Snuck into a private taping of David Bowie when I was a teen on Soul Train. His song ‘Fame’ was out on Young Americans album which I loved. He was so immediately intriguing – and I was gutted when I got kicked out of the taping (my name was not on the list) missing an opportunity to see him in person. Like millions who were fans I am saddened and shocked to hear of his passing – he was so private; something else I admire about him and didn’t know he’d been battling cancer in this age of over media saturation. Original, boldly different and eclectic, Bowie never confined himself to any musical or style box throughout his legendary career up through his just released ‘Black Star’ he kept us guessing and enamored in and out of the mainstream always a chameleon – I admire him so much and anyone who just does their own thing staying true to themselves especially in this business.
Quietly, or not so..he was also a white artist who spoke out against the lack of videos being played at the time by MTV (in the days when it was Music Television) by black artists unless between certain hours when people were less likely to be tuning in. I learned this fact today. Check his interview with Mark Goodman challenging the tepid excuses: here , in that way I owe a debt of gratitude a black artist who found her way into medium to heavy rotation at one time.
Another great one – a legend who leaves an indelible legacy of music, style, performances, innovation and individuality and beyond. Live life – it’s precious..we’re all just passing through.
My condolences and prayers to his wife of 24 years Iman, his children, family and friends who knew him best.
One of my early favorites:
Good-Bye Mr. Lawrence. ( Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto from the film in which David Bowie starred).
I posted on my Facebook page yesterday, August 29, 2015 to not only celebrate Michael Jackson but my longtime friend, one of my favorite people and dancers ever – going back to my teen years – Tyrone Proctor, a Soul Train original. Many will also always remember him as my freestyle waacking dance partner in the classic ‘Still a Thrill’ video filmed in Paris, France at the Opera House – the first time any music video or commercial project was filmed there (thank you director Brian Grant for making that dream come true.)
SHALAMAR ® reloaded with Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley, Rosero McCoy. 2015
For those who came late, Jody Watley is a name synonymous with soul, an icon of music, fashion and dance who set the defining trends of at least four or five distinctive eras of black culture.. Read the full article on: OkayPlayer
Get your tickets:
June 24 The Howard Theater D.C.
June 25 Midsummer Night Swing NYC
June 27 Let’s Rock London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
As a teen K C & The Sunshine Band were a favorite of mine – on Soul Train during my dancer days as soon as the intro would come on to “That’sThe Way I Like It” I would lose my mind with joy. You know the feeling you get when you really love a song and it comes on. To say I’m honored and excited to be on a show with KC & The Sunshine Band all these years later in all of my current reloaded love and appreciation of disco, funk and soul is truly another full circle moment and I can’t wait to share it with Rosero and Nate! “That’s the way I like it uh huh uh huh!” Boogie shoes indeed!
With each social media throwback Thursday my desire is to not only share a photo moment from the past – but to perhaps inspire someone by providing what was behind a photo moment in my life on this journey.
From my Facebook Page post”
“Queen Jody! Living in KCMO (from Chicago though) at the time – had run a campaign for President of the school, I think I was the only girl who ran..and lost..kids were clowning me. It was a big disappointment and embarrassing for me – at the loss ..but I wasn’t discouraged in the long run, a theme in my life and career. I learned early on to never give up, keep pushing forward and stay motivated. Though not popular and still reeling from the loss of President..I went after “Miss Explorer Queen of Southeast Jr. High’ – because you never know unless you try right?! The outcome was triumph although I appear quite melancholy and sad in the photo’s (though still dealing with shade – a lot of girls including those who came in second and third weren’t happy as evidenced in the photo – shade is nothing new ) We didn’t have a lot of money but I put together my outfit and if you notice you can see what would become a style signature in my music career – jumbo hoop earrings. Certainly, I experienced far more challenging moments in my life, and even with this photo and moment there is much more to reveal.. however this is one of those touchstone character building moments. #JodyWatley#Shalamar#life#inspiration – Just keep striving and be yourself is what I hope the takeaway is from this, beyond the TBT..” May 7, 2015
I’ve never been to Brazil and am extremely excited to be going there in June with my newly reloaded SHALAMAR. Nate Allen Smith, Rosero McCoy and I are having a great time and continuing to bond offstage and improve upon what we’re doing onstage.
When writing the lyrics to my single and collaboration with Count de Money titled “Nightlife” from PARADISE, I totally channeled classic disco but at the same time focused on how to bring that love of the music, the spirit and soul of it into the now. The concept was always of a ‘worldwide phenomenon’ – that journey continues. It’s in the music!
“NIGHTLIFE” peaked in the Top 20 on Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles in 2014 and went into the Top 5 Commercial Pop and Urban in the UK. Music lovers continue to discover the song which is available at digital outlets around the world.