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Friday, September 13, 2013

Famed publicist Patti Webster passes

buzzz worthy. . .

Patti Webster

Owner and Principal Publicist of the New Jersey based firm, W&WPR, Patti Webster has passed away. Webster served as the pitch woman for numerous high profile celebs for over 20 years such as Janet Jackson, Patti Labelle, Jay Z, and Ludacris. The daughter of pastors, a devout Christian and minister of the gospel with a bright sense of humor, she also authored the book of funny stories about the on-goings in Church titled "It Happened In Church." The cause of her death is unknown.

 In the story below, Webster shared her faith with EUR Publisher Lee Bailey in the Fall of 2006.

PATTI WEBSTER'S HIGHER CALLING: Lee Bailey interview reveals Christian 
testimony from publicist to the stars. 

By Mona Austin


      If this story were a press release the headline would read: 
"Publicist Passively Pitches Christ to Hollywood's Heavy Hitters." The 
publicist is PR guru Patti Webster. She has been the personal scribe 
penning publicity and managing media for some of the most popular names 
in entertainment including Janet, Jay Z, Patti Labelle, and Tye 
Tribbett. In a rare turn of events, she found herself being the subject 
of interest.

      During the pause before a phone interview for "Ms. Jackson," a 
casual conversation with EUR founder Lee Bailey about the convenience of 
technology and workaholic music artists converted the Publicist to the 
stars into an unsuspecting interviewee and "evangelist." 

      Patti has a family history of women in church leadership, but she 
chose publicity as her pulpit. However, she is involved in several 
departments at her mother's church.   She is also a ministerial student 
committed to leading a lifestyle commensurate to Christianity. Friday 
night: choir rehearsal. Sunday morning: worship. That's the order of 
business for Webster on her two days of rest from the entertainment 
business. And she exclaims that everyone who knows Patti understands 
that Jesus Christ is her superstar and interrupting her time with God is 
off limits-no matter who the celebrity is.

      Tight-lipped by profession, she is imperviously guarded when it 
comes to exposing her clients' private lives, as well as her own. 

      In the company of a veteran snoop, however, the pitcher becomes 
the ball. Making good use of the twenty-two minute wait before Janet 
joined the call, Lee wielded her into his journalistic chamber. Shortly 
thereafter Patti asks, "Am I being interviewed?" "Yes. I guess. We're 
just talking," Lee quibbles in a purred baritone. 

      On the other hand, while in the company of a veteran pitcher, the 
snoop is served an earful of Good News. The publicist's guard lowers 
when given the opportunity to talk about her love for Jesus Christ. 
Webster comfortably ministers to Bailey, demonstrating the execution of 
her beliefs without imposition.

      God's immutable presence is perceptible throughout this 
good-natured sparring match between two media heavyweights.

      After a jostle with Lee about not wanting to break the unwritten 
PR rule (i.e., keep the client in the spotlight, not yourself), although 
conscientious, Patti agreed to have her story published in the Gospel 
EUR Report. The outcome of the "conversation" is the inspiring 
testimony of Christian faith from Webster, the CEO of W&W Public 
Relations. 

      The exchange begins when Lee expresses puzzlement about highly 
successful entertainers working so much that they don't get to enjoy the 
fruit of their labor: 

Patti Webster: Yeah I think when you get to a place where you can enjoy 
it-enjoy it. You know you only live twice.

Lee Bailey: You only live twice? How's that?

PW: 'Cus if you believe in God and believe there's a heaven and a hell 
you live here and you live in heaven.

LB: Well yeah. You don't believe you'll live in hell?

PW: Oh you'll live in hell too. That's why you'll live twice.

LB: You're talking about the afterlife to life as we know it-this life 
here. Yeah, well I think heaven or hell will take care of itself.

PW: Yeah. I'll choose heaven.

LB: I don't think you need much in either place, but down here it's 
certainly better to have all the accoutrements. I don't know if you 
need 'em but it's certainly better to have resources than not to have 
them as far as I'm concerned no matter what one's outlook is. . .

