Got to talk to LEGEND-ary Dionne Warwick at a press conference and preview of "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing".

This Smithsonian-co-organized exhibit about the iconic Apollo Theater is running here in New York City at the Museum of the City of New York (www.mcny.org): 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd Street.

It runs from Feb. 8 through May 1. APOLLO LEGEND Chuck Jackson was also on-hand.

And as “… the life of Riley…” goes, I’m always turning the camera around to see my fellow journalists. This, as there's more to my stories than what's inside the framing of the cameras that are all facing in the same direction. I try to break a bit of the fourth wall in my sharings as it's all par for the course (my course, at least).

This time, my fellow National Association of Black Journalists’ buddies (and fellow journalists of color) were in the house (www.nabj.org):

NBC 4’s Demarco Morgan (talking to Chuck Jackson);

New York Daily News’ Mike Feeney (whose latest contribution to NY Daily News’ UPTOWN NEWS can be experienced when it launches 2.10.11). CONGRATS FEENZ!; NYABJ’s own Bruce Williams; Reuters TV’s Showbiz Producer Alicia Powell; Harlem’s own radio diva Jean Parnell; etc. Thanks to the Apollo’s Nina Flowers – my friend – for keeping me in the loop on all things “pop culture” & “possibilities”. And much will continue to be said about my LOVE of MISS ROSS and before KENNEDY CENTER; CENTRAL PARK; and concert venues all over the world, she too earned her SUPREME stripes via the royal, chitlin'-circuit rite of passage that is the APOLLO Theater.

By the way, there are lots of MJ/APOLLO memories inside the exhibit. ANYWAY! All of that to say: I LOVE ME SOME DIONNE WARWICK... and have for as long as I have loved MISS ROSS! In my heart, there's room for them both... and a galaxy of many other DIVAS and STARS I hold dear and deep. In addition to many APOLLO visits since (including a post-2000 reunion with MJ), Miss Ross even returned to the APOLLO for the Motown-25 follow-up special that Miss Suzanne de Passe also executive produced (Remember the Patti LaBelle finale? : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIowGYbWHIU). And Suzanne was just in town per my last entry? http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2011/1/27/live-out-louder.html

MEANWHILE, I know that singer JOI would say she stands on the shoulders of MISS WARWICK. http://www.apollotheater.org/programs/2011-apollo-artists/149-joi

 Maybe she'll say so this weekend when she performs on The Apollo Theater stage (Friday & Saturday).  


My friend Lamman Rucker is back in NYC for a minute. (You know, he splits his time between Atlanta and L.A. as well). He,'The Black Gents of Hollywood' & the cast of "BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE" are celebrating their 1-Year Anniversary Off-Broadway. Lamman says to be sure to tell all of you to see the show (www.BlackAngelsOverTuskegee.com).  He’s back in it for a while as well.


While I was working in L.A. (on “Monica: Still Standing”), my friend Ed Roebuck invited me to his going away party where I met Norwood Young (pictured in L.A. in 2009). He and I knew we had many friends in common. Buddy Diaz threw a launch party for Norwood and his new book "GETTING BACK TO MY ME". Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar was the venue.


  • ·       We always manage to get some quality time in with friends – including our boy Jamar who just celebrated his BDAY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMAR!
  • ·       We recently joined Manivone for a fun Saturday. Our girl Cy and Manivone's man Taha joined us. We did a little karaoke. We did “foh” in the East Village. This, after some hang time in Chinatown.
  • ·       New friends J’Nara (actress: “Friends & Lovers”; model; etc.) and Clay (pop culture analyst i.e. “Life After”; BET; etc.) decided to come out and play. They joined us for karaoke on the same night (“Sing Sing” - also in the East Village – is a new spot for us).
  • ·       Our buddies Irma & Gisele hosted a FAB Super Bowl set. Great food, great people, and – oh yeah! – the game! CONGRATS to Green Bay! It was Gisele's birthday, too! A lot of chat about Christina Aguilera flubbing the National Anthem and what some called an underwhelming performance by “The Black Eyed Peas”. A few missed words notwithstanding, I thought Christina did a fine job. And “The Black Eyed Peas” were a visual fiesta to behold, if just. But remember this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgZF551KrLE MISS ROSS’ 1996 SUPERBOWL TOUR DE FORCE – at the 30 year mark of her career and the annual game – was SIMPLY SUPREME! I’m just sayin’ (again!) LOL!


So technical difficulties with the karaoke equipment prevented us from going in – like we do - at ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT last week. But it didn’t stop our ALL-STAR KARAOKE REGULARS & FRIENDS from having an a cappella blast (including the also-called Kelis song). Our FAB folks at NATIVE say all will be repaired for next week’s ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT. Hopefully with less ice, we can all come out and enjoy! We hope to see ALL OF YOU at our beloved NATIVE RESTAURANT on Lenox Avenue at 118th Street from 9pm until midnight! More than karaoke, we eat, drink, and enjoy the company of an always-GREAT room of GREAT folks! And in addition to our neighborhood regulars, we never know who might pop by. So far, since our August 2010 launch, guest singers have included: songstress Tichina Arnold; R&B divas Alyson Williams & Monifah; actress Napiera Groves; the artist formerly known as TONEX, B. Slade; Mariah Carey's long-standing background singer Melony Daniels - an artist her own right; Broadway baby Brenda Braxton; singer/author David Nathan; and so many more! PLEASE COME OUT SOME TIME... and BRING YOUR FRIENDS; HOST A DINNER PARTY; etc. It's ALWAYS a BLAST!

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