Saturday, October 29, 2005

Magic City Revived

What's so magical about the Magic City?

Almost sixty years ago when the city of Birmingham had grew multiplied by the thousands in its population and job growth, the citizens coined the city as being the "Magic City". Sixty years later, Birmingham has struggled through a turbulent past including historical points within the Civil Rights Movement and many escaping the Dirty South and moving to Chicago and Detroit for decent jobs. Now, Birmingham, Alabama, which continues to be the center of the Southeast, is living up to their "magical" moniker; emerging into a booming city full of life and zest. Even though the city has always been a nice spot for tourism due to its cultural attractions (Civil Rights Center, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, the Summit, City Stages, Birmingham Heritage Festival, VisionLand, etc.), the city continues to reinvent itself, even though nay-sayers and doubters continue to doubt the facts at hand.

The Magic City Classic, a football tradition filled with festive celebrations, tailgate partying, parades and joyous drive, continues to be the main attraction to the region on the weekend of Halloween and All Saints' Day (weird). And even though it has been sixty three years since its debut, the Classic which brings the football armies and zesty marching bands of Alabama State University of Montgomery, AL and Alabama A&M University of Huntsville, AL to Birmingham for face-off continues to attract folk by the thousands. Kick-off takes place at 2:30 p.m. at Legion Field.

Unfortunately I wont be there....but the party goes on.

For an entire weekend, the party will be in Birmingham, AL. Need proof?

Tom Joyner brought his annual Birmingham SkyShow here once again this past Friday. This time at the BJCC Concert Hall. The place was packed and filled with infectious joy. New Edition was the special musical guest.

Leela James, urban R&B songstress, also performed on Friday at the Harbert Center; delivering neat performances from her debut project, "A Change Is Gonna Come".

Bill Cosby, during the height of his remarkable controversial comments on black economics and civil rights (hmm), arrives in Birmingham for two shows at the Wright Center on the Samford University campus. The shows are already sold out. Should be interesting to hear what he has to say...pretty sure the laughs are guaranteed.

L.L. Cool J's (that means, "Ladies Love Cool James") presence will be mighty big here. And you prolly will be seeing alot of him if you are here in Birmingham. From the parade to the half-time show, the mighty "cool" brotha from Brookyln will definitely issue his rare form of coolness to the ladies (and to the fellas'); proving to be an urban legend years after he brought his "Radio" LP to the masses. He will also be appearing and performing at the TI Concert After Party. Yea, TI will be in town too. But that's not all, add Trina, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Master P, BG and G-Unit to the mix, and the entire world of gangsta rap and hip-hop will surely view Birmingham as a cultural magnet. They all will be at the Alabama State Fairgrounds for their after-party taking place at 6:00 p.m.

Anthony David and Three 6 Mafia will be here too.

Love comedy? Bobby Rush, former host of "Showtime at the Apollo" whom showed off his rare form of comedic talent on BET's Comic View, will be bring down the house at the StarDome Comedy Club, along with Lester Bibbs and Joe Clair. October 28-30, 2005.

Just too much for me, but...

What does that have to do with gospel music?

Well, let me close on this note. Prince Yelder & Disciples For Christ, whom has appeared on projects with Beverly Crawford, Angela Spivey and Dorothy Norwood, hosted their annual Praz N Da Houz celebration on Friday evening. Always at 8:00 p.m. And the praises continued until 2 in the morning. That's normal for the event, since choirs and groups from all across the Southeast merge together for the all-nighter event. B. Chase Williams and Pastor Juandolyn Stokes (gospel DJ and announcer) from Atlanta, GA spoke and gave Yelder their best wishes. Of course, Stokes brought a word with her and tore the house up with her infectious form of evangelism and prophetic decrees. The choirs came in good fashion, which consisted the Alabama A&M Gospel Choir, Min. Kevin James & the Louisville Voices, the Birmingham Community Mass Choir and Courtney Moore & the Remnant of Praise. Most of the groups were far from original, doing their interpretations of Ricky Dillard ("Without God", "I Give It To You"), James Hall ("Hold To God's Unchanging Hand") , but Prince Yelder always shows off and impresses fans with his spunky flamboyant directing skills. And that kind of drive was definitely showcased that night, especially on traditional throwbacks including Dr. Charles G. Hayes' "He Laid His Hands On Me/Jesus Can Work It Out". He even ripped Richard Smallwood's "Thank You" up to pieces; turning it into a ten minute odyssey. Too bad some of the vocalists studied the album version and forgot to add in her own testimony to the mix. It pays to be original, folkz.

Anyway, regardless of how people view this article, the Magic City is full of magic. The city of Orlando may have the Magic for a national basketball team, but we are proud here in Birmingham to be the original magic. Let's just hope the magic doesn't die out like most tricks.

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