*The dispute between the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heirs over the late civil rights leader’s traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize could enter a new chapter.
The Associated Press reports that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney could decide the case today or let it go to trial. The judge stated that when he ordered Bernice King to hand over the Bible and medal to the court’s custody, the estate appeared likely to win the case.
The pending ruling marks the latest in the ongoing war between the Bernice and the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc., which is controlled by Martin Luther King III and his younger brother, Dexter Scott King. A year ago, the brothers asked a judge to order Bernice to hand over their father’s Nobel Peace Prize and traveling Bible.
The latest case being the fifth lawsuit in the past decade over the Bible and Nobel medal.
Last year in February, Bernice argued that her father cherished the traveling and Nobel Peace Prize, saying that both items speak to the very core of who he was.
“You don’t sell Bibles and you don’t get but one Nobel Peace Prize. There are some items that you just don’t put a price on,” former Ebenezer Baptist Church assistant pastor Rev. Timothy McDonald told the AP. Although he takes Bernice’s side regarding the case, McDonald describes himself as a friend of the whole King family.
A lawyer representing the estate mentioned at a hearing last year that the King brothers want to sell the items to a private buyer because the estate needs money. With the estate being a private entity, its finances aren’t made public. The AP notes that court records don’t elaborate on the estate’s need for cash.
Bernice’s lawyers argue that Martin Luther King Jr. gave the Nobel Peace Prize medal to his wife Coretta as a gift. That translates into it being a part of Coretta Scott King’s estate, which has Bernice as its administrator.
As far as how much the Bible and Nobel Peace Prize would fetch financially, the AP cited two separate appraisers who said they would expect the Nobel medal to sell for about $5 million to $10 million, and possibly more, based on what other Nobel medals have gone for and King’s place in history.
Appraiser Leila Dunbar told the news agency that she would expect the Bible to sell for at least $200,000 and possibly more than $400,000. In Clive Howe’s eyes, the Bible would probably sell for about $1 million.
For more on the case, click over to WTOP.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment: Brian Courtney Wilson Says Be ‘Still’ on New Album
*“Move past fear,” said Grammy nominated Brian Courtney Wilson about the meaning of the title to his new album “Still” (EMI/Motown Gospel). “You got to stay focused on your assignment. It’s in the Bible. Be still and keep moving without doubting and move mountains.”
“Still” is the Chicago native’s fifth album and in that time since 2009 he has garnered multi-Grammy nominations, a Billboard Music Award nomination, and has won multiple Stellar Awards, a Dove Award and an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award. Featured artists on “Still” include Maranda Curtis and Jeff Pardo. Grammy nominated Eric Roberson (United Tenors) co-wrote the track “Waiting” which encourages one to recognize when God has answered your prayers.
“The best feeling I had was when Eric Roberson sent it to me,” Brian said about the single “Waiting.” “I was almost in tears. It’s why I was feeling this peace.”
Other tracks on the album include “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler);” “Ain’t No Need to Worry,” featuring Maranda; “Forever;” “Sure As;” the title track “Still;” “Merciful and Mighty,” and “Fear is Not Welcome,” featuring Jeff.
Wilson launched his first solo tour, “Just (B) Tour,” just before the pandemic hit and grounded everyone home.
“It went well,” he said when I asked about the tour. “I’m looking forward to doing it again. We’re figuring out a way to do it virtually.” www.BrianCourtneyWilson.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]
Prince, Lauryn, Gladys, Jay Z & Nas: Too Many Moments Happened on This Day in Music History [EUR Video Throwback]
*A lot of notables in Black music had momentous events happen on October 27th, from hip hop to R&B. From 1960 to 2005.
Here are the stories behind each one, in chronological order.
In 1960, Ben E. King left The Drifters and launched his solo career with a song that became an instant classic: “Stand By Me.” It started out as a gospel hymn written by the Philadelphia minister Charles Albert Tindley in 1905 and was popularized by various gospel acts in the 1950s. After hearing the Staple Singers’ 1955 take, he pitched it to The Driffers, but their manager turned it down. So once King left the group, he went into the studio on Oct. 27, 1960 and recorded his own version.
