Thursday, January 30, 2014

American-born Sweden-based Deborah Henriksson's third album

(Artist Information)
Deborah Henriksson�s "The Heart's Cry", is American-born Sweden-based Deborah Henriksson's (Enya-esque vocals) third album. Fatea Records Magazine, UK writes: �The Heart�s Cry� is a hauntingly beautiful album and a masterpiece, which stands out for its deep meaning and representation of hope within all walks of life�
The Heart's Cry, is American-born Sweden-based Deborah Henriksson's third album. Fatea Records Magazine, UK writes: ”The Heart’s Cry is a hauntingly beautiful album… a masterpiece, which stands out for its deep meaning and representation of hope within all walks of life… Read more: and Markus Druery of Indieshark writes: "Deborah Henriksson delivers a compelling... catalog that will mesmerize, entertain and mystify... an amazing journey that simply transcends space and time." The album spans several genres, ranging from modern and traditional folk to celtic, with a little scent of country. It was produced by Mats Nyman, released on DHP Records and distributed by Horus Music, Ltd. To learn more about Deborah Henriksson see: link to o fficial promotional video: youtube channel: contact info:

Monday, January 20, 2014

I think I like this TV Show - Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel is an American actress, television talk show host, author, and entrepreneur. A former natural foods chef, she is the founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, the author of four self-help books, and the host of the TV talk show, Bethenny.

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) -- I never watched House Wives of anything or reality television of anything else either.  I was house cleaning, that I don't do enough of, and left the tv channel tuned to this "Bethenny TV Show".  Wasn't paying any attention to it at all.  My mind was like a dream, you know fazing in and out, and slowly picking up on conversations with Ice-Cube, the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, etc., and then finally found myself putting the mop and broom down and getting into the television show.  I think I like this show.  Anyway, it's here on the FOX-TV channel.

In Response to Carla Weston Skaggs - A Note to Merrell Fankhauser

in response to Carla Weston Skaggs:

Dear Merrell Fankhauser, This is Carla Weston Skaggs, George Weston’s daughter. So glad to hear you new my Daddy. He was so easy to be with, and funny. He played his guitar like as if it were oxygen to him. I just arrived home and received the package of autograph records. Daddy’s spirit is so happy. [...]
Greetings Carla,
I’m not sure if you’ll get this message, but I hope so.
I tried leaving some messages and comments on YouTube for songs your father had sang….but so far no replies.
I used to live in Littlerock, Ca. and went to Almondale the same year as your brother. :) (that is if Steven Weston is your brother)
The reason why I’d like to contact you is that unbeknownst to me- George had cut some records, and just recently I listened to them on YouTube! What an amazing voice.
I used to hang out at your dad and Barbara’s little house by 4-points and the RR tracks. This was around late 1974 or 1975 time frame when I hung out there with my good friend Helen. As did Hippie Dale (aka Jimmy Dale Burris) and other peeps.
Of course all of them were much older than I at the time, being a teenager, while Helen and Barbara were in their 30′s, your dad was in his 40′s and Hippie was probably in his 50′s.
Your dad and Hippie Dale were never without their guitars and sang and played all the time.
In fact, your dad, Hippie, and Barbara all came over to my mom and dad’s house one time and had a impromptu jam session. ;)
Some other friends or family members of ours were present at the time, and really enjoyed listening to them.
I wish I would have paid more attention back then, but I was really into R&R and didn’t have the appreciation that I do now for the many different types of music that are out there.
I have very fond memories of your father if you’d like to hear them and the stories etc..
The reason as to how I found the recordings of George Weston on YouTube is from the Facebook group site “Growing Up In The AV in the 1960′s, 70′s, and 80′s.
Mary Richey Sweet (I went to Almondale and PHS with her son) had posted on that site and I was floored when she brought up the name George Weston, and how he was her first crush and about trying to find more info in locating his songs…
Your dad was so low keyed and kick backed, the opposite of a braggart , so that’s probably why I never knew about his records.
I also knew Glen MacArthur as he hung around a man named Richard Burson, who also hung around your dad’s crowd.
I was also very saddened to hear about your father’s passing. :(
You have my deepest sympathy for your loss of your father who I can tell you you dearly loved.
Take care,

P.S. I live up in the Lake Isabella/Kern River area now.

