Monday, June 30, 2008

The New Classics

I got this meme from Malcolm at Pop Culture Dish. If you choose to play along the rules are as followed: If you have seen the movie type the title in Bold print. If you saw and liked the movie put an asterisk* beside it.

The list comes from the current double issue of Entertainment Weekly in which they list the 100 best movies of the last 25 years (aka The New Classics).

1. Pulp Fiction 1994 *
The Lord of the Rings trilogy 2001-03
3. Titanic 1997*
4. Blue Velvet 1986*
Toy Story 1995
6. Saving Private Ryan 1998*
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986
8. The Silence of the Lambs 1991*
9. Die Hard 1988*
10. Moulin Rouge 2001
This Is Spinal Tap 1984
12. The Matrix 1999*
13. GoodFellas 1990*
Crumb 1995
. Edward Scissorhands 1990*
16. Boogie Nights 1997*
17. Jerry Maguire 1996*
18. Do the Right Thing 1989*
Casino Royale 2006
20. The Lion King 1994*
Schindler’s List 1993
Rushmore 1998
23. Memento 2001
24. A Room With a View 1986
25. Shrek
26. Hoop Dreams 1994*
Aliens 1986
Wings of Desire 1988
The Bourne Supremacy 2004
30. When Harry Met Sally
31. Brokeback Mountain 2005*
32. Fight Club 1999*
33. The Breakfast Club 1985*
. Fargo 1996*
35. The Incredibles 2004*
36. Spider-Man 2 2004*
37. Pretty Woman 1990*
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
39. The Sixth Sense 1999*
40. Speed
Dazed and Confused 1993
42. Clueless 1995*
Gladiator 2000
The Player 1992
45. Rain Man 1988*
Children of Men 2006
47. Men in Black 1997*
48. Scarface
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000
50. The Piano 1993
There Will Be Blood 2007
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad 1988
53. The Truman Show 1998*
54. Fatal Attraction 1987*
55. Risky Business 1983*
The Lives of Others 2006
57. There’s Something About Mary 1998*
58. Ghostbusters
59. L.A. Confidential 1997 *
60. Scream
61. Beverly Hills Cop 1984*
62. sex, lies and videotape 1989*
63. Big 1988*
No Country For Old Men 2007
65. Dirty Dancing 1987*
Natural Born Killers 1994
67. Donnie Brasco 1997*
68. Witness 1985*
All About My Mother 1999
70. Broadcast News 1987 *
Unforgiven 1992
72. Thelma & Louise 1991*
Office Space 1999
74. Drugstore Cowboy 1989*
Out of Africa 1985
76. The Departed 2006
77. Sid and Nancy 1986*
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991*
79. Waiting for Guffman 1996
Michael Clayton 2007
81. Moonstruck 1987*
82. Lost in Translation 2003*
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn 1987
84. Sideways 2004*
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin 2005*
. Y Tu Mamá También 2002
87. Swingers 1996*
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 1997
89. Breaking the Waves 1996
90. Napoleon Dynamite 2004
91. Back to the Future 1985*
92. Menace II Society 1993*
93. Ed Wood 1994*
94. Full Metal Jacket 1987*
95. In the Mood for Love 2001
Far From Heaven 2002
97. Glory 1989*
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999*
The Blair Witch Project 1999
100. South Park: Bigger Longer &
Uncut 1999*

Nowadays I don't waste time on films that I don't think will interest me. Some movies are missing, for instance where is "The Color Purple" and "A Soldier's Story"? It has been recommended that I see "Office Space" so I will find the time to check that one out.

Thirty Most Shocking Moments in Black Music

According to AOL’s Black Voices these are the top 30 historical events in the history of Black music. Some of the events I forgot about of the course of time and others I do not feel should have made the list at all. I would be interested to know what others think about the list. Please share your thoughts and take the Poll on the left.

30. Prince Changes His Name Then Changes It Back - For much of the 80s and the early 90s, Prince consistently topped the charts with his groundbreaking style and his unprecedented sound. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, he would use his name until 1993, when he stopped using the name Prince and started referring to himself as a symbol instead. He claimed the change was prompted by Warner Brothers Inc, taking too many liberties with his name and used the change as a way of freeing himself. Some would call him "The Symbol," others would call him "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" and some would just call him the "Artist." By 2000 though, he would return to the name Prince and continue to adapt his style in a changing music landscape.

29. Lil Kim Wears The Pasty to the VMA’s - Not a stranger to outrageous fashion ensembles, Lil Kim donned a glittery purple jump suit at the 1999 VMA's that amazingly left one of her breasts to fend for themselves. If that wasn't enough, Kim's adventurous fashion choice was put on blast when Dianna Ross dribbled the pasty covered boob on stage during an award presentation, forever cementing the boob in shocking music history.

28. Stevie Wonder in a Car Accident and Goes into a Coma for a Week - One of the most prominent artists in music history, this blind wonder has been blessing the music world since 1961. But on August 6, 1973, just days after the release of his third album, 'Innervisions,' Wonder was in a serious car accident while on tour, when a log from a truck went through a passenger window and struck him in the head. This left him in a coma for four days and resulted in a permanent loss of his sense of smell. Despite this serious setback, Wonder would go on the produce hits to this day.

27. Suge Knight Gets Knocked Out - The Death Row co-founder was at the forefront of one of the most important eras in hip-hop. With the success of Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic' in 1992, the label would go on to be a stable for some of the most prolific acts in hip-hop from Tupac Shakur, to Dr. Dre, to Snoop Dogg. Knight is also known for his very thuggish demeanor and rumors abound of his close relation to many criminal elements. That's why when news broke out that Suge had actually been knocked out in a night club brawl in May, it came as such a shock. Who knew the the Death Row thug could catch it too?

26. Bob Marley is Almost Assassinated - Credited for helping spread reggae to a worldwide audience, Bob Marley in his own right, made music that moved people. With his dreadlocks and rock star persona, Marley would go on to be one of pop cultures most ubiquitous icons. What many tend to forget though is that in 1976, he was nearly assassinated inside his home with his wife Rita, and his manager Don Taylor maintaining serious injuries. They would all go on to survive their injuries and Marley would proceed with an already scheduled concert without a hitch.

