Written by: Gregory Gay
Gloria Gaynor is recognized the world over for her platinum disco hit I Will Survive. “I Will Survive” earned a Grammy for Best Disco Recording and was one of only twenty-five songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012. Gaynor and the song would go on to being inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and recognition as the top song in Vh1′s Top 100 Dance Records of all times.
On November 26th, Gaynor comes full circle with the release of her first Gospel CD and companion book detailing her life story on Amazon. Gaynor says of her experience: “Recording a Gospel album was something I’ve wanted to do for years, but my manager and husband kept putting me off,” Gaynor shares. “Now that I’m in control of my own career, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and combine the four things I believe I was created to do – sing, write, teach, and share my faith.”
Over the years, Gaynor has been blanketed with thousands of personal messages from adoring fans whose lives have been transformed by this timeless song. Their remarkable stories reveal that “I Will Survive” has reached people from all walks of life who have faced life altering moments. In the book WE WILL SURVIVE, Gaynor shares forty of these inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds—individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of this one song.
On this day in 1991, basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson stuns the world by announcing his sudden retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, after testing positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the time, many Americans viewed AIDS as a gay white man's disease. Johnson (1959- ), who is African American and heterosexual, was one of the first sports stars to go public about his HIV-positive status.
Revered as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Johnson spent his entire 13-season NBA career with the Lakers, helping them to win five championships in the 1980s. The 6'9" point guard, a native of Lansing, Michigan, was famous for his extraordinary passing skills, contagious smile and love of the game. In 1981, he signed a 25-year deal with the Lakers for $25 million, one of the NBA's first over-the-top contracts.
Johnson, a three-time NBA "Most Valuable Player" and 12-time All-Star team member, didn't completely hang up his basketball shoes after announcing his retirement in 1991. He was voted most valuable player of the 1992 NBA All-Star Game and played on the Olympic "Dream Team" (alongside Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing) that won gold for the U.S. in Barcelona that summer. He briefly returned to the Lakers for the 1993-94 season as head coach and made a short-lived comeback as a Lakers player in the 1995-96 season.
Today, Johnson is a prominent spokesman for AIDS awareness and a successful businessman, earning millions from a range of ventures, including movie theaters and restaurants. He serves as an example of how a variety of drug treatments have transformed AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition for many people in the U.S. Still, some 25 years after the first AIDS cases were reported, 25 million people worldwide have died of AIDS and another 40 million have been infected with the virus.
On November 5, 1994, 45-year-old George Foreman knocks out 26-year-old Michael Moorer and becomes the oldest heavyweight champ in the history of boxing. Foreman had been the champ once before, until Muhammed Ali took the belt from him in 1974’s "Rumble in the Jungle," but he’d taken 10 years off from boxing to become an evangelical preacher, pitchman for mufflers and hamburgers, and sitcom star. Moorer, for his part, was a young lefty with a 35-0 record who expected to coast through the bout, collect a hefty paycheck and retire a champion. And he was coasting through the bout, until Foreman floored him in the 10th round. Though the older man was no longer the fighter he had once been, he was fighter enough: As one columnist observed, that day Moorer "floated like an elephant and got his trunk shoved down his throat."
The fight almost didn’t happen: At first, the World Boxing Association had refused to sanction it, mostly because of Foreman’s age but also in part because of his abysmal record in recent fights. Foreman’s promoter sued the W.B.A. and won, on the grounds that age discrimination is illegal, and the fight was allowed to proceed.
When Foreman entered the ring at the M-G-M Grand in Las Vegas that night, he wore the same red velour shorts he’d worn in Zaire 20 years before. ("These are the shorts that I fought in when I was heavyweight champion of the world," he explained. "They are short and make you look a little chubby, but I fought Muhammed Ali in these shorts.") Moorer, by contrast, wore a brand-new pair of shiny gold trunks. From the beginning of the fight, he seemed to have the advantage: He was 19 years younger, 28 pounds lighter and a whole lot quicker. On all three judges’ scorecards, he was in the lead for nine rounds, and he’d rattled Foreman with 259 sharp right jabs. (He threw 641 punches in all; Foreman threw only 369.)
But Foreman had a plan. He worried that if he knocked Moorer down too early in the fight, the younger man would have time to bounce back. So he bided his time, and in the 10th he got his chance: He clocked Moorer hard and straight on the chin with his right hand. Moorer was down for the count, and the middle-aged Foreman was the champ.
Today, the affable Foreman is still a minister and rancher in Texas and the father of five daughters and five sons named George. He’s also the spokesman for the incredibly popular line of George Foreman indoor grills.
Written by: Gregory Gay
David and Tamela Mann have been sharing their love of life, God and music with the masses for some time; now, we get to see them up close at work and play. Their latest effort is Hanging With the Manns. The reality show follows their adventures and gives the audience a premium seat at the kitchen table and David and Tamela prepare some scrumptious and delectable dishes and share favorite recipes and other cooking tips.
On this day in 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeats Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th U.S. president, and the first African American elected to the White House. The 47-year-old Democrat garnered 365 electoral votes and nearly 53 percent of the popular vote, while his 72-year-old Republican challenger captured 173 electoral votes and more than 45 percent of the popular vote. Obama's vice-presidential running mate was Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, while McCain's running mate was Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, the first female Republican ever nominated for the vice presidency.
Obama, who was born in 1961 in Hawaii to a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, graduated from Harvard Law School and was a law professor at the University of Chicago before launching his political career in 1996, when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He was re-elected to that post in 1998 and 2000. In March 2004, he shot to national prominence by winning the U.S. Senate Democratic primary in Illinois, and that July he gained further exposure when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, which included his eloquent call for unity among "red" (Republican) and "blue" (Democratic) states. That November, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in a landslide.
On February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, Obama officially announced his candidacy for president. A victory in the Iowa caucuses in January 2008 made him a viable challenger to the early frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, whom he outlasted in a grueling primary campaign to claim the Democratic nomination in early June 2008.
During the general-election campaign, as in the primaries, Obama's team worked to build a following at the grassroots level and used what his supporters viewed as the candidate's natural charisma, unique life story and inspiring message of hope and change to draw large crowds to his public appearances, both in the United States and on a campaign trip abroad. His team also worked to bring new voters--many of them young or black, both demographics they believed favored Obama--to become involved in the election. Additionally, the campaign was notable for its unprecedented use of the Internet for organizing constituents and fundraising. According to The Washington Post: "3 million donors made a total of 6.5 million donations online adding up to more than $500 million. Of those 6.5 million donations, 6 million were in increments of $100 or less."
In terms of campaign issues, Obama pledged to get the United States out of the war in Iraq and expand health care, among other promises. A crushing national financial crisis in the months leading up to the election shifted the country's focus to the economy, and Obama and McCain each attempted to show he had the best plan for economic improvement.
On November 4, more than 69.4 million Americans cast their vote for Obama, while some 59.9 million voters chose McCain. (Obama was the first sitting U.S. senator to win the White House since John Kennedy in 1960.) Obama captured some traditional Republican strongholds (Virginia, Indiana) and key battleground states (Florida, Ohio) that had been won by Republicans in recent elections. Late that night, the president-elect appeared before a huge crowd of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park and delivered a speech in he which acknowledged the historic nature of his victory (which came 143 years after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery): "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America."
Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. On November 6, 2012, he defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term in the White House.
Whoa, this is BIG.
NBC, according to Deadline, has plans to bring back “Murder She Wrote,” one of the most watched shows in television history.
And they’re going to do it with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) succeeding Angela Lansbury in the lead role of an astute amateur detective.
The new hour-long project, which has received a put pilot commitment, is a re-imagining of the long-running CBS series. Described as a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel.
Set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman’s avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations. Former Desperate Housewives executive producer Cunningham is writing and will executive produce with Janollari
If you’re familiar with Spencer’s career, you know she works mainly on the big screen although she previously worked with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and Janollari on the 2001 Sci Fi Channel series “The Chronicle,” which the two exec produced and she recurred on.
In “Murder, She Wrote,” Spencer’s involvement came from an exploratory meeting she took with Greenblatt.
“I’ve always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said ‘J.B. Fletcher’ meets ‘Colombo’ … And here we are,” she told Deadline. “I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Dave Janollari again, and Alex Cunningham a brilliant writer who shares my love for all things mysterious and Angela Lansbury.”
From the Larry Clark Gospel CD Live and
“God Gave Me Favor” gives iconic keyboardist, songwriter, and gospel singer Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark a chance to not only sing praises to the Most High for grace and favor, but on the extended version, she identifies an important reason for her gratitude: she survived a head-on car collision fifteen years ago
Clark concludes her testimony by reporting that although she was unable to walk for a month after the accident, she was healed and feels better than ever. The single finds her sounding better than ever, too.
Black Tuesday hits Wall Street as investors trade 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors, and stock tickers ran hours behind because the machinery could not handle the tremendous volume of trading. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression.
During the 1920s, the U.S. stock market underwent rapid expansion, reaching its peak in August 1929, a period of wild speculation. By then, production had already declined and unemployment had risen, leaving stocks in great excess of their real value. Among the other causes of the eventual market collapse were low wages, the proliferation of debt, a weak agriculture, and an excess of large bank loans that could not be liquidated.
Stock prices began to decline in September and early October 1929, and on October 18 the fall began. Panic set in, and on October 24—Black Thursday—a record 12,894,650 shares were traded. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock, producing a moderate rally on Friday. On Monday, however, the storm broke anew, and the market went into free fall. Black Monday was followed by Black Tuesday, in which stock prices collapsed completely.
After October 29, 1929, stock prices had nowhere to go but up, so there was considerable recovery during succeeding weeks. Overall, however, prices continued to drop as the United States slumped into the Great Depression, and by 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929. The stock market crash of 1929 was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse of which it was also a symptom. By 1933, nearly half of America's banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce. It would take World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering.