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Meet the first woman to play professional baseball in an all men's leagues - Toni Stone Tags: toni tomboy stone first woman professional baseball men leagues word life production new quality

Toni "Tomboy" Stone made history in 1953 when she joined the Negro Leagues, making her the first woman ever to play professionally in a men's league.

Female baseball player Toni Stone made history in 1953 when she was signed by the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues, making her the first woman ever to play professionally in a men's league. Stone began playing ball when she was only 10 years old. Over the years, many people tried to dissuaded her from the game, including her husband. After baseball, she worked as a nurse. She died in 1996.

Early Life

Born Marcenia Lyle Stone on July 17, 1921, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Toni "Tomboy" Stone made history in 1953 when she was signed to play second base for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues, making her the first woman to play professionally in a men's league.

Stone's parents believed strongly that their four children needed to get a good education. But their athletically inclined daughter didn't share the same talent in the classroom as her siblings. Instead, she loved to compete, and excelled in all kinds of sports including ice skating, track, and the high jump. Baseball, however, was her true love and she spent her off-hours at a local park, soaking up the culture and devoting hours toward improving her own game.

Her parents didn't approve. Around the time she was 10 years old, Stone was forced to sit down with a local priest, whom her parents had invited over in hopes that he could talk their daughter out of her interest in baseball. Instead, toward the end of the sit-down, Father Keith asked Stone to play on his team in the Catholic Midget League.

At age 15, Stone was quietly earning a reputation as something of a phenom. She played with the Twin City Colored Giants, a traveling men's baseball club, and took to the diamond for clubs competing in the men's meatpacking league.

Playing for the San Francisco Sea Lions

In the 1940s, Stone moved to San Francisco to help a sick sister. It was there that her life began to finally change in the way she'd long hoped. But it was a humble start. She would later claim that she had only 50 cents in her pocket upon her arrival, and after staying in the bus station for several nights, she started to scrape together a living by working at a cafeteria and at a shipyard as a forklift operator.

Stone also began what can only be considered a personal reinvention. She changed her name to Toni Stone and dropped 10 years off her age to increase her appeal to a men's team.

It wasn't long before she was playing baseball again, signing on to play with an American Legion club. In 1949, she joined the San Francisco Sea Lions of the West Coast Negro Baseball League. The pay wasn't terrible (about $200 a month) and it enhanced Stone's exposure to high profile managers and team owners.

But it wasn't always an easy life. As a woman, Stone was subject to a barrage of insults from fans and sometimes even teammates who objected to seeing a female compete in a "men's" game. The complicated rules surrounding Jim Crow America only amplified the pressure, as she and other black players had to be careful not to patron white-only restaurants and other establishments.

The Indianapolis Clowns and Kansas City Monarchs

Still, Stone's talent was hard to miss. In 1953, she caught her big break when the Indianapolis Clowns signed her to its roster. The club, which had at one time developed a reputation as a showy kind of team, not unlike what basketball's Harlem Globetrotters would become, was in need of a boost.

Since Jackie Robinson's first appearance in the Majors in 1947, the Negro Leagues had seen attendance and talent drop considerably. The departures included the Clowns' prized second baseman, Hank Aaron. In the wake of all this upheaval, team owner Syd Pollack figured Stone might draw some fans.

Stone, however, played hard and didn't back down from any challenges that came her way. Backed by some pretty good Clowns PR to showcase their new female player, Stone appeared in 50 games that year, hitting a respectable .243—a stretch that included getting a hit off the legendary pitcher, Satchel Paige. She also got the chance to play with some excellent young talent, including Willie Mays and Ernie Banks.

But for Stone, she was a part of the roster and she wasn't. The fact that she was a woman meant that she wasn't allowed in the men's locker rooms. Her opponents showed little deference, either, sometimes coming hard at her on a slide with their spikes pointed up.

Stone's time with the Clowns was short. In the off-season, she was traded to the Kansas City Monarchs. It proved to be a difficult adjustment for her. Age had finally caught up to the fleet-footed Stone, and her new teammates and bosses resented her. At the end of the year, she retired.

Final Years

Toni Stone, who married Aurelious Alberga in 1950, a well-known San Francisco political player who was some 40 years her senior, spent her retirement life in Oakland. Eventually she earned the respect she'd long deserved from the baseball world. In 1993 she was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in Long Island, New York.

