Featured Post

Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

Breaking News

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Q Tip joins the White House in Honoring Student Poets

buzzz worthy. . .

Contrary to popular belief, writing poetry is not a dying artform among youth. The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities has received nearly 70,000 submissions since starting its quest for young writers, naming only 20 national poets along the way.

This year, five of the most fierce competitors rose to the top of the giant heap to make up the first class of Spoken Word Ambassadors.  Representing five regions the National Student Poet honorees are: 

  • Stella Binion, Chicago, IL (Midwest Region)
  • Maya Eashwaran, Alpharetta, GA (Southeast Region)
  • Gopal Raman, Dallas, TX (Southwest Region)
  • Joey Reisberg, Towson, MD (Northeast Region)
  • Maya Salameh, San Diego, CA (West Region)

A Tribe Called Quest Hip Hop legend Q Tip,the Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture, joined First Lady Michelle Obama in  honoring  students who recognize the power of the pen with the nation's highest honor for teen poets presenting original work on September 8. The Ambassadors each read their work during the ceremony.

Said Mrs. Obama at the White House hosted event, "We all know that being a kid today can be a little hard.  It can be tough, especially when you're a teenager and you're dealing with emotions and experiences that can be overwhelming, so say the least.  It's tempting at this age to just close down and shut out the rest of the world, especially when the world can feel so ugly at times.  But for so many people, writing poetry helps them open up, even in the face of all kinds of challenges and obstacles in their lives."

All of the students selected channel their  knack for spoken word to impact the world around them.   One student used poetry to address a devastating shooting at her school to help her community heal, while another assisted a veteran in fulfilling the dream of putting her poetry to music, playing while she sang. 

Read more ...

Friday, September 9, 2016


buzzz worthy. . .

Available for Pre-Order Now, Album Features Lead Single “Watching Over Me”
plus Guest Appearances from PJ Morton, Shirley Caesar, Tasha Cobbs,
Rance Allen, and more

Nashville, TN (September 9, 2016) – Today, esteemed worship leader and award-winning recording artist Bishop Paul S. Morton unveils the track list and album cover for his upcoming final solo albumLegacy: Live in New Orleans.  Available for pre-order now, the lead single “Watching Over Me” is available as an instant grat track, with the 15-track album to be released on Friday October 28, 2016.  A deluxe edition containing 3 bonus tracks will be available via all digital outlets.

Bishop Morton says: “This ‘Legacy’ album, my final solo recording, is very dear to my heart. I thank God for every opportunity that He allows me to share my gift. I love to help people through a song. This is truly ministry for me.”

Capturing the spirit of resilience, faith, and lively worship from Bishop Morton’s sold-out live recording in New Orleans last year, Legacy: Live in New Orleans brings together an historic musical celebration of Morton’s legacy in ministry and his 30-plus years as a recording artist.  Recorded at the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, Bishop Morton is backed by the 100-person Greater Change Mass Choir, comprised of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church Choir and the Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church Choir.    

Bishop Morton delivers a powerful declaration on the album’s energetic lead single “Watching Over Me,” praising the comfort and guidance of God through personal trials, with lyrics such as “I am a witness/He never lets me down/Watching over me.”  Produced by Trent Phillips and co-produced by AyRon Lewis, a host of special guests joined the recording to honor Bishop Morton’s legacy in song.  Featured performances on the album include PJ Morton and DeWayne Woods on “Let Go,” gospel icons Pastor Shirley Caesar on “Keeping Me Alive” and Rance Allen on “God Has Been Good,” Tasha Cobbs, Lisa Knowles, Zacardi Cortez, and William Murphy III.  

The founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI), after retiring last year as FGBCFI’s presiding bishop, Bishop Morton continues to preach at the Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta as Senior Pastor, and serving as Co-Pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church.  Since its inception by Bishop Paul S. Morton, the FGBCFI has grown nationally and internationally, celebrating 22 years of change and impactful ministry.  In addition to his roles as a bishop and recording artist, Bishop Morton is an author, and also created the record label Tehillah Music Group, helming the label as CEO. 

