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At yet another Tuesday night at the Living Room on New York Citya€™s Lower East Side, a performer in John Platta€™s monthly On Your Radar series mesmerized an audience.
The notes rained steady like a metronome, the bass strings rock-solid and the treble, bell-like.
He finished his set, and the audience rose to its feet, giving him an ovation that seemed longer and more fervent than the usual appreciative applause regularly awarded by monthly On Your Radar attendees. Ia€™d made a brief acquaintance with his work back in the mid-a€™90s, when his song a€?Irelanda€? hit the airwaves. A phone conversation a week later would reveal that what Greg called a€?boringa€? turned out to be quite a roller coaster ride as he was pursuing his craft. Although he had a band, he wanted to go to school, so he enrolled at the University of Kansas.
In 1980, a a€?benchmarka€? year, Greg moved to New York City, to make or break it as a performing songwriter. Although he played solo, he was a€?looking for a banda€? and sought out guys who were a€?fun to play with.a€? After about two years of different lineups, he certainly found one.
Grega€™s solo and co-written work form a treasure-trove of great listening a€” a desert-island collection, which, in my case, according to iTunes, amounts to about five-and-a-half hours.
Once people dig into Grega€™s body of recorded work, the reaction usually is, a€?Why isna€™t this guy (take your pick) bigger a€¦ more well-known a€¦ hugea€¦?a€? While we mention a variety of lyrics and instrumental effects, the anchor for everything is Grega€™s voice, a dense baritone that reaches high notes with ease and packs emotion into every line.
The live album Between a House and a Hard Place (2002) will give listeners a sample of Grega€™s sense of humor.
On The Williamsburg Affair (2009), Greg covers Neil Younga€™s a€?Wrecking Balla€? that Emmy Lou Harris had success with on her Daniel Lanois-produced album of that name. I was driving home from the 2010 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the two-lane blacktop of Route 22 South stretching out in front of me. While I tend to invest a lot in the psychology of the farm lifestyle, Susan sees things in more practical terms.
Susan counts her blessings when it come to the education she got in her small-town high school. But what good fortune to have this unusual talent in the middle of the cornfields that my teacher and friend Alan Jacobsen was able to provide this unusual kind of encouragement and understanding. Susan also recalled: a€?My high school piano teacher would record all the Marion McPartland shows and give me cassettes of them.
Susan went to college at the University of Iowa and received a bachelora€™s degree in voice. While she was at Temple, she played jazz piano in nightclubs and restaurants to make ends meet.
After seeing Nancy Griffith in concert at a club in Philadelphia, she came to the realization that writing and singing songs based on personal experience was a perfectly valid way to expend her musical talent. She surfaced again and again through the a€?90s, always giving a dynamic, thrilling performance. In 2004, she released the first of her a€?themeda€? projects, I Cana€™t Be New, which drew on her experience with pop standards. This got her the aforementioned appearance on the Marian McPartland show and also, brings us to the issue of her ingrained sense of humor.
The most recent of Susana€™s projects, Classics, takes pop songs and weds them to classical themes. When I remarked about the impressive diversity in her songwriting a€?projects,a€? and not playing it safe, she expressed appreciation. When I made comparisons to the diverse approaches Ia€™ve used as a visual artist (drawing, painting), her emotional core showed its strength.
In parting, I mentioned that it seemed as if her audiences were bigger and more appreciative these days. Susan has a strong connection to her audienceA  and looks forward to interaction with them. His music is what some would call a€?adult acoustic rock,a€? full of catchy phrases and big hooks. Recently, Grega€™s new album, Maybe the Sun, drew the attention of WFUVa€™s John Platt, who featured Greg on his a€?Sunday Breakfasta€? radio show and in his monthly a€?On Your Radara€? live show at the revered East Village songwriter mecca, The Living Room.
Elements of bold performance, musical chops and clever wordplay in the family lineage hint at what was to come for Greg and his brothers.
Louis Tannen, Grega€™s grandfather, was an influential magician who opened a magic shop in New York City in 1925.
At around 9 or 10 years old, Greg studied clarinet, but said, a€?I was terrible at it.a€? After maybe a year of cacophonic practice, he switched to guitar. After that, they both left Colorado and together went to North Carolina, where the third Tannen brother, Robert (today a successful screenwriter), was living. Greg and Steve wrote together quite a bit in Colorado and, in New York, theya€™d hang out together at their respective apartments and at open mics. Greg was visiting Steve at his place and while jamming, the basic riff emerged and by the end of the evening, they had the melody and the chorus. Roam, released in 2000, was about traveling around and it kicks off with a€?I Feel Lucky,a€? a joyous and twangy guitar rocker that matches anything Tom Petty ever wrote.
