In late 1969, while performing at the Apollo Theater, Marvin Gaye spotted an ill Tammi Terrell in the audience after the singer, now under ninety pounds, stood up and began singing her opening response to Gaye on their hit, "You're All I Need to Get By." Gaye, who was performing with Carla Thomas on the bill, reportedly stepped off the stage into the audience to sing with Terrell, who was given a microphone. The performance ended with a standing ovation. It was to be Terrell's final public appearance.
Marvin Gaye recalled that he felt somehow responsible for Terrell's illness and death. Gaye failed to appreciate his own successes including the international hit, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," thinking the success was not deserved on his part.
At the funeral, Gaye delivered a final eulogy while "You're All I Need to Get By" was playing. According to Terrell's fiance, who knew Gaye, Terrell's mother allowed just Gaye at the funeral but told him that Terrell's other Motown colleagues would not be allowed in.
Terrell's mother criticized Motown for not helping with Terrell's illness accusing the label of covering up the singer's condition releasing albums of Terrell's work without her consent. Gaye had also contended that he felt Motown was taking advantage of Terrell's illness.
Tammi Terrell met Sam Cooke in 1964 after Cooke showed a romantic interest in her. Before a relationship could forge, however, Cooke was murdered in Los Angeles that December. Allegedly, Cooke (above-left) was looking forward to a relationship with Terrell (above-center) before his murder.
They would have made a stunning couple.
Shortly after Marvin Gaye's tragic murder, Motown outbid an eastern real estate company to obtain the rights to the Marvin Gaye story. Motown paid $101,000 for the rights. Motown will also receive 2.5 percent of the profits on any movie made about the late singer's life.
Motown also agreed to pay Gaye's estate an additional lump sum of $15,000 or they have the option of holding a premiere, whenever the Gaye film is completed, with the proceeds going to the estate.
Bobby Brown on Janet Jackson:
Bobby Brown had always had a crush on Janet Jackson. During an interview with BET's Donnie Simpson, he finally got a chance to let her know how he felt. He had been contemplating whether he should just put it out there or hold back. He decided to do it! When Donnie asked him about his love life, without hesitating, he said, "I'm in love with Janet Jackson."
Shortly after, Janet called according to Bobby. Almost instantly, he and Janet started dating. For their first date they met at Haagen Daaz in L.A.
He adds: I really fell for her. They dated (discreetly) for a while. They saw each other and talked on the phone frequently.
The way their relationship ended broke his heart. "I was telling her that I loved her and wanted her to leave the guy she was with at the time (Rene). "She told me she couldn't and that her family wouldn't allow her to be with a black man."
Bobby says: This really shocked me so I backed off.
Bobby Brown on Madonna:
I met Madonna early in my career. She used to open up shows for New Edition in New York at the beginning of her career. After her solo success, hooking back up with her was like a reunion.
The relationship was hot and heated. She was once caught seducing me in the back of my limo by one of my bodyguards.
Bobby says: "She was very aggressive in her pursuit of me."
Bobby Brown on Karyn White:
Bobby dated Karyn White briefly and has nice things to say about her. He also dated Holly Robinson, Debbie Morgan and The Real Roxanne (The Spanish one). He was friends with Rosie Perez, Jasmine Guy and Paula Abdul.
Mysterious & Reluctant Superstars/True Talent:
Sade & Maxwell have a lot in common. They're both worth $60 million dollars. They're both icons. They're both mysterious and they both have a dedicated fan base.
Early in his career, Maxwell wouldn't reveal his full name to protect the privacy of his family. His actual name is Gerald Maxwell Rivera. His dad is Puerto Rican and his mother is Haitian.
Sade continues to shun industry events. She's never been comfortable in the lime light. Few media outlets reported on the alleged death of her brother.
Sade & Maxwell remain the only two artists in Pop/Neo-Soul/R&B-who can take a long hiatus (up to ten years) and come back to a sold-out audience and a double platinum album-in the digital age.
That's unheard of in the music industry.
Joan Crawford had a secret attraction towards NFL icon Jim Brown but she never acted on it. She thought he was a fearless gladiator with brute strength and good looks.
At the time, Crawford's husband was Albert Steele, the chairman of Pepsi-Cola. After he died, Crawford did the unthinkable, she offered a black man (Jim Brown) a lucrative 10-year contract with Pepsi Cola.
She made Brown a spokesman and executive of a Fortune 500 company. This was unheard of in the mid 60's (after Brown retired from the NFL).
Marvin Gaye is often credited with being a R&B superstar yet he's never referred to as an musical genius despite (writing and producing the classic "What's Going On?"). He was also an accomplished drummer and songwriter for others. Read below.
Marvin Gaye was a drummer for early recordings by The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and Little Stevie Wonder. Gaye drummed on the Marvelettes hits, "Please Mr. Postman." "Playboy" and "Beechwood 4-5789" (a song he co-wrote).
Later, Gaye would be noted as the drummer in both the studio and live recordings of Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips" and as one of two drummers behind Martha and the Vandellas' landmark hit, "Dancing in the Street," which was another composition by Gaye, originally intended for Kim Weston. Gaye said he continued to play drums for Motown acts even after gaining fame on his own merit.
Gaye also wrote and produced the singles (Baby I'm For Real & The Bells). Written for Motown's session band "The Originals." Both songs were million sellers.
The success of "What's Going On," influenced Stevie Wonder to write and produce his future records. Wonder would later reject a (new contract) with Motown unless he was allowed creative control on his recordings, which was granted a year later.
Gaye's independent success not only related to Motown recording artists, other R&B artists of the era also began to rebel against labels to produce their own conceptual albums. The Jackson 5, one of Motown's final acts to benefit from the label's "glory years" (1959–1972), tried unsuccessfully to get creative control for their own recordings and as a result left in 1975 for CBS Records.
According to Deborah Santana's book, before she married Carlos Santana (photo below) she used to date Sly Stone. Deborah and Carlos divorced after 34 years of marriage. Damaging allegations regarding Sly Stone below.
She says: She lost her virginity to Sly and she accuses Sly of being a former pimp.
She adds: Sly used to beat her up viciously and call her a bitch in front of his friends.
She alleges: Sly made her have an abortion with a coat hanger.
In 1992, singer Billy Preston who was already facing drug and molestation charges involving a 16-year-old boy was also charged with sexually attacking a man he hired.
The newer charges involved a 38-year-old man Preston picked up to do work at his home. The charges included: One count each of sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon-a knife and false imprisonment.
Deputy DA Loni Petersen said Preston bought the man to his home, tried to engage in sex and when the man refused, Preston told him he would drive him to a neighbor's home. She said he later stopped the car, locked the doors and assaulted the man.
The incident reportedly occurred the day before Preston was arrested in the boy's case.
We were recently informed, before Teddy Pendergrass's car crash, he was spotted in the bathroom of an upscale club having sexual relations with an attractive woman. Allegedly, the sex was so rough, blood was dripping on the floor.
Over the years, LaToya Jackson had four beautiful black men (Bobby DeBarge, Teddy Pendergrass, Howard Hewett and Prince) in pursuit of her. DeBarge said, LaToya was the inspiration behind Switch's 1979 hit "I Call Your Name."
Oddly, LaToya never showed much interest in any of these men, instead, she married a violent flesh peddler-Jack Gordon (below).
Backstory: (LaToya's ex-husband was linked to Genovese Crime Family)
Shortly after LaToya married Gordon, he confiscated her passport, transferred her bank accounts into his name and hired bodyguards to watch LaToya and he beat her daily.
When LaToya became aware that Gordon was planning to feature her in an adult film, she decided she had enough.
If Joe Jackson would have done a background check on Jack Gordon before bringing him around his family, he would would have found out the following:
Jack Gordon bought a controlling interest in a Los Angeles massage parlor called Circus Maximus in West Hollywood. Gordon subsequently bought two additional massage parlors, one in Signal Hill and the other in Costa Mesa, California. An article in a Long Beach newspaper reported that two of his partners from Las Vegas had turned up murdered and Gordon was the prime suspect.
In 1978, Jack Gordon offered twelve thousand dollars to then-chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission Harry Reid to approve two new, carnival-like gaming devices (Flip-A-Winna and Penny Falls) for casino use. Gordon believed the games would bring him more than $100 million in profits. Reid notified the FBI and allowed agents to videotape a meeting with Gordon in his office.
At the point where Reid asked, “Is this the money?” FBI agents burst in to arrest Gordon. Reid, a former boxer, exclaimed “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!” and attempted to strangle Gordon, before startled agents pulled him off. Gordon was convicted in federal court in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison. In 1981, Reid's wife found a bomb attached to one of their cars, a bomb Reid suspects was placed by Gordon.
It was also rumored that Gordon ran a brothel in Nevada.
