Wednesday, May 11, 2011

jim kelly as Black Belt Jones

James M. "Jim Kelly'' (born May 5, 1946) is an American athlete, actor, and martial artist who came to prominence in the early 1970s. He is best known from his performance as Williams in the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon.


Early life

Kelly was born in Paris, Kentucky. He began his athletic career in high school, competing successfully in basketball, football, and track and field. He attended the University of Louisville where he played football, but left during his freshman year to begin studying Shorin-ry karate.Additionally, he trained in Okinawa-te karate under the direction of Shihan Gordon Doversola. Kelly won the Huntington Beach Classic and credits Doversola with making him a world class fighter. During this time other notables as Joe Lewis would also train in the same dojo (martial arts school). After winning the middleweight title at the 1971 International Middleweight Karate Championship in Long Beach, he opened his own dojo. He taught karate to actor Calvin Lockhart for a role in a thriller feature film Melinda he ended up playing a martial arts instructor in the movie.

Acting career

As an actor, Kelly is best known for co-starring alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. This appearance led to starring roles in a string of martial arts-themed blaxploitation films, among them Melinda and Black Belt Jones. Most of Kelly's film roles played up the novelty of an African-American martial arts master.
After his appearance in 1982's One Down, Two to Go, Kelly appeared in movies only rarely. The role in Enter the Dragon was originally supposed to go to actor Rockne Tarkington, who unexpectedly dropped out days before shooting in Hong Kong. Producer Fred Weintraub heard about Jim Kelly's karate studio in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, and went there to see him and was immediately impressed. Kelly's role as Williams, an inner-city karate instructor who is harassed by white police officers, made a good impression upon directors and African-American males with his cool-cat demeanor and large afro.
He earned a three picture contract with Warner Brothers and made Three the Hard Way with Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, and Hot Potato, a movie in which he rescues a diplomat's daughter from the jungles of Thailand. After his contract ended with Warner Brothers, he starred in low-budget films Black Samurai, Death Dimension, and Tattoo Connection.
A deleted scene from the film, on the extras of the DVD for "Undercover Brother" shows him in a cameo appearance with Eddie Griffin.

Most recent activities

He was a professional tennis player on the USTA Senior Men's Circuit.
In 2004, he appeared with NBA star LeBron James in the Nike commercial "Chamber of Fear", a spoof of the Bruce Lee film Game of Death.

Kelly resides in Southern California and works as a professional tennis coach. He is still a popular draw at conventions such as the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International.

From Wikipedia

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bobby Womack , soul man

Bobby Womack is a stalwart soul and gospel figurehead whose resume includes significant contributions across the decades as a singer, songwriter and guitarist.
One of the most enigmatic and talented Soul men of all time, Bobby Womack has been a sort of Soul Forrest Gump, serving as a link from 50s Gospel to 60s Soul to 70s Rock and to some of the greatest musicians in each genre. Born in an extremely devout religious family, he was singing Gospel with his brothers Cecil, Friendly, Harry and Curtis as the Womack Brothers while he was still a child. The talented group was discovered by Gospel/Soul legend Sam Cooke, who redubbed them the Valentinos and transformed them into a teenage secular vocal group. By the early 60s they were touring with James Brown and scoring on the R&B charts with their first hit, "Lookin' For A Love." Cooke's death in 1964 sent the group on a spiral from which it would never recover. Also, Womack encountered some public fallout when married Cooke's widow less than a year later (even more ironic was that brother Cecil ultimately married Cooke's daughter, Linda, who became his partner in the popular writing/singing group Womack & Womack).    

Diana Ross , soul female

Diana Ross- Diana Earle - (born 1944), once the lead singer for the Motown supergroup the Supremes, was the most successful female singer of the Rock 'n' Roll era. In the next few decades, she continued to enjoy success with a solo career and numerous television and film appearances.

Diana Ross was raised in the low-income Brewster-Douglass housing project in Detroit, where she had to share one bed with two sisters and three brothers. Despite the obvious hardship, Ross recalls her childhood as a happy one. "We always had a good life," she told Woman's Day in 1990. "It wasn't like we had gobs of money. But we always had what we needed somehow. Later on, I found out that our neighborhood is called the ghetto. But, basically, it was a warm, loving family environment. There was always something exciting going on."

Singing in the choir at the local Olivet Baptist church led to her meeting Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, and the threesome later sang together at social functions. They joined up with Betty Anderson in 1959 to become The Primettes as a sister group to The Primes formed by Eddie Kendricks, which would later become The Temptations. Anderson was later replaced by Barbara Martin—who dropped out in 1962—which solidified the group as a trio. Still in high school, the Primettes took in about $15 a week as performers. They also made some recordings for the small Lupine label, which weren't released until after the girls achieved stardom as the Supremes.

When the new Motown Records company was started in Detroit, Ross and her fellow singers began hanging around the building in hopes of being discovered. Ross gives a lot of credit to her mother in supporting her quest to become a singer. As she told Woman's Day, "She [her mother] said, 'Is this what you want to do? Do you think you can do this well?' And I said 'Yes.' And she said, 'I want you to finish high school and we'll do that.'" Berry Gordy, Jr., the creator of Motown, brought the Primettes and Primes on board in 1961. The Primettes were so young that their parents had to be in attendance when the contracts were signed. Gordy renamed the group The Supremes and used them primarily as backup singers for established Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells.

During the next few years, Ross spent a good deal of time on the road gaining singing experience but not building her reputation to any degree. Although the group cut its first Motown single in 1961, they lacked the distinctive sound that was necessary to click with listening audiences. It wasn't until Gordy assigned Holland, Dozier, and Holland to create songs for them that the group struck a chord. The first of these songs, with Ross on lead, was the two-million seller "Where Did Our Love Go?" released in 1964. Within a year, the group recorded six number-one hits including "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Back in My Arms Again," and "I Hear a Symphony."

Gloria Jones , northern soul legend

Gloria Richetta Jones (October 19, 1945, Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American singer and songwriter from Los Angeleles, California. She recorded the 1964 northern soul song, "Tainted Love", later a hit for the British synth-pop duo, Soft Cell. She was the girlfriend of glam rock artist Marc Bolan of the band T. Rex until his death in 1977.

Stevie Wonder 1972

Stevie Wonder is a much-beloved American icon and an indisputable genius not only of R&B but popular music in general.Along with Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes, Wonder brought R&B into the album age, crafting his LPs as cohesive, consistent statements with compositions that often took time to make their point. All of this made Wonder perhaps R&B's greatest individual auteur, rivaled only by Gaye or, in later days, Prince. Originally, Wonder was a child prodigy who started out in the general Motown mold, but he took control of his vision in the '70s, spinning off a series of incredible albums that were as popular as they were acclaimed; most of his reputation rests on these works, which most prominently include Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life. His output since then has been inconsistent, marred by excesses of sentimentality and less of the progressive imagination of his best work, but it's hardly lessened the reverence in which he's long been held.