My Jams ’72

Icee Diva of Soul
It’s 1972 and Diva of Soul just got back from the Zippy Mart in Eufaula

This post is a continuation of the “My Jams” Series.  If you haven’t already, please check out “My Jams” posts for 1966-1971

There’s a whole lot of ruckus going on today.  Mama is gathering things and Daddy is going back and forth between the house and the carport.

The TV is on and Trooper Terry, the weatherman/kid’s TV show host, is talking about how hot it’s going to be today.  To prove his point, he asks his animated friend, Freddie, to elaborate.  Suddenly, as if by magic, a very sweaty Freddie appears at the bottom of the screen and immediately begins to melt into a puddle of liquid.

Need I say more?

I hear Daddy say, “Bay, did you get everything?”

Mama says, “Yeah, I put all the clothes in the suitcases—you can go ‘head and put ‘em in the trunk.”

Shortly thereafter, Mom leads me to the car.  Although I am a bit bleary-eyed, I ask, “Where we goin?”

Daddy says, “We going to see Grandma and Granddaddy.”

I ask, “Are we gone see RonnieEricLeshiaandLenel?  Sorry folks, I tended to singsong my big cousins’ names.  Mama smiles and shakes her head to express the affirmative.

Now that I know that, I’m good!

Needless to say, just before we leave, mama pops her 1971 “various artists” 8-track into the tape player.   Then she gives daddy a moon pie and a cold drink. Remember, it behooved us to pack our own snacks in order to keep from having to make too many stops in rural Georgia towns. I’ll let you ponder our reasons for keeping those stops to a minimum.

Anyway, after taking a big bite of moon pie, Daddy looked at me and said, “Bay, go to sleep.”  We’ll be in Eufaula ‘bout dinnertime.”

Mama asks, “Georgia time or Alabama time?” He says, “Alabama time.”

Side note:  In cities that border Georgia and Alabama, there is no such thing as Eastern or Central time; it is either Georgia or Alabama time 🙂

Phenix City, Alabama is a different story altogether.  I’ll tell you about that some other time.

At any rate, as I start the process of getting settled, I hear Al Green croon, “I’m so tired of being alone…” I look over at mama, and for the first time, I notice that her stomach is getting bigger 😉

And with that, we rode out!  Right into the summer of 1972!

Yes sir, you know what time it is!  Greetings and welcome to 1972!  Are you good?  I hope so!  Please believe that as long as I got my Mama and Daddy everything is copasthetic!

Anyway, let’s do this!

My Jams ‘72

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

You might as well know upfront that you will see Mr. Green’s name on this list again!

Y’all, I love me some President Obama, but he needs to leave this song alone and stay in his political lane!

“I’m so in love with you, whatever you want to do is alright with me.”

Baby I wish I had some extra keys on my keyboard so I could accurately demonstrate the way in which Al styles this verse.

Good Gawd!

“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder

I’m not gonna lie; this song scared the wits out of me when I was little.  Even as a young’un, I knew that there was something spooky going on here- hell I didn’t even need to know what the word “superstition” meant to know that it wasn’t good.

No matter, I still love it!

“You Ought To Be With Me” by Al Green

What did I tell you!  I told you that you would see this name again! HA!

Goose bumps, goose bumps, goose bumps!  The horns, the organ, the guitar, THE VOICE!

Aw sh!t now!

“I don’t want to waste my time/ if you want to be a friend of mine/I want to hold you tight, love you right/Put good feelin’s in your night”

What Al does to the word “night” at the end of that lyric…  I JUST CAN’T!!!!!!!!!!!

“I’m Still In Love With You” by Al Green

Yeah, I can see right now that you don’t believe fat meat is greasy! There are no words!

“I Wanna Be Where You Are” by Michael Jackson

“Could it be I stayed away too long!”

I can barely contain myself!  At this point, I don’t know if I can finish this damn thang!

“Ask Me What You Want” by Millie Jackson

If you don’t know who Millie Jackson is then somebody needs to freeze your assets and take your freaking soul sista/brotha card!

Mama’nem (Translation:  Mama and them) use to bump the hell out of this 45!

Yessuh…Millie can blow!  She is something of a home girl for me; straight outta Thomson, GA.

I think I read somewhere that Millie might not have liked this song that much.  To me it doesn’t matter if she liked it or not; hell we couldn’t tell.

A great singer can belt out the dictionary!

“…and I’ll try my best to get it, get it, get it, get it!”

 “Harry Hippie” by Bobby Womack

This is a beautiful, but sobering, song.

I heard that “Harry Hippie” was really meant to be more of a folk or country type tune.  Clearly, Bobby must have said, “To hell with that!”

Mama used to play this one when she was getting ready to run everybody’s behind out of the house party.

Time to clean up!  As they say, “You ain’t gotta go home but you gotta get the hell out of here!”

“Work to Do” by The Isley Brothers

After you finish reading this blog, I want you to go listen closely to that damn piano on this jam!

What??? Bananas!!!!

NO!  I simply CANNOT!!!!!

“…I gotta make it for you, I gotta make it for me!” Ron! Ron! Ron! Ohhhh Ron!

If you dig that piano, you might want to go check out their song “Brown-eyed Girl.”  No worries, it is not a remake of the pop song.  It is something altogether else baby! If you do, let me know what you think.


Well it looks like my work here is just about done! Farewell 1972!

But before I go, I have to list these:

“Woman’s Gotta Have It” by Bobby Womack

“Victim of a Foolish Heart” by Bettye Swann

“You’re Still a Young Man” by Tower of Power

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by The Jackson 5

“Trying To Live My Life Without You” by Otis Clay

“Doggin Me Around” by Johnnie Taylor


Your move!!!!


Next Thursday:  My Jams ’73























Updated 3/30/2016 at 10:47 am

“I am a full grown woman, what in the hell do I look like listening to some Kendrick Lamar?”

Yes friends, that was my exact response to my dear twenty-something year old son who had tried his absolute best to convince me to check out one of his favorite hip hop artists.

Now let me level with you.  Even though I opted NOT to listen to Mr. Lamar at that specific point in time, I did keep the idea under my cap.  Frankly, I felt comfortable doing so because I happen to know that my son is quite discriminating when it comes to music; best believe I raised him to be that way.  As the mother of a young and beautiful black man, I simply refused to allow him to listen to BS lyrics even if they were attached to a funky track—and you know how much I love a funky track 🙂

Side note:  Never underestimate the level of impact that both lyrics AND music can have on the development of a child’s mind.

Anyway, one random Tuesday, I picked up the TV remote and began ‘flipping’ stations.  I landed on a black and white music video that began with screams and spoken verse.  Intrigued, I decided to continue watching and listening.  Believe it or not, after just a few minutes, I was completely transfixed by what I was seeing.  To say that the video included several profound elements would be an understatement.

Now, in the words of my Corsican twin, Gloria, here comes the killin’ part!

Right before the video ‘faded to black’ I sat alert so that I could note the song title and artist. Wouldn’t you know it; the title of the song was “Alright” and the artist was Kendrick Lamar. Warning, if you decide to watch the video, do know that it includes graphic language and images.

I just be damned!  My baby boy was right!

Okay, let’s get this straight! You need not worry about me, as a middle aged woman, riding around town bumping Kendrick Lamar.  But, having said that, I ain’t mad at him because his lyrics are FAR from being superficial.  In fact, they are quite deep.  Bearing this in mind, the refrain, “We gone be alright” planted itself right into my frontal cortex.  In other words, that thang rented some space up in my head.

But, in light of local, national and global current events, my mind transformed that very statement into a question:  “Are we gone be alright?”

Well, one thing is for sure, if we continue on this trajectory, it would seem that we certainly are NOT going to be alright.   Even the most cursory glance at the nightly news would cause us to conclude that our society is fully mired in a tangled, matted and mangled mess.

Ya’ll we got problems and we need a serious intervention plan.

So, at this point, you might be asking, “What would our ‘intervention plan’ look like?”  While I am not at all sure, I do think that, in our solution finding, we must consider the following:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

                        -Albert Einstein


At any rate, I do tend to agree with Kendrick’s optimistic proclamation that “…if God got us then we gone be alright!” Baby I have to if I am going to maintain my maternal sanity.

But, I don’t think that we are going to get to the state of ‘alright’ by diffusion–remember, osmosis refers to liquids 🙂  It is going to take some doing.

Friends, I’m curious, what do you think needs to happen for us to get to “alright?”
























Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Sermon Part II

Church shot-Sermon 2

As implied by the title, this post is a continuation of “The Sermon.”  If you haven’t already, please go check it out.

“Ha!” growled the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith. “I can’t get many Amens today!” he bellowed; his body leaning forward; beads of sweat now rolling down his forehead in rivulets; his veined hands clutching the top of the lectern, as if he expected it to flee in fear as he vociferously challenged the congregation to pitch their spiritual fervor to an even higher height. The audience responded with shouts of “Preach!”, “Gwan nigh!”, “Yassuh”, the latter rising up from the Deacons” Amen Corner” as Deacon Charlie Tigner chimed in.

The Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith continued his discourse; “It takes a wide road for a whoremonger.” The church got quiet for a brief moment, but once over the initial “shock and awe” of the Reverend Smith’s bombardment, their zeal resumed. “Yes, I said it!” he shouted in response to the congregation’s reaction. Then on down the road he went, “It takes a wide road for a whoremonger, cause when he mess around with this woman over here, he soon got to run to the other side of the road before he get brained by a frying pan or some such!” he exclaimed emphatically, “Ha!” followed by the inevitable, punctuating growl, as he tip-toed to the other side of the road; ducking his head from an imaginary blow.

“It takes a wide-wide road for a drunkard;” Deacon Tigner suddenly developed an urge to use the men’s outhouse but he gave a final shout of “Amen Preacher!” as he exited the Amen Corner, and slid out the side door. “It takes a wide road for a drunkard, cause when he stagger to one side of the road,” Reverend Smith staggered like a drunk man across his imaginary “wide road”. “He got to have room cause he soon gonna stagger back to the other side. If it was not for such a wide road, that drunk Negro would be in a ditch somewhere; wallowing in the mud like somebody’s old sow” then, “Ha!” came the isochronous interjection. The din in the church was at a fevered pitch!

“It takes a wide road for a backslider, cause when he slide over to this side of the road, he got to cover his tracks and slide back to the other side of the road; just like one a them sidewinder snakes you hears about out there in Texas or somewhere!” As Reverend Smith made this assertion, he made a move like a snake slithering, thus causing a couple of the old sisters to swoon. Whether it was the Spirit moving or Reverend Smith’s slick moves that caused them to faint, we may never know.

“It takes a wide, wide, wide road for a gossiper.” This declaration by the Right Reverend, must have had the same kind of effect as Jesus’ words, “Lazarus come forth!”, which compelled old four days dead Lazarus, to come up out of his grave, because one of the old sisters who had latterly swooned, suddenly raised up just like Lazarus must have; eyes bucked wide! “It takes a wide road for the gossiper, because when she hears some good juicy gossip over here, she can’t wait to run to the other side of the road and tell somebody over there what she just heard! Ha!” the Right Reverend continued; his booming voice firing cannonballs that hit their targets without err. He was on a roll!

Friends, I have to, once again, ask for your forgiveness and patience as time and space have run out today; but if you check us out next week, you can hear the conclusion of the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith’s sermon, “The Wide Road.”


Next Friday:  Conclusion of “The Sermon”



My Jams ’71


Diva of Soul Skygazing circa 1971
Diva of Soul Skygazing, 1971


This post is part of the “My Jams” series which currently includes my jams from 1966-1970.  If you haven’t already done so, please go check them out.


It’s all starting to come back to me.  I can faintly see a golden light bulb atop a lamp with no shade.  I am slowly being rocked to sleep as I listen to “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations.

Fast forward, I am standing in front of a reel to reel player watching the tape from one cassette slowly move to the other.  I am swaying back and forth to the song “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” by the Dramatics.

My friends, these two scenarios are really just snippets of events that I vaguely remember from my childhood.  My cousin Ron refers to these as ‘cryptic memories.’

Sadly, with age, those ‘cryptic memories’ are beginning to fade so I thought I better record them here while I can still recall them 🙂

And so…

Here we are!  Into a new year!  So how are you adjusting to this whole ‘70’s thing? I pray that 1971 finds you doing well!

As implied in the first few paragraphs, this year, I am starting to become more independently conscious of music.  While, I can’t say that I know the names of songs or the artists behind them, I can say that I am happily able to express, via dance, my love for a good groove.  With that being the case, my list of jams is starting to get longer.