George Weston was from Bakersfield, California, and had sent a tape to Challenge records in August of 1958. It was a recording of him and Jim Noble, listed as the Noble Brothers, which ultimately was issued on Challenge. Weston cut two solo sides at the same time that went to Jackpot. "Hey Little Car Hop" is a fun rock and roll song that makes you want to go to the drive-in right now for a big greasy burger. "Well Don't You Know" is also rock and roll. He has another Jackpot record, and he issued sides for the Bakersfield based label Tally, and also for the Glen label.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shardonnae Pruitt, Chicago Woman, Charged With Fatally Stabbing Boyfriend

A Chicago woman previously convicted of stabbing another woman with a box cutter in a confrontation over a salad plate at a Chuck E. Cheese is now facing murder charges. Shardonnae Pruitt, 20, was charged with first-degree murder after she allegedly stabbed 22-year-old Kahlin Holloway in the chest in the 9600 block of South Merrion Avenue, where she lived, about 5 p.m. on Sunday, DNAinfo Chicago reports. Holloway was pronounced dead Sunday evening at Advocate Trinity Hospital. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Holloway had come to Pruitt's home on Sunday to confront her about postings she had made about him on social media. Prosecutors say the two proceeded to argue and, at one point, Pruitt stabbed Holloway in the chest with a kitchen knife. Pruitt has been ordered held in lieu of $750,000 bail, the Sun-Times reports. In the September 2012 incident at a Chuck E. Cheese where Pruitt worked on the city's Southwest Side, police said she took a 40-year-old man's plate away, and he responded by throwing his utensils on the floor and insisting on seeing a manager to make a formal complaint. When the manager left, Pruitt allegedly threatened the offended diner and stabbed the 25-year-old woman with him. The woman was taken to a hospital and released and opted not to press felony charges, according to the Tribune.

Chicago Chuck E. Cheese employee, Shardonnae Pruitt, stabs woman with box cutter after argument  Better be careful the next time you go to Chuck E. Cheese!  A Chicago Chuck E. Cheese employee, Shardonnae Pruitt, stabs woman with a box cutter after argument.  Pruitt was apparently irritated with her customers, a man and a woman, and resorted to extreme violence when the man complained about the service he received from Pruitt.  The incident occurred on September 30, at a Chicago Chuck E. Cheese restaurant located on South Kedzie Avenue.  A 40-year-old man and  25-year-old woman were dining in the restaurant at approximately 3:15 pm. Pruitt allegedly took away a salad plate from the table, possibly while the couple was still eating upsetting the man.The man then became angry and reportedly threw his utensils on the floor. He then demanded to see the manager. Pruitt went to get her manager. She then returned with the manager and the customer asked to file a formal complaint against the waitress.When the manager left, Pruitt allegedly threatened the man and then, according to police reports, pulled out a box cutter and stabbed the woman.Security guards at the restaurant were able to detain Pruitt until police arrived.The woman who was stabbed was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where she was treated and released.Shardonnae Pruitt, whose residence is listed in the 9600 block of South Marion Ave., has been charged with simple assault and battery in connection with the stabbing.She is scheduled to appear in court on November 14.One would assume that after Chicago Chuck E. Cheese employee, Shardonnae Pruitt, stabs woman with box cutter after argument, that she has, in addition to facing jail time, lost her job at the kid friendly establishment. 

Why was George Stinney electrocuted? A New Trial for a Dead 14 year old Black Boy Executed by the State of South Carolina in 1944

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Supporters of a 14-year-old black boy executed in 1944 for killing two white girls are asking a South Carolina judge to take the unheard-of move of granting him a new trial in hopes he will be cleared of the charges. George Stinney was convicted on a shaky confession in a segregated society that wanted revenge for the beating deaths of two girls, ages 11 and 7, according to the lawsuit filed last month on Stinney's behalf in Clarendon County.

 The request for a new trial has an uphill climb. The judge may refuse to hear it at all, since the punishment was already carried out. Also, South Carolina has strict rules for introducing new evidence after a trial is complete, requiring the information to have been impossible to discover before the trial and likely to change the results, said Kenneth Gaines, a professor at the University of South Carolina's law school. "I think it's a longshot, but I admire the lawyer for trying it," Gaines said, adding that he's not aware of any other executed inmates in the state being granted a new trial posthumously.