Maybe the Sun, released in late 2010, is a lot less New York-based and wide-ranging in its themes. One time, however, when Greg was in California, he appeared with them during one episode as part of a sub-plot on the TV series Dirty Sexy Money (2007-2009).
After eight hours of hanging around, they got all of three seconds of screen time, playing secretly in a hotel room for the Lucy Liu character, who couldna€™t be seen in public attending a concert with her illicit lover (deep-pocketed, since how else are ya gonna afford a private Weepies concert?). Although Greg went on tour in late 2010 for two weeks behind the new album and played some one-off shows, performance plans at present are minimal. We want to encourage our readers to order Grega€™s CDs online and look for upcoming appearances in our listings pages in the months to come. In high school, he got his first band together called Talking to the Wall, with Greg on vocals and his Fender Telecaster (which he still owns). Returning to the States after one year, he settled in Boulder, Colo., (a€?A fairly good music towna€?) for about two years with older brother Steve. Given Grega€™s uncanny knack for radio-friendly tracks from the first album on, our conversation turned to songwriting. His father worked in the design department of WOR Radio, one of the sponsors of the Beatlesa€™ shows at Shea Stadium. Jim and Tom Paschetto, two other extremely talented friends, joined them to form a band, which they called The Ravioli Brothers. His material included songs by Townes Van Zant, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Happy and Artie Traum. The Greg Trooper band that evolved consisted of Greg on lead vocals and guitar, Larry Campbell on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, Greg Shirley on bass harmony vocals and Walter Thompson on drums. Although he moved back to New York in 2008, most of his recorded output has been from Nashville.
He can shift, mid-note, into a higher range for greater emphasis or break into a yodel if a Hank Williams cover demands it. Its blistering attack of chiming guitar chords and steady tom-tom beat take me back to 1957. It kicks off with a€?Nothina€™ But You.a€? This one chugs through with the urgency it needs to express a guya€™s return to the woman he regrets leaving behind.
During the intro strumming of a€?Ia€™m So French,a€? we can only wonder whata€™s happening when the audience laughs as he says, a€?Ia€™m recording here!
Ita€™s also not possible to convey the warmth and self-effacing humor of his live performances. There may be a stronger sense of purpose, a drive to overcome any obstacle, an unshakeable emotional center. As she recalls, a€?My older brother learned guitar from Sister Marie Claire of the Franciscan nuns of Saint Marya€™s Chapel School in Manchester, Iowa. If you have parents who enjoy what you do, you will never stop doing it for your entire life. When pressed further, she distilled the varying elements of a rural personality for me this way: a€?Other people who grew up in the countryside, people Ia€™ve met who grew up on farms or ranchesa€¦ therea€™s a practicality to those people, a straightforwardness, a plainspokenness that I find really wonderful. Afterward, she moved to Philadelphia and earned a mastera€™s degree in voice at Temple University. She had a gig every Friday night at the Pen & Pencil club (an after-hours Journalista€™s club) The man who ran it, Ron Patel, wanted to have a a€?Chantoosiea€? in the corner. Alan Pepper, owner of the Bottom Line saw as much as I did, and more, and created the Bottom Line record label, of which Susan was the first to be signed. She wrote an entire album of her own Cole Porter-like songs, utilizing her considerable chops as a pianist and guitarist, her razor-sharp lyrics and her muscular vocals.
I like somebody who can turn a phrase, who can put words together in a way you cana€™t see coming.
I searched Eddiea€™s Attic online and found that Susan was playing during my visit, so I bought two tickets. She became became interested in the project after attending the Chicago Gospel Music Festival.
There are some songs where shea€™s a lot more generously hopeful about religious practices that many of us disillusioned lapsed practitioners would be. Then, with mock seriousness, she said, laughing, a€?I really feel bada€¦ theya€™ll throw me in the grave, saying, a€?Well she took that all too far. She said, a€?a€?When you see someone over the course of a career and they always have something to bring to an audience, youa€™ve got to respect that. We began in June of 1999 with a cover story on Steve Tannen, the older brother of this montha€™s featured performer, Greg Tannen. Over the years, while I kept getting distracted by Fast Folk Musical Magazine alumni or someone new whoa€™d catch my ear, Greg just kept getting better and better, winning and placing in songwriting competitions (John Lennon, UNISONG, USA, ISC) and awards in festivals (Sierra Songwriters, Telluride, Rocky Mountain Folks). However, after reacquainting myself with all of Grega€™s albums, I found that ita€™s really a continuation of a body of beautiful and compelling songs.
Although Louis died in 1982, there is still a Tannena€™s Magic showroom near Herald Square and a Tannena€™s Magic website where magic products are sold. His family moved to Toronto right after his first birthday and stayed for around six years.
