DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S YEAR END CHARTS

On behalf of Da-Professor’s Lounge, I Ra Shawn Da-Professor, host of Da-Professor’s Lounge wishes everybody a Happy New Year. Since I’ve launched my podcast nearly 3 years ago, I’ve been grateful for the support, love, encouragement and inspiration. Well I decided to have an official year end count down, which consists of several different categories of music. It’s a way to show my appreciation for many artist who continue to inspire me and to give them support. It also shows their fans how much they’re love and supported.

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s # 1 song of 2016

Jody Watley-Dancer.

The count down

  1. Jody Watley-Dancer
  2. Shalamar Reloaded-O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L.
  3. Chris Bender-Who Will I Chose
  4. The AlliYance-Cake
  5. 5.Tito Jackson-Get It Baby
  6. Shorty Roc-Feels Good
  7. Regina Belle-You Know How To Love Me
  8. Janet Jackson-Dammn Baby
  9. New Edition-This One’s For Me & U
  10. Prince-Let’s Go Crazy
  11. Natalie Cole-Snowfall On The Shara
  12. A Tribe Called Quest-Black Sm
  13. Earth Wind & Fire-Spend The Night
  14. The Whispers Toast To The Ladies
  15. Anthony Antoine-If
  16. B. Slade-Conversation
  17. Bell-Biv-DeVoe-Run
  18. Brown Baw-Afrikan Girl
  19. Tevin Campbell-Safer on The Ground
  20. Chris Rob-Special Lady
  21. Wordz-The-Poet-Emcee-Use It
  22. Chaka Khan, Mark Stevens & Taka Boom-House of Love
  23. Shelia E-Girl Meets Boy
  24. Jason Duvall Hunter-Ignore
  25. Rhianna and Drake-Work

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s favorite collabos

  1. The AlliYance and Kaoz-I know (U Still Love Me)
  2. Roger Ortega and L*A*W-She’s Breakin’ Necks
  3. Tito Jackson & Big Daddy Kane-Get It Baby
  4. Pretty Boy Rich with I.K.P. & Billy Hood-Little Drummer Boy
  5. Full Circle-Shorty Roc with Kaoz & Booder
  6. Barbra Streisand & Jamie Foxx-Climb Every Mountain
  7. Keith Sweat & Dru Hill-Missing You Like Crazy
  8. Chaka Khan, Mark Stevens & Taka Boom-House of Love
  9. Ricky Jarman & Harmonix-Lucky
  10. Fat Joe & Remy Ma-All The Way Up
  11. Rhianna & Drake-Work
  12. A Tribe Called Quest & Kendrick Lamar-Conrad Tokyo
  13. Aretha Franklin & George Michael-I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
  14. Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole-Unforgettable
  15. Keith Sweat & Silk-Tonight
  16. Snoop Dogg & Shirley Ceasar With Battlecat-U Name It
  17. Latresse Bush & Noel Gourdin-Because of You
  18. T.I. & Marsha Ambroisus-Dope
  19. Tina Turner & David Bowie-Tonite (Live)
  20. Earth Wind & Fire With The Emotions-Boogie Wonderland

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s Favorite Videos of 2016

  1. Shalamar Reloaded-The Mood
  2. Hi-Five-Kit Kat
  3. The AlliYance-Cake (The double feature version)
  4. I.K.P. You Know The Drill
  5. Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole-Unforgettable
  6. Dave-Picture Me
  7. Janet-Dammn Baby
  8. Shalamar Reloaded-O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L.
  9. The AlliYance-Sugar Water Phone Tap
  10. New Edition-This One’s For Me & U
  11. Shelia E-Girl Meets Boy
  12. Shorty Roc-Feels Good
  13. The AlliYance-Voices
  14. George Michael-Freedom
  15. Earth Wind & Fire-Spend The Night
  16. Chaka Khan, Mark Stevens & Taka Book-House of Love
  17. Rhianna & Drake-Work
  18. Prince-The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
  19. Dante Hawkins-Nation Is One
  20. Bry’nt & Esquire-Las Vegas
  21. Ja Pan Nation-Official
  22. Vedo-In My Feelings

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE SLOW JAMS OF 2016

  1. Shalamar Reloaded-The Mood
  2. Hi-Five-Kit Kat
  3. Chris Bender-Pouring Like Rain
  4. New Edition-This One’s For Me & U
  5. SWV-M.C.E. Man Crush Everyday
  6. Silk-Quiet Storm
  7. Keith Sweat-Good Love
  8. Shelia E-Girl Meets Boy
  9. Billy Paul-Me and Mrs. Jones
  10. Damage-After The Love Has Gone

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE LIVE PERFORMERS OF 2016

  1. L*A*W
  2. Chris Rob
  3. The Jacksons
  4. Vashawn Mitchell
  5. Shorty Roc
  6. The AlliYance
  7. Tony Banks
  8. Shalamar Reloaded
  9. Dru Hill
  10. SWV

 

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S POLITICAL/UPLIFTING SONGS OF 2016

  1. Melissa Etheridge-Pulse
  2. Dave-Picture Me
  3. Vashawn Mitchell-Brand New
  4. Dante Hawkins-Nation Is One

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2016

  1. Moonlight
  2. Love Under New Management The Mikki Howard Movie
  3. Surviving Compton, Dre, Suge & Michelle
  4. Bad Dad Rehab
  5. Color Me White

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE SOLO BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST

Tito Jackson

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S ROMANTIC VIDEOS OF 2016

1.Hi-Five-Kit Kat

2. Shalamar Reloaded-The Mood

3. New Edition-This One’s For Me & U

4. Vedo-In My Feelings

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016

  1. Bobby Brown-Every Little Step
  2. Ruth Pointer-Still So Excited
  3. Taleon Geoffrey-Infamous
  4. Darryl DMC McDaniels-Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE CLASSIC OLD-SCHOOL COVERS

1.Regina Belle’s rendition of Phyllis Hyman’s You Know How To Love Me

2. Khalif’s rendition of Prince’s I Would Die 4 U

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE LONG-AWAITED COMEBACK

Tevin Campbell. Tevin released his single Safe On Ground last spring. It was his 1s single since 1999.

