Blue Notes step on with Melvin’s legacy

BlueNotesby Jeremiah Short
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

When Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes' founder, Harold Melvin, died in 1997, many thought it was the end of the legendary group. They were mistaken. The group pressed on with the remaining members: Donnell "Big Daddy" Gillespie, Anthony "Tony" Brooks, Rufus "Fuss" Thorne, and John Morris.

After Melvin's passing, the ensemble reorganized, renaming the group Harold Melvin's Blue Notes.


Stax Museum to commemorate Wattstax 40th Anniversary

wattstaxbarkaysOn Aug. 20, 1972, something happened in Los Angeles that remains unmatched in American history. More than 112,000 African Americans gathered in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a seven-hour concert that became a cultural phenomena known as Wattstax, hosted by Stax Records.

Now, 40 years later, on August 20, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is commemorating the event's 40th anniversary by presenting "Conversations With: Wattstax 40th Anniversary Discussion."


WHAT’S HAPPENING MEMPHIS? Author-driven literacy festival gets Sept. debut

Multi-award winning Christian fiction author, Shelia E. Lipsey, has taken a giant leap of faith in an effort to help people from all walks of life focus on the importance of literacy by creating the Black Writers And Book Clubs (BWABC) Literacy Festival to be held Sept. 14-15 on the campus of The LeMoyne Owen College (LOC).

"The mission of the festival is to provide encouragement, support, and information to anyone desiring to learn more about the wonderful world of reading along with the gift to write stories that inspire others to read," said Lipsey.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 08/16/2012

SparkleFor movies opening August 17, 2012


"The Expendables" (R for pervasive graphic violence) Bombastic beefcake sequel features a reunion of the crack team of mercenaries for a death-defying adventure to avenge the murder of one of their own at the hands of a bloodthirsty rival (Jean-Claude Van Damme). Matinee idol ensemble includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth and Yu Nan.


‘I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up’

ShutTheFUp-book-cover"The American Dream is in dire need of a wake-up call... If only Uncle Sam could see us now. He'd roll up his sleeves, ball his hands into fists, and knock some sense into this nation of ours... But he's not around. So some other proud American has to tell this country what it needs – not wants – to hear...

"As a stand-up, I've traveled this country for decades, seeing it at its best and at its worst. And what I'm seeing (now) is terrifying to me. When I see something that's f#cked up, I can't remain silent. I ask why... It may sound funny, but to me this s#it ain't no joke."


Get ready for a Classic weekend

Southern Heritage Classic Weekend is quickly approaching and it is gearing up to be another exciting year. Memphis will be the prime destination the weekend of Sept. 6-9. Each year two sets of Tigers battle it out at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, that's Jackson State and Tennessee State.


Danielle Colding: The ‘Design Star’ Interview

designer daniellecoldingAt 36, Danielle Colding is an interior designer with her own residential and commercial design firm in New York City. A former professional modern dancer, she also has a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as an associate's degree in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise.

As a self-described problem-solver, Danielle uses her open, friendly and quirky personality to connect with her clients. She characterizes her design style as global chic, classic modern and edited traditional.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 08/09/2012

For movies opening August 10, 2012


"Bourne Legacy" (PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences) Fourth installment in the espionage series stars Jeremy Renner as a rogue spy who teams up with an attractive woman (Rachel Weisz) as he tries to clear his name while on the run from a team of assassins dispatched by the CIA. With Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Albert Finney.


Civil Rights Museum brings it ‘home’ for 2012 Freedom Awards

freedomAwards3Honoring a Nashville-bred compatriot of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the natural inheritor and present-day driver of St. Jude Hospital's crucial mission, and four entrepreneurs from worlds apart, the 2012 Freedom Awards announced by the National Civil Rights Museum this week carry a perfect message for the City of Memphis.

They recipients are:

International Freedom Award – Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient


‘Best Days’ ahead for Tamela Mann

tamela press photoby Nona N. Allen
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

As a child, Tamela Mann sang into pencils and hair combs to the sounds of the Clark Sisters.

"I always had hope (that I could be a gospel star), but I never dreamed that I would be on the same stage as Karen Clark Sheard. God has shown me favor!" exclaimed Mann. "I just want to be faithful to Him so He can continue to be faithful to me."


Time to shift out of ‘Idol’?

Am I the only one who thinks "American Idol" has outstayed its welcome?

Once upon a time, we couldn't get enough "American Idol." We wanted more. It was a treat! Now it's seems that we are being force fed a version of it that was prepared by some inexperienced cook who filled in for the house chef.

We hated Simon Cowell didn't we? But you gotta admit we loved him at the same time. He made the show.



Seal-1International pop star Seal really left an everlasting impression during his visit to Memphis last weekend. This man puts on a show!

Macy Gray, who performed at last year's Memphis in May International Festival, opened up for Seal, coming out – as usual – in her cabaret-style attire and delivering a high-energy performance.


Dance festival & expo to pump a healthy beat

The Memphis Dance Festival & Kids Expo, presented by Incredible Pizza, is designed to get kids moving towards a healthier and more active lifestyle through dance.

The free event is on tap for Aug.18 at Robert R. Church Park (Beale Street and Fourth St.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.