The Third Annual Hollywood Weekly Magazine and Film Festival is happening this weekend at Harmony Gold Preview House on historic Sunset Boulevard . The venue is the perfect backdrop for “Nu Skool Sings Old School” under the direction of Brandy Sanders. Their stage show spectacular and the talented young people in it promise to be a highlight of the evening. We had a roomful of guest in our studios, all of whom will be participating in the vent. A lively conversation ensued.
First our guests all introduced themselves. We had songwriter Charles Wright, who is also the author of the book “Up From Where we’ve Come”. Charles will be honored at the Saturday night event. Two legendary singers were here: Mary Wilson, one of the original Supremes and singer and actress Freda Payne, who has a new jazz record out called “Come See About Me”. Popular R&B singer Evelyn Champagne King came in support of Nu Skool Sings Old School as did the show’s creator, producer and director Brandy Sanders and one of their talented young stars, Hanani Taylor. We also talked to Keith Holman, a designer who is famous for his work with Michael Jackson.
Charles Wright is famous for writing the hit song “Express Yourself” We found out that Charles and Mary Wilson are actually from the same area. His book is about a part of American History that he says is not explored as much as it should be. Charles tells the story of his family’s journey from slavery to share cropping to the issues of injustice today. He also has a new single out called “Something to Make You Feel Good.”
Mary Wilson says that she and Florence Ballard did all the backgrounds for Diana Ross but Mary still laughs all the way to the bank. She’s still recording and performing and she has a new single out called “Life’s Been Good To Me”. Mary also just acted in her first film. It’s called “Speak”. The film will be shown during the festival this weekend.
Keith Holman is a designer who was part of the team that made Michael Jackson’s famous gloves, socks and military jackets. He travels th world authenticating such items. He is also involved in a new documentary tribute to Micahel that features puppets created by the late Bob Baker. Currently, Keith is working on projects with the LA Rams.
Singer and actress Freda Payne just returned from touring the UK promoting her new jazz release “Come Back To Me Love”. She is happy to be involved with an event like this that focuses on young people and the arts. She says she started out with people believing in her and that helped her to accomplish a great deal with her career.
Hanani Taylor was the youngster in the group. She’s been singing since she was three. At ten, she opened for gospel great Yolanda Adams. Hanani is an actress too. She did Criminal Minds this year and just finished production on a new film. She grew up listening to jazz and Motown and has written about 600 songs of her own. You can check some of them out on her You Tube channel. I asked Hanani to sing and when she was reluctant because of a cold, Mary and Freda showed her how the pros do it. It worked. Hanani did sing for us. Listen in. You’ll love her.
Evelyn Champagne King is a long- time supporter of “Nu Skool Sings Old School”. Evelyn was only 14 when she started her music career. She comes from a musical family and she is married to Freddie Foxx, a talented guitarist and songwriter, so music has always been a focal point in her life. Evelyn also shared some of her wisdom with Hanani and talked about her own dedication to encouraging young people with talent.
Brandy Sanders says her Dad was a club owner who taught her much of what she knows about the music business. She inherited his records and listened to jazz, classical and R&B. She cherishes her memories of the times he took her to live shows and encouraged her to read and to be open to knowledge. The kids in her program are like she was as a youngster. They are not only talented, they are knowledgeable about musicians past and present. Brandy’s goal is to help them prepare for their careers and to be heart centered. She wants them to use their talents to make the world a better place. She has worked with 178 young people putting on 43 shows at major LA venues and 22 shows for homeless kids. You can find out more about Brandy and the kids at www.NuSkoolSingsOldSchool.com
This talented group of people will all be there this Saturday night along with some of the NFL’s biggest stars including Jim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward and Dorsey Levens.
Hollywood Weekly Film Festival
Saturday 10, 2016
Harmony Gold Preview House
7655 Sunset Blvd.
For info: Call 424-371-9900 or visit www.HollywoodWeeklyMagazine.com