giving Day the job of lead singer. Day would suggest guitarist Jesse Johnson, who completed the band’s ensemble.

The Time’s most prolific and visible period came in 1984 when Day played the antagonist to Prince in his film Purple Rain, which helped establish Day’s playboy stage presence. Typically escorted by his valet, “Jerome” (Jerome Benton), Day won fans with his exaggerated vanity (“Jerome bring me my mirror!”) and strutting bravado, acting as a comic foil to Prince’s romantic, sensitive lead.

Here are some of my Favorite Videos of Morris Day

Cool


The Bird


Jungle Love


Fishnet


777-9311


Trendin

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Remembering an American Icon Frank Sinatra 1915-1998 Ol' Blue Eyes


Many may not know this but I am so honored to be born and share a Birthday with two very influential musician one being Sheila Escovedo and the second being Frank Sinatra they both where born on December 12th YES December 12th I was also born on this day and when my mother told me I was born on Ol' Blue Eyes birthday I knew I was a Special baby it was such a privilege and honor to be born on 1 of my many favorite Actor's and singer's birthday "I LOVE ME" some Frank Sinatra you see I grew up watching and listening to his movies and music. So I am going to honor Ol' Blue Eyes because he was someone special to my heart. So yesterday December 12th would have been Frank Sinatra 96th Birthday and here is his story.

Francis Sinatra, born December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, was an American singer and actor. His charismatic and explosive personality made him "bigger than life.". Some of his songs became so popular they are now a part of the American lexicon (New York, New York!) He was part of the 1960s collection of actors known as the Rat Pack, and is infamously associated with the mob.

(born December 12, 1915, Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.—died May 14, 1998, Los Angeles, California) American singer and motion-picture actor who, through a long career and a very public personal life, became one of the most sought-after performers in the entertainment industry; he is often hailed as the greatest American singer of 20th-century popular music.
The band singer

Sinatra's father, Martin, was a tavern owner and part-time prizefighter, and his mother, Natalie—known to all as “Dolly”—was a domineering influence in both local politics and in her son's life and career. Upon hearing the recordings of Bing Crosby, Sinatra was inspired as a teenager to choose popular singing as a vocation. He joined a local singing group, which, as the Hoboken Four, won a talent competition in 1935 on the popular radio program Major Bowes' Amateur Hour. The group toured the country that year, but Sinatra was the only member with serious musical ambitions, and they soon disbanded. For the next few years, Sinatra sang with local dance bands and for remote radio broadcasts. In 1939, while singing and waiting tables at the Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, he was discovered and hired by trumpeter Harry James, who had recently quit the Benny Goodman Orchestra to start his own band.

Sinatra's six-month tenure with the James band resulted in 10 commercial recordings featuring the young singer. On songs such as “From the Bottom of My Heart,”“My Buddy,” and “Ciribiribin,” Sinatra's warm baritone and sensitivity to lyrics are well showcased. The best-known of the James-Sinatra sides is “All or Nothing at All”—a flop in 1939 but a million-seller when rereleased in 1943, after both men had become stars. Sinatra's reputation among industry musicians grew swiftly, and James graciously freed Sinatra from his contract when the singer received a more lucrative offer from bandleader Tommy Dorsey in December 1939. The 83 commercial recordings (as well as several surviving air checks) that Sinatra went on to make with the Dorsey band from 1940 to 1942 represent his first major body of work.

Sinatra was enormously influenced by Dorsey's trombone playing and strove to improve his breath control in order to emulate Dorsey's seamless, unbroken melodic passages. It was also during this period that Sinatra proved his mastery of both ballads and up-tempo numbers, and Dorsey arrangers Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston, and Sy Oliver soon tailored their arrangements to highlight Sinatra's skills. Often teamed with singer Connie Haines, or with Dorsey's vocal group, The Pied Pipers (featuring future recording star Jo Stafford), Sinatra was featured on memorable sides such as “I'll Never Smile Again,” “I'll Be Seeing You,” “Without a Song,” and “Oh! Look at Me Now.”

