The other day I was talking to my friend on the phone. When he started talking he wasn’t making much sense. His words were blurring a lot and he couldn’t get his thoughts together to formulate sentences. It was clear to me the he was incoherent. At first I told him that he needed to get to a hospital “now.” He responded to me by saying that he didn’t have enough of something so he couldn’t go. I remember how it was for me a year and a half ago so I had some experience with this. I called 911 and asked them to go check on him. It was a good thing I did so because my friend was “having a stroke.” After a while I found out that he had been taken to the hospital and he is still there today. I went to visit him the other day and while he acted as though he knew me he couldn’t remember my name. He also couldn’t remember his own name. He showed me his phone and his bank accounts.I believe he wanted me to take care of his bills, but that information can only be done by someone else on his account or by him. He tried calling the institution but was clearly frustrated by his lack of ability to communicate with them. He was getting more frustrated. He remembered curse words very well and used them frequently but he could not get his thoughts together. He didn’t have anyone who could handle his account for him in case of emergency. He was a musician who also had gigs pending and some of the people he worked with still don’t know his situation. I am supposed to play a gig with him this weekend. I had no idea where the gig was supposed to take place but luckily I managed to discover the guy in charge. He gave me the details I needed. In case you are ever in this situation, please make sure that someone can handle your business for you. A stroke can leave you disabled and once that happens you may not remember your own passwords to your accounts. As long as someone else (that you trust) can handle your accounts for you then they shouldn’t be in jeopardy. This really happened and can easily happen to you. Be prepared for emergencies. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Stevie Wonder and Brett Jolly
When it comes to interviews I “absolutely love them.” I have no problems expressing myself and having fun doing so. I was called to do this program and talk about some of the things going on in my life. I hope you don’t mind but I decided share this with you today. The program is called the Doris Hall James show and of course this episode features Brett Jolly. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Nadirah is an accomplished singer, and she decided to come join us this past Wednesday night. She wanted to do a Sade song (and I don’t think we have ever played it before). Needless to say we had a great time playing the song for the first time. If you are ever in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania neighborhood on a Wednesday night I hope you can come join us at the Crab Tavern, 201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, PA. We have a lot of fun and I truly believe you will too. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I have no problems with doing interviews. In fact, I love being asked questions. I have done interviews before and they have always been fun to me. Tonight I will be doing another one. If you are on Facebook, you can check out my interview on Doris Hall-James’s Facebook page. It will be at 8:00 pm EST tonight and I believe it will be streamed live. I will talk about a lot of things and it should be fun. If you are on Facebook and would love to check out the interview, I believe the coordinates will be listed below. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
On the surface this might not seem like a great revelation, but my son finally got a car yesterday. Yes, a lot of people get cars at some point of their lives, but I think conditions for my son are kind of special. First, my son has had to deal with a slight degree of autism. His is probably a different type of situation, because he does not suffer fully from it. He can read very well, he knows how to operate his computer, he can speak well and his sense of direction is “excellent.” In fact, it was tough for him growing up because they put him in classes with fully autistic kids and he knew that he didn’t belong there (but he was not ready for classes with regular kids). My son is 30 years old now. He wants to live a normal life and he felt he should have a car. I agreed. This was a long ordeal and yesterday finally culminated in him getting his wish. He has had his license for a long while but no car. Getting his license was a major objective because he wanted to prove to himself and everyone else that he could do this. The first 2 times he attempted to get his license he failed and he cried over it. The woman who denied him lacked compassion and practically tried to make my son look like a villain. I will never forget her. On the third try we had to go to someplace 2 hours away in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. To help my son out I had him drive all the way there. This relaxed him significantly and when he finally passed I was “crazy happy.” Yesterday was the ultimate because he now has a car of his own. Many people will probably not understand why I feel the way I do, but if you knew what we have been through you would get it. I never treated my son as though he was special. I always considered him to be just like the rest of us. So far, I think it has worked. This is still only the beginning for him. I will ride with him in the passenger seat until he fully gets the hang of everything. I won’t let him go on his own until he is ready, but now that he has a car of his own we can do this. Congratulations to my son. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Dee Dee Sharp in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