Forgive me folks!  Just hang in there with me 😉

So, with all of that said, let’s get it in!

“Family Affair” by Sly and The Family Stone

Ah yes!  I remember this one because Sly is more or less ‘rapping’ to us.  If you really think about it, he is talking to us about the realities of family, “One child grows up to be…”

Now, to be honest, I didn’t ‘get’ this back in 1971.  However, I did ‘get’ a funky groove; and this one certainly qualified!

“Spanish Harlem” by Aretha Franklin

Please don’t tell me you forgot about this one!  The guitar was definitely giving us a strong ‘Spanish’ vibe.

And then there’s ARETHA baby!  What more can I say about that?

“Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5

This is probably the very first love song that I remember.  Too bad it was filled with “anguish,” “fools,” and “doubt.”  Damn, I just thought about that!  So what does that mean for my outlook on love?  LOL, let’s move on!

Anyway, the melody here is so beautiful that I can easily forget all the drama!

By the way, did you know that the actor, Clifton Davis, wrote this beauty?

“Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight

“Just who do you think you are?”  Yessir, Ms. Knight is cutting somebody’s butt down to size!  HA!

“Smiling Faces” by The Undisputed Truth

Can you say “foreboding?”  If you don’t know the meaning of that word go look it up, I’ll wait!

This one reminds me of Sly’s “Family Affair” in that it causes us to examine the realities of our relationships.

Despite all of that, it shole is funky!

“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

This one finds me nearly speechless!  Most music aficionados point to this song as Marvin’s transition from traditional Motown stuff to all things edgy and political.

There is nothing that I can add that will do justice to this lyrical and musical masterpiece so instead of saying anything more; I have simply decided to bow down.

“Clean Up Woman” by Betty Wright

Good Lord!  This song is just about one of the scariest cautionary tales that anybody has ever recorded!  Ms. Wright warns that the “clean up woman is a woman who gets all the love these girls leave behind!”  Yass Baby!

Betty goes on to say, “The reason I know so much about her is because she picked up a man of mine.”

You gotta love a woman who is issuing a warning based on her own prior experiences 😉

“Whatcha See is Whatcha Get” by The Dramatics

Man oh man!  For me, this one is right up there with “It’s A Shame” by The Spinners!

Again, we have another song that urges us to pay attention to the folks around us, “You know some people are made of plastic, some people are made of wood…”

I am getting chill bumps just thinking about all of the low, mid and high vocal ranges that are to be relished in this song!  Weeeee!

And the music….I just can’t call it!  It’s smooth soul at its best!

Now I have to ask:  What woman can resist a man with a beautiful falsetto saying, “All I want to do is love you…”

I just can’t!

The Dramatics have dropped the freaking mic!  Shout out to Tack and T. Wayne on that!

 “Thin line” by The Persuaders

Another cautionary tale!  To be honest I just can’t get over this joker saying, “It’s five o’ clock in the morning and I don’t give it a second thought!”

What???? You mean to tell me that you didn’t think twice about coming home to your woman at five o’clock in the morning?

But wait, he goes on to say, “Here I am laying in the hospital, bandaged from feet to head.  In a state of shock!  Just that much from being dead…”

Based on results, I would venture to say that he’ll probably start getting home a whole lot sooner! 😉

Alright my friends, I am going to speed up this process by dropping the commentary.  I can’t leave 1971 without mentioning:

“I Don’t Want To Do Wrong” by Gladys Knight and The Pips

“That’s The Way I Feel About You” by Bobby Womack

“All Day Music” by War

“Trapped By This Thing Called Love” by Denise LaSalle

“K-Jee” by The Nite-Liters (I’ll hit on the remake of this one later–Can you say “TSOP” or better yet, The Sound of Philadelphia?”)

And with that, I bid 1971 a fond farewell!  What are your jams from 1971?


Next Thursday:  My Jams ‘72











The Scalloped Potatoes Standoff



Warning:   This is a 20th century parenting strategy that will land you in jail if you tried it today. Also, be aware that this post includes a whole lot of Southern vernacular/ dialect or whatever a linguist might call it! 😉

I love scalloped potatoes!  I can eat them on any given day of the week.  I like them with cheese, chives, cheese and chives, onions-whatever.  Any iteration of scalloped potatoes is all good with me 🙂

But it wasn’t always that way.