By 1942 Sinatra's fame had eclipsed that of Dorsey, and the singer yearned for a solo career—a risky venture in the days when few big-band singers found success on their own. Dorsey enjoyed having such a popular performer in his band and became irate when Sinatra expressed his desire to leave, even though Sinatra offered to stay with the band for another year. After months of bitter negotiations, Sinatra left the Dorsey organization in late 1942; within weeks, he was a cultural phenomenon. Near-hysteria was generated by Sinatra's appearances at New York's Paramount theatre in January 1943, and such throngs of screaming, young female fans—known as “bobby-soxers”—had not been seen since the days of Rudolph Valentino. The singer was soon dubbed “Frankieboy,” “The Sultan of Swoon,” and, most popularly, “The Voice.”

The Columbia years

A strike by the American Federation of Musicians against the major record companies curtailed Sinatra's recording output during most of 1943–44. His solo recording career for Columbia Records began in earnest in November 1944, when he compensated for lost time by recording dozens of sides within a three-month period. Songs such as “If You Are But a Dream,” “ There's No You,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” “Nancy,” and his theme song at that time, “Put Your Dreams Away,” are some of the first recordings in what would come to be known to fans as the “Columbia era” (1943–52). His chief arranger during these years was Axel Stordahl, who also left Dorsey in late 1942 to work exclusively with Sinatra. Stordahl's spare string arrangements on beautiful recordings such as “You Go to My Head” (1945), “These Foolish Things” (1945), and “That Old Feeling” (1947) defined the sound of Sinatra's Columbia years.

Sinatra's success continued unabated until about 1948. In later years,
Content she speculated that his sudden drop in popularity was because of his reluctance to change styles and evolve musically. He also garnered a great deal of negative press throughout 1947–48. It was about this time that the public first read reports of his friendships with organized-crime figures, and newspaper accounts were published of Sinatra cavorting in Cuba with the likes of Lucky Luciano and Joe Fischetti, a prominent mob figure. There was also the widely reported incident, and resulting lawsuit, in which Sinatra punched gossip columnist Lee Mortimer, an action for which Sinatra received some vindication in later years when it was revealed that Mortimer had collaborated with the FBI to discredit Sinatra. Whatever the cause, Sinatra began a five-year period of professional decline and personal depression. Years of singing as many as 100 songs per day had taken its toll, and he lost his voice completely for several months in 1950 because of vocal-chord hemorrhaging. His divorce from first wife, Nancy, in 1951 and his subsequent stormy marriage to actress Ava Gardner further harmed his reputation. In addition, then-new Columbia Records president Mitch Miller cajoled Sinatra to record several banal novelty tunes that compromised his artistic credibility. In 1952 his Columbia recording contract came due and was not renewed, he was dropped by his talent agency, his network television show was canceled, and Sinatra was considered a has-been. Ironically, and despite Miller's demands, several of Sinatra's recordings from this period are now considered among his best, with shining examples such as “Mad About You,” “Nevertheless,” “Birth of the Blues,” and, especially, his 1951 recording of “I'm a Fool to Want You.”

The actor

Sinatra appeared in several films throughout the 1940s, the best among them being the musicals in which he costarred with dancer Gene Kelly. Of these, Anchors Aweigh (1945) and Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1949) are pleasant diversions, whereas On the Town (1949) ranks among the greatest of film musicals. It was acting, rather than music, that precipitated Sinatra's comeback in 1953. He pleaded with Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn for the role of the scrappy, tragic soldier, Maggio, in From Here to Eternity (1953), and he agreed to work for scale. His performance was universally praised and earned him an Oscar for best supporting actor. Sinatra went on to become one of the top film stars of the 1950s and '60s, and he delivered fine performances in quality films such as Suddenly (1954), Young at Heart (1954), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955; Academy Award nomination for best actor), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Joker Is Wild (1957), Pal Joey (1957), and Some Came Running (1958). The political thriller The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is perhaps Sinatra's greatest film and features his best performance. With the possible exception of Bing Crosby, no other American entertainer achieved such a level of respect and popularity as both singer and actor. Although it is said that Sinatra stopped taking films seriously after The Manchurian Candidate, owing to his ongoing frustration with the tedious filmmaking process, his motion-picture résumé remains impressive. In later years, he was memorable in The Detective (1968), and in his final starring vehicle, The First Deadly Sin (1980).

