UNSUNG REVIEW: Billy Preston… One Very Sad Show

Originally Posted July 18, 2011. See the new shows.

Without question, TV One has a HUGE hit with UNSUNG. I got a raw unedited copy of Billy Preston yesterday and I HOPE they don’t change the final edit because this has to the best UNSUNG I have seen… thus far.

It is silently and collectively engrained in our (black) culture that if we ignore certain things it will enable us to maintain our OWN level of sanity… even when it has to do with someone harming our children… but what about the child’s sanity?

Billy Preston’s mother refused to accept what Billy had confessed to her as a child, he told her that he was being molested by a man. His mother’s refusal to accept the news categorically (and ironically) weighed heavier than the molestation itself by destroying Billy’s self worth well into the realm of his adulthood and massive success. He hid a great amount of pain and self hatred behind a huge gapped-tooth smile by being completely disconnected from himself, his success and the world for his entire 50 year career. Every manager and booking ripped him and paid him pennies where he should have been making thousands but he didn’t have the business savvy (and/or gumption) to fight. He finally turned to hardcore drug use in an attempt to merge all the parallels in his life, of course to no avail.   The drugs only exacerbated the situation.

There was not one person in this show that did not end up in tears while talking about Billy and his concerted and feigned efforts to conceal an extremely sad, complicated and difficult life.

Billy’s career began in the church and by the time he was 10-years-old he was playing the organ as a guest on the short-lived Nat King Cole show (the show was cancelled because white sponsors refused to advertise on the highly rated show by the black singer).   Billy and Nat were very close but Ray Charles was Billy’s true mentor. He took Billy on the road with him and Billy also toured and performed with major rock acts that few if any black acts got to tour with including members of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Billy branched out and formed a group with three men in the late 60s/early 70s and I was shocked to hear (and the fact TV One did not edit it out) one of the men openly admit that when he first met Billy, Billy had asked him if he could give him some head. He said he was shocked because Billy was so masculine that Billy made HIM feel like HE acted like a girl. He had no idea Billy was gay. Preston admitted he would never openly come out because the black church and the music industry (and black people) would have turned against him. He was not the first black singer to be in this position (and he won’t be the last).

Billy’s tenure on Motown where he sang the massive hit with the late Syretta Wright (an ex wife or girlfriend of Stevie Wonder who was once considered to replace Diana Ross in the Supremes) was MISERABLE. He HATED being on the label and the massive extremely somber love song, “With You I’m Born Again” was a single that had been sitting on the shelf at Motown for quite some time and was a far cry from Billy’s (then) modern day Little Richard gospel/rock persona. Billy desperately wanted to leave Motown and go back to A&M records.

Billy would have lived but his massive addiction to drugs which finally ended up with a foray into the cheap street drug crack, ultimately took his life when he was still using it in huge amounts even AFTER receiving a successful kidney transplant. There are some people who commit suicide immediately and others who do it over a period of years, but it’s ultimately the same thing. I will let you get the rest of the story from the show. It is a must-see. The Show airs July 25 on TV One. Check local times for listing.

Kev Ross

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UNSUNG REVIEW: Billy Preston… One Very Sad Show

Originally Posted July 18, 2011. See the new shows.

Without question, TV One has a HUGE hit with UNSUNG. I got a raw unedited copy of Billy Preston yesterday and I HOPE they don’t change the final edit because this has to the best UNSUNG I have seen… thus far.

It is silently and collectively engrained in our (black) culture that if we ignore certain things it will enable us to maintain our OWN level of sanity… even when it has to do with someone harming our children… but what about the child’s sanity?

Billy Preston’s mother refused to accept what Billy had confessed to her as a child, he told her that he was being molested by a man. His mother’s refusal to accept the news categorically (and ironically) weighed heavier than the molestation itself by destroying Billy’s self worth well into the realm of his adulthood and massive success. He hid a great amount of pain and self hatred behind a huge gapped-tooth smile by being completely disconnected from himself, his success and the world for his entire 50 year career. Every manager and booking ripped him and paid him pennies where he should have been making thousands but he didn’t have the business savvy (and/or gumption) to fight. He finally turned to hardcore drug use in an attempt to merge all the parallels in his life, of course to no avail.   The drugs only exacerbated the situation.

