Monday, January 30, 2012
Dorothy Hawkins was only 14 when she gave birth to Jamesetta Hawkins. Jamesetta born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California knew at a young age that she wanted to sing .At the age of five James received her first professional vocal lesson from James Earle Hines. Hines was a musical director of the local church choir, in Los Angeles. Jamesetta Hawkins known as Etta James had a variety of musical styles. Her style touched some of every music genre like blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid-1950s, she gained fame with hits such s "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" Throughout her life she faced a number of personal problems, one of the more memorable was he battle with drug addiction, before making a musical resurface in the late 1980s with the album The Seven Year Itch. By the mid-1990s, James' earlier classic music was played in different commercials "I Just Wanna Make Love to You". Due to exposure of the song in a particular UK commercial, the song reached the top ten of the UK charts in 1996. James continued to record for Private Music, she released a blues album entitled “Matriarch of the Blues in 2000. The release of this album had James returning to her R&B roots with Rolling Stones hailing it as a "solid return to roots", further stating that the album found the singer "reclaiming her throne — and defying anyone to knock her off it.” In 2001, James was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the latter for her contributions to the developments of both rock and roll music and rockabilly. In 2011, James was voted one of the 11 Best Singers on Earth by viewers and representatives of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. In recent years, James was seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. In 2009 James was able to make a final television appearance, as she performed one last time on Dancing with the stars, one of her more famous singles “At Last”. In November 2011, James released her final album “The Dreamer” , which was critically acclaimed upon its release. James released a statement that this would be her final album. Early 2011, James was diagnosed with leukemia. The illness became terminal and on January 20,2012 just days before her 74th birthday we lost the beautiful, talented soul diva. Although she lived a full and beautiful life Etta James will be missed by all those that she has influenced throughout her life.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Written by John Ridley and “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder, and directed by Anthony Hemingway Red Tails is a film that depicts the story of the Tuskegee air men. Many would argue that the film still succeeds in displaying the experience and lifestyles of how these brave men even through all the adversity and segregation risked their lives to The film’s cast includes Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Academy Award nominated actor and Chicago native, Terrence Howard.
I was able to interview a few Spelmanites about the film COMING SOON!!
“Common remains one of the best pure emcees in hip-hop, still spitting that raw after two decades in the game with his new album, The Dreamer/The Believer.”
– Complex Magazine
Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. Better known under his stage name "Common" previously known as Common Sense was born March 13th in 1972 is one of the more prominent voices in hip-hop's new millennium renaissance. As an American hip-hop artist and actor born on the South side of Chicago he is still making major moves as he releases his--- 9th album to an audience of beautiful fans. Common released his debut album, "Can I Borrow A Dollar?", under his original name Common Sense. Tracks like "Charm's Alarm" and "Breaker 1-9" immediately putting him on the maps as a clever, amazingly talented lyricist. Having street-smarts, and love for extended similes,Common has produced more and more tracks and roles proving that he is in the right place. With films like Wanted and Just Right he has earned the respect and credibility that he is associated with. Now on his 9th Album,he still doesn't cease to amaze his fans with a full album entitled "The Dreamer,The Believer"