PW: My grandfather use to say, "Let's just wait and see." Somebody's 
wrong. (Laughter) He said I'd rather have a hope beyond a hope than not 
have that.

LB: Yeah there's no question about that. Now, somebody told me a while 
ago that you were studying to be a minister or something?

PW: I am.

LB: You are a minister?

PW: Uh huh.

LB: Really?

PW: A deacon-ordained deacon. Church administrator, over the youth 
ministry, pastor's aid ministry, the adjutant ministry.

LB: And you're a publicist? We're gonna have to sit down and talk one 
day.

PW: Want me to enlighten you?

LB: Please.

PW: I will. When I first started the business I wasn't as in love with 
Christ as I am now. I didn't understand the plan at the time the plan 
that he had. I had a lot of people praying for me, but I didn't 
understand His plan for me. And I do understand that the prayers of the 
righteous avail much. So, I started the business and at the time I was 
dealing with Robin Givens, I wasn't really doing music, I was doing more 
film kind of stuff. But music was my forte. And of course the church 
folks were like "Oh my God what is she doing, she's hangin' out with the 
sinners." My mother works for Johnson and Johnson and she's a pastor. 
Johnson and Johnson makes contraceptives and she doesn't necessarily 
agree with it, but that's the company she works for and that's what they 
do. ...

      As I grew closer to Christ I learned that my ministry is where I 
am and that there are those that are in this business that don't know 
who God is and feel that they've moved so far from him that they can't 
be introduced to him and the goodness of Him and I believe that's why he 
has placed me here. I have not compromised my morals and my standards. 
I live as much of a holy and righteous life as I can and when I fail I 
know that His grace is there. 

      But a prophet explained it to me better than anybody could. He 
came to my church, Prophet Raphel Green, I'll never forget him, from St 
Louis, MO. And I was still getting a lot of criticism form the church. 
(And this guy I did not know.) He said listen, "Lord knows why He put 
you here. He says for me to tell you to remember Daniel, remember Ester 
and remember Joseph. They all worked for pagans, people who didn't know 
Me. I need you here so you can open up you mouth." And that's what it's 
been all about.

LB: Does that mean you proselytize to your clients?

PW. No. I don't do that. I live a life that's holy and grounded.

LB: I'm sure that must be quite a challenge.

PW: It's not a challenge. It is what it is. Janet Jackson deserves to 
be introduced to Christ like anybody else. And Jesus didn't stay in the 
temple. He walked among sinners. He ate at peoples' houses and people 
were like "Why are you eating there, he's not of us". . .I don't know if 
you know the Bible.

LB: To a certain degree.

PW: Jesus was not in the church preaching to the church folk. He was 
out in the street preaching to those that were lost and that needed 
healing and those that were hurting. That was his ministry. It was in 
the streets.

LB: So have you had this conversation with her and J.D. (Jermaine 
Dupri)?

PW: As it relates to?

LB: Christ.

PW: No. The best example, the best testimony that I have is my life. I 
don't have to say J.D. you're a sinner. I don't have to do that. Jesus 
didn't do any ... He just showed love and displayed love and that's all 
I do.

LB: Well if you don't say something to somebody, in other words how can 
you be a minister and carry on His Word, carry on His deeds if you don't 
say it with your mouth? I mean how you live your life is one thing but 
at some point you have to espouse your beliefs. I don't know that you 
have to but it seems like you should almost have to?

PW: Espousing of your beliefs are when you have conversations over 
dinner "So now why do you do Bible study on Tuesday? Why do you go to 
Bible study?" That's where it's one puts it in your face. The questions 
come. It's just natural. You know what I mean? It's a natural 
progression so if he asks that question that gives me then the 
opportunity to share.

LB: Yes ... but aren't you chomping at the bit to share your experience?

PW: Am I being interviewed?

LB: Yes. I'm just talking (laughing) ...

PW: ... Okay (laughing) ... 

LB: I'm sorry. I'm just talking (laughing).

PW: I'm glad I am talking to a journalist (laughing).

LB: We're just talking.

