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standing next to goddess

miss watley is everything

MISS Jody Watley made it a "Night to Remember" for 'Life of Riley' (and childhood friend Ernest Maynor's BDAY + NJ BFF TATA met her "DIVA" in person). B.B. King Blues Club's was the place to be as MISS Watley sang from her Shalamar AND solo repertoire. She was in AWESOME VOICE and her performance gave everything her loyal fans (and the sold-out audience) hunger to experience: the HITS; the MOVES; the DRAG; the DRAMA; and the DIVA! I was on my feet through most of the highly-charged set... and on my knees  -BOWING DOWN - for the rest! LOL! SO WAS THE REST OF HER LOYAL FOLLOWING! She did 'Most' of the material but not 'everything'! BACKSTORY: So, I have loved MISS Jody Watley since she was a teenager – dancing on Soul Train before she joined the group Shalamar – at which time I was a footloose and fancy-free Air Force Brat of six-years old in San Bernadino, CA on Norton Air Force Base --- with a blow-out of dusty dark brown and the inevitable bell bottoms! LOL! Well, fast forward through many years in which she brought me only the FIERCEST brand of JOY - from the balance of her SHALAMAR years through to the launch and lift-off of her SOLO career... and stop for a moment on July 1995. Philadelphia. And MISS Jody Watley was headlining a concert for the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention. She called me on stage to dance with her. Talk about A NIGHT TO REMEMBER! Though I’d seen her fabulous solo show a couple of years ago at B.B. KINGS, I got another opportunity to be an audience with MISS Jody Watley (album) back in September 2013. Her publicist Juanita Stephens is a mutual friend and led MISS JODY WATLEY to my blog A DAY IN THE LIFE OF RILEY as a vehicle to – via phone and an on-line Q&A - update folks on her latest release "PARADISE" – quite the global dance senastion: iTunes Digitally (as well as other select digital outlets) –

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/paradise/id901587446?uo=4  [EXCLUSIVE CD, includes 'Everlasting' not available digital: http://jodywatley.bigcartel.com/]. What a GREAT PHONE CHAT:

http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2013/9/10/a-nightlife-to-remember.html. SO LAST NIGHT: MISS JODY WATLEY was back at B.B. King Blues Club accompanied by her new and reloaded Shalamar… and we ENJOYED THE SHOW; CELEBRATED BFF (since 7th grade), Ernest Maynor’s birthday; and – afterwards – got some LIFE OF RILEY & JODY WATLEY time and - FINALLY - my posed photo op (though LOVE NABJ bestie and Morehouse brother Michael K. Watts captured MISS WATLEY and me on stage in Philly). Was great to catch with MISS JODY WATLEY on all she's got going: her upcoming shows - including one in NYC this summer (TBA; Stay tuned...); how she came to re-incorporate the SHALAMAR legacy into her SOLO shows - now that she OWNS THE NAME & BRAND! YOU GO, MISS JODY!; and – because ‪#‎itsinthemusic – she shared that her upcoming music release plans, which include forthcoming single “DANCER”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/paradise/id901587446?uo=4. AND we're excited to hear some of what we didn't hear this go around THE NEXT TIME - including: "Most of All"; "Everything"; "All Begins With You" (MY REQUEST FOR NEXT! LOL!); "When A Man Loves A Woman"; "Off The Hook"; and WHAT ELSE? Shalamar’s “I Don’t Wanna Be The Last” and the MOTOWN REVUE song! LOL! OH, WE JUST LOVE YOU, JODY WATLEY! And could listen to you and DANCE WITH YOU ALL NIGHT LONG! SHOUT OUT to MR. WALLACE who works with JODY... and Editor in Chief of UPTOWN MAGAZINE, my brother friend Isoul Harris! XOXOXOXO ‪#‎JodyWatley#itsinthemusic ‪#‎dancer ‪#‎paradise ‪#‎nightlife‪#‎lifeofriley#allstarkaraoke ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎motownmay#ARISETV360 ‪#‎NBCBLK‪#‎COZITV ‪#‎OWNTV ‪#‎TVONE#CENTRICTV ‪#‎BET

more arise

In the wake of doing a freelance interview with Lee Daniels for recurring client NBCBLK: 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416, I got a booking to chat about the success of EMPIRE on ARISE AMERICA with Debbye Turner Bell: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152816022788737. We had a GREAT TIME as she's a FAN like me. I guest co-hosted last week on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 (and am on HOLD for some days in the coming weeks). Has been fun to fill in for my friend Shannon Lanier to and to rejoin Sharon Carpenter who is filling in for our beloved Lola Ogunnaike. YOU can watch them (and me from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360.  As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Here are a few of the segments we did this week:


Author of "The Work" Wes Moore!

