Chicago’s Legendary Minnie Riperton Sings: Lovin’ You

Chicago’s Legendary Minnie Riperton Sings: Lovin’ You

As a young girl, Minnie Riperton studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Centre, an urban social and cultural center that was originally founded in 1905 as a settlement house in the historic Bronzeville community of Chicago’s South-Side.

As a teenager, she sang lead vocals for a Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. If you listen closely to Fontella Bass’ hit single Rescue Me you can hear the young Riperton, along with The Gems, singing the soulful chorus. Her early connections with the legendary Chess Records in Chicago gave her the chance to sing backup for many other acclaimed performers, including Etta James, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters. While with Chess, Riperton also sang for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection from 1967 to 1971. Riperton reached the apex of her short career with her number one hit single, Lovin’ You, in the spring of 1975. The single was the last release from her 1974 gold album Perfect Angel.

In 1976, at the age of of twenty-eight, Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. In 1977, Riperton became the first African-American woman to serve as spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and to receive the Society’s Courage Award from then-President Jimmy Carter. On Thursday July 12, 1979, at the age of 31, Riperton lost her valiant struggle with cancer. She died peacefully in her husband’s arms while listening to a recording of a song that Stevie Wonder had written for her. Stevie Wonder still considers Minnie Riperton to be one of the greatest singers of our time. In his remarks written about Mariah Carey in Time Magazine’s recent 2008 List of The 100 Most Influential People, Stevie Wonder wrote, “I’ve met only three people who had a truly wonderful voice and spirit to match: my first wife Syreeta, Minnie Riperton and Mariah.”

In addition to her musical legacy, Minnie Riperton is survived by her husband, Richard Rudolph; a son, Marc Rudolph; and a daughter, Maya Rudolph, who has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live.

Minnie Riperton: Lovin’ You

Stevie Wonder’s Tribute to Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel (1979)

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Barack Obama: This is My Patriotism, These are My Values

N. C. Jefferson-Jackson Speech: This is My Patriotism, These are My Values

At the North Carolina State Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Raleigh (NC) on Friday evening, the immense room exploded with energy when Barack Obama walked onto the stage after Hillary Clinton, who had received what observers have described as a far more tepid reception.

This election is not about rich versus poor, or young versus old or black versus white,” he said, as supporters waved thousands of blue Obama campaign signs.  “It’s about the past versus the future, and in four days, you can choose to turn the page.”

My story is not possible except in the United States of America.  I would not be here were it not for the fact that somebody, somewhere stood up for me.  And because one person stood up, a few more stood up, and then a thousand stood up, and then a million stood up.  That’s why Hillary Clinton can run for President.  That’s why I can run for President…because somebody stood up.  And the question now is: Will the Democratic Party stand up for the next generation?  That’s my Patriotism.  Those are my Values.  Those are your Values.  That’s what we’re fighting for in this election.”

N. C. Jefferson Jackson Dinner, May 2, 2008

Barack Obama: This is My Patriotism, These are My Values

Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin reported late Saturday that Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks is endorsing Barack Obama for President.  The acclaimed actor and activist, who previously had given money to both the Obama and Clinton presidential campaigns, posted a compelling video on his MySpace page explaining his choice.  The video is presented for you below:

Acclaimed Actor Tom Hanks Endorses Senator Barack Obama

For a second time last week, Obama played basketball in front of the television cameras, but this time it was with the big boys.  Despite having held a late night campaign rally, Obama was up bright and early before 7:00 a.m., arriving at one of the hallowed grounds of college basketball, the home of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.  Obama headed to the court for a quick morning game, a five-on-five warm-up with the University of North Carolina basketball team.

Shooting Hoops: Basketball with the UNC Basketball Team

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