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE CLAP BACKS OF 2016

1.Shelia E clap back at Linda Perry for saying that she, Chaka Khan, Larry Graham and The Time wasn’t relevant enough to perform a tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Awards. Producer/Songwriter Linda Perry had appeared on The Talk and the topic was Madonna being the only performer paying homage the iconic musician who had died a few weeks prior. The panel and hosts of the show was saying that the tribute should have included Shelia E, Chaka Khan, Larry Graham and The Time who worked with Prince and were his friends. Perry, who became really became a house hold name after Rock/Soul Singer/Songwriter Pink recruited her to produce her 2nd album said that the Billboard Award show was about numbers and rating and being that Madonna was still recording and touring she was relevant and that while the musicians who many felt needed to be included wasn’t relevant. The crowd booed her ass for that ignorant comment and blasted her all over the internet. Well Shelia E took action herself. A few days later, the Grammy nominated musician performed a concert and right before she finished her show, she took a break and read a speech addressing her ignorant comment and the industry’s focus on money.

This speech is copied from her Facebook page

“On Behalf of musicians, artists, creators, performers and anyone aspiring to be one of those, YOU ARE RELEVANT! It was exactly that type of attitude and comment, recently conveyed on a talk show by a misinformed guest, that Prince, Paisley Park and those who have been an extension of, continually fought, and still fight, against. The creations and the creators, contrary to fleeting popularity or fame, is what breathes life into art. The lack of understanding, and myopic view of dollars over sense is what perpetuates the ignorance that continually works against the artist, and the industry.

I am offended! #RELEVANT

After reading her speech, Sheila also added “I’m offended and as an artist, I’m gonna show you what that really means.” Shelia performed a hot drum solo with her band joining in and got a standing ovation. The icing on the cake was when the BET Awards asked her to perform a tribute to her late friend and finance Prince and Sheila represented. Not only did she perform songs they performed together in concert, she also brought Prince’s 1st wife Mayte onstage along with original and former Time member Jerome Benton and received a standing ovation and lots of love on the internet with many saying this is how you honor Prince. Fans even made a photo shop of Shelia with the caption saying Still Relevant Bitches!!

I’m glad that Shelia E addressed Sara Gilbert’s wife in a talented and classy way. Perry who hadn’t written and produced a hit in over a decade was wrong for saying that Sheila E, who is still performing and recording isn’t relevant. It seems like she wanted to become relevant by appearing on her wife’s television show and by throwing shade at talented icons who were out way before the world learned of her existence. Well her plan backfired, because not only did she get booed, she lost a whole lot of respect by many music lovers. Especially many in the LGBT community who are huge fans of Prince, Sheila E, Chaka Khan, Larry Graham, and The Time. In fact many in the community dubbed Shelia and Chaka Gay Icons for them embracing the community. Shelia E showed Linda and the world that you don’t have to be constantly in the media to be relevant. Shelia is still the most sought after female musician in the world. She dropped her solo album Icon in 2014 and released many hits including Mona Lisa and Fiesta with B. Slade, which both still get spins on radio. Shelia also performs with her father and brothers in California while traveling the world as a solo artist performing to packed and sold out shows. Sheila also dropped her memoirs in 2014 which became a best seller. Last year she reminded the fans, musicians and those who are creating arts that they are always relevant. Sheila E has my support.

2. Jody Watley clap back at TV and Howard Hewitt and Jeffrey Daniels for claiming she messed up the classic line-up’s reunion in 1996. Miss Jody wrote a blog about what really what happened during the time that Babyface had asked the trio to reunite and join LL Cool J for a remake of Shalamar’s classic This Is For The Lover In You in 1996. A video was shot and Howard and Jeffrey spoke about the video and claimed that Jody didn’t want to work with them forcing Hype Williams to shoot her seen separately. Miss Jody revealed that she was flying in from Japan when the video was being filmed and by the time she had arrived on the location where the video was shot, Jeffrey and Howard had finished shooting their scenes. Miss Jody also revealed that Hype had informed the trio that he was going to shoot them on a green scene prior to shooting. She also revealed that when it came time for them to perform on the U.K. show Tops of the Pops (which Unsung didn’t mention in Shalamar’s 2009 documentary along with them not having the group’s original lead singer Gerald Brown appear), Howard and Jeffrey didn’t want to rehearse and work with a choregrapher and that Babyface wanted to record and produce a Shalamar reunion album which didn’t happen due to Howard wanting to get more money than Jody and Jeffrey who are the original members of the group.  It seems like many are still mad at Miss Jody for leaving the group and pursuing a fruitful successful solo career and for gaining ownership of the Shalamar trademark after Howard, Jeffrey and Carolyn Griffey-Baldwin, Dick Griffey’s stepdaughter had been using photographs of the classic line-up and putting her name under Miss Jody’s picture. Miss Jody’s version of Shalamar Reloaded has been doing well. Selling out shows around the world while their singles O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L. and The Mood has been getting lots of love from fans as well as spins on internet radio.

I’m glad that Miss Jody spoke the truth about what happened and to end the lies that makes her look like she’s the evil person when in reality she went all out to work with her former band-mates who still wanna be an golden oldie act. Miss Jody even went as far to have them shine when she was asked to be the surprise closing act for the 2014 BET Awards by performing her hits and having Jeffrey and Howard join her for a medley. Miss Jody decided to have the classic line-up perform as Shalamar while having each of the members perform solos but it didn’t happen due to Howard, his ego, management trying to take over. (Miss Jody has bumped into Howard many times and when she sees him she’s very cordial. She even took pictures with him and sees him as a former collegue and has no hate towards him) Her motto is tell the real story and enough of the lies.Miss Jody has class and continues to receive love and support from her fans and online radio shows and bloggers who love her voice, looks, style of fashion, her outgoing and down to earth personality and humility. She still continues to support and embrace the LGBT Community by performing at Pride Events around the world. Miss Jody is and will always be a class act. She along with Nate, Rosero and Gerald Brown Shalamar’s original lead singer has my support and I will be copping their album “Bridges” when it drops this year.

