Grammys and BET Honors, Oh My!

Grammy pic

Good Morning Music Movie Family!  So the 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air tonight 8pm EST on CBS, and to be honest I’m not overly excited.  But, there are a few moments I am looking forward to, including the Sting, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna performance.  Why you ask?  Well I don’t know about you but every time I hear “Locked Out of Heaven,” I’m wishing that “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” follows!  Don’t necessarily know how Rihanna fits into the Grammy equation; but I guess we will all find out tonight won’t we?

I’m also looking forward to the Song of the Year category and would love to see Miguel win for “Adorn,” but am feeling the songwriting team behind that Kelly Clarkson hit “Stronger” or Carly Rae Jepsen, songwriter of that bubble gum hit “Call Me Maybe” heard EVERYWHERE, might walk away with the award. You can check out the rest of the Grammy nomination list at


What I’m most excited about is one of my all time favorite singers, the legendary Chaka Khan who celebrates 40 years in the music industry this year, receive her tribute on tomorrow’s BET Honors. The broadcast will air Monday night at 9pm EST on BET.  Now there are several artists who performed and paid tribute to the honorees, including Brandy, Mint Condition, Alicia Keys, and the SOS Band featuring Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.  But my girls Erykah Badu and Ledisi were also in the house, and I’m willing to bet they sang the heaven into a Chaka song!  Can’t wait to see, how about you?  Also included this year as BET Honorees are Halle Berry, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Lisa Leslie, and music industry legend Clarence Avant (if you don’t know his name, look him up!).

Alright that’s it for me Music Movie Lovers.  Stop back by and let me know what you liked, or didn’t, about the shows.  Going to leave you with some of that Bruno Mars below :)

Until next thought, Thomasena

PBS Celebrates Black History Month With Special Programs & New Website

motown image

What’s up Music Movie Family?  Last February, I shared a few of my favorite movie and tv program recommendations in honor of Black History Month.  But this year, PBS has it going on with its plan to celebrate Black History Month with special programs and a new Black Culture Connection website that connects PBS programming to digital resources (find out more at  The schedule lineup is as outlined below, and most films listed will also be available via streaming video on the PBS website.

PIONEERS OF TELEVISION – In the episode “Miniseries,” premiering Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:00-9:00 pm EST, hear “Roots” stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett, Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner talk about the epic broadcast.

LIFECASTERS – premiering Thursday, February 7, 2013, 9:00-10:00 pm EST (check local listings), unites fiction and documentary film-makers to tell stories of Americans who use their strength, creativity and determination to reach their goals – a bit later in life. In one segment, Oscar-nominees Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert observe African-American dancer Sheri “Sparkle” Williams, one of the oldest female professional dancers still practicing in the U.S.

Whitney M. Young, Jr. was one of the most celebrated, and controversial, leaders of the civil rights era. In INDEPENDENT LENS “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights,” premiering Monday, February 18, 10:00-11:00 pm EST, follow his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League.

In AMERICAN MASTERS “Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll,” premiering Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:00-10:00 pm EST, discover the life, music and influence of African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973).  One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Tharpe may not be a household name today, but the flamboyant superstar, with her spectacular playing on the newly electrified guitar, had a major influence on black musicians, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James, and on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

In MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA, a PBS film about the modern American Women’s Movement, premiering Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 8:00-11:00 pm EST, one segment explores stories of how 1960s Civil Rights leaders helped inspire the pioneers of the modern American Women’s Movement. In addition, the film tells the stories of many groundbreaking African-American women, such as Barbara Smith, who started Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press to give women inroads into publishing, civil rights activist Diane Nash, & Yale-educated lawyer Eleanor Holmes Norton, a civil rights veteran who now serves in the House of Representatives.

Gwen Ifill interviews Berry Gordy, founder in 1959 of Motown Records, which became the most successful African-American-owned enterprise in the United States, in AN EVENING WITH BERRY GORDY, airing in February 2013 (check local listings). Gordy’s celebrated life as entrepreneur, songwriter, record producer, movie director and producer has left an indelible influence on music & films nationally and internationally. Performing tribute songs, that represent the old and new school Motown, are Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson) and R&B musician KEM. Gordy’s son, Stefan Gordy, known to the music world as Redfoo  &  one half of the hip-hop musical group, LMFAO, will be in attendance.

In addition to the above, PBS will air encore programming to include:

AMERICAN MASTERS “Cab Calloway: Sketches” –  February 2013 (check local listings). Explore the life of this pioneering jazz legend, who charmed audiences with his bravado and showmanship.

BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA – February 2013 (check local listings).  Travel with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he uncovers Latin America’s African roots.

FREEDOM RIDERS: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – February 2013 (check local listings).  Find inspiration in the story of the young civil-rights activists who journeyed through the Deep South in 1961.

INDEPENDENT LENS “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975″ – February 2013 (check local listings).  Take a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America, 1967-1975.

INDEPENDENT LENS “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock” – February 2013 (check local listings).  Learn why this unconventional revolutionary paid dearly for her instant fame.

INDEPENDENT LENS “More Than a Month” – February 2013 (check local listings).  Find out why an African-American filmmaker wants to end Black History Month.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY – Friday, February 15, 2013, 10:30-11:30 pm EST.  Hear the story of William Still, a free black man who accepted delivery of “human cargo” on the Underground Railroad.

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME – Friday, February 22, 2013, 10:00-11:30 pm EST.  Explore the story of labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South. Laurence Fishburne narrates.

Alright family, don’t say you couldn’t find anything to watch! :P  And if you’re looking for that program & movie list from last year, click here: Lastly, you can begin the celebration on Friday, February 1st, by watching the NAACP Image Awards, which will air live at 8 pm EST on NBC.  This year’s program will be hosted by actor/comedian/talk show host Steve Harvey, with in-house announcer (and Mr. smooth talking insurance salesman himself) Dennis Haysbert.  And speaking of Mr. Haysbert, who supported LUV?  Remember the motto: support independent film (especially opening weekend ;) ).

Until next thought, Thomasena


TV One’s Unsung Season Premiere “Isaac Hayes” Airing 1/23/13

Isaac Hayes

Hey there Music Movie Family!  I’m very excited to view TV One’s Unsung season première tonight, as it features “Black Moses” himself the late, great Isaac Hayes.  The remainder of the season will display one hour episodes featuring: Midnight Star, EPMD, Lou Rawls, Eddie Kendricks, The Whispers, Mint Condition, and Johnny Gill.  There will also be a two-hour special this season on the Disco era.

In honor of the Hayes special tonight, I’ve added video below of two of my favorite Isaac Hayes moments: his “Walk On By” video, featuring Larenz Tate and Chris Tucker, from the Dead Presidents soundtrack (shout out to Allen Hughes!) and a special treat from one of my favorite comedies (can you guess the movie before scrolling down? It’s a Wayans’ classic ;) ).

Okay family, you know the drill!  Leave a comment and let me know which episode you’re most excited to see.

Until next thought, Thomasena

Here’s to the New!

Happy New Year

It’s a New Year Music Movie Family and I’m so glad finally to greet you in it!  I had a fabulous time during the holidays with family and friends, and am on the tail end of a very relaxing vacation.  So, now that I am relaxed, time to get on with the new!  And what signifies the movie and music new year cycle more than awards season? To prepare you for what’s ahead, here is a rundown on the most popular award ceremonies and their respective airdate:

  • People’s Choice Awards – the 39th annual show, which honors the best in television, film and music, will air this Wednesday, January 9th at 9pm EST on CBS.  Hosting for the second year is Kaley Cuoco from the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
  • Golden Globe Awards – the 70th annual show airs this Sunday, January 13th at 8pm EST on NBC. Hosted by Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), highlights to include actor, director and producer Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs, The Beaver) receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.
  • Stellar Music Awards – the 28th annual show celebrating the best in gospel music will air for the first time live nationally on Saturday, January 19th 8pm EST on GMC (Gospel Music Channel).  This year’s ceremony will be co-hosted by multi-talented gospel artist/producer and host of BET’s Sunday Best Kirk Franklin and the sensational gospel duo and WE tv reality stars Mary Mary, who lead the nominations with nine.  Highlights to include a lifetime achievement award presentation to gospel great Kurt Carr, and a tribute to the late great Inez Andrews.
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards – the 19th annual SAG awards will air live Sunday, January 27th on both TBS and TNT at 8pm EST, with lifetime achievement award honors going to legendary actor Dick Van Dyke.
  • NAACP Image Awards – the 44th annual ceremony, celebrating the best performances and outstanding achievements of people of color in the arts, will air live Friday, February 1st at 8pm EST on NBC.
  • Grammy Awards – airing Sunday, February 10th at 8pm EST on CBS, rapper/actor LL Cool J (NCIS Los Angeles) will host this 55th annual ceremony where six male artists/groups (Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean included) are currently tied with six nominations each.  Um, ladies thoughts? Where’s Adele and Mary J. when you need them? ;)
  • Academy Awards –   and last, but certainly not least, is the 85th annual Oscars airing Sunday, February 24th at 7pm EST on ABC.   This year’s show will be hosted by first timer actor, producer, animator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show).  Highlights will include a planned tribute celebrating the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise.

Alright music movie lovers, that’s the rundown through February.  And you know the drill by now, so stop back by and let me know your thoughts about any of these shows :).