25. Milli Vanelli is Exposed - There were few pop groups that could match the image and magneticism that was Milli Vanilli. The pair which consisted on Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, sold over 30 million singles, 14 million albums and became one of the most popular pop acts in the late 1980s and early '90s. Their momentous success peaked when they received Grammy awards for best new artists in 1990. Soon after, it all came crashing down as it was discovered that the group used the recorded vocals of other artist and did not in fact sing any of their top hits. Subsequently, they lost their Grammy's, faced multiple lawsuits and became laughing stocks of the music industry. Unfortunately tragedy would strike in 1998, with the group on the cusp of a comeback, when Pilatus was found dead in a Frankfurt hotel of an apparent drug overdose.

24. Al Green Has Hot Grits Poured on Him and Turns to the Lord - Known for his powerful, yet silky voice, Al Green is one of Soul Music's most revered voices. Green's vocals were unparalleled as he often lulled his audience into his sweet melody. But in 1974, Green's whole perspective would change when longtime friend, Mary Woodson, would have a mental breakdown and spontaneously throw a large pot of sticky boiling grits over him as he was undressed and preparing to shower. She immediately ran to another room and promptly killed herself with a gunshot wound to the head. The assault caused third-degree burns on his back, stomach and arms and would serve as a catalyst for him becoming an ordained pastor in 1976 and eventually deciding to record only gospel music. Green would record exclusively gospel albums from 1981 to 1989, where he would make a return to R & B.

23. Nonmusical Celebrities and Athletes Come Out With Albums - Although, this phenomenon is not new, their will always be a handful of celebs who take themselves too seriously and actually feel as if they can get recording deals because of their talent and not from their stardom. This particular crop of bad crossover artists, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Terrence Howard a only a small sampling of the many entertainers who continuously and on a regular basis, mercilessly assault our eardrums. Thank goodness Kobe had a fall-back plan, because he first and likely last album, Visions was a travesty.

22. Teddy Pendergrass Tragic Career Derailing Accident - Of all the 70s soul crooners, Teddy P was probably one of the most underrated. Although he was the first African-American singer to sell five platinum albums in a row, he failed to win any Grammy's after being nominated five times. He also began his practice of ladies-only concerts, for which he remains well-known. In 1982, Teddy was involved in an car accident when the brakes failed on his car and he hit a tree, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury. Despite the injury he still performs to this day.

21. Luther Vandross Dies of a Stroke - Born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1951, Luther Vandross grew up in a musical family. Drawing influence from everybody he came across, he sang back-up to such acts as Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, Barbra Streisand, and David Bowie. Known for such tracks as "Here and Now," "The Power of Love," "Dance With My Father" to name a few, Luther won eight Grammy's and sold over 25 millions albums in his career. On April 16, 2003, just three days before his 52nd birthday, Luther died of a stroke due his combination of diabetes and hypertension.

20. Three Six Mafia Wins an Oscar - The Memphis duo had known underground success long before any of their more mainstream success. They built their reputation on the success of tracks like "Sippin' on Some Sizzurp" and "Chickenheads" and have a dedicated following. So when song they wrote for the film "Hustle & Flow," won them an Oscar in 2005, it only seemed right. Three six would go on to became the first black music group to win an Academy Award for Best Song and also became the first hip-hop artists to ever perform at the ceremony.

19. R. Kelly Marries Aaliyah - Unbeknown to many outside the music industry, the R&B crooner did in fact have a very brief marriage to an at the time 15-year-old Aaliyah. Kelly, who knew Aaliyah since she was 12-years-old helped her on her debut album "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number," and had spent significant time working with her. When it was discovered that Aaliyah had in fact lied on the marriage certificate that she was 18 instead of 15, the marriage was soon annulled with both parties denying ever being married.

18. Tina Turner Hits Roc Bottom Then Makes an Amazing Comeback - Eight time Grammy Award winning diva is one of music's most resilient artists. She has sang some of music's biggest hits, including 'River Deep - Mountain High' and 'Proud Mary.' Despite all of her earlier success, she lived a rough life with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, who was known for his temper, which often translated into him beating her. Tina finally fled Ike in 1976 and hid for several months, living off friends and food stamps. The divorce was finalized in 1978 after 16 years, and Tina was not shy talking about her experience, penning a book, 'I, Tina,' which was later turned into the film, 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' Tina's strength is noteworthy as she managed to maintain and attain her greatest success ever, with the release of her major label debut solo project, 'Private Dancer,' which would sell over 20 million copies.

17. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Launch Nipplegate - During the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, the world was given an all access pass into Janet Jackson's wardrobe. At the end of the performance of Timberlake's "Rock Your Body," he was supposed to rip Janet's bustier and leave her red lace bra in tact, but of course, things didn't go according to plan and Janet was instead stripped down to a lone pasty. The "wardrobe" malfunction stirred so much controversy that it earned Janet a place in the Guinness book of world records as "The Most Searched in Internet History" -- surpassing even searches for the September 11th attacks.

16. Three of Hip Hop’s Most Prominent Female Rappers Go to Prison - Conspiracy and perjury for lying to a grand jury, violating probation for a fight with two manicurists and shooting your friend in the stomach over $5000, are the crimes that landed hip-hop's biggest rapstress' in the slammer. What's surprising is how closely the prison sentences followed each other as well as the fact that these women were even going to prison in the first place. It was almost surreal to see them go, despite their often gritty lyrics, because for the most part, you know they are not living the life they sometimes brag about.

15. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Burns Down Andre Rison’s Home - In 1994, the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes made headlines when she burnt down the mansion of her boyfriend and Atlanta Falcons star, Andre Rison. The incident took place when Lopes lit Rison's sneakers on fire due to an argument the two had at the time. Not only did the fire cost Rison to lose his multi-million dollar home, but it landed Lopes at a halfway house for therapy with five years probation.

14. Whitney Houston Marries Bobby Brown - The phrase 'A Match Made In Heaven' didn't apply to Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown when they tied the knot in 1992. Many people were in fact shocked that the two were dating in the late 1980s when Houston was at the height of her career gaining crossover success, while Brown maintained a bad boy image. The couple would go on to divorce in 2007, after 15 years of marriage.

13. Curtis Mayfield is Paralyzed - Anybody who was anybody who lived in the 60s and 70s knew of Curtis Mayfield and had heard his sound. Curtis was a pioneer of funk and politically conscience music in the African American community and help spread the black power music through his heavy songs. He was best known for being the lead singer of 'The Impressions,' composing the soundtrack for the film 'Superfly,' and producing such hits as "Freddy's Dead," "Diamond in the Back," and "Move On Up." In 1990, Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down when stage lighting equipment at an outdoor concert at the Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, fell on him. He was unable to play to guitar and it became painful for him to record. In February, 1998, he had to have his right leg amputated due to diabetes and he passed on December 26th, 1999, the same year that he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

12. Snoop Dogg Acquitted of Murder Charges - The recording and release of Snoop Dogg's debut album 'Doggystyle' was faced with both critically-acclaimed success and controversy. While the album shot to the top of the charts Snoop along with his bodyguard, McKinley Lee was arrested in connection of the death of rival gang member Phillip Woldermarian. Woldermarian was reportedly killed in a shootout between other rival gangs. The two were tried and acquitted in 1996.

11. Rapper Shyne Takes the Fall for P. Diddy - Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' protégé Shyne (born Jamal Barrow) gained public notoriety with his involvement in the 1999 Club New York incident. The rapper allegedly opened fire in response to a gang member who attempted to shoot Combs in the club. Barrow's gunshots resulted in a bystander getting hit in the face with plaster from the club's ceiling. On June 1, 2001 Combs and his bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones was acquitted of all charges, leaving Shyne to serve 10 years in prison for first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

10. Jam Master Jay Killed in Recording Studio - In 2002, when Jason "Jam Master Jay" was killed, it was one of the most unexpected moments in hip-hop. No one expected one of the founders of the legendary hip-hop pioneers, Run-DMC, to be taken away so suddenly or so violently. Along with the other members, Run and DMC, Jay would popularize Adidas and forever ingrain them into the culture. He was only 37 and the motive for the crime apparently had something to do with his involvement with the rapper 50 Cent. Regardless of the fact, his memory lives on through the many rappers who were influenced by him.

9. Rick James and his Girlfriend Hold a Woman Hostage for Six Day and Burn Her With a Crack Pipe - Long before his career was resuscitated by Charlie Murphy's sketches on 'The Chappelle Show,' Rick James had reached the pinnacles of stardom, selling records, getting groupies and heavy usage of drugs. James' infamy with drugs was capitulated in 1991, when he and future wife, Tanya Hijazi were accused of holding a young woman hostage for up to six days, tying her up, forcing her to perform sexual acts, and burning her legs and abdomen with a hot end of a crack cocaine pipe during a week long cocaine binge. In 1993, James was said to have assaulted another woman, music executive Mary Sauger, at the St. James Club and Hotel in West Hollywood. She claims she met James and Hijazi for a business meeting, but says that the two kidnapped and beat her over a 20-hour period. Needless to say, he was imprisoned for two years and lost a $2 million civil suit.

8. Kayne West Goes on Television and Denounces George Bush - No stranger to controversy, Kanye West set off a venerable firestorm when he went on television during a live telethon and denounced the state of poverty in the United States as well as the disregard George Bush had for Katrinans, stating the now infamous line, "George Bush does not care about black people." Although his microphone was cut, the message was still received by much of America, loud and clear.

7. Gerald Levert and his Brother Sean Suddenly Die - The sons of O'Jays lead singer Eddie Levert, Gerald and Sean had a certain pedigree about them. They were both musically inclined and at one time even teamed up with their friend Marc Gordon to form the group Levert. Each enjoyed successful solo careers with Gerald's star rising slightly higher. On November 10, 2006, Gerald was found dead at the age of 40, in his Newbury home when a cousin tried to wake him. The cause of death was ruled an accidental overdose. Two years later, Sean Levert would unfortunately follow as he fell ill and died in prison, just a week into a year-long sentence for failing to pay child support. Sadly Eddie was forced to bury both his sons within only a two-year span.

6. Ice Tea Releases Cop Killer - Rodney King beating, Ice-T's group Body Count released 'Cop Killer.' The controversial song appeared on the group's self-titled debut album in 1992 causing an uproar within the justice system. Police forces from across the U.S. along with Vice President Dan Quayle and President Bush launched a campaign to force Body Count's label, Warner Bros. Records to pull the album from stores. The turmoil resulted in Ice-T removing the song from the record and replacing it with 'Freedom of Speech.'

5. Marvin Gaye is Shot and Killed by His Father - To say that Marvin Gaye was iconic, would be an understatement, he helped define black music over several decades. Gaye helped put Motown on the map with his songwriting as well as his soul ballads. Many of his songs are as ubiquitous today as they were in the 60s, 70s, and 80s with messages that remain relevant. Following the death of singing companion, Tammi Terrell , Gaye would eventually go into seclusion and move into his father's home. Gaye and his father, a clergyman, did not get along and on April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son at 44 years of age.

4. Aaliyah and Left Eye Die Tragically - These two will always be paired together for the proximity and timing of their tragic and unfortunate deaths. Their creativity they had individually was unmatched as they were very unique in their own rights. When news broke that Aaliyah's plane had crashed in 2001, it was saddening given her potential at only 22 years of age. She was a multi platinum artist and getting into a lot of more acting roles. Lisa, was at times considered one of the most creative catalysts within TLC and she helped propel them to sell over 22 million copies of their albums. She died a year later in 2002, when a car she was driving sped out of control and crashed only kill her, despite the fact that there were other passengers in the car.

3. Michael Jackson Being Michael Jackson - The king of pop, over the last several decades , has gone to no end to prove to the world just strange he can be. And it's pretty much a one man race as he seems to constantly up the ante. One of his more unfortunate moments came during the filming of a 1984 Pepsi commercial when the pyrotechnics accidentally went off set his hair on fire. Jackson was also noted for having Vitilligo (with many skeptics in the black community) and holding his baby Blanket out of the window for no apparent reason.

2. Eazy-E Dies of AIDS - As the founder of N.W.A., Eazy-E help usher in the era of West Coast gangster rap that would grip the country for much of the early to mid-90's. His record label, Ruthless Records, would find tremendous success for several years until label mates, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube jumped ship over what they deemed as irreconcilable financial issues. In March 1995, Eazy-E checked himself into Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what he he thought was bronchitis. It was soon discovered that he instead had AIDS and was already in the advance stages. And so just like that Eazy-E became an inescapable victim of a disease that people were just beginning to get a grasp of. He would die just 10 days later on March 20.