FBI wiretaps in 1994 linked Gordon to Genovese crime family member James "Little Jimmy" Ida. Gordon was taped arranging for mobsters to shadow Jackson on a trip to Russia. Gordon paid the group $1,500 a month for at least two years to protect Jackson from "shakedowns" by rival mobsters. Gordon also employed the services of organized crime defense attorney and current Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman.
Before his death, it was rumored that Gordon was frantically trying to get in touch with Janet Jackson's ex's so they could collaborate (with him) on an explosive tell-all book on the Jackson family, his calls went unanswered.
Gordon had stalked LaToya Jackson up until his death in 2005. She sent a security expert to his burial to verify that he was truly dead because Gordon had faked his death before.
In 1986, Vanity was briefly linked to actor John Stamos after appearing in the film "Never To Young To Die." Allegedly, people inside and outside the industry were not happy with this interracial match and the relationship didn't last long.
Stamos was quickly set up with Paula Abdul (deemed more acceptable). Abdul would later leave Stamos to marry Emilio Estevez.
Around this time, Michael Bolton allegedly pursued Vanity but nothing came of it.
What really happened between Vanity & Mark Furhman?
Vanity admits flirting with Fuhrman (not knowing he was a racist) to get out of a speeding ticket-years ago. "I was driving my little red Corvette and I told my girlfriend, `Watch me get out of this ticket.' I was cocky," she says. Fuhrman asked me for my number and I gave it to him. But I never went out with him. Fuhrman didn't think I was Black. I didn't look Black. Back then, people found out I was Black because I told them. I had to tell people continuously. They thought I was Puerto Rican, but I am Black."
Singer Natalie Cole says her mother's snobbery isolated her from other Blacks during childhood.
Cole recalled growing up in Los Angeles' exclusive Hancock Park section, where the Coles were the only Black residents. "When I got friendly with the (Black) people who worked for us, my mother was appalled. "She wanted us to interact with a different society-outside the house."
The singer also reveals that her mother's family felt that her late father, famed singer Nat King Cole, "was too Black for them."
"For a dark-skinned man such as my father to acquire a light-skinned woman such as my mother was a real important prize," Cole explains.
"Your status moved up. That doesn't mean that her family was all that happy about her marrying my father. He was too Black for them. Her mother was very socially conscious, and she didn't want my mother to get involved with anyone with too many Black characteristics, because then your children would look funny."
Cole adds, "It wasn't just my mother, it's the way many Black people are raised."
In 1974, singer Al Green was charged in a $100,000 civil suit for allegedly beating Linda Wills in his Memphis office. According to Wills, the violence started after she asked Green, why she had been fired from her job as a business manager at Al Green Music Publishing. Both parties also had a heated dispute about back pay-and without warning, Green allegedly started beating her.
Wills was allegedly taken to a hospital by Green's sister where she was treated for contusions, bruises and bleeding from the head.
This case was eventually settled out of court.
In 1979, Al Green was cleared of assault and battery on another woman (Lovie Smith).
*It's been rumored for years that Al Green and Patti LaBelle got into a heated altercation (backstage) when they were appearing in a play. Allegedly, the argument ensued when it was revealed that Patti (was taking time off) from the play to attend her sister's funeral.
According to Rick James: I hit rock bottom, the Mary Jane Girls were gone. Process and the Doo Rags split up. Val Young was now with Bobby Brown and most of the Stone City Band had left. I couldn't support them any longer because I was too busy getting high.
My world was crumbling right in front of me and I didn't care.
All my time was spent getting high and waiting on death.
Sometimes I would meet a chick and we'd get high for hours. Soon as she said she was married, something inside me said "NO!" The night I met Vanity at the awards, I also met Robert DeNiro's wife Barbara. She came on so strong that I was freaking. As soon as I found out she was Bobby's wife, I left her alone, and that's the truth.
I love gay people, especially the ones who don't thrown their shit in your face. I have found some men handsome and even attractive-on a man level-that's honesty. But never have I wanted a man to suck my d**k or me to suck his.
When my contract was up with Motown, I flew to New York to meet with Clive Davis at Arista. I've always had a lot of respect for Clive, even though he refused the Mary Jane Girls when I was shopping them before Motown snapped them up. Clive, upon hearing their tape, sent me a letter telling me he didn't think the Mary Jane Girls were going to hit. He later apologized.
Back home, every hour of the day or night, the house was filled with people indulging in orgies, kinky ass sex, bestiality, all kinds of shit. Decadence and perversion ruled and the people who tired of it were easily replaced. I thrived on breaking in women, conquering and destroying, turning them on to freebase. The atmosphere was wild and evil.
Things had gotten so bad that I was studying the occult and I started claiming the devil.
In the midst of all this insanity and drug use, a woman named Cathy Townsend, daughter of Ed Townsend who co-wrote "Let's Get It On & Got To Give It Up," with Marvin Gaye. She started hanging around. Unfounded rumors suggest that her mother is white singer Connie Francis.
Anyway, I had met Cathy before and she was a born thief, and a hoe, which is how she paid for her drugs, still, I liked her. She was very funny and always kept me laughing. One day Cathy brought a girl, Courtney, to the house as a gift for me. She was dressed like a hoe. The first fifteen minutes she was there we were on the floor having sex. Later, I found out she loved smoking coke and she loved women.
When she left after spending a month with me, she went back to her pimp at a motel where they were staying. The pimp was a drug dealer and a drug addict, and he was furious at her for being at my house and not coming back with no money. This pimp had a way of punishing his women. He burned them with a pipe.
My girlfriend ended up taking Courtney to the hospital, the police came after me because when my girlfriend left the hospital, the staff took down my license plate number.
It was a big conspiracy.
As we reported before, Tina Turner was originally slated to portray Shug Avery in "The Color Purple."
Quincy Jones had allegedly scheduled Tina Turner a meeting with a director but she reportedly flipped out on him.
According to sources, she said: "I wouldn't do a black picture if I was dying!" It took me twenty years to get out of that black shit and I ain't going back!"
Quincy was so shocked, reportedly, he couldn't open his mouth.
Quincy said at that time, nobody wanted to do a black movie.
Tina's rejection left the cast with no known stars (this was Whoopi's breakout film).
Whoopi allegedly made the following quote: "Tina Turner turns down the Color Purple and she does Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. All the while saying she's seeking credibility as an actress, give me a break!"
In 1990, while Bobby Brown was on tour in Australia, his father, Herbert James Brown, then 60, was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl and assaulting another in Brisbane, Australia.
He was released after Bobby posted a $40,000 bond in Brisbane, where the alleged attack was reported.
He was along for his son's tour when he allegedly invited two teenaged girls to his hotel room for drinks.
Brown, a disabled war veteran and father of nine, was accused of attacking one teenager when she sought to leave and then allegedly raped her friend.
Brown was facing life in prison.
*This story disappeared from the media, the outcome of this case is unknown. I suspect the charges were dropped after an financial agreement. At the time, Bobby Brown was one of the biggest stars in the world.
In Related News:
When Bobby Brown was at the top of his game, he performed on the royal circuit. Reps for Princess Hamida (the niece of the Sultan of Brunei) booked him for a show. He was transported via private jet and he was paid six figures for a hour long performance.
According to Rick James:
Val Young (center) was a lady I wrote and produced two albums for. I met her in Memphis during the "Bustin' Out," tour.
She came backstage with this other chick. At that time the Gap Band was opening for me. Their lead singer, Charlie Wilson was hanging out with me.
We both met Val at the same time. When I asked Val what she wanted, she said, "You!"
She was a beautiful black woman, a complete package. While looking at her, I said, "You're a Gemini, aren't you?" She said, "Yes."
After that I told Charlie, "You got her."
I did not want to mess with another Gemini. I could always feel a Gemini. Charlie was an Aquarius, like me and a wild motherf**ker!"
Val used to sing background with George Clinton. She also sang background with me during the Street Songs tour, until one day she got tired of taking the Stone City Band's shit and quit.
Rick adds: "Val and I used to smoke base together and just have wonderful sex. Then one day after leaving the tour she said: "No more freebasing." I've never known her to take another hit off the pipe since. I was always impressed with her ability to give it up."
One year, when the Grammy's were over, Diana Ross asked Val, the Mary Jane Girls and me, back to her house.
Later, she asked me, "Who is this girl, Val Young?" At first I thought, "Uh-oh, what has Val done now?" But Diana said, "Rick, don't you ever loose her."
I said, "What?"
Then Diana went on to tell me how she and Val were both from Detroit, and how they talked about recipes and growing up in the Brewster projects.
I think Val brought Diana down to earth for a moment. Diana wasn't Diana anymore, just a poor, struggling girl from Detroit's Brewster projects.
In the industry, Val Young remains likable and is often seen with Eddie Murphy and Johnnie Gill. She's also an fixture at their parties in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Richard Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while stationed in Germany in the US Army. Annoyed that a white soldier was a bit too amused (and laughing) at the racially charged scenes in "Imitation of Life," Pryor and several other black soldiers beat and stabbed him (not fatally).
