Thursday, November 17, 2011

November/December 2011

For me, every issue of Real School People is a celebration of who we are.  This issue marks the 4th anniversary of RSP! I can’t believe it! When I first came up with the idea of a visual magazine that would spotlight a demographic that was referred to as "old school", I felt like the little red hen with a piece of wheat thinking of baking a loaf of bread. No one could get the idea of a virtual visual magazine that would highlight the achievements of musicians and listeners from back in the day who it seemed were cast off for a younger generation. No one could get the idea of an online mag that would be like an afternoon on the front porch sharing memories with one another: TV shows, films, toys...

But here we are 4 years later, and it’s because of you that RSP is still going strong! I have made so many friends worldwide through this vehicle of sharing. The great thing about it for me is that it brings us all together just from the memories, music and media that we share.

I’m sure most of us will agree that we are in awe of the way our world has changed since we became adults. I like to think that RSP gives us a bit of an escape from that reality for a brief moment in time to read and say, “Oh, wow… I remember that”. I hadn’t thought about that in years!”

So I’d like this issue to be even more of a “remember when”. I thank you all for reading RSP and your enthusiasm with each issue. It means a lot. We have become a family through these 4 years and I look forward to more issues in the future.

One of my greatest accomplishements with RSP is to get people to calling themselves "real school", because there’s nothing old about us. We have spirit, fortitude and energy in all that we do. We are self actualized. It is that same self-actualization that gets us to saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I remember back in the day, hearing that saying from the mouths of my parents’ generation. I so get it now.

My hopes for RSP? Is that you will share with The real school preschoolers in your lives: sons, daughters, grand kids, nieces, nephews...They will see the roots of our lives and how so many things developed through history, musically and socially. I wish you all the season's best as we look ahead to the coming year...

So sit back and enjoy. This is the last issue of 2011.  Then RSP is back in 2012 with more music, media and memories.


"Happy Anniversary RSP!!! Thank you for not letting us forget  our past, so that we can walk into the future with pride..."
                             Wornell Jones




Kevin Toney is a pianist, composer, former Blackbyrds Alumni and first time author! His new book, The Virtuous Man-Break The Men's Code. This powerful new book brings awareness to the misconceptions ("Men's Code) that men have learned from an early age. It also brings to light the baggage that men often bring into their marriages and their struggle in letting go of them. Kevin bares his truth and shares the incredible steps used that helped him break the "Men's Code" and through  this process, saved his marriage and  family.

His companion CD, Heart of Gratitude takes the listener on the books spiritual journey through music.. 
Kevin's website:

If you're wondering who did the stunning original music for the film "Kings Of The Evening"--well, it's Kevin. He brings so much of himself to the table with his work. Now as a first time author, Kevin is sharing with us the printed word with his music. RSP is honored to once again feature Kevin Toney and  this incredible new release. 



You want to talk about the Jimi Hendricks "experience"? Check out the incredible iPad app (also on iPod and iPhone)  or the website.  All I can say is incredible, awesome, visual, interactive with an autobiographical touch.  

And guess who's the voice of Jimmy? Why it's Bootsy, baby! ( I always thought he sounded like the funk version of Jimi!)

This incredible app and site were launched just in time for commemoration of Hendricks' birthday, November 27, which would have been his 69th. What a a tribute. Fans can download music and watch videos and see pictures without ever  leaving the app. 

Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC says “We continue to celebrate Jimi Hendrix, his music, life and legacy. This app is nothing short of a revolutionary development in ‘Jimi Land'."

I concur. But what's the best part? It's free!



Ok, so I thought I would check out what it was like when my mom was growing up in the 1920s and decided to check out the historical fiction that was Boardwalk Empire. Boy, was I floored as is every fan of this explosive show.

Executive producer, Martin Scorsese scores with this one. The set designers for this series captured  the details of 1920s Atlantic city brilliantly. Most  of the characters surrounding Nucky Thompson  (played by Steve Buscemi) are fictional.  The exceptions of course being the infamous  gangsters depicted Al Capone, Johnny Torio, Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein and Meyer Lansky.