Toni Stone died of heart and respiratory problems on November 2, 1996, at the age of 75, at an Alameda, California, nursing home.

Source: Biorgraphy.com

The Best that Never Was, Marcus Dupree Tags: the best never was marcus dupree 30 of 30 football legend word life production

In 1981, college athletic recruiting changed forever as a dozen big-time football programs sat waiting for the decision by a physically powerful and lightning-quick high school running back named Marcus Dupree.

On his way to eclipsing Herschel Walker's record for the most touchdowns in high school history, Dupree attracted recruiters from schools in every major conference to his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss.More than a decade removed from being a flashpoint in the civil-rights struggle, Philadelphia was once again thrust back into the national spotlight.

Dupree took the attention in stride, and committed to Oklahoma. What followed, though, was a forgettable college career littered with conflict, injury and oversized expectations. Eight-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Hock examined why this star burned out so young and how he ultimately used football to redeem himself.

Director's Take

When ESPN invited me to be one of the select directors for its ambitious 30-for-30 project, I accepted without hesitation. This is a story I've been wanting to put on film for years, a story that embodies both what's right and what's wrong about sports in America, and since it plays out over the course of the last thirty years, I thought it would be perfect for this project. It's the story of Marcus Dupree, who was one of the most famously recruited high school football players of his generation. Today, Marcus is a 46-year-old part-time truck driver, struggling to get by, remembered by those who watched him as "the best that never was." The lure of fast money; the brutality of his sport; and above all, a young man's lack of understanding of what the big-time college football world demanded of him and how fast it could turn on him; all these led to Marcus's downfall as an athlete.

Philadelphia, Miss., was the site of one of the most notorious acts of terrorism during the Civil Rights Era in the 1960s: the murders of three young men helping to register black voters who had come to Philadelphia in 1964 to investigate the burning of a church that supported civil-rights activities. Marcus was born a month before the killings, and eventually would join the first class to go through integrated public schools in the state. When Marcus was establishing himself as the best high school running back in the nation, Philadelphians -- white and black -- took pride in him, and in the fully integrated team that he led. He was the town's first shared joy.

It would be naive to believe that Marcus singlehandedly gave rise to a "New South." But it would be cynical to disbelieve that he did help change the lives of the people of a small town with a horrible past. It is here that the best of sport still resides -- in its ability to tear down the isolation and separateness that permeate everyday life in America and to give people something bigger than themselves to share, a way to transcend the distinctions that otherwise keep them apart. For this experience, Marcus feels blessed beyond any measure of wealth or fame that might have come his way had things played out differently. "The Best That Never Was" is a story infused with sadness and loss. But its hero is a man who is at peace with it all.

Source: ESPN

Marvin Gaye was a musical genius that touched the souls of millions of people all over the world Tags: marvin gaye musical genius million people all over world word life production music hall

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C. He sang in his father's church and in the Moonglows before signing with Motown. He recorded songs by Smokey Robinson before becoming his own producer on the protest album What's Going On. Gaye's later records developed his production style and yielded several hits. Gaye was killed in 1984 during a domestic dispute with his father.

"War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate."

– Marvin Gaye

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else."

– Marvin Gaye

"Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest male voices of all time. So covering a Marvin Gaye song, especially one as quintessential as 'What's Going On,' I was a little hesitant in doing so. But I felt that it was one of those songs which spoke to a whole generation."

Singer Marvin Gaye, also known as the "Prince of Soul," was born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (he added the "e" to his last name alter in life) in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1939. Gaye was raised under the strict control of his father, Reverend Marvin Gay Sr., the minister at a local church, against a bleak backdrop of widespread violence in his neighborhood.

Throughout his childhood, Marvin Gaye often found peace in music, mastering the piano and drums at a young age. Until high school, his singing experience was limited to church revivals, but soon he developed a love for R&B and doo-wop that would set the foundation for his career. In the late 1950s, Gaye joined a vocal group called The New Moonglows.

The talented singer had a phenomenal range that spanned three vocal styles and he soon impressed the group's founder, Harvey Fuqua. It wasn't long before Gaye and Fuqua both came to the attention of Detroit music impresario Berry Gordy and were signed to Gordy's legendary Motown Records.