In fact, when I was a kid, I HATED scalloped potatoes!!!  Baby there aren’t enough exclamation points to help me stress this point.  Now, do you think that this fact mattered to my mama?  Ummm…NO!

Note:  If you don’t know my mama, go back and read the post “Mama and the Balloon Man.”

Anyway, I grew up during a time when you ate whatever your mama cooked.  There was none of this ‘meals cooked to order’ business!  Either you ate whatever was placed in front of you or you stayed hungry.

Well, there was also another possibility. Let me explain.

One 1970’s-ish day, mama cooked meatloaf with butter beans and…you got it… freaking scalloped potatoes! I remember quickly gulping down the meatloaf and butter beans–baby they were delicious!  After doing so, I politely used my napkin to wipe my mouth (mama taught us manners) and I commenced to go outside.  Mind you, those scalloped potatoes were still sitting on my plate, just as mama had placed them.

My dear hearts, before I could reach the door, mama said, “Where you goin’?”  I said, “I’m going outside to play jacks.”  Friends, I could tell by the scowl on mama’s face that she didn’t like my response!  I remember how she looked at me–then at my plate and said, “Get your butt back over there and eat them scalloped potatoes—and you better eat every bit or you gone sit there all night!”

Baby, she threw the gauntlet down!  And so did I.  The scalloped potatoes standoff was on!

Ok, I knew not to completely defy her so I sat my butt down and stared at the scalloped potatoes.  My brother, who was very young said, “Gwin-Gwin (that’s what he called me back then) you better eat your food!”  Mama looked at him and said, “Don’t tell her nothin’, she gone see!”

No matter, I just sat there looking at the plate.

Before long, I looked up and realized that I was the only person left sitting at the table; but that didn’t bother me.  I simply REFUSED to eat those potatoes and I was prepared to stay there all night to prove it!

As you might have guessed, sitting at the table alone got pretty boring so I remember adding massive amounts of pepper and salt to the scalloped potatoes; I literally made them inedible-or so I thought.

A few minutes later, my dad walked in the front door; he had just gotten home from work.  As a railroad conductor, he worked 16 hour days so he usually got off pretty late.  When daddy saw me sitting at the table he said, “Bay why you still sittin’ at the table?”  To that, I replied,“Mama making me!”

Well, daddy knew better than to contradict any of mama’s edicts.  Baby, everybody knew that, when it came to disciplinary matters, my mother had the last say. That being the case, dad put his work bag down on the floor and proceeded to move on to another area of the house.

Friends, just as I turned my head away from daddy, I felt a sharp pain!  It was mama coming down on me with a belt!  She was wearing me out!  All I could hear her say was “Now eat them damn potatoes!”

Baby when I tell you that I “ate them damn potatoes,” I mean, I ate ‘em!  In fact, I didn’t use a fork!  I shoved them down my throat with both hands! Tears and snot was everywhere!

Um hmm… It looks like mama won the standoff 😉

Anyway, many years later, mama and I would laugh about that story.  One day, right before she passed away, we talked about that little episode and she smiled at me and said, “I couldn’t let you win.”

As a mother, I knew exactly what she meant!

What do you think mama meant?





‘Real’ Good Food: March 20, 2016

salmon and butternut
Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Medley

This post is part of the “Real Good Food” series

Everything’s in season at the grocery store!

Okay, I do realize that there is an intrinsic flaw in the above declaration; just as there is something inherently shady about those chik-n-nuggets that I mentioned in the first “Real Good Food” post.

Please hear me out.

Ideally, we should focus on eating foods that are in season; at least that’s what we used to do.  However, some of us live in areas with limited access to fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.  In cases like these, I would argue that it is preferable to purchase and prepare whatever produce is available to you (in season or not) as opposed to opting for processed and/or fast foods.

Now, with that said, more and more people are working together in order to bring seasonal food markets to those of us who live in areas where locally grown fruits and vegetables have historically been unavailable.  Frankly, I think that we need to see more like this.  How about you?

By the way, if you are interested, consider googling “food deserts” to gain a better understanding of how limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables can negatively impact health and wellness outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.

Anyway, I cannot stress the importance of eating as well as you can, as often as you can and The Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Medley (pictured above) is my effort at doing just that! Whew!