The first names to come tumbling out of Greg were: a€?a lot of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Bill Evansa€? (Pete is a huge Bill Evans fan). The band played covers of the Rolling Stones and REO Speedwagon, among others, and some of Grega€™s original songs. At home, in more private moments, he was writing on acoustic guitar, focusing on songwriting, under the influence of acoustic-based songwriters such as Bob Dylan and those in Dylana€™s lineage.
Taking his acoustic guitar and travel bag, he went to Australia, a€?doing the vagabond thing,a€? staying in youth hostels part of the time. They played gigs together as a duo called The Kahluas (named after the familya€™s dog) and made a recording. Then, as Greg tells it, during their respective a€?crap part-time jobs,a€? at their computers, they started emailing lyrics back and forth to each other.
This is followed up with the gorgeous a€?Everything I Said,a€? a haunting reverie about a girl named Vanessa who stands by the clock in Grand Central Station with her hair up. An attempt to do an extended riff turned into a laugher and is tacked on as a short bonus track. The title track is another soulful rendering of a breakup that somehow seems a bit more sharply rendered than its predecessors. I posed the idea that brother Roberta€™s screenwriting connection had something to do with it.
He said, a€?Ia€™ve made a bunch of trips down there, written with some great people, had some great meetings, buta€¦ they want me in Nashville, and Ia€™m just not ready to live there.a€? Thata€™s good luck for us. After nearly a year, Greg moved back to New Jersey for a short while and then went to Lawrence, Kan. Around 1979, Jim Paschetto moved to Lawrence and joined Grega€™s band and the idea of writing original material took serious hold. Campbell, whoa€™s played with Dylan, gets our attention, but anyone in that kind of company would need to be good. One article states that he was writing for Nashville publishers even while living in New York his first time around. The first two albums, Everywhere (1992) and Noises In The Hallway (1996), are out of print and can only be bought as used CDs from Amazon at this point.
Ia€™m skipping ahead of a few favorites to get to the track that ends the album, a€?Ia€™ll Keep It With Mine,a€? a Dylan cover that makes a wonderful honky-tonk slow dance.
After a couple of listens, I shared it with my wife and she identified it as a perfect Cajun two-step. Critics are saying that this album is yet another wonder in the series of great Trooper releases.
I was passing through farmland, marvelling at the quiet beauty of corn rows, of the silos that peeked out from beyond them, and the stately, weathered white of the homes and barns. Case in point: A musically gifted girl raised on an isolated hog farm in Manchester, Iowa, surrounded by a loving, supportive family. Alan Jacobsen was a Buddy Rich-type drummer working as a music teacher at the Manchester High School. Ia€™d hear Marian McPartland talking to this one, or that one a€” Oscar Peterson a€” and listen to how they did it. He said to her, a€?I have this picture of a rummy bar, so go over in the corner and sing something and play something.a€? Susan bought Gershwin and Cole Porter songbooks and enlarged her repertoire of standards. Somewhere around the time that her third album, Last of the Good Straight Girls was released (1995), maybe a little before, I saw her play live, at the now-defunct Bottom Line nightclub in NYC. The next album, on that label Time Between Trains might contain the most of my favorites in her repertoire. When she cradles that song in her big voice, it becomes a call to find every woman who has ever been mistreated and do battle for her. For me, there has always been a discrepancy between what religion professes to be and what its practitioners actually are. In another interview, she states: a€?There is a religious left that is stepping up and into the fore and has a real case to make in making this country a better place.
Therea€™s nothing more to be gained from thata€” unless you feel the need to show of and have people clap for you, which is kind of pathetic.


They choose wisely, the prioritize wisely and theya€™re giving people something very, very real. Since wea€™re only now getting around to younger sibling Greg, you might say wea€™re running a little bit late. Ia€™d run into Greg often over the years and hea€™d greet me warmly, seemingly knowing it was only a matter of time before Ia€™d recognize his mastery of the songwritera€™s craft. Pete had been admitted to the Berklee School of Music for jazz, but his parents told him, a€?Therea€™s no money in music,a€? so he didna€™t attend.
He picked that up and started playing it, saying he didna€™t want to study clarinet any more, and began taking guitar lessons from a female jazz guitarist. When Greg was 17, the band came into New York City and recorded its first (and only) album a€” material that a€?will never see the light of day,a€? he wryly states.
Toward the end of high school, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, he performed his original work at open mics and at the end-of-the-year senior talent show. While at Oberlin, Greg did more performing on acoustic guitar, doing small gigs and open mics. He always had his guitar out and busked in Sydney and Cairns (up the coast from Sydney near the Great Barrier Reef). After less than a year, Greg moved to New York City, and Steve followed a few months later. Rosanne has been very supportive of Greg, twittering to her fans about him during his opening sets, and generating lots of CD sales. His take is that when you collaborate with someone, a different style emerges, a hybrid of two people. Grega€™s in the middle of a writing spurt and hopes to have enough material for a new album next year.
