It has been said that excellence is the most effective tool for combating racism, or any other counterproductive “ism.”
One of the most outstanding people on television news today is Don Lemon, who anchors the prime-time weekend version of “CNN Newsroom.”
Lemon is polished, likable, confident, nice looking and, of course, a total pro. His appeal is wide-ranging, which is to say he makes all viewers comfortable. His ethnicity is not an issue, and in an ideal society, that is how it should be.
Lemon, who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has been with CNN since 2006, always makes African-American viewers proud, yet at no time does he come across as “a Black news anchor.” Rather, he is “a news anchor who happens to be Black.”
There is a difference.
IF YOU watch, or used to watch, “American Idol,” you surely remember Melinda Doolittle from season six, one of the best singers in the history of the show. (For example, her rendition of “My Funny Valentine” was stunning.)
She recently revealed a system her mother, Marguerite Doolittle, had for defusing negativity. Whenever Melinda wanted to say something bad about a person, Mom would make her say three good things first.
“Of course, her advice was irritating to me at the time,” said Doolittle, “but I have discovered a lot of wisdom in my mother’s simple, common sense truth.”
After saying three good things, she often lost the desire to say that bad thing.
SOMETIMES people are so good that they just have to win any award they are nominated for. One example is Jamie Foxx, who was nothing less than awesome — and thoroughly convincing — as Ray Charles in “Ray.”
And then there was Fantasia on “American Idol.” She had been building up to winning all of season three. However, when she sang “Summertime” it was obvious that for her not to win would have been a travesty.
Jeff Bridges completely deserved his Oscar in the Best Performance By An Actor in a Leading Role category for his remarkable work in “Crazy Heart.” He was “all the way there” and was completely believable as a country singer (Bad Blake) on the decline, personally and professionally. No one could have played the part better.
LUDACRIS, rapper and actor, is probably smiling right now. That is because his new album, “Battle of the Sexes,” sold a very impressive 137,000 copies in one week, enough to make it the No. 1 album in the United States
I was just looking at the cover of Leela James’ new album titled “My Soul.” Hmmm, is she trying to outdo Erykah Badu? This gives new meaning to the term “big hair.” It’s a nice album and will be released on May 25.
It was good to hear that Tiger Woods will be returning to the Masters Tournament next month. He paid enough already for his indiscretions and, besides, it’s not like he killed someone, committed rape or anything like that. Besides, professional golf needs him. He is the best and the one who draws the largest number of people to the sport. Not to mention all the money he generates.
This is what you call “something different”: A trio called the Carolina Chocolate Drops has emerged, playing music from the early 20th century (jump, country string, etc.). The instruments are a banjo and two fiddles, plus vocals.
It was a mistake for “American Idol” to allow Paula Abdul to leave. (They should have paid her the amount she sought.) It was perfect with three judges: Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, each with a distinct personality and style. Plus this eliminated the possibility of a tie, especially if a crucial stay-or-go decision had to be made. Also, the show seems to be lacking something else this season. Maybe that’s partly because Adam Lambert raised the bar so high last season.
Praise Dancers are popular but I am among those who find them annoying. If I am at a church service, one of the last things I want to see are ladies in tights “praising the Lord” in modern dance. Among other things, it is distracting.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW...that five of the great soul men, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Ben E. King, Don Covay and Arthur Conley, had a hit as a quintet in 1968 titled “Soul Meeting.” They called themselves the Soul Clan.
MEMORIES: “Get Here” (Oleta Adams), “This Masquerade” (George Benson), “Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy” (the Brides of Funkenstein), “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl” (Chapter 8), “It’s All in the Game” (Tommy Edwards), “Pick Up the Pieces” (AWB), “Go Away Little Boy” (Marlena Shaw), “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” (Roy Ayers Ubiquity), “Practice What You Preach” (Barry White), “The Message” (Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five), “No Place to Go” (Perri), “
BLESSINGS to Beatrice G. Jones, Emanuel Stewart, Derek Dirckson, Patrick J. Heron, Jacqueline Davis, Roz Ryan, Diane Perkins, Billie Cooper, Damon Williams, Tony Tsar, Maxine Powell and Henry Tyler.
WORDS OF THE WEEK: “What people say about you is much less important than why you care.”
Let the music play!
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