*It was a long distance call, but a phone call that producer, songwriter, singer, and keyboardist Kashif had to make to reach the multi-dimensional singer, guitarist, recording artist and producer Ray Parker, Jr. After all, Parker was more than 6,000 miles from Los Angeles, and Kashif wanted to ask him to perform at the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration. Initially, he wanted Parker for both Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 (7:00 p.m. and 10 p.m. each night) at Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, California, but could only get him for one night.
“I think I was traveling somewhere in Europe when Kashif called me last month,” Parker told EURweb’s Lee Bailey. “He had this long story about what he wanted me to do for this show. I told him I didn’t need to know all the details. I told him if he’s involved in it, and if he wants me to be involved, put my name down and count me in.”
Parker told Kashif that he could only do the two shows on June 17, because he was leaving for China the following day. Yet, Kashif was excited to have the legendary singer and musician commit to perform for one night. Joining Kashif and Parker will be such musical friends as vocalist Meli’sa Morgan, “The System,” vocalist Howard Johnson, actress/singer Dawnn Lewis, and others.
While Parker is not sure which songs he will perform for the event, there’s no shortage of hits in his music portfolio. As the lead vocalist of his former group “Raydio,” some of the hit songs included “Jack and Jill,” “You Can’t Change That,” “A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do),” “That Old Song,” “Two Places at the Same Time,” and more.
As a solo artist, Parker charted with such hits as “The Other Woman” “I Still Can’t Get Over Loving You,” and “Jamie.” Yet, his most popular hit has been “Ghostbusters,” which sat at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for three weeks. The song was the theme music for the 1984 blockbuster motion picture “Ghostbusters.” Parker’s vocals and guitar work on the song were epic.
While a new “Ghostbusters” is scheduled to be released in July, the movie’s executives have not called Parker. He was asked if he was upset by the no-call.
“No, I’m all right,” said Parker. “It’s their film and they can do whatever they want to do. But as long as they say (in the movie), ‘Who You Gonna Call?’, or use my themes and music they will have to pay me. And, I just saw a poster for the new ‘Ghostbusters’ that said, ‘Who You Gonna Call?’ ”
Calling Parker has never been an issue for hundreds of record company and studio executives, producers and recording artists over the past 40-plus years. His phone has been ringing since he was a teenager in his native Detroit, Mich., at which time he started doing studio work or performing on stage with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Barry White’s “The Love Unlimited Orchestra,” Lamont Dozier, “The Spinners,” and many more. He later wrote songs or performed studio work as a guitarist for such artists as “The Carpenters,” “Rufus” and Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, just to name a few.
Parker said he has also collaborated and/or performed with Kashif on many occasions. Therefore, he’s looking forward to performing with Kashif & Friends on June 17.
“Kashif is an upstanding guy,” Parker said. “He is a very creative musician who is very talented. I remember when he helped me on a song with the background and arrangements and didn’t even charge me. The song was named ‘The Past.” He did it as a favor because he heard the music and had an idea for it. I just have the utmost respect for him.”
When Parker was asked about future projects, he rattled off a few.
“I have a book coming out, I’m building a recording studio next door to my house, and have a new record coming out,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on for me; I’m really busy, busy, busy.”
To purchase tickets for the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration, log on to catalinajazzclub.com, or call 323.466.2210. Catalina Jazz Club is located at 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California. For more information about Ray Parker, Jr., visit his official website at www.rayparkerjr.com.
Making People Laugh About the Hardships of Teaching Keeps Eddie B. Going (EUR Exclusive!)
*Eddie B. hit the mark when his “Teachers Only Comedy Tour” in 2017 played to sold-out audiences. His later show “I’m Already Professionally Developed Tour” was also a huge success.
With funny and telling commentary about what teachers really think has made Eddie B. a hit with educators and comedy fans around the world. While the former teacher is excited about his success, he takes it all in stride.
“People ask me why am I so humble and I don’t know how to answer that,” Eddie B. told the EUR in a recent phone interview. “The only answer I came up with one time is that the more thankful you are you have no choice but to display humbleness. You have to be thankful for what you have. So being humble and thankful go hand in hand.”
With COVID-19 rendering comedy-tours practically non-existent, the Houston native keeps the jokes coming and his routines fresh by crashing virtual conferences held by, of course, teachers.
“I’m doing a lot of Zooms,” Eddie B. said. “I’m doing everybody’s meetings and convocations. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Thank God.”
The consummate “class clown,” he was always the funny one in the room and began making serious moves as a comedian while attending Texas A&M University (Kingsville).
Although he was earning a local name for himself, Eddie B. was not making the kind of money he had hoped. Continuing the comedy club circuit after graduation and taking odd jobs, he began teaching because it was steady pay. He remained a teacher for 13 years while still doing comedy.
“A lot of teachers say, ‘I’ve been wanting to teach my whole life. I was born this way.’ No, you weren’t.” the single father laughed. “I’m a tell you right now 70% of all teachers didn’t want to teach. I guarantee you that. Teaching is a profession you get stuck in. The only reason you get stuck is because of the kids. You know the money’s not keeping us. It’s our relationships with the kids and other teachers too – the camaraderie of it all.”