When Greg was 17, the band came into New York City and recorded its firstA  (and only) album a€” material that a€?will never see the light of day,a€? he wryly states. A But he promised me on his returnA back to the United States I would be the first media personality to interview him in New York City.A  I never will forget how confident he was that he would return victorious. I was starting to develop a direction and I liked lyric-based folk-rock.a€? Bob Dylana€™s influence crept higher.
The track is so amazingly strong that you might cut in on somebody with his girlfriend at the roadhouse, plead temporary insanity and not get your head stove in.
Youa€™ll get a taste if you go to YouTube and type in a€?Greg Trooper,a€? but thata€™s only a taste.
Texas barbeque, Ia€™m so French!A  We also get to hear him do a€?Ireland,a€? in the only version I have at the moment until I can pick up a copy of Everywhere. The girl blossoms as a musician whose talent usually dwarfs those around her and leaves audiences enthralled. When you grow up and therea€™s your corn out in the field and here comes the hail storm and there goes your seasona€¦ therea€™s an acceptance of things beyond your control that in a healthy way counteracts neuroses. Her version of the title track, performed live these days, with Trina Hamlin on harmonica and percussion (Natalia Zuckerman on slide at certain shows) is one of the most thrilling concert experiences I can recall in years.
A well-written comedy song can hang around for a long time, but it takes more effort and it takes more brains. Listening to his father play and hearing the melody digressions in jazz were a big part of Grega€™s formative experience (still a€?a€¦my favorite thing to listen toa€?). His most rewarding experience was working as a first mate, cooking and playing guitar on an 80-foot charter sailboat that was also an Americaa€™s Cup challenger.
Stevea€™s song a€?Brother Uptowna€? on his debut CD Big Senorita describes him coming in late and crashing at Grega€™s apartment.
Although free of drug references and busts, to these ears, stylewise, ita€™s a cousin to the Grateful Dead hit, a€?Truckina€? with some a€?Friend of the Devila€? thrown in. Two tracks later, wea€™re treated to the award-winning a€?Mary,a€? in which wea€™re young again and transported to a summer night car ride with a girl in a white dress. They think that the head of the show was a big Deb Talan fan and wanted her on the show, so The Weepies were written into the script.
He good-naturedly referred to the results of the combination of his efforts with others as a€?Frankensteina€? in nature. His brother, two years older, had been instrumental in turning Greg on to the major rock acts of the day. However, a€?WOR was the first New York album-oriented rock-and-roll FM station,a€? he said. In the early a€?70s, Greg was in his late teens when the work of John Prine and Steve Goodman made an impact. On their way out west, Greg and Richard stopped in Emporia, Kan., to visit a friend and wound up playing gigs in the area for about a year. Then, after two years, although he was doing well at school, he felt antsy to move forward in his desire to a€?make records,a€? so he quit. Also during this time, Greg wrote a€?The Hearta€? with Tom Russell, who was living in New York then.
If great writing, perfect recording and stellar performances are your thing, this is the guy for you. However, a€?WOR was the first New York album-oriented rock-and-roll FM station,a€? he said.A  a€?We still have some psychedelic posters from WOR that my father did the lettering for,a€? he stated. Under the cerulean blue of the sky, with clouds like cotton pulled apart, floating in tufts, there were no people in evidence. I also think that the best songs contain things that people dona€™t say, people cana€™t say, people are afraid to say. A never-opened wooden a€?mystery boxa€? Abrams got as a boy at Tannena€™s Magic Shop played a seminal role in shaping his suspense-heavy career vision. Over a throbbing bass line we hurtle down the road and, the dash board lights set our sights way up higha€¦ hold on tight to mea€¦ Mary. In all that quiet beauty, I could not help pondering the delicate, sometimes brutal, sometimes violent contract made between the farmer and nature. Thata€™s all I wanted him to do.a€? Her brother played in the folk mass and then, Susan followed suit.
Thata€™s a great gift, because they didna€™t need to express themselves through our success in the arts.
A small town in rural Iowa, that you would have a high school band teacher who had a phenomenal amount of jazz talent. Later, while promoting her album of self-penned a€?standards,a€? I Cana€™t Be New, released in 2004, Susan appeared on Mariana€™s show.] She continued, a€?That played a role and, years later, there I am, on the Marian McPartland show! When I told her of this, she responded, a€?Give me a room of 200 people or less, and wea€™re gonna have a good time. People like Greg Brown and Richard Thompson, who stay true to it, who always find something new to say, and new ways to do it. About that magic booka€¦ it sits on a shelf and, when pulled, it opens the door to Abramsa€™ secret bathroom (really). When faced with enormous expenses for his kidsa€™ college tuition, he spent years as Creative Director of various advertising agencies in New York City, Sydney, Australia, and Toronto, Canada. To many of their fans, ita€™s their most popular song and they still perform it together when touring schedules coincide.
It centered around relationships and darker themes crept in, albeit always with beautiful melodies. When you make your own entertainment, if you have music around the housea€¦ You might wind up playing your instrument longer, you might wind up actually practicing, you might wind up experimenting with it. Pretty rare, because most music teachers, most band directors at the high school level, are all about the marching band. Everything else dwindles in comparison.a€? If religion has something to offer society outside of individual comfort in our darkest hours, that would be it. Songwriting requires a commitment to doing it and not getting it right for a long timea€¦ expecting it all to work right away is a mistake in any endeavor. There are a few similar characteristics to the main figure in Suttree, but otherwise, ita€™s all Greg.
In addition, a€?Ireland,a€? included on his 1992 album Everywhere, according to a quote we saw somewhere, was written as a tribute to his wife. Thata€™s what theya€™re supposed to doa€¦ keep those kids marching, keep them organized, doing something as a group.
You have to give yourself a long runway to take offa€¦like a big plane,a€? she said, laughing. They really want to be surprised, engaged, a little scared or uncomfortablea€¦ or deeply moveda€¦ or surprised at how deeply moved they are. The song captured the spirit of Ireland so well that Irish folk diva Maura Oa€™Connell covered it, and the song subsequently saw heavy rotation on Fordham Universitya€™s (WFUV) radio playlist a€” back then, this authora€™s only source of preferred music. He sent me home with some Count Basie records, some Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Carmen McRae, some Sarah Vaughn. Thata€™s where all discovery is at.a€? She has also tried ballet and a few other disciplines outside her comfort zone. Then you wona€™t be bored.a€™ [laughs] Thata€™s the first obligation of a show that it not be boring!
Then you wona€™t be bored.a€™ [laughs] Thata€™s the first obligation of a show that it not be boring!A  If I want boring, I can stay at home and put on background music and vacuum!
In an online interview, Greg is quoted: a€?I was desperate back then a€¦ I was living in a trailer park a€¦ We were just desperadoes with shitty jobs. A friend and I saw Greg play an inspiring set at the Mercury Lounge in the mid a€™90s and stopped to pay our respects afterward. This really tilted my head - a€?What is THIS?a€? I worked on jazz chords that I heard on the records, from, like, Freddy Green Style Guitar Comping [a book on swing rhythm strumming].
A My second week at the course I got in early and became bored while waiting for my homeboys. It was just different, or maybe it was just different for me, chasing the dream of making music.
A My teammates and coaches were often challenged by my "Just give me the ball and get the hell out of my way" attitude.
A I was not the best athlete on the field or on the court, but I thought I was.A When the game was on the line I wanted the ball in my hands. A A It was a hot evening and the constant in and out of the woods was not a pleasant undertaking.
What I thought would be a nine-hole outing turned into eighteen holes and a White House visit and a Presidential appointment in 1969. General William Rogers, Hattie, President Nixon and HBA Petey and I would become great friends and in 1965 we would meet again. A The United Planning Organization a self-help community organization was hiring "Neighborhood Workers." A They hired three, me, Petey and H. A Two years later Rap would be named Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. A I would become a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the DC Recreation Department and Petey would find his new home in radio at WOL.
A Three UPO "Neighborhood Workers" would go on to establish their own independent idenities.
A Petey would win 2 Emmy Awards and in 2007 there was a feeble attempt to do his life story on the big screen. He is now in jail serving a life sentence for the murder of a black Deputy Sherrif in Fulton County, Georgia. Brian McIntyre.A  He was sitting almost alone and there was no one waiting in line (compared to today's media circus).
A  I looked down and notice that all the white media were seated on one side of half-court and all the blacks were seated on the other side of the half-court line.
He stepped in front of me and said "I got it."A It would be the start of the 4th quarter that Mark returned to the press table table and apologize for his unprofessional actions.
A There were other mistakes like someone thought a black Judy Holland was VP material---far from it. A It took a minute but in the meantime, he was making an effort to bring about change in his own way. A But according veteran (32 years) sports writer Bill Rhoden of the New York Times, progress in sports media pressrooms around the country are on a slow boat to China.A His recent appearance on the widely acclaimed television news show Meet the Press, he said, "the NBA, NFL and MLB are still dragging their feet.
Media pressrooms at Deadline are still the last plantations.A A Pioneering broadcaster and former NBA CBS basketball analyst Sonny Hill and now a sports talk show host on WIP Radio in Philadelphia said, "I am not surprised by Rhoden's statement, very little has changed in media pressrooms.
A One of the problems there is no networking among blacks who have moved it up the ladder." A That is an understatement. A  The copy rights for Inside Sports is own by News Week Magazine and it is own by the Washington Post. A A First, there was a a problem with the PR Men from hell, Brian Sereno and Matt Williams.