Leaveil Degree, a former member of the Whispers singing group, and three other people were sentenced to jail terms in connection with the theft of $1.8 million in registered mail taken from a postal truck parked in downtown Los Angeles in the 1980's.
Degree, then 31, his brother David and David's wife Kimberly pleaded guilty to involvement with Rae Edna Delgado (who pleaded innocent).
A U.S. District judge sentenced Leaveil Degree to four months in jail. His brother was sentenced to 4 1/2 years and his sister-in-law was sentenced to 14 days in jail and three years probation.
The Assistant U.S. Attorney said only $800,000 of the $1.8 million in cash, diamonds/gems and furs had been recovered. "We feel they know where the rest of the money is," he said.
Sade was the first choice to star in "Mo Better Blues," opposite Denzel Williams. Allegedly, she objected to a racy scene in the movie and dropped out of the project. She was replaced by Cynda Williams. Gregory Hines was the first choice to play the character Wesley Snipes portrayed. Hines dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
(RAY CHARLES' ALLEGED MISTRESS WRITES TELL-ALL)
Ray Charles' alleged mistress reveals-she once robbed the superstar blind-to pay off her house.
In her new book, "Ray & Me," Marci Soto claims she had a steamy affair with Charles when both were married to others.
But one revelation in the book will upset fans and friends of the legendary R&B star-she once substituted $1 bills for $100 bills after taking home cash from a concert.
In the memoir, Soto adds, "I certainly didn't feel like I was robbing the blind. I felt like he was ready to do something he should have done years earlier-pay off my house."
Soto also reveals she once aborted Charles' baby-and never told him.
She adds, "I didn't even tell Ray-there was no reason to know. I definitely wasn't having a baby."
The couple became a secret item in 1968-when Charles was married to his wife Della. A big fan, Soto convinced his manager to set up a date and they had sex that night.
The pair enjoyed an on/off romance over the years and Charles even helped Soto cover her legal fees when she divorced her husband.
She split from him in 1997 after growing tired of his womanizing ways.
She did call him after he fell ill in 2004 and spent much of their phone conversation sobbing.
In March of 1977, Robert Deleon (1st photo) was found at the bottom of a canyon in Malibu, close to Topanga Canyon, in the wreckage of his Ferrari. He had been missing for several weeks.
This is the same place that Mitrice Richardson had gone missing. This area is dangerous due to hills, the forest and deep canyons.
Diahann Carroll’s third husband was a Jet Magazine managing editor named Robert Deleon. They wed in May, 1975. They were still married when he was killed in a car accident on March 31, 1977.
Deleon was reported to have been intoxicated when last seen alive, driving to Malibu canyon. If you are not familiar with this part of Malibu, to get an idea of where Mitrice Richardson was left to fend for herself, look up Topanga Canyon on Google Maps, and Google Earth.
Deleon went missing in 1977. Helicopters and bloodhounds were used in the air, and on foot.
There is a little information on the death of Robert DeLeon.
Source: Jerry Brice
Larry Harris broke into the record business in 1971 when his cousin, Buddah Records bigwig Neil Bogart, gave him a shot at local radio promotion—Harris became Bogart’s right-hand man. He moved with Bogart from New York to Los Angeles in 1973 to co-found the legendary Casablanca Records, which later expanded to include a movie company that produced "The Deep," "Midnight Express," and "Thank God It’s Friday," the lattermost essentially a 90-minute ad for the record label.
Casablanca at its height hardly needed the exposure: Its signings included Kiss, Parliament, Donna Summer, Cher, and The Village People, as well as the early comedy records of Robin Williams. Casablanca was also notoriously profligate, spending lavishly and doing whatever it took to appear luxuriantly successful—something that was seldom the case on paper.
The company typified late-’70s excess: drugs, especially cocaine and Quaaludes, proliferated. Employees were having sex on desktops (sometimes with help from the musicians), when Bogart wasn’t setting fire to them. And until co-owner and distributor PolyGram stepped in to put the overspending to a halt, free-flowing finances were the order of the day.
All this is detailed in no-holds-barred fashion in Harris’ new memoir, And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records, co-written with Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs. The most dirt-filled music book since Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt, And Party Every Day is always entertaining and frequently jaw-dropping, from Harris’ description of acting as runner for an enormous amount of cocaine for Curtis Mayfield and several female hotel guests during the Buddah days.
Larry Harris on George Clinton: He’s brilliant. He was out there. He still does, from what I understand, a lot of cocaine. There was a GQ profile of him two years ago where he just lit up a crack pipe in front of the reporter, like, “This is what I do. Deal with it.”
George Clinton was actually creating something new. I mean, who would have heard of funk? Without Clinton, rap wouldn’t have happened the way it did, just because of the amount of sampling. That was amazing. George did walk around with an entourage—at least one guy, sometimes three or four. I still see pictures of his managers at the time—the guys who I describe as the Detroit Purple Gang. This is L.A., it’s 80 degrees out, and they’re walking with black, long raincoats and hats, fedoras. They weren’t Mafia guys—they were really nice guys, actually.
We paid him and he paid whomever he paid. But there must have—oh my God, with a stage crew and that kind of show? There had to be at least 20, 30 people onstage. I mean, the guy with the diaper… He was spending money like water.
The other thing I loved about George is that he had the brains, the balls, and the guts to have the same group—the exact same group—signed to two different labels with two different names and perform together in a show. I’m sure a lot of his hardcore fans knew it was the same group, but I’m sure half the people were expecting two different groups to perform.
Source: Michaelangelo Matos
Florence Greenberg (directly above) was a record label owner, music executive and a record producer. She was the first woman to head a label.
Greenberg lived as an ordinary housewife in the New Jersey suburbs of New York. In the mid-50's, she already had two children, Mary Jane and Stanley, who were both in school, so she had nothing to do at home during the day. So, a friend of her husband helped her to get in the record business. Although she didn't have any background in music, she got fascinated and launched Tiara Records.
After a few years, Greenberg has established herself as a great record producer and music executive for many popular singers in the 60's, such as: Dionne Warwick, The Shirelles, The Isley Brothers, Tammi Terrell, Chuck Jackson, B.J. Thomas and many others.
Greenberg was in her mid-thirties when she entered the record business. In 1958, she started her own record label, called Tiara Records. The first song recorded and released on the label was "I Met Him On a Sunday," by The Shirelles.
Just as the record started to break locally, Greenberg sold the company with The Shirelles' conract to Decca Records. With that money, she started a new label in 1959, called Scepter Records, which became one of the leading record labels in the 60's. In 1961, Greenberg launched another record label, called Wand Records, as a subsidiary of Scepter Records.
Greenberg retired from business in 1976, and sold all of her labels to Springboard International. Unfortunately, the reissue pressings made by Springboard International were cheap, unlike the first-class records put out by Greenberg.
Florence Greenberg died on October 31 in 1995, of heart failure. She was 82, and lived in Teaneck, New Jersey.
According to Rick James:
One day, I got a call from Teena Marie's manager (Winnie Jones). She asked if I wanted to produce Teena. I said "send me some tapes," so I can hear some more of her voice. After I heard her, I was geeked to produce her. Never in my life had I heard such a range with so much passion in a white voice.
I immediately started writing for her. I was also told that this was her last shot. She had spent close to $400,000 recording and still no album. I was amazed at how Motown could spend so much money without getting at least one tune out of it.
Motown really didn't know what to do with her. Berry had signed her as an actress, and singing was going to be secondary for her.
After I listened to Teena's voice carefully, writing for her was easy. The songs just seemed to come: Deja Vu, "Don't Look Back," and I decided to give her-Sucker For Your Love (which I originally wrote for Diana Ross).
Teena lived with Winnie and her daughter (Jill) and Winnie's boyfriend, Fuller Gordy (Berry's brother). Jill would later move in with Prince and have a part in Purple Rain.
The first time I made love to Teena was during a tour in Pittsburgh. She wrote a song about it called "Portuguese Love." She told me that I was the first man to give her an orgasm. We made love from sun-down to sun-up but we were never boyfriend and girlfriend although everyone was under the impression that we were involved during this time period.
When she got angry with me about other women, she'd curse me out under her breath when we performed "Fire & Desire," on stage.
During his reign, singer Christopher Williams' not only dated Halle Berry, Stacy Dash and Phyllis Hyman, he was also pursued by rich (Malibu Beach) cougars, wealthy sugar mama's, royal playgirls and Hollywood wives.
Women used to swoon when they spotted Chris driving his Porsche in Hollywood, women would not leave him alone. When he went to clubs, women surrounded him.
In Black Hollywood, Chris was considered "America's Most Wanted," due to his pretty boy looks and laid back charm.
But, he also had another side to him, it's always been rumored that he trashed "Giant Records," during a verbal disagreement with an employee.
