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Al Green Visits San Manuel

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By Lea M. Cash –


It’s October 2010, and summer has long been officially over. As a reminder, there is a chill in the air, with the sun setting a littler earlier, brings about darkness, a harvest or crescent moon, sweaters and boots, giving indication to the fact that soon it will be time to roll our clocks forward once again.

We are all in this movement together, this understanding of nature’s way. Whether we like it or not, acceptance is mandatory usually by October, producing a swing into holiday cheer or depression.

For the Baby Boomers, those in this special generation who remodeled society it is simply the recognizable beginning of the close to another year in the autumn of their lives. They have reached their golden years and retirement is the order of the day.

Recently, I attended the Al Green concert at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland. I watched the grey-haired Boomers parading into the sold out venue. Many groups of hard working men with names like Bob, their wives or significant others to reminisce through old school music and song. The women, they came in groups, by the droves, dressed to the nines in October gear. Right on the dot, it is 8:00 PM. Their anticipation is over and the legendary Al Green appears.

He is 64 years old, pleasingly plump, extraordinary in every way. He displays his infectious wide grin, and is holding his signature red roses that he throws throughout his performance to the ladies. The audience explodes in pandemonium for a man who sings their language.

Which is why, several times during his performance, he says to the crowd, “Ya’ll are going to make me forget the words.” For the Boomers with their excitement, with each song, out sang him. It was an honest-hearted singing along, completely off key, yet word for word, a simple way to tell a legend, “Hello dear friend. We love you.”

I am a Boomer as well. So, I had my moments. I thought back to 1972 when my best friend Sharon and I went to an Al Green concert. We were freshmen in college, thinking we were all that God had created.

We wore hip hugger pants, sky-high afros, large hoop earrings, fake eyelashes and halter-tops. We made it backstage to Al Green, and got a ride home in his plush white limousine that evening.

Sharon and I talked about it for days until something new happened in our lives. Still to this day, Sharon who I met in seventh grade and who still lives in Boston, where I was raised, reminds me of our Al Green concert, and how we made it back stage and spent the evening with Al Green. I wondered if he would remember being nice to two college girls, giggly and in awe of him. Naw! That was so long ago.

When Green performed his string of legendary hits from the early 70’s, taking the Boomers back to a time and place, three decades removed, the sing along, with folks dancing in the aisles as if no one was looking, lifted the spirits and warmed the heart.

With every yell, or sway of Green’s hips the audience went crazy which motivated the legend to sing louder, producing a voice full of falsetto swoops, booming louder than the funky bass and horn arrangements.

Green says to the audience, “Some people want to know do I still got it?” “Well, let me show you,” he continues. The Boomers are in ecstasy. They cheer him on, the louder the applause the faster his legs moved—an entertainer of the highest order.

Green once told a reporter, “I’m not trying to fool anybody. I’m a Christian, but I’ve lived a life that full. I’ve been married a couple of times, been up and been down, been right and been wrong. You go through in life these things. But at the end of the day it’s about family, it’s about kids. Life is about devotion.”

Words spoken like a true Boomer, healing the old wounds of living a full life, causing a ripple effect that touches the lives of his fans.

Unquestionably, a soul music legend who was born on a farm in Arkansas, April 1946, knew his audience. He has been singing professionally since the age of nine with his brothers, The Greene Brothers, a family gospel quartet. Years later in his solo career, he dropped the (e) and became Al Green. His breakthrough came in 1971 with “Tired of Being Alone.” Then followed a slew of hits that kept him in the Top 10 and Top 40 through 1976. Hits like “Let’s Stay Together”, “I’m Still In Love With You”, and the all time classic “Love and Happiness.”

He performs them all.

There is a list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” that Rolling Stone Magazine presents. Al Green is number 65. In 1995, presented by Natalie Cole, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll, Hall of Fame from shaping a sound that has defined its own place in pop and R& B music.

Richard Valles, 59 from West Covina said, “Old school, soul music is real music.” He continues, “Nothing these kids sing about today relates to me. Al Green speaks my language.

I teach my kids old school music.” In one hour, the concert is over. The Boomers scatter to all four corners of San Manuel. Many are still humming their favorite Al Green tune and remembering their lives in days gone by.

San Manuel November 2010 Thanksgiving Specials

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Turkey Shoot Season Drawing - November 1-24

Starting November 1, for every buy-in players purchase they will be given tickets to be entered to win four drawings, where the winners take home a portion of $6,000! Tickets given out until November 24, when the drawings take place. The more you play, the better chances of winning.

Stuffin’ Night - November 21

On November 21, players in attendance at bingo, receive $51 in free bingo ‘stuff’ with their buy-in. 15-game regular session, buy-ins are $25 for a regular pack, $45 for a double with payouts of $1,500 or $3,000 each game. The day also includes three giant jackpots!

Turkey Shoot Special - November 24

In addition to the Turkey Shoot Season Drawings, November 24 features $25 buy-in for 15 regular- session games pays $1199, and also 2-for-1 floor sales.


Play Win – November 25

Thursday, November 25, every half hour from 10AM to 5PM, when players’ Club Serrano cards are properly entered into a slot machine, they are eligible to win $1,000! $15,000 total will be given in cash!

Black Friday Cash – November 26

Friday, November 26, every half hour from 10AM to 5PM, when players’ Club Serrano cards are properly entered into a slot machine, they are eligible to win $1,000! $15,000 total will be given in cash!

Serrano Buffet
It’s an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Feast at the Serrano Buffet on Thursday, November 25 from 10AM to 9PM. Main course selections include turkey and prime rib in the carving station, honey glazed ham, smoked salmon, grilled chicken, and gaucho steak. Desserts include home-made pumpkin pie with fresh whip cream topping and Grand Marnier® crème brulee, as well as the Chef’s special selections of baked delights. This feast is $22.95 per person. SportsWatch Grill Through the entire month of November, celebrate Thanksgiving at SportsWatch® Grill with a Grilled T-Bone and Shrimp Skewer. The 16 ounce tbone is topped with herbed butter along side the shrimp skewer.

This feast comes with vegetables of the day and baked potato, garlic mashed potatoes or steamed rice all for $23.95. Restaurant is open daily at 10:00am.

SportsWatch Grill also provides 11 TV screens to enjoy live and pay-per-view events, including the Thanksgiving day football games.

The Pines
On Thanksgiving, The Pines

offers a tender herb-butter-basted free-range turkey wi th housemade brioche and currant stuffing; Meyer lemon cranberry sauce; Yukon gold potato puree; Blue Lake beans with mushroom Madera cream and crispy onions; and an exquisite chardonnay gravy all for a pleasing $24 per person. Other entrees will also be available. The Pines is open from 5PM to 10PM, reservations are recommended: 909-425-4889 To become a Club Serrano cardholder and start receiving the monthly mailer, which includes other dining offers and discounts, please contact San Manuel Guest Services to fill out the application or visit www.sanmanuel.com. Club membership is free.

Color Purple Stars Speak About Riverside Production

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By Cheryl Brown –

For years local groups have boarded buses, car pooled or drove into Los Angeles or Orange County to see the best live theater shows. Color Purple is one of those top named shows and it will play next week October 29, 2010 at the newly refurbished Fox Theatre in Riverside.

Two of the lead actors for the show based on the novel written by Alice Walker in 1982, and the 1985 Steven Spielberg movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.

In speaking with cast members about the upcoming show they say it is the same story with a different presentation.

They state it is a fresh new take on the story.

“This is a fresh look at the story Color Purple,” said Dayna Jarae Dantzler who plays Celie in the upcoming production. Dantzler said that this is a great experience and fulfills what she has wanted to do all of her life. “I’ve been acting since I was seven years old and I have a BA in Theatre Arts,” she said.

Dantzler said that her inspiration came from her high school drama coach. He inspired her with his concepts.

But it is her mother’s unconditional love that keeps her grounded and helps her succeed today. “My mother believes in me and supports me with words of encouragement.

I need her more now that I am older,” she said. Dantzier is from Warren, MI and now lives in New York. Of her character Celie who is given to widower “Mister” when she was just a teenager to marry and raise his children, Dantzler said she loves Celie, because she is curious, has spirit and an inner beauty, she is also smarter than anyone gives her credit for, the care she gives others and she is not afraid to ask questions.

Pam Trotter, (Sofia) said she identifies with her character.

“Sofia was not going to let anyone walk over her. Her character is so strong and she is a big woman,” said Trotter.

“She is loud and speaks her mind,” she continued. For Trotter playing Sophia is a dream come true. “My friends and I used to meet and watch the Color Purple movie and we would quote lines from the movie. When I saw it on Broadway, I said, I can totally do this. We actually would sit down and write the lines,” said Trotter. When asked who her inspiration was she said with out a doubt her sister Rita. She is 12 years older and I watched her on television all the time.” The closest her sister comes to acting now is the drama ministry at her church.

The reason she loves her role is because of her misunderstood character. “Sofia was abused by men in her family and said she will not be misused again.

She even stood up to Harpo’s dad when he tried to keep the pattern (of abuse) going,” she said. Trotter said she has never been abused but she was quiet and shy and as she got older she began speaking her peace. “I feel liberated with this character,” she said.

