Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Would this be right or wrong?”)

I know of a female who has plans to go out on a date with some new guy for the very first time (This is a true story). This lady has already said that she will suggest they go to the most best 5 star restaurant she can find so that she can order the most expensive items on the menu. The question that comes to mind is “Why?” Is this an attempt to “test” the man’s money or his resolve to do the best for her? Is she wrong or right to do so? I guess a lot would depend on what her agenda is. If she feels that she is “worth” the most expensive places to eat, then she may just be “right.” However, if this is the case then why suggest anything at all to him? She can simply wait and see if the man decides on his own to take her to a 5 star place. Men like to please women (especially on the first date) and it “could” be possible that he had plans to take her to this restaurant anyway. When a woman makes this kind of suggestion from the start she could win the battle but in the end she could “lose the war.” A man will take note that a woman has expensive tastes, and I can guarantee that if the relationship builds up then down the line that can come back to haunt her. You only get one “first impression” and if you appear to be a gold digger from the very onset then that could set a bad precedent. Down the road he may feel that he can get anything he wants from her as long as he pays for it first. Is it better for a woman to be with a rich man who barely respects her or is it better to be with a man who is barely living up to his needs but yet will give “everything he has?” Does a relationship that hinges on money have any chance to be genuine and happy? Also, if she suggests that they go to the expensive place should he feel privileged to “expect anything in return that evening?” Sometimes that first impression could ignite the wrong response. Please keep in mind that there are no laws or anything stating that a woman has to accept anything less than what she feels she deserves (and there are also no laws that state that she should owe a man anything for taking her out). If she plans to sleep with him after their very expensive date he will probably “appreciate that a LOT.” However, the novelty on this may wear off as they try to build a long good life together. Everyone is different, and what may work for one is not always guaranteed to work for everyone. Respect goes both ways, and hopefully both can show respect for each other when going out on dates. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Billy Paul (“Me and Mrs. Jones”) in concert with Brett Jolly on red bass guitar

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“What you think you may be hearing at some concerts”)

Yes, I am a big fan of the “good old days” when all vocals were performed live onstage. When it comes to the current usage of tape and voice samples it cheapens the authenticity of the show for me. However, I do know that promoters lose money if they have to cancel shows (and the human voice is a fragile instrument… It can wear out from over usage). Background vocals are important, but often they are difficult to match up EQ-wise with the recorded versions of the song. When you hear a recording certain effects are placed on vocals to give it that spice. Trying to add them for live background parts and then trying to subtract them when one of the background singers switches to the lead part can be exasperating for a sound engineer. So welcome to the world of “tape.” As long as the audience cannot tell then “no harm no foul.” Let’s look at an example:

On this particular song ALL lead parts are sung live. You can tell because of the differences and imperfections of some notes. However, the background parts “sound way too perfect” and that is because the backgrounds are “canned.” It may not be very noticeable at first but when you get to the 2 minute 7 second portion of the song you will hear background parts that sound “way too great.” That isn’t because they are singing them that way. That’s because they are lip syncing (or singing along with the track). If these guys tried to actually sing those parts live while moving like that they would probably be close to passing out. A prime example is at the end of the song when they take a bow. They start to bow before the very last note is sung and yet you can still hear the notes “supposedly through the microphones.” Your head can’t be down and yet still be heard perfectly through the microphones. One thing I didn’t like about this song rendition is Michael Bivins’ performance with the guys (He is the one doing the rap in the song). He is talking over the other vocals through certain key parts of the song and to me that is a distraction. Bivins is the one who actually discovered the group (He is from the group New Edition). I am happy for the group’s fame. They have done well and I don’t want to cast any negativity on their show. By no means are they the only group using voice samples. I only used them as an example today because it was easier for me to show what was going on. I have been on programs with these guys before and they “can” sing, so please don’t get the wrong impression from me. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

The late Gerald LeVert in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Advice for young artists looking to start their own careers”)

