National Pancake Day – The Greatest Day of the Year!
I love pancakes – especially the light, fluffy ones. Growing up as a child, pancakes were one of those foods you look forward to just like you looked forward to the weekend, summer or a snow day from school. Come to think of it, pancakes were one of those dishes my mother would serve on the weekend. Pancakes have been around almost since the beginning of time. Cave men dropped a little gruel on a hot rock of the campfire. Maybe that's why their associated with rituals like Shrove Tuesday and Chanukah. Nowadays you can get pancakes served with fruit, different flavored syrup and with natural healthy ingredients. That's all well and good but nothing beats the simple pancake or flapjacks, or Johnny cake. Happy National Pancake Day!
My brother died from complications of Sickle Cell Disease in the prime of his life. And I miss him. So when I learned how the Sickle Cell Association of Hampton Roads was helping people through their education and community outreach program, I leaped at the opportunity to show my support. Management at 95.7 RnB was gracious enough to sponsor a table at the Hampton Roads Sickle Cell Association’s annual celebrity black-tie event. A star studded event that included actor/director Obba Babatunde (One Life to Live and All My Children and The Manchurian Candidate) was the featured speaker along with special guest Kiki Shepard (Showtime at The Apollo). I had the pleasure of giving the welcoming remarks. Through research we came up with a cure for Sickle Cell Disease. Meanwhile it’s imperative that couples get tested for the Sickle Cell trait prior to having children. It’s also important to donate blood. People with Sickle Cell have to routinely get blood transfusions. It’s critical that matching blood is found for these patients. Increasing the number of Afro-Americans and Hispanic blood donors is critical to the treatment of patients with Sickle Cell Disease. Get tested. Donate blood.
Donnell Rawlings, `Ash Larry` from Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed Chappelle Show stopped by the studio today. He’s a naturally and insightful funny dude. What I really like about him is sense of humility. He’s grateful to be where he is in life and he doesn’t take it for granted. I was surprised to learn that he inspired to be a DC police officer and was just days away from attending the police academy before he stepped out of the shadows into the spotlight. I don’t think law enforcement was the right career path for him anyway. I know it’s wrong for one brother to profile another – but the guy looks like he could be on the other side of the law. Besides that, he used to conduct traffic stops on attractive women just to get their phone number when he was an Air Force MP.
Donnell Rawlings will be performing over the weekend at the Virginia Beach Funny Bone. I’m going to check him out. Laughter is good for the soul – it has healing properties. Donnell Rawlings will take your mind off what ails you. It’ll be cold over the weekend. Put on plenty of lotion before you head over to the Funny Bone. You wouldn’t’ want to get ashy.
Forecasters predict this winter may be a lot colder than last. With the expected arrival of El Nino, we could be sitting smack dab in the middle of severe weather and snowstorms this winter. But luckily I’m ready, thanks to the pros at House Call Company. Just recently they replaced the inducer draft motor in my heating unit. Luckily parts were still available this late in the season. I’ll be taking their advice and signing up for House call’s service plan which includes an annual check on my unit so they can find and fix small problems, before they turn into big ones. Don’t make the same mistake I did, call the House Call Company today and schedule a home heating system tune-up right now and ask them to show you how you can lower your energy bill this winter. The number’s 394-3403. Or go to house call-company-dot-com.
The House Call Company preventive maintenance plan safeguards your budget, protect your home and prevent the hassle.
95.7 RnB inaugural Soul Music Festival Saturday night at the Hampton Coliseum was a musical delight for R&B enthusiast and purveyor s of classic soul and R&B. The near capacity crowd was treated to quality, unforgettable tunes that stayed with you long after the show ended.
Chrisette Michelle opened the event. While she doesn’t yet have the musical pedigree like the other established acts on the bill she more than delivered. She’s one of those singers with a remarkable voice. It’s a shame that she’s so underrated because she’s the real deal. Her interaction with the audience was exceptional. She was very friendly and relatable. Chrisettte was near perfect in her stage presence and her vocals were 5 star quality. I’ve got a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Chrisette Michelle. Don’t sleep on her.
Mint Condition was the next act and they got right down to business with heir high-energy performance. No background singers. No dancers. No flashy pyrotechnics. None of that! Just a helluva band all by themselves. Mint Condition has been one of my personal favorites since they burst on the scene back in the mid-1980s. Saturday night was the first time I ever had the pleasure of seeing them live – and I’m glad I did. Lead singer Stokley Williams is a natural performer. A beast! I just wish that they would’ve kept a little more to the original sound of the songs that made them popular and I was disappointed because they didn’t perform You Got Me Swinging.
Stephanie Mills graced the stage after Mint Condition. Her performance was nothing short of spectacular! She delivered everything I personally hoped for and more. Steph still has it going on at age 57 with her youthful exuberance and dynamic vocal delivery. She hasn’t lost a note or missed a beat. She sang her greatest hits as well as one of Beyoncé‘s. Each and every song was invigorating and Steph had the house jamming and celebrating love and life. The only drawback was the length of her performance. I didn’t’ want her to end.
The Whispers, who keep getting better with time, closed the evening. Their set was like listening to a K-Tel’s greatest hit cd. With soooo many hits under their belts, they had to do several medleys to include their most popular songs. What really made their performance remarkable was their band. Not only were they a-list musicians, they all synchronize their dance moves with the Whispers dance moves while continuing to play their instruments!