Motown Records

Gaye's first certified hit under his own name wouldn't come until 1962, but his early years at Motown were full of behind-the-scenes successes. He was a session drummer for Motown legends such as Little Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Showing his stripes as Motown's renaissance man, Gaye went on to break into the Top 40 for the first time on his own in 1962 with his solo single "Hitch Hike."

Throughout the 1960s, Gaye would show his immense range, churning out solo dance hits and romantic duets with hit-makers like Diana Ross and Mary Wells. "Can I Get a Witness" and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" were some of Gaye's biggest hits of the period, the latter achieving its place as Motown's best-selling single of the 1960s.

For three high-flying years, Gaye and Tammi Terrell wowed the country with their soaring duet performances of songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You". Unfortunately, their reign as the Royal Couple of R&B ended when Terrell succumbed to a brain tumor in 1970. His beloved partner's death ushered in a dark period for the singer, who swore never to partner with another female vocalist and threatened to abandon the stage for good.

Political Message

In 1970, inspired by escalating violence and political unrest over the Vietnam War, Gaye wrote the landmark song "What's Going On." Despite clashes with Motown over the song's creative direction, the single was released in 1971 and became an instant smash. Its success prompted Gaye to take even more risks, both musically and politically.

When it was released in the spring of 1971, the What's Going On album served to open Gaye up to new audiences while maintaining his Motown following.

Departing from the tried and true Motown formula, Gaye went out on his own artistically, paving the way for other Motown artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to branch out in later years. Beyond influencing his peers, the album garnered widespread critical acclaim, winning the Rolling Stone Album of the Year award.

Crossover Success

In 1972, Gaye moved to Los Angeles and soon met Janis Hunter, who would later become his second wife. Inspired in part by his newfound independence, Gaye recorded one of the most revered love anthems of all time, "Let's Get It On." The song became his second number one Billboard hit, cementing his crossover appeal once and for all. Shortly afterwards, Motown pushed Gaye into touring to capitalize on his most recent success; reluctantly the singer-songwriter returned to the stage.

Through most of the mid-1970s, Gaye was touring, collaborating or producing. Working with Diana Ross and The Miracles, he would put off releasing another solo album until 1976. He continued touring after the release of I Want You (1976) and released his last album for Motown Records (Here, My Dear) in 1978. After two decades at Motown, Gaye signed with CBS's Columbia Records in 1982 and began to work on his last album, Midnight Love. The lead single from that album, "Sexual Healing," became a huge comeback hit for the R&B star and earned him his first two Grammy Awards and an American Music Award for Favorite Soul Single.

Personal Life

In 1975, Gaye's wife Anna Gordy -- Barry Gordy's daughter -- filed for divorce, and two years later Gaye married Hunter, who had by then given birth to their daughter, Nona (born September 4, 1974) and their son Frankie (born November 16, 1975). Gaye also had an adopted son (Marvin Pentz Gaye III) from his previous marriage. The singer's marriage to Hunter proved short lived and tumultuous, ending in divorce in 1981.

Death and Legacy

Despite his successful comeback in the early 1980s, Gaye struggled badly with the substance abuse and bouts of depression that had plagued him for most of his life. After his last tour, he moved into his parents' house. There he and his father fell into a pattern of violent fights and quarrels that recalled conflicts that had haunted the family for decades. On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son after a physical altercation; the father claimed he acted in self-defense but would later be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Three years after his death, Marvin Gaye Jr. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Creating beautiful art from a troubled life, Gaye again and again brought his vision, range, and artistry to the world stage. At the end of his career, he admitted he no longer made music for pleasure; instead, he said, "I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/marvin-gaye-9307988?page=2

 

 

Journey is a Rock & Roll Legend Tags: journey rock roll hall of fame word love production I love rock roll

 

Between their 1975 debut as a predominantly instrumental progressive rock group and their first platinum LP in 1978, Journey underwent format changes that led to their emergence as one of the top American hard-pop bands. Gregg Rolie had cofounded Santana with Carlos Santana and had sung lead on several Santana tunes, including "Evil Ways" and "Black Magic Woman." Neal Schon joined Santana after its second LP, Abraxas, when he was 17. The two left Santana in 1972. Rolie and his father opened a restaurant in Seattle, while Schon jammed with other Bay Area musicians.