Check out the behind the scenes video with Bishop Paul S. Morton about the Legacy: Live in New Orleans album below:

(Album release: Friday October 28, 2016)

Pre-order Links


Track Listing:
  1. Introduction (Let It Rain)
  2. Almighty God
  3. So Much To Thank God For
  4. God Has Been Good (feat. Rance Allen)
  5. Faithful (feat. Lisa Knowles)
  6. I Feel You Moving
  7. Keeping Me Alive (ft. Shirley Caesar)
  8. He Loves Me
  9. Watching Over Me
  10. Let Go (ft. PJ Morton & DeWayne Woods)
  11. Show Us You (ft. Tasha Cobbs)
  12. Bow To The Name (ft. Zacardi Cortez)
  13. Medley: Hallelujah / Bow Down and Worship Him
  14. Since I Met Jesus
  15. Show Us You Reprise (ft. Tasha Cobbs & William Murphy III)

Digital deluxe edition features 3 bonus tracks

Connect with Bishop Paul S. Morton at:
Official Website: http://www.paulsmorton.org
Facebook: /BishopPaulMorton  
Twitter: @BishopPMorton
Read more ...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Previously unreleased music from Mahalia Jackson is due on September 30

buzzz worthy. . .

Forty-five years after Mahalia Jackson's passing she remains the world's most famous gospel singer. The Grammy and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was on hand to sing before and after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s landmark "I Have A Dream" Speech at the historic March on Washington, and has influenced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Mavis Staples.  September 302016, Shanachie Entertainment will release the definitive Mahalia collection featuring 22 previously unreleased masterpieces recorded between 1946 and 1957.  Moving On Up A Little Higher is the first Mahalia Jackson recording featuring new material in four decades. Produced by renowned Gospel scholar and award-winning author Anthony Heilbut (The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times and The Fan Who Knew Too Much), this definitive collection reveals the iconic singer's voice in its full glory, capturing tones huge and small, stadium filling and pianissimo. There are moments of rhythmic freedom and play that will be a revelation to even her devout fans. The breath-taking and exhilarating performances culled for this set allow for a broader sense of Mahalia Jackson's musical scope and development.

Highlights on Moving On Up A Little Higher include Mahalia's recreations of  the first songs she learned, the Dr. Watts hymns, from which derived her magical melisma. The CD also features two of her most significant concerts: a 1951 symposium that introduced her to a larger, interracial audience and  a landmark 1957 Newport Jazz Festival performance. Moving On Up A Little Higher captures two spectacular live versions of Mahalia's first and greatest hit, Move On Up a Little Higher, each one devastating and totally unlike the other. The quintessential set also includes the only known recording of Mahalia accompanied by Thomas A. Dorsey, the musician who first introduced her to the Gospel Highway. The collectors item contains an illustrious 23-page booklet written by Anthony Heilbut that includes detailed history, behind the scenes anecdotes and rare and precious photographs.
Excerpt from Liner Notes written by Anthony Heilbut who was also Marion William's long-time producer and who has released several of Williams' recordings on Shanachie including 'Packin' Up: The Very Best Of Marion Williams.'
Within her 59 years (she was born in 1912, not the more commonly reported 1911), Mahalia became a protean figure, representing both gospel music and her race, as no other singer had done before. Indeed, by the early 1960s, according to Harry Belafonte, she had become the most famous black woman in America. Her origins were very humble, reared in poverty, a motherless child, more familiar with her aunts than with her father or siblings. She left school early, and never outgrew the speech patterns of her youth; even within the gospel music field, her New Orleans drawl was conspicuous, and jealous rivals often ridiculed her down-home diction, along with her-admittedly erratic-time sense. Of course, it was this combination of raw amateurism and a world-class voice that made her so appealing. (Had she exhibited more vocal control, she might have seemed too grand or "seditty." Had her voice been less spectacular, she would have seemed just another gospel shouter).

From the start she thought big. Everyone knows that her inspiration was Bessie  
Smith-though she could also speak shrewdly about the other blues women of 
the 1920s. She is famous for saying that someone singing the blues dwells in a 
deep pit, and she was "simply" not in that condition. On the other hand, in 1952, 
she told S. I. Hayakawa that people kept saying she was "better than Bessie," 
so she knew the vocal resemblance was a marketing tool. (It cannot be stressed 
enough how much she was a business-woman! In perhaps her first performance 
before a secular crowd, she described Move On Up a Little Higher as "the first 
spiritual, real spiritual out of the church" to hit the pop charts, which in fact it 
wasn't. Then she added, "which sold 3 million," a considerable inflation, since 
the record was never certified gold.) And well into the 1950s, her friend Willie 
Webb would hold birthday parties for "Halie," in which his latest discoveries-
and they included Alex Bradford and Albertina Walker-would recreate her  
favorite blues. Bradford remembered her asking for You've Been a Good Old 
Wagon But You Done Broke Down.