The Capitol years

In 1953 Sinatra's musical style took a dramatic turn. He signed with Capitol Records and, throughout the next nine years, issued a series of recordings widely regarded as his finest body of work. He is credited (though perhaps not accurately so) with inventing the “concept album”—an LP collection of songs built around a single theme or mood. His new approach also demanded new arrangements, and the in-house arrangers at Capitol were among the best. He worked with veteran big-band musician Billy May on outstanding up-tempo albums such as Come Fly with Me (1958) and Come Dance with Me! (1959), and with the arranger-composer Gordon Jenkins, whose lush string arrangements heightened the melancholy atmosphere of Where Are You? (1957) and No One Cares (1959).

As excellent as the albums with May and Jenkins were, however, Sinatra's collaboration with arranger Nelson Riddle was truly a legendary musical partnership. Riddle, a former big-band trombonist who had arranged for artists such as Nat King Cole and Ella Mae Morse, scored some of Sinatra's first Capitol sessions in 1953, initiating a collaboration that would extend over two decades and hundreds of recordings. Riddle was, in Sinatra's words, “the greatest arranger in the world,” and critics agreed. With an instinctive sense for the proper musical setting, Riddle employed everything from quartets to 50-piece orchestras for ballad arrangements that were often characterized by a dominant solo instrument (particularly a mournful trombone), and by Riddle's “private melodies,” which served as counterpoint to Sinatra's highly personal approach. For swing tunes, Riddle developed his trademark “heartbeat rhythm,” a steady, driving beat, slightly slower than most swing charts, and meant to emulate “the pulse rate of the human heart after a brisk walk,” in Riddle's words. Virtually all of the albums the Sinatra-Riddle team made for Capitol—such as In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), and Only the Lonely (1958)—are masterpieces.

Despite the importance of the Capitol arrangers in determining Sinatra's new sound, the resulting albums were still very much dominated by the singer himself. Sinatra's voice, which Riddle often described as having the warm timbre of a cello, had deepened and grown in power; gone was the whispery crooning of the Columbia days. His failed marriage to Gardner infused his ballad singing with a heretofore unseen emotional urgency and plaintive quality, although he eschewed anything that approached heart-on-the-sleeve histrionics. He attacked swing numbers with abandon and displayed his jazz influences with an uncanny sense of syncopation and an innate knowledge of “blue notes,” which he incorporated into the melody line. Two of his most heralded recordings—“I've Got You Under My Skin” (1956) and “One for My Baby” (1958), both arranged by Riddle—illustrate well his varied approach to moods and tempi.

The Rat Pack and the mob

During the late 1950s and early '60s, Sinatra frequently appeared on stage and in films with his close-knit band of friends known variously as “The Clan,” “The Summit,” or, most popularly, “The Rat Pack.” Peripheral members included actors Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Shirley MacLaine and honorary member John F. Kennedy, but the core group was always Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin. The trio performed a largely ad-libbed act of boozy humour, captured well in a recording of a 1962 performance at Chicago's Villa Venice nightclub, The Summit: In Concert (released 1999). Although the racial and misogynist humour seems dated to the contemporary listener, the act was seen as the height of swinging sophistication in the 1960s.