Congratulations to those who made Da-Professor’s Lounge’s list. Continue to Strive for Excellence.

9/11 THE DAY THE WORLD STOPPED

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since the terrorist attacks occurred destroying New York City’s World Trade Center where many lost their lives while many died from the effects of the dust the filled the air around the area.

I was living with my mom and sister at the time and that morning I had woke to begin my day. I went to vote, then headed on the train to Times Square to connect with the Q train to take me to Brooklyn where I was attending Brooklyn College. The day seemed to be going well until I reached the platform to catch the Q train and I noticed that the train was entering the station at a slow pace. Slower than usual. As soon as the train had pulled into the station, the conductor made it’s usual announcement and as soon as I took my seat the train still continued to stay in the station. I assumed that we were being held into the station due to delays by the N train which had crossed in front of us a few minutes prior to the Q train’s arrival. The conductor had made an announcement that due to signal problems the train was going to be held in the station. During that time construction was being done on the left side of the Manhattan Bridge where the B and D train crossed which was the reason why transit decided to add an addition Q Express to allow passengers to who used the Brighton Beach line to get to and from Manhattan as well as connect with he B and D trains which was being terminated at 34 Street. A few minutes later the conductor made a shocking and sad announcement. “Passengers, due to an explosion at the World Trade Center, this train is out of service. I’m sorry for the inconveience.” I was shocked. Did he say that there was an explosion at the World Trade Center I asked myself. The conductor made the same announcement and I rushed to return home. As I made my way to catch the 3 train, I saw many passengers rushing to the pay phones to call their bosses to inform them that they wouldn’t be attending work due to the announcement. Once I arrived on the platform, I had missed the train and from my experience riding the 7th Avenue Subway line, I knew that the uptown bound trains was going be crowded, so I decided to take another route home, but as soon as got to 59 Street, I learned that subway service was canceled and I had to take the bus home. After leaving the subway, I saw a mob of people waiting for the bus to take them uptown and while we waited 2 buses passed by including one without passengers refusing to stop despite cops waving for them to stop for us. It seem like the bus drivers wanted to get home to their loved ones too. (They could have stopped being that it was only between 10 and 16 of us waiting). Many passengers had asked the cops and transit workers was the buses still running and I’m not sure if what was said, but I believed that there was mixed answers about delays and a shortage of buses running. I decided to walk home. ( I actually had no choice but to walk home). My focus was on getting home and I had no idea how tired I was until I saw the arrival of the 8th Avenue bus arriving at 113 Street. I hoped on that bus with the quickness and though I had to stand I was relived to get a ride. The ride was a short one. As soon as we got around 120 Street the bus driver had informed us that we had to get off because she had to return down town to pick up additional passengers. As I waked towards the front of the bus, there was a Black Senior Citizen who had plopped in the seat gasping for air. The Black female bus driver had screamed at her to get off. When the senior tried to explain to her that she wasn’t feeling well and she need to rest for a minute, the bus driver had the nerve to scream at her “YOU HAVE TO GET OFF!! I HAVE TO TAKE THE BUS BACK DOWNTOWN!! YOU GOTTA GET OFF!!” Many of the reminder passengers were beyond pissed at the driver for being disrespectful to the senior citizen. A few even confronted the driver telling her that she didn’t have to be respectful to the lady and that she could have helped her off. (I know those passengers wanted to curse the driver out).  After walking a few more blocks, another bus arrived and I made sure my ass got on that bus due to me becoming fatiqued, and while this bus was just a crowded, the driver a Black Male kept us informed with his route and as soon as get near my stop, he informed the passengers that he was going to the Bronx and  for those who wasn’t going to the Bronx this was the last change for the passengers to get off. Half of the passengers got off while many who hopped on.

As soon as I arrived home, my mother had asked me was I alright and how did I get home. I told her and that’s when I learned that there wasn’t an explosion at the World Trade Center. The Twin Towers were destroyed. I watched the news and I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears!!  I had many emotions that ran through my mind. How did this happen? Why did this happen? I attended an event there. I copped MJ’s Moonwalk autobiography from a book store there. I dropped my book bag on the floor and began to call my friends to see if they were ok. A few of them were home safe. A few friends I had trouble reaching. One of my late friends had told me that our friend who witness the second tower being attacked had fleed to his home where he allowed her to stay until she was able to return home that evening. Both had to walk back to Brooklyn while one was able to catch a gypsy van home. As I watched the news and later learned about the attacks, I got angry. How dare some jackasses high jack a plane for hatred I said to myself. My anger increased when I spoke to one of my best friends who happens to be an Indian from the Caribbean who informed me that people was calling him a terrorist and wanted to attack him. I also spoke to one of my friends who informed me that she saw many Arabs near her mother’s home making fun of what happened and putting down Americans saying they got what they deserve and if my memory is clear, some even tried to attack. Their ignorant remarks resulted by them getting American Ass kicking and whippings by the Americans. I was more pissed!! My best friend didn’t have the right to be judged and put in a box because of his race while the Arabs who were living in America had no business making fun of innocent people losing their lives. (I don’t condone violence and I don’t judge or put people in boxes, but those who attack with their hands deserve to get smacked back).

The following day I was feeling physically ill so I went to the doctor and I was told that I was suffering from stress and an ear infection and advised to return home and get some rest which I did along with watching videos. The following days I returned to school and noticed that many passengers on the train were going about their day like nothing happened. The vibe that I got was that many were still pissed at what happened, but decided that they wasn’t going to allow what occurred to disrupt their lives and to dampen their spirits.  Many have said that the attacks helped them realize not to take life for granted and to be grateful to be alive. The attacks also helped many get connected and re-connected with God while many decided to live their lives and to not allow anyone or thing put limitations on them. In fact Out Rapper/Songwriter Kaoz who was in New York celebrating his birthday had told me that seeing the attacks had made him decide to become involve in activism which includes pursuing a career as a Openly Gay Rapper. He’s released several hit albums and singles including “Human” and other social conscious songs including a tribute to Trayvon Martin. He also works an a center which raises awareness for HIV.

