Archive for the ‘Black entertainment’ Category

In addition to our musings, lamentations, Black History facts and celebrity interviews, FathersFootprints also uses this medium as an opportunity to broadcast the achievements of local urban entertainment entrepreneurs.

Today’s interview is with the SEIDEMG CEO, Patrick Kelley.

Tell us about SEIDEMG?
Our mission at SEIDEMG/KDS, INC. is to build strength in our business brands, while creating value through employee team building and business partnerships. We believe that relations are bridge-ways for growth, longevity and sustainability, thus, calculated camaraderie will be the driving force as our company pushes forward!

Since October of 1996 the founders (Patrick “Smooth P” Kelly & Charles “Chuck” Dobey of then SEID Entertainment started a mission to empower the independent artist with support while educating them on the music business. SEID, which stands for strength, endurance, independence and determination, was and still is the moniker that drives the ambition and creativity of the company.  In 2001 Keith “A-Man” Cooper joined the company and the owners embraced a production division which became EMG or ESS Studios. This division was in charge of all aspects of music productions, artist showcases and promotions.  Later that year “The UrbanSpotlight” was envisioned by co-founder Patrick Kelly. It was held at the infamous Shark Bar Restaurant & Lounge in Midtown Atlanta and ran for over a thirteen month period.  Through this and many other showcases, artist development, artists features, vocal coaching, and live performances…SEID Entertainment was able to witness its vision and passion come to life.

On December 17th, 2009 SEIDEMG merged with KDS, INC. to become SEIDEMG/KDS, INC. Upon that merger the company gained the music website IWOVUMUSIC.COM which is now being adapted for booking independent artists throughout the Southeast Region. SEIDEMG also has four other divisions including the “From My Block Ta Yo Block” Live Show & Reality Series “Going Hard With Pat & Chuck,” SEIDEMG Printing & Promotions, Lenny Wheat Clothing and SEIDEMG Music Entertainment Management.

Now over 13 years in the making, the company, SEIDEMG/KDS, INC., is more focused than ever. Its artist management division has several projects in the works such as the mixtape” Cadillac Uncut Dope Vol. 1 series 1-4″ and “The Jump Fresh AllStars.”  SEIDEMG has also signed San Antonio’s Rapper/Producer Marc Twang & Knock City Ent., provided artistic and creative services for the gospel play “Who Killed Uncle Pete, Dj Quick and International Dance Star Kevin Bryant and co-directed Kevin Bryant’s “Who You Wanna Be” music video with the re-mix single produced by the Mega Dance Dj Bob Sinclar for Launch Entertainment. SEIDEMG/KDS, INC. also launched Lenny Wheat Clothing on Jan 5th, 2010, started the live entertainment show “From My block Ta Yo Block” at the Spring4th Center which runs every Tuesday.

You are seeking talent in the music and entertainment industry. What is the focus of your management company and how was this vision derived?
The focus of SEIDEMG Management is to not only sign talented artists, but to sign artist who are a “triple threat.”  This means that we are only looking to work with an artist if their talent includes singing, rapping & producing and or song writing and dancing.  We believe that an artist’s relationship should be that of a partnership; both forces joining together to build greatness.

Your company is currently hosting talent shows at Blush Ultra lounge in Atlanta every Tuesday evening.  Tell us about some of the talent that has displayed at your event.
As far as the show being a showcase…”From My Block Ta Yo Block” Live show is not considered a showcase.  What we do in our live show is force our talent to be creative, to think outside the box with our song and jingle building contest as well as the freestyle battles where we pick the topic of conversation.  Our live show also pushes the artist to hone their craft and build on their talent through live performances that are judged by industry professionals.

What can we look forward to from SEIDEMG in the near future?
In addition to the live show, SEIDEMG is also currently filming it’s reality series “Going Hard With Pat & Chuck” which we are hopeful to obtain national distribution as well as promoting its online music website iwovumusic.com and SEIDEMG Printing & Promotions. You can always find a friendly, considerate and courteous professional with SEIDEMG!

To learn more about SEIDEMG, log onto their website at www. http://seidemg.com/.