It was also about this time that Sinatra generated more controversy for his connections with organized crime. In retrospect, even his harshest critics now acknowledge that Sinatra's association with underworld figures was largely one of involuntary servitude, but there is no question that his fraternizing with notorious individuals such as Sam Giancana eroded his fan base and jeopardized his political friendships. In 1960, at the behest of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.,

Sinatra acted as a liaison between Giancana and the Kennedy family during John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, in order to ensure votes for Kennedy. Within a few years, however, the Kennedy administration launched its war on organized crime and disassociated itself from Sinatra, while Giancana, having lost a powerful political connection, did likewise. Sinatra continued to associate with mob figures throughout the years (“If you sing in joints, you're gonna know the guys that run them,” was Sinatra's standard defense), but his association with Giancana was perhaps the most publicized.

The Reprise years

Sinatra founded Reprise Records in 1960 and was allowed to record there simultaneously with his Capitol contract, which expired in 1962. During the early 1960s, Sinatra recorded at a furious pace, releasing some 14 albums of new material during the years 1961–63. He still worked frequently with Riddle, May, and Jenkins, but new arrangers such as Johnny Mandel, Neal Hefti, and Don Costa contributed fresh ideas to his recordings. Sinatra's prodigiousness during these years resulted in some quickly recorded albums of uneven quality, but there were also several classics on par with the best of his Capitol work. His two 1960s masterpieces, the Jenkins-arranged September of My Years (1965) and the partnership with Brazilian songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim, Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), rank among Sinatra's greatest albums. He also had chart success during the decade with the hit singles “Strangers in the Night” (1966), “That's Life” (1967), and “My Way” (1969), but as the decade wore on, his output was increasingly marred by misguided attempts to capture the youth market or by questionable choices of collaborators.

The mature years

By 1969 the “Woodstock generation” dominated the music market, leaving Sinatra to lament, “Nobody's writing songs for me any more.” He announced his retirement in 1971, but by 1973 he was recording once again. In his last two decades as a recording artist, he chose his projects carefully and released only seven albums of new material. His voice grew increasingly gritty and coarse, the product of years of abuse from cigarettes and alcohol. But he had learned to turn vocal shortcomings into interpretive strengths, and some of his later recordings are among his most poignant. His well-regarded albums of later years include volume one of the ambitious three-disc Trilogy (1980), the ballad collection She Shot Me Down (1981), and L.A. Is My Lady (1984), which featured an all-star orchestra. He returned to the recording studio (and to his former label of Capitol Records) after nearly a decade's absence to record Duets (1993) and Duets II (1994), which paired Sinatra with several contemporary popular singers. Though not critical favourites, the Duets albums sold millions of copies and were Sinatra's final recordings.

In addition to his curtailed recording activity, Sinatra virtually retired from films during his later years. He concentrated instead on live performance and gave hundreds of international concerts from the late 1970s, with his final public performance in 1995. Although he suffered from failing memory and various physical infirmities during his last few years, he remained a compelling showman to the end.
Assessment

Sinatra will probably always remain a subject of controversy, largely because of his association with crime figures and his often belligerent attitude toward members of the press. Of his artistry, however, there is little debate, and the more than 1,400 recordings he made during more than 50 years as a performer are regarded by many critics as the most important body of work in American popular vocal music. Almost single-handedly, Sinatra redefined singing as a means of personal expression. In the words of critic Gene Lees, “[Sinatra] learned how to make a sophisticated craft sound as natural as an intimate conversation or personal confession.” Beneath the myth and the swagger lay an instinctive musical genius and a consummate entertainer. Through his life and his art, he transcended the status of mere icon to become one of the most recognizable symbols of American culture.

LOVE YOU and MISS YOU Ol' Blue Eyes

Here are some of my Favorite's

Luck Be A Lady Tonight


Fly Me to the Moon


I've got you under my Skin


My Way

Monday, December 12, 2011

Celebrating Sheila E. Happy Birthday!!


