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Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland dies at age 83

BobbyBlueBland-600Bobby "Blue" Bland, who many credit with helping to usher the blues into the modern era, died Sunday in Memphis at age 83.

According to the Associated Press, which quoted his son, Rodd, the blues and soul balladeer died from complications from an ongoing illness.

Robert Calvin Bland, now known to the world as "Bobby," was born January 27, 1930 in Rosemark, Tenn., Bland moved to Memphis in the late '40's. He played with Billy "Red" Love and other influential Delta musicians. His first recording was "Dry Up Baby" (Modern 848).

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom


Myron-Mays-160WHAT’S HAPPENING MYRON?: Chad Johnson, the guy formerly known as Chad Ochocinco has managed to find himself back in the news lately. Unfortunately for him it's not all good news.

According to TMZ, the guy has been on a quest to get his child support payments lowered as he claims to make only $3,000 per month, but still has to unload about $16,525 a month in child support. He also claims he has to pay about $9,063.24 in mortgage payments, $2,500 for food, $2,650 for car expenses, $3,500 for clothes, $250 for grooming, $5,000 for entertainment and another $1,000 for something. Between all that, some other various expenses, and the child support Johnson claims he is spending $45,982.76...per month that is.

16-year journey nets local filmmaker Million Woman March documentary

film-1-600Independent filmmaker and photographer George Tillman Jr. steps into the footlights next Wednesday (June 19th) for the first screening of "From Memphis To Philadelphia" – his documentary about the Million Woman March.

For Tillman, it will be the culmination of a 16-year journey.

With the support of several community-minded businesses, the final version of the documentary, narrated by Lestine Bell, will be shown at Studio On The Square at 7 p.m.

  • Written by Tony Jones

Bilal on Beale & Father’s Day weekend fun!

Bilal-Official 500This Thursday night (June 13), Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Bilal comes to the New Daisy on Beale for one live show. The show is also gonna include spoken word poetry and other performances as well. You can get your tickets at bilalmemphis.eventbrite.com.

In addition to Father's Day Weekend, there's a lot happening in the city from music to comedy. The legendary elements – Earth, Wind & Fire – will make their way to Memphis as they perform live at the Botanic Gardens on Saturday evening. The show starts at 8:30 p.m.

My ‘Fast & ‘Furious’ weekend

Myron-Mays-160Instead of firing up the grill as I routinely do each Memorial Day weekend, I decided to be a little different and take in a good movie instead. So, Memorial Day weekend was a good one for Myron as usual. However, it was an even bigger weekend for anyone associated with "The Fast & the Furious movie franchise. Talk about a record-breaking weekend...this movie pretty much broke a lot of them. Looks like I wasn't the only one who decided to hit the theater over the course of the weekend.

No other movie by Universal Pictures has made more money than the latest installment of the series, "Fast & Furious 6." It easily came in at number one, beating out the opening of "The Hangover III," which brought in about $51 million.

Where are the people for Tyler Perry’s ‘Peeples’

14Peeple-600Over the weekend, I went to see "Tyler Perry Presents Peeples" – a film that Perry neither wrote nor directed. He is credited among the producers and apparently bankrolled the project. The movie was actually written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism, who wrote the screenplay for "Drumline."

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, however, it didn't create much of a buzz at the box office. It didn't help to be up against the second week of "Iron Man 3" and the opening weekend of "The Great Gatsby." Those two heavyweights dominated the top two positions bringing in $72 million and $51 million respectively.

"Peeples" came in at a distant fourth, with less than $5 million dollars for its opening weekend. "Pain and Gain" with Mark Walberg and Dwayne Johnson came in at No., with right at $5 million.

Education, says actor Lamman Rucker, is ‘a big part of who I am’

L-Rucker-600Actor ("All of Us," "Half and Half," "Why Did I Get Married?" and "Meet the Browns"), sex symbol and entrepreneur, Lamman Rucker, visited Memphis on Friday, May 3, in conjunction with Teach for America Week, supported and sponsored by FedEx.

He sat down at Clear Channel Media studios with TSD President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II to share his passion for education, his affinity for Memphis and words of wisdom to younger generations, among other things.

Following the interview, Rucker spoke at Overton High School, where the listeners included FedEx executives, who spent the day at Overton as guest teachers – another element of Teach for America Week.

  • Written by Bernal E. Smith II

Is this the last go-round for Iron Man?

Iron-Man-3-400WHAT'S HAPPENING MYRON? This weekend I went out to see "Iron Man 3." I usually don't make plans to go see movies such as this, it just sort of happens when you have kids. That accounts for how I've sat through versions 1 and 2.

However, after nearly two hours of non-stop action, a ton of overpriced concessions and a restless two year old, I must say that I wasn't disappointed at all.

Without giving up the plot or ending, this particular installment of the "Iron Man" series to be sort of a wrap-up, as if there won't be an "Iron Man 4." But of course we all know better, huh?