All in all the 95.7 RnB inaugural Soul Music Festival was an unforgettable concert experience. For those who heard this music the first time around, welcome home. For those who were hearing it for the first time, please to meet you.
My wife and sons would beg to differ whenever I make that rallying cry. You see for years I was an ardent Washington fan. I love DC. I think it’s the most interesting and powerful city in the world. We bought our first home there. I started my radio career at the Navy Radio News service while stationed at the Pentagon. I was there during the team’s glory days. When guys like Doug Williams, Art Monk, John Riggins and that powerhouse front line known as the hogs reign supreme. Notice here that I have yet to refer to the NFL franchise by its mascot name. I’m taking a stand with Native American’s – the indigenous people of this country - who feel that the name is a derogatory slur. They want it dropped and I agree with them. Sure the term has been romanticized over the decades. But as anyone who grew up on a steady diet of TV westerns know that the term was used as an attack on one’s humanity
I came of age politically while living in DC. I was a member of Operation PUSH. I marched alongside Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Dick Gregory and countless others in an effort to push legislation recognizing Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday. But I don’t think Washington’s football team is entitled to slander native people. I could love the team without the name
Besides, I got nothing but love for Texas. When I was a younger man in search of adventure and the ultimate party, I ran off and joined the Navy. After boot camp I got stationed in a Texas town so small few Texans have heard of it. Beeville, Texas. It was an advance jet training command stuck out in the boonies to perhaps avoid an aircraft mishap. What a bust. But after about a year being there, I met a beautiful young woman who later became my wife. I bought my first set of wheels there. A 1972 Grand Torino with a 351 Cleveland engine. The kind Starsky & Hutch drove. So I have fond memories and strong ties to Texas. And no matter if my family welcomes me to the fold - I’m here. Unless Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington franchise, join the many states and school district across the country in refusing to say it’s ok to marginalize native people.
Now how ‘bout them Cowboys?
I donated blood last Friday for the second time in my adult life. Youâre probably thinkingâ¦no big whoop. Well it is for me. Iâm a bit squeamish when it comes to needles and the thought of blood being drained from my body. It used to be scary but all that changed recently. Our sister station Z-104 conducts blood drives frequently here at the station. I got to see the dedicated people from the Red Cross and the many donors who unselfishly gave two of lifeâs most precious commodity â their time and their blood. I was compelled to do the same. And I feel good about it! I discovered that I have A- type blood. Itâs a rare, yet powerful type that only 6% of the population has. I also learned recently while conducting an interview with Judy Anderson, Executive Director of the local Sickle Cell Association, that sickle cell patients often need blood transfusions. My younger and only brother passed away years ago due to complications from sickle cell. I now take comfort in knowing that my blood could improve the quality of life of someone like my brother who passed away at an earlier age. If youâre a blood donor â bless you. If not, please consider becoming one. Consider it an investment in your or someone you love life.
(Be sure to check out my interview with Judy Anderson of the Sickle Cell Association 7am, Sunday, November 2nd during our community affairs segment â Hampton Roads Perspective. And make plans to attend their Sickle Cell Celebrity Black Tie and Benefit Gala. Details at the Community Affairs/PSA page here on our website.)
Where Have All The Great RnB Bands Gone?
If you’re a purveyor of smooth RnB from yesterday and today you’re probably just as ecstatic as I am about our Soul Music Festival at the Hampton Coliseum next Saturday night. In addition to enjoying the grown-folk sounds of The Whispers, Stephanie Mills and Chrisettee Michelle , I’m especially looking forward to seeing Mint Condition. Mint Condition represents the last of the dazzling, highly energetic live bands. In the early 90’s, they were the only high-profile R&B band with a major-label recording contract. They’re seeped in the tradition of great bands from back in the day like Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, The Isley Brothers and most recently Tony! Toni! Tone! Sadly, there are no major high-profile R&B bands these days. Young people don’t play in bands like they did when I was growing up. Back in my day, every high school had at least two or more group of kids who played instruments in a band. I don’t think you can find that nowadays. I can only think of just a handful of tight local R&B bands. Ra Jazz comes to mine. So does Kustom Made (shout-out to my man Terry). The only place today where you can find young people developing their sound and their chops is in the church. But if you love smooth grooving music that’ll get your head nodding and your hips swaying along with the music – be sure to be at our Soul Festival next weekend when the curtain goes up on Mint Condition.
For the like of me I can’t fathom the popularity of TV reality shows. Particularly The Real Housewives of wherever variety. You know the type. I’m talking about the ones where they assemble upwardly mobile, attractive women who behave ugly. What’s so entertaining about that? Reality TV is akin to WWF wrestling. No. I take that back. Participating in the WFF involves a degree of athleticism. To be in a reality show you pretty much have to be devoid of civility, easily provoked and lacking compassion. Glamorized vulgarity and a sense of materialism are also desirable. There’s nothing “real” about reality TV. People change whenever there’s a mike or camera around. They become self-conscience of how they look and speak. Reality TV shows may not be scripted but I’m sure the participants are given some sort of story line to follow, and are probably coached in what to say or how to behave. Even the term reality TV is bogus, a misnomer, a contradiction of terms. I watch TV to escape reality. If I wanted reality, I’d shut the TV off and talk with my sons about their goals in life.
On second thought – pass me the remote.