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According to OTIS WILLIAMS, in his autobiography (“Temptations”), David wasn’t the only one with ego problems.
“We had to let DENNIS (EDWARDS) go,” he said. “His troubles were getting out of control, and his attitude was generally intolerable. We loved Dennis, but we just couldn’t take his nonsense anymore.”
No doubt Edwards sees things differently.
DON CORNELIUS laughs today when he recalls that James Brown had an extremely hard time believing that “Soul Train,” the popularity of which at the time was phenomenal and growing, could possibly be owned by a Black man. On more than one occasion he said to Cornelius, “Come on, tell me, who’s backing you?”
Despite being a widely acclaimed and highly respected actress, and having received an Academy Award nomination, ANGELA BASSETT is still among the talented Black actresses who do not work as regularly as they should.
The situation is better for a select few Black superstar actors who work constantly, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle.
Despite that unfair reality, Bassett says she will not accept any role that is below her standards. She said you have to be a “faith walker,” and that it is essentially that you go into that business for “the love of acting.”
NICK ASHFORD and VALERIE SIMPSON have been together now, first as lovers then as husband and wife, since the early 1960s. Ashford said one of the things that first attracted him to Simpson was “the way she moved” in the choir at White Rock Baptist Church in New York.
Knowing that Nick may have been having some non-spiritual thoughts, Valerie laughed and quickly explained, “Those were church moves!”
Which brings to mind something funny gospel superstar VICKIE WINANS once said. At the time her son was about 12. Someone asked her what kind of music he listened to. She said, “Oh, he listens to gospel music.” After thinking about it for a few seconds she added, “But when they have those headphones on, you don’t know what they’re listening to!”
These days Detroit’s own BETTYE LAVETTE is everywhere — concerts at prestigious venues, appearances on TV shows such as David Letterman’s, even singing for the president (Obama). But it was an extremely rough road leading to this point. LaVette — the queen of tenacity — was asked if the thought of quitting ever crossed her mind.
With typical candor and humor she said, “About every two weeks! Sometimes people would want to light candles around me I was so low! But as soon as the phone would ring, I’d get out my high heels and lipstick and go right back to it. Somewhere deep in my heart, I never gave up.”
BRANFORD MARSALIS admits that he and youngerbrother WYNTON MARSALIS are not as close now as they were back in the day. He said those things happen and it’s not an issue. (It has always seemed that Wynton would be the older of the two.)
One mild point of contention might have been when Wynton reportedly said publicly that Branford was playing below his abilities when he was in Sting’s band. (It should be noted that Sting is exceptionally talented and multifaceted.)
So many people are under the assumption that ANITA BAKER was born in Detroit. Although she came to Detroit at a young age, she was actually born in Toledo.
Early in their career, THE POINTER SISTERS were fired as background singers by blues star Esther Phillips because they refused to wear matching outfits.
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