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Tamara Houston Soars High On Lessons Learned From Her Mother


It’s not easy for a woman to be successful in Hollywood, let alone a woman of color. Tamara Houston has succeeded against the odds in the field of artist management thanks to some encouraging lessons from her mother. Counting an Emmy awarding actress as one of her clients, Tamara takes us down the path she has journeyed with the help of a nurturing and loving mother. Take a listen by clicking the play button above. For those with iphone, you can access the video by clicking here Give it 30 seconds to download and click play button once the ads starts their rotation.

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    Posted 2 years, 5 months ago.

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    Whitney Houston’s Untimely Death Shocks The World

    Last evening, the night before the Grammy Awards, the music world became discombobulated after learning about the death of The Voice: Whitney Houston.

    The 48 year old singer/actress/icon was reportedly found by her hairdresser submerged underwater in the bathtub. Houston’s bodyguard pulled her out of the water and attempted CPR until paramedics arrived, but apparently it was too late. Ms. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 PM. The body was removed from the Beverly Hilton after midnight.

    A law enforcement source reportedly told RadarOnline that the singer had “a plethora of sedatives including Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax, and a sleeping medication that was found in her hotel room.”

    It appears that Houston’s death was not a suicide. “There were no obvious signs of criminal intent,” the Beverly Hills Police said in a statement.

    An autopsy was scheduled for today. An official cause of death will be deferred until toxicology results are determined. That process could take weeks. Although it would be obvious if Houston drowned, it is still important to know whether there existed any contributing factors.

    The remake of the film Sparkle, in which she plays Jordin Sparks’ mom, wrapped filming before the singer’s untimely death. The film’s producer, Bishop T.D Jakes, expressed his sadness through a statement upon hearing the news. The film is due to be released in August.

    Above is an interview Whitney and Jordan Sparks gave to Entertainment Tonight (“ET”). Houston looks fantastic.

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      Posted 2 years, 8 months ago.

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      Viola Davis Carries and Delivers The Help

      Last evening, I had the pleasure of seeing The Help in a movie theater in Greensboro, N.C. The Help pays tribute to the black domestic workers particularly those who worked during the civil rights era. This particular story takes place in Jackson Mississippi, a town that is known for arresting and jailing freedom riders and the murder of civil rights leader Medger Evers. In a nutshell the town of Jackson is and will always be known as a racist violent supporter of the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws.

      There of course were those whites who despised the Jim Crow way of life and would stand up to their racist associates. Such is the case in The Help. Sketter, an Ole Miss graduate who is not considered to be attractive comes back home after graduation and finds a job at the Jackson Journal giving cleaning advise to white female aristocracy. Because she was raised by the family’s black maid, she knows nothing about cleaning. While away at college, she is told that their black maid quit to go live with her daughter in Chicago, so she reaches out to a friend’s maid to solicit answers for her cleaning advice column. The maid played by Viola Davis has no choice in the matter and takes on this chore along with caring for a little girl whose mother never touches the child, cooking, washing the clothes, as well as cleaning the entire house.

      While getting the advice from the maid, Sketter decides to write a book about the help, especially after finding out that the maid (played by Cicely Tyson) she loved and adorned was fired. Sketter finds that the maids are reluctant to talking to her, however, after Medger Evers is murdered for registering blacks to vote and a maid is arrested and imprisoned, the maids change their mind.

      The story briefly touches on how these under paid women are cheated out of their social security contribution by employers who build separate bathrooms outside the home for the women to use. Showing that the scars of slavery run deep, it also touches on the domestic violence experienced by these women from their under paid over worked husbands who are treated less than human as well.

      What it doesn’t show is the domestic violence the children experience from the mothers who of course come from a long line of domestic workers dating back to slavery.

      Unlike The Secret Of Bees, the acting is superb. Nothing against Queen Latifah and Alicia Keyes, but these women were not able capture the era, thus rendering their performance dead on arrival. Perhaps they did such a poor job because they had nothing to tap into.

      Oscar nominated Viola Davis who turns 46 today (August 11, 2011) was born on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Although the two time Tony and Drama Desk award winner grew up in Rhode Island, it appears she was able to tap into her southern roots for this role.

      Considered as one of the best actors whether it be stage or screen, Ms. Davis carried this film on her shoulders and delivered. I can see not only another Oscar nomination, but I can envision Ms. Davis carrying the coveted statute home this time.

      The film is educational as well as entertaining. You will have tears in your eyes, but there are plenty of laughs as well, as the film shows how these hard working women survived the inhuman treatment by their employers whose ignoramus mentality resembles that on Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin.

      In this moronic political environment surrounding the first African American U.S. President, people regardless of color should run out in droves to see this picture. You won’t regret it. Also take look at the trailer above.

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        Posted 3 years, 2 months ago.

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        Dianne Reeves said it best in her tweet today: Phoebe Snow sings with the angels today Rest In Peace.

        Reading that tweet took me back to Phobe’s first album entitled Phobe Snow. That album contained the hit Poetry Man. It also included some other fantastic cuts such as “I Don’t Want the Night to End”, “Take Your Children Home”, “No Show Tonight”, “It Must Be Sunday” and “Let The Good Times Roll”. Rolling Stone described her nine original compositions in “Phoebe Snow” as “light jazz torch songs” but freer in form and attitude. (Two other songs on the album were her versions of others’ material).As far as this writer is concerned that album is a classic and stands beside Carol King’s Tapestry.

        Phobe Snow was blessed with a multi-octave range, giving her a signature voice. I say signature, because whether it was a commercial jingle or an opening song to a television series (“A Different World”) you knew it was Phobe Snow’s voice.

        Snow made the cover of Rolling Stone appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and was nominated for a Grammy Award as best new artist. However, she was never able to duplicate her early commercial success. Ms. Snow’s career took a backseat to caring for her daughter, Valerie Rose Laub, who was born in 1975 with severe brain damage as a result of medical malpractice.

        “It was very, very tight,” Snow told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008. “Occasionally I put an album out, but I didn’t like to tour and they didn’t get a lot of label support. But you know what? It didn’t really matter because I got to stay home more with Valerie and that time was precious.”

        Her marriage to Phil Kearns ,Valerie Rose’s father ended in divorce.

        In order to support her daughter, the single Mom sang commercial jingles for such companies as Stouffer’s and General Foods, which she said paid well.

        Valerie Rose died in 2007 at the age of 31. A few months later, Snow started performing again, trying to deal with her loss.

        “Right now it’s beyond a hole. It’s a black hole,” she told the Record of Bergen County, N.J., in 2008. “I don’t even know how to describe that vacancy because it was such an intense relationship. We lived together for 31 years. She was a perennial child. I was her primary caregiver. … We were best friends. It was beyond a loss. I don’t even know what word to use.”

        Snow was born Phoebe Laub on July 17, 1950, in New York City and grew up in Teaneck, N.J. As a youngster she studied piano, then switched to the guitar.

        “I always wanted to be the greatest woman guitarist alive,” she told The Times in 1976. “I had fantasies about being a female Jimi Hendrix. I would go to his concerts and watch all the things he did. But I guess I just wasn’t meant to be a superstar guitarist.”

        Taking guitar lessons affected her singing style.

        “I finally said, ‘I can’t play these guitar lines but maybe I can sing them.’ I tried to sing the way a guitar sounds and the way a saxophone sounds too.”

        Her poetry became the basis of her lyrics, and she started playing at New York clubs. She signed with Shelter Records in 1974.

        She moved to Columbia Records in 1976 after sometimes nasty legal wrangling with Shelter. “Second Childhood” earned her a second gold record, but subsequent Columbia releases did not sell as well. She left the label at the end of the 1970s.

        Snow died today April 27, 2011 in Edison, N.J., her longtime friend and public relations representative, Rick Miramontez, said. She had suffered a brain hemorrhage in January 2010.

        As fans we never want to hear that talented people such as Phobe Snow have died. We don’t want the night to end, but unfortunately for me and all her other fans, it has ended for Phobe Snow at the age of 60. She is survived by a sister, Julie Laub.

        For more on Phobe Snow’s life please take a look at the CBS Sunday Morning video of above.

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          Posted 3 years, 5 months ago.

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          A Mother and Child Reunion After 50 Years

          Egola Crenshaw was 20 years old and living with her family in Cincinnati in 1959 when she became pregnant. She decided to place the daughter up for adoption.

          Living near Atlanta, Egola who is now known as Egola Brown went on to have four more daughters and a son. However, the family always felt the loss of the member who wasn’t there.

          Shortly before Christmas, Brown’s granddaughter, Lauren Crenshaw, learned about the aunt she never met and went online to do some research. Soon she found a Kahron Gibson in Cincinnati who said she’d been looking for them, too.

          A mother and daughter who has been separated for 50 years as a result of the adoption reunited last weekend. Gibson and Brown embraced for the first time in 50 years Saturday in Lawrenceville, Ga. It was a Christmas present both women have been dreaming about for decades.

          Gibson celebrated the new year with her adoptive family in Cincinnati but will return to Georgia to be with her birth family in January for her 51st birthday.

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            Posted 4 years, 9 months ago.

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