Williams is the god-son of legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. Williams has a son, Austin, who was born in 1991, with actress Stacey Dash, and he has a daughter Sierra with Heather Barnes, a fashion-industry consultant. He reportedly has a son named Christopher, Jr. with an unidentified woman.
He says, men still come up to him and ask 'How could you just leave Halle Berry?' I'm like, 'how could you just leave the last relationship you were in?'" And further, "They would probably crucify Jesus again just to get with her. It's funny, because the stars that get all the good write-ups, you meet them and they are total assholes. She is just a woman, but because her name is in lights, people are damned near ready to bare their souls."
In the late 70's, Bill Withers was involved in a stormy relationship/marriage (depending on who reported it) with actress Denise Nicholas (In The Heat Of The Night-pictured below). Rumors of domestic violence surrounded the union. Years later, Phyllis Hyman got into an argument with Withers (backstage) and taunted him about the domestic violence rumors.
Withers isolated himself from the entertainment industry following the negative publicity.
He says, "People chose her side."
That reputation was responsible for problems he experienced in his professional career. Withers didn't tour for seven years. And, he only made 9 albums in a 15 year career (during that time).
He adds: "That's all I could make (at the time), I didn't make any albums between 1978 and 1985 because I couldn't get any music past anybody's desk at CBS Records. The success of "Just The Two Of Us," on Grover Washington's album may have convinced CBS to give him a little more flexibility.
In 1987, he received his ninth Grammy award nomination and on March 2, 1988 his third Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Song as songwriter for the re-recording of Lean On Me by Club Nouveau on their debut album Life, Love and Pain, released in 1986 on Warner Bros. Records.
In 1996, a portion of his song "Grandma's Hands" was sampled in the song "No Diggity" by BLACKstreet, featuring Dr. Dre. The single went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 1.6 million copies and won a Grammy in 1999 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Withers contributed two songs to Jimmy Buffett's July 13, 2004 release License To Chill.
Following the reissues of Still Bill on January 28, 2003 and Just As I Am on March 8, 2005, there was speculation of previously unreleased material being issued as a new album. In 2006, Sony gave back to Withers his previously unreleased tapes.
In 2007, "Lean On Me" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In 1976, he married Marcia Johnson and they had two children, Todd and Kori. Marcia eventually assumed the direct management of his Beverly Hills-based publishing companies, in which his children also became involved as they became adults.
Withers is a multi-millionare, he and his family continue to live comfortably off his songwriting and publishing royalties.
(HEROIN USE CAUSED STROKE)
According to Bobby Brown:
There were nights when I was so strung out on heroin that I would be unconscious for hours. I'd just sit in the chair and nod off. I might sit for hours and nod. Sometimes, it would take an entire day for me to regain my consciousness.
In 2001, I had been getting high all day when I hit the floor unconscious (overdosed) and Whitney had to dial 911.
I also had a severe stroke that caused my heart to stop. The incident left my mouth crooked, and every time I talk my lips turn sideways.
When I pulled through, I decided I would never use heroin again.
Despite this, I continued using cocaine. I had a desk like Scarface in my room and I kept coke piled on top of it. I felt like I was Tony Montana. The World Was Mine! There were times when I went on my binges and would lock myself up in a room for days at a time just getting high.
According to Bobby Brown:
Early in his career, L.A. Reid and Babyface were producers on Bobby's biggest album, so he always respected them.
They had some great times when they celebrated the success of "Don't Be Cruel."
There's nothing like being a part of a project with a group of people and watching the project go through the stratosphere. There are a lot of emotions shared and champagne toasting.
Although they enjoyed being on top of the world, Bobby is no longer in communication with either of them.
He fell out with Babyface years ago because they no longer got along and he recently severed ties with L.A. Reid.
Bobby says: "L.A. Reid was a really good friend, but he turned 'corporate' on me, he started acting like a female dog."
Bobby alleges: "L.A. stole from Whitney (when we were married), which means he stole from our friendship. Anybody that takes from my family takes from me. When he got his CEO position at Arista Records, he signed Whitney to a major deal, which I backed 100 percent considering we were friends at the time.
He ended up taking her album and mishandling it along with some other things. He did poor promotion and didn't support it like we felt he should. In our opinion, he was bootlegging the project.
In terms of sales, this was the worst album released in Whitney's career, and it was all because of him.
Therefore, our friendship will forever be challenged by this. It's something I can never forgive him for.
Based on the relationship we had prior to this, I felt like my manhood has been tested. So in order for me to keep the peace, it was best for him to go his way and for me to go my way.
According to actress Carol Speed (center):
I recently rented a copy of "The Big Bird Cage." Watching Pam Grier and D'Urville Martin brought back a few memories.
Even though I was in "The Big Bird Cage," with Pam Grier, I never never talked to her. We were on the same floor at the InterContinental Hotel in Manila. Yet, Pam had difficulty socializing with me and another black actress working on a different film.
She appeared to be friendlier with the white actresses. However, she may have been friendlier because they were tanning for the nude shower scene.
Pam Grier never joined us for any of the fancy parties, or fine dining.
I decided it was because of Sam Arkoff. It was rumored that she had gone to Hong Kong with him. Supposedly, he bought her an expensive Piaget watch. Also, he took her to the Cannes Film Festival. I considered her a black Greta Garbo -- very secretive.
While the rumors may or may not be true, I found out that it was Sid Haig that she spent most of her Manila time with.
One the set of Jackie Brown, I felt great. I had on my favorite black knit Gucci suit. My body felt nice and tight from the exercise classes in Palm Springs. Quentin Tarantino told me I looked good. I chatted with Mario Van Peebles (he happened to be jogging on the beach); shared conversation with Samuel L. Jackson and rehearsed with Robert DiNiro, but at the last minute, Quentin decided not to use me. I still made money off Jackie Brown, so I'm constantly promoting it.
Ironically, after two movie sets, on two different continents, I have yet to talk to Pam Grier. How unfortunate, since myself, Vonetta McGee, Diahann Carroll, Brenda Sykes, Tamara Dobson, Judy Pace, and Jeanne Bell often hung out together.
Actor D'Urville Martin was a good friend but he had an alcohol problem. He truly loved his wife Lillian and their two children, so he never drove a car. He had a tremendous fear that he'd wreck it, and they would lose their comfortable home.
When D'Urville died, Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles was packed with celebrities.
I know D'Urville Martin never said, "When The Mack was finished, Max Julian and Richard Pryor cried at the screening because The Mack was so awful." Spike Lee started this rumor and it's a lie!
Spike Lee is so unsure of his directing, that he felt the need to attack other black actors through a dead man.
RICH BLACK PLAYBOY: (WILT CHAMBERLAIN)
What did Wilt Chamberlain and Sammy Davis, Jr. have in common? They were both in love with actress Kim Novack (above).
Despite being a notorious millionaire playboy and dating an array of women (models, actresses & showgirls) Kim Novack captured Wilt Chamberlain's heart.
Yet, the marriage life never appealed to Chamberlain, he was a fatherless-life long playboy who lived in a spectacular one bedroom mansion overlooking the ocean.
After Chamberlain retired from the NBA, he successfully went into business and entertainment. He made money in stocks and real estate, opened a popular Harlem nightclub, "Big Wilt's Smalls Paradise," and invested in broodmares & exotic cars. Chamberlain also made money by appearing in ads for Drexel Burnham, Le Tigre Clothing and Foot Locker.
PART II: (RICH BLACK PLAYBOY)
According to old timers, NBA legend Walt "Clyde" Frazier remains the most fashionable and stylish player in NBA history.
Frazier picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a similar hat to Warren Beatty who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde. With Frazier, the Knicks captured the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.
While he was a steely, no-nonsense competitor in games, Frazier was known for his flamboyant sense of style off of the court. Bringing glamour to Madison Square Garden, Frazier would arrive at games in a Rolls Royce, dressed in designer suits, broad-brimmed Borsalino hats, and full-length mink coats.
Frazier became one of the first NBA players to have his own signature shoe model when he endorsed the eponymous suede Clydes athletic shoes made by Puma. The shoe has proven to be very popular over the years, and is in its third decade of production.
Frazier was also a notorious playboy who dated legendary playgirl (Billie Mays-Willie Mays stepdaughter). Billie was his West Coast girlfriend and woman named Toi was his East Coast girlfriend.
In the 1970's, singer Jerry Butler obtained the exclusive rights to distribute Tuborg Beer on Chicago's predominantly-Black South Side.
"Distributorships is where the real money is, the singer explained." That's why I want to own a piece of the action."
Butler added: "More entertainers should involve themselves in business ventures outside entertainment because you can be up one day and down the next in business."
*Just like music catalogues, entertainers may consider investing in distributorships. Very lucrative venture. Former 49er and companion of Condelezza Rice (Gene Washington) made a fortune via a distributorship and Jesse Jackson's son's continue to make a fortune through their distributorship. One entertainer described it as: Putting money in a slot machine (the initial investment) and money will continue to come out in large sums during your life span.
