June 07, 2012
BOSTON (AP) — Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like “Only You” and “The Great Pretender,” has died. He was 83.
Reed died on Monday in a Boston area hospice after a period of declining health that included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, manager Fred Balboni said.
Reed was a Kansas City, Mo., native who founded the Platters in Los Angeles in 1953. Then a quartet, the group won amateur talent shows, and performed nights and weekends up and down the California coast while the members worked days at a car wash and at other odd jobs.
Reed came up with the group’s name, inspired by ’50s disc jockeys who called their records “platters.”
The group underwent several lineup changes, even adding a woman singer to become a quintet, before signing their first major recording contract in 1955.
Reed sang bass on the group’s four No. 1 hits, including “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”
The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Their recordings are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The group’s popularity reached across racial lines and genres, “achieving success in a crooning, middle-of-the-road style that put a soulful coat of uptown polish on pop-oriented, harmony-rich material,” according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s website.
Reed credited his survival in the music industry to the poverty he experienced as a child in Kansas City. While other members of the group spent frivolously, he used his first big royalty check to buy a house.
“I never thought that it would keep going, and I never wanted to assume we’d keep getting checks,” he said earlier this year.
Reed also waged long legal battles with other artists who performed and recorded under the name the Platters. He finally won a court decision in Nevada last year giving him rights to the name. He called the court victory every bit as big as the gold and platinum records he had earned, Balboni said.
Reed had homes in Atlanta and Miami but had called the Boston area home since the 1970s “because the people were always so nice to me,” he told a biographer. He had most recently living in Arlington.
Reed was the only member of the group to appear on all of their nearly 400 recordings. He continued touring, performing up to 200 shows per year, until last year, often performing with younger singers under the name Herb Reed and the Platters or Herb Reed's Platters.
Reed is survived by a son and three grandsons.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
June 14, 2012
Your mate has a sweet surprise. Open up to receive it. Choose your words carefully around a sensitive pal. Listen for good news about a loan or financial matter. Soul Affirmation: I let others toot my horn this week.
Enjoy the great insights you have in the area of career objectives. Take a look at what’s out there! An unanticipated financial matter may arise, find the good in it. Soul Affirmation: A cheerful soul should be wrapped in a cheerful package.
This week is a good week to get in touch with your emotional self. You will respond well to what people close to you will ask from you. Your loved ones will appreciate your kindness when they find out how highly sensitive you are to their needs. Soul Affirmation: My life itself is my greatest creation.
You know what you want and you have the ability to make it happen. Step into action at work this week and you will get a lot done. You can get what you want without being too demanding. Enjoy the time you have with your family. True rewards come from those who are related to you by blood. Soul Affirmation: Truth is revealed in the smallest grain of sand.
Live this week with an adventurer’s spirit. Trade in the comfortable for the exciting; the reliable for intriguing; the familiar for the new. Perhaps a change of scenery will get you started. You will rediscover feelings that you have denied yourself for a while. Soul Affirmation: Communication is a skeleton key that fits many doors.
If you’ve just made a power move in your work life or love life, you couldn’t have timed it any better. There will be a new level of appreciation and admiration for your leadership and forcefulness. Soul Affirmation: I work hard to combat envy this week.
Don’t respond to situations in a hasty manner this week. Your impulsive side is strong. Suppress it. Play a game called self-control. You know that this is the kind of game that you can win easily. Smile as you play at not being emotionally affected by an important matter, and eventually you’ll really won’t be emotionally affected. Soul Affirmation: I give my mind a holiday again this week.
Offer to help someone in your office who is struggling with a difficult project that you have mastered in the past. There will be several birthday celebrations that you are invited to. Attend them all! Celebrate! Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for who I am this week.
Think of who you like to have fun with. Give them a call. Plan something that diverts you from your unexciting tasks. Spend some money. Find a place that jumps. Jump with it. Flirt. Even serious people flirt once in a while, especially if you’ve worked your buns off all week. Soul Affirmation: The true path is mapped out by my impulses.
You’re likely to experience a blast from the past. An acquaintance will meet up with you again. Don’t be shy in establishing a more solid friendship this time. It could lead to something important professionally or personally. Love sometimes works better the second time around. Soul Affirmation: Smooth communications is the key to my success this week.
Who are the people who are empowered to assist you? The material objective you are focused on right now is very do-able. All you need is some assistance. Ask for it. It’s coming soon. Soul Affirmation: I let positive emotions carry me through the week.
Don’t let worry put a strain on your relationships. Concentration is key, but be as light hearted as possible. Open up to romantic feelings. Let love come to you. It may come from inside. Soul Affirmation: Shining brightly is something that I can do even in shadows.
June 14, 2012
By Brandon I. Brooks
The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin is set to perform on Wednesday, July 25 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Franklin shared with the Sentinel in an exclusive interview that she is excited about the performance and that she is “coming, slamming.”
It’s been about two years since Franklin last made an appearance in Los Angeles so the anticipation has been brewing for quite some time.
With a colorful catalogue of music spanning over 6 decades, Franklin shared that it’s difficult to pick a favorite song to perform but she does favor the many renditions and twists she has put on the world famous track, “Respect” over the years.
“I find new ways and new things to do to it to keep it enjoyable to me as well,” said Franklin when referring to performing and reinventing the song “Respect.”
Speaking of reinvention, Franklin spoke about her new album she is working on with Clive Davis due out later this year (September).