 The request for a new trial is largely symbolic, but Stinney's supporters say they would prefer exoneration to a pardon. Stinney's case intersects some long-running disputes in the American legal system — the death penalty and race. At 14, he's the youngest person executed in the United States in past 100 years. He was electrocuted just 84 days after the girls were killed in March 1944.

 The request for a new trial includes sworn statements from two of Stinney's siblings who say he was with them the entire day the girls were killed. Notes from Stinney's confession and most other information deputies and prosecutors used to convict Stinney in a one-day trial have disappeared along with any transcript of the proceedings. Only a few pages of cryptic, hand-written notes remain, according to the motion. "Why was George Stinney electrocuted?

The state can't produce any paperwork to justify why he was," said George Frierson, a local school board member who grew up in Stinney's hometown hearing stories about the case and decided six years ago to start studying it and pushing for exoneration. The South Carolina Attorney General's Office will likely argue the other side of the case before the Clarendon County judge. A spokesman said their lawyers had not seen the motion and do not comment on pending cases. A date for a hearing on the matter has not been set. The girls were last seen looking for wildflowers in the tiny, racially-divided mill town of Alcolu about 50 miles southeast of Columbia. Stinney's sister, who was 7 at the time, said in her new affidavit that she and her brother were letting their cow graze when the girls asked them where they could find flowers called maypops.

The sister, Amie Ruffner, said her brother told them he didn't know and the girls left. "It was strange to see them in our area, because white people stayed on their side of Alcolu and we knew our place," Ruffner wrote. The girls never came home and hundreds of people searched for them through the night. They were found the next morning in a water-filled ditch, their heads beaten with a hard object, likely a railroad spike. Deputies got a tip the girls had been seen talking to Stinney.

They came to Stinney's home and took him away. His family wouldn't see the boy again until after his trial. Newspaper accounts suggested a lynch mob was nearly formed to attack the teen in jail. Stinney's dad worked for the major mill in town and lived in a company house. He was ordered to leave after his son was arrested, said Stinney's brother Charles Stinney, who was 12 when his older brother was arrested. Charles Stinney's statement explains why the family didn't speak to authorities at the time. "George's conviction and execution was something my family believed could happen to any of us in the family.

Therefore, we made a decision for the safety of the family to leave it be," Charles Stinney wrote in his sworn statement. Charles Stinney said he remembered the events vividly because "for my family, Friday, March 24, 1944, and the events that followed were our personal 9/11." Both statements were made in 2009. Lawyer Steve McKenzie said he planned to file the request for a new trial then, but heard from a man in Tennessee who claimed his grandfather was with George Stinney the day of the killings.

McKenzie thought the information from someone not related to Stinney would be especially powerful, but the person suddenly stopped cooperating after stringing the lawyers along for years. The request for a new trial points out that at 95 pounds, Stinney likely couldn't have killed the girls and dragged them to the ditch. The motion also hints at community rumors of a deathbed confession from a white man several years ago and the possibility Stinney either confessed because his family was threatened or he was given ice cream. But the court papers provide little information and the lawyers also wouldn't elaborate.

 At 14, Stinney was the youngest person executed in this country in the past 100 years, according to statistics gathered by the Death Penalty Information Center. Newspaper stories from his execution had witnesses saying the straps to keep him in the electric chair didn't fit around his small frame and an electrode was too big for his leg. Executing teens wasn't uncommon at that time.

Florida put a 16-year-old boy to death for rape in 1944 and Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas executed 17-year-olds that year. Lawyers also filed a request for to pardon Stinney before the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in case the new trial is not granted. There is precedent for that. In 2009, two great-uncles of syndicated radio host Tom Joyner were pardoned by the board nearly 100 years after they were sent to the electric chair in the death of a Confederate Army veteran.

 Joyner's lawyers showed evidence the men were framed by a small-time criminal who took a plea deal that saved his life and testified against them. But Frierson said a pardon would be little comfort to him in the Stinney case. "The first step in a pardon is to admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness. This boy did nothing wrong," Frierson said.