Kate Smith was an icon in Philadelphia for a while. She was a singer best known for her rendition of “God bless America” which she sang on many occasions for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. It has been said that she was a good luck charm for the team whenever she sang the song. Recently history “reversed course.” The Flyers (and New York) banned her music because of racially disparaging songs she sang somewhere in the 1930’s. One song that was well noted was a tune called “That’s why darkies were born.” To me, racism is evil and in no way do I advocate it. However, I am also a person who judges people not by their past, but rather their present and “perceived” future. The Flyers went as far as to remove Smith’s stature from the hockey arena. For those who would like more information, here is the article:
Kate Smith died in 1986. Yes, she sang racially divisive tunes back in the day, but she never wrote those tunes and I know that most times singers have to do whatever their management “tells” them. If her management didn’t agree then I’m sure she would have never sung the song. Also, that song was done during a time when racism was heavy in our culture. If we are going to censure her now, then what will we do about Elvis or John Wayne? Francis Scott Key wrote a third verse of the Star Spangled Banner that promoted racism. Should we still pay tribute to the song? Presidents Washington and Jefferson both had slaves. It appears that our history is slowly but surely becoming “tainted.” We are now finding out things that seem to reverse popular opinion. Even Michael Jackson was not exempt. If our history is now being damaged by new discoveries, how should we react? I don’t necessarily want to wipe these people clean from our memory plate. However, I do believe that it is about time to create a “new history of events.” Everything must change (in one way or another). We an continue to cling to our past, or we can “re-invent it. I didn’t know Kate Smith. Just because she sang a racist song back in the 1930’s doesn’t necessarily mean that she had racist views when she got older. Yes, the song was evil, and the “song” should be banned everywhere. Considering how “diverse” our DNA is I doubt that there are many (if “any”) people who are truly one hundred percent of any one race anyway. To me, that means that we all are now so different that essentially we all are “the same.” If you have at least one percent of another race in your family ancestry then you are “not” purely one race. That means you are racially discriminatory towards yourself and your family. How far back can you trace “your” family line? Stop showing your family’s ignorance and accept people for who they are. Then you won’t be such an embarrassment to the one race you “claim” to represent… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
KC and the Sunshine Band (KC holding the mic on the left side) jamming with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
Of course, I play music professionally, and I do love music. However, when it comes to the new music I am hearing stuff that is not very pleasant to my own ears. At first I just assumed that maybe this was because I am growing older and maybe my musical tastes are changing. I then asked my daughter about a lot of the music she listens to on the radio and she said that she didn’t like a lot of it either. So naturally I talked to other younger people who basically said the same thing. Then I decided to do some research on the industry to see what is happening. The answers I got were disturbing. Years ago record labels were established and they produced music to be played on the radio. These labels pretty much controlled the radio stations (so naturally if an artist didn’t have a record label deal chances were they didn’t get played on radio). Now the industry has changed. Out of all the record labels that were out back then, there are only about 3 major ones still in existence today. That means that these labels are controlling what you hear. Also, years ago the people who were in charge of these stations used to be people who knew a lot about music. Now it appears that the heads of these labels only know about marketing. When you add to this mix the fact that the internet has made it so that music can be shared online (practically for free) then this takes away the incentive for artists to create. Many artists (including myself) would still love to make music, but no one wants to lose money putting a project together. This is sad for the future of music. The radio stations I listen to are playing some of the old stuff that I loved to hear, but nothing new is enticing me right now. I worked