PW: Yeah. But no, I definitely feel in a way that is . . . not in an 
abrasive way is the best way I can say it. It's not a judgmental way, 
it's just in what I believe and if someone asked me yesterday "Why are 
you so peaceful all the time? Why do you have such peace?" And I said, 
"Well that's a good question. I can tell you it's because of God." 
He's my peace and it opens up a can of worms. It wasn't that I put it 
in their face. I didn't have a bible on the table. I wasn't talking it 
tongues ... I wasn't doing any of that but we were just having 
conversation. 

LB: Well that's so incredible that you can be in this business and 
represent people who are secular.

PW: Yeah, but there's many of us.

LB: Well yeah, that's true. I mean I know the world is not full of 
complete heathens.

PW: No, not at all. And you know what? The thing is that there are 
people even in the secular side that are just really good people. Just 
really good people and they don't understand the correlation of that yes 
there's a God who shines His sun on the unfaithful and the unjust as 
well as the holy and the righteous for lack of a better definition. But 
there is still a lifestyle that comes with this thing. To say "I thank 
God" and not live anything. To say I thank God and then go sleep with 
somebody two seconds later or say "I thank God and roll over" when 
you're not married or when you're living in a sinful way is 
hypocritical, one. But there is a lifestyle that comes with this thing 
and a lot of people aren't really taught that. Because all they know is 
"Oh yeah there's a God and I have to thank Him" but they don't know what 
comes with that.

LB: Well, that's sort of what we're talking about. You work with those 
people, and again not being judgmental and naming names. I'm not going 
to do that, but technically almost based on what one reads ... it's 
almost inconceivable on the one hand.

PW: It's almost inconceivable? Why? You can't share love without 
being among the one's who need the love.

LB: Well, that's a good point. Okay, touché. Good point, good point. 
Now, on the other hand, what's happening on the church scene? Did they 
come to accept you as you are or are you still dealing with the haters?

PW: Because I've not compromised who I am or in whom I believe. And I 
think that people have ... I've taught them the same way I taught them 
on the secular side, on the church side, that our job was to go out and 
reach the world and to teach and to share love. And if I'm not in a 
business or place set to do that then were not doing what we're called 
to do anyway.

LB: That's a good point. Now as you're saying that to them I'm sure 
you're cognizant that they're not necessarily 100% holy and right 
themselves.

PW: Absolutely! Yes and I think that's the biggest thing that I've 
shared; I sin everyday. I may have an impure thought. I may say the 
wrong thing. I may talk funny. But that's where grace comes in and we 
have to know that. (And Janet is going to be a running few minutes 
late. They just sent me an email I just got. She'll be on at 11:30.) 

LB: Okay. Well why don't we just continue chatting then?

PW: Okay (laughing).

LB: I mean, who knew?

PW: I know. People know I think.

LB: Well, yes people knew about you being a minister. I had heard but 
I meant who knew that we would be having this conversation.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Norman Hutchins Returns with New High-Spirited Single "Hosanna" and New Album Scheduled For October 15 Release

buzzz worthy. . .
Dover, DE -- Dr. Norman Hutchins has become one of gospel music’s most prolific songwriters and masterful producers.  He’s an artist who has developed an impressive catalog of timeless gospel music that has produced countless radio hits and some of the genres best loved songs.  His professional music career has spawned Stellar Award, Grammy Award and Dove Award nominated projects including Battlefield, Emmanuel, Nobody But You, Where I Long To Be, Spontaneous Praise: Volume One, God Is Faithful, and If You Didn’t know…Now You Know and classic hits “God’s Gotta Blessing (With My Name On It!)”, “Battlefield” and “Jesus I Love You”. (discography)
 
With projects released over his impressive career via Sparrow Records and JDI Records, Norman Hutchins is back with a new high-spirited single “Hosanna” on his own label IR Music Group. “Hosanna” has already climbed the Billboard Gospel Top 30 Radio Single Charts entering at #30 this week and is available on iTunes now.  "Hosanna" is truly resonating with listeners as a proclamation of enthusiasm for vertical worship.   “This single is a celebration of redemption through the life of Jesus Christ,” Hutchins decrees.
 
