Damon Keith Williams is an excellent singer. He was the very last person to be signed by Philadelphia International records (Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff- They are no longer in existence). Periodically he comes out to our Wednesday Night event and everyone loves to hear him sing. We had a great turnout last night and he was there, but I could not find any video of our outing. I hope you enjoy this song. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I just recently read a blog about how sad someone was feeling regarding the expectations of others. This person didn’t blame the others, but took full responsibility instead. We all have expectations, and often we get depressed when other people don’t live up to them. A long time ago I took the path of “seeing people for who and what they are instead of trying to make them out to be who I want them to be.” I think this helps me achieve a better sense of reality in my life. This concept can probably help you too. If someone cannot understand the stress of what you are going through, then stop trying to get that person to advise you. If someone can’t have faith in you, then don’t look for their loyalty. Often many of us leave problems alone in hopes that they will somehow “miraculously” heal on their own. The truth is that this rarely ever happens. Ignoring it never helps because it only comes back again, sometimes even worse than before. You can’t control everyone else’s life, but you can have some degree of control over your own. When people get funky attitudes, bad vibes and negative concepts you don’t have to let them bring you down to their level. Sometimes you have to “let go of people” just to have inner peace. Love is more difficult. If someone you love is slowly destroying themselves, you can “hope” that it gets better or you can “save yourself while you still can.” On many occasions girlfriends, boyfriends and others have gotten killed simply because they couldn’t see the danger of who they loved. I knew of one young lady who many years ago was hooked up with a man that she said had control and anger issues. She told me that she knew how to handle him. One day he got angry with her over something, and then ended her life with a gun just before he killed himself with it. Her 9 year old daughter came into the room afterwards to witness the entire event and it has had a strong psychological effect on her since. We have “options” but if we refuse to acknowledge them then we are doomed by our own shortcomings. Your expectations of others may not be realistic, but your expectations of yourself “need” to be as realistic as possible. Be responsible for your own survival, and make the most of what you want to be with or without someone else in your life. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
The last few days I have been extra busy. I have had a lot to contend with, but I wanted to acknowledge the birthdays of people who mean (and meant) a lot in my life. First, This past Sunday was March 25, and that would have been my mother’s birthday. Rowena Jolly passed away from Ovarian Cancer in 2004 but she was a trooper dealing with it. At one point in her life she drank, she smoked, but she finally managed to quit both for the duration of rest of her life. She was the only “untalented one” in the family, but she had no problems with that. She made sure to let all of us know when she thought we were terrible. The next day after that was the 26th of March, and that was when singer Teddy Pendergrass had his birthday. He, too, passed away, but what a career he had and I had “so much” fun performing with him onstage. We traveled a lot and I can’t believe that initially I almost turned that gig down. I had way too much fun gigging with Teddy, and I miss him very much. Today, March 27, is my son’s birthday. He has been diagnosed with a slight degree of autism. He works 2 jobs and he has a “really genuine” great nature about him. He can read, he can catch public transportation by himself, but one of my proudest moments for him came when he passed his driver’s license test. He had failed on 2 prior occasions and this was his last straw. It was the very last day and the only place that was open for him was someplace called Jamestown (?) Pennsylvania, which was close to 2 hours away. To help him get over his nervousness, I had “him drive” all the way there. I think that actually relaxed him. He was the very last person to take the test but when it was over I was informed that he passed. I was so happy I almost cried. He told me that he did “NOT” want to drive back home. At that point I was perfectly fine with that. Yes, these birthdays mean a lot fo me, and I just wanted to post for you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Teddy Pendergrass in concert in LA with Brett Jolly in the background on bass guitar
Most people may not even care about this, but in truth they would want to know. In a world where racial hatred is based on the purest of ethnicities, I wanted to find out for myself just what I am. My daughter had me submit a DNA sample to determine the origin of my ancestry. I have the report and I must say that I am quite surprised. To let you know, I am 57.9 % Sub Saharan African, and 39.1 % European. As for East Asian and Native American I am only 1.9 %. That is followed up by .1% Middle Eastern and North African and 1.1% unassigned. This lets me know that I am mostly a mixture of Black and White. For those hate groups, I don’t know if they hate “all of me” or just the 57.9 %. When it comes to our DNA everyone’s is different. We all are a product of our ancestry, and until we are able to verify every last one of them we will never know just how “pure” we all are. You would need to know the entire ancestry of your mother and father, and their parents, and so on. That is why I don’t understand the idealism with the KKK and other hate groups. It is one thing to base your ideas on race. It is another thing to know for sure just what your race “is.” I love what I am, and if anyone still wants to “clarify” me then I only hope they “clarify themselves first.” Some White Supremacists will argue that “Genetically, the idea of White European as a single homogenous group does not hold up.” If that is the case, then there is “no way to determine the race of anyone,” and therefor your hatred of anyone and everyone should be declared “invalid.” If these people started “rejecting” their own members based on their DNA findings they would discover that they would be “in a very small minority.” I do support finding out your DNA, because if everyone did it then we might just find out that we are pretty much “similar” based on the fact that we are all pretty much “different.” In other words, I don’t think too many people belong to just one particular ethnic group. In most cases you can’t make the determination by looks alone. I think getting a DNA test should cost you around 50 dollars or so, but you might be very interested in learning more about yourself and your ancestors. I am glad that I got mine and I just wanted to let you know. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly with Lynda Carter (The “original” Wonder Woman) before a gig
For the past few weeks these guys have been talking really tough. Both say that they would beat the other senseless in an actual fight. I highly doubt the fight would ever happen, but if it did who do you think would win? Let’s look at the facts. Both of these guys are fairly old. Biden is 75 while Trump is 71. If you had a nine round match between them both I think it would be a fair estimate that this would “not” go the distance. Trump is about 6 foot 3, while Biden is about 6 feet tall, so I guess the height and reach advantage “should” go to Trump. However, Trump is not in the greatest of shape while Biden works out all the time. If the fight lasts long enough that might just benefit Biden. Looking at all these statistics it would seem that whoever connects the “first” punch just might be declared the winner (because one punch might be all that is needed for this one). These guys might just pass out trying to throw that first punch. No one should be fighting when you are over the age of 70. This would be humorous to watch, and if they wanted to this fight could possibly generate a lot of money that could go to some charity or something. I would most certainly watch it. Would you? Truth be told, the anxiety of this fight just might kill them both before either steps into the ring. Seriously, I don’t think they will ever physically fight each other, and that is a good thing, because no one should want to witness a murder of any kind. The dialogue between them provides for a lot of entertainment, though, and that is good enough for me. This would not be better than the “Thrilla in Manilla” and surely would be nowhere near as long. I would be anxious to see if either could get up from his seat for the second round. If they ever do this battle, I hope they can do it in a way that it benefits us. Believe it or not, I can see this raising money for something, and there are a lot of people who would love to see either one (if not both) of them get beat down. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jerry Butler in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
Yesterday was “officially” the first day of Spring here in Philadelphia. Spring signifies the changing of the wintery weather towards much more subtle and warmer temperatures. However, instead of warmer weather we were subjected to about 6 to 10 inches of snow. It was somewhat pretty though, but it just felt like Mother Nature was having her last laugh on us. A “lot” of places closed (including my Wednesday Night Event) so it was a peaceful night for me. I worked on some music and did practically nothing else for a change. For the record, I can’t even say that this will be the “last” snow storm we have for this year. Philadelphia weather varies from year to year and some winters have lasted all the way into May. This winter was not that bad when you compare it to others. I took this picture from outside of my home just so you can see what we had to deal with. Today it is supposed to warm up to the 40’s so “some” of this should melt away. Either way, it is a blessing to be alive and able to see the beauty of God. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
This song was arguably one of the biggest songs in history. Billy’s voice was “perfect” for this song and it was an worldwide hit for him. Time takes it’s toll on everyone and unfortunately Billy Paul died at the age of 80. This segment was his “very last song” and I was privileged enough to play it with him on this video clip. This morning I just figured I would pay a small tribute to him. Billy died days after singing this song and I thought it would be good to post this. I wish the very best to his family along with his wife Blanche. RIP Billy Paul. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I got a call from a friend of mine who I worked with. He told me that he had cancer and that the doctors had actually given him 10 months. I was shocked and saddened, and I usually have an encouraging word for everyone. I just couldn’t figure out what to say to him. He told me that he was coughing up blood and he sounded horrible. It was sad to hear. I then realized that life can end at any moment for any one. You can wait for something great to happen or you can just seize the moment while you can, for tomorrow is never promised to anybody. My friend is still alive, and while he is alive there is still hope, but his situation did not sound good. I would not want to tell anyone how to live their own life, but what you get out of it depends largely on what you are willing to invest into it. If you are dealing with rejection when it comes to things you want to accomplish then you need to look for ways to surpass that rejection. Make your life count and don’t take “no” for an answer. For instance, take a look at your own life. Are you happy with everything you have wanted to do? If the answer is “no,” then you have work to do. No matter what stage of life you are in, you can keep setting up goals for yourself (and keep on accomplishing them) until you finally resolve all world hunger. As crazy as that sounds, it is possible if you only “believe.” My friend is courageous and I believe in him. “Fight” until the battle is over. “That…” is what the “true” quality of life is all about… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Lalah Hathaway (Daughter of Donnie Hathaway) and Kim Burrell with sound check along with Brett Jolly
Money, and the lack of it has been used to legitimize failure on many occasions. The lack of money has broken up relationships, caused people to change jobs and made many people unhappy. When you say you are poor, chances are you really mean it, but are you really? If you have a roof over your head, a place to wash up and if you are able to get food, then chances are great that there are people much poorer than you. When you compare your circumstances with the people who “have nothing” then you might find that they would “gladly change places with you.” Some people have equated the lack of money as reason to be depressed. Money does not guarantee happiness. There are many rich people out there who have just as many problems (and maybe even more) than you do. If you had a lot of money you could buy anything you wanted, but how boring and unfulfilling would that be after a while? You would have to spend “more money” just to protect the money you have and your life would become much more complicated. If money is not the answer then what is? “Respect, love, and self worth…” No amount of money can make you feel like a million. It comes from within… Yes, you may not have as much as you want to have, but you are doing well considering the circumstances, right? If you started your own business, and dedicated yourself to it, and it became successful that should make you feel better, because you “earned” the money you achieved. The end destination is nowhere near as exciting as the steps you took to get there. Make yourself proud of what you have accomplished, and use what you have done to propel yourself even further. You may never become a millionaire, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still feel like one. If you depend on money you may never be happy. Enjoy what you have, and strive to make it better. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly