Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | The Brothers Johnson Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying The Brothers Johnson.


Various 1980s reunions and other projects

The brothers reunited briefly in 1984 to record an album. Produced by Leon Sylvers, the resulting LP, Out of Control did not equal their past success, but did garner them another R&B hit with “You Keep Me Coming Back.” After an interim period, the duo regrouped again to record Kickin’ in 1988. The album-title of the Kickin project was a collaboration with Irene Cara, who was then their neighbor. Although this album saw even more limited success, it did include the minor hit, “Kick it to the Curb.”

In between those two albums, both George and Louis released their aforementioned solo material. The brothers also both appeared on the Street Shadows album of keyboard-player/arranger David Diggs, who formerly provided horn and string arrangements for albums like Winners, Blast, and the Passage project of Louis. “Last Night,” the opening track on that David Diggs album, shows George’s versatility to perform on the bass guitar as well. He previously showed his bass skills on tracks like “Teaser” from Winners and “The Great Awaking” from Blast, the same way that Louis shows his guitar skills on various compositions of the sibling duo.

In addition, during this time, the band’s song “Tomorrow” (originally an instrumental on the B-side of “Get The Funk Out Ma Face”) was recorded with vocals sung by Tevin Campbell for Quincy Jones’ Back on the Block release in 1989. This album also included Jones’ hit remake of the Brothers Johnson’s “I’ll Be Good to You,” featuring Ray Charles and Chaka Khan.

The 2002 reunion tour
Besides a brief appearance of the brothers in Japan around 1994, and George making a guest-appearance in the 1990s on a concert in Japan (including a released double-CD) of the Graham Central Station, the duo launched an expanded US tour in 2002 which got positive, wide exposure. It was visited by many fans and various artists in the entertainment business. Along with a website and discussion-forum, online visitors could share their experiences of the shows by reliving the hey-days of Funkadelala and wander through the Land of Ladies. A few years after that, a combi-release of live-CD + DVD came on the market under the name of Strawberry Letter 23: Live.

Until recently, the brothers have been doing performances on their own. In 2006, Louis gave a duo-show with a drummer, on the Poetry In Motion 1 Festival, Maryland. In late 2007, George performed with his own band at a Detroit-Festival, including a persona called Sir Nose. George also performs these days with a special band, including Adina Howard, Cherrelle, Ray Parker Jr., and a few more artists, which is an initiative of Michael Henderson.



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44 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | The Brothers Johnson Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    “North Carolina is ground zero” (updated w/ video of #MoralMarch)
    The national media has collectively decided that the next wave of a liberal movement for Democrats will come in the form of populism fueled by income inequality. Occupy Wall Streeters take the credit for igniting this movement while liberal bloggers promote politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren as its leaders.

    Meanwhile, only a few are paying attention to the actual movement underway in North Carolina…the one being led by Rev. Dr. William Barber and the NC NAACP called “Moral Mondays.” Yesterday that movement drew 80,000 to 100,000 for the Moral March in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ari Berman is one of those few journalists who is paying attention.

    The Moral Monday protests transformed North Carolina politics in 2013, building a multiracial, multi-issue movement centered around social justice such as the South hadn’t seen since the 1960s. “We have come to say to the extremists, who ignore the common good and have chosen the low road, your actions have worked in reverse,” said Reverend William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and the leader of the Moral Monday movement, in his boisterous keynote speech. “You may have thought you were going to discourage us, but instead you have encouraged us. The more you push us back, the more we will fight to go forward. The more you try to oppress us, the more you will inspire us.”

    I am personally struck by how well Rev. Barber learned the lessons taught to us by movement leaders like Martin Luther King. He is building a coalition of citizens who are committed to clear principles that speak to the very real concerns of the people. Here are their five demands:

    Secure pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that insure economic sustainability;
    Provide well-funded, quality public education for all;
    Stand up for the health of every North Carolinian by promoting health care access and environmental justice across all the state’s communities;
    Address the continuing inequalities in the criminal justice system and ensure equality under the law for every person, regardless of race, class, creed, documentation or sexual preference;
    Protect and expand voting rights for people of color, women, immigrants, the elderly and students to safeguard fair democratic representation.

  2. Ametia says:

    Here you go!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Marking the end of debt-ceiling extortion
    02/12/14 08:00 AM—Updated 02/12/14 11:18 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Exactly three weeks ago today, House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) made a straightforward declaration: “A ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House.”

