- Created on 05 December 2012
Bob Marley's music continues to touch the soul and spirit of millions of people. He is the premier reggae icon loved around the world. Black World Cinema presents his definitive story with the screening of the documentary – "Marley."
"One Love", "Get Up Stand Up," and "No Woman No Cry" are just a few of Bob Marley and The Wailors most popular songs. But who is Bob Marley behind the music? Kevin MacDonald vividly captures this story in the documentary – "Marley." At 12 years old, Bob Marley moved from St. Ann's, Jamaica to the city of Kingston with his mother. Looking for a life out of poverty, Marley focused his efforts on music as a tool of spiritual and financial empowerment. Dropping out of school at the age of 16, he recorded his first single as a solo artist - "Judge Not." His style mimicked the likes of 50s and 60s R&B groups, however, the single did not sell. Marley decided that it would be best to form a group instead of pursuing a career as a solo artist. Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailor, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Cherry Green, and Bob Marley were the original 'Wailing Wailors.' Again, popular R&B groups including The Temptations, Frankie Lyman & the Teenagers, The Drifters, and The Platters were the groups biggest musical influences. In 1964, The Wailing Wailors released the single "Simmer Down." It became number #1 on the Jamaican music charts. From that moment forward, Bob Marley and The Wailors marked their path and musical legacy.
"Marley" is an incredible insightful journey of a musical icon. The film includes footage of recordings, concerts, and interviews from Bob Marley's closest friends and family members. It is often a very intimate recollection of Marley's deepest struggles, passions, and obstacles including being rejected by his father, his mixed race heritage, embracing Rastafarianism, Rita Marley and the Marley children, and his drive to reach people around the world through reggae music. Black World Cinema presents "Marley," Dec. 5 at Lawndale 10 Theaters and Dec. 6 at Chatham 14 Theaters.
- Created on 04 December 2012
CNN) -- Katt Williams' aggressive behavior at a Seattle bar and an odd exchange with police landed the comedian in jail Sunday, police said.
Williams "exchanged words with patrons in the bar, brandished a pool cue at a bar manager and refused to leave the business," and later refused to show identification to a police officer who had been called to the scene, a Seattle police news release said.
The 41-year-old comic, who was in Seattle to perform his stand-up comedy show over the weekend, was booked into the King County Jail on charges of assault, harassment and obstruction, police said. He was released on bond Monday morning, a jail official said.
CNN requests for comment from Williams and his representative have not been answered.
Officer Michael Virgilio wrote in his report that he responded to a call for police help at the World Sports Bar Sunday afternoon. The manager told him that Williams had returned to the bar after being involved in a dispute with a customer the night before, Virgilio said in his arrest report.
"I suppose you're going to ask me to take my hands out of my pockets, huh?" Williams said to Virgilio, according to the report, after the officer told Virgilio he had been "involved in a few disturbances."
Williams refused to give his name or show an ID, but "yelled out a CA driver's license number," the officer wrote.
When Virgilio warned he would arrest him for obstruction unless he produced an ID, Williams responded "No." The comedian then turned around and placed his hands behind his back "on his own accord," the arrest report said.
"Two of Williams' associates were standing nearby and were pleading for Williams to calm down," the officer wrote.
While being handcuffed and searched, Williams "made several comments about how he was going to sue the department," the report said.
"He stated he had been arrested over 30 times in the last few months and every time he was released prior to being booked into jail," Virgilio wrote. "He made comments regarding my employment with the city of Seattle and how it would end as a result of his arrest. Williams stated he had millions of dollars and this arrest would not affect him."
After the search turned up Williams' passport in his pocket, the officer asked why he hadn't just handed it over.
"You asked for my driver's license," he quoted Williams saying. "I didn't have it!"
Then, it got worse, the arrest report said.
"Williams became aggressive and resistant and his actions forced me to take him to the ground for a short period of time. He was subsequently placed in the back of my patrol car."
Williams was playing pool in the bar when Sunday's trouble started, the report said. "An argument began and quickly escalated."
When the manager tried to separate Williams from the couple with whom he was arguing, Williams yelled at him for "protecting the customers from the famous guy," Virgilio wrote.
"Williams picked up a pool stick, raised it up and pointed it at his face," the report said. "He continued to state if he hadn't stepped back the stick would have hit in the the face."
When the manager asked him to put the stick down, Williams said "What if I don't?" and jabbed the stick toward him again, the report said.
"At one point during the altercation, Williams followed a family outside of the bar where, as the family got into their car, Williams flicked a cigarette through a car window at a woman, striking her just below her eye," the police news release said. "Williams also threw a rock at the family's car."
Officer Virgilio said he would request additional charges against Williams including reckless endangerment, because he threw a rock that hit a window in the family's car, "directly next to an 8-year-old girl."
"Had the glass shattered or the rock had penetrated the window it could have struck and harmed the 8-year-old victim," he said.
Williams began his career as a stand-up comic, gaining attention in 1999 for comedy club appearances. Television appearances on the BET Network led to more success.
His 2006 HBO special "Katt Williams: Pimp Chronicles Pt.1" raised his profile to a higher level.
