All posts by Larry Buford

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer, and author of Book/CD titled "Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand" (Steuben Pub.) He writes Human Interest articles and entertainment reviews for various newspapers across the country. He is also an editor, and provides services for press releases, interviews, business letters, resumes, etc. A native Detroiter, he is a former Motown songwriter.
phylecia wilson

City of Detroit Media Producers Up For Emmy

Phylecia Wilson

Phylecia Wilson

*Two City of Detroit media producers have been nominated for the Emmy Award in the category of Historic/Cultural – Program Special.

Phylecia Wilson and cohort Sanders ‘Skip’ Bryant IV will compete against each other in the same category – Wilson for The Style of Motown, and Bryant for Going Back to Motown both of which were telecast locally on Comcast Channel 10.

To qualify, entrants must have had their first broadcast, cablecast or webcast in the Michigan Region during the eligibility period – January 1st to December 31st of the preceding year. All entries must be submitted as originally telecast or webcast without any post-telecast production changes.

The Michigan Emmy Awards is a chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (MI-NATAS). The Southfield, Michigan division was founded in 1980. In addition to granting the Michigan Emmy Awards, the division awards scholarships, honors industry veterans at the Silver Circle Celebration, conducts National Student Television Awards of Excellence, and offers a free research and nationwide job bank. The chapter also participates in judging Emmy entries at the regional and national levels.

Michigan’s 37th Emmy Gala – sponsored by Art Van Furniture and World of Floors – will take place Saturday, June 13th at the Motor City Casino Sound Board Theater. See details at

Upon hearing the news Wilson said “I am so excited…I have been rehearsing my acceptance speech for something like this for years! When I was a little girl I used to practice in the mirror.”

Claudette Robinson – an original member of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles said after viewing the programs, “Fantastic!! I love it! Good luck to Phylecia and Sanders.”

Speaking of miracles, Wilson (Videographer) graduated from Specs Howard School of Media Arts in 2014; she just celebrated her first-year anniversary of employment with the City of Detroit in April 2015; and already is up for a prestigious award. She says, “I worked my way into the industry back in 2002, with the uncertainty of how far this career could go. Throughout this journey God has consistently assured me that this is my purpose and the sky is the limit. I’m thankful for all my mentors that have guided me along the way. This is truly a dream come true. If you can see it you can achieve it.”

Sanders 'Skip' Bryant

Sanders ‘Skip’ Bryant

This is Bryant’s fourth nomination one of which is for his production of a tribute to Detroit’s former mayor Dave Bing. His many other creative projects include: Coca-Cola promotional van design; Tyler Perry & TD Jakes “Woman Thou Art Loosed” Scenic Art; “Diddy’s House” Sean “Diddy” Combs Super Bowl XL Party; Mary J. Blige ‘07 Tour; Jaime Fox ‘07 Tour; LL Cool J ‘10 Tour; and David E. Talbert’s Baggage Claim cover design. Says Bryant, “I’ve worked really hard to get here, but I feel extremely blessed to have had God in my life and great role models and the support that have helped me get to this point. I’m very, very grateful.”

To see both videos please click on the links:

‘D-Style Ep. 1 – The Style of Motown’–w

‘Going Back To Motown’

The title track to ‘Going Back To Motown’ is performed by Scherrie Payne (formerly of The Supremes).

bill duke & ron brewington

Watch Bill Duke on ‘Actor’s Reporter’ with Host Ron Brewington

Bill Duke (L) and Ron Brewington

Bill Duke (L) and Ron Brewington

*Actor Bill Duke – a staple in the Hollywood community – appeared Wednesday May 13 on “Actor’s Reporter” with host Ron Brewington.

Shaven headed, imposing looking African American actor, director, producer and writer Bill Duke received his dramatic arts training at Boston University, New York University’s Tisch School of Arts and at the American Film Institute.

Bill first broke into TV in the early eighties directing episodes of well-known TV shows including Miami Vice (1984), Cagney & Lacey (1981) and Hill Street Blues (1981). Additionally he directed several made for TV movies that received wide critical acclaim including American Playhouse (1981) (The Killing Floor) and American Playhouse: A Raisin in the Sun (1989).

Big Bill Duke’s face then became known to movie goers following his appearance in several high octane action movies of the mid 1980s including fighting (and losing) to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando (1985), as unlucky mercenary “Mac”, in Predator (1987) and as Carl Weathers fiery police chief in Action Jackson (1988). After cutting his directorial teeth on the small screen, Duke directed his first feature film with the crime drama, A Rage in Harlem (1991).

Duke (R) on the set of Commando

Duke (R) on the set of Predator

This was followed by another impressive crime film Deep Cover (1992), then the, The Cemetery Club (1993), and the comedy sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).

Bill Duke has since continued to divide his time between appearing both in front of the camera and behind it, and remains a dynamic, stimulating and creative talent in Hollywood.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Wendy Gladney

Wendy Gladney: ‘Where Do We Go From Here?

Wendy Gladney

Wendy Gladney

My heart continues to be heavy with all of the pain from what is happening in the world today.  As I sit and ponder the situation with young Black men being hurt or murdered it troubles my soul.  When I talk to Black men among my family and friends, just about all of them have experienced some level of misconduct in their lifetime, no matter what their age, at the hands of a white police officer.  All I can ask is where do we go from here?

