Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Wonder’

“A historic, music-affirming extravaganza. Hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll.”

Tonight HBO will broadcast the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert that was taped back in October. The concert features a solid line-up of Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, U2,  Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, John Fogerty, B.B. King, Sting, Billy Joel and other rock giants.

And while all those musicians are on stage they will be under a touch of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Artist Gary Kelley was commissioned to create a multi-panel mural that arched above the stage at Madison Square Garden.

Kelley’s studio is just a couple blocks from my office and it’s fun to drop in from time to time and see what he’s working knowing it could be something for Rolling Stone magazine or another national venue. Kelley is most known for his murals of writers at Barnes & Nobel Booksellers across the county and in 2007 he was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

One more example of great work coming from the middle of nowhere.

If you’re interested in purchasing Kelley’s artwork contact the Henry W. Myrtle Gallery.

Scott W. Smith

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Fifty years ago today Barry Gordy founded what would become Motown Records with $800 borrowed from his family. At the time he was unemployed and a divorced father of three.  Not exactly a sure bet. But here we are 50 years later looking back on a company that has had amazing influence on the United States.

You can’t overlook the talent he developed over the years–Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and the Jackson 5–or the hit songs Baby Love, My GuyLet’s Get It On, Stop! In the Name of Love, Heard It Through the Grapevine–just to name a few of his over 100 number one hit songs.

Music has always been ahead of movies in regard to developing local talent. I do believe the digital revolution has just begun to open the doors for the filmmaking equivalent of what’s happened musically over the years in Detroit, Nashville, Austin, Memphis, Miami, Seattle as well as smaller towns like Athens, Georgia. 

While Gordy isn’t a screenwriter (though he did direct Ross in the 1975 movie Mahogany) he does have solid advise that I think translates well to what can make your writing stand out.  

“All of them were talented, all of them were magical, because they were doing their own thing. Although we were using the same band, Marvin sounded nothing like Smokey, Smokey sounded nothing like Stevie, Martha sounded nothing like Diana. It came from the philosophy of being yourself, you are you.”
                                                                               Barry Gordy quoted in
                                                                               The Detroit News
                                                                               Susan Whithall 


Scott W. Smith

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