Until next time,

Alyce (rt) pictured with her photographer and sister in-law, Tina Thompson

New York, LA and Atlanta have no shortage of up and coming authors, producers and playwrights.  Today’s interview features Ms. Alyce C. Thompson (ACT) of Philadelphia.  Alyce is an author and filmmaker with her own publishing and production companies.

An alumnus from Philly’s famous Overbrook High School, Alyce is charting her own course in the print and film industries.

Here is a recent discussion we had with Alyce.

You have six novels.  How did you get your start in writing?         I got my start through research and studying. I found self-publishing suitable for me at the time of my start almost ten years ago because I had three young children and limited resources, but I knew I wanted to become an author and publisher. Although publishing houses were interested in my work, it wasn’t feasible for my situation. I couldn’t lock myself into a situation and not be able to deliver so once I finished my first novel, I had it copy-written, got my ISBN’s, found graphic artist and printing companies and I was on my way and in charge of my own destiny. Being a single mother, it was important that I could move at my own pace.   Before my book had come back from print, I incorporated my company and I’ve been writing and publishing ever since.  It has been an interesting experience being a small, Black-owned company, but I wanted this so I had to endure all that came with it and I’ve learned a lot and (I am) still learning.

In addition to being a published author you have written two screen plays, one of which is currently in production. Tell us about your film venture.

 Wow. This is a very trying but interesting process, one I enjoy no matter what obstacles are thrown my way.  For me, because I am the main character in the feature, it was hard to pick and choose what I thought would be interesting enough for a feature.  Writing a book is different from writing a script. You have one to two hours to tell the story so being inside the story was difficult.  Once the script was complete, I had auditions and I knew exactly what I wanted from my cast.  Once rehearsals started, I had rewrites.  We had a small budget, but exceeded the budget. I was told, “anything is to be expected during production,” and I found that to be true but as long as you’re working with good people, have God on your side and you remain positive, you can overcome anything that comes your way.  I allowed the cast to bring their own creativeness to the set and that made the experience so much easier and exciting for us.  We had real firearms and although we had professional and skilled pyro-techs on the set, as well as the cast learning safety beforehand, it was difficult for me to stand by and watch my oldest son shoot my youngest son on set.  I didn’t want any of my cast hurt on set so I prayed before and during. Everybody did a wonderful job, became a real family and personalities fit perfectly. The experience was overwhelming.

 Overbrook High School (Philadelphia) has some famous alumni which include Wilt Chamberlain, Guion Bluford, Will Smith and James Lassiter to name a few. What was the culture like at Overbrook?

The culture at Overbrook was diverse. You had your athletes, the popular cliques, the nerds, the dressers, troublemakers. I would say I fell in between, maintained good grades, loved fashion, arts, experienced some negative things, and I was admired and respected for my uniqueness.  Most of my teachers and role models made me feel at home, like anything could be accomplished as long as I believed in me.  Overbrook was a great experience; more like a family environment. Becoming someone of importance was inevitable.  If you were a part of the Overbrook family, you knew you were special.

Tell us about the film 3 Men I Choose to Love.

3 Men I Chose to Love is based on my life’s story; all of the tragedies I experienced during my young life. I have three children; my first son’s father and I were together for five years and planned a life together with children, good careers, houses, cars, etc. We accomplished a lot for our age but things began to change, we finally went separate ways, and when he had gotten his life back, and wanted to be settled down with our son and me, he was gunned down. My second son’s father and I were living together, engaged, had a newborn son, and he was shot and kidnapped for thirty days for ransom but had died. My youngest child; my daughter’s father whom I had been with for two years was gunned down by a fifteen-year-old boy from his neighborhood. Three young lives were taken before they reached twenty-four. So, in short, they are the 3 Men I Chose to Love.  The “3” also represents, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who carried me through my storm and is the reason that I am here today because I couldn’t see life without my children’s fathers and raising my children had been very hard, but “I’m still standing.”

What can we expect from you in the near future?

I have so many dreams and desires, some things that I can’t mention right now but I am currently finishing up, “3 Men” the stage play and I am also working on a TV series based on my other novels.

We are extremely grateful for the time we’ve spent with Alyce and look forward to the books, films, stage-plays, television shows and whatever dreams she causes to come into fruition. 

