Political commentary from civic activist Ed Gray. The BEST VIDEO BLOGS IN AMERICA.Commentary from a common sense ,bipartisan ,centrist philosophy.Combining Pop Culture entertainment with politics.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Jazzy Friday : Kirk Whalum
Jazzy Friday's is back from its hiatus .We bring you the best in jazz.My favorite artist is Kirk Whalum.The saxman from Memphis Tennessee is the baddest sax player in the last 20 years.I do not miss a concert when he shows up in Dallas.Kirk is always on top of his game - that's "All I Do ".
One Thing about a Kirk Whalum concert is that he always took time to meet with his friends.I have met him three times and he has always been a generous with his time and his conversation,he truly enjoys talking to people and loves what he does.One of the first hits he had was "The Wave "here is the newest version of his classic.The seat isn't the best,but the music is....
Kirk Whalum is an accomplished jazzman but most of all he is a man of God.I have known Kirk to witness to his fans publicly and privately.One of my favorite Kirk Whalum memory is the signed ticket that he gave me of one of his favorite bible verses.Kirk told me that "The Promise" was God's promise for salvation for mankind. Here is "The Promise".
The first time I heard Whitney Houston in concert@ Reunion Arena in 1986 was when she toured with the late Luther Vandross.In that tour was Kirk Whalum who played in her band.Kirk has now ascended to the higher echelons of music,and in tribute to him this weeks Jazzy Friday artist is Kirk Whalum in "Ascension".
In a forest of trees ,there are always trees that stand out from the rest. These trees are known for the regal bearing that they possess.These trees are the foundation of the ecosysytem that supplies comfort to other living creatures in the forest.For it is written when a elder dies we have a lost a tree.Recently we lost two trees with the deaths of Dr. Dorothy I.Height and Dr. Benjamin C. Hooks.
Dr. Benjamin Hooks was born in 1925 the fifth of seven children born to Robert and Bessie Hooks. Dr. Hooks received his college education from LeMoyne College in Memphis,Tennessee and furthered his education to graduate from Howard University.During World War II he suffered the humiliation of seeing Italian prisoner of war soldiers treated with more respect than he was given. Dr. Hooks made a life long vow to fight racial oppression for the remainder of his days.
After Dr.Hooks discharge from the military he enrolled in Depaul University(1948),in Chicago to study law.Dr. Hooks returned to his native Tennessee and joined Dr. Martin Luther King's SCLC.
Dr.Hooks was ordained a Baptist minister and preached at the Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis.
Dr. Hooks was a pioneer in southern civil rights.During the 1950"s he ran unsuccessfully for state representative in Tennessee and the judicial bench. In 1965 Dr. Hooks was appointed by Tennessee Governor Frank Clement to be on the Shelby County Criminal Court.Dr.Hooks subsequently ran for the position and won election to the bench. Dr. Hooks became the first black judge in the South since Reconstruction. Dr. Hooks during this time was a supporter of Republican causes and was equally connected in both parties .It was through this connection that President Richard Nixon appointed him to serve on the Federal Communications Commission. Dr. Hooks served in that position from 1972-1976.
In 1976 Dr. Hooks was elected Executive Director of the NAACP,a position he held this position until 1992.During this time he presided over the NAACP as it transitioned from the civil rights tactics of its heyday to the new generation of leadership.It was during this time that Dr.Hooks and several southern black leaders and their churches was targeted by church burnings in the 1990"s. Hooks retired in 1992.President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Hooks the Medal of Freedom in 2007.
President Bush as quoted “For 15 years, Dr. Hooks was a calm yet forceful voice for fairness, opportunity, and personal responsibility.He never tired or faltered in demanding that our nation live up to its founding ideals of liberty and equality". Dr. Hooks will be missed for those ideals that President Bush so eloquently stated and as Donny Hathaway once sung "Someday We Will All Be Free".
Dr. Dorothy Height 1912-2010 Someday We"ll All Be Free
In a forest of trees ,there are always trees that stand out from the rest. These trees are known for the regal bearing that they possess.These trees are the foundation of the ecosysytem that supplies comfort to other living creatures in the forest.For it is written when a elder dies we have a lost a tree.This week we lost two trees with the deaths of Dr. Dorothy I.Height and Dr. Benjamin C. Hooks.
