Tag Archives: music

Book And Music News

 Hello and welcome back to Clara54 Writers Blog!

When you’ve been in this writing business for a long time, you tend to get perks from folks who can appreciate your expertise, talents, connections (whether perceived or real) and most of all, your integrity. Folks will want to know you for your authenticity, moral and ethical compass.

I’m always grateful and oftentimes humbled when stellar companies send free books/stuff for me to review and oftentimes, direct contact info to authors, musicians, medical experts and others for personal interviews.

I’ve shared how my time management skills aren’t the best and so I pick and choose which projects I endorse or promote in my professional space. Doing book reviews are time consuming, so I’ve taken a hiatus from doing them.

This came from Chris over at Miles High Production:

Hi Clara!
Clara, Thanks for checking out our newsletter. Would you be interested in reviewing ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’? Currently we have a digital edition available as a .pdf or an .pub. Limited physical copies of the book will also be available soon. Let me know if you would prefer a physical copy to review. I understand that you probably receive a great many review requests and you aren’t able to get to every book, so if you can’t get to ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ I understand. However, if you’d be interested in posting the following press release, please let me know!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts if you’d be interested in spreading the word on this special story!

I declined the book review, although I do plan to read it and perhaps review at a later date. Here’s a book blurb and a bit about the author/musician, Mr. Charles Wright, along with an added video of “Looking For An Ugly Woman.” Enjoy!

Do you remember the 70s hit song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright? I want to let you know that the legendary soul singer is releasing an autobiography ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ out October 26th!


Writer of hit song “Express Yourself” and band leader of the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, soul music great Charles Wright is set to release his highly anticipated autobiography which chronicles his tumultuous, life changing upbringing in 1940’s southern Mississippi.
Charles Wright is a world-renowned musician and songwriter best known as the leader of the ’60s-founded Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and for recording the enduring 1971 classic “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop – Billboard). The ensemble also recorded the classics “Loveland ” (sung by drummer James Gadson who became an ace session musician in Los Angeles), “Do Your Thing ” (featuring lead guitarist Al McKay who went on to become a star member of Earth Wind & Fire) and the racial equality anthem “Comment” (also recorded by jazz legend Les McCann, alternative rockers Wilco and others).


‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ touches on first hand accounts of racism is an honest depiction of how the now world-renowned musician went from poverty to prosperity. Written in the raw dialects and rhythms of how Blacks and Whites communicated with each other in the era, it is a riveting insider’s glimpse into the realities of the times.
“Some may consider these chapters a vital part of American history which has yet to be told in this particular fashion. “
I wanted to reveal just how thin the line between sharecropping and slavery really was. It’s important to me because I spent a significant part of my life under that regime. I started writing this book 40 years ago. It’s something – given the right circumstance – I wish I could have shared long ago…But now is the optimal time because discrimination never went away. Racism simply vaulted to a whole ’nother level. Honestly, in some cases, I’d take the way it used to be over what it is today. The process of systematic racial elimination is extremely ugly to me. I can see it so clearly. I need others to see it, too. So I’m expressing myself.”
– Charles Wright

I loved Express Yourself and Mr. Wright’s other songs! Now I can put a Face to those ‘oldies’…Y’all got memories too? This book appears to be a great source on race/racism in the South, as one famous musician lived it.

For Musicians and Music Lovers Everywhere

“A drop in the bucket followed by continuous drops will eventually fill the bucket.”

Happy Friday artists! I’ve done PR for a few years now and I’ve helped to promote and bring attention to several artists work as a result. If you ask me how this all started, I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. Perhaps it’s my season for sowing.

I’m committed to bringing awareness to artists and creatives whose authentic passion for doing great work shines through.This artist hails from Liverpool. I selected her work from a list of several artists sent by Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music, to feature on the blog today.

A budding lyricist myself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this artist and songwriter’s music with American audiences. Enjoy!



What are you passionate about that benefits others?

