Folks, you couldn’t have picked a better day (his birthday) and location which happened to be across the street from the Chinese Theatre, for all this to take place.
Motown founder Berry Gordy, Walter and Scottie of the Whispers, the lovely Brenda Holloway, Ambassador Sidney Williams (who represented his wife the Honorable Maxine Waters) , producer Jesus Garber, L.A. city councilman Tom LaBonge, Mark Brown of KABC, and producer Tony Cornelius, were just a few of the many celebs who came out to pay tribute to this music giant.
I can recall many years ago when Barry performed a benefit concert for the West Coast National Youth Movement at the Shubert Theatre in Century City. I had never seen anything like it before.
This man had a forty two piece orchestra performing his original compositions of love songs with him either playing the piano and singing, or conducting as one would lead the philharmonic.
They called him “The Maestro” because that’s what he was indeed.
I mean, who could forget those songs from the library of smash back hits like “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything”, “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby”,”Never, Never Gonna Give You Up”, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe”, and one of my favorites, “Playing Your Love Game Baby.”
One of the unique things that Barry did was produce and record the trio of background singers that accompanied him on his various recordings, and concerts.
They were called The Love Unlimited and they were composed of Glodean James (who became his future wife), her sister Linda James, and the late Diane Taylor.
Glodean spoke eloquently at yesterdays event by saying that “His music will be with us forever and a day, past our lifetimes.”
There’s not enough words in anyone’s dictionary that could adequately describe Barry White.
He was a big man, and whatever he did was on a big level.
He touched so many lives with his music, and he will forever be with us.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to honor him with the 2506 th star on the Walk of Fame, a gesture that was long overdue.
A lavish reception was held afterwards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where a giant chocolate birthday cake was unveiled to honor him on his birthday.
He unfortunately left us on July 4 2003, but he left behind a beautiful volume of his recorded works that will always be here with us to comfort our souls.
May God’s peace and blessings continue to be upon him.
Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak, a portrait artist as well, can be contacted at [email protected] for your comments.