Today million ALL over the world are celebrating 1 of the GREATEST Female musician in the world. I am so honored to be born and share the same Birthday with her she is just 1 of my many influences, many may or may not know her I am talking about none other than Sheila Escovedo better known to millions simply as Sheila E. And here is her story.

Sheila Escovedo (born , 1957, in Oakland, California), known by her stage name Sheila E., is an American musician, perhaps best known for her work with Prince and Ringo Starr.

Early life and Prince period

Sheila Escovedo is the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Sheila E's uncle is Alejandro Escovedo, formerly with Delphine Neid's first-wave punk rock group The Nuns, Rank and File and The True Believers, followed by a solo career. The late Tito Puente was Escovedo's godfather. She is also niece to Javier Escovedo, founder of seminal San Diego punk act, The Zeros. Another uncle, Mario Escovedo, fronted long-running indie rockers, The Dragons. Escovedo is of Mexican, African American, and Creole heritage. Coke Escovedo who was in Santana and formed the band Azteca was also her uncle.

She made her recording debut with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on "Yesterday's Dream" in 1976. She is a drummer and percussionist and also plays violin and guitar. She had also played with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross by the time she was in her early twenties.

Prince met Sheila at a concert in the early 1980s, when she was performing with her father. After the show, he met her and told her that he and his bassist "were just fighting about which one of us would be the first to be your husband". He also prophetically vowed that one day she would join his band. The two would eventually join forces during the Purple Rain recording sessions. She provided vocals on the B-side to "Let's Go Crazy", "Erotic City" in 1983/84. Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a successful artist in her own right. In 1984 she scored hits with "The Glamorous Life" (#7 on the Hot 100, and regarded as something of an '80s classic), and "The Belle of St. Mark" (#34). She opened for the Purple Rain tour and there was a segment where she would have a man called up on stage and seated in a chair while she sang and teased him (similarly mirrored by Janet Jackson during the "Rope Burn" segment of her Velvet Rope Tour in 1998/99.) Around the same time, the collaborating duo began a brief romantic relationship, while Prince was still seeing Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of Revolution band member Wendy Melvoin.

In 1985 she released Romance 1600, scored another hit with the track "A Love Bizarre" (#11), and the non-album track "Hollyrock" made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. She was also nominated for an American Music Award and a Grammy for "The Glamorous Life". Sheila recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E. She appeared in four films, Krush Groove with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985, Prince's concert film, Sign 'O' the Times in 1987, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi in 2003.

During the Sign o' the Times, Black Album (material which is rumoured to have been intended as birthday party music for Sheila E.), and Lovesexy periods of Prince's career (including the Lovesexy World Tour), Sheila E. served as his drummer and musical director in his highly regarded backup band, dubbed The New Power Generation not long after her departure. During the Sign o' the Times era, she released the single "Koo Koo" from her 3rd album Sheila E., which had Sign o' the Times member Cat as a backup dancer in the accompanying video. Sheila E. also served as a writer and musician on many of Prince's records, as well as on the albums of his prot?g?s such as Madhouse.

Post-Prince and other collaborations

After leaving the Prince organization in 1989 (she actually had a medical problem-collapsed lung), Sheila E. recorded a few more albums, Sex Cymbal, Writes of Passage, and Heaven. However, the albums garnered little attention. This was especially true in the case of Sex Cymbal, since Sheila E.'s health issues prevented her from touring in order to promote it. In 2002 Sheila E. appeared on the Beyonc? Knowles song "Work It Out".

Sheila E. was the leader of the house band on the short-lived 1998 late night talk show, The Magic Hour, starring Magic Johnson.

She played percussion on the Phil Collins cover of "True Colors" in 1998.

In 2000 she played with a band in Japan that back up the well-known artist Namie, Amuro. On the Namie Amuro Tour, she played "Genius 2000", which is featured on the DVD.

