Monday, July 24, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
This is a beautiful live video. "Winelight" was one of my first purchases when I first started listening to Jazz. The other was George Howard's "Asphalt Gardens." Both artist passed away at an early age. Nevertheles, I love that smooth 80s Jazz music. It brings back such pleasant memories. Enjoy.
Sunday, July 09, 2017
I love this song by Etta James, "A Sunday Kind of Love." I loved it so much that I gave the title to my Sunday night show on WHCJ at Savannah State University (College in my day) in Savannah, Georgia in the early 90s. I was on-air every Sunday evening from 8:00 p.m. - 12 midnight. It was one of the few commitments that I would keep on a weekly basis for more than 3 years. That's how I knew that it was true love. It lasted longer than any of my campus relationships.
Although I have moved on with life and married, I still think about that commitment now and then; of course, it is usually on Sundays as 8:00 p.m. approaches. Back then, I would jump on my bike with my sack of choice music and glide on over to the station. Once that clock hit the 8, I'd hit play and on came... "Summer Madness" by Kool and the Gang. I know. Why didn't I use Etta? Well, I thought that it would be too obvious. Plus, "Summer Madness" was a great music bed while I introduced myself and the night's show:
Good evening. You're listening to Savannah State radio, WHCJ-90.3 fm. This is your host, Stephen Bess, and thank you for joining me tonight for another edition of "A Sunday Kind of Love." Please, just sit back and relax and I will take care of the rest...
Man, I loved it! Yes, those were good times. I will never forget those days. I enjoyed some quiet times every Sunday night in that campus studio. I took request and talked to friendd of the station over the phone. Once in a while, I even received a visit from a friend on campus. However, most of the time it was just me and the microphone. Well, now that those days are behind me, I just listen to Ms. Etta sing as I reminisce of A Sunday Kind of Love at WHCJ radio. Those were good times. Good night everybody.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Ben's Chilli Bowl on U Street in Washington, DC (Photo: S Bess 2006)
Forget about the present situation, these were the Pre-Obama days in DC. Gentrification had not fully enveloped the U street corridor at this point. Ben's alley wall was blank and there was nothing happening "Next Door." There were still a few business left from the post-riot days; however, everyone knew that it was coming. The one hundred year cycle was over! The place was changing. DC was changing. My life was changing. Things are very different now in 2017.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Thursday, May 04, 2017
This is a short video on Zora Neale Hurston and her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ms. Hurston was an anthropologist, folklorist, historian, and writer to a name a few, but I am sure that there was more to her as a human being and a woman. Thank you, Ms. Hurston.
Friday, April 21, 2017
This music is so pure and unfiltered. I love it. It's true "soul" music. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Leave it all to God through Christ, our savior! "...when I lay my burdens down."
Saturday, March 11, 2017
John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1912 – June 21, 2001) is one of my favorite Blues singers. He was so poetic and creative with his guitar and lyrics. I think of the Blues as a linguistic record of African American Vernacular English. Listen closely and you will understand. Well, if you were raised in an environment where that language was spoken, you will have a better understanding. Enjoy. Peace~
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Jimmy Rushing, the beloved teddy bear, blues shouter, balladeer, and swing jazz singer who hailed from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was best known as the featured vocalist of Count Basie's Orchestra from 1935 to 1948.
He also made appearances in film such as the 1969 Gordon Parks film, The Learning Tree. In this video, Mr. Rushing is showing off some of his big, smooth dance smooths and vocals. Read more about the life and times of of Jimmy Rushing at AllMusic.com.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Did you know that Uncle Ben was a real person? We really don't care who is fact or fiction when we want some rice to go with those red b...
I grew up in the Linda Pollin Memorial Housing Projects. First of all, I did not know that it was built in memory of Abe Pollin...