On occasion young artists will come to me and ask me how they can get their careers started. Yesterday a young lady sent me her video for me to critique and then give advice. I told her that she did the right thing in making the video, but the most important part of what she was trying to accomplish had to do with her marketing concept.  You might have a great song. You might even have a great video. However, if no one knows about you then all your efforts will be wasted. Getting a deal with a record label will probably not help out much. Labels have a ton of artists already signed to them, but they only promote a small number of the ones they have, thereby using the other signed artists as tax write-offs. I remember years ago talking to a lady who had a couple of hit songs on the R&B charts. Her name was Vesta Williams and she was a “great” singer. We were all riding together in a bus headed to a gig and she and I talked about her career. She mentioned that she was signed to the same label as Janet Jackson. She was a little heavy (but she was very curvy and carried her weight well). She said that she could “out sing” Janet easily (and she was right… She had a tremendously powerful voice that would rattle the monitors onstage). At one point in her life she was a background singer for Chaka Khan. During our conversation she told me that she planned on losing some weight so that she could get some of that “slim girl money” they were paying Janet. She knew the label was investing all of their money behind promoting Janet and she felt that she was a much better singer. However, the issue wasn’t really about singing. Janet already came from a very well known family music name. She was a Jackson, and the Jackson 5 (along with big time brother Michael) was already famous. Janet’s family name was very influential in helping to promote her career. Needless to say, Vesta “did” lose the weight but eventually she still got dropped from her label. Janet eventually got dropped too, but much later down the line after she had already generated millions of dollars from her career. I am mentioning this because too many young up and coming artists feel that their product is all they need to make it big. Young rappers think that just because their lyrics are great that they don’t need much more to achieve fame on a global level. Right now the music industry is struggling. Years ago artists could sell millions in CD and record sales, but with the rise of the internet (and people sharing music files for free) those days seem to be long gone. While it is a bad time to start a record label it is a good time to be an up and coming new artist looking to venture out. Right now a new artist will have much more control (and will be able to make more off the sales of their music) than if they were signed to a label. Labels have taken advantage of many artists over the years. That is why most of them have now disappeared from existence. As an artist you can promote yourself and be responsible for your own success. That is why it is “imperative” for young artists to concentrate on the marketing concept as well as the music. If no one knows about your music then no one will be able to purchase it. No artist will make it on just “talent alone.” Once you become a businessperson then you are on the right road to building your career. Labels are businesses. They are looking to make money. They are not looking to be fair to anyone. Be fair to yourself. If you can’t get radio play then find OTHER ways to promote your career. Think beyond the limitations of the box, and make it all work… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Janet Jackson onstage with Brett Jolly

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Today is Memorial Day”)

Here is the United States many of us will celebrate Memorial Day. To my understanding, Memorial Day was established for honoring those servicemen and women who died in the line of combat. While that should be the central theme of this day many will honor it by celebrating while vacationing at the beach or having cookouts. I’m now sure if that is the proper way to acknowledge the loss of life but as long as people remember the concept then that is important. War has no winners. Maybe one day we all will be civilized enough to end all war and live peacefully. Until that day gets here we need to continue to have special days like today. Happy Memorial Day to all of you out there who understand the concept of what this day means. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Dexter Wansel (far left with cap on) in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“When great music groups lose their core members, is it still the same?”)

Last night I had my weekly event in Darby. From time to time we get celebrity visitors who come in. A few weeks ago Norman Connors came in to see us and he came back last night to see us again. Also we had a visit from a group that called themselves the “Stylistics Review.” Of course, they did the songs of the Stylistics and the crowd loved them. However, none of these guys was an original member of the Stylistics, so the authenticity of their show could easily have been questioned. This also raises issues about other great groups that are still performing. Death and illness claims everyone at some point in life. While a group can have longevity it doesn’t mean that its core members will always be around to perform with them. When you pay money to see a live show for a group, does it matter to you if they have any original members left? Groups like the Rolling Stones may only have 3 original members left, but the lead singer (and most popular member) is alive and still singing (and that is Mick Jaggar). Would you still view them the same if Mick was no longer with the group? The Temptations were a singing group that featured 5 singing members that had widespread popularity. Now the leader of the group (Otis Williams) is carrying the group on, but he is doing so with fill in vocalists that were never on the original recordings and he himself never had many lead singing parts for people to recognize. Also, there are at least 2 Temptation groups out there, just like there are several Stylistics groups, Delfonics groups, Platters and many more. Even groups like Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes are touring and doing gigs with “no” original members in the band. When you think about it, at some point most of those groups who had been popular 30 years ago will no longer have core members due to age and illness. Because of this there are also many copy groups who are touring around performing the same music but getting paid for it (and in some instances using some version of the same name). Is it right for them to get paid off of the works of the original groups? Whether it is right or not, it is indeed happening. Most people have no idea who is original and who isn’t when they go to see a group. Kool and the Gang has a lead singer who looks and sounds like the singer that made them popular back during their heyday. I am sure that it is more than just coincidence that it worked out that way.  I guess as long as no one complains about it (and still is willing to pay for it) then there should be no backlash from groups that are no longer original. Since time is moving on it will be interesting to see how much longer this lasts. I was trying to figure out how the Jacksons were doing. Their biggest star Michael left them a long time ago and now he is dead. I heard that the group was still performing their hit songs without him, but is it still the same? There may not be a right or wrong answer to this, but as long as people are still entertained, then I guess “no harm, no foul.” What do you feel? Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Harold Melvins’ Bluenotes (with no original members” performing in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Do you wake up with an attitude?”)