Eddie B. retired from teaching for a short while during his tenure but soon had to return to pay the bills.
“I’m hearing Steve Harvey and ‘em say, ‘You gotta jump. Take the leap,’ That’s cute,” he added. “But what the hell do you do when you take the jump and you get pulled back? I jumped as high as I could and got snatched back down, which led me to believe that it’s got more to do with timing then jumping.”
Down but not out, Eddie B., who showed off his craft on YouTube, said a voice inside his head told him, “’Hey, why don’t you do a video about (teaching)?’ So, I shot it before the kids got in my (school) room and put it out by lunch time. But I was like I don’t even have teaching in my comedy.”
“A couple of days later on my Instagram I got about 100,000 views,” he continued. “I thought something was wrong. I thought it was a glitch. It was just teachers bouncing it off and that was the magic of it. It kept growing and growing. Millions of views and the video was only sixty seconds. It was called ‘What Teachers Really Want to Say’ and I was like man if they like this I’ve got 13 years of this.”
Now that he was getting traction, he had to figure out a way to keep the momentum going with the newer audience.
“What they (the teachers who liked his videos) didn’t know was that I’m a comedian,” Eddie B. said. “They just thought I’m a funny teacher. I had to take what I knew about teaching and put it in a (comedy) set now.”
But could he do that without alienating those who had supported his regular comedy for so long?
“My comedy wasn’t always clean. I used to curse with every other word. I’m from the neighborhood and a large percent of my audience is Caucasian (white women teachers). They don’t want to hear that language. But I’ve been on tour for almost 4 years now and I’ve toned it down. I had to grow with it and learn on the job. It was like teaching.”
For more on Eddie B., and to find out where he may be next virtually and otherwise, go to his official website here.
You can also buy his book, “I’m Already Professionally Developed: Straight from the Teacher’s Desk,” released last year.
JeffCars.com’s Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
Highlight: This year’s model includes a solar control fixed glass roof.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $37,070 (Base Model: $28,725)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags; side airbags; ABS; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot collision avoidance assist system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a forward collision alert system; a high beam assist system; tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a stability control system; a tire repair kit; and a rearview camera
Standard Equipment (Blue): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive; LED headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights; LED taillamps; a push button ignition starter; a keyless lock/unlock system; a hands free trunk; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; dual power folding mirrors; a solar control glass a chrome tip single exhaust; cloth seats; manual control front seats; rear split folding seat with a center armrest; a push button gear control system; an automatic climate control system; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; and an 8-inch infotainment screen
Standard Equipment (Limited): 17-inch wheels; full LED taillamps; side mirror LED turn signal indicators; dual power heated folding mirrors; heated body color side mirrors; a rear bumper with parking sensors; laminated front glass; solar glass roof panel; leather seats; power front seats; heated and ventilated front seats; a wireless device charging system; dual charging USB ports; front console mounted rear vents; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a heated steering wheel; a 10-inch infotainment screen; a 12-speaker Bose audio system; a heads up display (HUD); a highway driving assist system; a Hyundai digital key; an electronic automatic rearview mirror; a 360-degree camera; an electronic blindspot monitor; ambient lighting; and front and rear parking sensors.
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None
Other Trim Levels:
non hybrid trims
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM
Apple CarPlay/Android: Yes
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid System Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid Battery Warranty: Lifetime
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/192-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 45-city/51-hwy
What’s New: The eighth-generation Sonata has evolved from a vanilla looking ugly duckling to more like a swan, taking more styling cues from the sixth- generation breakout design, which was a game changer for both the midsize car market as well as the Korean brand.
To continue reading the review, click here.
About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only syndicated multicultural automotive radio show on the airwaves. The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard on your mobile and stationary audio devices, clicking here.
Richard Sherman Tackles ‘Adulting’ The Right Way In New Digital Series / EUR Exclusive – WATCH
*Known for being frugal, NFL star Richard Sherman is handing out financial advice to young people in a new digital series.
Launched in August 2020, “Adulting With Richard Sherman” is a 12-part digital show produced by Million Stories Media. The new media company, a project from the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, offers programming focusing on career, money, and budgeting matters for millennials and young families.
“Richard Sherman is the perfect choice to headline ‘Adulting,’” said Shelley Miles, CEO of the Singleton Foundation, in a press release. “His personality, personal story and likability will draw in viewers and his passion for financial matters will help get young people interested in their own financial futures. He connects with our foundation mission on so many levels and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Available at no-cost on millionstories.com, viewers can expect no-nonsense talk from the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, who reportedly drove a $30,000 Dodge Challenger until as late as 2018. Topics include handling student loans and staying away from payday loans (see episode here).
Additionally, Sherman tackles other topics such as building credit and having an emergency fund, which is great advice especially during the pandemic. (See episode here.)
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