Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RE: Generations Nat Cole

Well, its Black History Month and here's my pick in the Entertainment Category:

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known by his fans as Nat "King" Cole. Nat was the first African American Male to host a televison variety show.

For my friends who enjoy "big dogs on the porch", there has not been one better than Nat "King" Cole. We just lost our smooth jazz station (again) in Atlanta last week, so I discovered a better alternative in WCLK 91.9 FM. The station, a service of Clark Atlanta University, offers a mix of old and new, including a healthy dose of smooth jazz for die-hards like me.

This morning, my ears were pleasantly stimulated to the island sounds of "Day In - Day Out", a remix production by Cut Chemist. It was not pure Nat for the "purest", but WOW! The new arrangement captivated me and kidnapped my imagination to 1963 on a Brazilian excursion.

This is a must for my download buddies, along with "Straighten Up and Fly Right", featuring Will i. am and Natalie Cole, "Brazilian Love Song", produced by Michaelangelo L'Acqua, "Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere, produced by Amp Fiddler and "Lush Life", produced by Cee-Lo Green.

I voted: Nat Cole is still the big dog in the world of entertainment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Luke is Coming to Town

Today, just a little after taking the oath of office, the 44th President of the United States of America, Barak H. Obama spoke to the world. He reminded me immediately of ‘Big Luke’.

At the end of the road, in a one-horse, dusty, western town near Denver Colorado at about the year 1844, lies Jackson’s Saloon. At noon on this day, the saloon only has three regulars downing beers and exaggerating about the steer branding from the morning work when the doors are flung open and a muscular man almost six-feet four inches tall steps briskly in and strode to the bar. The man, with a shadow beard and thick moustache gruffly demands “whiskey, and leave the bottle!” He turns up the shot glass, swallows then fills it again and turns up a second and third. Slamming the glass down he shouts, “Big Luke is coming to town!” Then the man scurried out, filing the swinging doors. The three men that were at the table follow him out only to see him ride towards the west, out of town.

The men went back into the saloon, but the last cowboy sees a peculiar sight approaching the town from the east. There in the distance, amidst a cloud of dust is what appears to be someone riding a “beast of burden”. As the rider became a little more visible, it was observed that the rider was on a bucking Brahma/cross bull. Further the man was whipping the bull with a rattlesnake, which he held by its tail. The observer scuttled into the saloon and the rider dismounted the bull and tied him to the post loosely. Then he punched the bull in the face yelling to it saying, “You’d better not move!” He picked up the spittoon by the door and flung open the saloon doors, stepped to the bar and demanded a full bottle of the best whiskey. He poured the full bottle in the spittoon and turned it up, gulping five times before consuming all its contents.

He slammed the spittoon and then the empty bottle down on the bar, when the bartender, shaking with fear quickly inquired, “Would you like another bottle?” The man looked at the bartender and replied, “Naw man, no time to waste, ain’t you heard, Big Luke’s coming to town!”

One CNN commentator suggested that President Obama’s reference to the biblical verse "...the time has come to set aside childish things..." meant that “someone” should put their “big boy pants on”. See and hear the speech.

Then, I popped to the White House website and, WOW! It’s Already updated for “CHANGE”! Remember Ishmael Reed’s poem “I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra?” “…look out Set…to unseat Set…”

Then I watched him walk away from that departing helicopter, as he strode with that dip swagger that is his genuine trademark, I was overcome with pride.

God Bless the President and the First Family of the United States of America!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Burris Dogfight

Minutes ago, I overheard a young businessman make the comment: "He's seventy-one years old and they should go ahead and let him finish the two years left. It's not all that serious anyway."

As to whether we have a dog in that fight arises from the current (and hopefully very temporary) battle by Burris' inability to capture President-elect Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat yesterday in Washington. Secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson rejected his certification, as he knew she would, saying it lacked Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's signature and the state seal.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid had said, "Mr. Burris is not in possession of the necessary credentials from the state of Illinois."

I contend that we do have a dog in that fight. In summary, cost to the taxpayers and race relations are at the root of our concern. What is the cost to the public to have our political machine gummed up with egotistical individuals impeding the state appointment process. Are our politicians practicing the political conduct we are to experience during the Obama administration already? I hope not.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, which judges the credentials of senators, rejected the reasoning that all of the chamber's Democrats, herself included, had cited in a letter last week — that corruption charges against Burris' patron, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, tainted his appointment, saying "If you don't seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America."

With respect to race relations...there should be some concerns. By the way, the only African-American (black) Senators to serve in the United States are as follows:

Hiram Rhodes Revels
- Serving from February 23, 1870 – March 3, 1871
Blanche Kelso Bruce - Serving from March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1881
Edward William Brooke, III - Serving from January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1979
Carol Moseley Braun - Serving from January 5, 1993 – January 3, 1999
Barak Hussein Obama II - Serving from January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008

Incidently, all the aforementioned (black) Senators that have served were Republicans, except for Senators Braun and Obama (and they are both from the State of Illinois).

Mr. Burris has an impressive background, as we would expect, if he is to fill the position of (Junior) Senator from State of Illinois.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had some of his most frustrating civil rights battles in Illinois (Abernathy later wrote that they received a worse reception (in Chicago) than they had in the South).

To: Mr. Roderick P. Miles, CEO of RPM Group, Inc. Thanks for your valuable input and insight.

Yes, we have a dog in that fight!