Behind the Cosmic Grind....
When I was child, from ages 6 - 18, I rehearsed on Saturdays from 11am til about 5p or 6p... And Sunday Service at 9a - 11am with the Krewe... Attended the 12 noon mass and sang from the side pews with the much older Senior Choir, we added our own additional harmonies and rhythms... Hahaaha... No really... We did! .... And then after everyone cleared the Cathedral, we'd rehearse again until 5p or 6p... This schedule went on week after week, month after month, year after year, no matter what the circumstances or conditions. If you had a cold during the week, you did everything humanly possible to get rid of it before rehearsals.... rehearsals were: First Choir, then Chorus, and then some very hard core individual rehearsals with about 12 other very competitive young and aspiring artist, preparing for the the Sunday Catholic service and the various array of pageants, performances, showcases, parades, festivals and theatre productions. low back wedding dresses
If you sang or played a tune and someone came behind you on a different day and brought the house down with it, chances were you might loose that tune... So sessions were fiercely competitive but we all loved and respected one another.
This took place at what I come to realise was a very liberal breeding ground for the Arts. " Our Lady Queen of Angels, The Black Catholic Archdiocese "Hub".... All under the direction of The Great Mr. Emory B. Tinley.
Those folks were my first Krewe, and I was the youngest... We sang and played everything from Gregorian Chant to Pop... Literally!!!
Joe Scott, now in Spain on tour, Anthony Spruill , now in Japan on tour, Myself.... Giving it everything I got!.... Savion Glover, on tour somewhere in the world... Concetta Robinson on tour USO, Sherry Smith, Sandra Key, Cheryl and Pam West, Dedria and Denise ( Can't remember their last names) Daryl Sterling, Robert Botts and a few others.
You came in, you warmed up and you went through the days itinerary. You did not complain or talk back.... Emory would knock the hell out of you!
Most times after rehearsals, Joe Scott and I stay later would rehearse
The cover tunes being played in the clubs and then gig on the low... I started playing in clubs when I was 14 at a place called the Alcazar, down the street from a main stream venue called the Elaganza. I remember the first time I sang, this really big and tall man, dressed in overalls exclaimed, in his old southern dialect.... " Somebody call the fire department.... It's getting hot in here..." That excited me something fierce...
When I get ready to 'mount' the stage.... Any stage, no matter the size... These are the kinds of thought that are running through my brain... And then I walk over to one of the cats, and count it off.... Real intense- like
All I've ever wanted, all I have ever known was, is and forever will be that stage, those lights and this perpetual grind.... I give thanks for the life that The Creator has bestowed upon me. I look forward to the present and future blessings, treasures, pleasure and gifts. I enjoy and give thanks for the life I have with Blizz... He is sooooooo much like my father and brother... Such a natural and beautiful progression...
- Laranah Phipps