What Every Writer Can Learn From Janis Joplin…


A couple of Saturdays ago, I was in a black and white mood. I only wanted to spend my day lazing about on my sofa, stuffing my face and watching old black and white movies on the boob tube. Let me just put it out there; I had a heck of a good time! 🙂

I ended my “me” time by watching a documentary on the life of Janis Joplin, the white punk rock/blues singer/songwriter of the 60s. I found myself listening to the haunting lyrics of a woman in songs like “Summertime”, “Piece of My Heart” and my favorite “Me And Bobby McGee.” Those songs of love, longings and for freedom and unity were reminders of years gone by, but, this documentary also taught me something beyond my love of great music.

It showed the depth of an artist’s dedication, passion and love for her craft. It was raw footage of a great singer at work being her best self. As writers and authors, storytellers and game changers, our words can make a difference. We write to be read, heard, published and paid, true? We also write for the sheer joy of creating.
We cannot survive in a vacuum. Our passions need to be shared with the world. Janice Joplin’s passions for her music was only upstaged by her love and freedom for living life- oftentimes by making dangerous choices (drugs and alcohol) addiction.

This artist never lost her passion and purpose to use her music to invoke change, yes, but mainly Janis Joplin just wanted people to feel the ‘oneness’ she felt when on stage.
Unfortunately, Janis Joplin’s raspy voice and musical talents were stilled when she died of a drug overdose in 1970 at the tender age of 27.

What great artist have you learned brilliant nuggets of creativity from as a writer? More importantly, why do you write?


Interrupting R&R For Good News!

Clara Freeman

vh1 songoftheyear.com
song of the year songwriting

Sit Back

lyric contest

The Song of the Year songwriting contest has awarded Clara Freeman the Runner Up placement in the song contest. Song of the Year receives entries from all over the world and only the top songwriters receive a Runner Up placement in the songwriting competition.

Tracking The Rhythm To Your Writing…

I’d never actually thought about the rhythm in my writing, until Iread a recent post at Christina Katz’s “The Prosperous Writer” where she likens one’s writing rhythms with the rhythms found in music. I love music and oftentimes find myself relating to & dancing to the rhythm of the beat:)

On a more serious note and to answer the question about how I use the rhythm in my own work?  “Love Jones” the movie, comes to mind where the male protagonist, a writer (natch) complains that his love interest, is “wrecking his flow!” I was so enthralled with the line in this movie, that as a writer, whenever I’m in sync with creating words to page & the phone rings, or, the doorbell pells and I have to stop: I instantly think “Dang, you’re wrecking my flow.!”  

Productivity and momentum in my writing comes during early mornings and the ambiance of late night ‘stillness.’ Those are times where I’m feeling one with nature and become caught up in the dawn of a new day, allowing my thoughts to run about and I’m in a zone as my fingers play out  the rhythms to my creative vibe. Imagine feeling lost to time & space  and it doesn’t matter because you’re happily writing in your creative bubble. 

It doesn’t matter how writers use their rhythm to create, it matters that they recognize that they do. According to The Prosperous Writer, we all have rhythm. AND the question?  How do you use your writing rhythm?

To read this great post on rhythm usage in your writing, visit http://christinakatz.com

Snippits, Views, And Announcements…

Hi all! I’ve been sitting on a few items of interest and wanted to get them in for you before I’m taken over by exhaustion from returning to my day job 😦 Yep, I’m welcomed back into the folds of nursing… It was truly business as usual and I’m knowing my energy level is in for a beat down. Anyho, some emails detailing appearances/readings & so forth have been lying in wait for clara54’s attention, so hoping those of you who can make the events let the rest of us know how great they were?

An invitation from The Vilcek Foundation in New York for the grand opening & reception of Kai Duc Luong (Chicago Filmmaker) newest showing of “Circumplex” on friday October 2nd. The exhibition is from 8pm to 11pm. If you’re in New York, or just a fan of this rising filmmaker’s work, RSVP to info@Vilcek.Org or call 212-472-2500-Congrats Kai!

