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‘TAVIS SMILEY’ PREPARES FOR SEASON 6 December 23, 2008

 

Tavis Smiley kicks off the sixth season of his late night PBS talk show on Monday, January 5, with two-time Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.

 

       Other guests booked during the first two weeks include founder Berry Gordy (Jan. 9), Notorious B.I.G.s mother Voletta Wallace with actor Jamal Woolard (Jan. 14) and Lionel Richie (Jan. 16).      

       On Jan. 20, Smiley will broadcast an Inauguration-Day special featuring highlights from President-Elect Barack Obama’s six appearances on the “Tavis Smiley” show, including his first in March 2004 – four months prior to the rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention that catapulted Obama to the national stage, and only three months into the first season of “Tavis Smiley” on PBS.      

       “We are living through exciting and challenging times,” says Smiley.  “I am so grateful for the continuing opportunity to help advance those conversations that help us stay enlightened, encouraged and empowered.”         

       Additional guests during the first two weeks of the sixth season include Marisa Tomei (Jan. 6), “24’s” Carlos Bernard (Jan. 7), “Frost/Nixon” director  Ron Howard with actor Frank Langella (Jan. 8), “The Mentalist” star Simon Baker, actress Emma Thompson and actor Eric Braeden (Jan. 13), job training expert and author Bill Strickland, author Ben Barber and country star Glen Campbell (Jan. 15).      

       “This is a terrific all-star line up,” says executive producer Neal Kendall. “We’ve challenged ourselves and our viewers. The message is clear: ‘Expect More.’ Our goal is to make our sixth season on PBS the best ever. The range of issues discussed, the wide cross-section of political viewpoints, the in-depth conversations with people we rarely get to hear from – all of these factors contribute to our ability to provide an unmatched viewer experience in the late night TV talk genre.”       

       Additional plans during season six include special remote broadcasts that will be announced early next year.

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Tavis on NBC; Tribbett’s ‘Stand’; ‘Cadillac Records poster’; MiJac rejects Vegas gig; Beyonce’s cooking November 4, 2008

 

Tavis Smiley will join the NBC News election coverage team on the “Today Show tomorrow morning to discuss the voting results. The host of the PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” has established his program as a popular destination for political figures from both sides of the aisle.  Last year, Smiley moderated the two PBS All American Presidential Forums during the primary season featuring the Democratic and Republican candidates.        

       *”Stand Out Live,” the new full-length concert DVD from gospel singer/songwriter/performer Tye Tribbett and his gospel ensemble, G.A. (Greater Anointing), is due for release today via Columbia. Recorded live at Rock Church International in Virginia Beach on Aug. 17, 2007, “Stand Out Live” showcases a variety of high-energy musical testimonies, each written or co-written by Tribbett, including “Stand Out,” “Hold On,” “Bless The Lord (Son Of Man),” and “I Need You.” Bonus features include “Meet The Tribbetts,” “Meet SoundCheck” (Tye’s production entity), the fabled “Beach Party Concert,” a behind-the-scenes section, Tye’s “Stand Out: The Message” mission statement, and the “Good In The Hood” music video.

 

       *ComingSoon.net has a first look at the new poster for “Cadillac Records,” [view here] opening in theaters on Dec. 5. Written and directed by Darnell Martin, the drama stars Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé Knowles, Gabrielle Union, Columbus Short, Cedric the Entertainer, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Eamonn Walker and Mos Def in the story of Chess Records and its recording artists. In this tale of sex, violence, race and rock and roll in Chicago of the 1950s and 60s, the film follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America’s greatest musical legends.

 

      *TMZ.com is reporting that Michael Jackson has turned down an offer from Las Vegas hotel mogul Steve Wynn to perform this December at the opening of Steve Wynn Encore tower, a $2 billion project that adds a tower next to his Wynn hotel. The Web site also reported that Jackson has been recording at the Palms studios in Vegas. On Friday, Michael denied his brother Jermaine’s statement that he is involved in a Jackson family reunion tour.

 

      *Beyonce is about to spend her first Thanksgiving as a married woman, but the thought of being responsible for the turkey dinner has her a bit shaken. “I like the idea of being able to cook but I just can’t do it,” the singer and wife of Jay-Z told WENN. “I have to call my mom and she has to be on the phone the whole time because I’m burning stuff.”

 

TAVIS SMILEY’S ‘BEST’ BRINGS OUT BEST IN OTHERS October 20, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:37 pm
Tags: ,

Heralded as one of America’s most celebrated and respected media personalities, Tavis Smiley is a voice that many recognize.

      As the first American to have a show on both public television (PBS) and public radio (PRI) and a regular on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” Smiley reaches millions.

      Additionally, the talk host has authored nine books, including “Keeping the Faith,” “The Covenant with Black America,” and his “On Air” series, of which Smiley recently added his third and final installment in “On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2004-2008.”

