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Exclusive Interview With One of the Best American Songstresses: Gloria Loring PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 20:55

Ms. Loring was born in New York City on December 10, the International Human Rights Day and, more specifically, two years before the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Gloria Loring comes from a musical family. Her father, Gerald Louis Goff, was a trumpet player and her mother, Dorothy Ann (née Tobin) a band singer who, after giving birth to Gloria Loring, stayed home. During her early years, the songstress sang in church and school productions.

Ms. Loring wears many hats; she is a lyricist, a chanteuse, an actress, an authoress and an entrepreneur. In 1977, she recorded a song called “Brooklyn” with producer Mike Post. The single was released under the name Cody Jameson and became a country hit. Loring is the recording artist of the number 1 hit single with Carl Anderson “Friends and Lovers” when she portrayed the role of Liz Chandler, a chanteuse on Days of Our Lives. Her performance of the single generated the largest mail response of any song in the NBC daytime history. She was the co-composer–with her then husband Alan Thicke (from one of the most popular 80s’ sitcoms, Growing Pains) and Al Burton, of  the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, which were among the most popular sitcoms of the 70-80s. Loring also co-wrote “What’ve You Got to Lose” with Eric Kaz, which was taped by the group, Pablo Cruise, for the feature film Inside Moves. She hosted the TV series From the Heart while joining the Pointer Sisters in a Showtime TV Special and was instrumental in creating the good vibrations of the “Beach Boys 25th Anniversary Special”. Over the years, Gloria has shared the stage with Bill Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and many other elite performers. Her recordings have featured great talents like George Duke, Bobby Caldwell, Jeffrey Osborne, Deniece Williams, Howard Hewitt, Bill Champlin (of Chicago) and The Nylons.  

Beforehand, when Gloria Loring was a senior, she became a Homecoming Princess and was voted Most Talented. Loring started her music career at age 14, singing with a folk group known as "Those Four". Gloria started singing professionally at fifteen in local coffee houses in Miami and, from the time she was 18, she learned the craft of live performance, playing in small supper clubs around the U.S. She released her first LP in 1968 entitled "Gloria Loring, Today" on MGM Records. At the age of 18, she signed a one-year contract with The Merv Griffin Show

Ms. Loring is also a key note speaker for corporations and non-profit organizations, the authoress of six books that benefited people with diabetes, two of which (the Days of Our Lives cookbooks vol. 1 and 2) brought $1 million to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)1, for which she served as a spokesperson. This initiative made her a trailblazer among the actors of this soap opera. Her involvement with this organization began thirty years ago. Raising this money coincided with a mysterious event that is recounted in her book Coincidence is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE FORMER SENATOR OF ILLINOIS: ADLAI E. STEVENSON III PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier LL.M   
Thursday, 02 May 2013 21:02

                        Vice President                                                Governor                                                 Senator
                    Adlai E. Stevenson I                               Adlai E. Stevenson II                           Adlai E. Stevenson III  

 

Perchance no American family has been actively involved in public office and politics for as long as the Adlai Stenvensons’ dynasty, starting with Jesse W. Fell (1808-1887) in the 1830s, including Vice President Adlai I (1835-1914)1, Governor Adlai II (1900-1965) and U.S. Senator Adlai III. Notably, Fell was Abraham Lincoln’s sponsor. Without Fell, the course of U.S. history would have been altered and Lincoln may never have been president.

Aforementioned, Adlai Ewing Stevenson III, born in 1930, was the Senator of Illinois from 1970 until 1981. Measured by a host of demographic factors, such as race, income, education, immigration and rural-urban composition, Illinois is America’s most representative state, according to the Census Bureau. Illinois had its difficulties with elected officials, but we cannot forget that it is also the home of Abraham Lincoln and Mr. President Barack Obama. In between those two Illinois Presidents, prominent public servants from the state have included five generations of the Stevenson family.

Stevenson III is a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War; he became a captain in 1961. Later he served as a law clerk for the Illinois Supreme Court. He was admitted to the bar in 1957 and started his practice in Chicago. Stevenson III was a partner in the large law firm of Mayer, Brown and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives between 1965 and 1967, a State Treasurer from 1967 until 1970 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1976, Chicago’s Mayor Daley wanted Stevenson III to run for President. In this regard, Stevenson III became one of six finalists for the vice presidential nomination at the 1976 Democratic Convention in New York.

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Exclusive Interview With The Political Veteran: Bobbie L. Steele PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 15:33