If singer/songwriter Jim Weatherly never knew actor Lee Majors (TV’s “Six Million Dollar Man”), and Majors had never dated actress Farrah Fawcett of “Charlie’s Angels,” the world may never have been blessed with the Gladys Knight and the Pips classic “Midnight Train To Georgia,” which reached No. 1 in the U.S. on Oct. 27, 1973. Weatherly explained how the dots connect in an interview with Gary James:
“The song actually came about after a phone call I had with Farrah Fawcett. Lee Majors was a friend of mine. We’d played in the Flag Football League together in L.A. He had just started dating Farrah. One day I called Lee and Farrah answered the phone. We were just talking and she said she was packing. She was gonna take the midnight plane to Houston to visit her folks. So, it just stayed with me. After I got off the phone, I sat down and wrote the song probably in about 30 to 45 minutes. Something like that. Didn’t take me long at all, ’cause I actually used Farrah and Lee as kind of like characters I guess. A girl that comes to L.A. to make it and doesn’t make it and leaves to go back home. The guy goes back with her. Pretty simple little story, but it felt real to me. It felt honest to me. I played it for them and they loved it. I cut it on my first album as ‘Midnight Plane To Houston.'”
Weatherly said that several months later, a producer in Atlanta wanted to cut the song for Cissy Houston.
“They called and said they would like a more R&B sounding title and asked if we would mind if they changed the title to ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ [so that “Houston” wouldn’t appear in both the title and artist name]. We said ‘change anything but the writer and publisher.’ So, he cut the song on Cissy Houston and it was a nice little cross between an R&B and country record.”
The recording of “Midnight Train to Georgia” from Whitney Houston’s mama was the version that Gladys Knight heard. Weatherly continued:
“Some of the background vocals you hear on Gladys’ records were first on Cissy Houston’s record. It wasn’t as much, but just some of the feel of the background vocals. And of course Gladys’ record was more of a groove-oriented thing. It wasn’t as slow. It just became a monster record.”
Where to begin with Prince’s fifth album, “1999,” released on Oct. 27, 1982 with the lethal firepower of its five singles: the title track, “Little Red Corvette” (inspired by his catnap in backup singer Lisa Coleman’s 1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder after an all-night recording session), “Delirious,” “Automatic” (released as a single only in Australia) and “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.”
This was Prince’s first top 10 album (peaking at No. 9) and earned the artist his first Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance – not for any of the five singles, but for his piloting of that Seduction 747 in “International Lover.”
On Oct. 27, 1998, Lauryn Hill officially became a solo artist with the release of her first post-Fugees single, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” When it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the following week, Hill also became the first artist since Debbie Gibson to debut at No. 1 with a song written, recorded, and produced by the recording artist. (Gibson did it in 1989 with “Foolish Beat.”)
But for Hill, the significance of “Doo Wop (That Thing)” went much deeper than its commercial accolades. She told Details magazine at the time that she wanted the song to prove that a female artist could reach No. 1 using only her brains, and not her body. She cited artists like Lil’ Kim as examples of the latter.
“I’m not dissing them, I’m dissing their mind-set,” Hill clarified. “My music talks about a certain way of thinking, and if the cap fits, you know? I knew girls like Kim growing up – I might have even been one at a certain age – and there’s a huge lack of self-esteem behind that thinking. I mean, when I was 14 I thought that if a guy didn’t whistle at me, that meant I wasn’t pretty. But either you mature past that or you get caught in the concept of, ‘Oh, I have to show some ass, ’cause that’s the only way I can feel beautiful.’ Sex is cool, but it’s only part of the story.”
Our tour through Oct. 27 in music history wraps with a much needed example of unity in these trying times.
Fifteen years ago today, Jay-Z and Nas ended their deep-rooted, long-standing beef during New York’s Power 105.1’s Power House concert at New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena.
Larry Buford: Judgment or Test? America’s Job Experience
*[This is a chapter from my book, “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand, first published in 2007. Although many other tragic events have happened in the 13 years since then, including the current global pandemic, I think it is still relevant as history continues to repeat itself]
Breaking news: Bridge Collapses, Victims Killed; Miner’s Trapped, Victims Killed; Record Flooding, Victims Killed; Senseless Shooting, Victims Killed; Raging Fires, Victims Killed; and the list goes on!!
While it seems like all hell is breaking loose, one may ask, is America being judged or tested?
The biblical character Job received (heart) “breaking news” [Job chapter 1]: “And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword…While he was speaking, there also came another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them…”
In the end, Job had received back-to-back reports from four different messengers that he had suffered great losses including his children. Job even lost his health, but eventually regained everything even more in abundance. It was a test to see if Job would deny God.
Prior to the 911 tragedy, we seldom heard of God or Jesus in mainstream media. Since then it has become acceptable, and more and more prevalent with each new turn of tragic events. Is God testing America to see if we truly are a Christian nation? Or is this judgment on a nation that has turned its back towards God?
If it’s a test, we as a nation should hold steadfast our convictions as did Job. If judgment, God says in II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
There is yet hope for America!
Please share your thoughts in the user-friendly, no-obligation comment section below.
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon); two insightful books that speak to our moral conscience in times like these. Email: [email protected]
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