How did it affect me? While it made me angry that innocent people were attack, it helped me see that I do have inner strength and having inner strength can help me overcome many things in life. I’m still taking time to realize that. I did however did have riding a certain subway route and whenever I would have to take that route (especially when the Q train wasn’t going on it’s normal route due to construction) I would listen to music, close my eyes and meditate as we traveled through the tunnel. As I mentioned earlier I was on the train when the announcement about the Twin Towers being destroyed were made and being that the train was underground it did caused me to have anxiety attacks.

During the time, many organizations were raising funds for the survivors and victim’s families to survive and while many wanted to give funds to those who worked in the corporate divisions and offices, many were saying that funds needed to be raised for the families of the janitors and those who worked at the book stores and fast food stands.

Another thing that effected me about the terrorist attacks was learning that Legendary Singer/Songwriter Donna Summer had died from non-smoking related lung cancer nearly a decade after 911. She and her husband Bruce Sudano were living near the Twin Towers at the time where she was working on a musical about her life, and like many, the dust. debree had caused many to become ill and Donna was diagnosed 10 months before she died in May 2012.

While a new set of Twin Towers have been re-built, I still have Reflections of the times that I attended the World Trade Center to attend 2 events with the mentoring program I was a part of in high school as well as copping Michael Jackson’s original copy of his memoirs “Moonwalk.”  While the attacks were tragic and many lives were affected and lost, there are many who refuse to allow the hate of others to dampen their spirits. Myself included. I take life one day and step at a time and I’m glad that I’m still alive and continue to life live.

 

Songs inspired by this post

ANGEL BY O’MEGA RED & DONNA SUMMER

RELEASED 2011

LOVE IS THE HEALER BY DONNA SUMMER

RELEASED IN 1999

REFLECTIONS BY DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES

RELEASED 1967

HUMAN BY KAOZ

RELEASED AROUND 2010/2011

SURVIVOR BY DESTINY’S CHILD

RELEASED IN 2001

WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE BY NICK AUDAIN

RELEASED 2014

This post is dedicated to all of the New Yorkers around the world. This blog is also dedicated to Rapper Kaoz who was born on 911. This post is also dedicated the survivors and families of those who lost their lives including Donna Summer.

 

 

Howard Hewitt’s Unsung Documentary

When I learned that Unsung was going to air an documentary on R&B/Quiet Storm Singer/Songwriter Howard Hewett, I knew this was documentary I had to watch. I always wanted to know about the 3rd lead singer of the Disco/Dance/R&B group Shalamar, and let’s just say that there were some interesting things I learned about the crooner.

Hewitt was born in Akron, Ohio as the 4th of 6th children to a postal worker father and a socialite, community activist mother, who taught Howard and his siblings the values of hard work, while their mom encouraged them to focus on their talents and not their looks. (In other words, people are going to be automatically drawn to you because of your looks, but you have to show them that you have more to offer than your looks). His mom was also influence Howard and his siblings to sing in church and formed a Gospel group where they sang in church while pushing Howard to the forefront where he got lots of love from the audience including the females. Hewett’s sister revealed how once they were performing and a female jumped onstage and put him in a headlock and while Howard continued to sing, their mother got upset and intervened. Like many kids who honored their vocal chops in church, Hewitt began to listen to secular music and by the time he entered high school, he joined a R&B/Soul group called Life, who won a large female following. After high school, Hewett moved to California and quickly got a gig performing at the legendary Mavericks Flat and toured with a group called Beverly Hills. Months later, he met the 1st of his 4 wives; Rainy, who was the secretary to the late Don Cornelius creator of Soul Train. The couple quickly fell in love and got married and learned they were going to be parents. With a child on the way, Howard performed and did sessions with Motown, but his big break came when Jeffrey Daniels of Shalamar called to inform him that he and bandmate Jody Watley was in need of a singer to replace the group’s original lead singer Gerald Brown who left the band due to a contract dispute with the late Dick Griffey the founder of their record label Solar Records. Hewitt met with Griffey who asked him to sing for him. After singing Peabo Bryson’s classic Feel The Fire, Griffey gave him $500 and airline ticket to the East Coast to join Jody and Jeffrey for a scheduled performance on The Dinah Shore Show where he performed and lip-synched Brown’s vocals. After that performance the trio teamed up with Producer and Songwriter Leon Sylvers of The Sylvers to record their classic album “Big Fun” which went gold and featured their 1st and only # 1 R&B Hit “The Second Time Around” which became a huge hit; in addition to topping the R&B charts the single also hit # 8 on the Pop charts as well as becoming the 2nd # 1 R&B hit of the 1980’s. Hewitt’s gospel trained tenor helped the group score several hits, but his looks helped the group become mainstream

“Howard had the look” Daniels said on the documentary. In other words. Howard’s complexion and curly Afro was what got the group attention from the press and fans.

Around the time “Big Fun” was released, many the Disco movement began to fade and many acts from the era were being dubbed Dance Acts including Shalamar., but that changed with the release of their follow up album “Three For Love” which included the hit ballad “This Is For The Lover In You” which Howard co-wrote with Dana Myers. Not only did the ballad become a hit, it took the trio out of the Dance group category and showed that they was going to have longevity while becoming Howard’s signature ballad. The song still get played at weddings and became one of R&B Music’s most famous baby making songs. “For The Lover In You put the group in another whelm” Howard said about the song’s success.