Dr.Dorothy Height was born March 24 ,1912 in Richmond,Virginia.Her childhood was spent in the Pittsburgh area.Upon graduating from high school she was accepted to Barnard College,one of the Seven Sister Ivy league schools.Barnard College refused her admission and she attended New York University.
Dr.Height lived a full life from partying with famed entertainer W.C. Handy to proofreading Marcus Garvey's newspaper,"The Negro World".Ms.Height 's first social activism was her involvement in the street protests for economic justice led by the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr.,pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who later represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dr .Dorothy Height was an woman who influenced millions through her work in her sorority Delta Sigma Theta Inc.where she served as the 10th president from 1947-1956. Afterwards Dr.Height served as president of the National Council of Negro Women 1957-1998.Upon her retirement she was named Chair and President Emerita.
Known as the "Godmother of the Civil Rights struggle" she was one of the architects of the first March on Washington in 1963 .Dr. Height was an contemporary and equal to the others who organized the march,such as Dr.King,John Lewis,and A.Phillip Randolph .Dr. Height and was there for each subsequent commemoration marches,included being one of the few women at the "Million Man March".
Dr.Height counseled thirteen presidents from President Roosevelt to President Obama.Her civil rights battles underscore the continuous struggle that has encompassed black America.From petitioning the end of lynching with Roosevelt to health care legislation with Obama."At every major effort for social progressive change,Dorothy Height has been there,"Congressman John Lewis said in the Washington Post.
President Clinton awarded Ms.Height the Presidential Medal of Freedom and President George W.Bush awarded Ms.Height the Congressional Gold Medal among the many awards and honors.The NAACP awarded her the Spingarn Medal,known for her ardent feminism she was also inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame.
We are back ! Last week I visited Tulsa with my fraternity brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha!I got on the Party Train in the GAP! Greenwood,Archer ,Pine ,in the historic black neighborhood of Tulsa. Let"s take you back with Uncle Charlie Wilson and the Wilson brothers!
How about some Earth Wind and Fire ? Do you believe that Earth Wind and Fire was one if the best groups in the 70's . Yes , it was written "In The Stone" !
Guess ??? What I found in the bottom of this vault of Funk.Deion Sanders and MC Hammer in a funk inspired "Straight To My Feet"! Funk from Dallas's own Deion back in the day with MC Hammer! Straight from me to your feet !
"Ain 't Gonna Hurt Nobody" to get on down with Ed and Vonda in the Vault of Funk ! Here is a beat from the hard hitting band called Brick!
Well we gotta go , but before we jett out,Jaime Foxx serenades us with his reendition of that famous classic,the "Brady Bunch" ! Until the next time from the home of Vonda's Vault Box,the best music video in America!
Gospel Sunday :Aretha Franklin ,Stevie Wonder, Edwin Hawkins,Donnie McClurkin
The Gospel Sunday blog opens up with the a testimony from a young woman who testifies that we must worship God ,"While The Blood Runs Warm In Our Veins'. Aretha Franklin at a young age was blessed with a voice that moved many to pews to tears.We have found this gem ....
We fall in love all the time but the greatest love is that the Lord has for us. What a joy for us to fall in love with Him! Its the best thing that we can ever do!
It is a Happy Day ! He washed my sins away! Edwin Hawkins and Lynette Hawkins testifies how we should all feel!
When all you have done that you can,what else is there left to do but Stand! Stand up for Jesus,Stand up for the Holy Spirit!Stand up for God! Because they never sit for you! Enjoy and God Bless!
Are you ready for some Ffun - no ,thats not a typo its Confunkshun getting us ready for the Saturday morning groove.Michael Cooper still knows how to make us jam.Vonda wake up and shake a leg in the Vault of Funk!
Now that we got you up ,"Move Your Boogie Body "Yeah this is dated talk, but the music is classic .Classic band contest Confunkshun vs. Bar Kays.Who would win ? We win ...this stuff is bad !
Time to slow it down ,You can't handle all this funk!Can You Stand the Rain? A timeless question,a timeless song by BBD!
Well,it's time for us to go! I hate to do it, but it's time to go just like we came in with Confunkshun!
