*The pandemic restrictions in 2020, which started in March, slowed the entertainment industry down, but it didn’t stop the flow of coverage by The Pulse of Entertainment. Highlights for the year included my interviews with Academy Award-winning Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) about his role in the 20th Century Fox remake presentation of The Call of the Wild, 16-time Grammy Award-winning Brian McKnight (“Back at One”) about his last album “Exodus,” and famed film director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) about directing Hill Billy Elegy on Netflix.
The year of 2020 included many published interviews that began with those I obtained at the NBC press junket for their 2020 programming – held at the end of 2019. Interviews published in 2020 included those with Peter Gallagher (“Grace and Frankie”) about the new series “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” and J. August Richards (“Angel”) and Michele Weaver (Nighthawk) for their roles in “Council of Dads.” Those interviews were followed by a movie screener of 20th Century Fox’s presentation of the Sci-Fi film “Underwater” – the screening took place on the Fox Studios Lot. I then had the pleasure of interviewing Christian violinist Traliece Bradford about her solo singles of which “Forever Love” was one.
Before things shut-down I attended for review a performance by Grammy-nominated Jazz guitarist Chieli Minucci at Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach, California. He was promoting the new album release “All-Stars” by his Special EFX Featuring Chieli Minucci Jazz band. I also interviewed Chieli. My interview with Harrison Ford and review of The Call of the Wild was published and it was followed by my interview with the legendary Shirley Murdock (“As We Lay”). Shirley and I talked about her role in the Ursula V. Battle stage play “Serenity House” in my hometown of Baltimore. The last screening of 2020 was on the Lionsgate Lot for “I Still Believe.” The film is based on an autobiographical book about the first love of American Music Award-winning/Grammy-nominated Christian Rock Praise & Worship singer Jeremy Thomas Camp – it was to be released to theatres in March. It was executive produced by Camp. The last press conference I went to was for Lifetime. It was for their presentation of “The Clark Sisters” bio-movie.
Though on-site movie screeners and covering events for reviews stopped after March, I was still able to cover presentations by interviewing the principal parties or, later on in the year, attend press events via Zoom conferencing. Nickelodeon had me interview young Dana Heath and Terrence Little Gardenhigh about their starring roles in the Nickelodeon comedy series “Danger Force.” As the public sought to find inspiration during the pandemic in 2020 I had tons of Gospel and Christian artists releasing singles that I mentioned in The Pulse of Entertainment, some included Isaac Carree for his release “Her,” about his marriage to his wife; Maurice Smith about his release “I Still Believe;” two-time Grammy-nominated Blues/Gospel artist Rev. John Lee Hooker, Jr. (BB King, Lenny Kravitz, Snoop Dogg) about his single “Testify;” rapper Tru Trilla about his 2020 album “God of Barz;” Bishop Kervy Brown about his single “Coming Back Again,” and Grammy-nominated Rev. Luther Barnes for his album “Look to the Hills” on Shanachie Entertainment.
I was able to take the opportunity to interview more of the up-and-coming and the underrepresented, who I try to include normally, such as Harpist Mariea Antoinette for her new release “All My Strings;” 10-year-old Tiarah Williams, a Washington, DC dancer for being crowned “Little Miss North American;” Afro-Beats Pop artist Janeliasoul for her single “Things Will Get Better;” Country Pop artist TheresaMarie for her re-release of the single “American Beauty” and its music video, and former lead vocalist for Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness, David Billingsley, about his new album “Hymns from Grandma’s Living Room.” Grammy-nominated Eric Roberson was next; we talked about his new release “Hear from Here.” I had the pleasure of interviewing again Pastor Dr. Earnest Pugh (Ebenezer AME Church) along with music guru Kerry Douglas (Blacksmoke Music Worldwide) about their joint album “The Outpour Experience Live.” The legendary Grammy-nominated Candi Staton (“Young Hearts Run Free”) interview followed. We talked about her new single via The Orchard titled “Just Breathe” featuring rapper Yo-Yo. Grammy-winning Myron Butler followed with an interview about his new album release “My Tribute,” in honor of Andrae Crouch. It didn’t stop there, an interview with Jazz saxophonist Kim Waters on his new album “Shakedown” came to me, the song is his attempt at getting everybody up and dancing.