Closer to home(Chicago) Dr.Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute will be in Kankakee, Illinois on October 9th, along with Ms. Carrie Clark, co-coordinator of Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates (HWA) to speak on workplace bullying.The event will take place at The Hilton Garden Inn. Registration info can be obtained by calling 815-932-4444. For any employee who is having “issues” in the workplace bordering on bullying, this event is highly recommended. As Carrie says, “work don’t hurt!”

John Amen, editor & founder of The Pedestal Magazine has published another book of poems, At The Threshold Of ALCHEMY,to be released by Presa Press October 1st. October readings will be on the West Coast and in New York. For information about these readings & upcoming events visit his website http://www.johnamen.com. To view sample poems from the book go to http://johnamen.com/bppksphp?CAT=10… I’ve read the samples & they’re beautiful!

Sunday, October 18th, the 2nd annual Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Expo…The Sankofa Hair Show will be showing at Northeastern Illinois University’s Carruther’s Center for Inner City Studies. 700 East Oakwood St, Chicago, Illinois. It would be good to call the University for more info in lieu of RSVP.

And because I’ve wanted to be fair with folks asking to spread the word about their projects & such…Clara54 will not turn away a request unless it’s in really bad taste…This info from Donovan D. Unknoen was checked out before posting .There’s a lot going on here folks. Anyho, the website for music monguls/ fans/ is http://www.imeen.com/damianunknoen or IMEEN…good luck with getting a record label…

Thanks to all who sent out emails of their works…and thanks for the special invites:) Will have updates on Sonya Carmichael’s upcoming Bootcamp For Writers coming to Chicago and publication dates for the book Reflections From Women by Terri S. Nelson & for which yours truly is a contributing writer! Ok, that’s enough…

Promising You Exciting Trailers Of Film!

Clara54 welcomes up & comers in the field of music & film, as well as authors who’d like to showcase their works here. These are just 2 of the folks who have requested to have their works viewed by my readers: Liscious with his 1st big starring role in The Pit And The Pendulum and Siameze, The Godson of Rock & Roll… Take a look-see & comment to these next generation of creative talents… BTW, sooo excited to be a creative outlet for showcasing & introducing creative arts of others! Look for review of clara54’s vacation getaway in upcoming post…

Cellphone Madness…

Even at work, while on break, attempting to take a moment of solitude and perhaps ease the ache in my calves, I find myself bombarded from all sides with this constant ringing…cellphone madness!

Trying to read …a book

but everybody’s talkin’

on a cellphone hookup…


Ole friends


Next of kin

folks making biz-deals

lovers letting forth a burst of giddy squeals…

Cellphone madness trying my nerves

interrupting dire moments of solitude…intrudes

upon my 15 minutes of Clara54 time

On the real

What’s really going on?

Can’t concentrate amid Rhianna/Jason Timberlake…ringtones

oooh no, Is that a Beeththoven spill? Love that!

Still 😦

Cellphone Madness…kills

my moment

A Charley Pride Type Of Girl

I was thinking about Charley Pride today..maybe because I grew up listening to his music and liking that little southern twang to his lyrics…or, maybe because I’m borne Southern, sooo I’ll always be a country girl at heart… or maybe because Charley Pride was about the only person of Color back in those days who I knew actually sang country… and sang it darn well I might add.

In our house, there was music. From Negro spirituals- my mama loved Mahalia Jackson- to Diana Ross and The Supremes, Gladys Knight&The Pips, Aretha Franklin, The Jackson Five’s “ABC”, to BB King playing The Blues on his guitar, aptly named Lucille. In our house, music ruled…

I loved all types of music… Elvis Presley’s ‘Love Me Tender’ got me through plenty of love sick teenage girl for boy crushes- on those trying times when love didn’t give a thought to loving me back…Anyhow, I’m a music lover…got it naturally. The other day I was watching John Mellencamp perform some of his songs from yesteryears and I began to wonder why it was I didn’t own a John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, or Charley Pride record, album or CD…

Then I started to reflect upon all of my favorite Authors and why I did’t have their books in my stockpile of collectables…Life is too short and the world keeps on turning…Charley Pride where are you?