1. Tupac and Biggie are Shot and Killed in the East Coast/West Coast Feud - Few things have shaken up black music as much as the death to these two prolific rappers. Their brash and brazen bravado defined their individual persona's and they created identity's that many people wished to identify with. On the night of November 30, 1994, Shakur was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of the Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan. He would later accuse Sean Combs, Andre Harrell, and Biggie Smalls - whom he saw after the shooting - of setting him up. This incident would help create an volcanic East Coast/West Coast "beef" that would last until each of them was dead. They made no apologies as their feud grew to encapsulate two entire regions of the country. They helped propel music while at the same time redefined what hip-hop is and was. Their battle and it's unfortunate outcome serves as a reminder of frivolous nature of music and the fine line between art and reality. On September 7, 1996 Tupac was shot numerous times and on September 13, died of internal bleeding. Just a year later Biggie Smalls was killed on March 9, after sustaining multew things have shaken up black music as much as the death to these two prolific rappers. Their brash and brazen bravado defined their individual persona's and they created identity's that many people wished to identify with. On the night of November 30, 1994, Shakur was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of the Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan. He would later accuse Sean Combs, Andre Harrell, and Biggie Smalls - whom he saw after the shooting - of setting him up. This incident would help create an volcanic East Coast/West Coast "beef" that would last until each of them was dead. They made no apologies as their feud grew to encapsulate two entire regions of the country. They helped propel music while at the same time redefined what hip-hop is and was. Their battle and it's unfortunate outcome serves as a reminder of frivolous nature of music and the fine line between art and reality. On September 7, 1996 Tupac was shot numerous times and on September 13, died of internal bleeding. Just a year later Biggie Smalls was killed on March 9, after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Top 5 On Friday - Week 181: It's All About "You"

From Musical Memoirs, Top 5 On Friday - Week 181 Top 5 "You" songs ie. songs with "you" in the title.

1. Only You - Teddy Pendergrass

2. You and I - Stephanie Mills

3. I've Been Waiting For A Girl Like You - Foreigner

4. I Can't Tell You Why - Eagles

5. You - Marvin Gaye

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 25 - Thirteen Jinxed Celebrities

These thirteen celebrities have been unlucky in life, love or their career in some shape or fashion and I would probably feel really sorry for them if some of their woes were not self-manufactured or if they didn't have millions of dollars. Who would make your list of unlucky celebrity?

1. Tara Reid - Ditching Carson Daly back in the day wasn't a bad idea, but everything Tara Reid has done since then has proven to be a mistake. From fashion malfunctions to botched plastic surgeries and everything in between, the tanned train wreck is desperately in need of some good luck.

2. Jennifer Aniston - Even though Jennifer Aniston parted ways with Brad Pitt over three years ago, she's still considered unlucky in love. Perhaps her recent romance with John Mayer will lead the former "Friend" down the aisle for a second time? Unfortunately, the chances are slim based on the number of leading ladies John has left in the dust.

3. Jessica Simpson - Speaking of John Mayer, Jessica Simpson hasn't seemed super since splitting with the singer/songwriter. Despite the comfort of her current beau Tony Romo, the blond bombshell is beyond stressed thanks to a stalled music career, a meddling father, and a younger sister who's not only married but pregnant.

4. Star Jones-Reynolds - When her battle with Barbara boiled over on "The View," many believed Star would fade away forever. Her questionable marriage to Al Reynolds and a chat show on Court TV kept her dimmer on low. In recent months, she's lost everything, and it appears that it's lights out for the self-involved former star.

5. Alanis Morrisette - With tracks on her new disc entitled "The Guy Who Leaves," "Incomplete," "Straightjacket," "Madness," and "On the Tequila," we're guessing that Alanis Morissette isn't over the fact that her delicious ex, Ryan Reynolds, left her in favor of Scarlett Johansson, to whom he's currently engaged.

6. David Beckham – Guys have bad luck too. Less than a year ago, the MLS and the City of Angels welcomed David Beckham with open arms, and soccer fans around the world rejoiced. Unfortunately, the hottie didn't live up to the hype. The superstar, and part-time underwear model, only managed to play in eight matches, provide three assists, and score one goal for the Galaxy in his lackluster debut season.

7. Britney Spears - Our beloved Brit is slowly but surely attempting to resurrect her career, but one thing is for sure - the tasteless pop tart is still unlucky in love and when it comes to outfit selection!

8. Christine Cavallari - When "Laguna Beach" sailed off into the sunset a few years ago, Kristin Cavallari was poised for stardom. However, after her UPN show sank, she was on the outside looking in as L.C. ascended to the top of "The Hills," Audrina landed a movie role, Whitney nabbed a spin-off, Heidi debuted a fashion line, and Spencer Pratt became a household name.

9. Jordin Sparks - Now that Jordin Sparks has been replaced by a new "Idol" (David Cook), her 15 minutes of fame are in jeopardy. Yes, the single "No Air" is a quasi hit, but with an injured vocal chord and stalled album sales, the teen could quickly find herself signing autographs alongside Justin Guarini and Jasmine Trias at a county fair.

10. Brook Hogan - Hopefully Brooke Hogan's petite beau Jonathan Prater is helping her cope with her parents' failed marriage, her brother's incarceration, and her failed music career.

11. Lindsay Lohan - Lindsay's stock continues to erode. The once promising young star of "Mean Girls" has reverted to hawking a custom line of leggings now that her film career has officially come to a screeching halt. What's next? Promotional appearances at Forever 21?

12. Ian Zierling - Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) are heading back to the halls of Bev Hills High this coming fall in the CW's "90210" spin-off, while an uninvited Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) will likely be crying himself to sleep in his 1991 Chevy Corvette.

13. Denise Richards - Who would have guessed that in the bitter divorce battle between Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Charlie would come out on top and Denise would quickly become a public enemy? We suppose it doesn't help your image when you toss your young kids on a tacky reality show and shack up with your former BFF's (Heather Locklear) man minutes after their breakup.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Dunwoody To Become First Female Four Star General

I am all about “girl power” and women being given the opportunity to do extraordinary things. For the first time in American history a woman has been chosen for promotion to four-star general. The Pentagon announced Monday that President Bush nominated Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody to head the Army Materiel Command, responsible for equipping, outfitting and arming soldiers throughout the Army.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman to attain the rank of a full general. By law, the Army is limited to 11 active-duty four-stars, including the Army chief of staff, Gen. George Casey. Women haven't reached four-star rank because by law they are excluded from serving in combat roles, which historically have been the path to the highest-ranking positions. That exclusion still applies, but with Dunwoody the Army has chosen to cast aside its customary limitations on promotion.