***Warning-Southern Dialect Alert:  What I ain’t gone do is make this cooking thang too hard!

In other words, cooking ‘real’ food should not be difficult; as long as we engage in a bit of planning.  Part of that planning includes keeping good food on hand.

For this meal, I grabbed a couple of bourbon salmon filets, a red pepper, and a butternut squash from my local grocer. And with that, I created my own little combination and it was delicious 😉

Now for those of you who bristle at the idea of cooking butternut squash–fear not! A few years back, while attending a cooking demonstration at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I learned how to simplify the process:



butternut straight up


butternut top and bottom off
Cut both top and bottom ends off squash
butternut being peeled
Use a veggie peeler to peel the skin

Thanks to my daughter for being the hand model!

I hope that you enjoyed your entree and now for dessert.  Consider this excerpt from The Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi:

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved as to love.


Enjoy your meal 🙂















Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Sermon

Reverend A. Jordan Smith in the early 1900s

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there-at, because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (KJV Matthew 17:13-14).

Gramp’s father was a “preacher.” The Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith, were his name and his “entitlements”. But, there are those who say that Reverend A. Jordan Smith was what some discourteously call, a “Jackleg” preacher! The term “jackleg,”according to Merriam-Webster is: “a person characterized by unscrupulousness, dishonesty, or lack of professional standards <a jackleg lawyer> b: lacking skill or training: amateur <a jackleg carpenter>”. However, the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith, by all accounts, was a decent and upstanding gentleman landholder, husband, and father. A man without a dishonest bone in his tall, sturdy frame. Obviously, the term “jackleg,” in Great-Grandpa Jordan’s case, referred solely to his lack of “formal” training as a minister.

Great-Grandpa Jordan cut a striking image; sturdy of frame; stylishly suited, booted, and hatted. His stern, brown visage was preceded, in his coming, by a thick, black, walrus-styled moustache. His hands, large and strong, articulated at the end of a pair of equally impressive arms. He was a gentleman, but a gentleman who was accustomed to the hard work of farm life and, he was a preacher; jackleg or not!

In those days and to some degree “these days”, in order to be a preacher, one had to be “called” to preach. That meant that God himself had caused some dramatic event to happen in the subject’s life which, to him, was a sure sign that he was to go forth and spread the Gospel. Most men experiencing this event of being “called” (e.g. being struck or nearly struck by lightning) would be compelled to swoon.

Some would remain in a stuporous, catatonic, or near-catatonic state for hours; sometimes only awakening when their own shoe was waved in front of their noses. During this comatose condition, God would speak to the subject in a vision; giving him his “charge”! Upon awakening, the stunned man would have morphed into a “righteous” man whom, henceforth, was in the “soul-saving business”. Who’s to say that Jordan Smith, farmer of land, had not been so converted into the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith, farmer for God? Sowing the seeds of faith amongst the wayward ilk.

One Sunday, according to Gramp, Reverend Smith preached a sermon from the text at the beginning of this story. The following is the “gist “of that sermon; sans the perfunctory introduction, song, prayer, and other “points of order”:

“Good Christians must travel the narrow road, for wide is the road to destruction” he began. “There are all kinds of sinners on the wide road. These sinners NEED a wide road” he bellowed as his large hand thrust skyward, emphasizing the word “need”. It takes a WIDE road for a LIAR, cause when he tells a lie on this side of the road!” his voice becoming more strident, as he stepped to the side of an imaginary wide road. “He got to ruuuunnnnn over to the other side of the road to back up the lie he just told!” he continued, punctuating his statement with a loud, gravelly, “HA!” as he quickly trotted to the other side of the imaginary road; hand to his mouth as if whispering some juicy bit of gossip into an eagerly waiting ear.

“It takes a wide road for a gambler!” he informed the congregation emphatically. “Because when he throw his dice on one side of the road, he’s got to ruuuunnnn over to the other side of the road so he can throw them dice again, HA!” he exclaimed as he enacted the process of shaking and tossing dice, then trotting over to the other side of the “road”.

By this time, the congregation was “chunking back” at the Reverend. In other words, they were giving him all of the Amen and Hallelujah shouts he needed to “bring down his Helper” and fill him with Holy Spirit. One could almost see said Holy Spirit descending from the rafters of the old church building like a feathery veil of warm mist.