    So much for that idea. Late yesterday, the House did, in fact, raise the debt limit through March 2015. After several weeks in which Republican lawmakers said they would block an increase unless Democrats paid some kind of ransom, the GOP-led chamber threw in the towel, allowed the increase to pass with mainly Democratic support, and quickly left town for two weeks.

    There’s no shortage of interesting angles to this entirely predictable fiasco. We could note, for example, how misguided it was to watch Republicans launch a fight they knew in advance they were going to lose. We could also note how remarkable it is that 166 GOP lawmakers voted for their budget plan last month, but only 28 GOP lawmakers voted to pay for the spending they just approved – making the party’s claims to “fiscal responsibility” somewhat odd. We could even explore the latest example of Boehner becoming the weakest Speaker in modern times.

    But there are two broader takeaways that I hope the political world will keep in mind going forward. First, we’ve very likely seen the end of debt-ceiling extortion. Greg Sargent’s take rings true.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Dear King Children, You Better Not Sell Your Daddy’s Bible and Medal!
    [ 38 ] February 7, 2014 | Luvvie

    This sternly-worded letter has been on my spirit all week. Dr. Bernice King wrote a letter talmbout how her brothers are suing her to get her to transfer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal to them so they can sell it. I was like WHAT THE DEUCE?!? So I’m here with words for the King Children, mostly Martin Luther King III (who I call Trey) and Dexter. But ALL of them need to get it together.

    Dear Martin III (Trey), Dexter and Bernice,

    Good morning/afternoon/evenings, brethrens and sisthren. I am here because I read Bernice’s letter the other day informing everyone about the latest piece of drama popping up with the family. Please have a seat so we can talk about it.

    So you brothers are trying to sell your daddy’s traveling bible and his Noble Peace Prize medal to some private collector. And you let her know on MLK Day. When she told yall “NAWL!” you then decided to sue her because the items are in her care. When did you do this? January 31st, of course.


    Why in the Holy hell… what in the…? WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SELL DR. KING’S BIBLE AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE?!?

  5. rikyrah says:

    Steve Benen @stevebenen

    W. Virginia’s 1st big chemical spill was from ‘Freedom Industries.’ Today’s chemical spill was from ‘Patriot Coal’
    3:40 PM – 11 Feb 2014

  6. rikyrah says:

    Jamil Smith ✔ @JamilSmith

    Virginia’s Senate is now controlled by Dems. They just voted to repeal a forced-ultrasound law. Elections matter.
    10:08 PM – 11 Feb 2014

  7. rikyrah says:

    Restoring a Pairs Skating Dynasty

    FEB. 11, 2014

    SOCHI, Russia — As pairs skating began Tuesday, the elderly couple walked to their seats at Iceberg Skating Palace, inconspicuous even in a section reserved for honored guests.

    Oleg and Lyudmila Protopopov dressed in Alpine sweaters, he in track pants with his hair below the collar, she in a coat with her hair in a bun.

    Fifty years earlier, they had begun what remains the longest winning streak in the Winter Olympics — 12 consecutive gold medals won by Soviet and Russian pairs skaters over 42 years until a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

    “This is our jubilee year,” Lyudmila Protopopov, 78, said during an intermission, referring to the first of two gold medals the couple won for the Soviet Union in 1964 and in 1968. “Of course want to get a present from the Russian pairs. We lost last time. We hope this is a rejuvenation.”

    Many expect it will be.

    Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, the current world champions from Russia, won Tuesday’s short program with a world-record 84.17 points. Their chief rivals, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalists from Germany, finished second with 79.64 points.

    The long program is Wednesday. A restoration of Russia’s dominance is in reach, but Oleg Protopopov said he would not become overly confident.

    “In figure skating, the blade is curved and the ice is slippery,” he said. “You can predict something, but you will be wrong.”

    Once, the Protopopovs might have felt ambivalent about attending a Winter Olympics in Russia. They defected in 1979, feeling discarded, they said, and told they were too old to skate.

    They did not return to Russia until 2003, a dozen years after the Soviet Union collapsed, and now live in Lake Placid, N.Y., and in Grindelwald, Switzerland. But they seemed grateful and ebullient on Tuesday, smiling, clapping, taking photographs.

    The past was the past.