Chairman Michael Steele is in trouble with the GOP establishement by his poor financial management of the Republican party. Steele is known by what he used to be ,the former Lt.Governor of Maryland is the former brother in law of heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson. Steele parlayed a facinating grassroots bootstrap image to become the face of the Republican party.
Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatism and family values.Steele has failed in these two categories.Steele has proven to be a weak ineffectual leader.First he punked out in a political fight between himself and Rush Limbaugh ,bad move.If you say something, mean it don't craw fish.After making the below comments Steele ran like a scared kitten.
Okay now we know that Rush runs the GOP.
Family values and Fiscal conservatism go hand in hand if you are Republican .Well not so fast.The GOP national party spends more $$$ than it brings it in. They are broke due to his financial management.So in a attempt to maintain street credibility ,Chairman Steele has approved fundraising in of all places a strip club.
I suppose that most of the donations came in ones. Steele may survive this latest controversy however the GOP is in disarray because the Chairman's latest attempt at credibility and $$$ has landed them at the strip clubs .....
Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the Fresh Prince Ain't Leaving
Ed Gray and Senator KBH in 2008 meet @ the Latino Leaders Summit Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson recently decided not to resign her seat in the United States Senate.This has stopped the election campaigns of several announced candidates such as Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Williams has crisscrossed the state acquiring thousands of supporters and campaign contributions from many Republicans.Williams was thought by many in the GOP to be the presumed front runner for a expected appointment by Governor Rick Perry.
The political whupping that Perry put on Hutchinson forced her to go back to Washington as a lame duck. Hutchinson or as many prefer to call her,KBH will remain a force in the Senate due to her seniority,but in Texas GOP circles she remains damaged goods.Meanwhile Williams continues to crisscross this far flunged state conducting interviews like the one below.Not content on a appointment Williams is running to take the Senate seat in 2012.
Senator Hutchinson as you may remember pledged many times during the last election cycle to resign her seat several times ,first after last years Holiday season,then after the governors race whether she won or lost,or at the end of the health care debate.
Many took her word, however in politics as is the weather ,everything is subject to change.Senator Kay reminds me of the old Fresh Prince sketch she ain't leaving.By not leaving she may have turned herself into a lame duck.
Its about that time again ! Time to get our Funk groove on. Saturday means one thing on this blog .Me and Vonda taking a trip back to the vault to bring you the best funk this side of the the computer.If you don't like my music ,you ain't got to use it .
We came to rock the house with Cameo .....
Ain't nobody bad like me ....except Morris Day. Jerome bring me a mirror !
Speaking of the Time ,we need to take our time with the SOS Band and b good 2 u! Me and Vonda will see you back next week when there is more time to funk !
It's been a long time since we had a moment to listen to some jazz on this blog. One of the greatest entertainers of all time was Miles Davis. I was introduced to Miles and his music by my father.Miles was a true artist ,whose music transcended the jazz spectrum. I remember studying political science at SMU ,listening to my man Miles as he played the "Tutu" album .Let's stay awhile and listen to one of the best trumpeters of all times.
Miles was a classic trumpeter who had a hauntingly lovely sound.I used to sit back and listen to this genius with a good cigar and a fine cognac.I think,I will do that now!Enjoy Jazzy Friday with Miles Davis featuring Cameo!
This blog staying true to form is combining pop culture and politics .This past week one of my favorite artists Eryka Badu did the same. I am a fan of Ms. Badu's work, I am also a admirer of JFK .In a Dallas street years ago ,a great tragedy happened that changed the course of events in the world for years to come.The assassination of JFK in Dallas tarnished the image of Dallas for many years to come.
Though while I am a supporter of the arts, there is a line between artistry and poor taste.This was poor taste.Children were in the area of this production ,and her fallen nude body is not a presentation of art that should have been at this tragic place.The murder of our president need not be trivilized by the crass commercialization the hucksters who crowd Dealey Plaza.This week Ms.Badu joined them.
Facebook conversations flowed with comments of support and angst regarding Badu's artistic presentation.Gordon Keith weighed in with his thoughts of the Eryka Badu video and here is his take on it.
Just suppose we take a break for common sense.In these days of political correctness,lets come correct.What if,just what if,a artist decided to strip naked and perform something that they would call art at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis ?
I know Eryka is a artist and is sensitive about her work ,however this was not Common sense.Why do we call it common if no one is using it?