There was not one person in this show that did not end up in tears while talking about Billy and his concerted and feigned efforts to conceal an extremely sad, complicated and difficult life.

Billy’s career began in the church and by the time he was 10-years-old he was playing the organ as a guest on the short-lived Nat King Cole show (the show was cancelled because white sponsors refused to advertise on the highly rated show by the black singer).   Billy and Nat were very close but Ray Charles was Billy’s true mentor. He took Billy on the road with him and Billy also toured and performed with major rock acts that few if any black acts got to tour with including members of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Billy branched out and formed a group with three men in the late 60s/early 70s and I was shocked to hear (and the fact TV One did not edit it out) one of the men openly admit that when he first met Billy, Billy had asked him if he could give him some head. He said he was shocked because Billy was so masculine that Billy made HIM feel like HE acted like a girl. He had no idea Billy was gay. Preston admitted he would never openly come out because the black church and the music industry (and black people) would have turned against him. He was not the first black singer to be in this position (and he won’t be the last).

Billy’s tenure on Motown where he sang the massive hit with the late Syretta Wright (an ex wife or girlfriend of Stevie Wonder who was once considered to replace Diana Ross in the Supremes) was MISERABLE. He HATED being on the label and the massive extremely somber love song, “With You I’m Born Again” was a single that had been sitting on the shelf at Motown for quite some time and was a far cry from Billy’s (then) modern day Little Richard gospel/rock persona. Billy desperately wanted to leave Motown and go back to A&M records.

Billy would have lived but his massive addiction to drugs which finally ended up with a foray into the cheap street drug crack, ultimately took his life when he was still using it in huge amounts even AFTER receiving a successful kidney transplant. There are some people who commit suicide immediately and others who do it over a period of years, but it’s ultimately the same thing. I will let you get the rest of the story from the show. It is a must-see. The Show airs July 25 on TV One. Check local times for listing.

Kev Ross

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Joel Osteen States City Hadn’t Asked his Church to be a Shelter

Amid controversy surrounding Osteen’s slow response to Hurricane Harvey and using his megachurch as a shelter, Osteen states he wanted to wait until all the major facilities had reached capacity before opening the church up as a shelter (see vid) (photo caption: Did you get our donations in the shot for added PR?)

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Bishop Noel Jones Hospitalized 2

Bishop Noel Jones Hospitalized

The honorable Bishop Noel JonesBishop Noel Jones has been released from the hospital citing back and heart problems. His doctor told him to take it light but Jones insisted on preaching this past Sunday. Jones is said to be under immense pressure from the black church community about the show Preachers of LA.  The concept has not set too well with black churchgoers who feel the show is revealing TOO much about what goes on behind the scenes. Our question to the church people is why can’t we see that? We actually enjoy the show so far. We wish Bishop Jones well and we will keep you posted.

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Motown's Queen of Etiquette, Maxine Powell Dies at 98

Motown's Queen of Etiquette, Maxine Powell Dies at 98

Originally posted on 2013-10-14 21:52:50

Radio Facts: Maxine PowellMaxine Powell, who is known for smoothing out the rough edges of Motown’s diamonds in the rough and turning them into polished jewels,  died this morning at Providence Hospital in Southfield. She was 98.
Born in Texarkana, Texas, and raised in my hometown of Chicago, Powell was one of the founding members of Motown’s Artist Development department.
Berry Gordy Jr. met Powell after his sisters Gwen, Anna and Esther attended her Detroit finishing school.
In a statement released Monday, Gordy paid tribute to a woman who was “unique in every way.”
“She brought something to Motown that no other record company had,” he said. “She was a star in her own right — an original. She will always be remembered for her style and class, and she instilled that into the Motown artists by teaching them how to walk, talk and even think with class.
“She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional … and very thankful.
“ ‘I love you all,’ she’d say, ‘but don’t confuse me with your mother. She’s stuck with you, I’m not! Ladies, remember your gloves, walk with class like you were taught — and always remember, do not protrude the buttocks. One day you will perform for the kings and queens of Europe, but for now we must make the best of it on the circuit of the chit-ter-ling.’
“She was not only smart, but very funny,” said Gordy. “Maxine Powell will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy. We miss her and will always love her.”
In August, although Powell was weak and dependent on  others to get around, she still had a few funny stories for reporters. She recalled how Marvin Gaye once told her that he “didn’t need charm school.”
“It’s a finishing school,” Powell said, correcting him. “Well, I don’t need finishing,” Gaye told her.
“You don’t need as much as some, but you close your eyes when you’re singing, and people think you’re asleep,” said Powell. “And, you slouch. So we’ll work on those two things.”
It is quite obvious that Maxine Powell was highly instrumental in Motown’s success and she will be thoroughly missed.
The funeral arrangements for Powell have been set.  Visitation is 2-9 p.m. Thursday at the Swanson Funeral Home, 14751 McNichols, Detroit. On Friday the family hour is at 10 a.m. and funeral service at 11 a.m. at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens, Detroit.
Check out the this old interview with Maxine Powell where she discusses her role with Motown.
 

