Tag Archives: birthday

Barack Obama is 50

I suppose it’s true of a lot of Americans: Barack Obama is the first President to be born after I was. And by a lot, over eight years. He’s had some successes, and he’s surely had his failures. But today I’ll focus on the positive aspects. (The negative will come soon enough.)

First, I thought he was working very hard on trying to come to grips with the financial crisis, even before he was inaugurated, and I admired that. (The guy who was ostensibly still in charge kept a low profile, for sure.)
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Martha Reeves Turns 70

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas performed at an Alive at Five concert last month in Albany; I didn’t go, having family obligations. Otherwise, I would have, for sure.

The Times Union newspaper wrote an interesting pre-concert piece about Martha and Vandellas touring in the first Motown Review in 1962, and dealing with segregation.

“We stopped at a few gas stations where they said, ‘No, don’t come in here.’ The first time I ever saw a shotgun face-to-face was at one of those places. The man said, ‘Get back on that bus.’ And he came to the bus with a shotgun and said, ‘Don’t another one of you step on this property.’ I tell you, we learned how to go in the woods.”

She laughs about it now, 49 years later.
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Mavis Staples is 72

One of the great voices in music is Mavis Staples. First as lead singer of the Staples Singers, with hits such as Respect Yourself and I’ll Take You There, and currently with her blues/gospel fusion, she’s still performing.

This segment from CBS Sunday Morning in April 2011 noted that she STILL doesn’t know what keys she sings in, even after 60 years of performing. The story also revealed this:

Mavis Staples has a lot of stories to tell, but here’s one you probably didn’t see coming Continue reading Mavis Staples is 72