Teena Marie

TEENA REMEMBERED – Along with the joy of the Holidays always comes some bad: R&B wunderkind Teena Marie (aka Christine Marie Brockert) passed over the weekend due to a grand mal seizure. Known as The Ivory Queen of Soul Marie, she was 54 and has left a lasting influence on many of today’s contemporary artists. R&B songwriting duo Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, said in a statement, “We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie. She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown. We send our condolences to Teena’s family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy.” Though Marie was white, she was fully revered and fully immersed herself in black culture and in turn was respected and adored by black audiences, not only for her immense soulful talents, but for her inner soul as well. “Overall my race hasn’t been a problem; I’m a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul,” the artist told Essence magazine last year, while promoting her then-forthcoming album Congo Square (Stax Records); which would be her last. Of course, her biggest hits were the songs, “Lovergirl,” “Square Biz” and the blazing duet “Fire and Desire” sung with her mentor Rick James. As we end the year, let’s also recognize one last time some of the larger than life music personalities we’ve lost along the way: Clay Cole; Captain Beefheart; Solomon Burke; Ben Keith; Malcolm McLaren; Alex Chilton; Marvin Isley; Bernie Williams/Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes; and Kate McGarrigle.


Jake Gyllenhaal

GRIT AND GYLLENHALL – On our weekend away we managed to catch two of the bigger movies around Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit; and, Love and Other Drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. I’ve been a fan of the Coen brothers since their Barton Fink (1991) and Fargo (1996); and, really fell in love with their No Country For Old Men (2007). Debbie Gibson, of all people, even recorded something for their Naked Man movie in 1998. This re-imagining of the wonderful lovely Charles Portis novel is really exceptional in almost every way. From the very first shot to the last, they’ve really made a rather poetic and romantic movie. Jeff Bridges is superb in the role of Rueben ‘Rooster’ Cogburn ; a Texas-Marshall-for-hire’; and, the 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld, who plays the titular role of Mattie Ross, who hires the Marshall to find the killer of her father is a standout. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin have somewhat smaller roles, but the quartet is terrifically stellar. The scenes shot amid a star-decked sky are nothing short of amazing; I thought for a moment I was watching something out of Lord of the Rings. This isn’t a perfect movie; but, it’s pretty damn close. 3 Bullets out of four! I’ve been a fan of Gyllenhaal’s - enjoying him in previous movies like Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac and Jarhead, but, in this latest one, pumped up and bulked up, he emerges as a leading man and is simply sensational. Anne Hathaway has always been a formidable actress and the pairing is just spot-on perfect. Her roles in The Devil Wears Prada and Becoming Jane were just stirring and totally compelling. Here, she’s comes on like gangbusters and while you think for a brief moment that she’ll wipe the floor with her co-star … it’s a match made in heaven. Kudos to a personal favorite of mine Oliver Platt … he almost steals the movie is his key scenes. Worth seeing for sure.


Mark Bego With Mary Wilson And Ken Dashow

Ken Dashow/Q104.3 -- I’d been listening to WPLJ for months, but two weeks ago dialed up our old friend Ken Dashow on Q104.3 and have been there ever since. Ken started on the historic WNEW-FM back in the day alongside Scott Muni; and, he’s learned his lessons well. His show runs like a well-oiled machine and his musical choices are so spot-on perfect. Sure, there’s the occasion Doobie Brothers track and maybe a tad too much Pink Floyd; but, where else is one going to hear Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” and so much Beatles music? For this writer, most of these songs I grew up with … so, to hear them again is a big bonus. We’ve also got to give a shout out to their morning-man Jim Kerr, who now that I think about it, always sounded great too.