Dunwoody is one of only two female three-stars in the Army; the other is Lt. Gen. Kathleen Gainey, director of logistics on the Joint Staff. Dunwoody currently is deputy commander of Army Materiel Command. Among her earlier assignments, she was commander of Army Combined Arms Support Command and the Army deputy chief of staff for logistics.

Dunwoody is a native of New York; she received her Army commission after graduating from the State University of New York in 1975. In a statement released to the press Dunwoody stated, "I am very honored but also very humbled today with this announcement. I grew up in a family that didn't know what glass ceilings were. This nomination only reaffirms what I have known to be true about the military throughout my career _ that the doors continue to open for men and women in uniform."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Candace Parker Serves It Up!

It was about six years ago when it first happened, but now another Los Angeles Spark player has done it again. In a game against the Miami Sol, the Sparks' Lisa Leslie received a pass from her team mate Latasha Byears on a fast break, took it to the hole, dunking for the first time in WNBA history. The crowd and the team went crazy.

Well, over the weekend rookie extraordinaire Candace Sparks matched that historic moment. In a game against the Indiana Fever, after a missed shot and long rebound, Parker ran the court, found herself alone and dunked the ball, making it her first dunk in a WNBA game and only the second dunk in WNBA history (Lisa's dunk came in a playoff game).

"Just trying not to miss," Parker told the LA Times of her approach on the dunk. "It's exciting to do it in front of Los Angeles, at home and on the same basket that Lisa did it on."

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

It is the very rare occasion that I do tributes. That tasks is better left to Malcolm of Pop Culture Dish, who does a much better job at it than I. Nonetheless I felt compelled to say something about comedian George Carlin because his commentary always struck a chord with me. He said things that I wish I had thought of or been brave enough to say. He not only made us laugh, he made us think.

From time to time HBO would air specials showcasing his talents pretty regularly and I always try to catch him whenever I could because dude was hilarious. Carlin displayed the type of genius that made Richard Pryor iconic. In fact they both appeared in one of my favorite classics from the 1970's "Car Wash". He had a great scene as a cab driver transporting a hooker.

Carlin was also responsible for coming up with the "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television". He is arguably the best stand-up comedian after Pryor and before Lenny Bruce. He remained relevant until today when he passed away. He material was always on point and his take on the world was fresh and thought-provoking. Here is George's official website with a very informative time line created by George himself. I am going to miss this guy. RIP George!

Check out this clip of the "Seven Words". Warning! Language might be offensive to some.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Afro Sheen Commercial

Thinking about Soul Train reminded me of the Afro Sheen commercials that use to air during the show. Everybody in the 70's regardless to whether you had an afro or not. Come travel back to the 1970's with me and experience a time when both men and women wore high heel shoes, Dashikis and bell bottomed pants.

Shaft wore one, and so did the Angela Davis, and as Black Pride took to the streets, African-Americans not only reclaimed an affection for African dress and accessories, but many stopped processing and relaxing their hair in an attempt to conform to white standards of beauty. But who had the biggest 'fro? Cleopatra Jones, Link from "The Mod Squad" or Bernie from "Room 222".

A true afro meant much more than letting the hair grow in a carefree style like the straight and uncut hippie look. An afro needed meticulous care including meticulous raking with a big hair pick, or "Afro rake" and treating with a big black jar of Afro Sheen. Afros could be cropped-close to the head or grown to such wide dimensions that it was hard to get through the door. Let us not forget about cornrowed natural hair, which was also a very popular style of the day. Whatever the size, having a perfectly symmetrical crown of glory was the ultimate.

Don Cornelius Sells The Soul Train Franchise

As a teenager each and every one of my Saturday mornings was spent doing my chores designated for the day and watching “Soul Train”. Sometime I would watch “American Bandstand” when Dick Clark had a guest that I wanted to see; however I watched “Soul Train” religiously. Don Cornelius, with his huge afro and his laid back demeanor was a perfect complement to the high energy dance moves and talented array of guest stars who graced the stage week after week. My best friend and I made a vow to get on that show (it never happened of course).

I was a little sad to here that after 37 years, "the hippest trip America" has come under new ownership. Although the show was never the same after Cornelius’s departure as host and I haven’t watched the show in years, I still feel like I have lost something from my youth.

It seems the franchise, has been sold to MadVision Entertainment, a a multimedia company specializing in branded urban content and production. The deal includes production rights to "Soul Train's" weekly series, including a catalog of more than 1,100 hours of archival footage. New episodes haven't been produced since 2006, but it's understood that MadVision may bring the show back sometime in the future.

"The 'Soul Train' legacy and brand are of the utmost importance to me and to 'Soul Train's' millions of fans," Cornelius told the Hollywood Reporter. "After years of offers, I feel the time is now finally right to pass the torch. The MadVision team understands and respects my vision."
Peter Griffith, who founded MadVision with Kenard Gibbs and Anthony Maddox, said the company also is eyeing new opportunities for "Soul Train" on DVD, broadband and video-on-demand. The goal, according to the new owners, is to preserve the show's legacy and expand the brand for the generations to come.

I don’t think it can ever be the same. Oh well, as Don would say "... and you can bet your last money, it's gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!" I would like everyone to join me in bidding a fond farewell to the SOOOOUUUULLLL TRAIN!

Enjoy This Clip Featuring The Late Great Willie Hutch and Don Cornelius with his big Afro

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In Praise of Good Television - Martin

I have been on a vintage television kick of late and thought I would mention another of my favorite shows from the past. Martin was a sassy sitcom centering on a radio-and-television personality named Martin Payne. The series focuses on Martin's romantic relationship with girlfriend Gina Waters, his job changes from a radio personality to a television personality, and the variety of friends Martin hangs out with along the way: the loud-mouthed and sassy Pam James and his best friends Tommy Strong and Cole Brown.

Star, Martin Lawrence, also portrays of host of wild characters on the show. His neighbor Sheneneh; his mother Mama Payne; Otis the security guard; Jerome the gold-toothed player; Roscoe the snot-nosed kid who's always looking for a leg up; Bob, the white guy, King-Beef, Elroy, and many more. Martin is the center of attention, as each episode takes you from one hilarious circumstance to another.

Martin's girlfriend (and later, his wife) was Gina Waters Payne an ad executive who could, on occasion, be as egotistical and badly behaved as Martin, but otherwise maintained a level head. Speaking of heads, one of the running gags of the show was the size of Gina's dome. Tommy was a friendly guy who usually became the most irritated with Cole's stupidity, often commenting "Cole you Stupid".