    “We lived how we lived before, and we live how we live now,” Oleg said. “Nothing has happened to our skating.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    After G.O.P. Leaders Step In, Senate Votes to Raise Debt Ceiling

    FEB. 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders on Wednesday rescued a measure to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, overcoming a threatened filibuster from members of their own party and averting a potential shock to the economy.

    A vote to cut off debate on the debt ceiling measure passed 67 to 31, after a dramatic scene on the floor when Republicans managed to muster 12 votes in support, clearing the way for final approval.

    Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, waited nearly a half-hour as their Republican colleagues refused to vote to end debate on the bill. When it was clear that the debt ceiling increase would fail, they stepped forward in tandem to deliver the deciding votes. Other Republicans followed by changing their votes.

    The Senate then quickly voted to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, without any conditions, until March 2015, sending the legislation to President Obama to be signed. The passage ended the possibility of a calamitous debt default, as lawmakers scrambled to get out of town before a snowstorm rolled in.

    • Ametia says:

      GOP are playing games in an election year. They haven’t done any favors by passing a clean debt ceiling bill. They were doing their fucking jobs. PERIOD.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Feds take over Alfred Wright case

    by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

    Posted on February 7, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    JASPER, Texas — Alfred Wright was a husband, a father and a son.

    “To know him was to love him,” said Lauren Wright, Alfred’s wife.

    “You would have to know him to know his character and personality,” said Douglas Wright, Aflred’s father.

    Neither of them had any way of anticipating the events that would one day thrust Wright, his family, and the small city of Jasper into the national spot light.

    “I believe he was murdered and only God from Heaven could come down and tell me he wasn’t,” said Douglas.

    The accounts of what took place last November have been well documented. Wright, a physical therapist, was on his way to treat a patient when his truck broke down near a convenience store just outside of Hemphill. That’s when he called his wife for help.

    “He said he was having truck problems and that someone needed to come and get him,” said Lauren.

    His parents agreed to pick him up. Several minutes later, Wright’s wife called him back on the phone.

    “And that’s when I heard the heavy breathing, the respiratory distress of some kind,” said Lauren. “It was very heavy breathing and I just could sense that something wasn’t right.”

    When Wright’s parents showed up, they only saw his parked truck. But the 28-year-old was missing. The Sabine County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search. After four days, it was called off. The family questions how hard deputies looked. But those closest to Wright continued to comb through the nearby woods for the next two and a half weeks.

    Wrights friends and family members located his body on a cold wet day. It was found lying face down in the woods about a mile and a half from the convenience store where his truck broke down.

    An initial official autopsy ordered by the county attributed his death to lethal amounts of meth, cocaine and amphetamines found in his system. But the family sent the remains to Houston for a second autopsy which found the body was missing an ear, the tongue and had a throat that appeared to have been slashed. They insist Wright would never have abused drugs.

    “I know my husband was killed by somebody,” said Lauren. “There’s no question in my mind.”

  10. Ametia says:

    3.3 Million Enrolled in Health Care Marketplaces; More Young People Signing Up

    19 min ago – WASHINGTON — Nearly 3.3 million people have signed up for health insurance through the marketplaces established by President Obama’s health care law, and about one-fourth of them are young adults, the administration said Wednesday.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Fox Newser Confronts NAACP’s William Barber: What Hannity Didn’t Show You
    by Tommy Christopher | 5:54 pm, February 11th, 2014

    On Monday night’s edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity played some extensively, and transparently, edited video of Fox News contributor David Webb questioning Reverend William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP on comments he made about Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Although the Hannity segment was nearly ten minutes long, only a fraction of Rev. Barber’s two-minute reply was included, but fortunately, raw video and audio of the event is available.

    Fox News contributor David Webb traveled to the Forward Together Moral March in Raleigh, N.C., this weekend in order to ask Rev. Barber about comments he made likening Sen. Tim Scott to a ventriloquist’s dummy. The result of that visit was played on Monday night’s Hannity program, but as is often the case in the time-constrained news business, only about 25 seconds of Rev. Barber’s response made it onto the show. At a press conference following the march, Webb asked, “Do you feel you owe Senator Tim Scott an apology for calling him a ventriloquist’s dummy, and black conservatives mouthpieces for the tea party?”

    From there, the Hannity tape flash-cuts to Rev. Barber responding, “It’s my job, it’s my calling, it’s the job of the NAACP to speak the truth about public policies,” then cuts again to Barber, who said, “And while some people may choose to get caught up on a metaphor, that is a regular usage of preachers, the real indignation and upsetness should be over the regressive agenda.”

