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“The Week that Disco Died”

21 May

My friend Ralph Agretto said it best on Facebook today that this is “the week that disco died.” Robin Gibb was another childhood favorite as a member of The Bee Gees. I hate to say it, but I have always referred to him as the ‘buck toothed one’ and for obvious reasons. He was an amazing song writer with and without his brothers, and with that, below are a few favorites.

22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012

“If I Can’t Have You” performed by Yvonne Elliman live on Top of the Pops circa- 1978. I used to sing this song in the mirror with a hair brush and think of Marc Roseberry who was my first backward slow skate kiss at Crystal Palace on Boulder Highway.

 

“Emotion” by Samantha Sang. For years I thought it was the Bee Gees singing because the background tracks are just as prominent and they sounded like women. Anyway, this song had me falling in love every time I heard it on the radio.

 

 Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb because he was simply sexy. Even in this video with his skin tight jeans, feathered hair, and deep golden tan with dance moves more like a disco queen than a teen idol. 

 

And from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack: “More Than A Woman,” “Jive Talkin’,” “You Should Be Dancing,”How Deep Is Your Love,” and “More Than A Woman” performed by Tavares. My list could go on for a while. I even have a Bee Gees station on Pandora to keep his memory “Stayin’ Alive.” (sorry, it was too easy.)

 

Thank you for the music and thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

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Thank You for the Dance Donna Summer

17 May

 

Donna Summer

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012

I love disco. I grew up in the 70s when it was a staple at the roller rink (I was too young for the dance clubs. I was only in elementary school), but I made sure as I got older (fifth grade) I would represent the fashion by wearing my friend Lisa Garrison’s rainbow heeled platform tennis shoes (my mother was never going to buy me a pair no matter how much I begged), my skin-tight electric blue satin pants with matching jacket (think Olivia Newton John as ‘Sandy’ at the end of the movie “Grease”) and a lot of Vaseline on my lips to make them shiny (I was not allowed to wear lip gloss until sixth grade.)

I also  had my boom box set to KLAV AM, then Disco 1-2-3 KLAV, so I could boogie as I got ready for school or my big night out at Crystal Palace Skating Rink. All great memories from childhood with a soundtrack to flashback to innocent fun.  Here are my four favorite songs by Donna Summer.

Rest, peace, and comfort everlasting.

Dim All the Lights

Last Dance

On the Radio

Mac Arthur Park

 

Thank You for Reading.

Adrienne xo

Why I Appreciate Whitney Houston

11 Feb

Me & Serina circa early 90s in her birthday suite at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

I remember being able to see Whitney Houston in concert as a gift from my best friend Serina (one of the many cool gifts she always bestowed upon me.) Whitney was headlining the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV which seats nearly 19,000 and she had no opening act. We were so excited. No opening act to us meant she was going to sing for two hours straight! Her show sold out so quickly we almost ended up sitting at the top of the arena.

It was 1987, during her long, blond-half spiral-half crimped-half curly weave phase, clear in the video of her hit song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (which was No.1 on the Billboard Music charts for two weeks. Read about all her hits: Whitney Houston’s Biggest Billboard Hits: A Look at Her Legendary Chart Career.) She didn’t dance very well, also obvious in the video, so there was no big dance numbers with a couple dozen backup dancers. Nor did she have a lot of costume changes, pyrotechnics or recorded music. We didn’t get tickets to watch her dance, change clothes and lip-sync.

What she has, a concert experience in the round where she stood center wearing a tight-long metallic dress along a grand piano and she simply sang. At the time we were not very happy because we expected more, but tonight as I remember her music and acting legacy and how it affected me growing up, I appreciate the memory even more.

What is your most fond memory of Whitney Houston?

(August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012)

I am sad.

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

No More Love, Peace & Soul

1 Feb

Don Cornelius circa 1970s

I woke up today to a report of the passing of iconic “Soul Train” television host Don Cornelius, “found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 75”, according to the Associated Press.

