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"Chicago Streetwise Editorial " & "The Citizen"




IT’S HER TIME AGAIN. And she deserves it!  For years I’ve noticed that her success runs in cycles again and again.  The latest is “FUNK THIS” the title of CHAKA KHAN’s new CD…and a lot of people like it already.

    You know “Chaka” means “Hot” but it was Yvette Marie Stevens who lived somewhere between 76th and 79th streets west of Halsted in Chicago who attended Calumet high snd then Kenwood Academy. Once out of high school, singing was front and center in Yvette’s life. 

     THE GROUP was first “ASK RUFUS” then shortened to “RUFUS” with Chaka going solo in 1983.  There were a number of personnel changes before the hits started.  On the first Rufus album there was one song written by Steve Wonder that caught Mr. Wonder’s ear.  Maybe Your Baby was previously recorded by Stevie. He heard it Chaka’s version and wrote a song for her called Tell  Me Something Good. And it WAS good... good enough to jump start a string of hits for the group and Yvette.

     THE NEW CD is Chaka’s first in a long time and has original songs and covers of other well known artists material.  It’s also interesting that the producers are the same team that worked with Janet Jackson first big hits.  Guests in the studio with Chaka include Michael McDonald and Mary J. Blige.   Chaka recently substituted for Etta James on a B.B. King tour.  It’s her time AGAIN.

TOI OVERTON is also from Chicago’s southside by way of family.  If you drive down State street in Bronzeville you’ll see a building with her name on it.  It’s a family thing…so look up Overton Cosmetics and you’ll find an interesting story.  Toi has a list of name brand associations a mile long.  This Hyde Park High School student has been performing since she was four years young.  Raised in a musical atmosphere, Toi’s father played saxophone on tour with Ella Fitzgerald.  Her mother’s piano also molded the young Toi to sing in church and on Chicago’s famous Sunday morning TV show Jubilee Showcase.  Toi would follow the pathway to glory by entering the talent shows at the Regal Theatre in the mid-sixties.

     AFTER HYDE PARK HIGH it was Roosevelt University and the Chicago Conservatory Of Music.  Toi entered the theatre via The Actors’ Workshop and Jackie Taylor’s Black Ensemble Theatre and later studied under the late Beah Richards…you know her from Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.  On stage Toi Overton has portrayed Sarah Vaugh, Gladys Knight, Cissy Houston and Mavis Staples.

     IN THE BACKGROUND Toi has toured with or recorded with Rod Stewart, Jeffery Osborne. Chaka Khan, The Gap Band and Quincy Jones.   In the movies you saw Toi with cameo roles in the Five Heartbeats and Batman 2 and more.  Toi’s voice has been heard on jingles for Budweiser, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Jewel Foods and Revlon.  Not bad for two ladies from the southside of Chicago.


The Citizen


DR. DUSTY ON STAGE That’s me with Jackie Taylor and Dr. Jimmy Tillman at the Black Ensemble Theatre when I was granted the honorary degree in “DUSTYOLOGY” on September 28th. It was given in recognition of 40 years of service to Chicago’s radio listeners and the preservation and promotion of our music.  We enjoyed the moment at the previews of “Sounds So Good Makes You Want To Hollar”.  The musical is well worth seeing.  Call 773 769 4451 for information.>> More for theatre lovers “Windows Of The Soul” at Northeastern IL University through Saturday November 3rdat 7pm.  Phoenix Productions’ efforts make for a moving dramatic piece with information at 773 499 8838.

     ON THE AIR Chicago’s radio station people are seriously concerned about how the new rating process will work for the most important part of the broadcast year.  Some stations are making changes in their music and personnel while others are doing direct mail contest solicitation or heavy billboard promotions.  The end results determine radio stations advertising rates during 2008.  Christmas music around the clock is an example of “shuffling for Santa”.  That gives me an idea…Quick everybody to the studio to record “The Santa Claus Shuffle”…you KNOW somebody’s doing it!  By the way what’s 106 gonna do???>> To the old timers – Don’t’ you miss “Daddyo Dailey” and Yvonne Daniels?

     ON THE TEE WEE We’re getting’ into it at W.L. Lillard’s Star Planet television productions with Rev. Leonard Barr’s REPORT TO THE PEOPLE.  So far it’s been a real learning experience in front of the camera.  I’m also taking Richard Steele lessons…he’s really good at it!  Another program that informs and entertains weekly is SHEILA FRAZIER’S “Moving Forward” every Thursday evening on at 6:30 on channel 21.  The CAN TV shows are quite interesting.  Also on channel 21 Wednesday at 4:30 is “FAACT” pronounced fact with RUTH FRAZIER.

     MOVIN’ AT THE MOVIES I was so proud and glad to hear that Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” went to NUMBER ONE in the weekend movie ratings.  I hope Spike Lee is expressing glad tidings in Tyler’s direction.  The story of how Tyler and Jill Scott met is a Cinderella fantasy come true.  Jill was in a store selling Tyler a shirt in 1992, an invitation to his then current play followed - and now 15 years later they’re together again.  See the movie on the BIG screen – not on the boot.

     IT’S OUR MUSIC JUST JAZZ and we love it.  According to Jazzy GEORGE GREEN, formally of WBEE, this week’s Jazz album worth mentioning is the Original StarDust by Lionel Hampton’s All Stars from the 1947 “Just Jazz Concert” recorded in California.  The classic StarDust lead track is soooooooo good with Slam Stewart's bass solo.  This is one of the gotta have’s.

     GOOD GOSPEL is what PAM MORRIS has been playing since I met her in 1982 when she appeared in the hallway at WGCI on a Sunday night.  Pam took the one hour segment and turned it into a career in broadcasting by becoming Your Gospel Sister.  Her presentation is warm friendly and energetic.  In person Ms. Morris is excellent on stage while introducing many important people for Chicago city functions.  Pam is heard Sunday morning from 11 until 3pm with a repeat on Sunday night from 11 until 3am on WVON 1690 AM.

     BLUES YOU USE regularly on Monday nights is still intact with F.J. BAILEY on WKKC 89.3fm.  F.J.’s had the blues for a long time and he wants to give it to you.  So many people I talk to enjoy his work until midnight every Monday.   The request segment is a big audience favorite.

     STEPPIN ON OUT is what the TASTE FRIDAY NIGHT FAMILY does for the last 13 years at the Taste Entertainment Center.  The line-up was Richard Steele, Richard Pegue, Ladonna Tittle and Emilie McKindall when we started in October of 1994.   A lot of feet have stepped slid walked and twined on that dance floor since DustyRadio 1390 announced our start at Taste.  We have a real family feeling at 6331 S. Lowe and we want you to join us for our celebration. 

     ON THE LINE dancing is GEORGIA GRIFFIN’s thing and it seems that she is everywhere all the time including the Atlas Center on Tuesday and Thursdays at 1 o’clock and Saturday mornings at 10.

     THE 79th STREET SENIORS who frequent the Atlas Center at 79th and Cregier welcome the Blue Monday Luncheonette with “Jazzy” GEORGE GREEN Mondays  Starting 11:00 the jazzy blues music will rock the Department Of Aging’s lunchroom. Prepare for a good time every Monday.  For more information call Bessie 312 747 0189.

     THE DUSTY RECORD CONVENTION is the best dusty party of your life at St. Elizabeth 41st and Michigan, Saturday May 3rd  dancing starts at 8.  Its’ smoke free and full of fun.  Be early for the best seats.  No advance tickets and the doors open at 7pm.

EATANDRUN / Chicken & Fish - 773 429 1812/15 - 1733 W 87th Street - Chicago, IL
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