Former Santana road manager Walter Herbert brought Schon and Rolie together again with ex–Steve Miller bassist Ross Valory, who, along with George Tickner, had played in Frumious Bandersnatch, a Bay Area group Herbert managed. In an impromptu contest on San Francisco station KSAN-FM, listeners were asked to name the band; the winning name was Journey. The group played its first shows with Prairie Prince, who was then drummer with the Tubes. When he decided to stay with the Tubes, British journeyman Aynsley Dunbar, whose earlier associations included John Mayall, Jeff Beck, the Bonzo Dog Band, Mothers of Invention, Lou Reed, and David Bowie, joined. Within a year of its 1974 New Year's Eve debut at San Francisco's Winterland, the group was signed to Columbia. Following Journey's debut LP, on which Rolie did most of the singing, Tickner, tired of touring, left the band. The group's next two albums sold moderately. Herbert, convinced that the group needed a lead singer, hired Robert Fleischman. Meanwhile, Steve Perry, a drummer/singer, had contacted the group several times asking to join. Due to a series of fortuitous events — Perry was recommended to Herbert by a Columbia executive around the time Herbert had decided to fire Fleischman — Perry was in. With Infinity (Number 21, 1978), their fourth LP and the first with Perry, Journey became a top group, as moderately successful singles ("Wheel in the Sky," "Lights") and constant touring made Infinity the group's first platinum LP; it eventually sold 3 million copies.

In September 1978, soon after Infinity's success, Dunbar was dismissed from the group for what Herbert termed "incompatibility of the first order." In April 1980 Journey's Nightmare Productions charged that Dunbar had been overpaid more than $60,000 in advances. In May 1980, Nightmare Productions (in which the band members and Herbert owned stock) was sued for $3.25 million by Dunbar, who claimed that he had been "squeezed out" of the group just when the earnings were increasing, and he sued for breach of contract, nonpayment of royalties, and other charges.

Meanwhile, Dunbar (who joined Jefferson Starship) was replaced by Steve Smith, formerly Journey's drum roadie, who had studied at the Berklee School of Music and played with Focus, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Montrose. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" from Evolution (Number 20, 1979) was Journey's first Top 30 hit; earlier that year "Just the Same Way" had been a moderate success.

In 1980 "Anyway You Want It" from Departure (Number 8, 1980) hit Number 23. Departure became Journey's third consecutive multiplatinum album. Columbia repackaged material from the first three (pre-Perry) LPs as In the Beginning. After Departure, Rolie tired of touring and left. He was replaced by ex-Babys keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who cowrote Journey's 1981 Number Four ballad hit, "Who's Crying Now." In 1981 Schon recorded an LP entitled Untold Passion with keyboardist Jan Hammer. Escape became the group's first Number One LP. It sold 7 million copies and spawned two other Top 10 hits: "Open Arms" and "Don't Stop Believin'." All of the Perry LPs have been certified platinum, and in late 1982 the group became the first rock band to inspire a video game, Journey —Escape.

Like many other mainstream hard-rock outfits, Journey made the transition to video, and their post-1983 albums continued to sell in the millions. Bolstered by a string of Top 20 hits that included "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" (Number Eight, 1983), "Faithfully" (Number 12, 1983), "Only the Young" (Number Nine, 1985)," "Be Good to Yourself" (Number Nine, 1986), "Suzanne" (Number 17, 1986), "Girl Can't Help It" (Number 17, 1986), and "I'll Be Alright Without You" (Number 14, 1987), Frontiers (Number Two, 1983), Raised on Radio (Number Four, 1986), and Greatest Hits (Number 10, 1988) sold over 10 million copies combined. Steve Perry also launched a successful side solo career and had a Number Three hit with 1984's "Oh Sherrie" from his double-platinum Street Talk (Number 12).

The group disbanded after Schon and Cain left in 1989 to join Cain's ex-Babys band mate John Waite in Bad English; in 1991 Valory and Rolie joined the Storm. Time3 peaked only at Number 90. In late 1993 the band, minus Perry, reunited at a Bay Area concert honoring Herbert. In 1994 Perry had a hit album with For the Love of Strange Medicine (Number 15, 1994) and a top single, "You Better Wait" (Number Six, 1994). However, he and Journey resumed activity in 1996, resulting in Trial by Fire (Number 47 pop). The single "When You Love a Woman" hit Number One on the Adult Contemporary chart. Perry departed again and was replaced by sound-alike Steve Augeri for "Remember Me," Journey's contribution to the 1998 Armageddon soundtrack. The group, which also sported a new drummer, released Arrival in early 2001.

This biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/journey/biography#ixzz2asVcNhp8 
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IN MEMEORY OF HIP HOP ARTIST, EYEDEA Tags: eyedea and abilities in memory of featured artist word life production

 

 Eyedea and Abilities is what you get when you combine the very best of two opposite ends of Hip-Hop's musical spectrum. On one end you have the M.C./Lyricist, Eyedea, who has proven himself time and time again not only as an extraordinary song writer, but also as a master at battling and the art of freestyling. On the other end you have Abilities, the D.J./Turntablist, who's talent from the battle, to the mix tape, to production has resonated on the underground for quite some time now. When you put these two extremes together, you get the new, innovative and exciting dynamic we like to call E&A.

Between the years of 1997 and 2001, E&A completely conquered the competitive circuit. (Winning national and regional battles such as: Scribble Jam ?99, RockSteady 2000, Blaze-Battle Chicago 2000, HBO Televised Blaze-Battle World Championship New York 2000, ?99 DMC Regional, 2001 DMC Regional, and many more!) During this time E&A was also laying groundwork and establishing a fan base for themselves with Rhymesayers labelmates Atmosphere by doing self promoted U.S.. tours, traveling state to state selling their product hand to hand. Since then they have established themselves as a phenomenal live act, having performed with everyone from De La Soul to The Roots, to American Head Charge. (As well as doing full blown tours with artists such as: Prince Paul, Aceyalone, Cannibal Ox, Living Legends and more.)

Lauded as one of URB Magazines Next 100, Eyedea and Abilities dropped their first full length album entitled First Born in the Fall of 2001. This conceptual masterpiece caught many fans off guard, as they expected a more battle oriented approach to the songs. But as unexpected as it was, First Born proved that a powerful battle M.C. and Turntabilist could create a clever and cohesive concept album.

 

"...you can?t argue with the musically inventive use of samples here or the range of subject matter covered. The record carries real emotional weight because of the subjects dealt with and that?s still all too rare in Hip Hop." (5 out of 5 - Will Ashon/Muzik Issue #77 10/01)

"...First Born is a decidedly indie-style Hip Hop album full of intricate wordplay, austere beat science and headey lyrical content. Those expecting slice and dice battle techniques from Eyedea or Abilities will probably be disappointed, as First born is dominated by Eyedea?s introspective, angst-y lyrics and Abilities? equally moody sound structures, all late-night jazz flourishes and towering drum loops...this is Hip Hop as therapy session-freudian funk for distressed heads." (3.5 out of 5 - Michael Endelman/URB Issue #88 10/01)

A little less than a year later, Eyedea released a self-produced, completely self-contained full-length c.d. titled The Many faces of Oliver Hart or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. This helped showcase Eyedea?s skills as a producer, as well as give people one more reason to consider him one of the best song writers out there.

"...Any review would be remiss, however, if it did not mention the breath taking "Bottle Dreams," seriously one of the most profound songs in hip-hop history. With a laid back, compassionate delivery, Eyedea tells a tale of a young violin prodigy, sexually abused by her widower father. She keeps her horrible secret bottled inside, but finds expression through writing in her diary. Finally, one day she decides to end her life, and what the police find with her body at the bottom of the lake will give you goose bumps if you are human...Eyedea?s ability to make a chilling song like this truly separates him from other emcees." (Review from Hip-Hop Infinity.com)

In the past year or so,in addition to doing numerous side-projects (including Abilities performing all the scratches for El-p?s critically acclaimed Fantastic Damage, pairing up with I Self Divine of The Micranots to create the group Semi. Offical and Eyedea?s Oliver Hart projects.), E&A have developed an aesthetic that will completely set them apart from the rest. The way they play off of each other as M.C. and D.J.(or more fittingly, as Lyricist and Turntablist) both live and on record, has been compared to the call and response type solos exhibited by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. They have completely meshed the worlds of the turntables and the microphone. Sometimes the very structure of Eyedea?s flow is based off of the rhythm of a scratch, and vise versa. This is hip hop at the threshold of complexity. One M.C. and one D.J. both shining as the soloist, back and forth and at the same time. With their new album E&A, Eyedea & Abilities have not only grown and settled into their own but have found a way to bridge their battle driven Hip Hop beginnings with their desire to be thought provoking creative artists.

 

 

 


 

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