Denzel Washington turned down the role of Curtis Taylor, Jr. in "Dreamgirls." The role went to Jamie Foxx. Denzel also turned down the role of Detective Del Spooner in "I, Robot." The role went to Will Smith.
Morgan Freeman was offered the lead in Jurassic Park but turned it down.
Wesley Snipes turned down the role of Hale Caesar in "The Expendables." The part went to Terry Crews.
Will Smith turned down the Colin Farrell part in "Phone Booth."
In Related News:
Major Blunder: Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in the "Lord Of The Rings," triology. Connery cost himself $400 million by passing on the part because he was offered 15% of the profits from each installment. The part went to Ian McKellen who wasn't offered the 15% deal.
Mickey Rourke needs a career advisor. He's turned down the following roles: The Kevin Costner role in "The Untouchables," the Scott Glenn role in "Silence Of The Lambs," the Nick Nolte role in "48 Hours," the Michael Biehn role in "Tombstone," the Eddie Murphy role in "Beverly Hills Cop," and the Christopher Lambert role in "Highlander."
Also: Jodie Foster, Ellen Barkin, Nicole Kidman, Kim Basinger and Julia Roberts all rejected "Basic Instinct," before Sharon Stone accepted the role.
*Sylvia Robinson proceeded Russell Simmons and Sylvia Rhone. Robinson was a R&B pioneer in songwriting and production. She was a better songwriter (than her male peers) and she didn't let sexism stagnate her, instead, she launched her own empire! Robinson also had success as an singer.
Black female music executives owe Robinson a debt of gratitude. She paved the way!
In 1979, producer Sylvia Robinson heard hip-hop music at a birthday party in Harlem and had a hunch that it would be commercially successful.
She called her son, Joey Robinson Jr., and asked him to gather a group of musicians who could perform like the rappers she saw in Harlem. She then held makeshift auditions for a rap group outside a pizza parlor in Englewood, N.J.
"She put these three guys together who had never met each other before, had the backing track all ready and created a record in a matter of minutes," says Dan Charnas, a former rap industry executive who chronicles the history of hip-hop in a new book, The Big Payback.
The group that Robinson put together, Charnas says, would become the Sugarhill Gang, and the track they recorded was "Rapper's Delight," the first hip-hop single to break into the Top 40 chart.
"Basically, it's a record that created an industry," Charnas says. "Nobody thought the stuff that was in the streets was even music. It was stuff that people did at parties. But Sylvia Robinson had the notion that she could turn it into a record. And she did, and it was extremely successful, due in no small part to her own production genius."
Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson (born March 6, 1936) is a singer, musician, music producer, and record label executive, most notably known for her work as founder/CEO of the seminal hip hop label Sugar Hill Records. She is credited as the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre. The first was "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. The second was "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang, which was the first rap song to be released by a hip hop act.
She married Joe Robinson in 1964 and continued working in the music industry, being involved with several more successful releases and forming the successful All Platinum Records label in 1968, which released records for soul artists such as Donnie Elbert and Shirley Goodman (e.g. "Shame, Shame, Shame", credited to Shirley & Company).She is also credit as the producer of the song "Love on a a Two Way Street," a hit for the Moments in 1970.
As a solo performer and billed as Sylvia (not to be confused with the country singer of the same name) she recorded and released the single "Pillow Talk" on the Vibration label in 1973. She had originally hoped "Pillow Talk" would be recorded by Al Green. But he turned it down, because it was too risqué, and against his religion.
"Pillow Talk" reached number one for two weeks on the R&B chart and number three on the pop chart, and is an early example of prototypical disco music. It sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1973. The vocals are replete with moaning and heavy breathing, predating Donna Summer's orgasmic moans on "Love to Love You Baby." The drumming rhythm would reappear in 1985 on Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," then again in 1987 on Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love."
The song returned to prominence when it was featured on the soundtrack of the movie "54."
In the 1970s the Robinson's with Milton Malden founded Sugar Hill Records.
Arguably, Robinson's most significant contribution to music was masterminding the formation of The Sugarhill Gang and the release of their hit, "Rapper's Delight" in 1979, which became the first commercially successful rap single. The group was discovered in Englewood, New Jersey, where Sugar Hill Records was based.
She also was the visionary and guiding force behind Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's most successful single, "The Message", which is credited as the rap song that brought socially conscious lyrics into hip hop. She persuaded the group to record the song while it was still an estranged demo recording, surprisingly created by a studio percussionist for the Sugar Hill Gang.
By commercializing the market for rap records, Robinson is credited as the mother of modern hip-hop. The song "Rapper's Delight" brought rap into the public music arena, and revolutionized the music industry as it introduced the idea of re-using existing compositions, a practice that later became known as "sampling". Another contributing factor to this musical revolution was the introduction of drum machines and sequencers, which were also frequently used on early-1980 Sugarhill recordings.
In 1986, the Robinsons sold the Chess Records catalog, that they had acquired from GRT back in the 1970s, to MCA Records (who was their distributor since 1984). Their son, Joey Robinson, was a member of another rap act, West Street Mob.
Robinson, now 75, is an resident of Englewood, New Jersey.
Her grandson Darnell Robinson's ($297,750) fifteenth birthday party was featured on an episode of MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen."
Drug kingpin Frank Lucas (directly above) took Billie Mays away from Walt Frazier.
Jayne Kennedy was crowned Miss Ohio USA in 1970 (she was the first African American woman to win the title), and was one of the 15 semi-finalists in the 1970 Miss USA pageant. It was rare for an African American woman at that time to be in the contest. While starting her modeling career, she met Leon Isaac Kennedy, who was a DJ (aka Leon The Lover) and a struggling actor/writer. They fell in love and married in 1970. Motown's Smokey Robinson served as best man at the wedding.
They moved to California to pursue careers in acting. In 1978, she was one of the first women to infiltrate the male-dominated world of sports announcing with a role on The NFL Today. She has been on the cover of Ebony and Jet magazines numerous times. In July 1981 she became the first African American actress to grace the cover of Playboy magazine. She and Leon Isaac posed together for a pictorial in the same issue, but none of the pictures showed her nude.
Over the next few years, they became one of the first Black Hollywood power couples. Leon was a mover and shaker and he made important contacts throughout Hollywood. He was known for his ambition but he lacked talent; although he scored a hit with "Penitentiary 1." From there, all of his movies flopped. He couldn't act or direct.
Leon was also known for his conceit. He often said, he had such a good grade of hair, it was hard for him to grow hair on his face and allegedly-he said "When Jayne and I got married, she got something that every woman wanted-me!" Leon always gave the impression that it was to Jayne's benefit to be married to him despite her being the bigger star in the marriage.
Jayne Kennedy wasn't much of an actress but with the help of Leon, she carved out a career. This talentless couple got by on their looks.
During the 70's and 80's, she was often seen in Hollywood rolling in her customized Corvette. She also enjoyed shopping with Veronica Ali (Laila Ali's mother).
Leon and Jayne were known on the party scene. They were constant fixtures at parties given by Max Julien & Vonetta McGee, Richard Roundtree, and Fred Williamson, etc.
After the film "Body & Soul," their marriage began to fall apart. Against her better judgment, Jayne posed solo for Playboy (a deal Leon negotiated). Jayne also took offense to Leon including an orgy scene in the film "Body & Soul."
After their divorce (Leon made it a point to tell urban magazines, that he was the one who divorced Jayne). Leon started hanging out at the Playboy mansion. According to a report in the Village Voice, a home movie featuring Kennedy and her then-husband Leon engaging in intercourse was one of the earliest known examples of a "celebrity sex tape."
It's always been rumored that "Kennedy," isn't really Leon's surname. He had so much respect for the Kennedy's that he borrowed their name.
In 1995, he married Lolita Armbrister, a former Miss Bahamas in the 1979 Miss Universe Pageant.
Leon turned his life around and was responsible for helping Smokey Robinson stay off drugs.
Leon just celebrated his 62nd birthday and he's currently an Evangelist who heads his own ministry in Burbank, CA.
Jayne Kennedy is currently married to Bill Overton. They have three daughters.
At the height of his solo career, Bobby Brown traveled the world. He also hung out at all the hot spots. You could find him in VIP, busting bottles of expensive champagne. There were always numerous women around (groupies, strippers, etc.)
He was hanging out with some of the biggest celebrities in the business. Eddie Murphy, Dennis Rodman and Mike Tyson.
He spent a lot of money back in those days. He would go through a hundred thousand dollars in one sitting.
He was known to spend a million dollars on shopping sprees, buying: Cars, furniture, bling and clothes.
Bobby considered his performance fees-his spending money. During this time, he was making $250,000 per show.
