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ODE SPOTLIGHTLIGHTING JODY WATLEY
November/December 2009 -- BEBE DAVIS

Jody Watley is an ICON. Ode To Jody Watley.
The Chicago Native has been on the public scene for a long time, getting better with time.
Like many artist, Watley came from a religious background. Her father was a minister, host of his own radio gospel show in Chicago. The family relocated to Los Angeles where Watley would experience mainstream success.
I first saw Jody Watley on SOUL TRAIN in the 70's as a dancer with partner the handsome Jeffrey Daniel. They had the moves, a very popular couple just like Cheryl Song (referred as the asian long haired chica who could dance so good ). Along with my older uncles and aunt, I would not miss one Saturday of Soul Train unless something else was going on and it had to be a good something going on!
From the Soul Train years, Jody Watley went on to be a founding member of the popular group SHALAMAR. The group enjoyed great success. In 1983 despite the naysayers Jody Watley left the group to pursue a solo career. This very decision to follow her own mind, has led to an amazing career in the entertainment industry.

One thing I've always admired about Jody Watley... she wasn't trying to be the next anyone she was an innovator. After leaving the group, I loved that despite not having an initial record deal after the break from Shalamar, Jody Watley took off to the UK. It is no secret many artist find a pure embrace abroad, no matter if you don't have a hot hit out or a current video in heavy rotation. Jody was dating Duran Duran's John Taylor, letting sisters know like others before her it's okay, try vanilla. Watley wasn't sitting on her laurels, she was recording, keeping herself relevant in the industry. I am sure Jody had such an awesome time beyond America The Beautiful.

Back to the States, Jody inked a record deal with MCA Records in 1986. In 1987 the self-entitled album Jody Watley hit the airwaves. It was a success adding to the other accomplishments Jody Watley made for herself. It was a refreshing time for young black women with the premiere of Jody Watley's debut album. I was in the 10th grade, trying to do every move from the Jody Watley videos. She revitalized wearing the hoop earrings for many young girls - of course I give ODE to my uncles girlfriends for that.
Back in the 70's many girls would hang their big hoop earrings on the rearview mirror of their boyfriends car ( laying claims or something I suppose )so I've always loved hoop earrings. I still give it up to Jody for her contribution to the masses. Her style was refreshing ( don't wear the word out Bebe )dance moves hot , songs in touch to what was happening at the time and what was to come. Many people will cringe for me saying this and I too but there were many chanting "Jody is our Black Madonna".
Honestly she was innovative before Madonna stepped on the scene in my opinion.

The Self-Entitled album would give Jody Watley a Grammy in 1988. After this album Jody kept giving the music world more great videos and music. Her partner in music, her lover, and husband Andre' Cymone ( Dance Electric, Prince Half Brother so reports say )really were the darlings in Black Hollywood Lovers Circle. I thought they were sexy together. STILL A THRILL is one of my favorite songs along with a list of other songs by Jody. Watley continued to become a innovator by having hip hop icon Rakim on her song FRIENDS. It was a 16 bar heaven addition to the song and others followed her lead by having the guest mc/rapper on their songs. Intimacy was a favored album of mine with the song 'When A Man Loves A Woman' gaining much airplay. The song expressed to women to value themselves, to make wise decisions in relationships. Super Bad Jody!

Jody Watley has gone on to receive an AMA, MTV and NARM Award. Time has certainly agreed with Watley. I am always a believer in growing gracefully. I feel this has happened with Watley. You hear the growth in the music, the sense of style at this point in her life, and if you follow on twitter, catch the latest interview, the spirit of all things are possible are there in this ICON, Jody Watley. Woman, mother, daughter, sister, child, sister in spirit, inspiration to many, thanks doesn't seem enough but many of us thank you Jody Watley for coming into our lives.