    Hannity then cut to Webb pressing his questions, as the Moral Marchers ask to move on.

    Missing from that tape was Reverend Barber’s description of the policies that he objects to, including “policies that hurt voting rights, policies that hurt working people.”

    “If you’re going to get upset,” Rev. Barber said, “get upset over the denial of the Medicaid expansion. Get upset about voting to reject unemployment benefits for laid-off workers who are Republicans, who are Democrats, who are black, who are white. Get upset over reduced access to public education and funding. We are in the 60th year of Brown versus Board of Education, and some want to go backwards on public education, rather than forward. Get upset over the attacks to turn back voting rights that were won with blood, sweat, and tears.”

    “My critique,” Rev. Barber said, “was about public policy, not party.”

    Here’s extended video of those remarks, via Make it Plain:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Wall Street’s Hot New Financial Product: Your Rent Check

    Investment firms are playing landlord and bundling their rental homes into new securities. What could go wrong?
    By Laura Gottesdiener March/April 2014

    Toward the end of 2012, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange. Home prices were starting to rise, and fast—about 20 percent annually. Normally, higher home prices would signal increased demand from homebuyers and indicate that the economy was rebounding. But the home ownership rate was still dropping. Somehow, the real estate market was out of whack.

    Then there were the buyers themselves. “I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn’t for lack of trying,” recalls Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Latino. Now all his buyers were businessmen in suits. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

    Over the last two years, private equity firms and hedge funds have amassed an unprecedented real estate empire, snapping up Spanish revivals in Phoenix, adobes in Los Angeles, Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, and brick-faced bungalows in Chicago. In total, Wall Street investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in some of the cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown. But they’re not simply flipping these houses. Instead, they’ve started bundling some of them into a new kind of financial product that could blow up the housing market all over again.

  13. Ametia says:


    Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been found guilty of federal corruption charges after a two-week trial, CNN affiliates report.

    Nagin, famous for his desperate pleas for help during Hurricane Katrina, was found guilty of 20 of the 21 counts against him, CNN affiliates WWL and WDSU said. Nagin left office in 2010 after two terms as mayor.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Rutherford shared rooms with assistant
    By John Chase and Monique Garcia, Tribune reporters
    8:34 a.m. CST, February 12, 2014

    State Treasurer Dan Rutherford routinely roomed overnight in hotels and a Chicago apartment with a low-level treasurer’s office employee whom he has given a 50 percent pay hike, raising questions about the workplace judgment of the Republican candidate for governor.

    Rutherford said he has shared a room with his executive assistant, Joshua Lanning, scores of times since taking office in 2011, a practice he says is a way to save money for his campaign fund.

    “We double-bunk in the campaign,” Rutherford said. “We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure.”

    Several human resources experts said superiors should avoid sharing a room with a subordinate, for reasons ranging from potential discomfort for the employee to allegations of favoritism or harassment against the boss. But one expert said in some cases, the job responsibilities may justify room sharing.

    Questions about Rutherford’s workplace conduct have recently become an issue for taxpayers and voters in the March 18 Republican primary. Rutherford was sued in federal court Monday by a former top manager in the office who accused the treasurer of repeatedly sexually harassing him and pressuring him to do campaign work at taxpayer expense. The ex-employee is seeking damages, including for medical issues he said were caused by the alleged harassment.,0,619885,full.story

  15. Ametia says:

    Bohener singing Song of the South, eh?

  16. Ametia says:

    More than 93,000 customers from Alabama to North Carolina are without power in the Southeast, power companies tell CNN. Most of the outages are in metro Atlanta.

    The storm also is disrupting air travel. As of 10 a.m., is reporting 2,820 total U.S. flight cancellations so far today. Most are at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Charlotte Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International airports. The cancellations also may be due to mechanical problems.

    The storm dropping ice and snow in the South is expected to strengthen as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard, the National Weather Service says. Forecasters say it will affect areas across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. More than 1 inch of ice may accumulate from central Georgia into South Carolina through Thursday morning.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Hi all.

    Asking for your prayers for my co-worker.

    She just came in and told us that she’s going part-time because she just found out that her 23 year old son has cancer. He’s her only child and the light of her life.