There is a little bit of everything in Empire which just finished its second season on HBO. And let me just say, it went out with a bang. Corruption, politics, gangsters, dirty dealing. Looks like the only thing that makes this storyline any different from today is there was no Facebook...

Buscemi is priceless as Nucky Thompson whose character is based on the very real Enoch "Nucky" Johnson born in 1883, who had quite a reign during prohibition era New Jersey. There is so much historical fodder that this show could last quite a few seasons. And that's a good thing. The music on this show is right with the period of prohibition and well done...
Kudos to the music supervisor.

Board Empire is available on HBO Go and Amazon.



On November 6, 1971, something very special was created at WAMU-FM, in Washington, D.C. It started as a two-hour radio broadcast hosted by two African-American undergrads at the American University, and blossomed into a communications workshop where minority students received a strong dose of radio reality that launched numerous successful careers.
Gerald B. Lee and Russell Williams, II co-founded the Spirits Known and Unknown radio program, the only student-operated and hosted show of its kind that graced the airwaves of the 50-thousand watt station on Saturdays for almost two decades. Within a short time, Lee and Williams decided that Spirits Known and Unknown would be much more than a “seat-of-the-pants, two-man operation.”  “We wanted our program to be a training ground, a place where young blacks could get some hands-on experience in the media,” says Lee. Over the years, it proved to be just that and far more.

The first additions to the core Spirits staff were Vincent Muse who was there from the first broadcast and Joy Thomas Moore, who became the first news director for the show around December of 1971.  Around the same time, Lee and Williams expanded the radio program from a two- to three-hour broadcast, coupled with a Saturday afternoon communications workshop. The Spirits Known and Unknown Urban Communications Workshop, as it was known, was unique within the National Public Radio system as it was the only student, volunteer-run training workshop with an on-air component in existence in the 1970’s.  Moore developed the news-writing training component; other modules were designed to train students in the areas of news writing, reporting, audio production and editing, F.C.C. 3rd Class License Exam preparation, and full show production.

 Reprint from the Sept 2008 issue of RSP

When I was about to leave for LA, it was Russell who said, "What are you going to smell-a for?" But eventually, he ended up in California, living in the apartment downstairs.  He started his own company, "Sound Is Ready" which spearheaded a very lucrative career in sound.

Back in the day, Russell had an incredible vinyl jazz collection and had his own radio show on American University radio. I've known Russell since we were both kids and it is amazing, the journey. Russell has always been supportive of my music and is a unique human being. He has always been a self-directed individual who has successfully actualized success in all of his undertakings.

He won the Oscar for  best sound in Glory in 1990 and the following year in 1991 he won a second academy award for best sound for Dances With Wolves.

He won the Emmy in 1999 for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie
for: The Temptations (1998) (TV)

In  1998, Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Miniseries or a Movie, 12 Angry Men.

 In 1988 Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Dramatic Miniseries or a Special for: Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami.

Here's more of Russell's work and it's a long list!



Remember Etch-A-Sketch and trying like crazy to draw a circle with it?...It's still here and comes in two sizes.

The Pep Boys

The first store, originally named "Pep Auto Supplies", was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1921 by Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice L. (Moe) Strauss, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson, and Moe Radavitz is now 700+ stores strong.

So what do The Pep Boys have in common with Larry, Moe and Curly?


Lincoln logs came in a tin that looked like a large oatmeal container. The set consisted of dark brown wooden "logs" that had notches near the ends of both sides. It was easy to assemble Lincoln logs into log cabins.

Commemorating the presidency through toys and games is not new. One of the most successful toys associated with the presidency is Lincoln Logs. Kids can build log cabins that look the way the public imagined the early home of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln Logs was invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, son of  famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.