with Paul Jackson, Jr on a gig lately. He is a great jazz guitarist who played on a lot of big name hits. He played the guitar solo on “heartbreak Hotel” by the Jacksons, and he also played for “Wanna be starting something” and “Beat it.” I asked him about the industry and he told me that a lot of the big cities have pulled Gospel and Jazz stations because they weren’t making enough money. He said that now people are streaming music which victimizes the artist even more. When an artist has his music streamed he usually makes percentages of a penny (which is not good at all). Something needs to change. For the sake of music (and those who love to hear it) I hope that can happen soon. I do have an idea but time will tell if this can work. Stay tuned… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Paul Jackson Jr (in front on guitar_ doing a concert with Brett Jolly on bass
Needless to say I am quite proud of the things I have done. I love music and through the years I have had some really great experiences. I hope you don’t mind me divulging a few today. When I was younger I remember playing for a couple of block parties here in my area. They were fun to do and we did them occasionally. There were some in particular where I noticed this little kid with large ears. He would be in the crowd and you couldn’t miss him. Well, that kid grew up and did pretty well for himself. For the record, that youngster was Will Smith, the legendary actor. On another instance I remember being onstage with Teddy Pendergrass doing a show in Westbury. I sang background and on one show someone tapped me on the shoulder while I was performing. I remember thinking “who could possibly have been able to sneak onstage behind me like that?” The people who tapped me on the shoulder were Ashford and Simpson, the great songwriting duo and performers. Of course, it was my extreme pleasure to allow them to have my microphone and sing. I wasn’t crazy. Next, I remember doing a show with Bonnie Raitt, the great blues artist. She was a really nice lady (However, she really did NOT like to have her picture taken). She was very pleasant. Well, not too long after that I had a birthday, and to my surprise I actually got a “birthday card” from her. It was totally unexpected but it was great to receive. When I was in Washington DC one year, I remember meeting this seemingly tall woman who had amazing facial features. I looked closer and found that it was Gabrielle Union, the actress who is now the wife of Dwayne Wade, the former NBA star for the Miami Heat. I remember walking up to her and saying “It would be my pleasure if I could take a picture with you.” She responded by saying, “No, it would be MY pleasure.” I answered by saying, “No it would be MY pleasure.”Then she said again, “No, it would be MY pleasure.” She was fun and had a nice personality (which does not apply to all people in that limelight). Yes, we got the picture taken. Later on my son got mad at me for taking a picture with his future wife. I told him that Mr. Wade might take exception to that statement. I have quite a few stories, and this is a very small sample. I hope you don’t mind me sharing some with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly with actress Gabrielle Union
We had a really good night again last night. It was great to see the people support us and show up for our event. For this particular segment, we wanted to feature Benny Barksdale jr. instrumentally on saxophone doing a classic Stevie Wonder song. I am playing bass synthesizer instead of my regular bass guitar, and I hope you like the clip. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area on a Wednesday night I sincerely hope you come by to see us at the Crab Tavern (201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, PA, from 8:00 to 12 midnight). Daniel Jenkins will also stream us live on his Facebook page. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I just heard a heartwarming story. Tiger Woods, the one time golfing sensation, won the Masters Tournament at the age of 43. Tiger’s life had been in turmoil since his failed marriage and he had not won in a long while. While many had written him off (He is one of the most celebrated golf champions of all time) his career has been the perfect example of “up and down.” Tiger was once the Michael Jackson/Michael Jordan of golf. His name and his game were synonymous with greatness as a youngster. After his career slide he managed to win this one and raise his fame once again. I am hoping that his story will help to influence and motivate others who may feel as though their lives are over due to age. If Tiger can do it, I believe that others can as well. For those who didn’t follow the story, here is the video:
I am not a big fan of golf at all, but I am a big fan of success. Just because you may be down doesn’t mean that you are out. Tiger won the Masters (and he deserved to win it) and I hope this helps him to overcome all the other demons that seem to have plagued his life. No one is perfect, but it is how we deal with our own imperfections that determine our true value of life. Congratulations to Tiger Woods on returning to the top of the golf game by winning the Masters. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.