In fact her life was filled with the blues as we know it. Her marriage to Ike  

Hackenhull, a Chicago gambler, ended badly, in part because he wanted her 

to sing secular music, show-tunes and light opera, and not "whoop and holler" 

in storefront churches. Though, to be fair, his mother bequeathed a batch of 

hair-conditioning formulas that helped make her one of the South Side's top 

beauticians. Mahalia loved food, loved men, occasionally liked a nip (and some 

of the greatest singers would be her drinking buddies). Her bawdy sense of humor 

would have matched Ma Rainey's. And she was famously unlucky in love. 

During the fifties, she particularly fancied a pastor, who preferred her singing 

rival Clara Ward. During the 1960s, her second marriage to a very handsome 

musician, Minters Sigmund Galloway, several years her junior, ended in a lurid 
divorce trial, filled with reports of infidelity and spousal abuse. The ensuing  

scandal, quite as much as her bad health, contributed to her early death. 

And there's a blues symmetry to what happened next: within a few months, 

both her husbands had died as well.

Track Listing
5. DIDN'T IT RAIN (arr. Roberta Martin) - 3:58
(Thomas A. Dorsey) - 3:08
7. IN THE UPPER ROOM (Lucie Campbell) - 2:37
9. MOVE ON UP A LITTLE HIGHER (Rev. W. Herbert Brewster) - 5:18
12. THERE'S BEEN A GREAT CHANGE IN ME (arr. Doris Akers) - 3:04
13. HE'S PLEADING IN GLORY FOR ME (Robert Anderson, Elyse Yancey) - 2:40
14. HAVE A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS (Cleavant Derricks) - 2:19
15. I CANNOT MAKE THIS JOURNEY BY MYSELF (Cleavant Derricks) - 3:13
17. SAVIOR MORE THAN LIFE TO ME (arr. Alex Bradford) - 3:51
19. CHILDHOOD CHURCH MEMORIES ("Father I Stretch My Hand to Thee") - 3:57
18. THE REUNION WITH THOMAS A. DORSEY (Thomas A. Dorsey) - 3:17
20. BEAMS OF HEAVEN - 3:34
22. GETTING HAPPY IN CHICAGO (Rev. W. Herbert Brewster) - 1:40

All selections previously unissued

Read more ...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Roots, Public Enemy and Living Colour to perform at 3-day opening of African American History and Culture Museum

buzzz worthy. . .

“Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration,” a free three-day festival, will mark the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Friday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 25. Daily programming on Friday and Sunday will run 12–5 p.m., highlighting music traditions such as jazz, R&B, gospel, folk, classical, New Orleans brass band, Afro-Latin jazz and hip-hop. Programming on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m. Each day has a theme: Friday is “Homecoming,” Saturday is “Celebration” and Sunday is “Call and Response.”
“The themes of the festival highlight the social power of African American music as a communicator of cultural values, challenges, aspirations and creative expression,” said Mark Puryear, a Smithsonian Folklife Festival program curator and co-curator of the festival.
The festival’s activities will include music and dance performances, spoken word, oral-history activities and two evening concerts. A drum circle, storytelling, interactive workshops and a mural wall by artist Cey Adams offer opportunities to explore and celebrate the museum’s rich content and stories. For a complete schedule of events, visit nmaahc.si.edu.

Evening Concerts 

Evening concerts will be presented 6–9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25. There is no evening concert Friday, Sept. 23. 
The Saturday evening concert lineup features: 
  • Living Colour
  • Public Enemy
  • The Roots
The Sunday evening concert includes: 
  • Experience Unlimited (EU)
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • A special guest to be announced 

Festival Participants

Other festival participants include the Stax Music Academy, Len Chandler, Josh White Jr., Dom Flemons, Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Original Liberty Jazz Band, Medoune Gueye, Jean Carne, the McIntosh County Shouters, Bobi Cespedes, Paito y los Gaiteros de Punta Brava, Morgan State University Choir, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Freedom Singers, Sonia Sanchez, Robert Randolph, Sweet Honey in the Rock, 9th Wonder, Stanley Clarke, Louise Toppin, the National Hand Dance Association, the National Association of Black Storytellers Inc. and Urban Artistry. 
For a complete schedule of daytime and evening performances, visit nmaahc.si.edu/.