Sheila E. has performed three stints with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, in 2001, 2003, and 2006. Her drum "duets" with Starr are a moment of comic relief in the show, where they play the same parts but he quickly falls behind, shrugs and smiles as she takes off on an extended percussion solo. Says Sheila E.: "Ringo truly is one of the greatest rock n' roll drummers in the history of music. He enjoys the joke!"

In 2004, Sheila E. toured New Zealand as drummer and percussionist for the Abe Laboriel Band.

In 2005, Sheila E. was a surprise guest orchestrating a band, in Amerie's "1 Thing" performances for The Lady Of Soul & World Music Awards.

In February 2006, Sheila E. performed with Prince (and Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman) once again at the BRIT Awards.

She also performed at Prince's One Nite Alone... Live! concert, Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas in 2003, 36th NAACP Image Awards in 2005, and on the Good Morning show in June 2006.

In March 2007 she went on a small tour through Europe with her new band project called C.O.E.D. (Chronicles of Every Diva). C.O.E.D. consists of Sheila E., Kat Dyson, Rhonda Smith and Cassandra O'Neal. For several concerts she was joined by Candy Dulfer, who was billed as a special guest.

She performed at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards with Juan Luis Guerra. She also performed at the ALMA (American Latin Music Awards) Awards in June 2007 with Prince, and on July 7, 2007 in Minneapolis with Prince. She performed at all three of his concerts: first, at Prince's 3121 perfume launch at Macy's, followed by the Target Center concert, and finally, at an aftershow at First Ave.

In October 2007, Sheila E. was a judge alongside Australian Idol judge and marketing manager Ian "Dicko" Dickson and Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik on the Fox network's The Next Great American Band.

Sheila E. recently met with Prince on March 29, 2008, who sat in on (and played keyboard) on Sheila E.'s performance with her family at Harvelle Redondo Beach.

On April 9, 2008, Sheila E. appeared on the historic Emmy winning program, Idol Gives Back. It is the most important and significant part of the highly rated American Idol series. Shelia E. took part in the show opener "Get on Your Feet" with Gloria Estefan. Dance troupe, So You Think You Can Dance finalists joined the stage for the memorable moment. Idol Gives Back raised awareness and funds to benefit six charities. International celebrities and sport figures graced the stage for the historic television program event.

On April 26, 2008, Sheila E., along with Morris Day and Jerome Benton, performed with Prince at the Coachella Music Festival.

From May 2 to 6th, 2008, Sheila E. played four sold-out shows at Blue Note Tokyo in Japan. This is the most frequented jazz music club in Tokyo.

On June 14, 2008, Sheila E. performed at the Rhythm on the Vine music and wine festival at the South Coast Winery in Temecula, California for Shriners Hospital for Children. She took the stage with the E Family, Pete Escovedo, Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo. Other performers at the event were jazz musician Herbie Hancock, contemporary music artist Jim Brickman and Kirk Whalum.

On May 30, 2009, Sheila E. and the E Family Band will once again take the stage to perform at Rhythm on the Vine at Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, California for the Hot Latin Beats concert. Also to perform at the concert is Poncho Sanchez.

Sheila E. is the business partner of singer and former The Brides of Funkenstein, Lynn Mabry. They formed a foundation for abused children called the Elevate Hope Foundation.

Sheila E. has collaborated many times with other artists, a notable one being Gloria Estefan for whom she played the timbales. Sheila E. first collaborated with Estefan on Estefan's first Spanish studio album Mi Tierra in 1993, and in 2007 with Estefan's smash hit "No Llores" in which Estefan also collaborates with Carlos Santana and Jos? Feliciano. She also is one fourth of the band C.O.E.D. (Chronicles of Every Diva), who as of 2008 are touring overseas and released a CD available in limited distribution or through her website.