Because no one ever knew what Tommy did for a living and because Tommy himself would never say what he did for a living, dancing around the question, a common running gag occurred whenever Tommy mentioned his job in a given situation, to which everyone would exclaim in unison, "You ain't GOT no job, MAN!" Pam completed the circle of friends. She and Martin had a true love/hate relationship (mostly the latter!), as they constantly traded insulting wisecracks between each other, but were there for each other when push came to shove. Ironically, Arnold is one of Lawrence's closest friends in real life.

Other characters who showed up from time to time were Brotha Man, the upstairs neighbor, Hustle Man, the guy who sold stolen goods, Sheneneh's girlfriends, Martin's boss Stan, and his mother's cackling buddies. There was talk of the cast doing a movie, much like the cast from "Sex in the City" did earlier this year. I would go and see it because in its heyday Martin and his crew made for must see TV. Hijinks, laughter, quick-witted banter, and lotsa love, make this series one to last forever.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kelly Acquitted!

R. Kelly was acquitted of all charges Friday after less than a day of deliberations in his child pornography trial, ending a six-year ordeal for the R&B superstar. Kelly dabbed his face with a handkerchief and hugged each of his four attorneys after the verdict — not guilty on all 14 counts — was read. The Grammy award-winning singer had faced 15 years in prison if convicted. Minutes later, surrounded by bodyguards, he left the courthouse without comment. Dozens of fans screamed and cheered as he climbed into a waiting SUV. It reminds me of the Boondocks episode “The Trial of R Kelly”, which took place over two years ago. The outcome was exactly the same, with Kelly getting off without a hitch.

I have to say I am not surprised. I made a 1.00 bet with my cousin in Milwaukee that Kelly would be acquitted, and so I called to collect. After she asked me not to rub it in, she stated that she realized he wouldn't be convicted when the young lady, who was thirteen at the time of the alleged incident, was denying that it was her on the video. I believe she was probably paid (handsomely) not to divulge any information about her encounter with R.

Now you might say that I am talking like he is guilty. Well, duh! Of course he is! I don't care what the jury found, R Kelly is guilty as charged. As we have all learned over the years, prosecuting a celebrity in the country is damn near impossible. Offhand I cannot remember a celebrity being sent to jail since Mike Tyson in the early 1990’s. With all the adult women in the world, I hope R Kelly comes out of the closet (pun intended) and stop fooling around with underaged girls.

The month long trial centered on whether Kelly was the man who appears on a sexually graphic, 27-minute videotape at the heart of the case, and whether a female who also appears on it was underage. Over seven days presenting their case, prosecutors called 22 witnesses, including several childhood friends of the alleged victim and four of her relatives who identified her as the female on the video.

In just two days, Kelly’s lawyers called 12 witnesses. They included three relatives of the alleged victim who testified they did not recognize her as the female on the tape. Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Shauna Boliker said she believed the female on the tape was a victim, not a prostitute as the defense had contended.

The star prosecution witness, Lisa Van Allen, became teary eyed as she told jurors she engaged in several three-way sexual encounters with Kelly and the alleged victim, including once on a basketball court. Kelly videotaped the trysts, she said. Van Allen also claimed Kelly used to carry a duffel bag stuffed full of his homemade sex tapes. The defense called several witnesses in a bid to discredit Van Allen, accusing her of trying to extort money from Kelly. Under cross-examination, Van Allen admitted she once stole Kelly’s $20,000 diamond-studded watch from a hotel.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 24 - Thirteen Movies That I Can Watch Over and Over

This week I decided to go with Movies I can watch over and over. These may make me laugh, cry or provoke thought. Do you have films that you never get enough of?

1. Roll Bounce - Funny movie about the Rollerskating subculture of the 1970's.

2. Lady Sings The Blues - Nominated for an Oscar for your first film! Diana Ross at her very best.

3. Jackie Brown - Quentin Tarentino and Pam Grier at their finest.

4. Why Do Fools Fall in Love - The movie has some of the funniest dialogue you'll ever hear.

5. Love Jones - Wonderful story about finding and losing love.

6. Final Destination Trilogy - I don't usually like scary movies, but these were riveting.

7. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - John Candy and Steve Martin together, simply hilarious!

8. Glitter - I know, I know, it bombed and almost singlehandedly destroyed Mariah's career, but it has some good 80's disco scenes. What can I say.

9. Romeo Must Die - The last full performance by Aaliyah makes this worth watching, not to mention the martial art scenes by Jet Li.

10. Sparkle - Before Dreamgirls, there was Sparkle.

11. Piece of the Action - The third outing by Cosby and Poitier, with a killer soundtrack by Mavis Staples.

12. The Temptations - As you can tell I enjoy movies based on music.

13. Do The Right Thing - I can always watch this Spike Lee joint. Some Memorable Performances here.

This is one of my favorite scenes from the film "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles". John Candy was a gas!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From Music Memoirs, Tuesday Tunes - Week 36

What's the first artist/song/album etc that comes to mind when you see the following words?

jazz: A Little Bit of Jazz by The Nick Striker Band

cool: Cool Jerk by the Capitols

swing: Swing Out Sister

club: The Club version of Heartbeat by Tanya Gardner

street: Street Player by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

thank: Thanks For Saving My Life by Billy Paul

rose: A Rose is Still a Rose by Aretha Franklin

party: Party by KC and the Sunshine Band

sex: Sex Machine by James Brown

water: Water by Graham Central Station

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Good Times

I have been watching old shows like Thea and Different Strokes and thinking about how far television has evolved, specifically about how African Americans are represented on television, I realized that I could still count the notable and inspiring black characters this season on one hand. We all know black folk have come a long way in real life, but for some reason, TV still tells a different story. I think I prefer the black television of yesteryear. We've been so busy moving forward and not looking back that we've forgotten the black characters of the past who inspired us, worked hard, set positive examples for the community and made us proud to be black. Case in point: Good Times.

During my teens and early twenties, Good Times was often dismissed as a negative representation of black popular culture. People said it perpetuated stereotypes, and everyone focused on J.J. as “The Coon”. Recently I had a chance a marathon of Good Times on TV One. I have often relayed to others that this is one of my favorite television show of all times. After really watching the show through 2008 eyes, I realized that Good Times actually had it right.