When it comes to me I look at each new day as a “fresh new start.” If I had any issues from the day before I always try to leave them behind me for the start of the next day. Why not? What purpose does it serve to start your day off with the same negativity you finished with yesterday? I have heard people use the expression “getting up on the wrong side of the bed” on many occasions. Even though it is only a saying, could some aspects of it actually be true? For instance, some people who wake up in the morning expecting the worst to happen usually bring the worst into existence. They seem to automatically know that their day is going to be horrible so they “think it into reality.” I believe that you can bring positive energies into your day by simply “looking for the best” in everyone and everything. Sometimes how you start your day can make the biggest difference in how successful your day can end. Does that mean that we all need to wake up each morning with smiles on our faces? Of course not, but if you want the best out of life then you need to actively seek out the best in life. Imagine this scenario: Let’s suppose hypothetically that you died and went to meet your maker. Upon doing so, you ask that you be allowed to return back to this planet because you have so much that you still have yet to accomplish. If the Devine One granted your wish and wiped your memory clean then today would actually be your new chance at redemption and a fresh start. Some of us need to act like it. If you have negativity issues then the first thing you need to do is conduct your own self evaluation. You need to try to see the things that others may see in you. If there is anything that you don’t like about yourself then by all means “fix it.” That could involve anything from your weight to your opinions to your attitude. You have the power to change so just use that power. Start with the way you “think.” Stop looking for bad days to happen. Wake up with the idea that you can find positive things to make your life better and then go out an enjoy “your second chance at life.” You might be glad that you did. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Comedian Chris Tucker, brother Bill Jolly and Brett Jolly in concert

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“People who can or can’t handle the truth”)

The other day we touched on lying and why so many people do so. Today we would like to take a look at the truth and why so many people have problems accepting it. A lot of people will tell you that they actually want to hear the truth (and they will say that they can handle it as well) when the “real truth” is that in most circumstances they really can’t. Why is this so? A popular saying is, “The truth is always offensive to those guilty of the infraction.” If you tell someone the truth and they take it in a negative way, does that make you wrong for telling it? When you sugar coat something (instead of being extremely blunt or direct) you may be lying to some small degree just to make sure that person doesn’t end up feeling bad or offended, but would that be misleading? Very few people like to be scolded, reprimanded or even reminded of negative things that they might do (or have done). When they do these things you can choose to ignore the behavior but that never helps anyone. None of us are perfect and we all have flaws of some kind that we need to work on. Not everyone can own up to the flaws they have, however, and not everyone can accept constructive criticism either. So how do you handle telling someone the truth? Do you need to choose your words more carefully if you feel they will get their feelings hurt? If you do have to choose your words carefully then will you be in violation of telling the whole truth “as it is?” There are some people who are “brutally direct” and they will say (what they believe to be) the exact whole truth no matter whose feelings may get hurt in the process. Should these people be considered “bad or good?” I think the answer to that question is in whether or not you can handle the truth… I have found that most people say they cannot tolerate liars, but if they cannot tolerate the truth either then what else is left? It might make a difference in “the way you tell the truth” but if you are not direct with it then can it still be considered the FULL truth? If someone told you a constructive criticism about yourself right now could you accept it without getting your feelings hurt? Right… now please tell me the “truth…” If you think you are not at fault for anything then you are living a lie, because no one of us is perfect. Once you learn who and what you truly are, then you should have less of a difficult time when someone tells you the truth about you… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Legendary blues singer Bonnie Raitt in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

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