Dantzler’s recent credits include, Barter Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors (Ronnette), Frankenstein (Servant), Theatreworks/Two Beans Productions’ James and the Giant Peach (national tour), and the Negro Ensemble Company’s Chronicles of Color (NYC tour). Trotter is originally from St. Louis MO, now residing in Los Angeles. Her credits include Hawthorne, Chuck, Dollhouse, Everybody Hates Chris, My Name is Earl, Dreamgirls (the movie, Effie) Ain’t Misbehavin, Smokey Joe Café’, Big River, Blues, In The Night and numerous others.

Both the women say Color Purple is a great story.

Pechanga Once Again Hosts SoCal's Largest NYE Party

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More than 75,000 people are expected to descend upon Pechanga Resort & Casino on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day 2011, possibly breaking last year’s record of 74,000 people, to take part in seven different celebrations across property. It is the biggest NYE party under one roof and is expected to once again bring in nearly ¼ the total number of visitors as the entire city of Las Vegas over the same holiday period. Tickets for all events will be on sale this Friday, October 22 at 3PM at the Pechanga Box Office.

SoCal’s greatest party will feature Country Superstar Miranda Lambert in the Theater; legendary rapper Too $hort and Dirt Nasty performing in Silk; a New Yorkthemed Gala in the Ballroom; a flashback NYE party in Eagle’s Nest; a Rachel Tran Asian variety show in the Comedy Club; not to mention free live bands in The Cabaret and the big countdown to 2011 at the world famous Round Bar. Pechanga will be the place to celebrate and guests will have plenty of chances to win on one of the world’s largest casino floors, as $30,000 will be given out in casino promotions.

Tickets for all events will be available this Friday, Oct. 22 at 3PM at the Pechanga Theater Box Office, or call 877-711-2946, or visit www.pechanga.com.

Nancy Wilson To Be Honored at Annual Achievement Award Dinner

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Song stylist and humanitarian, Nancy Wilson, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2010 Pioneer of African American Achievement Award by the Brotherhood Crusade. The fete will be held on Friday, November 5, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills at 7:00pm.

Ms. Wilson’s self proclaimed title of “song stylist” aptly fits as her diverse musical repertoire includes pop style ballads, jazz and blues, show tunes and classic standards.

Critics have described her as everything from a jazz singer, to a storyteller and complete entertainer. After years at Capitol Records, her sales were second only to the Beatles, and have even surpassed Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and the Beach Boys.

Ms. Wilson knew she wanted to sing at age four, but her professional singing career began at the age of 15, when she had her own television show and began performing in clubs in the Columbus, Ohio area. She left college in 1956 and met saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Impressed with her talent and determination, Adderley took an immediate interest in her career and the two kept in touch. When she moved to New York City in 1959, she gave herself six months to attain her goals.

She wanted Adderley’s manager, John Levy, to represent her, and she chose Capitol Records as her desired label.

She called Levy to see a show that she’d landed within four weeks of arriving in New York. Levy was so impressed with her performance; he called her the next day to set up a demo. Nancy recalls, “Ray Bryant and I went in and recorded “Guess Who I Saw Today,” “Sometimes I’m Happy,” and two other songs. We sent them to Capitol and within five days the phone rang. Within six weeks I had all the things I wanted.”

The debut single, “Guess Who I Saw Today,” was so successful that between April of 1960 and July of 1962 Capitol Records released five Nancy Wilson albums. In 1963 “Tell Me The Truth” became her first truly major hit, leading up to her performance at the Coconut Grove in 1964 – the turning pointing of her career. From there she performed on television as well as hosted her own television show which won an Emmy in 1975. She also took on acting roles on popular TV shows throughout the years and hosted NPR’s Jazz Profiles series in 1995.

Among her many awards and honors are three Grammys, two NAACP Image Awards, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, streets and days dedicated in her name, honorary doctorate degrees, the UNCF Trumpet Award celebrating African- American Achievement, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP in Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Award.

Says Charisse Bremond Weaver, president and CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade, “We are so excited and honored that Nancy Wilson has been selected the recipient of the Pioneer of African American Achievement Award this year. In my mind, her association with the Brotherhood Crusade has come full circle. In 1971, she chaired our fundraising campaign and concert which laid the foundation for this organization becoming one of the most influential philanthropic organizations today. Her legacy of music combined with her humanitarian efforts from the Civil Rights Movement through her work to assist inner city youth through the Nancy Wilson Foundation raises consciousness and awareness to empower and enhance the lives of those in underserved communities. This makes her the fitting honoree for this year’s award.”

Some of the past recipients of the Pioneer of African American Achievement Award include Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Soledad O’Brien, Berry Gordy, Cathy Hughes, Sandra Evers-Manley, Spike Lee, Rosa Parks, Don King, Tavis Smiley, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Muhammad Ali.

For more information on the Brotherhood Crusade or to purchase tickets, please call 323.846.1649 or visit www.brotherhoodcrusade.org

Sponsorships are available and the event is open to the public.

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BVN National News Wire