A A It was brought to my attention that Sereno was disrespecting the ladies of The Roundball Report. A The meeting was set before a Wizard's game in the press louge but Scott Hall was the lead man. A He listened and we disagreed on some points but when we walked away from the table we were on the same page. A The community and everyone in it was a friend, the old and the young, the black and the white and the healthy and the lame.
A I was honored to speak at his retirement held at the arena just before the Bullets moved to Washington and changed their name to the Wizards.A Denny Gordon was in ticket sales and it seem like he knew everyone who brought a ticket. A He was made the scapegoat after being sold out by his assisstant coach Bernie Bickerstaff and others. A The meeting revolved around a charity all-star game scheduled for the Bahamas, the island home of NBA star Mycal Thompson. A Magic Johnson was one of All-Stars participating.A Representatives from the NBA included VP Ron Thorne, Legal Counsel Gary Bettman and head of security Horace Balmer. A A Gary Bettman is the Commissioner of the NHL, Thorne is somewhere lurking in the NBA, Balmer has since retired and Magic is a role model for Black America? A A The short lived existence of basketball legend Michael Jordan as a Wizard's player and Executive in the front office. A After the story broke he and several teammates made light of it during introductions of a game.


A He was eventually suspended for most of the 2009a€“10 season.A The thing that I find disturbing about this Donald Sterling charade is that folks are acting like they were surprised by his rants against blacks. A A I also notice the same "Old faces and voices" are called on to respond to the racist acts by men like Sterling---when they are a part of the problem . A He and Sterling were good friends because "Birds of a feather flock together." A  Check Magic's history out and you will discover the two have a lot in common.
A Magic's claim to be a minority owner of the LA Dodgers is another sham (token black face). James Brown (CBS Sports) another mis-guilded brother claiming to be a minority baseball owner and an expert on racism. A He did finally admit on the late George Michael Show (Sports Machine) "I have no say in making baseball decisions as a minority owner." A His role as a minority owner is to be paraded out on Opening Day as the black face to read the starting line-ups. A A This is the same Michael Wilbon that I had at least two recent conversations about the use of the N word as a term of endearment. A I have to give him credit, he will at least talk to me face to face and not behind my back.
A I tried to explain that his rationale that his grandfather's use the word as a term of endearment does not make it right today.
A I told him he should not go on national television saying it is okay to use the N word among friends and family.
A It gives bigots like Donald Sterling the Green Light to do the same among his friends and family. A Plus, Michael told me he was not going to appear on the ESPN Show Outside the Lines because the white host had no horse in the race! A A I wish that Magic, James, Michael and the rest of the media experts would defer to black men like Hank Aaron, Dr.
A But they wear the battle scars and have been on the front lines of the civil rights movement in real life and in the sports arenas of America.
A In other words, they have been there and done that.A I guess that is wishful thinking, especially when everyone wants to be an expert on television. A In the meantime, they don't know their asses from a hole in the ground but the beat goes on and on.
A Auerbach would go a step further in the 1966-67 NBA season, when he stepped A down after winning nine titles in 11 years, and made Bill Russell player-coach. A A trailblazers, RED AND DOTIE AUERBACHi»? ON INSIDE SPORTSA Russell would eventually be the first black to win an NBA championship. A There are far too many crying "Foul" and playing the victims in this charade, to include some NBA owners.A Let me start with my homeboy, the great Elgin Baylor who was the Clippers GM for over 2 decades. His teams were perennial losers on the court and in attendance, but he picked up his check every two weeks and kept his mouth shut. A A In his deposition, Elgin spoke about what he called Sterling's 'plantation mentality,' alleging the owner in the late 1990s rejected a coaching candidate, Jim Brewer, because of race.
A Talking about an organization needing a change of name and a face-lift---meet Leon Jenkins.A Jenkins seen above at a press conference trying to explain why the li»?ocal branch was honoring Sterling during the 100th Anniversary of the organization next month. A A He explained the previous award had been approved by the man he replaced and he just went along to get along.
A A Sterling won't be the first to sleep black and think white when it comes to sex, politics and money. Slave owners lived by the credo and in modern day history there was the late Senator Strom Thurmond.
A Nike NBA rep John Phillips and I met with VP Rod Thorn, League Counsel Gary Bettman and Head of League Security, Horace Balmer.
A The meeting centered around whether Magic Johnson, Mycal Thompson and a group of NBA All-Stars would be allowed to travel to the Bahamas for a charity basketball game without league approval. The game had been played in the Bahamas the previous year without incident or controversy.A It was obvious that there was a power-play being made by the league office to cancel the game. Thorn open the meeting by asking who was going to be responsible if one of the players was hurt during the game?