     “For the 12 years that I spent with Tom doing commentary as his resident contributor, there were two books that have come out previously. The first book, called ‘On Air: Volume 1’, covered the first four years of my commentaries, so that book had the best of my work over those first four years. The second book, ‘On Air: Volume 2’, which encompassed some of the best of my work over the second four years. This third iteration is a 4-CD box set. We thought we’d switch it up a little bit and give people the opportunity to hear us in real time in a box set called ‘On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2004-2008’.”

      Smiley describes this collector’s edition as “some of the best stuff over the past four years” from his work on the “Tom Joyner Show.” Smiley signed off from the hit syndicated radio show under controversial circumstances. Smiley cites that his busy schedule – hosting two talk shows, leading a couple of non-profit foundations, and coordinating and moderating his annual town hall meeting called “The State of Black America” – just to name a few. Joyner, however mentioned the backlash Smiley was getting for his criticism of Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

      Nevertheless, “On Air” for 2004-2008 features Smiley’s thought-provoking, hard-hitting brand of truth and commentary that has enlightened and empowered.

      “It really does include some of our best stuff from the last four years, and my, what a four years they were,” Smiley said. “You basically have the second four years of the Bush Administration and what that’s meant for this country and for the world, and for the economy, and for our politics. There are political issues, there are social issues, cultural issues, there are economic issues, there are sports are issues, there are arts and business issues. All the kinds of stuff that I talked about over that four-year period, this really is a snapshot, certainly of black folk, of what it was like to live in America over these tumultuous four years.”

      The previous four years, as Smiley insists, certainly have a grand amount of topics and issues. The challenge for the seasoned social pundit was selecting what broadcasts would make it on to the collections and which would not.

      “Over the course of my tenure with Tom Joyner, I did about 1200 commentaries – that’s a whole lot of talking – roughly over the course of the 12 years. As is the case in the business we are in, some days there are an abundance of riches. Some days there are all kinds of things in the news that you want to talk about and you have to make the difficult choice of which one is going to get on the air; which one are you going to spend your time talking about,” Smiley said.

      Smiley said that he has learned in his career that you can’t attempt to run with three, four, or five ideas in one commentary.

      “You want to have a singular focus that they can stay attached and attuned to,” he said. “Here’s what I’ve discovered, my decision about what to talk about had a lot to do with what I thought this massive audience was least likely to hear if I didn’t talk about it. My point of view was trying to share something with the audience that they had no idea about was going on in the world. My thing was, of all the things I have in front of me, what is the thing that they are most likely not to hear, if they don’t hear it from me. Other stuff they’re going to get a thousand other places, so I tried to be picky, particular, and peculiar about giving them stuff that they were not going to get anywhere else. That basically, was the overarching reason I chose most of the topics I chose that are represented on this box set.”

      Smiley admitted that, in addition to sometimes having to weed through a plethora of topics and issues before going on air, most of the time he stepped to the microphone with very little scripted information. Smiley attributes his ability to host a show or speak intelligently on a subject to his years of practice and experience.

      “I have never operated best from a script,” he said. “I will stand up and give a lecture from 40 minutes to an hour without a single note. With out a single note I like to be organic, that is to say, I want to be present in that moment. I want to give the audience whatever is on my mind, whatever is on my heart, whatever is happening in the world on that particular day. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, so I’m well trained at it, I’m well-versed in it. After doing it so long and knowing what’s on your heart and knowing how to express yourself and as much reading I do, and research I do, I can pretty much stand up and you can give me the subject matter and I’ll have something to say that I hope is empowering to the audience.”

      Smiley told EUR’s Lee Bailey that he has always been opinionated. His career in policy and advocacy began when he was an aide to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. In the early ’90s, Smiley made an unsuccessful bid for LA City Council, but when one door closed, another opened and he took to the Los Angles airwaves with one-minute daily radio segments. But in addition to being opinionated, Smiley added that within his career, as well as everyone’s, it’s important to be prepared.

      “If you have been blessed with a skill, you start with your ability. Then if you prepare yourself, you’d be amazed what you can pull off,” he said modestly explaining how he needs no script. “Because I’ve practiced and prepared myself, I came to the studio with something to say. Once the microphone came on, it just came together.”

      Smiley’s talent on the mic is hardly his proudest accomplishment, however. The talk show host said that he is most proud of the accomplishments of his listeners.

      “Probably one of the proudest accomplishments and achievements of being on ‘Tom’ for all that time – was all the work we got done. This was not just about me coming on the radio and running my mouth. My commentary was me trying to make a difference.”

       Smiley mentioned his lead in the drive to get Rosa Parks honored with a Congressional Gold Medal, to his work in moving slave items from a Christies’ auction to an African American museum just to name a few.

      “The commentaries that mean the most are commentaries that got people involved and engaged,” he said. “There’s a lot of good that was done. It was not just about talking the talk, but walking the walk. I had the audience of millions of people to thank for that. This 4-CD box set is not just a celebration of my words, but of their work.”

      “On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2004-2008” is in stores now. For more on Tavis Smiley and “The Tavis Smiley Show,” visit www.tavistalks.com or www.pbs.org.

