*(Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC), a leading non-profit committed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of blacks in the film, television and entertainment industries announces the discovery and elevation of the prolific yet unsung song writer, journalist and poet Jessie Mae Robinson.
BHERC brings to the public the curated works of Jessie Mae Robinson with a musical story of the “Real Other Woman” in an inspirational program that marks the celebration of her 100th birthday on Friday, October 26, at the Nate Holden Performing Art Center 4708 W Washington Blvd, LA, CA 90016 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available now. Click here.
An unsung and pioneering songwriter, Jessie Mae Robinson’s work and accomplishments are both phenomenal and prolific for a Black female lyricist and songwriter of her time. “This effort to celebrate my mother’s life and career makes me proud and so very happy. It is the fulfillment of a life-long dream to revitalize the extraordinary works she crafted for so many wonderful artists and have her take her place in history as one of our prolific modern songwriters,” states her daughter June Draper.
Although her life was short-lived, Mrs. Robinson’s impact was enormous with her music performed by the great Dinah Washington, who performed Mrs. Robinson’s first recorded song, “Mellow Man Blues”, in 1945. Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson recorded “Clean Head Blues” in 1946 and “Old Maid Boogie”, in 1947; which made it to number one on an R&B chart. This was one of the first, for a song written by an African American female writer.
Mrs. Robinson’s top selling blues songs included “Black Night” and “Seven Long Days” by Charles Brown; “Roomin House Boogie”, “Tears, Tears, Tears” and “In The Middle of The Night” by Amos Milburn and “Sneakin Around” by BB King. In 1952, Mrs. Robinson made history when her song by Patti Page, “I Went To Your Wedding” (first released by Damita Jo} went Number 1 on the Pop Charts and stayed 12 weeks, selling $1.5 million copies.
Because of the success of her exceptional storytelling, depth and broad reach through her writing — often of life’s struggle and pain — Mrs. Robinson broke the color and gender barriers and became one of the first African-American female writers admitted to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). She wrote for the top Rand B, Blues Country and Pop artists of the time who recorded her songs, including Sarah Vaughn, BB King, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Little Milton, Wanda Jackson, Frankie Laine, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, the group the Go’s Go’s, Greg Allman and so many more. “Jesse Mae Robinson was an amazing talent and it is so important that we celebrate her musical contributions with the world. Many have benefitted for her writing talents. There are so many untold stories and we are proud to bring recognition to this unsung Shero”, states Sandra Evers-Manly Founder (BHERC).
The host for the evening is award-winning actor, William Allen Young, CBS (Code Black) who is the perfect choice to guide the audience through a soul stirring evening of performances by local artists; musicians, poets and dance ensembles that will bring Mrs. Robinson’s original works to life.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased online at www. ebonyrep.org or the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Call (310) 284-3170. General Admission $40.00, Seniors and Students $30.00.
Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television. Celebrate the artistry by supporting filmmakers, with diverse topics, stories, techniques and broad themes multi-layered with humor, drama and reality.
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