At one point, he was doing a show every night. He would pay his bills with $50,000 and the other $200,000 was for him to play with.
He bought several cars, a couple of Rolls Royce's, two SUV's, and two Mercedes Benzes. His favorite was a 560 SEL convertible Mercedes Benz. He had this car shipped all over the world.
The most expensive thing he bought was a $2 million dollar mansion in an upscale area of Atlanta.
He bought the mansion from a Porn King. This man was one of the first people to sell adult films on VHS.
The mansion had all the trappings for a rich bachelor, complete with an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, a game room, a theater room and guest headquarters.
There were all kinds of special features and hidden compartments in the house, including: tunnels, it was like a 007 set-up.
Bobby hosted bikini parties and smoked out slumber parties. Bobby and his guests would drink and get high from sun up to sun down. He flew women in from all over the world.
Bobby considered himself the black Hugh Hefner.
The Porn King was legendary for being a gangster that made people disappear. There were stories of women being killed and bodies being buried in the house.
There were also stories of millions of dollars being hidden in the trenches of the house. Bobby used to have parties where everyone would go on a treasure hunt-looking for the money.
According to Robin Givens:
Rehearsal for my appearance on "The Cosby Show," was as exciting as I'd dreamed it would be, and I loved every minute of it.
I also got an early lesson in the ways perfection can work against the creative process.
Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable, Mr. Cosby's wife, changed a line during one of our scenes; I responded with a perfect reading of the line I'd memorized from the script, which now made no sense at all.
I hadn't budged from the line I had studied and hadn't made any adjustment at all to meet her change. Actually, I had been so focused on my lines, I clearly hadn't listened to hers. Phylicia stopped and fixed her gaze on me.
"You're not listening, Ms. Givens," she said. She was magnificently trained, very professional actress whose work had a grace and fluidity I admired tremendously.
"In order to act-and act well-you must learn to listen. So, listen.
It was definitely a rebuke, but it made me oddly proud to even be in a position to get such a rebuke, from such a talent. And I certainly took it to heart.
I talked to Mr. Cosby a lot during the downtime on the set. I'm not sure why or how I began confiding in him, explaining my mother's expectations and my dilemma. He supported my acting ambitions and even offered to talk to my mother on my behalf. He invited both of us to his house for dinner, and told me to leave everything up to him.
On the appointed day, I met my mother and we took a taxi to Park Avenue.
We arrived at a beautiful brownstone, Mr. Cosby was hunched over an old record player, listening to Miles Davis. He greeted us and offered us wine, choosing a bottle from a beautiful mahogany cabinet.
We at an exquisite dinner at a table elegantly set with lush linen and sparkling crystal.
After dinner, Mr. Cosby got right to the point.
He told my mother: "Your daughter is a good actress and I think she should have a chance to do just that."
My mother responded: "I want her to go to medical school, like we'd always planned." It was apparent that my mother was upset and hurt, I could hear it in her voice.
My mother added: "She'll be happy if she has a good, stable life."
Mr. Cosby chuckled. "Actors can make a lot of money as well."
My mother responded: "I want her to use the gift she's been given, she's a brilliant girl."
Mr. Cosby said: "Look, Ruth, how about this? If Robin goes to L.A. and doesn't get a job in six months, not only will I agree with you that she should go to medical school but I'll pay for her to go."
My mother was literally speechless.
And suddenly, everything seemed to shift into fast-forward. Within weeks, my mother and I were settled in Mr. Cosby's house just outside of L.A. Both the house and the housekeeper were warm and welcoming.
The following morning, I met my new agent and was informed that I'd be reading for a part in Beverly Hills Madam, a television movie starring Faye Dunaway.
That evening, as my mother and I were sitting down to a wonderful dinner, the phone rang. It was my agent, I had gotten the job.
According to Rick James:
There was a nightspot called Helena's run by this old friend of mine named Helena. She was from New York, but it was financed and supported by actor Jack Nicholson. All the beautiful people of Hollywood frequented it on the weekends and we were no different.
Once while in Helena's, I saw this beautiful angel sitting with Jack Nicholson. They obviously knew each other very well. I had to have her.
After she left Jack's table, I moved in. She was very sweet and I could tell she liked me too. She was an actress and her name was Lana Clarkson. I found her stunning, and very intelligent. I invited her and a bunch of other women back to my house.
I took Lana in my Rolls Royce.
When we arrived, Lana and I ended up sitting and snorting cocaine in one of the rooms away from my other guests. We talked and got high for hours until she had to leave.
We promised to see each other again and I was in heaven.
I didn't even care about the other women in the house waiting for me.
*Phil Spector was convicted of murdering Lana Clarkson (above) in 2003.
According to Robin Givens:
One afternoon, I was in my bedroom but I could hear my mother as she spoke on the phone. Her words were sharp, cold, so deliberate, like the scalpel of a surgeon.
"Reuben, you've never given her a thing. I can't imagine that you would ask her for something now, no matter how dire your circumstances."
There was a pause, in which he must have said something because she said, "You couldn't afford to give her time either?" She paused again, and then said, "So now let me finally understand. Not having a job is what kept you from loving your daughter?"
I'll let you talk to Robin now and you can ask her yourself."
I took the receiver and said, "Hello?"
"How are you?" he asked. It was the first time, since that day he last appeared when I was in college, that I'd heard his voice. And before I had the chance to answer, he said, "I keep getting calls from those tabloid newspapers. They keep asking me about you, and they even offer me money.
I could sure use the money but I thought I would just ask you for it instead."
My answer was almost as stunned as my mother's had been.
"Well, that's good," I said. "Because you don't know anything about me."
I handed the phone to Olga (my assistant). "Would you send him a check?" I asked her.
With far less emotion that I'd ever felt towards him, I realized how pathetic he really was. He could not be nearly as broke as his spirit, which must be broken beyond repair. He may have fathered me but he had little to do with me beyond that. I think that is when I began to stop wanting his love, or expecting him one day to love me.
I was no more his daughter than he was my father.
In the film "America Gangster," authorities started focusing on Frank Lucas when he appeared at an Ali-Frazier boxing match and had better seats than the Vice President (Spiro Agnew). The film didn't mention that his seats were also better than Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman.
Diana was a regular at Ali's fights. During that time, she was close with Ali and was often seen with him after big fights. They shared a special friendship. After one fight, she was allegedly seen massaging his hands.
When you hear of actresses and female singers having babies at home, defined as natural child births. In reality: They don't want to risk having the baby in the hospital due to drug abuse. If drugs are found in their system, they'll be handcuffed to the bed and charged.
NORWOOD YOUNG: CHILD RAPE VICTIM-4 STD'S AT AGE 14"
by: Margena A. Christian
Norwood Young didn’t want to be the reason for destroying his seemingly perfect family, so he wound up demolishing his own life by remaining silent about being the victim of years of sexual abuse, starting at the age of 7 by a male cousin. He found a way, or so he thought, to cope with his painful past by attempting to wipe it out. This meant undergoing 15 years of cosmetic surgery in an effort to erase the face of the “pretty boy” who endured the abuse.
Young, who doesn’t want another child to make the same mistakes, says, “Go run and tell!”
“Keeping the secret is what put me in jail. I had highs and lows like drugs and parties to cover up. This all stemmed from secrets. Imagine being 7 or 8 keeping something quiet that long. I kept drinking. I kept getting surgery.”
His secret was compounded by the fact that by the time he was 14, Young had already contracted four STDs! Subsequent abusers included older ladies.
“Being with women, people saw it as consensual. It was still abuse because I was a minor,” says Young.
‘Hey, if I was 14 and she was 36, she was molesting me too.’ All my life I knew that I had participated in something that was dark and something that was a secret. I just thought it was sexual behavior that shouldn’t be discussed. I did not attach it to rape. I did not attach it to abuse. I did not attach it to criminal [behavior]. I did not attach it to sickness. That’s what it was. When I watched an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, that’s when I knew for the first time I was abused. I was a victim of a sick criminal who would hold me down, pin me down and make me bleed.”
“I would start hearing the voice in my head as he was raping me, telling me to, ‘Shut up’ and ‘It’s supposed to hurt.’ Then he called me, ‘pretty boy, pretty boy, pretty boy.’ I started hearing those voices in my head,” reveals Young.
That return visit to Norwood Berry Young Jr. meant nearly two years of reconstructive surgery. “I had chin implants and cheek implants removed and eye revision. All that stuff was undone. I am close to what I looked like originally.”
Throughout the years, he came to be known as the “man with the house”: the front lawn of his Hancock Park mansion, Youngwood Court, is lined with 20 replicas of Michelangelo’s David. He was also known as “the man with the face.” But Young is so much more than his residence or his appearance.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Hancock Park district of Los Angeles, it is the same area where Nat King Cole bought his house in 1949. He met with opposition from his then-neighbors who fought tooth and nail to keep the neighborhood all White.