Via claims surrounding brother Peter Michael Escovedo, Nicole Richie is rumored to be Sheila E'.s biological niece. Nicole Richie was born Nicole Camille Escovedo on September 21, 1981 in Berkeley, California. She is the adopted daughter of pop legend Lionel Richie and his first wife, Brenda. Her biological father is musician Peter Michael Escovedo (Wayne Brady Show Band Leader), brother of Sheila E. and son of famed percussionist Pete Escovedo. Nicole began living with the Richies as a toddler; the adoption was finalized when she was nine years old. .

Sheila E. recently won the CMT reality show, Gone Country. This will give her an opportunity to make country music aided by famed country producer, writer, and singer John Rich. Sheila E.'s first song in the country market is "Glorious Train". A video for the song debuted on CMT on March 7, 2009 following the airing of the episode of Gone Country in which Sheila E. was announced the winner.

Here are some of my favorite Videos of Sheila E.

The Glamorous Life


Love Bizarre


Holly Rock


Sheila E Drum Solo from Sign of the Time


Tito Puente and Sheila E.


The E Family


Shelia E~ The Beat Goes on


Shelia E in Oakland

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering Pearl Harbor 70 years Later


Today millions are celebrating and honoring those who have fought in Pearl Harbor 70 years ago, so today I am taking time to honor those who have fought in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the day that will live in Infamy and YES 70years later it is the day that still lives on in Infamy. Here is the story behind Pearl Harbor.

WHY WAS PEARL HARBOR ATTACKED?

The Japanese dreamed of an Empire in Asia and began their quest in early 1931. They overran Manchuria and established it as a state, which they named Manchukuo. Moving into China, the Japanese were initially successful, but ultimately encountered the resistance of the Chinese, under the government Chiang Kai-shek. A crisis arose in 1937, when Japan launched a major offensive in an effort to reduce China into submission.

When this tactic was unsuccessful, Japan adopted a policy of economic strangulation. By 1939, major costal ports were seized and the Chinese capital was forced to move from Nanking to the inland area of Hankow.

In 1940, the French allowed the entry of Japanese troops into Indochina. A treaty was made with Thailand (Siam). By the end of 1940 the Japanese were threatening the Burma Road, China’s last supply line from the outside world. By July 194l, they had completed their occupation of French Indochina and turned their sights to Thailand, Burma and the Philippines.

Concerned over Japan’s ambitions, the US, Netherlands and Great Britain froze Japanese assets in their countries and imposed stringent economic restrictions, cutting off 90% of raw materials required by Japan for war production. The US demanded the aggressive actions against China and Indonesia be halted. Japan was forced to choose between abandoning her efforts or seizure of other areas rich in raw materials. Abandonment was unthinkable and Japan chose the latter.

By December, 194l the Japanese Army had a force of 2,400,000 trained ground troops and an air fleet of 7,500 planes. The US had a force of 1,500,000 of which 1,000,000 were not completely trained, 1,157 combat aircraft and 347 war ships. However, America had already committed to a large portion of war production in the European Conflict.

Japan moved forward with war plans. They believed the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor was their only threat and set out to neutralize the fleet by means of a surprise air attack.

COMMANDERS OF THE US PACIFIC FLEET

The US, and specifically the Army defenses at Pearl Harbor, was under the Command of Lt. General Walter Short. Short’s military career began during World War I and lasted almost 40 years. After the attack on December 7, 1941, Short requested retirement and was relieved of his duty by Lieutenant General Delos Emmons.

Admiral Husband Kimmel, who served as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet after a long run in the military beginning in 1915, also quickly ended his career after the Pearl Harbor attacks. He served during World War I. He stepped down on December 17, 1941 and was replaced as commander of the Pacific Fleet by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

Admiral Kimmel and Lt. General Short shared the same belief: neither expected an attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Short was consumed by his mission to train his command. Both Short and Kimmel failed to heed any warnings and seldom got together to coordinate efforts between the Army and the Navy.

