Tag: Columbus

R.I.P. Grammy Award Winner, Legendary Song Stylist and Civil Rights Activist Nancy Wilson, 81

by Jim Farber via nytimes.com

Nancy Wilson, whose skilled and flexible approach to singing provided a key bridge between the sophisticated jazz-pop vocalists of the 1950s and the powerhouse pop-soul singers of the 1960s and ’70s, died on Thursday at her home in Pioneertown, Calif. She was 81.

Her death was confirmed by her manager, Devra Hall Levy, who said Ms. Wilson had been ill for some time; she gave no other details.

In a long and celebrated career, Ms. Wilson performed American standards, jazz ballads, Broadway show tunes, R&B torch songs and middle-of-the-road pop pieces, all delivered with a heightened sense of a song’s narrative.

“I have a gift for telling stories, making them seem larger than life,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 1993. “I love the vignette, the plays within the song.

Some of Ms. Wilson’s best-known recordings told tales of heartbreak, with attitude. A forerunner of the modern female empowerment singer, with the brassy inflections and biting inflections to fuel it, Ms. Wilson could infuse even the saddest song with a sense of strength.

In her canny signature piece from 1960, “Guess Who I Saw Today”(written by Murray Grand and Elisse Boyd), a woman baits her husband by dryly telling him a story in which he turns out to be the central villain. In her 1968 hit, “Face It Girl, It’s Over” (by Francis Stanton and Angelo Badale), Ms. Wilson first seems to throw cold water in the face of a deluded woman who fails to notice that her lover has lost interest in her. Only later does she reveal that she is the benighted woman scorned.

“Face It Girl,” an epic soul blowout, became one of Ms. Wilson’s biggest chart scores, making the Top 30 of Billboard’s pop chart and Top 15 on its R&B list.ing News

Her biggest hit came in 1964, when “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am”(Jimmy Williams and Larry Harrison), a rapturous R&B ballad delivered with panache, reached No. 11 on Billboard’s pop chart.

Three years later she became one of the few African-Americans of her day to host a TV program, the Emmy-winning “Nancy Wilson Show,” on NBC.

Ms. Wilson released more than 70 albums in a five-decade recording career. She won three Grammy Awards, one for best rhythm and blues recording for the 1964 album “How Glad I Am,” and two for best jazz vocal album, in 2005 and 2007. In 2004, she was honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Nancy Wilson’s album “How Glad I Am,” from 1964, won a Grammy Award for best rhythm and blues recording.

For her lifelong work as an advocate of civil rights, which included participating in a Selma to Montgomery, Ala., protest march in 1965, she received an award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta in 1993 and an N.A.A.C.P. Hall of Fame Image Award in 1998.

In 2005, she was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, also in Atlanta.

“As an artist then, taking such a political stand came with professional risks,” she told the blog Jazz Wax in 2010. “But it had to be done.”

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Tyler Perry Donates $100,000 to Ohio Schools

Actor/Director Tyler Perry attends The Entrepreneurial Minds on April 13, 2012 in Atlanta City, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for American Express)
Actor/Director Tyler Perry (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for American Express)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry has surprised middle school students in Ohio by showing up at a musical concert and donating $100,000 to help student athletes in the city’s South-Western schools.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Perry was drawn to Finland Middle School on Friday after seeing a TV report about teacher Mary Mulvany starting a foundation to raise scholarship money to cover fees.

South-Western schools earned national attention when athletics and extra-curricular activities were eliminated after a failed levy in 2009. The ballot request was later approved by voters, and sports, clubs and other activities were resurrected for a fee.

Perry says he wants to sponsor as many children as possible and wants part of the money to go toward Finland and some to the foundation.

article by Associated Press via thegrio.com

Obama Encourages Ohio State Graduates to ‘Dream Bigger’

resident Barack Obama gives the commencement address to the graduating class of The Ohio State University at Ohio Stadium on May 5, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Obama addressed the graduates a year from the day he kicked off his re-election campaign at the campus.The president was also given an honorary degree Doctor of Laws. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama gives the commencement address to the graduating class of The Ohio State University at Ohio Stadium on May 5, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Obama addressed the graduates a year from the day he kicked off his re-election campaign at the campus.The president was also given an honorary degree Doctor of Laws. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A year to the day after kicking off his victorious re-election campaign on this college campus, President Barack Obama returned to Ohio State University and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their democracy can they right a poorly functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation’s future.

“I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to dream bigger,” Obama said.

In a sunbaked stadium filled with more than 57,000 students, friends and relatives, Obama lamented an American political system that gets consumed by “small things” and works for the benefit of society’s elite. He called graduates to duty to “accomplish great things,” like rebuilding a still-feeble economy and fighting poverty and climate change.

“Only you can ultimately break that cycle. Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be,” Obama told more than 10,000 cap-and-gown-clad graduates gathered for the rite of passage. “But it requires your dedicated, informed and engaged citizenship.”

The visit to Ohio State — the first of three commencement addresses Obama will give this season — was a homecoming of sorts for Obama, who has visited the campus five times over little more than a year, starting with his first official campaign rally here last May. He made many more stops elsewhere in Ohio as he and Republican Mitt Romney dueled for the Midwestern state which was pivotal to Obama’s victories in both 2008 and 2012.

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Born On This Day in 1856: Engineer and Inventor Granville Woods

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Granville T. Woods (April 23, 1856 – January 30, 1910), was an African American inventor who holds more than 60 patents for inventions. Most of his work was on trains and street cars. Woods also invented the Multiplex Telegraph, a device that sent messages between moving trains and train stations. He was born in Columbus, Ohio and died in New York.

via en.wikipedia.org