“[Cole’s] manager, who was Jewish, had to purchase the home because [the residents] had covenants that if you sold your home, you couldn’t sell to anybody not an Orthodox Jew,” says Young. “When I moved into the neighborhood, I didn’t know any of this. I leased the house for two years. I leased it with the option to buy.”
The palatial Youngwood Court has become noted for its holiday parties with elite invitation-only guest lists. The house sits on a corner and was once lined with trees. For safety reasons, Young cut down the trees. “I didn’t want someone trying to break in and hide behind the trees and jump me. I then put up the gates and put up the statues. That’s when the neighbors realized that a Negro had purchased the property. They wondered, ‘How could this happen?’”
What happened was very simple. When the owners were ready to sell, they offered it to Young. But the house never went on the market. Young bought it with cash. “The neighbors were angry because they didn’t know how I got the house without their power of control,” he says.
For 13 years, Young fought neighbors who sought to have him remove the David statues. “They were saying I was diminishing the property values and I was violating zoning laws. Johnnie Cochran came in pro bono. He said, ‘This is ridiculous. I want to fight this case for you. I won every case.”
Born in New Jersey, he came from a well-to-do family and attended the finest schools. His mother, Betty, was a research scientist for Johnson & Johnson. His dad, the late Norwood Berry Young Sr., was a high-ranking executive at IBM and a radio sports personality. His sister, Tanya, was once married to NBA star Jayson Williams.
“I was wise in my spending,” he says of how he acquired his wealth. “I owned a very lucrative night club in Germany and I did make money off my music. I just spent wisely.”
Millie Jackson tapped him for the duet Young Man, Older Woman. The song spawned an urban stage play of the same title. Young also starred in David Payton’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find, which toured from 1991 to 1996 and became the biggest-selling gospel musical ever to tour after grossing $25 million and selling out 12 weeks at New York City’s Beacon Theater. Young also landed roles in Mama I Want To Sing (Part 2) and Broadway’s Don’t Get God Started.
While in New York, Young also worked as a make-up artist for Fashion Fair where he trained under Oprah’s make-up guy Reggie Wells, who also got his start at Fashion Fair.
"FORMER BIG TIME PIMP & PROSTITUTE-TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND"
From looking at their childhood, few people would have guessed Isaiah and Carol Reed would spend much of their early adult lives deeply entwined in an international web of drugs and prostitution. Probably even fewer would have expected the two to suddenly shake off that lifestyle — which left their bodies scarred with knife and bullet wounds — and become powerful evangelists for the Lord. Now, instead of traveling the world in search of drugs, sex and money, they are planning an overseas trip to share their moving message of Christ's love.
Isaiah grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., in a family, which featured five generations of preachers, missionaries, deacons and others involved in church work. Although his family was Baptist, Isaiah attended Catholic school for the values that were taught there.
"My life was basically 'Mayberryish,"' he says. Across the country, Carol grew up as a member of a middle class black family in South Central Los Angeles, also attending a Catholic school. But while Carol attended school in a Christian atmosphere, she lived in a neighborhood where gangs prevailed, often warring over turf. She started smoking marijuana and shoplifting at age 13. A few years later, seeking both attention and money, she became a prostitute.
"I was 17, almost 18, when I did that," she says, noting that she and several other girls took the step after learning about prostitution from simply watching TV. "I liked the fast cars and fast guys and I wanted to do whatever was needed to be in their company, she says.
Isaiah, meanwhile, discovered he had an uncontrollable urge for power after coming to the aid of his little sister. He defended his sister against a much bigger guy and surprised both himself and others when he came out the winner in the fight.
"I felt like David stoning Goliath," he says.
That good deed, however, earned him praise as a fighter and created an ego that he couldn't control. Isaiah's reputation gained him the praise of gangs, and he soon found himself in fights on a regular basis just to maintain his image as a tough guy. Then he turned to drive-by shootings to give him the sense of power he needed. When a judge gave him the choice of prison or the Army, Isaiah chose the military. But instead of straightening him out, Isaiah's military service and stint in Vietnam just got him deeper into the same lifestyle.
"I got involved with the wrong guys," he says now. "They were officers but were involved in the black market." When he came out of the Army he felt more powerful than ever.
But seeing no profit in simply sitting around in a world of drugs and sex, Isaiah says he learned the power than could be gained by manipulating people. That's when he became a pimp and drug dealer.
"I laid down my gun and started lying and manipulating," he says.
Meanwhile, having sought a star-studded lifestyle-Carol had focused her prostitution efforts in Hollywood.
Carol says she had lived with NFL Hall-Of-Famer Jim Brown for about a year and a half when they were both arrested in 1982 and charged with raping a schoolteacher. The day their lawyer — Johnny Cochran — got the charges dismissed, she met Isaiah, who invited her to come with him. The money Isaiah raked in from pimping and dealing drugs allowed him to satisfy his longtime desire to travel and see the world, taking his prostitutes with him to ply their trade wherever they could.
"I was very good at being a drug dealer and a pimp," he admits. As a prostitute, Carol says she could earn anywhere from $900 to $1,500 a night. Their lifestyle, Isaiah notes, was plush with mink coats, diamond rings, fancy cars and world travel. But it was a hollow lifestyle that virtually imprisoned them.
"We had prisons of gold and pearl bars — but prisons never-the-less," says Isaiah. Carol agrees, "On the inside there was a big price to pay and I began to do drugs. I was in love with a man and sharing him with 17 other women." They eventually parted ways -- and found themselves in separate life-and-death dramas. Returning to LA to live with her father, Carol befriended a young drug dealer who became obsessed with her -- stalking and threatening her when she tried to end their relationship. That relationship finally ended when the man was shot dead by Carol's father, a licensed gun dealer who came to his daughter's aid with the gun he always carried in his car. "He shot him five times at close range with a 9 mm and he died that day."
That event got Carol to wondering about her life. "I just wasn't happy that someone had to die because of me. It was tearing me up inside," she says. Isaiah's life almost ended in a similar burst of gunfire. His "business" took him to Denver, Colo., and Isaiah says he was riding around with two other men when one suddenly pulled out a gun.
"He pulled out his .38 and shot me in the head then shot me in the face," recalls Isaiah. He then stabbed me 16 times and dumped me in an alley, where I was discovered only when a lady struck me with her car. "I literally bled to death in that alley," he says. "They pronounced me dead at the scene.'' Isaiah says he was taken to a hospital in preparation for an autopsy.
Authorities called his mother and informed her that Isaiah had bled to death, one bullet lodging in his brain and the other in his spine. Instead of accepting the death, however, Isaiah says, his mother simply began praying for her son.
"She prayed and stood on the promise — that God promised her a preacher, not a pimp," he says. It was then his vital signs slowly returned. That brush with death didn't turn Isaiah's life around, however. "I went right back out on the streets," he says.
It wasn't until three years later, during a Christmas-eve night of drugs and sex, he says, that his life finally changed. When one of his pr6stitutes was threatening suicide' and wouldn't respond to his usual offers of money and drugs, he surprised himself and those around him by offering to pray for her. Although admitting his prayer was only a halfhearted attempt to keep the woman from ruining their party, Isaiah says the Lord responded.
"In the middle of all this talking I heard God," he recalls. So did the woman and the two others that were with him. "All four of us saw Him and we began to worship Him." Isaiah accepted Christ three days later. "I never picked up a needle or smoked cocaine again," he says.
His past problems, however, landed him in a Hawaiian prison where he was ordained and released after serving only five years of a 20-year sentence. Ready to commit suicide in 1995, Carol went to Hawaii when Isaiah called and asked her to marry him. She wasn't interested in getting married, however, she dropped off her son with his father so she could commit suicide.
"I was either going to shoot myself or smoke drugs till I died," she says. Before she could do that, however, she went to a Thursday night church service, which changed her life. "I could feel the spirit reaching me," she says. "I could feel the drugs leaving me and the prostitution leaving me."
She also had a dream in which she saw herself and Isaiah behind a pulpit. "The next day I told him I would marry him," she says. And now they can indeed be found together behind a pulpit, sharing their message of God's salvation.
"BLACK PLAYBOY HAD DISCREET ASSOCIATION WITH RICH WHITE SOCIALITE"
Dickie Wells (not to be confused with the musician-pictured above, second photo with Billie Holiday) was a notorious Harlem playboy who enjoyed a slew of famous women, including: Ava Gardner, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead and the daughter of a Swedish diplomat just to name a few. Dickie also enjoyed close friendships with Black Queenpin Madam Stephanie St. Clair (numbers banker) and Margharite Chapman (Willie Mays' former wife).
He was known as the "Black Rubirosa," in Hollywood circles.
She was the granddaughter of millionaire Jay Gould, the infamous Wall Street “robber baron” of the 1800's. She was a pillar of society, fluent in four languages, she wrote plays, danced professionally, trained dogs for the motion pictures, refurbished and managed the Empress Theater in New York City, wrote a weekly newspaper column and ran a school of dance.
