Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tom Joyner kidnapped me

With a microphone in both hands, K-Ci Hailey stood on stage at the Jazz Café on Wednesday and thanked radio personality Tom Joyner for playing his music for so many years. Hailey sang a few signature “ooohhs” and “yeaaahhhs.” Then Joyner leaned toward the mike and sang a couple of his own.
The hundreds of fans who crowded the stage, snapping pictures and watching applauded.
It was like that at the Jazz Café on Wednesday: the young paid homage to the old, and the old paid homage to the young. Behind Joyner and Hailey were two generations of Charlotte-area talent: national recording artists Sunshine Anderson and Calvin Richardson, as well as rising stars Rudy Currence, the band Uncommon Jazz and Q92 radio personality Jaye Delai.
Hundreds of people streamed into the club for Joyner’s meet and greet, which ended Anderson's performance. The line stretched down the sidewalk toward the rear of the club, and didn’t recede until Joyner left.
During the evening, Joyner sat at a table near the front and hosted the event. When he wasn’t on the mike, he accepted handshakes, hugs and introductions from fans who visited his table.
Anderson, known for her hit “Heard It All Before,” gave fans a brief taste of her new album, “Sunshine at Midnight.” She also thanked fans for supporting her ¬¬– especially since she hasn’t released an album in nearly six years.
After her performance, Joyner, who broadcasted from Q92’s studio this morning, returned to the stage, and Anderson, Hailey, Currence, Delai and Uncommon Jazz surrounded him. Everyone wanted to be near the man who had the first nationally syndicated black radio show. Before there was Steve Harvey, Russ Parr or Michael Baisden, there was Joyner. He always used his show to start listeners’ days off with a smile, and provided insight about politics and issues affecting African Americans.
When Joyner left, Anderson and the other artists shared the mike and sang, while Uncommon Jazz played in the background.
That’s when Joyner kidnapped me.
The plan was to join him in the car for a quick interview. I ended up riding with him back to his hotel and interviewing him during the drive. We talked about the rise of black radio personalities and the two things prohibited on his radio show.
You can hear the interview next week on the podcast Paid to Party 4 Yo’ Ear!
Today, talk shows seem to dominate radio more than music. What’s your favorite radio talk show, and why? Joyner, Harvey, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Larson, Ace & TJ, Matt and Ramona? Post your replies below.

Juicy stories from a chauffer

After Tom Joyner went to his hotel, I quizzed his chauffer on the drive back to the Jazz Café. I’ve always said I want to be a bartender when I retire, but I might consider driving a limo.
Here’s what I learned about the people he’s driven around town:
Celebrity with the worst attitude: Singer Jeffrey (can you woo woo) Osbourne was snooty.
Coolest celebrity: Singer Shania Twain.
Craziest thing that’s happened in your car: Two couples did the wild thing while he drove them in stretch limo. Then they wanted to stop at a rest area.
Weirdest request: Drugs.
What's the craziest thing you've ever done in a limo? Remember it's a family newspaper so make your items PG-13. Post your replies below.

Liquid Lounge now Tilt, Gilda re-opens

Those of you who say Charlotte needs more martini lounges are getting your wish.
Liquid Lounge at Trade and Tryon is now Tilt, an upscale martini bar with a whole new look. Dixie 's Tavern's Lucas Johns, Anthony Karey and Chris Peavey -- along with Adam Parker of Time lounge -- partnered to open Tilt.
Renovations include removing the window coverings so patrons can look out onto Trade Street , re-doing the hardwood floors at the entrance, building a new bar, replacing the VIP sections with lounge chairs and bistro tables, and turning the back patio into a beer garden with a new canvas awning. There will be TVs, and the color scheme is chocolate. The music will range from R&B to house to top 40.
Johns said it's going to be a place to go before dinner, or if you don't want to go to a rowdy club.
Tilt will be competing against Tutto Mondo, Therapy and Loft 1523, but Johns says customer service will set Tilt apart from the other establishments.
Across town in NoDa, Gilda lounge has the same name, but a new attitude.
Owner Wes Taylor, of 710 lounge, reopened the lounge a couple of weeks ago. He is focusing on consistency with his hours (5 p.m.-2 a.m. seven days a week) and top-notch customer service. He wants Gilda to offer neighborhood-pub friendlessness in an upscale lounge. He's planning a Latino night, a service industry night, and a half-price martinis night on Thursdays.