Sorry congregants, but I’ll have to stop right here.  However,  I invite you to come and join us next Friday to hear the rest of “The Sermon” by The Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith!

My Jams: 1970


1970 my jams pic
Diva of Soul welcomes the  1970’s

“Sun, sun, sun…here it comes!”–The Beatles 1969

Friends, even though the “My Jams” series is based on soul music, I couldn’t leave 1969 without acknowledging my favorite Beatle, the quiet one, George.


Welcome to 1970 my dear hearts!  What say you?  Are you ready to embark on a new thing? I mean, have you had enough war, anger and violence? I know I have! In fact, I’m packing all that mess up and putting it away so that I can get ready for love!

Now some might say that I probably should have healed “that mess” before I put it away but NOT TODAY!

Anyway, moving on, if love is your thing too, then the 1970’s will not disappoint.  Baby, in 1970, folks talked about love lost, love gained and anything else that you can imagine on the topic.  Wherever your relationship fell on the aforementioned ‘love spectrum,’ 1970 had a song just for you!

To prove my point, I submit:

My Jams:   1970

“Band of Gold” by Freda Payne

Ms. Freda is giving you the ‘real’ on this one.  Here she ‘channels’ a woman who poured her heart into a marriage but, alas, her dear hubby simply could NOT return the favor.

How many people (women and men) can relate to this feeling?  Darlings, these hurts happen- but farther up the road happiness awaits.

“Signed Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder

 “Like a fool I went and stayed too long…”

Here we go again!  Another one of those love games!  Friends, we discussed this in “My Jams 1968.”  It appears that Stevie didn’t listen to Tyrone Davis (“Can I Change My Mind”).

Ok, let me explain this one more time.  If you leave, stay gone!  Personally, I simply cannot do that back and forth thing.

“Love or Let Me Be Lonely” by The Friends of Distinction”

I really love this song!  Whenever I listen to it, I can’t help trying to sing it’s tongue twister lyrics “I can live without love if I wanted to” …. And so on and so forth!  But more than that, I live for the part at the end where they groove in harmony “Love or let me be lonely…looooove or let me be lonely…”   I used to repeat that part and rock out!

“It’s A Shame” by The Spinners

Now this is one of my top 10 favorites in life!  Do you feel me?  Can you hear that freaking rhythm guitar with that bass just weaving all up and through?  Geez, I just can’t!

Ok, I can! 😉

This one doesn’t really sound like the Spinners. Well that’s because G. C. Cameron is leading.  To say that this dude was blessed with a serious vocal range is an understatement.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cameron and the Spinners ended up parting ways.  After that, it usually took two Spinners to match one G. C. Cameron when singing this song.  Basically, one of them stayed in the low to middle range and the other did the tweeting—that means singing falsetto y’all!

Anyway, Mr. Stevie Wonder co-wrote this jam.

“Owwww…got to, got to be a shame!”

“Precious, Precious” by Jackie Moore

This is a gorgeous song.  It reminds me of “Trapped By This Thing Called Love” by Denise LaSalle- no worries; we’ll get to that diva in the next year or so.

“Precious, Precious” tells the tale of a woman who fell too hard for the wrong joker.  Regardless, the groove here makes you forget all about that part!

“More Than I Can Stand” by Bobby Womack

Here’s another one of my all-time favorites.  You might say that Bobby Womack very heavily contributed to the soundtrack of my life.  I am sure that a lot of Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers can attest to that.

If you ever get a chance, ask my brother Tack about a natural tail whipping that he got about a Bobby Womack eight track.  Yeah, that little bubble headed terror sat in the middle of the floor and pulled every inch of tape out of mama’s cassette.  By the time she caught him, he was sitting in a heaping pile of brown plastic.

There was no recovering from that!

***Bonus:  “Big Leg Woman With A Short Short Mini Skirt” by Israel Tolbert

I don’t even know this song but I like it because I am known for my big legs!  LOL!  Morris Day and the Time wrote the song “Fishnet” about me! Ok , no, they really didn’t but I like to imagine that they did 😉

Well that’s enough of my foolishness!

And so, the time has come for me to say farewell to 1970.  As always, this list is not all inclusive.

Holler at me!  Tell me your jams from 1970.


Next Thursday:  “My Jams:  1971”