  18. Ametia says:

    The Switchboard: FCC chairman promises new net neutrality rules

    FCC chairman says a plan to restore net neutrality rules is coming soon. “After last month’s landmark decision by a federal court to strike down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler now says the group is working to bring them back,” according to the Verge. “In a speech yesterday at the University of Colorado Law School, Wheeler said he will soon be ‘outlining’ a plan to bring back provisions that required internet service providers to treat all types of internet traffic equally.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    The New Conservative Assault on Early Voting
    The goal is to make the electorate smaller as well as more Republican.
    By Richard L. Hasen

    It is easy to dismiss the latest conservative rants against early voting as just one more way for Republicans to try to gain advantage over Democrats at the polls. But something much more troubling may also be at work: Some opponents of early voting are promoting the view that a smaller (and skewed) electorate is better for democracy.

    In the past few weeks, a flurry of conservatives have attacked early voting, from Eugene Kontorovich and John McGinnis in Politico to George Will in the Washington Post to J. Christian Adams in the Washington Times. The timing is no coincidence: The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which President Obama created to look at issues with long lines and other election problems, recently issued its much-anticipated report. The report is full of many sound suggestions for improving our elections, and one of the key recommendations is to expand early voting, either in person, through absentee ballots, or both. There’s good reason to follow the commission’s recommendation: Early voting takes pressure off administering the vote on Election Day. It helps avert long lines and aids election administrators in working out kinks. Voters like early voting because it lets them pick a convenient time to vote, when there are not work or child-care conflicts.

    The conservative critique against early voting, meanwhile, goes deeper than the partisan concern about boosting Democratic turnout. George Will bemoans early voting as “diffuse and inferior.” Adams says, “Early voting means stubborn voters will make uninformed decisions prematurely. Voting even one week early produces less-informed voters and dumbs down the electorate.” Kontorovich and McGinnis complain: “People will be able to vote when the mood strikes them—after seeing an inflammatory ad, for example. Voting then becomes an incoherent summing of how various individuals feel at a series of moments, not how the nation feels at a particular moment.”

    Despite their opposition to early voting, Kontorovich and McGinnis don’t seem to have a problem with “old fashioned absentee ballots.” That’s nonsense. If one really believes that we need a set Election Day to all make a deliberative choice together, absentee balloting is even worse than early voting because it does not even happen in public with other voters and it raises a real risk of voter fraud—much more than in-person voting. (Will and Adams, for their part, generally don’t like absentee voting.)

    All of these conservative commentators agree that everyone should vote on Election Day to promote “deliberation” or to prevent “stubborn” voters from making “uninformed” or emotional decisions “prematurely.” In short, they argue that we cannot trust the people to decide for themselves when they have enough information to vote.

    The claim is empirically false. As Doug Chapin explains: “This argument, which was popular a decade ago, is undercut by research by Paul Gronke and others showing that early voters are not only more partisan but less undecided, meaning that they have no interest in ‘taking in the full back and forth of the campaign.’ It also flies in the face of voters, well, voting with their feet by choosing to cast ballots outside of the traditional polling place.”

  20. Ametia says:

    Eric Holder makes case for felons to get voting rights back
    By Adam Goldman, Published: February 11

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday called on states to repeal laws that prohibit felons from voting after their release from prison, urging changes that could allow millions more across the country to cast ballots.

    In a speech at Georgetown University Law Center, Holder said, “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama lifts up U.S. designers, elegantly around her shoulders

    By Robin Givhan


    First lady Michelle Obama eschewed Chanel, bypassed Dior and said no to the allure of Balenciaga. Instead, as she stood alongside her tuxedo-clad husband to greet French President François Hollande, she celebrated American style at Tuesday night’s state dinner in honor of fashion’s heartland.

    She selected a ballgown by the New York-based designer Carolina Herrera. The bodice of the dress, which was sewn by hand in Herrera’s New York atelier, was crafted of black lace — beaded, embroidered and appliqued. It formed a delicate scrim over a corset in a pale, dusty blue that the designer described as “liberty blue.” The elegant skirt, with its inverted pleats, flowed into a modest train.



  22. rikyrah says:

    21 Things You Can’t Do While Black

    In the US, sometimes your skin color is evidence enough against you.
    By Lauren Williams | Wed Feb. 12, 2014 3:00 AM GMT

    Florida’s second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway. Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer, shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their “thug music”) and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, and witnesses say Davis never had one.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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