A Magic suggested that the topic of conversation just might be centered around an injury to a player. I tried to explain that playing the game was no different then one of the players participating in a pick-up game on a New York City playground in the off season. A What is this some kind of plantation?"A The room went silent and Horace Balmer the only other black in the room just shook his head and seem to be lost for words.
A Thorn called off the discussion and promised to get back to us but he never did.A In the meantime, Magic Johnson disappeared and changed his number.
A Mycal was a class act but his hands were tied when Magic decided to do his Houdini act.A Gary Bettman now runs the NHL, Ron Thorn is still in the NBA somewhere calling the shots, Horace Balmer has since retired and Magic is the face (black) in the middle of the Donald Sterling charade.
A When all is said and done, the real victim despite all of her baggage is the girlfriend (The Whistle Blower) V.
A NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during his annoucement as it related to the punishment of Donald Sterling apologize to black NBA pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper and Magic Johnson. A He reminds me of the controversial Celebrity Chef Paula Deen who alledgely use The N word to describe her love for black folks. A  How should we expect her to know if she has never walked in our shoes ?A  When it is a part of your DNA it is difficult to rid yourself of the gene.A  A One morning I was watching Ms. This award was longed overdue and I wonder why it took the NAACP so long to finally recognized Mr. Belafonte in accepting the award asked, "Where are today's black leaders?A  Our children's blood is still running in our streets---there is work still to be done. The coalition stated it will urge President Obama to mention an urban jobs plan in his state of the Union speech on February 12th----Good luck! Ben Carson of John Hopkins University Hospital.A  His prayer and message was centered around health care, the economy, American debt, and tax reform, thus taking dead aim at President Obama's platform for the nation. Carson spend 25 minutes talking about the nation's ills and solutions with the President sitting less than 5 feet from him.A  When all was said and done, President Obama was not looking so Presidential! Carson set the record straight from the very beginning.A  He made it clear he was not taking any wooden nickels.
In 2010, he became that series' youngest driver and the first black driver to win a race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
A close friend of mine that has been partially paralyzed by strokes, pays for aids to "help". If they show up, they usually just sit and do nothing, root through her jewelry and personal effects, and some have been caught stealing jewelry. One was there when she collapsed with another stroke, and instead of calling for help, she called her boyfriend and left, leaving her patient to manage on her own.
It runs M - F from 10am - Noon and starting on Monday July 22 will repeat from 4pm - 6pm each day.
My opinions about Tiger Woods or any other issue are mine and I could give a damn about what Feinstein or anybody else things about them.
In their prime at theA Washington Post, they were among the best sports writers in the country. A I was up close and personal with the sports department.A Kindred and Chad were talented writers but you could not trust them, Cornheiser and Feintstein's talent, they easily blended in with the landscape of the paper.
A Feinstein called Wilbon the biggest ass kisser in sports media, if that is true he had great teacher in Cornheiser. A When Solomon tried to kick Cornheiser to the curve (fire him) in the 80s he was able to move to the Style section of the paper. A One black female Washington Post columnist wrote a book titled "Plantation on the Potomac." A She was describing her employer. A Hopefully, they were asked to participate and were of the same mindset as Wilbon not comfortable with Mr. A Goodell makes more than any player in the NFL and he never has to make a tackle or catch a pass.A The owners recent pay out to the players for injuries suffered on their watch was peanuts compared to the billions they make year in and year out. A When he refused a request by his mother to cease using the word and a similar plea by poet Myra Angelo.
Martin Luther Kinga€™s 1963 march on Washington and 46 years since his assassination in Memphis, Tenn. With the high-scoring Macauley, elite passer Cousy, and new prodigy Sharman, Auerbach had a core that provided high-octane fast-break basketball. In the next years until 1956, the Celtics would make the playoffs every year, but never won the title. Brown was desperate to turn around his struggling and financially strapped franchise, which was reeling from a 22a€“46 record.[5]A The still young but already seasoned Auerbach was made coach.
A Nike NBA rep John Phillips and I met with VP Rod Thorn, League Counsel Gary Bettman and Head of League Security, Horace Balmer.A The meeting centered around whether Magic Johnson, Mycal Thompson and a group of NBA All-Stars would be allowed to travel to the Bahamas for a charity basketball game without league approval. A He was right on point.A To this day I think Magic had a previous discussion with the league office. James Gholson, Red Auerbach, Biff Carter, Jessie Chase, Morgan Wooten, Everett Cookie Payne Sr., Frank Bolden, Dr.
