Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Autobiography of Rick James Now Available

Rick JamesRick James and acclaimed music biographer David Ritz met in 1979 in Marvin Gaye’s studio while Ritz was interviewing Gaye for a biography. Intrigued, James urged Ritz to interview him, too, for a biography. Decades of those interviews and research have become GLOW: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RICK JAMES (Atria Hardcover; 978-1-4767-6414-6; July 8, 2014; $26), a posthumously published memoir-in James’s own words-of the tumultuous life of the disco-age music superstar.

Famous for his shamelessly raunchy dance songs, Rick James never made a secret of his sex- and drug-loving lifestyle. In GLOW, he narrates his life from the setting of Folsom Prison, where he spent time in the 1990s as part of his sentence for assault and kidnapping. There, he met a fellow inmate named Brother Guru, and GLOW is written as a conversation with Guru, whose probing questions forced James to assess his past behavior.

Little James Ambrose Johnson was a voracious reader and musical prodigy whose mother worked as a cleaning lady and ran numbers at night to support her eight kids in Buffalo, New York. Noticing his interest in music, she sneaked him into nightclubs-where, hidden underneath cocktail tables, he was mesmerized by the performances of jazz musicians such as Etta James and Miles Davis. Years later, he would wander to Toronto, where he ended up playing with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, and then California, to ultimately create music that led him to become a household name in the 1980s with hit songs like “Super Freak,” “Mary Jane,” and “17.”  Later in life, his unstoppable addictions to sex and drugs led him to prison.

In the pages of GLOW, readers learn of Rick James’s connection with dozens of music industry icons, including David Crosby, Marvin Gaye, Berry Gordy, Teena Marie, Prince, Diana Ross, Stephen Stills, Steven Tyler, and Stevie Wonder. He describes his epiphany, as a young man, at seeing John Coltrane and Jackie Wilson on the same night; explains the inspiration behind many of the tracks on his albums; shares how Stevie Wonder was the one who suggested he change his name to Rick James; reveals that the story crediting Diana Ross with discovering the Jackson 5 was fabricated-and who really discovered them; admits that he had several secret overdoses and sought one of the many Beverly Hills “Dr. Feelgoods” to prescribe pain pills; and regrets how he ruined a precious sketch of himself just created by the great artist Salvador Dali.

In GLOW, Rick James describes himself as “A rebel, a renegade, and artist-singer-writer-producer-bandleader intent on branding my identity in the most dramatic terms. My music was about me-a man deep into drugs, sex, and funk.” Yet, despite his bad boy behavior, Rick James was an undeniable talent and a unique, unforgettable human being. His “glow” was an overriding quality that one of his mentors saw in him-and one that will stay with readers who taste this wildly entertaining, profound autobiography of the man who left an indelible mark on American popular music.

RICK JAMES (1948-2004) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer, best known for popularizing funk music in the late 1970s and early 1980s with million-selling hits.



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New Album “Bridges” by singer-songwriter Joe NOW AVAILABLE

joeThe eleventh studio album “Bridges” by Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Joe arrives in stores today. Described as a therapeutic retrospect, “Bridges” takes a look into the multi-talented singer, songwriter-producer’s outlook on life’s relationship endeavors and where they have taken him. Derek “DOA” Allen (Tyrese, Wale, Smokey Norful), Edrick Miles (Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne), Gerald Isaac (Mary J. Blige, Mario, Angie Stone) and Taj Jackson (Ne-Yo, Monica, Janet Jackson) are among the producers and songwriters. Album collaborations include Kelly Rowland and 50 Cent.

On BRIDGES, Joe again brings to the forefront the elegant simplicity and amazing vocals that have made him one of music’s most accomplished and popular singers with a strong foothold in today’s R&B music. Songs like “Sex Ain’t A Weapon,” with its strong shuffle beat reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, keeps you grooving on the subject matter of the women who choose to hold back or deprive their man of lovin.’ A Queen B should never hold back the honey…not later but sooner girl you’ll hear the rumor that other fish been swimming around in your sea.”

Then there’s the powerful and thought-provoking ballad “If You Lose Her.” The song positions Joe as a spokesman encouraging guys or the gambling man to think about the consequence of neglect through their own selfish pleasures, placing them at the very cusp of losing a good woman. If you lose her, there’ll be a hole in your soul, no grave deep enough to bury the pain….Other songs include the future ladies anthem “First Lady,” “The Rest Will Follow,” the party driven “Take It To The House,” “Blame Her Broken Heart On Me,” and the eloquent soul-stirring ballad “Till The Rope Gives Way.

Joe, who has collaborated with some of today’s most contemporary artists, will be on a national and international tour in support of BRIDGES. He will perform his hit single, “Love & Sex Pt. 2,” in addition to his other hit songs that include: “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do),” “All That I Am,” “No One Comes Close,” “Love Scene,” and “I Wanna Know.”

1. Future Teller
2. Dilemma
3. Do a Little Dance
4. If You Lose Her
5. Sex Ain’t a Weapon
6. Love & Sex, Pt. 2 feat. Kelly Rowland
7. Blame Her Broken Heart on Me
8. First Lady
9. Take It 2 The House
10. Till the Rope Gives Way
11. The Rest Will Follow
12. Mary Jane (Remix) feat 50 Cent
13. Bridges
14. Love Sex Hollywood
15. For Love
16. Love Undefeated

Racial Satire “Dear White People” Hits Theaters This Fall

DWP-Sam GroupDEAR WHITE PEOPLE follows the stories of four black students at Winchester University, where a riot breaks out over a popular ‘African American’ themed party thrown by a white fraternity. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.

Dear White People stars rising talents Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris,” Peeples), Tessa Thompson (For Colored Girls, “Veronica Mars”), Teyonah Parris (“Mad Men,” They Came Together), Brandon P. Bell (“Hollywood Heights”), Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street, CBGB), Malcolm Barrett (The Hurt Locker), Brittany Curran (“Chicago Fire”), Marque Richardson (“The Newsroom”) and Dennis Haysbert (“24,” Far From Heaven). Dear White People hits theaters October 17th.

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