The classic line-up recorded 3 more albums including their classic “Friends” which included the classics “A Night To Remember” and”I Don’t Wanna Be The Last To Know” with the later becoming the group’s biggest radio hit to date, but after the release of the follow up album “The Look” Daniels and Watley left the group due to conflicts with Howard and Dick Griffey. “Business wasn’t right” Daniels said. Howard’s 1st marriage had ended due to him being on the road and him cheating. “I wasn’t a good dude. I was not faithful” Hewett admitted. He later got custody of his two eldest daughters who he raised with his 3rd wife Singer/Songwriter/Actress Nia Peebles who gave birth to his only son Christopher. Hewett chose to carry on. He mentioned in several interviews that he felt he owed the fans another Shalamar album and didn’t want to leave them hanging. “I Thought he would have gone solo earlier” Singer/Songwriter/Musician Delissa Davis said. Filling Jody and Jeffrey’s slot was  Davis and Singer/Rock Guitarist Mikki Free who joined Howard on the classic single “Dancing In The Sheets” which became Shalamar’s 2nd biggest Pop hit to date. The single helped push the soundtrack “Foot Loose” to the top of the album charts. The group also recorded the single “Don’t Get Stopped In Beverly Hills” for the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack earning them a Grammy Award. They also released the album “Heartbreak” which had a combination of Rock, New Wave, Synch-Pop and R&B scored two minor hits including “Amnesia” and “My Girl Loves Me” with the latter becoming a fan favorite  Despite embarking on a successful tour in the UK, the album didn’t do as well as expected and when his contract expired, Howard decided to leave Shalamar and pursue a solo career. His departure was felt when Delissa and Mikki carried on with Hewitt’s replacement former football player Sydney Justin.

Howard was offered a deal from Elektra Records and found love for the 2nd time after meeting Mori Molina at an after party. Things seems to have been going well for Howard until he and Molina were vacationing in Miami, where they went to a shopping mall and it was there where they were arrested for cocaine possession. Hewett spoke about the incident on Unsung. He said that he had no idea that his fiancee was selling drugs until the arrest. “Wrong Place. Wrong Time. Wrong People” The city and District Attorney wanted to make an example of him to scare others from coming into the city to sell drugs and Hewett was facing 49 years in prison. Scared to death about being away from his family, Hewett asked for God’s help in an unusual way; he woke up at 2 AM in the morning and stood on the bible and asked God to use him in his way. The result was the him being found not guilty (his fiance who he married and divorced 2 years later was given a 2 year sentence), signing with Elektra who decided to give him a chance and releasing his solo debut album “I Commit To Love” which featured his classic ballad “I’m For Real” which peaked at # 2 on the R&B Charts and showcased his ability to sing all types of vocal ranges, while the follow up “Stay” became a hit with men. “(It’s) a song about a lady wanting to leave, but you don’t wanna beg her to stay.” Hewett said about the song’s inspiration. However his Gospel-Flavored-Inspirational single “Say Amen” which was inspire by his trial and he co-wrote became his 2nd and most popular signature single to date due to him performing it on Robert Townsend’s HBO comedy special. “The fact that it was received speaks to the power when you’re true to yourself” Actress/Singer/Songwriter Dawn Lewis said about the song’s impact.

Howard began to be recruited to work with other singers and one of the artist he worked with was Actress/Dancer/Singer/Songwriter Nia Peeples, who’s label recruited him to work on her debut album and it was during the recording of the album that sparks began to fly and surprisingly Hewett didn’t want to pursue a relationship with a lady in the music industry but he couldn’t control his feelings and they fell in love, got married and became the parents of a son shortly before the release of his self-titled album which became another hit due the video for the album’s lead single “Show Me” being a family affair with Nia suggesting that Howard and the director allow Nia and their children appear in the video. The single which peaked at # 2 further displayed his vocal talents and became a hit with both the men and ladies due to the lyrics about communication. “She has to let you know sometimes.” At the beginning of the 1990’s Howard found himself having clashes with Elektra who wanted him to release the single “Save Your Sex For Me” which he co-wrote. Howard told the executives that he wanted the song to be an album track due to the future blacklash he would receive. The single was released and it didn’t do well nor did the album. Howard asked to be released from the label. During that time his marriage to Peeples failed due to their careers, but Nia stated the reason the marriage failed to her wanting to have a solid family. “That’s what tore us apart” the former host of “Party Machine” said along with him cheating. “He was fing around.”

After the marriage, Howard decided to abstain from sex and was celibate for 2 years. In 1996 Howard’s career got an boost when Singer/Songwriter/Producer and former label mate Babyface recruited him, Jody and Jeffrey to reunite and join rapper LL Cool J for a remake of the classic Shalamar’s classic “This Is For The Lover In You” (an important part of Shalamar’s history which wasn’t featured in Shalamar’s 2009 Unsung documentary) which became a huge hit peaking at # 2 on the R&B charts and # 6 on the Pop charts introducing the group to a new generation of fans. Howard did finally mention that he and Jody did have conflicts and tension during their time in Shalamar and was happy to recording with his former band mates. He spoke about Jody choosing to shoot her part for the video separetly from the guys and while he didn’t bash her, group mate Daniels claims that Jody messed up the Shalamar reunion. (I will speak about this later in this blog).  The success of the single got Howard more gigs and bookings and the opportunity to record a Gospel album followed several more albums. Howard also married caterer Angela who gave to his 4th child Anissa and after being together for nearly 14 years they divorced in 2012.

Howard continues to perform as a solo artist with many classic R&B, Soul and Disco acts while performing overseas with Jeffrey Daniels and Griffey’s daughter Carolyn in their version of Shalamar. (Original member Jody Watley gain ownership of Shalamar’s trademark and performs internationally with Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCroy as Shalamar Reloaded). “I enjoy working. I enjoying connecting with my audience with my audience” Hewett said about performing. He also spoke about being a father to his 4 children and he told them while most of his decisions he made wasn’t all great he admit that ‘every decision was 150 percent for them. Howard also revealed that despite having 4 failed marriages, he still wants to find himself a wife but hasn’t found one who can deal with his personality. “I haven’t found the person who could deal with all my changes.”