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The Connection | The Dora Dess'ore Files
Our Exclusive Book/Play/Film Review Feature In Honor Of Publisher's Grandmother Dora Dessasore Mixon.
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE the movie starred Richard Gere, Diane Lane.
The novel of the same name was written by Nicholas Sparks. The film made it's debut 2008. Viola Davis did an incredible job as the character Jean who was the owner of the Bed and Breakfast Lane agreed to be caretaker of. I loved the chemistry between Davis and Lane, and Gere and Lane. There are some that harshly criticized this movie but if you are a romantic, loving straight drama without the oversex overtones, this is a charming movie for you! -BEBE DAVIS
SYLVESTER , Queen of Disco was a singer and an openly gay drag queen performer. Born Sylvester James in 1947, in Los Angeles. Sylvester began singing at an early age with roots in gosel like many artist. In 1967 Sylvester moved to San Francisco, "My life started when I moved to San Francisco". In the highly acclaimed movie MILK, you can see Sylvester being potrayed with one of his signature songs being played in the movie, "You make me feel, mighty real". This moment in time happened for The Castro Street Fair in San Francisco. -BEBE DAVIS
SYLVESTER fans loved his live version of 'You are my friend'. His backup singers were Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes known to many today as Two Tons O' Fun and Weather Girls.
Sylvester was fashionable in drag or out of drag. Sylvester took on his record label by being more flamboyant when they asked him to be more 'manly'. Many opportunities came Sylvester's way and he gave opportunities to many. In 1988, Sylvester passed away from complications from AIDS in San Francisco. In 2005 Sylvester was inducted in the Dance Music Hall of Fame. In 1989 his last album was titled Immortal. Sylvester is known today as a pioneer for many openly gay male artist. Forever fashionable and fierce, Sylvester.
TWIGGY UNINTERRUPTED
the enigma never ends...
The Face Of '66
THE FACE OF '66, Twiggy.
Fashion Icon, model, actress, singer, Twiggy was born in 1949 in London England.

Born Lesley Hornby, to the world she is known as the beloved of many Twiggy.

-BEBE DAVIS
Twiggy, "You can't be a clothes hanger for your entire life." These words should be the mantra for many models today. Many have lived according to this quote made by twiggy. She went on to act, sing with a popular song called 'Please Get My Name Right' 1977.

Twiggy was introduced to a new generation when joining the cast of America's Next Top Model as a judge. Twiggy also returned to modeling, showing her love for a profession that made her famous. Twiggy inspired many generations of young girls to live their dreams of becoming a model.

The enigma contunues...
Twiggy is one of the most famous models ever. She started her career in her teenage years, taking world by storm. What was assumed to be a short lived fascination turned out to be a fascination for generations and decades.

Weighing in at 91 pounds, many felt her body type was sending the wrong message to women. For every success comes something to eclispe the great thing happening. Twiggy and the fashion magazines continue to cover the in demand model. Another model that took heat for her weight decades later like Twiggy was the Supermodel Kate Moss ( shown pictured together below )
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Elis Regina
BEBE DAVIS EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASE
Elis Regina
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ARCHIVES
Inside The Sands Of Time
Rachelle's voice is a 'wonder', just like many have penned Stevie Wonder to be the 8th wonder of the world. Musicians are held to the highest level of Musicianship performing with this wonder.

Her name is Rachelle Ferrell...

It would have been great to see Rachelle do a duet with Betty Carter. Both have their unique phrasings and playfullnesswith a song when it is appropriate. Boasting a six plus octave range, the whistle register flows effortlessly.

Like many artist Rachelle sang backup to many artist before becoming a solo artist. The Philly native is comfortable taking on jazz both sides, R&B, and Classical. The Montreaux Jazz Fest performances were phenomenal. Those who had a chance to be there in peron were given some lasting memories from the 1990's.



Fans look forward to the next album, and the next performances. Touring information was unavailable but we are sure they will become available in the future. -BEBE DAVIS



Inside The Sands Of Time
Revisiting Bob James Album ONE and 'Nautilus'
Bob James 1974 album entitled ONE is the first of the trilogy that is hailed by many as a classic.
The Unforgettable cover with the golden lion, was just a taste of what was to come from this album.

The song 'Nautilus' has been sampled by some of Hip Hop's finest. Nautilus to many is a groove you don't want to end. Thank goodness for the repeat button. If unfamiliar with this album that sparked the trilogy, it is time to give a listen.

The album TWO was released in 1974 and in 1976 THREE was release. James stopped here with a three albums that truly lived up to the predecessor. All were very well produced.




Bob James has given the Jazz World some incredible music over the years. A favorite of mine is 'Angela' the theme from the television show TAXI. I'm a 70's baby so this era of music holds dear to my heart. It could also have something to do with being exposed in the womb to good music. Both my parents, were lovers of diverse music. I am the same.

The Grammy Award Winner Bob James is a record producer, songwriter, singer, arranger, and musician. Instruments he plays are guitar, keyboard, saxaphone, Yamaha endorsed.
Visit the official site to learn more about Bob James. Currently, The Very Best of Bob James is out now. -BEBE DAVIS



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