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghEXbewLspY

The Authors of "Single Man Married Man!"

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hbvDBYlCJs

Author of "MelloYello" Walker Smith!

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHd0HBPTpQ4

T.S. MONK (Thelonious Monk III)

- http://youtu.be/1EMJPYRQSW4


- http://youtu.be/T4dNgHuqxa4

Zaraah Abrahams (from Spike Lee's "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus")


#arise360 #ariseTV360 #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #wesmoore #thework #singlemanmarriedman #pervistaylor #melloyello #jacktherapper #walkersmith #brianwatkins #ritani #theloniousmonkIII

vivica a. fox

Shout out to my friends from SavvyMarketing Entertainment Group LLc for inviting us out to the Unsung HOLLYWOOD premiere of Vivica A. Fox which is airing on TV One! IT'S GOOD!!!!!! And was good to see my peeps Savoy Walker; Mark A Forrest; Cynna Gorham; Tasha Lynch; Jamar Dunn; Deborah Gregory; and MISS Vivica A Fox herself!

3 the hard way comedy

Shout out to my BET colleague and sister in CREATIVITY, Thembisa Mshaka, for hipping me to some work she's doing with an amazing comic named Jabari Baraka Davis, whose definitely on the rise in standup. He produces an event called 3 The Hard Way Comedy--the goal being to diversify comedy in NYC with talented women and people of color taking the often segregated stages of Manhattan. He considers himself a product of both philosophy and hip hop, and his comedy reflects this in unexpected ways. He's also a former substitute teacher, so the jokes are smart and street.The BHM edition has 3 Black comedians: Seaton C. Smith and Janelle James join Jabari Davis on 2/24 at 8pm at Stand Up NY LabsY. There will also be shows March 6 and 31 - so look for my updated accordingly and know that I'll likely be at one of the shows. SO, PLEASE SAY HI, if you come. Here's a link to Jabari's bio: http://jabaridavis.site.socxs.com/home CONGRATS!

get focused on reading

Shout out to my brother friend Goldin Martinez, Founder of Get Focused - www.getfocused.org - introducing its newest initiative called Get Focused On Reading, which will be the focus of an event on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at Inwood Academy to commemorate National Reading Month. They want to increase their impact with Get Focused On Reading… and to give you a chance to help:

1. Organize a book collection with your network. They accept all books from poetry, biographies, children books, and more, and can arrange a pick-up. This will help us reach our goal of 1,000 books.2. Make a personal monetary donation to our cause. This will help us with transportation, storage, t-shirts, marketing material, etc. Our goal is to raise $2,000 to help pay for expenses.

Go to www.getfocused.org for more information.

standing next to God

He's much like a nephew! Mr. Myles and his mom Tracey Moore are producing his documentary "Standing Next to God" about his recovery from traumatic brain injury. Please make a Love Donation and share this link in your network. Thank you! This is the fundraising campaign for Standing Next to God -Myles Marable: http://de.gofund.me/StandingNextToGod  ‪#‎StandingNextToGod

precious queen

MY LATE, GREAT MOM QUEEN ELIZABETH BELLINGER RILEY - a social media SENSATION! LOL! With all the controversy over Beyonce and Ledisi and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" and the Grammys, I'd been having an internal dialogue with myself about MY LATE, GREAT MOM QUEEN ELIZABETH BELLINGER RILEY. My self-chat goes something like this: "Thank you, Thomas Dorsey for the song! Thank you, Mahalia for sharing it with the world! Thank you, Ledisi for your recording on SELMA! Thank you, Beyonce for your performance on the THE GRAMMYS! But NO ONE SANG "TAKE MY HAND, PRECIOUS LORD" LIKE MY MOTHER!!!!!!!!" 

Well, I'd told many of you my mother could sing and did often in The House of Prayer (our family church) as well as in all our travels - from Germany to Japan to California to Valdosta, GA, etc.  I've even compared her to Mahalia Jackson with a little Tamala Mann to boot! LOL! Well, via FACEBOOK, it seems we're not the only ones thinking this. A FACEBOOK note from my sister's childhood friend from our mid-to-late-'70s days in San Bernadino, Califonia on Norton Air Force Base underscored what we always knew (How’d she remember, after all these years?):

 February 10 at 7:05am · Edited ·

Janice, I don't care what anyone says "Queen" is still my winner when it comes to singing "Take my hand". Everytime I hear it I remember her singing it at Norton! — feeling blessed.


Reader Comments (4)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenternELMARIE HENRY
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May 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpoonam
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June 3, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpoonam
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September 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail

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