Mrs. Bobbie L. Steele wears many hats. She is a former president and commissioner (for the 2nd district of Cook County, the fifth largest employer in Chicago, Illinois), a community activist, a former teacher, a mother and grandmother. Mrs. Steele comes from the Lawndale Community of Chicago1 by way of Cleveland. She was born on October 18, 1937, in Mississippi, to Mary and Abraham Rodgers. She is the oldest of seven siblings. In 1954, the same year as the Brown2 case, which transformed the nation in terms of race relations, she graduated from Cleveland Colored Consolidated High School. Subsequently, she went to Alabama A. & M. College in Huntsville, Alabama two years before moving to Chicago in 1956. Mrs. Steele worked many odd jobs (in Chicago) to gain tuition so that she could return to college. During her lengthy job search, she met and espoused Robert Steele (a loving relationship that lasted 52 years until his death in 2009). The marriage did not stop Mrs. Steele from losing sight of her goal. After the birth of her first two children, Steele went to evening school at Chicago Teacher's College and after ten years of schooling and five additional children she finally accomplished her objective by receiving a B.S. Diploma in Elementary Education in 1966. She was determined to complete her degree by studying every night between 3 and 6 AM while everybody was sleeping. Seeing that Mrs. Steele was passionate about helping to educate children, she thought later of becoming an elementary school principal. Hence, she enrolled in Roosevelt University evening graduate program, where she got a Master's Degree in Supervision and Administration of Education in 1983.  In 1982, Mrs. Steele's teaching reputation and community organizing activities caught the attention of Congressman Harold Washington who wanted to run for Mayor of the City of Chicago. He picked Mrs. Steele as his running mate in the 24th Ward. When the late mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington was running for office, Mrs. Steele was one of the Deputy Registrars who gathered signatures. Thus, she became a major player in the Harold Washington mayoral campaign. Mrs. Steele didn’t win the election for Alderman, but was appointed by Mayor Washington to the Commission on Women Affairs for the city of Chicago. As a member of the commission, Mrs. Steele could interact with females from all over the city and was soon asked by Cook County Democratic Women to run for Commissioner on the Cook County Board.

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Exclusive Interview with one of the most brilliant documentarians from Québec: Yanick Létourneau PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 09 November 2012 19:07
 

Yanick Létourneau was a Concordia University communication student. He's a producer, movie and documentary director as well as co-founder of Périphéria Productions Inc. That enterprise, that was founded in June 2000, specializes in movie and TV production. Since its beginnings, that society's been creating politically and socially driven documentaries as well as fictitious tales while keeping its focus on what captivates the masses. Périphéria 88 strives to have the latest word on movie directors, chaotic world events and new technologies.

Létourneau always admired liberated and thoughtful filmmaking that is brave enough to take on industrial diktats through works of art. This documentarian's interests range from sociopolitical and identity questions to pop culture and urban music. He produced short films and music videos for Quebec hip-hop artists through that perspective. That's how Létourneau wrote, produced and directed 2003's "Chronique Urbaine", his first long film stemming from his short film entitled "514-50 Hip-Hop". He then produced 2005's “Souvenirs d'Acapulco”, a Diego Briceño-Orduz documentary relating to sex abuse cases towards the homeless Acapulco youth by North American tourists. Létourneau also produced “Territoires" by Mary Ellen Davis, a 2007 documentary on Canadian photographer Larry Towell who documented the impact of war and countries' borders on the nomads. Another one of Létourneau's productions include 2007's “Ballades de minuit” by Diego Briceño-Orduz, a documentary on Latin-American immigrants. Létourneau later on joined forces with Natasha Ivisic with whom he produced and directed “Je porte le voile”, a 2009 documentary on Muslim women and their use of the hijab. That film was shown at the “Parallèle” theater located in Montreal and was aired on the RDI TV channel.

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Exclusive Interview With The Canadian Filmmaker: Dawn Wilkinson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:28

Dawn Wilkinson was born in Montreal (Canada) and raised in Toronto. Her father is from Barbados and her mother is a Jewish-Canadian (from Montreal). Dawn Wilkinson is proud of her Bajan and Jewish origins. She wears many hats: filmmaker, writer, director, producer and entrepreneur. She owns her production company, Afterlife Films Corp. in Toronto. The short comedy, Instant Dread (1998), is one of Afterlife’s previous productions.

Wilkinson studied at the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab1 and Short Dramatic Film Program in 2000. She earned a BA with high distinction at The University of Toronto in 1996. Throughout the years, she has produced music videos, commercials, short films and documentaries. Among the short films she directed are Instant Dread, 1998, Dandelions, 1995, Girls Who Say Yes, 2000, and Wilderness (which premiered at Cinefest Sudbury), 2012. In addition, she directed an episode of Murdoch Mysteries, a popular Canadian drama television series.  Working in documentary, Dawn Wilkinson co-directed Unexpected for the NFB’s Filmmaker in Residence project at St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario, and the Teamwork Video Project, a Web-based documentary series for the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.  She worked also as an apprentice with Norman Jewison on The Hurricane and Ernest Dickerson on Our America. Her first feature-length movie was Devotion (in 2005) which had its U.S. TV premiere on the Black Family Channel. Noteworthily, the smart Dawn Wilkinson is among the most hard-working directors in Canada. From 2001 to 2008 she was a teacher at the Toronto Film School and at Humber College from 2009-2010. She also taught at Trebas Institute between 1999 and 2001. Moreover, Dawn Wilkinson has been commissioned by the NFB (National Film Board) to train local youth in video-making. She is also a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada since 2008, and a member of the Writer’s Guild of Canada since 2004.

Dawn Wilkinson receives support for her work from organisations such as the Canada Council for the Arts. Her work was showcased (in 2004-2005) at the Reel World Film Festival and Urban Kids Film Festival (in San Francisco). In addition, she has been featured in www.whoswhoinblackcanada.com. She was interviewed for Global Cinema TV, featured in Sway (magazine) and Caribbean Tales among other media.  Dawn Wilkinson has been recognized for her work. In this regard, in 2008, she was the recipient of “Women in Film & Television’s Director’s Guild of Canada Emerging Television Director Award”. In addition, her feature film script, LOVE CHILD received the Best Screenplay award at the “African American Women” in Cinema Film FestivalWilderness won the “Platinum Remi Award” (where the U.S. Premiere occurred at Worldfest Houston) this year for Dramatic Original Independent Short Subject.

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