To learn more about this modern author, playwright and producers, visit her website at www.alycecthompsonbooksinc.com.

Until next time,

Copyright © 2010

If you follow this blog you recall a series we did on the Harlem Renaissance, featuring Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and others.  On the last day of Black History Month it’s only fitting that we pay homage to the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters.

If by some chance you are totally oblivous; Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team known for its athleticism, theater, comedy and high scoring games.

Those who know me are familiar with my opinionated quips (better known as D’s 2¢) know that I have a certain disdain for buffoonery.  Before we dismiss their antics as cooning, we must first be mindfully aware of the environment during which the G-Trotters were birthed.

Initially, the G-Trotters were a serious competitive team, and despite a flair for entertainment, they would only clown (or coon; depending on how you see it) for the audience after establishing a safe and sizable lead in any given game.  In 1939, they accepted an invitation to participate in the World Professional Basketball Tournament, where they met the New York Rens in the semi-finals in the first big clash of the two greatest all-Black professional basketball teams. The Rens defeated the G-Trotters and went on to win the Tournament, but in 1940 the G-Trotters avenged their loss by defeating the Rens in the quarterfinals and advancing to the championship game, where they beat the Chicago Bruins in overtime by a score of 37–36.

The G-Trotters gradually worked comic routines into their act until they became known more for entertainment than sports.  The G-Trotters’ acts often feature incredible coordination and skillful handling of one or more basketballs, such as passing or juggling balls between players, balancing or spinning balls on their fingertips, and making unusual, difficult shots.

It is not uncommon for Blacks to create an industry with their gifts.  Basketball, a game originate by Dr. James Naismith was not created with Black in mind.  However, having evolved into a sport where extreme coordination, jumping, ball-handling and the combination of strength and grace are paramount; it was only a matter of time before game transcended from its origin.

Predating modern day millionaires like MJ, Kobe and Lebron; pioneers like Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neale, Marques Haynes and Wilt Chamberlain were all instrumental in transforming the game into what we see it today: Entertaining spectator competitive sports.  And let’s not forget that they are the only professional sports team (to my knowledge) to have a cartoon series and a comic book.

Although the G-Trotters are not what they once were (which is largely due to the high flying acts of the NBA in physical play and mass media marketing), but they will always be considered a significant part of our history and the history of the game we consider FANTASTIC.

D’s 2¢

Those who’ve been following this site over the past year already know that we will occasionally introduce Black artists who have shared their gifts of modeling, acting, singing, photography and writings.  In 2009 we brought you Kim Coles, Cynda Williams, Tobias Truvillion, Candice Sanders, David Ruffin Jr, Chenoa Maxwell, Cherie Johnson, Chandra Currelley and others.  We’re off to a great start with the first guest of 2010: Ms. Latrice Pace of the Anointed Pace Sisters gospel singing group.

 

The roots of gospel music can be pursued through the academic discipline of ethno-musicology (going back to Europe and Africa), through a study of the 2,000-year history of church music, and through a study of rural folk music traditions, but for practical purposes, gospel music as we know it began in the late 19th century.  Rather than to go into the historical perspective of the origin and milestones in gospel music we’d rather kick it directly with one of gospel music’s current generation performers.  We introduce to you Ms. Latrice Pace of the Anointed Pace Sisters. 

 

How did you get your start in the music business?

I was born into the business; and to be honest, I wanted nothing to do with music. I felt everybody in the family was already doing it so I needed to do something different.  However, my daddy made sure I knew that Gospel music was a family ministry and there was no such thing as “doing something different” J.  Once I graduated from high school I began to sing in the group with my sisters.  Shortly thereafter I began to travel with my oldest sister, Shun, as her assistant/road manager.  I believe serving her for years opened so many other doors to work with various artist as well as the arts. 

Tell us about your company L. Pace Entertainment, LLC.

I’ve been in the music industry for 20 years and in the arts (Urban Theater) for about 15 years.  I learned early on that I was my own walking/traveling business. So with my experience along with the influence of my mentor Donald Lawrence, I’m learning that it’s not just about having a professional image before people, but it’s important that every aspect of you, your life, your business – be legitimate and professional.  I also have future aspirations to mount my own theatrical production, but during this chapter of my life, L. Pace Entertainment, LLC is about being smart in this business of music.  I don’t want to do what I do out of necessity, but simply because I love to do it.