Oliver Stone will no longer direct and write a biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Director says he will not be involved in biopic about Civil Rights leader

Oliver Stone will no longer direct and write a biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the firebrand director tweetedFriday.
The news comes as the country prepares to honor the Civil Rights leader’s life this weekend as part of a national holiday honoring his memory.
TheWrap broke the newslast fall that Jamie Foxx was in talks to play King with Stone in negotiations to direct for DreamWorks and Warner Bros.  Plans have apparently changed.
“Sad news,” Stone tweeted. “My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.”
He said his script dealt with King’s infidelity and conflicts within the non-violent movement he spearheaded. The Oscar-winning director and screenwriter said his biopic would have charted “… King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being.”
He went on to say that the King estate and the “respectable” black community would not approve his take on the Civil Rights icon.
“They suffocate the man & the truth,” Stone tweeted.
Representatives for Stone, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Stone has generated controversy and praise in equal measure in a decades-long career that has included such award-winning films as “JFK,” “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” His most recent feature film, “Savages,” examined the illegal drug business.
Hollywood has struggled to bring a picture about King’s life and times to the screen for years.  Paul Greengrass and Lee Daniels are among the prominent directors who have flirted with dramatizing the “I Have a Dream” orator’s story. What made Stone’s attempt seem more promising than others, and what might have ultimately doomed it, is it had the support of the King family.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Zora Neale Hurston

Born in Alabama on January 7, 1891, Zora Neale Hurston spent her early adulthood studying at various universities and collecting folklore from the South, the Caribbean and Latin America. She published her findings in Mules and Men. Hurston was a fixture of the Harlem Renaissance, rubbing shoulders with many of its famous writers. In 1937, she published her masterwork of fiction,Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston died in Florida in 1960.

Early Life

Born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, writer Zora Neale Hurston created several acclaimed works of fiction, including the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. She was also an outstanding folklorist and anthropologist who worked to record the stories and tales of many cultures, including her own African-American heritage.
Hurston was the daughter of two former slaves. Her father, John Hurston, was a pastor, and he moved the family to Florida when Hurston was very young. Following the death of her mother, Lucy Ann (Potts) Hurston, in 1904, and her father's subsequent remarriage, Hurston lived with an assortment of family members for the next few years.
To support herself and finance her efforts to get an education, Hurston worked a variety of jobs, including as a maid for an actress in a touring Gilbert and Sullivan group. In 1920, Hurston earned an associate degree from Howard University. She published one of her earliest works in the university's newspaper. A few years later, she moved to New York City's Harlem neighborhood, where she became a fixture in the area's thriving art scene.

Writing Career

Living in Harlem in the 1920s, Hurston befriended the likes ofLangston Hughes and Countee Cullen, among several others. Her apartment, according to some accounts, was a popular spot for social gatherings. Around this time, Hurston experienced a few early literary successes, including placing in short-story and playwriting contests in Opportunity magazine.
Hurston also had serious academic interests. She landed a scholarship to Barnard College, where she pursued the subject of anthropology and studied with Franz Boas. In 1927, Hurston returned to Florida to collect African-American folk tales. She would later publish a collection of these stories, entitled Mules and Men(1935). Hurston also contributed articles to magazines, including theJournal of American Folklore.
Also in the mid-1930s, Hurston explored the fine arts through a number of different projects. She worked with Langston Hughes on a play called Mule-Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life—disputes over the work would eventually lead to a falling out between the two writers—and wrote several other plays, including The Great Dayand From Sun to Sun.
Hurston released her first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine, in 1934. Two years later, she received a Guggenheim fellowship, which allowed her to work on what would become her most famous work: Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). She wrote the novel while traveling in Haiti, where she also studied local voodoo practices.
That same year, Hurston spent time in Jamaica conducting anthropological research.
In 1942, Hurston published her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. This personal work was well-received by critics, but her life and career soon began to falter. Hurston was charged with molesting a 10-year-old boy in 1948; despite being able to prove that she was out of the country at the time of the incident, she suffered greatly from this false accusation.

Death and Legacy

Despite all of her accomplishments, Hurston struggled financially and personally during her final decade. She kept writing, but she had difficulty getting her work published. Additionally, she experienced some backlash for her criticism of the 1955 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which called for the end of school segregation.
A few years later, Hurston had suffered several strokes and was living in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home. The once-famous writer and folklorist died poor and alone on January 28, 1960, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida.
More than a decade later, another great talent helped to revive interest in Hurston and her work: Alice Walker wrote about Hurston in the essay "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," published in Ms.magazine in 1975. Walker's essay helped introduce Hurston to a new generation of readers, and encouraged publishers to print new editions of Hurston's long-out-of-print novels and other writings. In addition to Walker, Hurston heavily influenced Toni Morrison andRalph Ellison, among other writers.
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