Howard’s unsung documentary was a good one. I have to admit I wanted to watch to learn about his upbringing and he did have a parents who supported and encourage him, but there were many things Unsung failed to mention or add. The documentary failed to mention that he recorded duets with Dionne Warwick La-Toya Jackson and Teena Marie. He recorded the duet “Lovers Lane” on Lady T’s album “Conga Square” The documentary didn’t mention him singing background on Donna Summer’s self-titled album and on Michael Jackson’s classic “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing). Unsung  didn’t mention him teaming up with Klymaxx for the ballad “I’d Still Say Yes” which became a huge top 20 Pop hit and was later remade by The Braxtons on their debut album. Unsung failed to mention him recording a cover version of the Sam & Dave classic “Soul Man” for the 2nd season of the hit sitcom “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.” Unsung didn’t mention how rapper Mase and former Missy Elliot’s former portogee Singer Torrey Carter each sampling Shalamar’s classic’s “A Night To Remember” and “This Is For The Lover In You” for their singles “Get Ready” and “Take That” with the latter’s single becoming a huge hit and being dubbed as one of Vibe Magazine’s top 10 summer bangers of the year 2000. On the subject of his tenure with Shalamar, I also have to admit that another reason I tuned in to see what he was going to say about his time with Shalamar and if he was going to bash Jody Watley. I was surprised that he didn’t do that and it was great that he admitted that they did have issues and he was glad that he, Jody and Jeffrey was able to record again.(A classy move) I was also surprised to see Delissa Davis and Mikki Free featured. Jeffrey however claims that Jody messed up the Shalamar reunion, but the documentary failed to mention that they along with Babyface and LL did team up for a performance of the single which was aired on the U.K. show “Tops of The Pops.” Unsung also made a slight error. Howard co-wrote “For The Lover In You” with Dana Myers. Leon Sylvers produced the single, but it was written by Hewett and Myers. (Da-Professor is in the process of writing an article honoring Shalamar’s 40th year anniversary which is scheduled to be published next year).

All in all the documentary was a great one. Howard still has a great voice and still has ladies wanting to listen and see him live (among other things). It showed him as a human being and if he continues to maintain his faith and being humble he will continue to inspire and have happiness.

 

 

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s 126 Episode

It’s a amazing to know that my show Da-Professor’s Lounge is still going strong with it’s 126 episode. As you already know, Da-Professor’s Lounge plays the hottest timeless joints from the past 5 decades and this episode is a hot one. This episode features new music and classics by Bell-Biv-DeVoe, Brian Mc Knight, Blu Cantrell, Shalamar Reloaded, The Isley Brothers and The Temptations. This episode also honors the birthdays of New Edition and Bell-Biv-DeVoe member Michael Bivins, Wanda Young Rogers of The Marvelettes, Ronnie Spector and Madonna, while celebrating the legacies and memories of Producer/Director Gary Marshall, the creator of the hit television series “Laverne & Shirley,” Barbara Gibb, the matriach of The Gibb Brothers, Writer/Gatekeeper Stephen Maglott and R&B Singer Chris Bender, who’s life was cut short nearly 25 years ago shortly after the release of his album.

Enjoy.

Already Famous & Down-To-Earth Chat on Da-Professor’s Lounge

Last week’s episode of Da-Professor’s Lounge featured an exclusive interview with Model/Actor/Spoken Word Artist/Athlete Jay The Model. The talented brother who’s one of 28 kids speaks about his career, his love for basket ball, his admiration for Pop/R&B Singer/Songwriter/Actor Chris Brown and the importance of loving yourself and grinding while remaining humble.

 

Actor/Author/Poet/Playwright Ronne Hayne Returns to Da-Professor’s Lounge

Da-Professor’s Lounge was more than thrilled when Actor/Author/Poet/Playwright Ronne Hayne decided to return to Da-Professor’s Lounge for a 3rd time. Born in Brooklyn, Ronne who resembles Motown Records founder Berry Gordy got his start in the entertainment industry by appearing on the Soap Opera As The World Turns. Ronne also was part of a singing group in high school before enlisting in the military. After his stint, he began to work in a hospital while relaunching his career; he wrote a play called Duppy and starred in many productions. He even auditioned to play Berry Gordy in the Motown Musical and now he’s promoting his debut novel “Duppy” which deals with elder abuse, karma and inter-cultural racism.

To learn about this talented brother, check out this edition of Da-Professor’s Lounge which also plays the hottest timeless jams from the past 5 decades.

 

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE CONGRATULATES ROCK ICON TINA TURNER AND HER WONDERFUL HUSBAND ERWIN BACH’S 2ND YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERARY.

2 years ago, Grammy-Award winning Icon Tina Turner tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend Music Executive Erwin Bach in their Switzerland home in front of many of their family and friends which…

Source: DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE CONGRATULATES ROCK ICON TINA TURNER AND HER WONDERFUL HUSBAND ERWIN BACH’S 2ND YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERARY.

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE CONGRATULATES ROCK ICON TINA TURNER AND HER WONDERFUL HUSBAND ERWIN BACH’S 2ND YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERARY.

2 years ago, Grammy-Award winning Icon Tina Turner tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend Music Executive Erwin Bach in their Switzerland home in front of many of their family and friends which included Tina’s son Craig, singers Sade, David Bowie and Bryan Adams who performed for the couple. Other guests included Talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, who served as bridesmaids. Turner who’s music career began when she joined the Kings of Rhythm in 1958, had met Erwin an German executive at her record label when he was asked to meet her at the airport in London in 1986. Tina had revealed to Oprah that when she first laid eyes on him she began to get butterflies and it was love at first sight. The two became great friends and two years later, they began to date and remained in a relationship for nearly 28 years before they decided to get married.