Originally posted on 2013-10-14 21:52:50

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Motown's Queen of Etiquette, Maxine Powell Dies at 98

Motown’s Queen of Etiquette, Maxine Powell Dies at 98

Originally posted on 2013-10-14 21:52:50

Radio Facts: Maxine PowellMaxine Powell, who is known for smoothing out the rough edges of Motown’s diamonds in the rough and turning them into polished jewels,  died this morning at Providence Hospital in Southfield. She was 98.Born in Texarkana, Texas, and raised in my hometown of Chicago, Powell was one of the founding members of Motown’s Artist Development department.Berry Gordy Jr. met Powell after his sisters Gwen, Anna and Esther attended her Detroit finishing school.In a statement released Monday, Gordy paid tribute to a woman who was “unique in every way.”“She brought something to Motown that no other record company had,” he said. “She was a star in her own right — an original. She will always be remembered for her style and class, and she instilled that into the Motown artists by teaching them how to walk, talk and even think with class.“She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional … and very thankful.“ ‘I love you all,’ she’d say, ‘but don’t confuse me with your mother. She’s stuck with you, I’m not! Ladies, remember your gloves, walk with class like you were taught — and always remember, do not protrude the buttocks. One day you will perform for the kings and queens of Europe, but for now we must make the best of it on the circuit of the chit-ter-ling.’“She was not only smart, but very funny,” said Gordy. “Maxine Powell will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy. We miss her and will always love her.”In August, although Powell was weak and dependent on  others to get around, she still had a few funny stories for reporters. She recalled how Marvin Gaye once told her that he “didn’t need charm school.”“It’s a finishing school,” Powell said, correcting him. “Well, I don’t need finishing,” Gaye told her.“You don’t need as much as some, but you close your eyes when you’re singing, and people think you’re asleep,” said Powell. “And, you slouch. So we’ll work on those two things.”It is quite obvious that Maxine Powell was highly instrumental in Motown’s success and she will be thoroughly missed.The funeral arrangements for Powell have been set.  Visitation is 2-9 p.m. Thursday at the Swanson Funeral Home, 14751 McNichols, Detroit. On Friday the family hour is at 10 a.m. and funeral service at 11 a.m. at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens, Detroit.Check out the this old interview with Maxine Powell where she discusses her role with Motown. 

Originally posted on 2013-10-14 21:52:50

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Former WAOK DJ W. Ron Sailor Sr Dies

Former WAOK DJ W. Ron Sailor Sr Dies

Originally posted on 2013-10-11 01:20:54

 truthy-awards136-2012-04-13waokRadio vet W. Ron Sailor Sr. has died. He was 61. Sailor was the Pastor of Christ the King Baptist Church and a former journalist for CBS’ WAOK as well as the former Black station WIGO. He is survived by is wife, 4 sons and 2 daughters. Sailor also worked as a journalist for TV and the newspapers in Atalanta. He won seven Emmys and was named Outstanding Commentator 3 times. He was the first African American to host of an afternoon television program in Atlanta with a show called Backtalk on WXIA television.  Sailor once stated when the Atlanta radio community welcomed him as a young DJ: “I stand on the shoulders of a lot of people like Ben Haley, Gene Michaels, Zilla Mays, even Jivemaster, Ezmond Patterson, Harrison Smith and Brother Bob McKee who were gracious enough to pass the torch on to me when I was 18 years old,”

Originally posted on 2013-10-11 01:20:54

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