Food Concessions

  • Southern BBQ and Soul Food
  • Gulf Coast Kitchen Po’ Boys and More
  • Kenyan Curries and Caribbean Jerk


“Freedom Sounds” will be located on the Washington Monument grounds between 15th Street N.W. directly across from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and 17th Street N.W. The site entrances are at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and 17th Street S.W.  near Independence Avenue (visible from the World War II Memorial). The public will be required to go through bag checks to enter the festival grounds. On Saturday, access to select areas of the festival grounds will require magnetometer screening. Accessibility and special services such as ASL-interpretation and large-print copies of the daily schedule will be available at locations throughout the site. Our website contains more information on road closures. The festival site includes a large performance stage, smaller multi-use stages, a drum circle, a social-media tent and food and refreshment concessions.
“Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration” is coproduced by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Sponsors include Bank of America, Kaiser, Prudential, Target and Toyota, who provided funding for the grand-opening weekend. Special program support is provided by the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, D.C., and the Embassy of the United States in Colombia. 
Read more ...

Ready or Not, Hair They Come! Competitors From Across the Continent Converge in Denver for the 2016 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship Sponsored by Remington Beard Boss

buzzz worthy. . .

The North American Competitive Beard and Moustache Alliance, working with corporate sponsor Remington Beard Boss, presents the 2016 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado, USA on September 24th.
DENVER, Sept. 7, 2016  -- From the Pacific to the Atlantic, facial hair has become commonplace today, with seemingly every demographic adopting beards and moustaches. While this may be a new fashion statement for some, everyday beard and "stache" growers have been competing for decades to see who can win bragging-rights and titles for the best facial hair. The North American Competitive Beard and Moustache Alliance (NACBMA, or more simply, "The Alliance") was formed back in 2011 to help bring together facial hair clubs from around the hemisphere and promote grassroots charity beard and moustache competitions. The Alliance upholds the traditions of theWorld Beard and Moustache Association and has been working for five years to develop the ultimate in championships. Now, with their corporate partner, Remington Beard Boss, and other sponsors, they are ready to put on the 2016 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship!

The Championship will be held at the Summit Music Hall in Denver on the 24th of September, and is being hosted by the Boulder Facial Hair Club and the Rocky Mountain Beard and Moustache Club. The Alliance was looking for the best of the best when it comes to facial hair and has brought on a team of qualified, high profile judges.
They will be judging the following facial hair types. Within these types, competitors will battle it out to win one of 21 different beard and moustache categories. Full category descriptions can be found at greatamericanbmc.org/competition.

  • Artistic
  • Moustache
  • Full Beard
  • Partial Beard

Since its inception, charitable fundraising has been a mission priority of NACBMA. As such, proceeds from the 2016 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship will go to two excellent service organizations: one national and one local to the host clubs. Fisher House Foundation (fisherhouse.org/about) has been selected as the national charity, and is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans' families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Locally, proceeds will benefit Rocky Mountain Cancer Assistance (rockymountaincancerassistance.org), a Denver-based non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for the basic living needs of cancer patients receiving treatment in Colorado.
Doors open for registration at 1 p.m. and the Championship starts at 3:30 p.m. Competitor tickets are $30; spectator tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased at greatamericanbmc.org/tickets.
For even more information, visit GreatAmericanBMC.org.
Read more ...

Award-winning Filmmaker Erik Angra Is Youngest Person to Receive Sole Credit as Editor of a Ken Burns Film

buzzz worthy. . .

Angra helped to crystallize ten years of filming for the riveting documentary, "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War"
NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2016  -- With his work on "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War," Erik Angra (http://erikangra.com/) has become the youngest person to earn sole credit for editing a Ken Burns documentary. This accomplishment is no surprise to those who have worked alongside him and witnessed his filmmaking skill and intuition, both behind the camera and in the editing room. "Defying the Nazis" will be shown at select theaters in New York and Los Angeles, with a special screening at the White House as part of the administration's discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis. The film premieres nationwide September 20 on PBS at 9 PM EDT.

"Working with Ken Burns was like earning a Ph.D. in documentary filmmaking," says Angra. "Burns and his Co-Director and Co-Producer Artemis Joukowsky III both took leaps of faith in tapping me for this project, and I couldn't be more thankful. The Sharps' story is an amazing one, and its message is timeless: We can't stand idly by while there's injustice in the world. We have to act."
"Defying the Nazis" recounts the story of Unitarian minister Waitstill Sharp (voiced by Tom Hanks) and his wife Martha, who left the safety of their Wellesley, Massachusetts home and family to rescue hundreds of political dissidents and Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. The documentary won a special jury prize at the Amsterdam Film Festival in 2012. Angra will be hosting a Q&A session for the film on September 10 at LA's Laemmle Theater.

Serendipity explains how Angra came to the attention of Ken Burns, ultimately taking on the role of film editor. "I became friends with the daughter of producer Artemis Joukowsky III and later had the opportunity to talk about the future of the film he'd been agonizing over for a decade. I put together a trailer based on my impressions, and that was the beginning of an amazing and enriching journey."
Because "Defying the Nazis" was ten years in the making, the film presented technical challenges for the crew. Angra ensured the final cut has a consistent look, as well as appropriate pacing for the suspenseful, true-life story being told. One standout scene is a reenactment of the Sharps smuggling a dissident journalist through multiple Nazi checkpoints in 1930s Prague. Angra was the scene's editor and cinematographer. Fog machines, creative exterior lighting and Sharp family descendants filling the roles of their courageous forebears are just a few distinctive elements of the only reenactment ever included in a Ken Burns film.

"Defying the Nazis" is not Angra's only experience with Holocaust narratives. Soon after he began working with Ken Burns and his team, Angra launch a Kickstarter to support his independent project, "Portrait of Harry." The documentary profiles the remarkable life of impressionist painter Harry Somers, who, in the final weeks of a battle with cancer, recounts how he escaped Nazi Germany.
Angra firmly believes images have a transcendent power to effect positive change, which motivates his work as a documentary filmmaker and advocate for social justice. As the son of Indian immigrants, the contemporary refugee crisis in Syria and Europe has special resonance for him. "I hope my work helps people see today's problems in a different light," he concludes, "and even empathize with those who may be oceans apart."
Read more ...

Frequency Conference 2016: Urban Apologetics “Contending for the Faith” Comes to Pennsylvania Oct. 14 & 15 Hosted by Founder Dr. Eric Maso

buzzz worthy. . .

The 2016 Frequency Conference: “Urban Apologetics: Contending for the Faith” is coming to Pennsylvania on October 14-15, 2016 hosted by Founder Dr. Eric Mason. Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, over 25 speakers will be taking the main stage bestowing their knowledge and wisdom to an expected 800 attendees. See full list of speakers here.

Aimed to provide rich Biblical information from practitioners who are noted in their field and their commitment to the Gospel, the event will kick off with the Pre-Conference highly anticipated “Church Plant Panel Discussion.” Lead by successful urban church planters from around the country the panel is then followed by two days of back-to-back assemblies designed to help the urban missionary, both men and women to effectively engage in specific areas of Urban Ministry.
"You, as pastors, leaders, urban missionaries, and congregants have the vision, the knowledge, and the wherewithal to impact your cities for the glory and honor of Christ,” explains Dr. Mason.  “Our goal is to give you some practical yet robust tools to help you further reach your city and beyond. "
Tickets are available at www.ThrivingFrequency.com for $60 per day with discounted rates available for large groups. Pre-Conference (Free with Registration) begins at 10:00 am ET on October 14th with the conference beginning at 12:30pm ET. For more information on the Frequency Conference 2016, please visit Thrivingfrequency.com.
Read more ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

STATEMENT: Eddie Long clears the air about hospitalization

buzzz worthy. . .

Embattled Bishop Eddie Long has been hospitalized with a terminal illness. Recent photos revealed a much slimmer Long who claimed his weight loss was due to a vegan diet. Various reports allege he has a form of stomach cancer. Today Long issue a statement saying he is not in the hospital currently, but confirming he has a health issuefrom which he is recovering.

“I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from. It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing , as part of a holistic approach to good health. At this time, my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy. I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family.
Read more ...

Abigail Duhon's first single, "I'm Not Ashamed"

buzzz worthy. . .

DREAM Records is proud to announce the release of Abigail Duhon's first single, "I'm Not Ashamed".  The Actress and Pop Christian music artist recently announced signing to DREAM last month and has been busy promoting the film and her new single ever since.  The film and Duhon’s title track are based on Rachel Joy Scott's honest and heartfelt journals. I’M NOT ASHAMED is a hope-filled story reminding us that when we put our lives in God’s hands, we can make a world of difference.  Duhon recently sat down with Charisma Magazine and ChristianPost.com to share how Rachel's bold faith inspired the song and how Christians can stand firm in their faith in the midst of struggles and how the I AM HOPE Movement is helping that cause.
The song was recently sent out to Christian radio and made it's debuted on Air1 this week.
Coming up next for Duhon will be a new devotional on the YouVersion Bible App (September 9th) and the release of her PureFlix movie, I’m Not Ashamed, that will be distributed to theatres nationwide on Oct. 21. For more information about the film and the I AM HOPE MOVEMENT visit: http://ImNotAshamedFilm.com and http://imnotashamedfilm.com/iamhope
Read more ...