Looking at the show now so many things stood out to me, especially after watching several shows in a row. First, the Evans family probably had more integrity than any African-American TV family. Ever. Now before you jump in with the Huxtables, I have to say, the Evanses are far more impressive, because they actually had real life problems. The Huxtables, while they were a meaningful and entertaining acknowledgement of affluent black life, didn't struggle like the Evanses. Isn’t the true measure of a man (or woman) is how they perform when they’re down right? Well, the Evanses were down all the time with constant problems. Theo Huxtable's girlfriend was never shooting up heroin in the bathroom.

The Evanses had real life or death, how-we-gonna-eat problems. They faced poverty, VD, unemployment, discrimination, gangs, suicide, child abuse, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, hypertension, illiteracy and the like. I mean, if there was a social issue, Good Times covered it. And the family's way of dealing with these issues always centered around morality, integrity, strength and just being downright decent. What African-American TV family represents those values today? Hell, what white family for that matter?

The Evanses had a strong two-parent home. James was clearly the leader of the family, but he and Florida still acted as partners. Their love for each other was evident. The kids respected the parents. They weren't obnoxious smart asses, and they weren't incorrigible troublemakers either. They were regular kids. They were us. Although they were poor, they were hopeful and eager to learn and jump at opportunity.

J.J. was a talented artist. What an incredible role model! I mean, as silly as J.J. was, he was a creative genius. Where can you find a talented African-American painter on TV today? He made black art and painting accessible to the world. He showed us a talent and an art form that many of us would have never been exposed to otherwise. He showed poor kids that poverty cannot stifle art or creativity. And the J.J. character allowed the producers to showcase the work of real life African-American artist Ernie Barnes (who did all the actual paintings shown). Where can you find African-American art on TV today? Do you realize how cool that is?

And Thelma. She was sexy, yet classy, and like all us women growing up, she made some mistakes and got into some sticky situations. Remember when she was about to marry that African fool or when she got felt up by Willona's creepy ex-husband Ray? I mean that's real life there. But through it all she grew up, stepped up when James died, always handled herself with class and grace, and she had a husband before she had a baby. Who would argue that she isn't a great role model for young women of any socio-economic class?

Finally Michael always kept racial issues in the forefront, injecting social consciousness into every conversation. Michael was a typical, bright, city kid. He was militant, excelled in school; he was strong but respectful of his parents. He also got involved with gangs, got drunk off Vita-Brite and beat up that fat kid in school that time. He went through what we all go through trying to find ourselves in this world. But he knew that education was the key to his success, and that thread ran throughout the show. Where can you find that now?

And as bad off as the Evanses were financially, they never asked for hand-outs or charity, never made excuses. They acknowledged racism, but never used it as a crutch. They just knew they had to work twice as hard because racism stacked the deck against them. If times were tough, James just worked harder. Florida and James always had a hopeful outlook. They always focused on hard work and its relationship to success. They helped their neighbors and ate dinner together. Can you imagine what a world this would be if we all embodied the character traits of the Evans family? It would be good times, indeed.

Looking at current representations of African Americans on TV, I can't believe I ever dismissed Good Times as being merely entertainment. Many African Americans at the time felt that since it was a show depicting a poor black family, then it was, bad, an insult, a stereotype. It was dismissed as something we had come too far to look at, an obsolete show with no value and no relevance to modern day black people.

I know folks out there are going to argue that the show "Jumped the Shark" when James died, even so where can you find a better representation of African Americans today? Tell you what, watch Good Times and then look at us now. Take a new look at the Evanses, and then look at our images on MTV and VH1 and BET. Look at the way African Americans are depicted on network dramas and sitcoms. Check out the evening news.

Then you tell me if Good Times didn't have it right?

At Last!

Hillary Rodham Clinton closed out her astonishing presidential run and pledged her full support to Barack Obama, asking her supporters to unite behind rival Barack Obama at a speech in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. "I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," she told a cheering crowd. What do I say to this latest development in the saga of the Democrats campaign for the presidency? It’s about time! She should have conceded before now, but better late than never.

I hope her endorsement repairs some of the damage caused during the process.
I actually was beginning to think that this day would never come. The Senator stated as recently as Tuesday that she the strongest candidate was forthright and convincing as she gave Obama an unqualified endorsement and pivoted from her role as determined foe to absolute ally. This is an important step because although she was not able to secure the nomination, she made tremendous strides for politics in general and women in particular.

Senator Clinton went on to add that she was suspending her campaign and congratulated Senator Obama on the victory and praised him on the extraordinary race he ran in her 28-minute address. Senator Clinton placed herself solidly behind her Senate colleague from Illinois, a political sensation and the first black to secure a presidential nomination.

For Clinton and her supporters, it was a poignant moment, the end of an amazing run that began with an air of inevitability and certain victory. About 18 million people voted for her, making her bid for the presidency the closest a woman has come to capturing a nomination. She was quoted today as saying that "although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before," she said.

Her speech repeatedly returned to addressing what the milestone of a woman running for president has represented for women. Her support among women was a solid bloc of her voting coalition. She noted that she'd received the support of women who were 80 and 90 years old, born before women could even vote. She acknowledged the unprecedented success of Obama's candidacy, as well by saying.
"Children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States," she said.

Obama secured the 2,118 delegates needed to clinch the nomination Tuesday after primaries in South Dakota and Montana. In deciding to suspend her campaign, Senator Clinton kept some options open. She will retain her delegates to the nominating convention this summer and she can continue to raise money. It also means she could reopen her campaign if circumstances change before the Denver convention, but gave no indication that was her intention.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pissed Off Clinton Supporter

Malcolm from Pop Culture Dish emailed me this video clip of a disgruntled female Democrat, thinking I might interested and he was right. I thought when the Democratic Party finally selected the nominee, all the Democrats would get behind the nominee, forget their differences, and forge ahead in an effort to win in November. It has become apparent that this is not going to happen, in fact the pundits within the party are still going after Senator Obama full forced. I cannot remember a more cutthroat campaign within the party and I am not wondering whether in the final analysis this is all going to boil down to an issue of black and white. Senators Obama and Clinton's political platforms are not that much different and He has said he is more than willing to confer with Senator Clinton and that her support will be invaluable to him on the road to the White House.

