Thursday, September 17, 2009

Harlem's Social Diary 9.16.2009
Mary Schmidt Campbell
Obama Announces Arts Nomimation

President Obama said, "My administration is committed to economic recovery, pushing the boundaries of science and space exploration and investing in the future of arts and the humanities, and these individuals will serve my team well as we work to accomplish these goals. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Vice Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and HumanitiesMary Schmidt Campbell has been dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1991. Dean Campbell began her career in New York as the executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Under her leadership, the Studio Museum in Harlem emerged as a major national and international cultural institution and a lynchpin of the economic revival of Harlem. In 1987, Mayor Edward I. Koch invited Dr. Campbell to serve as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York. Dean Campbell holds a B.A. degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in art history from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in humanities, also from Syracuse.

She is co-author of Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987) and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (New York: Oxford University Press & The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1991). She is the co-editor of Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts (New York: Routledge, 2006.) She is currently working on a book on Romare Bearden for Oxford University Press, (2011 expected publication date). She sits on the board of The American Academy in Rome and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In the fall of 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served in the voluntary position of Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007-2009. She also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Tisch Asia, the Tisch School of the Arts Singapore campus.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Harlem's Social Diary: Marie Knight
Dies at 84, Gospel Vocalist
Sang with Sister Rosetta Tharpe

By Dennis McLellan / Los Angeles Times- September 2, 2009

She made a late-in-life comeback as a solo artist. During her heyday in the 1940s, she toured with Tharpe and sang duets with her, the best known being 'Up Above My Head' and 'Didn't It Rain.' Marie Knight, a gospel singer who came to fame singing duets with gospel-music star Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the late 1940s and made a noteworthy late-in-life comeback as a solo artist, has died. She was 84. Knight died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at a nursing home in Harlem in New York City, said her manager, record producer Mark Carpentieri.

With a voice that one recent reviewer described as "a natural wonder, an unadorned, powerful instrument," Knight began her career touring the national gospel circuit with evangelist Frances Robinson as a young woman in the mid-1940s. The guitar-playing Tharpe, a major recording artist on the Decca Records label who brought gospel music to a broad audience, first heard Knight sing at a Mahalia Jackson concert in New York in 1946. Two weeks later, Tharpe showed up at Knight's house in Newark, N.J., to invite her to go on the road with her.

"She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful contralto voice, who had a spellbinding effect on audiences," said Gayle Wald, who interviewed Knight for her 2007 biography "Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe." Tharpe and Knight toured through the late '40s, appearing in clubs, arenas, churches and auditoriums.

"Sometimes the one-nighters and the traveling was a little rough," Knight told the Times Union of Albany, N.Y., in 2005, "but on the stage was beautiful."

Tharpe and Knight were best known for their classic gospel duets "Up Above My Head" and "Didn't It Rain."

"They had a dynamic, exciting sound where they traded off vocal lines," Wald said. "That was a kind of hallmark with their duet singing, and it was so vocally agile that it approximated the sounds of jazz." After several years of recording together, Tharpe and Knight parted ways except for occasional on-stage reunions during the '50s, including performances at leading jazz clubs in New York City in 1955. In the '60s, Knight pursued a rhythm-and-blues career and toured with Brook Benton, the Drifters and Clyde McPhatter. After a hiatus, she returned to recording gospel music in the mid-'70s.

Born June 1, 1925, in Sanford, Fla., Knight grew up in Newark. At age 5, she impressed the congregation at her parents' church by singing the gospel song "Doing All the Good We Can," and she later became a soloist in her church's youth choir.

In late 2001, Carpentieri was producing a Tharpe tribute album for his M.C. Records label and Wald, who wrote the liner notes, asked if he was going to record a track with Knight. "I said, 'I thought she was dead a long time ago,'" Carpentieri recalled. "Gayle said, 'No, she's living in Harlem. You should call her.'"

Knight, a minister at her church, hadn't recorded in many years.

"She would occasionally go out and do a gig or two, but she wasn't really formally represented," Carpentieri said. "I called her up, and she sounded so vibrant. I just booked the studio time, and it certainly was one of the highlights of the recording." "Shout, Sister, Shout!: A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe," which featured Knight singing "Didn't It Rain," came out in 2003. Knight then began touring with tribute concerts to Tharpe, including a tour of Hawaii. She also began getting her own performance dates, Carpentieri said.

In 2007, M.C. Records released Knight's first full-length recording in more than two decades, the critically acclaimed "Let Us Get Together," featuring the gospel songs of the Rev. Gary Davis, with Larry Campbell, a guitarist who has toured extensively with Bob Dylan, playing all of the stringed instruments. Reviewers praised her powerful and spirit-lifting vocals.

"Her delivery," a reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "is soulful enough to surely cause some nonbelievers to want to get right with God." Last January, a month before Knight developed pneumonia, she and Carpentieri were recording an interview for the BBC in New York City. Knight was as vibrant as ever, saying to Carpentieri, "Mark, when are you going to get me some work?" She is survived by her sister, Bernice Henry.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Harlem's Social Diary: Diana Ross Spotted
Expecting First Grandchild

Rhonda Ross-Kendrick gave birth to a baby boy
Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick

The new Mom was recently quoted as saying;

"I am completely in love with my newborn son, Raif.
I knew I was going to be.
I’ve wanted to be a mother for a long time, but –like most parents– the depth and scope of my love for this child simply takes my breath away.
My husband and I are loving every minute of it!"

Rhonda (left) with Mom, Diana Ross and (right) with husband Rodney Kendrick

Motown legend Diana Ross, 64, is set to become a grandmother. The singer's eldest daughter and Harlem resident Rhonda is reportedly expecting any time now. Rumor has it that Miss Ross has been spotted going and coming from her daughter's Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave) digs.

According to reports by Fox News, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, and her husband the jazz musician Rodney Kendrick, are expecting their first child some time this fall. Rhonda, 37, is the daughter of Ross and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

"Baby Love" Performed by the Supremes, 1964

Rangel vs Wranglings
Partisan Divide Paints Two Pictures

Though he's facing critics in Washington over financial improprieties, Rep. Charles Rangel got nothing but love at home Saturday.

"I'm here to show support for my brother," said former Mayor David Dinkins who was among 75 local politicians, church leaders and union members who rallied for Rangel in Harlem.
"He's a very powerful member of Congress, and they would like to take him down. But that's not going to happen."

Rangel, who wasn't at the event, has not been charged with wrongdoing, but critics have called for him to resign as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

He's the focus of an ethics committee probe into a host of allegations, including failure to report income, improperly leasing rent-stablilized apartments and using his congressional letterhead for fund-raising purposes.

"I'm here not in an attempt to refute the allegations, some of which are probably baseless, but to show support for Charlie Rangel," Dinkins said. "I'm confident he will survive this and continue to support not only the 15th Congressional District but the rest of the country."

Many, including Dinkins and Assemblyman Keith Wright (D-Harlem), pointed out that Rangel himself called for the ethics committee investigation.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

AMEX gets Harlem's MOJO working!

I happened to be in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago when I first got a glimpsed of the American Express promotion of Harlem's, Mojo Restaurant with the actress S Epatha Merkerson.

Since then Harlem One Stop has had numerous inquires and the hits on our site for the restaurant have skyrocketed. If you haven't seen the commercial, take a look, if you haven't been to Mojo's we suggest you check it out!

MOJO Restaurant
185 Saint Nicholas Avenue
at 119th Street
New York, NY 10026
Phone: (212) 280-1924