My big sister, Crickett Haskell has a lot of memories. She can tell you about the rock scene back in 60s California. Now we all remember the show Shindig! Crickett shared photos on our Facebook wall: "The Shindogs: Delany Bramlett, Joey Cooper, James Burton, lead guitar, Chuck Blackwell, drums, Glenn Hardin, keybaords," says Crickett. "And that was only a smidgen of my life!!!!" So you know she wore those white go-go boots!

She was a go-go dancer at Gazzari's and hung out on the Sunset. Strip.  I wouldn't be surprised if she knew Cookie! (77 Sunset Strip) Among her memories, Three Dog Night's first performance at the Red Velvet on Sunset on talent night.

l-r: Delaney Bramlett, Joey Cooper and Bobby Sherman. I did say Bobby Sherman!
The Shindogs
I really enjoy hearing the spark in her voice when she recalls her real school memories.

Crickett and Rod Stewart

Peter Haskell
Crickett was a talent agent for 28 years. Her husband was the late Peter Haskell. You may remember Peter from his work on such Real School shows as Bracken's World, where he played writer producer, Kevin Grant.

Peter has appeared on some of our most memororable Real School TV shows:
Ben Casey, Charlie's Angels, The Bionic Women, Rich Man,Poor Man, Mannix, Hawaii Five O, Julia, Combat, 12 O;Clock High, The Fugitive, Land Of The Giants, The Big Valley, Dr. Kildare, Death Valley Days and The Green Hornet,
just to name a few. 


Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: Blue Eyes Brown

Close your eyes while you listen to him sing and you'll swear that Frank Sinatra aka old blue eyes, reincarnated his voice print in the body of a black guy! 

Thirty seven year old Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. wowed the judges and the America's Got Talent audience when he began to sing. He came onstage a little unpolished, chewing gum, which he was asked to remove. I'm sure at that point,  everyone was about to write him off. But once he opened his mouth and started to sing, he had them at his vocal "hello"...

Landau says he got into singing when he heard the opening theme for Married with Children, "Love and Marriage" by Sinatra. He's been hooked ever since.

All I can say is, this guy is going to bring the real school to a lot of real school pre who were part of the audience who gave him the standing ovation. Kudos!

He never imagined he'd go from washing cars to the stage singing with Patti LaBelle. In this performance, he brought it to the table, with a natural energy and evidently the talent to "channel" another voice print: Nick Ashford. What I like about him, unlike many newcomers on most of these talent shows he used the entire stage and didn't remained glued to one spot...

Great Landau quote:
"Once I'd seen America's Got Talent commercial, I realized that it was a great outlet for me to go be myself and cater to all my elders, people in my grandmother's generation, you know, and create new memories for the generations to come."


In retrospect: RSP  (Jan Feb issue 2011)

It's been a year since he's been gone, but one of the greatest writers and musicians I could ever know,Tommy Thomas left a legacy of incredible music and definitely left his love in my heart...Tommy Thomas November 25, 1953-November 27, 2010...


Still Real Bill (March-July issue)

This is the one of the most incredible music-mentaries I've ever seen...So much wisdom and insight come a most iconic singer of real school: Mr. Bill Withers...


In the 3rd anniversary issue, my bud, Marc Copage shared a few words...

"I started out in the entertainment business as a child actor having been featured on a number one Neilson rated television show which ran for three seasons on a major network. There are not many people that can say that at one time they co-starred on a show that was the most watched TV show in the nation. 

"Julia" was the first prime-time network television show to feature an independent African American female lead in the title role. I've enjoyed various levels of success throughout my entertainment career. I've stayed in the finest hotels, been given the key to cities, and was even invited to the White House to meet the President of the United States. I've also mopped floors, cleaned toilets for a living, and been nearly homeless. 

You might say I've lived life from top to bottom. I believe that everyone has the capability to make a living doing something they truly enjoy. The opportunities are out there, you just have to love yourself enough to recognize them and seize the moment. The below pictorial is my life up 'til now. I've been lucky enough to have met some amazing people throughout the course of my lifetime. Some of them you may recognize. The best is yet to come."