For me, as I am sure for many black people, Cornelius was more than just a host on music television show; he was a visionary opening a door for black entertainers to perform to the masses on their own terms. From the way we walked, talked dressed and lived life, he made being black cooler than ever. Before “Soul Train” all we had was “American Bandstand” and let’s just say it was not about us.

I was born in July of 1970 the same year “Soul Train” began airing in Chicago before going national in 1971, so by the time I was in elementary school it was available everywhere.  Growing up, “Soul Train” was appointment television in the homes of every black person I knew. It was the place to learn the latest dances like the penguin, hustle, robot, bump, locking and the most popular dance of them all, the “Soul Train” line (Cornelius only danced down the line twice in all his years as the host); ‘til this day, I can’t attend a family BBQ, birthday party, wedding or funeral without everyone breaking into the “Soul Train” line before the night is over.

The show was also an outlet to learn what was in or out of fashion. Bell bottoms, gauchos, dashiki and a natural, Afro puffs or micro braids with beads and gold hair accessories? A blowout with big curls and gelled down baby hair will gel, a Cleopatra bob or ponytails? Or heavy wooden platforms sandals and platform tennis shoes with a rainbow sole?

Robin Thicke

“Soul Train” let me hear and see Barry White, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan Rufus, The Jackson Five, and The Isley Brothers; and blue-eyed soul acts like Tower of Power, Teena Marie, David Bowie and Hall & Oats, long before there was George Michael, Robin Thicke, or a Justin Timberlake.

Don Cornelius

Whatever the reason Don Cornelius decided to take his own life is not important to me. What is important was his contribution to American culture, music and changing the face of television forever. And for this I want to say cheers and you will be missed.

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

Celebrating 104 Years of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Sisterhood

22 Jan

On Sunday, January 15th my amazing sorority turned 104 years old, and on Saturday, January 21st the Las Vegas chapters of Theta Theta Omega (graduate) and Kappa XI (undergraduate) held our annual Founder’s Day luncheon at Eastside Cannery.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. is the first Greek-lettered organization established by African-American college-educated women. I love being an AKA because it is a sisterhood of talented, successful, smart and beautiful women who believe in volunteer service and commitment to “Service to All Mankind.”

What makes being in this sorority extra special is being able to share experiences with my mother. I missed her at the luncheon because she was in Denver and Kansas for my grandfather’s funeral, but I kept her informed via text. Blessed are we to have a lifetime of sisterly memories to share.

Tiffany Carroll

Kenadie and Me

Meachie & Shirley Carroll

Sandra Bass

Erica Shaw

Mae Worthey

Thank you for reading,

Adrienne xo

Workout Update

11 Jan

I’ve decided to keep it going with a month to month at 24 Hour Fitness Sport. I’ve lost five pounds so far. What I like about this gym is the location – it’s in walking distance, it’s very clean, the slow period is roughly 10:45 a.m.-4 p.m. so getting one of the many elliptical and treadmills is never a problem (I live for cardio), and the staff is really nice too.

Source: RomeoRomero.com

My most favorite class is cardio funk  taught by Rawlins at 10 a.m. every Wednesday. It ranks right next to my kickboxing class with Romeo Romero.

I’ll give random updates as I reach my desired fitness level again.

Thank you for reading

Adrienne xo

A New Year, Back to the Old Me!

5 Jan

I have to admit, toward the end of 2011 I got out of shape and I have the 20 pounds around my middle to prove it. I always vowed not to be a cliché and jump on the “join a gym at the New Year” bandwagon. So I did… sort of.

I am trying out 24 Hour Fitness for one free week before going on a month to month program. It makes no sense to sign a yearlong contract if I lose motivation. It’s only been three days and Ibuprofen is my new BFF.

Wish me luck as I get my skinny back J

Thank you for reading

Adrienne xo

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