*Even though I was a young teen during the disco era, there was one voice that impressed me unlike no other – Evelyn Champagne King. A budding teen herself, King became the belle of the ball with hit tracks like the iconic “Shame,” Love Come Down,” and “I’m in Love.”

After a run on the charts that resulted in over 10 million singles and albums sold around the world, it was a wrap for the Bronx native who then took a 10-year break from active recording. Returning to the scene in 2008 with a new album, “Open Book,” King is also the subject of an upcoming edition of “Unsung” on TV One.

The Robertson Treatment recently caught up with the talented singer to talk about her career and to find out what she thinks of modern day divas.

Robertson Treatment: How do you feel about being honored as the subject of an Unsung special?

Evelyn Champagne King: I am glad to share some of my world with the fans because they only see the glamour side of the business and the artist whom they love. But in retrospect, we have so many stories to be told, both on and off the stage.  And there are so many family tragedies. So I’m quite honored to be a part of Unsung.

RTSC:  You were a major star of the disco/dance music era.  What might fans be surprised to know about the  Evelyn Champagne King of that period?

ECK: Well, I was glad to be thought of, at that time, as a major artist, not a star.  Yet, I have always just been myself, sharing the love of music that was instilled in me. I want the fans to know that Ive never given up on them. I’ve gone through some ups and downs but still maintained the voice and talent they have always expected of me. Even growing up on the road as a young lady at that time, I remained true to being myself.

RTSC: Please talk about how you continue to maintain a career in the music business today?

ECK: I have obviously noticed the changes in the music business, but I am still continuing the legacy of real singing and performing for my fans. To put it as gracefully as I can, I still entertain them from my heart and remain a Sophisticated Lady.

RTSC: When you were creating those songs, did it occur to you that you would be making music that would span decades?  How does it make you feel that your music even today moves people?

ECK: The songs you are referring to, which put me on the map such as Shame, Love Come Down, and I’m In Love, were not written or created by me at the time. But knowing the vision that the producers and songwriters had, I guess I was the one to bring it on! And the end results, yes, I am still in awe of how much the songs are still making a statement, be it dancing to them, loving to them, and singing to them. I am humbled still today!

RTSC: What are your thoughts about the new generation of R&B/Soul singers?  Do you think they have it easier or harder than when you were starting out in your career?

ECK: I first want to say I do think even those before me had it hard. And today, I notice that that they are a lot more business savvy, which is a good thing. Some are still doing things that they think will create a legacy. Some feel they have to exploit themselves to get their points across in music. I am still wondering whatever happened to clean lyrics, true love songs, and class. But they will all get better with time I hope.

RTSC:  So what can fans expect next from you?

ECK: My fans can expect more from Evelyn when the time is right again. Until then, I will continue to give my all to my loving and devoted fans.

Gil Robertson IV

 

BEST BETS – THEATRE

Fool For Love

Kenny Leon directs and stars (opposite Jasmine Guy), in the latest incarnation of this classic production by playwright Sam Shepherd. When the play opens we find that May (Guy) is ill at ease as she hides out in a seedy motel from an old lover Eddie (Leon).  After he finds her, the two takes us on a journey of their dysfunctional relationship, which defines rhyme or reason, but that’s the point. As madly as they are in love, both know that a life together is not in the cards regardless of their obsession.

Wonderfully acted by both Guy and Leon, “Fool for Love” will be in residence at Atlanta’s Balzer Theatre, through June 14th. For ticket information visit: www.truecolorstheatre.org.

Grade: B.


AUTOMOTIVE SPIN

2011 Lacrosse CXL

The 2011 Lacrosse is a ride that has confidence, without attitude. Sleek, roomy and nimble, the 2011 Lacrosse is the right car for every occasion.  As the flagship ride for Buick, the Lacrosse has the right stuff to compete with Lexus, Acura and other vehicles in its class.

Wow Factor:  The Lacrosse is a great looking, high performing and well-priced ride. In other words it’s the complete package and for that it deserves a great big wow!

Ride:  With a 2.4L, 4CYL engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, the 2011 Lacrosse delivers the right amount energy for a number of driving tasks. Its superior on the road handling is supported by a solid front and rear suspension system and electronic power steering. Another plus, is the Driver Information Center with Compass and Trip Computer that is a great asset for long road trips.

Comfort:  The Lacrosse’s roomy interior allowed me to slip behind the steering wheel with sureness and ease.  My driving experience also benefited a great quality enhancement called the driver Confidence Package that included a side blind zone alert; xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps and heads up display.  I was also impressed with the ample storage space that greatly boost my range of driving options.

Spin Control:  With a base price starting at $29,000.00 and a EPA rating of 19mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway, the 2011 Lacrosse is a good investment that should have great appeal for drivers across several demos.  I confidently expect that you will see a lot of these rides on the road.

Grade:  B+

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