My real Facebook friend also shared in the 3rd anniversary issue:

Baby Boomers, the title given to those of us who were born between 1946 and 1964. Me, I entered the world with a joyful noise March 7, 1951. The first girl child and the apple of my father’s eye. My memories of childhood are filled with happiness, disappointments, and a tremendous amount of love. Over the years I’ve come to believe that we, baby boomers, are the last generation to grow up during a time when street lights were the signal for making a bee line home, where the neighborhood you lived in was your safety net and everyone within a four block radius knew your name. Back in the day it was a time when if you misbehaved you were chastised by your neighbor, your teacher, and your minister, and heaven help you when news of your misbehavior reached your parents because that meant T R O U B L E for sure. Respect, was a given and for no other reason than just because. Besides, you knew if you back talked an adult well, you may as well expect to pick yourself up off the floor. As kids we automatically knew to stay in a kids place.

Even with all rules it was still a wonderful time to grow up, a time when lyrics to a song were meaningful, and for me personally music became my haven. Our home was filled with music from sun up till sun down. My father was a jazz pianist, and my mother sang with his group; The Musical Notes; “We are the music, musical notes, here to play for you. We are the music, musical notes, here to play till two. We hope you like us, like our tunes, that we play for you. There’s Art, Alec, Honey and Ray to do their best for you.“ Ray, was my dad and he taught me the words to the group’s theme song before I was two and I could sing it as well as my mom. Laughing at the memory. Speaking of being two, two, was a magical number for me, it was the age my Aunt Carol decided I should study dance with one of Pittsburgh finest and most talented teachers, Carolyn Howell, and for the next ten years dance is what I did. Unfortunately, weak ankles prevented me from pursuing dance as a career however, the techniques I learned certainly helped me during my short-term career as a model."


From the Mother's day issue 2009:

Pictured above is my cousin Gail. She honors her mom whom we call Queen Bee. She celebrated her 91st birthday in August 2009. She has since passed, but here's a picture of Queen Bee at her fabulous wedding in 1944. 


My Real Facebook friend Sheila Levy  is into the RSP expericence:

Teira, RSP is incredible!!! I love it. Wow! You have one of my favorite, Michael Jackson videos there, Ghosts. I actually went to Neverland and watched a premiere of Ghosts...I really love RSP!!! Congratulations, Teira."

Sheila has shared this incredible pic from the real school. It certainly speaks volumes on so many levels.

"I call  this Baby "X." It is one of my cousins, which one I do not know, that is why we should put names on the back of these old pictures... I love these antique photos of my family. I think it is just as important as taking these pictures way back when  is keeping them. I have moved all over the place through the years and always lost a  lot of possessions along the way, but not these pictures!!!"


A special thanks to 

Vivian Kelly is  a friend I met on Eons(social network) in 2008. She is just the best and has become a good friend...She's come out to visit on a few occasions and I've gotten to hang out with her on her turf and it's been wonderful. 

She's also been a tremendous help as the administrator on the RSP page on Facebook. 

Thanks, Viv...

In the September/October issue, I shared a pic of my friend, Viv and the caption read: My friend, Viv, got a pic with singer Tom Jones at an AARP convention, Las Vegas in mid October. 

It was a big oops moment!  The gentleman pictured with Viv is Tom Jones' wax figure! Good one Viv!!!! hahaha!!!!! Ya know, I thought he looked a little "blank"!                  


Another special thanks to Kevin Goins aka the realschoolpedia, also a tremendous help as administrator on the RSP page on Facebook. He has also shared his unbelievable knowledge of music history in articles he's written for RSP... I look forward to him sharing in 2012.


When my friend Kelli told me her grand-father was T-Bone Walker... Of course my jaw dropped and my eyes grew wide.

A special thanks, Kelli  for sharing this wonderful tribute in the February 2009 issue.

"I would like to reflect on my 'Hero,' my grandfather, the legendary 'T-Bone Walker.'  Although, he has been deceased for over three decades his Blues legacy and the fond memories of my Hero continues to live on.