Throughout the four years that followed the Pearl Harbor Attacks, both Short and Kimmel underwent scrutiny for the choices they made while in command. For years each tried to clear their names. It was not until 2000 that Congress issued a resolution saying that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was not a result of their “dereliction of duty” and found that both had acted in a competently and professional manner.

WHY WAS THE US UNPREPARED?

The first warning Hawaii received that Japan might attack the US was sent by the Navy to its fleet commanders on October 16, 1941. The Army staff in Washington disagreed with the Navy's warning and the War Department sent a supplementary message to commanders advising they did not see an abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy in the near future. The War Department did not believe that Japan was on the verge of attacking the United States. Under the circumstances commanders of the Pacific Fleet saw no need to do anymore than what was already being done.

There was also an assumption in Washington that Japan had no seaborne aircraft capable of catching the Army’s B-24 bombers. They further believed that Japan had overextended their military in other regions and could not concentrate their military forces for a large scale strategic offensive in the Pacific. On the eve of the attack, the Honolulu press reflected the belief of Washington that Japan was too weak to pose a really serious threat to the United States.

There was a complete lack of cooperation between the Army and Navy and no one in authority believed in the dangers to which Pearl Harbor was exposed. Training activities preoccupied the Commanders to the exclusion of adequate preparedness against attack and as they prepared for war, they saw no need for Hawaii to be ready for a large-scale attack.

On December 7, 1941, Washington intercepted a written message from Japan threatening war. The United States did not appreciate the full implications of the 7:30 am Hawaii deadline. A last minute warning was sent to the Pacific commanders, however General Short did not receive the message until hours after the attack. Poor communications between Washington and Hawaii helped the Japanese achieve the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two early warnings of the approaching Japanese attack came, but however both were ignored. At approximately 6:30 a.m., a Japanese midget sub was spotted and sunk near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter, an Army radar station on Oahu's north shore reported the sighting of planes about 50 miles away to the Watch Commander at Army information center at Fort Shafter. It was then reported to a Navy lieutenant. The Navy lieutenant believed they were US planes returning from a reconnaissance flight or B-17’s scheduled to arrive from California and the sighting was ignored.

TWO WAVES

The Japanese began their air attack. The first wave arrived over Pearl Harbor at approximately 7:45 a.m. to find seven U.S. battleships moored along "Battleship Row", on the east side of Ford Island. Another battleship was in dry dock in the nearby Navy Yard. Other moorings which the Japanese believed might include battleships, or the equally important aircraft carriers, were at the Navy Yard's 1010 Dock and along Ford Island's western side.

The Japanese initially hit the airfields, destroying many aircrafts located on the southern tip of Ford Island. This attack followed by the dispatch of communications was the World's first notification that war had begun in the Pacific.

Moments thereafter, torpedo planes attacked from west hitting the USS Helena, USS Utah and USS Raleigh, all on the west side of Ford Island. From the east, torpedo planes came in and hit the USS California, the USS Nevada, USS Oklahoma and West Virginia located on the east side of Ford Island.

As the torpedo planes continued the first wave attacks, additional bombs were dropped on "Battleship Row", hitting several ships. The USS Arizona received a death blow followed by a huge explosion. As the first wave departed, the Japanese telegraph operator taped out Tora, Tora, Tora: the code word for surprise attack achieved.

The second wave of planes further attacked some of the ships already hit, further destroying the Navy Yard. The battleship Pennsylvania and three destroyers were bombed in dry dock. Other bombers went after the Nevada, which had left her berth and was trying to get to sea. Anti-aircraft gunfire met these ships, causing losses which were far greater than those of the first attack wave.

Fortunately, neither wave had the opportunity to hit American aircraft carriers, all of which were out at sea. Fuel storage tanks, maintenance areas and most destroyers and submarines were not targeted. However, in less than two hours the Japanese had ruined the U.S. Pacific Fleet's battleship force, ensuring the US would not interfere with further plans for conquest.