Until next thought, Thomasena

Love, Peace and Soul – 25th Annual Soul Train Awards (11/25/12)

Hey there Music Movie family!!!!  How was everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday?  I had a beautiful time celebrating with my family this year, and I feel 20 lbs heavier right now! :)  And since the awards season has started (the CMA’s earlier this month & the AMA’s last week ushered it in), I’ll get plenty of chances to dance and work some of those extra, extra plates off ;).

My first opportunity is up tomorrow with BET’s airing of the 25th annual Soul Train Awards at 8pm (EST).  This year’s event will include performances from newbies like Elle Varner, Leah Labelle, and Marcus Canty; but I’m really looking forward to the New Edition tribute because I intend to dance all the way through!  Also looking forward to seeing some of my faves perform like Fantasia, Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton, and of course Stevie Wonder. Last, but certainly not least, I’m anticipating the special tribute for the late, great Don Cornelius.  Heck, I’m ready for the whole show. ;)  The great thing about it airing on the BET network is if you can’t watch tomorrow it will be repeated various times, so don’t fret.

And speaking of repeats, airing next Saturday 12/1 on the BBC channel is Spike Lee’s documentary, which pays homage to the late Michael Jackson, Bad 25.  Now anyone who knows me personally wouldn’t believe this, but I missed it on Thanksgiving night!  I knew the start time, and was preparing to watch, but became preoccupied with friends, good conversation, and only caught the beginning of the special.  I will view it next week, and trust I’ll own the doc once it’s out on DVD so don’t judge me ;).  I’m an MJJ fan for life!

Alright, that’s it for me family.  Leave a comment below about your favorite performance from this year’s Soul Train Awards or let me know your thoughts about Bad 25. Until next thought family, Thomasena

In Time for Black Music Month!

Hello fellow music movie lovers!  Been a minute since I’ve posted, but had the most wonderful past two weeks helping my youngest sister prepare for her middle school graduation (which occurred last Wednesday).  In the midst of all my preparation with her, and my excitement to screen Bella…I mean Snow White and the Huntsman earlier this month, I truly forgot to acknowledge something I deem important…Black Music Month!  But no worries, since this is an area I celebrate all the time. :)  Whether it’s sharing remember when moments, enjoying a show or discovering the latest breakthrough, or yet to breakthrough, musical talent, I enjoy the rich heritage and contributions of African-American artists in the music community.  Now for those who are not familiar with this historical fact, I’ll share that Black Music Month was first decreed for observation by former president Jimmy Carter on June 7th, 1979, after a bill (House Concurrent Bill 509) was pushed through the House of Representatives.   Quick Philly fact: the bill was co-written by local radio legend and media personality Dyana Williams.  More recently, President Barack Obama has referred to the observation as African-American Music Appreciation month.  So in the spirit of appreciation, I’d like to offer a few recommendations (with my cutting it close self ;) ).

First up, and  just in time for this month of appreciation, comes the June 25th season première of TV One’s hit show Unsung.  Now as the title suggests many of the artists profiled are not currently hailed by the masses, or in the immediate mental Rolodexes of most, but their musical contributions are no less important.  This season’s line up includes shows on Gerald Levert, The Marvelettes, Con Funk Shun, Kool Moe Dee, Low Rawls, and Sly Stone (the latter being the season opener). The episode I am most excited to see features songbird Angela Bofill, and I love, love, love her! Unsung airs weekly on Monday nights at 9pm.

The BET network will air its award show nominations special The Chosen on Wednesday, June 20th at 7:30 pm EST.  The actual ceremony will be televised July 1st at 8 pm and hosted by actor Samuel Jackson.  I can’t wait to see who they’ve selected for their Whitney Houston tribute, since BET executive Stephen Hill tweeted and described it as unbelievable.

Next up are a few book recommendations I’d like to share about one of my fave eras of music, early Motown.  If you look to the right and hit the green arrow, you can find all of these titles listed under my Goodreads shelf:

  1. My Sister Tommie – The Real Tammi Terrell by Ludie Montgomery
  2. Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz
  3. Motown: Music, Money, Sex & Power by Gerald Posner
  4. Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme by Mary Wilson

And while we’re on the subject of Motown, if you’re a music lover and you still don’t know who The Funk Brothers are, shame on you!  Go to your nearest Wal-Mart, go online to Netflix, Xfinity or something and purchase/rent Standing In The Shadows of Motown.  If you purchase it will be money well spent, trust me :).

Okay music movie lovers, drop me a note or share a thought below if you check out any of the Unsung episodes, the BET Awards or read any of those books!  And definitely let me know what you think if you watch Standing in the Shadows of Motown for the first time :)

Until next thought, Thomasena