As a child, all I ever knew was that my grandfather was the apple of my eyes.  I called him 'Daddy' because he was truly my father and best friend.   I never could quite understand why so many people would flock to his house when Daddy would return home from his road trips and why it seemed they would never leave until the wee hours in the morning, and quickly return the next day, and the next day, and the next day, until he left again.  Some would be musicians, legendary in their own right.  Some would be people who he had be-friended during his many travels abroad and others would just be those who wanted to break into the music industry.  But no matter whom they were, my Daddy always welcomed them with open arms.  He knew no color lines and accepted each person for who they were.  He loved everybody and everybody loved him.

My fondest memories of Daddy were when we were alone in the early morning and he would cook us his favorite breakfast: fried bologna, eggs and toast.  Not that we were poor by any means, but this is what he could cook quickly and really enjoyed! So we cooked, ate and laughed.  Another special moment I loved was when everybody would be gone or there were only a couple of good friends at the house and he and I would sit in the same chair until I fell asleep.  Just imagine a kid listening to grown folks talking and playing music and not being told to go to your room. WOW!  Of course that all changed when he was on the road.  My grandmother would say, "Okay, little girl, Daddy is gone, so you know the rules." My Hero!

Although, I have many memories of my Daddy the one that will remain at number one is the gift he gave me for my ninth birthday.  I was in Dallas, Texas, a place I call home and I was visiting family for the summer.  My Aunt told me she had a special gift for me since it was my birthday.  The first thing I said was, "Is my Daddy here?"  She laughed and said, "No. Just wait till this evening."  I pouted all day because no one would tell me what it was and all I wanted was to see my Daddy."  When night time came we drove to Fort Worth, Texas, and when I exited our car, I saw a limousine.  I looked perplexed because I couldn't imagine who would be in the limousine if it wasn't my Daddy, and remember they already told me that the surprise was not him.  So we all walked up the porch and as we reached the top step, I looked inside the house and saw my Daddy sitting in a chair.  I ran inside and right into his arms.  He said, "Hey little girl!  Happy Birthday!"  I was in tears, just overwhelmed that my Hero surprised me!   He explained that he was doing a show that evening at a night club and I was his date.  So off we went to the Guys and Dolls night club in Forth Worth, Texas, in the limousine that I just knew was his!  Once we were in the night club I got to sit on stage and dance, and for the first time I realized that my Daddy, my Hero, was a 'Super Star!' 

My Daddy was one of a kind!  This extraordinary musician who taught so many the fine arts of the electric guitar, and helped place the Blues into an elite level with those of the likes of Big Mama Thorton, B.B. King, Pee Wee Crayton, Big Joe Turner and so many others, was such a simple and elegant man, who had a heart of gold and had a fatherly care for his 'Little Girl,' me! 

Although, my Daddy went to be with the Lord in 1975, when I was 10 years old, his voice, touch, face and soul remains fresh in my mind.  Each morning in my prayers I say, "Good Morning Daddy, grandma........" 

As a 43-year old adult it is truly a blessing and honor to share his memories and music with so many who cross my path.  Each year in June, the city of Linden, Texas, his birthplace, celebrates his legacy by hosting the Annual T-Bone Walker Blues Fest.  Artists from all over come to perform and give tribute to my Hero, while I and mother enjoy the tribute, and reminisce on the man we both loved and called "Daddy."   


 I don't think a Christmas will go by that we won't think of the legendary James Brown, May 3, 1933- December 25, 2006.

Real School People celebrates the legacy of a real pioneer in contemporary music.
                                              Thanks for sharing the journey...

The RSP Store


  1. One of the Best and I'm so hApPy to have been a reader for this as with every one published...
    Blessings & Adieu

  2. Some of your best work Cuz

  3. Excellent as always, thank you so much for all the work you put into this!

  4. Happy anniversary T. Looking forward to many more issues. Much love.

  5. enjoyed it as always and merryCHRISTMAS to all of you at rsp for all your work.

  6. Thank you all so much for the responses here and the emails...Here's to you all, the season's best and looking forward to sharing more with you in the New Year!