Time was made again for up-and-coming and underrepresented artists that included interviews with rapper Gxlden Doll about signing with Underground Hits Production. She ended up performing during my 21st annual Los Angeles “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference which was held via Zoom in 2020, and her management from Underground Hits Production served on the ULMII panels of Industry Professionals. I also interviewed newcomers R&B/Gospel artist Tamika Patton, who so happen to be related to Candi Staton – so I introduced the two. Patton and I talked about her new project release “Stand on His Promise,” and R&B crooner J. Brown was interviewed about his new single “Hopelessly in Love.” Underrepresented saxophonist Euge Groove was interviewed about his new project “Sing My Song” which features Maysa and Peter White, and Grammy-nominated horn (clarinet/sax) player Eddie Daniels talked about his new 2020 album “Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins.”
I had the honor of interviewing 16-time Grammy Award-winning living legend Brian McKnight about his 2020 album “Exodus,” which he said would be his last but told me big things were coming so stay in touch. I had interview time with another living legend Bluey, founder of the British Jazz band Incognito, which help to launch the career of Maysa. We talked about his new solo album “Tinted Sky” on Shanachie Entertainment. Multi-Grammy nominated keyboardist Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Brian McKnight, Kim Burrell, Avant) talked about his new album “Focus” featuring Maysa, Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Bluey, and Dave Koz – on Shanachie Entertainment. Another honor was an interview with Journalist Gail Mitchell (Director of R&B/Hip-Hop at Billboard Magazine) about receiving the BBA Award for “Outstanding Excellence in Journalism.” Interviews with saxophonist Boney James (“Solid”) and Jazz guitarist Norman Brown (“Heart to Heart”) followed about their new 2020 projects. My review of a movie screened before the pandemic forced closures was finally released – Charm City Kings, an Overbrook Entertainment (Jada Pinkett-Smith/James Lassiter) film. Charm City Kings, stars Meek Mill, and is about Baltimore’s circuit of street dirt-bikers – it was released via HBO Max. Again another honor came with an interview with 11-time Grammy nominated Bishop Marvin Sapp (“Never Would Have Made It”) about his new role as Pastor of Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, his new album “Chosen Vessel” (RCA Inspiration) and the expansion of his talk show “Marvin Sapp Radio Show” to Dallas, Texas. The Lifetime Network had me interview actors Brooke Burfitt (Plan Z) and Dan Jeannotte (Hallmark’s Good Witch) about their starring roles in the Holiday Lifetime presentation of “Christmas at the Castle.”
As 2020 came-to-an-end I allowed for more time to the up-and-coming and underrepresented artists which included interviews with underrepresented multi-award winning actor/filmmaker Anthony Michael Hobbs (Dreamworks/PBS), my grandson, on his success in taking his 4 year-old “Imagination Lunchbox International Children’s Film Fest” online via Zoom conferencing, attracting attendees from Japan and Spain, when restrictions limited his venue at the Eubie Blake Center; Grammy-winning producer Shannon Sanders (John Legend) on the “Celebrate Fisk!” album release in honor of 150 years since the establishment of Fisk University; Washington, DC comedian Rob Gordon who released a comedy stand-up show on Amazon Prime titled “Problematic”; entertainment executive/producer Lena Jenkins-Smith (Katt Williams) on her new record label Young Millennium Records and her new app series “The Young Hustle,” and Pastor San Franklin (Shirley Caesar/CeCe Winans) on the release of her new live album “The Free Project” via The Orchard. The year also ended with interviews with the up-and-coming which included Rock/Country artist Jordan Moore for his 2020 single release “Hard at Quittin’,” which will lead to his 2021 project release; Pastor Ernest Gonder about the release of his new single “For His Glory;” Attorney Symone Redwine about her “Infotainment” Podcast and other new roles in entertainment; Country artist Ashley Wineland about her new single release “Daddy’s Creed,” which will lead up to her 2021 album release, and Bahamas’ Jazz vocalist Brettina about her new 2020 single “Simple Pleasure” that leads up to her 2021 album release.
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 Baltimore Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall via Zoom Conferencing and Los Angeles Saturday, November 6, 2021 via Zoom Video Conferencing. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Business Management 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 info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.