Many of Tina’s fans were happy that she finally found true real love and happiness after launching a solo career which included the release of her multi-platinum album “Private Dancer” which peaked at # 3 on the Pop charts and # 1 on the R&B Charts. The album also did well overseas. The album scored many hits including “Let’s Stay Together,” “Better Be Good To Me,” “Show Some Respect” the title track and “What’s Love Got To Do With It” which became her 1st and only # 1 Pop hit peaking at the top of the Pop charts for 3 weeks. The success of the album earned Tina 3 Grammy Awards and fans around the world. Tina continued to gain success with the follow ups Break Every Rule, Foreign Affair, In Your Wildest Dreams and Twenty-Four Seven while her concert tours grossed millions of dollars making her the 1st female recording artist to have nearly 500, ooo fans attend her stadium concerts. In 2008, Tina returned to the stage at the age of 68 to embark on her post-retirement tour Tina 50 which celebrated her 50th anniversary in entertainment and once again the tour was a success.

The 1st time fans learned of Tina’s new romance was during an interview she did with Ebony Magazine in 1989, while she was promoting her album “Foreign Affair” which featured her co-producing 2 songs as well as serving as executive producer. Many fans were happy to see that she had found happiness in her life. In fact Ebony and Jet Magazine always showed pictures of them together. When Erwin who’s 16 years younger than Tina was asked about their relationship on 60 Minutes, he said ‘I’m in love with a person. Not the rock star.” Tina revealed that he was mature for his age and that though she made most of the money, he does contribute financially to the household expenses.

For many years Tina was asked would she ever remarry. Tina’s responses was I like it the way it is. After becoming a Swiss Citizen, Tina finally accepted Erwin’s proposal and they officially married on July 4th 2013, but had a ceremony on July 21, 2013 surrounded by family and friends and to show appreciation to the fans and press, the couple had the cover pulled from their house for them to get photos of the ceremony and shorty after, Tina and Erwin appeared on a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey Show where Erwin gave a rare interview and spoke about his love for Tina and kindly reminded Tina’s friend that their relationship lasted longer than his wife’s 1st relationship and it was time to close that chapter. In other words-It was time to stop asking about Tina’s 1st husband Ike!! (I like many felt that Oprah should have asked Tina’s question about her ex when she and Tina’s friend Cher appeared on her show to speak about their friendship and career). Well Tina and Erwin are living happy and while they enjoy time hanging out with family and friends, they also spend lots of quality time together.

Da-Professor’s Lounge wishes Tina Turner and Erwin Back a Happy Anniversary. They’re Simply The Best.

Song played while typing this tribute

In Your Wildest Dreams

Tina Turner & Barry White

Da-Professor’s Lounge honors Miss Martha Reeves’ 75th Birthday

Da-Professor’s Lounge is honored to celebrate the 75th birthday of Singer/Council Woman/Motown Legend Martha Reeves, who continues to make an impact with her Soulful voice and stage performances.

Martha was born on July 18th to Elijah & Ruby Reeves in Eufula, Alabama as the 3rd of 11 children and shortly after her 1st birthday, she and her family had migrated to Detroit Michigan, where Miss Martha became active in her grandfather’s church. She had later enrolled in the city’s legendary Northeaster High school where she took vocal lessons from Abraham Silver. After graduating, Miss Martha worked several jobs while singing Jazz and Blues at many night clubs building a name for herself around the Detroit area. Miss Martha later teamed up with a singing group called the Del-Phi’s which consisted of Anette Beard, Rosalind Ashford & Gloria Williams who would later leave to work for the city who sang around the city creating a buzz.

One evening at the 20 grand, Miss Martha met Songwriter/Producer William “Mickey” Stevenson who was impressed with her voice and asked her to come to Motown Records to audition. Miss Martha arrived the next day and was told that she was supposed to have schedule an appointment. He later asked her to watch his office while he left to take care of business. By the time he returned, Miss Martha had several neatly written messages for him on his desk and he was so impressed with her secretarial skills, he quickly assigned her to be his personal assistant where she assisted with helping many of the musicians receive their pay checks and she also helped him in the A&R department as well. One day Marvin Gaye had came into the studio to began recording his breakthrough album and was expecting label mate Mary Wells to sing background vocals, but Wells was under the weather and Miss Martha saw this as her opportunity to get noticed, so she recruited Rosalind and Annette to sing background for the Prince of Soul where they came up with the ad-libs on the spot for Gaye’s single “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” which became a huge hit. Impressed with what he heard, the label’s founder Berry Gordy, Jr offered the group a contract. But with one condition; they would have tto change the name of their group or be called The Tillies, so Miss Martha came up with the Vandellas which paid homage Van Dyke Blvd, the street where Miss Martha grew up on while Della was to honor Miss Martha’s all-time favorite singer Della Reese, who inspired her to become a single. Shortly after Martha & The Vandellas teamed up with the songwriting/production team of Holland-Doizer-Holland and released their debut single “Come And Get These Memories” followed by “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave,” “Quicksand,” and “Nowhere To Run” but the group’s biggest hit was “Dancing In The Streets” which became her signature song. On Motown 40, Miss Martha revealed that she didn’t like the song. “Why can I dance in the night club or the ball room” she asked in the documentary. “I asked them (the songwriters and producers which featured Marvin Gaye and Mickey Stevenson) if I can sing it the way I feel it and it was recorded with no overdubs and I feel I have the Motown anthem with “Dancing In The Streets.”