Leo Hill, Roper McNair, Earl Alfred, Maxwell Honemond, Tilman Sease, William Roundtree, Charlie Baltimore, Jaky Mathews, Ferdinand Day, Nick Turner, Walter Brooks, Ted McIntye, and my saviors, Dave Brown and Bighouse Gaines.A  They knew their Xs and Os, but more important, they were there for our highs and lows.A  Where have all those flowers gone? We never could have made it without them.I have given up on the Pigskin Club, but keeping hope alive for the DC Recreation Department and the Roving Leader Program. BELL 12-25-1940---8-1-2013A A GOOD COP WHO BROKE THE CODE OF SILENCE IN THE WASHINGTON, DC POLICE DEPARTMENT. A The real Serpico is seen leaving the Bronx Courthouse alone after testifying before the Knapp Commission on wide spread police corruption in the department. A In the old days police A would carry a "drop knife---an inexpensive weapon cops would bring along on patrol to drop onto or next to suspect that they had taken out so that they could say that he had threaten them.
A Today you don't even need to do that; all that you have to do is justify the use of deadly force if you are a police officer is to say that you feared for your life, for whatever reason. If the victim dies, that just means there will one less witness around to contradict the test-lie. A In the case of Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston police, it appears he was being extra-carefulto cover his tracks.
A Probably he could have gotten away with simply declaring, as he did in the radioed report, that Walter Scott "took my taser," and that would have probably have sufficed to exonerate him.
A But Slager having shot Scott eight times in the back--as everyone can see in the now famous video--perhaps felt that he needed a little help explaining what he was up to. A So apparently dropped his Taser next to Scott's body, which would obviously help to make the case that Scott "Took my taster."A If you think that what happen in North Charleston is a unique case, its not.
A Only recently, in another case, a policewoman in Pennsylvania first Tasered a black man then shot him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow.
A Unless honesty is rewarded more often then corruption, the police will lose credibility altogether. A I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1994 addressing this very issue, saying that honest cops have never been rewarded, and maybe there ought to be a medal for them, he wrote back but nothing change. A If enough testi-lying is uncovered, then who is going to believe the police even when they are telling the truth? A A Until now the shoot first fear of my life mantra has eliminated any cause for concern in the taking of life by police. A When a civilian committs a crime, every nuance is looked at, the better to "throw the book at" the suspect.
A The other day I got a letter from a journalist in Argentina who was complaining about police and judicial corruption there. A I wrote back to him, there are good cops, even where you live, but if the good cops don't want to be painted with the same broad brush as the bad cops, they need to come forward and expose the guys who are doing bad things.
A Take New York City detective who was caught on camera recently abusing an Uber driver with threats and foul language, A This was truly disgusting behavior.
Yet predictably enough the detective union leader, Michael Palladino, was out there making excuses for him, suggesting that, well, it was only one incident, and everyone has a bad day. A Afterward Police Commissioner William Bratton announced he was removing the detective's shield and placing him temporarily on desk duty while an investigation is conducted .
A But this man needs to be demoted to uniform at the very least, or "back in the bag" as we use to say. A Imagine what he is capable of doing under the cover of darkness if he can talk to someone like that in broad daylight. A There are plenty legitimate incidents where police believe, correctly, that their lives are in danger.
A I was in a few of those situations myself during the course of my career.A But unless the police forces and society as a whole take action we're not going to be able to distinguish between the legititimate claims and made-up testimony. A A long time ago Norman Rockwell painted a famous picture of a friendly neighborhood cop bending down to help a little boy. A For example; I could name someone who is a great athlete but a lousy human being or I could name someone who is a great human being but not a great athlete. A Heading the list is Muhammad Ali (The Greatest), Red Auerbach (NBA), Dave Bing (NBA), Lenny Moore (NFL), Bert R. Sugar (Boxing), Lee Jones (NBA), Roy Jefferson (NFL) and Harold McLinton (NFL), finding pro athletes like them today are far, few and in-between.
A And that is a sad commentary when you think about the hundreds of men and women I have interviewed on Inside Sports and worked with as a youth advocate (Kids In Trouble). Moore, LB Dave Robinson (2013 NFL Hall of Fame inductee) and WR Roy Jefferson host KIT toy party.
A Sam Jones (NBA), Lenny Moore (NFL) and Roy Jefferson (NFL) participate in KIT clothing drive for needy children at Union Station.
A Bert Sugar (Boxing) receives KIT Life Time Achievement Award and Dave Bing (NBA) pays tribute to KIT Saturday Program All-Stars.I had the opportunity to hear an interview on Sirius A XM Radio (channel 126) on the Maggie Linton Show recently, her guest was NFL Washington Pro football player, wide receiver Peirre Garcon. A I have not been very impressed with todaya€™s pro athletes and their give back commitment to their family, friends and community. A He has three older sisters making him the youngest and the only one born in the United States.His father died when he was 4 years old leaving his mother to raise him and his 3 sisters alone. A My background is similar to Peirrea€™s, my mother had to raise 4 boys alone with an assist from Grandma Bell.



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