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Beverly Guitar Watkins, The Guitarist Granny

CAN YOUR GRANDMA DO THIS? If you’ve never heard of Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, it’s about time you find out who she is.  This 76-year-old Georgia native,  nicknamed the “Guitarist Granny,” is a blues guitarist par excellence.  She has won awards, traveled the world and opened for some of the biggest names in music:  James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. Beverly Guitar Watkins has received the Georgia Music Legend Award in 2011 and continues to play to audiences...

Remembering BB King

THE KING OF THE BLUES, BB King was born on on September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation called Berclair, near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi.  Christened Riley B. King, he was the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King.  His Mississippi roots stayed with him always, punctuating his music and providing him with a steady “home” presence even as he traveled around the world singing the blues. This Mississippi Public Broadcasting tribute includes rare footage of the King himself defining what...

Yoga Music: The Road to Nirvana?

EXCUSE ME, IS THIS THE ROAD TO NIRVANA? I’m taking a new direction in life.  I’m on the path to self-enlightenment and lower blood pressure.  In order to control the thing we Italians call “agita,” I started listening to yoga radio.  No Taylor Swift, no Rihanna, no Coldplay. Even though I listen to yoga music, I don’t take yoga classes, although everyone I know does and they keep telling me it’s something I should do.  They say I need...

Love & Money & Aging Gracefully

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH A.R. GURNEY, MARK LAMOS AND MAUREEN ANDERMAN A.R. “Pete” Gurney’s newest play, Love & Money, brings us Cornelia Cunningham—a wealthy Manhattan widow who, since she is well past that famously undefined certain age, has decided to give away her riches before she dies.  Affluent and sheltered her entire life, she finally sees the world around her.  She wants to help people who need it, and she is determined to do so despite the expectations of...

Taylor Dayne Interview

BABY BOOMERS LOVE TAYLOR DAYNE—  Taylor Dayne is rock royalty to anyone over 50 who listened to pop music in the 80s.  She is at her Los Angeles home on a Friday afternoon mulling over the aging process.  When it comes to aging, here’s the question:  Is this really love of getting older or just a game? Yes, that borrows a line from one of her most famous songs that the Long Island native turned into a number one hit. Taylor...

Queen Latifah Interview as Bessie Smith

Queen Latifah Channels her Inner Sexuality as Iconic Blues Singer Bessie Smith Queen Latifah never sings the blues. “Life is a journey.  I’m taking it a step at a time,” said Queen Latifah.  “I’m not one of those people who ever accepted the words ‘can’t.’  I go hard,” says the New Jersey native. She also goes for hard-to-get roles. Latifah stars in Bessie, which debuted on HBO May 16th, playing the iconic but troubled blues legend, Bessie Smith. Bessie Smith...

Mary Wilson Interview

Mary Wilson of the Supremes Mary Wilson of The Supremes never lets life get her down. Mary Wilson grew up in both Chicago and Detroit where she dwelled in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects. The 70-year-old music legend says her good health originates from a place of gratitude. “I turned 71 in March. It’s been a great career. A great life. I’ve spent my entire life singing all these wonderful songs,” she says. “As you get older, you realize how...

100 Years of Lady Day: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday, dubbed “Lady Day,” first set foot on a Harlem stage at 17 and very quickly became one of the most charismatic, recognizable voices in jazz. She had a thriving career for many years before she lost her battle with addiction.  April 7th  marks the centennial of Billie Holiday’s birth (1915) and gives us a chance to remember this woman whose backstage life made as many headlines as her artistic career. In a special LIFE video presentation, Wynton Marsalis...

Nothing Like Oldtown Funk Dancing Grannies

Turn on your radio and you’re likely to hear Bruno Mars’ mammoth hit, “Uptown Funk You Up.”  It’s got a catchy beat and lyrics with a swagger you can’t resist.  But it’s not just for kids.  Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama joined up with Ellen DeGeneris for a lively aerobic routine based on the song. And now, a Nigerian singer named Alex Boye—along with his posse of “Dancing Grannies”—is becoming a YouTube phenomenon with a spoof of the popular...

Lita Ford Interview

“Rock and roll has no age limit.”  So says rock legend Lita Ford, who wants to help you (and me) find our inner rock goddess. “Am I too old to rock?” I fret to Lita.  “I couldn’t even figure out how to play guitar when I was 15.  My mom eventually sold my guitar at a garage sale.” Lita is reassuring.  “You don’t need a guitar.  You don’t need a mike.  There is nothing as empowering as putting on your...

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