I really do not think that the Democrats have sold us out as the woman in the video implies.
What I do believe is that she voices the sentiments of more than a few Democrats, and that McCain will not only get her vote, but the votes of other party jumpers who are not willing to embrace change. On a less than serious note, her ranting reminds me of someone who has been drinking A LOT! But you know what they say, "A drunk speaks a sober mind". What do you think about her opinion on the upcoming election? Is her gripe valid or is her ramblings merely sour grapes?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 23 - Women Behind the Songs

The subject of this week’s Thursday Thirteen is the women behind the songs. I could think of more songs named after women, like Enchantment’s “Gloria” or Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally", for instance, but I could not find information about who inspired the song. These are listed in chronological order. What are some of your favorite women inspired songs?

1. Peggy Sue Gerron
From Buddy Holly's 'Peggy Sue' (1957) Holly wrote some lovely songs for his wife, Maria Elena, but his best-known hit was actually inspired by the woman who would later become his drummer's wife. Peggy Sue was a classmate of Holly's at Texas' Lubbock High when the song -- which the singer flirted with re-titling 'Cindy Lou' -- topped the charts. She's currently working on an autobiography titled 'Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?'

2. Donna Ludwig
From Ritchie Valen's ‘Oh Donna’ (1958) Valens wrote this song for his high school sweetheart, Donna Ludwig. Their relationship was included in the 1987 biographical film “La Bamba”.
Donna Ludwig is now Donna Fox. She remains active in events having to do with her childhood boyfriend Ritchie Valens.

3. Carole King
From Neil Sedaka's 'Oh Carol' (1962) Impressing a love interest with a song gets a lot more difficult when said subject is just as capable of writing a smash hit herself -- but this bouncy tune helped Sedaka score points with high school sweetie Carol Klein. The song went on to become one of Sedaka's biggest hits, and inspired Klein -- who had by then adopted the nom de disque Carole King -- to record the answer tune "Oh Neil." Not even Neil Armstrong's moon landing some years later could make that one a hit.

4.Jenny Boyd
From Donovan’s 'Jennifer Juniper' (1968) Fashion models often captivate rock stars, but even by the standards of that profession, Jenny Boyd had a special magic. The teenage waif proved equally enraptured with folkie Donovan, who serenaded her with this guileless song. Their romance would prove short-lived, and Jenny went on to marry and divorce Mick Fleetwood -- twice! -- before earning her psychology degree. Coincidentally, Jenny's older sister Patti -- married to George Harrison but in love with Eric Clapton -- was the inspiration for 'Layla'.

5. Caroline Kennedy
From Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ (1969)
Diamond said he was a "young, broke songwriter" in the '60s when he saw a cute photo of Caroline Kennedy in a magazine. “It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," he recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture; I immediately felt there was a song in there."

6. Candy Darling From the Velvet Underground's 'Candy Says' (1969) Lou Reed wrote this as an homage to Warhol "superstar" Candy Darling, who came to New York a shy young man and emerged as a glamorous blond woman. Reed channeled both Candy's delicacy and steeliness in lines like "I've come to hate my body/And all that it requires in this world" -- a reference to the female hormones that enabled her gender change but ultimately took her life. He also name-checked her in 'Walk on the Wild Side,' recalling, "In the back room, she was everybody's darling."

7. Judy Collins
From Crosby Stills and Nash's 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' (1969) Written by a man on the verge of a catastrophic breakup, this Stephen Stills composition chronicles his love for his longtime girlfriend, folk singer Judy Collins, and the differences that were driving them apart. The last verse of 'Judy Blue Eyes,' sung in Spanish, has absolutely nothing to do with Collins and instead focuses on an unfulfilled desire to take a trip to Cuba. We're presuming there's a veiled reference to Gloria Estefan in there someplace, but our language skills are a little rusty.

8. Patti D’Arbanville
From Cat Steven’s ‘My Lady Darbanville’ (1971) Cat Steven’s was inspired to write this song while in a relationship with actress Patti D’Arbanville, who would later become the girlfriend of Don Johnson and the mother of his son Jessie. I remember her best from the 90’s television show “New York Undercover”.

9. Sara Allen
From Hall and Oates ‘Sara Smile' (1976) Sara Allen was the love interest of Darryl Hall and a songwriter in her own right. Not only was she the inspiration for the 1976 hit Sara Smile. She was also inspired the song “Rich Girl” in a roundabout way, it was about a rich former boyfriend of Sara’s; however rich boy did not sound right.

10. Sara Recor
From Fleetwood Mac’s 'Sara' (1979) Anyone who thinks Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a tough game should try a round of with Sara Recor -- the subject of this airily pretty radio staple. Sara, a good pal of Stevie Nicks, actually helped write her own serenade -- a pretty gutsy move since she was on the verge of stealing Nicks' boyfriend, Mick Fleetwood. Recor and the drummer later married and divorced, but her relationship with Nicks survived -- long enough, at least, for Stevie to "borrow" Recor's first name for this song about Nicks' stint in rehab.

11. Sharona Alperin
From the Knack’s 'My Sharona' (1979) Knack frontman Doug Fieger was a twentysomething rock journeyman with a dirty-old-man streak when he met 16-year-old Sharona, who would give him his place in rock history. Fieger threw caution -- and age-of-consent laws -- to the wind and wooed Sharona, who inspired the song that bears her name, and she ended up posing for the single's picture sleeve. They remained a couple for four years, leaving Fieger as one of rock's great one-hit wonders and Sharona one of L.A.'s more successful real estate agents.

2. Rosanna Arquette
From Toto’s ‘Rosanna’ (1982) Ah, Hollywood. The Rosanna in question is surnamed Arquette -- yes, of 'Desperately Seeking Susan' fame -- and she happened to be the muse/lover of Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro. Ironically, Porcaro neither sang the song -- that would be frontman Bobby Kimball -- nor wrote it. The author was David Paich, who -- in a rare example of rock brotherhood -- penned the song to celebrate the love between his bandmate and Arquette, not to try to win her away from Porcaro.

3. Delilah DiCrescenzo
From Plain White Ts' 'Hey There Delilah' (2006) Plain White T's frontman Tom Higginson wrote this ode to Columbia University steeplechase runner Delilah DiCrescenzo. He fell for Delilah and told her he'd written a tune about her, then quickly backed off when she asked to hear the song, which didn't exist yet. By the time he got around to penning the ditty, Delilah was long gone. She has since weighed in, saying, "Part of me wants to scream at the top of my lungs that it's about me. Another part of me wants to cower and say it's not.

Enjoy Hall & Oates performing "Sara Smile" Live.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!