     “On Air” retails for $23.95. Smiley is currently on a promotional through Walmart stores around the country. Dates and locations are listed below:

Walmart
Thursday, October 23, 2008
4545 Lafayette Rd.
Indianapolis, IN  46254
5pm-7pm
 
Walmart
Friday, October 24, 2008
9350 Cortana Pl.
Baton Rouge, LA 70818
12:30pm-2:30pm
 
Walmart
Saturday, October 25, 2008
4800 US 287 Highway
Fort Worth, TX  76011
12:30pm-2:30pm
 
Walmart
Sunday, October 26, 2008
621 Uptown Blvd 75104
Dallas, TX
3pm-5pm

 

TAVIS SMILEY SELLS ‘JOYNER SHOW’ COMMENTARIES October 18, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 4:00 pm
Tags: ,

Tavis Smiley is releasing a four-CD collection of his most memorable commentaries made during his four-year run on Tom Joyner’s nationally-syndicated radio program.       

       Released this week from SmileyBooks, “ON AIR: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2004–2008” comes with a booklet featuring color photographs that capture the essence of Smiley and the Tom Joyner Morning Show, memorable moments, reflections from well-known fans of the show, and the text of Smiley’s last commentary.      

       During the commentary for his final show on June 26, 2008, Smiley explained: “My role has been one of challenging us to re-examine the assumptions we hold, helping us to expand our inventory of ideas, and hopefully empowering us with information that can help us live better lives.”

       “ON AIR” retails for $23.95. Smiley is currently on a promotional through Walmart stores around the country. Dates and locations are listed below:

Walmart
Friday, October 17, 2008
4005 West 167th St.
Chicago, IL  60478
6pm-8pm
 
Walmart
Saturday, October 18, 2008
3580 Memorial Dr. 
Atlanta, GA 30032
12:30pm-2:30pm
 
Walmart
Sunday, October 19, 2008
2727 Dunvale Rd.
Houston TX 77063
3pm-5pm
 
Walmart
Thursday, October 23, 2008
4545 Lafayette Rd.
Indianapolis, IN  46254
5pm-7pm
 
Walmart
Friday, October 24, 2008
9350 Cortana Pl.
Baton Rouge, LA 70818
12:30pm-2:30pm
 
Walmart
Saturday, October 25, 2008
4800 US 287 Highway
Fort Worth, TX  76011
12:30pm-2:30pm
 
Walmart
Sunday, October 26, 2008
621 Uptown Blvd 75104
Dallas, TX
3pm-5pm

 

TAVIS SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT October 9, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:44 pm
Tags: ,

      Of course, the main thing Mo’Kelly and most EUR readers want to know is why he left the Tom Joyner morning show.

 

      Specifically, Mo’Kelly went to the heart of the matter and asked if it was due to the pressure he received from listeners in response to his critique of Barack Obama and whether or not he is a supporter of the Democratic nominee? 

 

      When  asked directly if he left the Tom Joyner show for any reason having to do with Barack Obama, Tavis replied:

 

      “I left Tom Joyner because I had been there for 12 years … and I wanted to do some other stuff.”

 

      Smiley also pointed out that his intentions were to leave the show after 10 years, but with the unexpected success of his book “The Covenant with Black America,” he believed the timing was not right to leave at the end of the 10 year mark.

 

      The radio and TV talk show host also stated that it was Tom Joyner himself that went on air and publicly suggested the reason for Smiley’s departure was due to the “hate” he received from Obama supporters over his commentary on Barack. Smiley once again confirmed that the criticism he got over his Obama comments had no bearing on his final decision, but rather he left to explore new ideas and ventures, and also to give others the chance to be heard.

 

      Bloggers and pundits alike also questioned whether or not Tavis endorsed Hillary Clinton. Mo’Kelly asked Smiley whether or not he endorsed Clinton, Smiley responded by saying:

 

      “Given the role that I play on public television and public radio … the public deserves from me fair and balanced commentary. Because of this reason I do not endorse candidates.”

 

      Smiley went on to state that his job is to hold all officials accountable about their politics. He also confirmed that he and Barack have a good relationship, and despite the differences in opinion they have a mutual respect for one another.  

 

      On another note, one of the projects that Smiley has been working on since his departure from the Tom Joyner show is a compilation of some of his commentaries called “On Air: The best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner morning show 2004-2008.” It’s a 4 CD set documenting some of Tavis’s most memorable commentaries. One that I found very interesting was the commentary he provided after the atrocities of Hurricane Katrina. He really captured the sentiment that not only Black Americans, but most Americans felt at the time. 

      Whether you agree with him or not, Tavis continues to remain at the forefront in the struggle for equality for Black Americans. Through his books, radio, or television programs, Smiley continues to pose the questions to all politicians and activist alike: “How are you going to help black people? Tavis unashamedly comes from the paradigm that a boost to Black America is a boost to all Americans and there is noting wrong with that.

 

      To hear the interview in its entirety click here.