“Expect the best,” said Franklin. “Clive and I are looking for the best and the baddest material out there. Right now, we are in the process of gathering the material and talking to different writers. Ne-Yo and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are among the writers we are talking too and getting material from.”
Being that Aretha Franklin is one of the greatest performance singers we have ever seen, male or female; I was interested in finding out what she considers her most memorable and precious performing moment?
Franklin shared that no moment in her career was more precious than the experience of performing for President Barack Obama at the inauguration in 2009. Many people do not know but Senator Diane Feinstein of California, reached out on behalf of the Obama administration for her participation.
“That certainly right off the top is unforgettable,” said Franklin. “That was off course as you know a historical moment and something that just will never happen again in history. That was a first and it will just never happen again. That was the ice cream on the cake in my career.”
With all that she has accomplished in her music career, Franklin was asked how she enjoys her time outside of music. She shared that like most women, she loves to “shop and peruse the market.” More importantly, she is watching and keeping up with her health.
“I am working out trying to maintain my weight loss for sure,” said Franklin. “And I use to play tennis a little bit. I haven’t played though in a good little while. I love tennis though, I love watching it and I am sorry to hear that Serena is out of the game so early this year and her sister Venus.”
It was fascinating to learn how much she appreciates and adores sports. Not only was she aware of what’s going on in the sport of tennis, but she was up to date with the current NBA finals series as Oklahoma City Thunder face the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA finals. She even had time to weigh in on the result as she predicts the Miami Heat will win the championship.
With all of the traveling Aretha Franklin has done over the years it was interesting to find out what are some of her favorite destinations to visit or places she enjoys the most?
“Places I enjoy the most are Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, New York, Miami and love going to Florida but it’s a long drive,” said Franklin. “The last I came to Los Angeles from Miami, do you know we crossed the country from Florida to Los Angeles and I was talking to Tom Joyner as we were driving and like four days later he said, ‘where are you now?’ And I told him where I was and he said, ‘you are still driving from four days ago?’ I said, ‘we sure are!’ Anyway, by the time I got to Los Angeles I laid down and I had a terrible time getting up, my back was killing me. I’m telling you I really had a bad time. I had to have an ice pack on my back.”
Franklin hopes her journey to Los Angeles will be more pleasurable this time around. From the looks of things and the excitement brewing up to the show, the stage is set for an unforgettable and evening.
In addition to working on her new album, she is working and producing her son Eddie. Franklin says that we can anticipate a really good R&B album that is radio friendly and has crossover potential. She plans to appear on the album in a duet with her son so we have to stay tuned to hear what’s coming.
For more information on Aretha Franklin’s performance at the Nokia Theatre visit http://nokiatheatrelalive.com/events/festival-detail/163.
July 05, 2012
Exhilaration is high and your mental abilities are amazing. Use your intuition to brainstorm your way to a highly creative idea that could change the way you make your living. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the chance to give.
What you say and what you do are in harmony this week. The importance of your idea(s) comes through very clearly to others. They can see that you walk what you talk. Communicate your ideas through your values. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the goodness in people.
If you feel as if the vibes this week are mixed at best, make up your mind to only receive the positive ones. Tune the transmitter in your soul to life and give your spiritual a workout. You are in charge of who you are. Soul Affirmation: I see myself as a finisher rather than a starter this week.
A benefit arrives, and there’s good reason to celebrate. Claim your blessing and do the happy dance! Loving, supportive friends surround you, and family members are well behaved. Enjoy! Soul Affirmation: I speak my mind knowing that truth is my best defense this week.
Look forward to some pleasant news. There is every possibility for a renewed love affair or a refreshing new romantic interest. Free yourself from the past and make a fresh start. Soul Affirmation: I see myself as a finisher rather than a starter this week.
Your money instincts are itchy! Go ahead and scratch, because you’ve got the golden touch this week. Promise yourself that you’ll take at least one small step toward your dreams each day this week. You go! Soul Affirmation: I seek connection with the best that is in me.
A loved one may feel a bit neglected as you pursue your material dreams with vigor this week. Time set aside for this person after you’ve made some gains will prove to be extra sweet. Try not to push a mate’s understanding nature too far, though. Soul Affirmation: My needs will be met if I just ask.
Stay open-minded this week and you’ll actually feel the good vibrations! Co-workers will wonder at the smile on your face, but let it be your secret for now. Your smile itself will make others smile about their own lives! Soul Affirmation: I smile as I think about faraway places.
Big appetites this week! Indulge at least one of your passions and then get back to work. You are making incredible strides toward your dream by just reminding yourself of it. Drive carefully and pay attention to brake lights. Soul Affirmation: Smooth communications is the key to my success this week.
Relax a bit and review your “things to do” list”. Move methodically, and check off each item as you complete them. You’ll be surprised by the progress you are making. Spend the afternoon with family, and friends. Soul Affirmation: This week family is the source of my joy.
Your best self is on parade this week, and wow! You look good! Co-workers will beat a path to your cubicle, so be prepared to turn chatterboxes away gently. Give your honey a phone call or send a loving email. Soul Affirmation: I open myself up to the vibrations of love.
This week’s a good week to approach that person you’ve been wondering about. While you’ve been working very hard, you need to play, too. Good playmates make work seem more rewarding to you. Soul Affirmation: I master life by mastering myself.