Tragedy struck in November, 1921, when Gloria Gould was fifteen. Her parents, George and Edith, were playing golf, on their private course, at their New Jersey estate. Edith had driven the ball while George watched its flight. When he turned to speak to her, she was lying across the tee. Doctors were summoned, but Edith had died of a massive heart attack. Her estate of about $3,000,000 was bequeathed to her husband George during his life or until he remarried. Eight months later, in July, 1922, George shocked everybody by marrying Guinevere Sinclair, causing Edith's estate to be divided among her seven children. Gloria was now worth over $400,000 in her own right. (about $7,000,000 in today's dollars).
Gloria, at sixteen years old, was left “alone” in the Gould mansion with 17 servants, chaperoned by her governess, Caroline Cortis.
In May 1923, Gloria's father George unexpectedly died from complications of pneumonia. He and Guinevere (his second wife) had been present at the opening of King Tutankamen's tomb. He contracted the same symptoms that killed Lord Carnarvon, the King Tut excavation's sponsor, who had opened the tomb. George appeared to recover in March, and the doctors declared him out of danger. He had a relapse in May 3, and died on May 16. Gloria's oldest brother, Kingdon, was appointed as her guardian.
Gloria Gould was featured in a series of magazine and newspaper advertisements for Pond's Cold Cream and Pond's Vanishing Cream targeted for the young social set that “crowds their days and nights so full of good times.”Gloria, as a member of the young social set, frequented the New York night clubs. She knew Ruby “Texas” Guinan and was a patron of her speakeasy. When Guinan invited her and a few friends to be her guests, she was overwhelmed to see Gloria arriving with a party of 27 people.
While nightclubbing in Harlem, Gloria was distraught when her furs were stolen from her car at Dickie Wells' (The dancer, not the trombonist) Club. However, the club was owned by organized crime members who did not tolerate thefts, muggings or other activities that would hurt their club's business. Wells assured her that that she would get them back. The next day the furs were returned.
Allegedly, Gloria was very grateful and struck up a discreet (taboo) association with Dickie Wells (a well known fortune hunter).
Dickie was attracted to women with money and Gloria was no exception. Rich women financed Dickie's lifestyle. He enjoyed the finer things in life and he was good looking with charisma.
Dickie was also connected to underworld figures. During this time, it was unheard of for a black man to be connected to organized crime.
In essence, Dickie was a feared gigolo.
In August 1943, a five day party began at the Wallace McFarlane Barker's home. Around 11 a. m. Gloria took off her clothes to take a swim in the pool. MacFarlane stated that after about fifteen minutes, he and the butler, George Hegg, went looking for her, and found Gloria's body in the pool. A pulmotor was used in a futile attempt to resuscitate her. Tempe Coroner, Paul V. McCaw said the death was due to accidental drowning.
Deputy Sheriff G. W. Roach was not satisfied with the findings of Coroner McCaw. He noted several discrepancies. The condition of the body was inconsistent with Barker's story. Dr. O. C. West, Maricopa County Physician, who examined her body said he thought that the body had been in the water longer than fifteen minutes. He reported “The body was blue. The contents of three oxygen tanks failed to change it.” For this to occur in just fifteen minutes was highly unlikely. Roach also noted that all the guests disappeared before the authorities arrived, Gloria was nude and that Gloria had signed a quit claim deed giving the property to MacFarlane three days before she died.
Gloria Gould was 37 when she died.
In 1972, jazz icon Miles Davis was arrested and charged with holding a 22-year-old woman prisoner in his West Side New York apartment.
According to court records, Davis was charged with unlawful imprisonment and menacing. The report read that the victim, Mrs. Lita Merker, was verbally abused and slapped by the defendant and Davis allegedly prevented her from leaving by restraining her.
This story disappeared quickly, it was speculated that a settlement might have been reached.
Actor Raymond St. Jacques obtained funds from officials of Faberge for his film "Book Of Numbers," which he produced (co-starring Philip Michael Thomas & Freda Payne). The late actor said: "We had our little argument. They wanted artistic control at first, I told them no high-priced lawyer was going to tell me how to make a movie about n**gers in 1930. And that ended that."
Otis Redding Story
Tragic Death Of Tammi Terrell
Mysterious Death Of Sam Cooke
Rise & Fall Of Jackie Wilson
Underworld (The Beginning)
Davis, Jr. & Kim Novak Scandal
Whitney Houston The Billie Holiday Of This Generation?
Boss & A Black Numbers Kingpin
of Marilyn Monroe & Dorothy Dandridge
Day & Frank Sinatra
Damage Control (Chris Rock, O.J. Simpson, Marilyn Monroe, etc.)
Boys of the "Blaxplotation" era (Jim Kelly, Fred Williamson, Calvin
Lockhart, Clifton Davis)
Black Family Sailed On The Titanic
Kingpins: Alpo, Rich & AZ, (ages 16 and 17 years old)
White's Overseas Incident
Murphy & Michael Michelle Scandal
Gospel Truth: A Trio Of Famous Pedophiles
Murder of Actress Denise Nicholas' Sister
Pryor's 'Patty Hearst,' Comedy Album
"The Spook Who Sat By The Door"
members for New Edition & Guy brawl
Franklin & Otis Redding
A Billionaire Enclave For Celebrities (Naomi Campbell, Dallas Austin)
Wind & Fire and Cameo
Bobby Womack Scandal With His Stepdaughter
Sex Clubs & Private Clubs
The Tragic Murder Of Jesse Belvin
Sam Cooke's Brother Gives Bobby Womack A Beatdown
Black Celebrities Who Died With Little Or No Fanfare
Luther Vandross' 1985 Car Accident That Left A Passenger Dead
Additional Information On The Feuds With Luther, Anita & En Vogue
The Allure of Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Donnie Hathaway & Roberta Flack
Bobby Womack & Janis Joplin
Sam Cooke & Jackie Wilson
Ray Charles & Bobby Womack
AIDS & Black Hollywood
Chaka Khan & Whitney Houston
Business Minded (Black Celebrities)
If Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Have Survived
Is Janet Jackson Being Blackballed?
Bobby Womack & Marvin Gaye
Ike & Tina Turner And The Rolling Stones
Sly Stone & Bobby Womack
Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr. & White Stripper Tempest Storm
Diana Ross & Berry Gordy (Passionate Love Affair)
Freda Payne & Gregory Abbott
Jim Brown & Ola Ray (Thriller Video Girl)
Florence Ballard's Kids Blast Diana Ross In Video
Billie Holiday & Louis McKay
Big Mama Thornton
Richard Pryor & Pam Grier
Richard Pryor & Jim Brown Friendship
Inside Florence Ballard's Funeral
Mary Wilson & Tom Jones Affair
Florence Ballard Gets Kicked Out Of The Supremes
Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr. & Marilyn Monroe
Lena Horne & Ava Gardner
Florence Ballard (Down & Out)
Lena Horne, Bojangles & Joe Louis
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Etta James & Sam Cooke
Etta James and Ike & Tina Turner
Dorothy Dandridge & Peter Lawford
Florence Ballard & Berry Gordy Altercation
Max Julien & Vonetta McGee
Quincy Jones & Truman Capote
Ethel Waters & Jack Johnson
Etta James & Dinah Washington
Sammy Davis, Jr., Sharon Tate & Charles Manson
Sammy Davis, Jr., Peggy Lipton & Quincy Jones
Sammy Davis, Jr. & Frank Sinatra
Etta James & Sly Stone
Diana Ross, Flo Ballard, Marvelettes
Vanity's Heroin Abuse
Eartha Kitt & James Dean
Nat & Maria Cole
Bobby Womack & Sly Stone, Part 2
Diana Ross & The Jackson 5 and The Supremes
Sammy Davis, Jr. & John Wayne, Howard Hughes and Elvis
Martin Luther King, Jr. & Jesse Jackson
Sammy Davis, Jr. (Military Racism)
Patti Austin & Luther Vandross
Eartha Kitt & Nat King Cole
Old School Tidbits
Harry Belafonte & Eartha Kitt
Jackie Jackson & Paula Abdul
Tito Jackson's Divorce
Ron O'Neal's (Superfly) relationship with actress Ellen Holly
Whitney Houston's Bodyguard
Teddy Pendergrass' Murdered Girlfriend
Whitney Houston In Brawl
Teddy Pendergrass & Harold Melvin Altercation
Whitney's Encounter With Cops & Dorothy Dandridge News
Teddy Pendergrass Allegations-Harold Melvin Ripped Off The Bluenotes
Al Green (Story Behind "Lets Stay Together")
Eartha Kitt & Revlon Billionaire
Al Green (Hot Grits Episode)
Cabin In The Sky
Dawn Robinson On Lucy Pearl, En Vogue & Dr. Dre