You are part of the gospel group The Anointed Pace Sisters.  What are some of the biggest challenges working with family?

When I tell you every family has them, EVERY FAMILY HAS THEM.  I was recently watching the reality show about The Jacksons and I was astonished because I saw so many parallels. You’re always going to have that person who feels like their voice (opinions) are never heard. You’re always going to have that person who runs back to mother although we all are adults. You’re always going to have that person who is just going to go against the grain no matter what. You’re always going to have that person who seeks the attention (and that can fluctuate from person to person depending on moods), but the thing that keeps us together and make us work is that we are family.  We genuinely love one another no matter what. Our foundation is prayer, prayer keeps us humble, thus helping us to find that middle ground and reason.  Through our challenges we gain a greater love and respect for one another.  Our reward is unity. 

You were cast in Tyler Perry’s “What’s Done in the Dark” as the hilarious nurse Nancy. Describe the experience working with a Tyler Perry Production. 

I had so much fun.  I’ve also worked with Tyler on two prior productions; I Know I’ve Been Changed and one where he partnered with Bishop Jakes entitled Behind Closed Doors.  It has been truly amazing to witness his growth and the things that God promised materializing right before my eyes.  Working with him (Tyler) has given me hope.  It has strengthened me to hold on to every Word that God has spoken over my life because it will manifest.  I also came to realize that performing is a ministry and you feel the weight of that every single night.  You feel that responsibility to minister hope to someone who may have been laid off and spent their last (dollar) for a laugh or to be inspired and lifted through song.  I loved it and look forward to working with him again. 

What can our readers look forward to in the future from Latrice? 

I recently shot a webisode with Robert Townsend which aired on The Gospel Music Channel so they can look forward to seeing that among other things as it relates to film and television. I’m finally at the place where I’m embracing the possibility of recording.  Lastly, Latrice is going to Broadway, so look forward to that!

We appreciate Latrice taking the time to share with us the details of being a “Pace Sister.”  We look forward to hearing more from her in the future.  As we often do, we close this column with a quote of relevance: “Adopt the Pace of nature; her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Joining Latrice’s fan page is just a click away.

 Until next time,

Copyright © 2010

 

FathersFootprints has developed a reputation for sharing the good and the bad associated with the Black experience.  2009 proved to be momentous for Black Americans for several reasons.  Our countdown includes unexpected losses as well as unprecedented accomplishments.  Our countdown is as follows:

#10 Entertainment moguls Jay-Z and Beyone’ retained their title as Hollywood’s richest couple.

 #9 NFL wide receiver Chris Henry dies from injuries sustained from being thrown from a moving vehicle.  He was said to have had a domestic altercation with his finance’.  

#8 Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson lost his 5 year old daughter due to accidental strangulation of a treadmill cord.

#7 Actress and comediene Kim Coles became the first Black woman to host a prime time game show.  In 2009 BET aired “Pay-It-Off”.

#6 Professional boxer Vernon Forrest, a former two-division champion who gained stardom when he became the first boxer to defeat Shane Mosley, was shot to death in what police are called an attempted robbery.

#5 Engineering student and terror suspect Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, attempted to bomb and international flight headed to Detroit, Michigan.

#4 Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was killed July 4 by his 20-year-old girlfriend in a murder-suicide incident.

#3 Entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey is calling it quits after more than 20 years at the top of the daytime talk show game.  Oprah is scheduled to step off the show in September 2011.

#2 Music icon Michael Jackson passed at the age of 50.  The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

#1 Former Chicago Senator Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States.

As the year 2009 subsides and 2010 emerges, we brace ourselves for the unfolding of stories untold, dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled, joy and sorrow – but most of all we know that everything must change.  The primary change has to be the way we (as Black Americans) think.

I personally want to thank the readers who supported this site in 2009 and we look forward to continuing to bring you quality content in the New Year.