Listen to the single << "HOSANNA" >>
 
Hutchins garnered the assistance of the ingenious musical and production skills of Michael Bereal (Judith McAllister, Kurt Carr, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Beverly Crawford) for his forthcoming October 15 release HOSANNA.  “My vision for this project is to help aide listeners in worship and that churches across the country would add these songs to their Sunday morning music repertoire,” Hutchins states.  “I chose to work with Michael again because of his ability to interpret my music,” he continues. “HOSANNA is true to the sound of morning worship, while at the same time embraces the new technologies in music.”
 
Dr. Norman Hutchins holds a Master's Degree in Biblical Counseling and a Doctorate in Church Administration.  Hutchins is not only a psalmist, educator and respected community leader, he is a Pastor and successful entrepreneur.  Hutchins and his wife Karen birthed their own church FRONTLINE MINISTRIES, INC. in Dover, Delaware.  He continues to share his vision and anointing as he meets the countless demands of preaching, teaching and singing the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide. He previously served as Executive Minister of Music for the presiding Bishop of the Churches of God in Christ and as the Director of Social Services at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. 

Hutchins contributes his longevity in gospel music to continually staying true to his calling, and only recording music that has been tried by a live worship service.  With the release of HOSANNA, Hutchins’ goal is to give church choirs and praise teams that minister every Sunday morning, quality, impactful Life Music to choose from and to assist in creating an atmosphere of worship.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 Twelve years later

buzzz worthy. . .

Today on the twelfth anniversary of 911 First Lady Michelle Obama visited families at Fort Belvoir, VA.
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WATCH SHERYL LEE RALPH ON TV ONE'S FIFTH SEASON PREMIERE OF 'LIFE AFTER' TONIGHT! (WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013)

buzzz worthy. . .

ATLANTA, GA- SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 -TV One's long-running docu-series Life After returns for a fifth season with back-to-back new episodes tonight at 8 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. Tonight's premiere episode features one of America's noted, "Best T.V Moms", Sheryl Lee Ralph. The Broadway and comedic sensation will provide a glimpse into her life as a senator's wife, a mother and a lifelong performer.

A triple threat dream girl, Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award-winning work includes creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical, "Dreamgirls," and earning Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Sheryl Lee Ralph credits include "It's a Living," "Designing Women," "The District," and most notably, "Moesha."

On the big screen, she has worked with some of Hollywood's leading and award-winning men with film credits that include "The Mighty Quinn" with Denzel Washington; "Mistress" with Robert de Niro; "To Sleep With Anger" with Danny Glover and "The Distinguished Gentlemen" with Eddie Murphy. Ralph picked up a win for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her performance in "To Sleep With Anger."

Currently, Sheryl Lee Ralph is touring the one-woman play, "Sometimes I Cry," a production written and performed by her, which explores the lives, loves, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV. Ralph is also enjoying the sucess of her best-selling autobiographical book, "REDEFINING D.I.V.A: Life Lessons from an Original Dreamgirl." In the Fall of 2013, Ralph will be starring with actress Tia Mowry in Nickelodeon's, 'Nick-At-Nite', newsest show, "Instant Mom".
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Zimmerman detained in Florida

buzzz worthy. . .
ORLANDO, Fla. — George Zimmerman's wife has called police to her father's house, saying the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of murder threatened her with a gun.
Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell says Shellie Zimmerman called police shortly after 2 p.m. Monday.
Bracknell says Zimmerman hasn't been arrested and officers are at the house trying to determine what happened.
Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce last week.
In the divorce petition, Shellie Zimmerman says she and her husband separated a month after Zimmerman was acquitted of any crime for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin last July.
Zimmerman's acquittal led to protests nationwide.
AP
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GOSPEL’S LEADING MAN EARNEST PUGH RAISES ROOF AT THE HOWARD THEATRE

buzzz worthy. . .