Martha & The Vandellas paid their dues by performing on the label’s historic “Motor City Revue” tour where they performed through out the south during segregation. In her memoirs “Dancing In The Streets: Confessions from a Motown Diva” Miss Martha wrote about the times when they couldn’t stay at hotels due to the color of their skin and about the times when many white folks shot at their tour bus due to them being mistaken as freedom rides and Civil Rights Activist. Miss Martha also wrote about the times when they did find a hotel to sleep at they would be assigned to share rooms with different group members. Some writers even thought that Dancing In The Streets was riot song and Miss Martha said in many interviews Chile that was a party song. Martha & The Vandellas became a favorite among fans and many in the entertainment industry including Cher, Judy Garland, Lesley Gore and Dusty Springfield, with the latter becoming her good friend along with Gore. Springfield was so impressed with her voice, and outgoing and out spoken personality, that she invited Martha to join her and her brother to attend the Annual Carnival in Rio and it was during that trip where Miss Martha had the opportunity to get a sample of traveling overseas and seeing people enjoying themselves to great music. Including hers. Shortly after, Dusty decided to pay homage to Motown by hosting and co-producing a special titled “Dusty Springfield Presents The Sound of Motown” which featured Martha & The Vandellas (which by this time featured Betty Kelly who was recruited to replace Beard, who had to leave due to complicated pregnancy. Kelly would leave a few years later due to slight hearing loss in her left ear and was replaced by Miss Martha’s sister Lois. Rosalind would leave and was replaced by the late Sandra Tiley, who Miss Martha said that she was her favorite Vandella) singing background for Springfield and later a duet with her friend. By the late 1960’s the group along with other Motown acts were being neglected due to Gordy spending time and money making sure The Supremes got the most attention and promotion. The group however did scored a # 1 hit with “Jimmy Mack” which became a fan favorite and would later used for the Hip-Hop term Mack Daddy. In 1967, Holland-Doizer-Holland left Motown after a dispute over royalties and not being allowed to have their own record label, but the group would score a major hit with “Honey Chile” which was co-written and produced by Sylvia Moy. The group also scored a minor hit with “I Should Be Proud” but by the time the 1970’s rolled in the group wasn’t getting the attention they deserved. Plus Miss Martha had began to notice that the group wasn’t getting paid as much as they were supposed to, so she became the 1st Motown act to inquire about her money, which pissed Gordy off. Miss Martha wouldn’t back down and when he told her ‘you can’t tell me how to run my company, Miss Martha responded with well it’s obvious you can’t run your company because you can’t tell me where my money’s at! Around the time Miss Martha took time off to become a mother to her only child a son named Eric Jermel Graham, who went into the navy and has a close relationship with his mom. Miss Martha is also a grandmother and a great-grandmother. After taking time off to care for Eric, Miss Martha was ready to return to work, but she was shocked to learn that Motown had moved to California without contacting her. The group recorded the classic underrated album “Black Magic” before disbanding in 1972. Miss Martha had planned to leave the music industry and apply for a city job, but that changed when label mate Eddie Kendricks showed up to her apartment unannounced and told her she couldn’t quit the industry and not to allow the politics of Motown discourage her for doing what she loved. Miss Martha decided to relocate to California where she performed and did session work as well as recording several solo albums and hits including Wild Nights. It was during that time when Miss Martha reconnected with Motown producer Frank Wilson and became a born again Christian.

During the early 1980’s Miss Martha decided to return to Detroit where she was asked to participate on the Motown 25 Special. The success of the special got many promoters interested in booking many of the former Motown legends and Miss Martha began to work steadily sometimes sharing the bill with many of her Motown family mates including Mary Wells, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, who embarked on the historic Dancing In The Streets Tour in 1989. During that period many fans would ask Miss Martha about the Vandellas and would she ever reunite with them. Miss Martha reached out to Annette and Rosalind and in 1989, they performed in England marking the first time the original line-up performed in 26 years. Annette and Rosalind had performed with Miss Martha on a part-time basis where they were able to keep their day jobs while Martha performed (and continues to) perform with her sisters Lois and Delphine as the second grouping. Betty Kelley had retired from performing due to her hearing loss and moved to California where she raised her son. Sandra Tiley had sadly died in 1981 from a Brain Aneurysm leaving behind her grandmother and husband.

In 1989, Martha, Annette and Rosalind decided to sue Motown for unpaid royalties that the label was making from sales and repacking. The ladies hadn’t received royalty checks since the 1970’s and Miss Martha believe that it was time for the label to pay what was owed and after filing another suit 2 years later, Gordy and Motown came to their senses and settled with the ladies and not only did they receive huge long over-due checks, they also continue to receive royalties from record sales, radio play and from commercials that uses their music to advertise their products.

Throughout the 1990’s Martha & The Vandellas began receiving honors for their contributions to music. In 1993, the group was honored by the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, followed by being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2 years later by The b-52s who was heavily influenced by the group. They were also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Miss Martha continues to perform at charity events and has been vocal about fake singing groups using the names of legendary acts to perform, which makes it hard for the original and surviving members to perform and earn a living. Like she said on the Mike and Matty show, ‘if your know the act is fake, don’t sit there. Get up and ask for your money back!’

In the 2000’s, Miss Martha continued to perform. In 2001, Miss Martha and the original Vandellas performed on a PBS television show that celebrated girl groups from the 1950’s and 1960’s hosted by her Motown sister Mary Wilson, who honored The Vandellas and other female groups with their own stamps. In 2005 she released her solo album “Home To You” her 1st solo album in over 20 years. It was that year that Miss Martha became involved with politics and became a council woman in Detroit where she became an advocate for providing funds for music programs in public schools as well as helping to help rebuild Detroit. In 2007, Miss Martha joined Austrialian quartet Human Nature (who had recorded their rendition of “Dancing In The Streets” on their 2nd Motown Covers album) on their rendition of “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave” featured on the quartet’s 3rd Motown covers album “Get Ready” which helped introduced Miss Martha to a new generation of fans. In 2010 Singer/Songwriter/Drummer Phil Collins released his own Motown’s covers album “Going Back” and scored with his version of “Heatwave” which became a huge international hit. In fact, many of Miss Martha’s songs has been covered by many acts including Dusty Springfield David Bowie, Mick Jagger & Linda Ronstadt. Miss Martha has also received many honors as a solo artist including an honorary PHD in Detroit and was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame as well as being featured in the state’s 2016 Black History calendar.

Miss Martha also mentors many fans and musicians including Motown fan Derek G. Thornton and Singer/Songwriter Antonio Dandrige, the host of the hit radio show “Hitsville Detroit” Both brothers call Miss Martha their God Mother, who she loves and adores like her own son.

Da-Professor’s Lounge is more than honored to with Council Woman Miss Martha Reeves a happy 75th Birthday. Miss Martha continues to inspire many to live out their dreams while continuing to have people Dancing In The Streets