God bless you,

Copyright © 2009

The Harlem Renaissance cultural movement started between 1920 and 1930, and was spearheaded from the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, hence the name. It was also known by various other names like, the New Negro movement and the New Negro Renaissance. It marked the beginning of the African American literature along with its music, theater, art and politics.  Today’s post is another plug for the world-class musicians of the movement.  I bring to you none other than Big Band himself, Mr. Duke Ellington.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899 – 1974)
Ellington was an African American music composer, pianist, a band leader and the 20th century’s best-known artist.  He brought many great artists together and formed one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz musicians.  He recorded for many famous American record companies and also acted in several films.

Duke earned 13 Grammy awards from 1959 to 2000 for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band, etc.  He was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame awards for several performances including, Mood Indigo (1931), It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing – 1932), Cocktails for Two (1934), etc.  

Ellington was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. He was later awarded several other prizes, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, an Honorary PhD from the Berklee College of Music in 1971, and the Legion of Honor by France in 1973, the highest civilian honors in each country.  He died of lung cancer and pneumonia on May 24, 1974, a month after his 75th birthday, and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City.  At his funeral attended by over 12,000 people at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Ella Fitzgerald summed up the occasion, “It’s a very sad day. A genius has passed.” Mercer Ellington picked up the reins of the orchestra immediately after Duke’s death. Before Ellington died, his last words were, “Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered.”

Although the Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue was a renowned venue for swing dancing and jazz, immortalized in the popular song “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, the Apollo Theater has been the most lasting physical legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. The Apollo opened its doors on 125th Street on January 26, 1914, in a former burlesque house, and has remained a symbol of African-American culture.

One of the most famous clubs for popular music in the United States, it was the first place where many figures from the Harlem Renaissance found a venue for their talents and a start to their careers. The careers of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan (among many others) were launched at the Apollo.

The next portion of this Harlem Renaissance Series will focus on these talented singers and musicians.  Today’s feature spotlights the legendary Billie Holiday.

Billie Holliday (1915–1959)

Singer, jazz vocalist Billie Holiday, (born Eleanora Fagan) on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is perhaps one of the most popular and influential jazz singers of all time.

She was born to her unwed parents.  Her mother, 13-year-old Sadie Fagan, and her father, 15-year-old Clarence Holiday, married when Billie was three.  As a child, she ran errands and scrubbed floors at Alice Dean’s, a “house of ill repute.” That was where she first heard the music of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, her two biggest influences.

She began to sing at Harlem nightclubs when she could not get hired as a dancer. She used the stage name “Billie Holiday” after her father, who played in a band, and Billie Dove, her favorite childhood actress. She sang at the clubs from midnight until three o’clock in the afternoon for 18 months, only getting paid $2 per night.

Billie was finally recognized as a real talent by John Hammond, a famous jazz enthusiast. He then recommended her to Benny Goodman, a clarinet player who worked in the recording business at that time. It was from there that Billie’s career exploded onto the jazz music scene.

Her recording career is divided into 3 periods.  The first is the period in the 1930s, recorded with Columbia, marked by her time with Wilson, Goodman, and Young.  Her music was made for jukeboxes, but she turned them into jazz classics.  Her popularity never matched her artistic success, but she was widely played on Armed Forces Radio during World War II.   From this period came the anti-racism song Strange Fruit, in which she paints a terrifying picture of lynched black bodies hanging from trees.  The lyrics of the song were adapted from a poem by Louis Allen.

The next period is her Decca (record company) years in the Forties, marked by recordings with string orchestra accompaniment.    While the records from this period are impressive, they’re not as “jazzy.”  This period featured Loverman as well as her self-written classics Don’t Explain, and God Bless the Child.  In late 1947, she was arrested on drug charges and spent 18 months in a federal reformatory.

On May 31, 1959, she was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York suffering from liver and heart disease. Police officers were stationed at the door to her room. She was arrested for drug possession as she lay dying and her hospital room was raided by authorities.

Holiday remained under police guard at the hospital until she died from cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959. In the final years of her life, she had been progressively swindled out of her earnings, and she died with $0.70 in the bank and $750 (a tabloid fee) on her person.

The 1970’s film Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross and Billie Dee Williams, was based on the life of Billie Holiday.