He has acted in several movies -- including Eddie Murphy's "Norbit" -- and he is the voice of popular cartoons, including "The Boondocks."
His often-raunchy style has drawn comparisons to comedy legend Richard Pryor.
CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.
- Created on 30 November 2012
Joe Jackson, the elderly Jackson family patriarch, suffered a stroke Thursday morning and is being treated in a Las Vegas hospital, a source close to the Jackson family said. "He is in very good spirits," said the source, who asked not to be identified.
- Created on 03 December 2012
(AP) — David Letterman's "stupid human tricks" and Top 10 lists vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim Sunday night as the late-night comedian received this year's Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin, an actor, a ballerina and a bluesman.
Stars from New York, Hollywood and the music world joined President Barack Obama at the White House on Sunday night to salute the honorees, whose ranks also include actor Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.
The honors are the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients were later saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House in a show to be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS.
Obama drew laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."
Noting that Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he quipped, "That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in."
The president thanked the members of Led Zeppelin for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of "hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around."
Obama noted Letterman's humble beginnings as an Indianapolis weatherman who once reported the city was being pelted by hail 'the size of canned hams.'"
"It's one of the highlights of his career," he said.
All kidding aside, Obama described all of the honorees as artists who "inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world."
"It's that unique power that makes the arts so important," he added.
Later on the red carpet, Letterman said he was thrilled by the recognition and to visit Obama at the White House.
"It supersedes everything, honestly," he said. "I haven't won that many awards."
During the show, comedian Tina Fey said she grew up watching her mom laugh at Letterman as he brought on "an endless parade of weirdos."
"Who was this Dave Letterman guy?" Fey said. "Was he a brilliant, subtle passive-aggressive parody of a talk show host? Or just some Midwestern goon who was a little bit off? Time has proven that there's just really no way of knowing."
Alec Baldwin offered a Top 10 reasons Letterman was winning the award, including the fact that he didn't leave late night for a six-month stint in primetime — a not-so-subtle dig at rival Jay Leno.
Jimmy Kimmel, who will soon compete head-to-head with Letterman on ABC, said he fell in love with Letterman early in life and even had a "Late Night" cake on his 16th birthday.
"To me it wasn't just a TV show," Kimmel said. "It was the reason I would fail to make love to a live woman for many, many years."
For Buddy Guy, singers Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman and others got most of the crowd on its feet singing Guy's signature "Sweet Home Chicago."
Morgan Freeman hailed Guy as a pioneer who helped bridge soul and rock and roll.
"When you hear the blues, you really don't think of it as black or white or yellow or purple or blue," Freeman said. "Buddy Guy, your blue brought us together."
Robert De Niro saluted Hoffman, saying he had changed acting, never took any shortcuts and was brave enough to be a perfectionist.
"Before Dustin burst on the scene, it was pretty much OK for movie stars to show up, read their lines and, if the director insisted, act a little," De Niro said. "But then Dustin came along — and he just had to get everything right."
By the end of the night, the Foo Fighters, Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz got the crowd moving to some of Zeppelin's hits at the Kennedy Center.
Jack Black declared Zeppelin the "greatest rock and roll band of all time."
"That's right. Better than the Beatles. Better than the Stones. Even better than Tenacious D," he said. "And that's not opinion — that's fact."
For the finale, Heart's Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson sang "Stairway to Heaven," accompanied by a full choir and Jason Bonham, son of the late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and his bandmates John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page seemed moved by the show.
Meryl Streep first introduced the honorees Saturday as they received the award medallions during a formal dinner at the U.S. State Department hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton said ballerina Makarova "risked everything to have the freedom to dance the way she wanted to dance" when she defected from the Soviet Union in 1970.
Makarova made her debut with the American Ballet Theatre and later was the first exiled artist to return to the Soviet Union before its fall to dance with the Kirov Ballet.
Clinton also took special note of Letterman, saying he must be wondering what he's doing in a crowd of talented artists and musicians.
"Dave and I have a history," she said. "I have been a guest on his show several times, and if you include references to my pant suits, I'm on at least once a week."
- Created on 29 November 2012
(The Root) -- For her latest album, titled Pour Une Âme Souveraine (or "For a Sovereign Soul"), singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello covers the legendary Nina Simone. The album is a 14-track collection of songs originally written and performed by the late jazz singer and pianist but reinterpreted by Ndegeocello.
Ndegeocello explained what drew her to record a Simone tribute album, telling NPR:
"She had a complicated life full of pain and disappointment," Ndegeocello says. "If you read her book, it's just sadness after sadness after sadness, disappointment after disappointment, and expectations that could not be fulfilled in her lifetime in terms of civil rights. She found out music was a dirty business. A lot of her disenchantment was from bad record deals, and it seems like Nina Simone just questioned why the world was the way it was."
Ndegeocello's typically raspy, soft voice sounds very different from Simone's bold, powerful singing, but the album is still quite an experience. Songs such as "Be My Husband," edited with new lyrics to suit Ndegeocello's bisexuality, and Simone classics including "Feelin Good" and "Young, Gifted and Black," complete with modern arrangements, transform Simone's music into a statement for a whole new generation.