 
Washington, D.C. - Gospel Music’s Leading Man - Earnest Pugh - best known for the  #1 gospel classics “Rain On Us” and “I Need Your Glory” – showered his fans from the DMV (Washington, DC; Maryland and Virginia) with an electrifying set of songs from his forthcoming September 17th CD “The W.I.N. (Worship in Nassau) Experience” this past Saturday at The historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.
 
Hosted by the city’s Praise 104.1 FM midday personality Cheryl Jackson and Lil Mo of TV One’s “R&B Divas” reality show, the evening got a jumpstart with the force of nature known as Brittney Wright who had audience members pumping their hands into the air as she sang her latest hit “Be Alright.” From there, EPM recording artist Keith Williams thrilled the audience with three tracks from his CD “Tone For Worship” that hits stores on September 10th.  The sultry tenor and DMV native kept the energy high as he launched into the rocking “So Good To Be Back” before teaching the audience to hilariously two-step Chicago-style on “As For Me and My House.” He closed his set with the thunderous song of affirmation and triumph, “Behind Me Now.”
 
Williams then turned the show over to Pugh who blew the roof off the building with a high-octane litany of praise numbers that ignited with “Everybody Lift Him” from the new CD. It had the audience standing and clapping along as Pugh worked the stage. He warned the crowd that he had to soon leave to catch a plane but not before launching into an extended medley of “Rain On Us” and “I Need Your Glory” that showed Pugh’s five-octave vocal range to be in particularly good form with elongated notes and colorful flourishes that breathed new life into the songs. Pugh closed with an impassioned reading of his current radio smash “More of You” before jetting off to Houston.
 
But, the show wasn’t over yet. Charles Butler & Trinity, the choir that originally backed Pugh on “Rain on Us,” showed their dynamic skills on a stirring-set of songs that featured “More Than Enough” from their EPM Music Group digital CD, “Better.” Lil Mo closed the concert with a down home churchy set of songs that left the patrons spiritually inspired and floating on a natural high. Fans can get news updates on Earnest Pugh at his online hub of earnestpugh.com and EPM acts at http://epmmusicgroup.com.
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VETERAN BROADCASTER LONNIE HUNTER SHIFTS INTO THE AFTERNOON DRIVE WITH SYNDICATED RADIO PROGRAM

buzzz worthy. . .



Philadelphia, PA: Veteran radio broadcaster Lonnie Hunter’s popular, award-winning midday program “The Lonnie Hunter Show” has moved into the coveted 3-7 p.m. afternoon drive time slot. The show began in August 2007 at Philadelphia’s WPPZ 103.9 FM as a local program and was then syndicated by Radio One in 2008. Hunter’s down-home personality and engaging interactive audience segments (Clues & Categories, Talent Show, Remember When Wednesday, Whatcha Think Thursday and Free Ya Mind Friday) have made him a fan favorite and a regular Arbitron ratings winner.
 
“The Lonnie Hunter Show” airs on WPPZ Praise 103.9 (Philadelphia), WPZR Praise 102.7 (Detroit, MI), WPRS Praise 104.1 (Washington D.C.), WPZS Praise 100.9 (Charlotte, NC), and WJMO Praise 1300 (Cleveland, OH).
 
The Chicago native enjoyed a stellar career prior to venturing off into radio. Hunter served as an U.S. Air Force sergeant and was once a corporate trainer in diversity training, time management and effective leadership. He was also a Luster Hair Care runway/print model and a noted choir conductor for The Voices of St. Mark Choir that recorded three albums for Malaco Records. From the late `90s to 2002, Hunter co-hosted Chicago’s #1 gospel program with John Hanna. Their morning show on WGCI 1390 AM was a mandatory stop for every major gospel act traveling through the Windy City.
 
After leaving Chicago radio, Hunter moved his wife and children to the Philadelphia area where he became the Pastor of Worship at the 26,000-member mega church, Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold, NJ. In 2011, Hunter returned to the recording scene with the Top 10 CD “I’m Back” that spawned two Billboard Hot Gospel Songs radio smashes “I’m Back” and “Anyway.”
 
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