Of course in asking this question, I am drawn to Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech that asks the same question.  When I read his speech it made me think to answer the question of where we go from here, we must understand where we are now.  Part of the systemic problem is when we look at the formulation of our country going back to the Constitution, the “Negro” was only seen as 60 percent of a human being. So from the start we were not recognized as whole or equal.  Oftentimes what is perceived as not equal is usually not valued.  Throughout generations there’s evidence that we have not been valued and our lives are disposable.

For those that follow my writings, I don’t often write about these issues in this way, but I feel that none of us can remain silent on what is happening.  We must let our voices be heard. When I look at history the population of the African American race continues to decline and part of that statistic is due to the reckless killings of Black men at the hands of white police officers.  Throughout time there have been different measures used to control or eliminate the Black race, specifically the Black man.  During slavery the white master or overseer used whippings and beatings as a form of domination and control.  Lynching Black men was used as a form of extermination.  Today we have straight out annihilation with gun violence at the hand of white police officers towards Black men.

What causes this problem?  Do white men consciously or unconsciously fear Black men and therefore feel threatened causing them to act in the way they do?  When I’ve talked to some of my white friends and family about this problem and what they think, I’ve been told by some if they are honest, fear is part of the equation due to what they see in the media and what they’ve been told or taught by their family members. Therefore, they make judgments based on this information.   How do we break this negative chain so that it doesn’t continue with generations to come?  What type of dialogue and conversation needs to take place to stop this form of prejudice and violence?  What actions or measures need to be put in place for justice to prevail?

I am a child of the Civil Rights Era.  I was born in 1961 and I feel that we are back to square one as it relates to race relations.  We must learn how to interact with one another if we hope for a change to come. Discussions must also include issues around the subject of poverty, jobs, education, and housing just to name a few for healing to begin.  I received a quote from my son Freddie that said, “Forgiveness doesn’t erase the past, but it can bring hope for the future.” We must all be willing to take this journey.

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit and  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at [email protected]. Wendy is featured on Los Angeles’ Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.

amtrack (philadelphia 2015) wreckage

Amtrak Crash Caused by Negligent Speed Control

amtrack (philadelphia 2015) wreckage

*WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Yesterday’s 100-mph (in a 50-mph zone) Amtrak crash, like the 2013 82-mph (in a 30-mph zone) commuter train crash, was caused by negligence in failing to have effective speed control systems – not necessarily the Positive Train Control [PTC] which Congress mandated by 2016 – says an MIT-educated engineer-inventor turned law professor.

The Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) Speedline has used Automatic Train Control (ATC) technology, which prevents a train from exceeding the speed limit at any given portion of its tracks, since 1970.

But it’s a complicated and expensive system which utilizes devices along sections of the tracks which transmit “cab codes” to antennas on the bottoms of train cars.  Although it’s sophisticated enough to permit varying the top speed depending on a variety of factors including how close the train is to a track switch, something much simpler would have prevented these two horrible crashes.

amtrack wreckage

“Automobile drivers, for less than $100,  can purchase simple GPS-based navigation devices which tell them not only what road they are on, but also shows their current speed in different colors depending upon whether they are exceeding the designated speed limit for that section of road. Surely the same technology could be easily and inexpensively employed to prohibit a train from exceeding the speed limit on designated sections of tracks, and especially around sharp curves,” says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, noting that it’s easier to tell a train’s precise location and speed since it can go only on designated rails.

Banzhaf went on to say, “Today we have devices which can not only automatically control the speed of trucks, but can actually permit them to be driven on highways without the need for human drivers.  Similar devices could be used to control (or at least limit) the speed of trains.” He also pointed out that they could be far less sophisticated because they do not have to allow for highway lane changes, drivers who suddenly cut in front of trucks and other problems which occur on highways but not on train tracks.

Banzhaf added, “The fact that Congress has apparently given the railroads until the end of this year to install PTC does not mean that Amtrak isn’t negligent for failing to have it in place on this busy rail corridor now.  It’s reasonably well established that federal law sets only minimum standards, and that juries can still find that a defendant who did not violate a federal standard is nevertheless negligent or otherwise at fault, based upon the risks of an accident compared with the costs of preventing it.”

Trucks use computerized devices to control their speeds, even though the process is far more complicated than with trains, and a much smaller number of people are likely to be injured than when a truck – as compared with a large railroad train – travels at an unsafe speed.

Banzhaf also pointed out that many railroads claim they cannot meet the federal PTC standard by the end of 2015, and will probably seek an extension until at least 2020.  But installing a simpler GPS system, like the kind already used in trucks and even on passenger cars, would be much less expensive, and would prevent these high-speed derailment problems.

John Banzhaf

John Banzhaf

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D. Professor of Public Interest Law George Washington University Law School, FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor, Fellow, World Technology Network, Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) 2000 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20052, USA (202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418 @profbanzhaf

mommy are you listening1

New Book is Great Mother’s Day Gift: ‘Mommy, Are You Listening???’

mommy are you listening

*Detroit, MI –  Leep4Joy Books has great resource for moms. Author, Patrice Lee, has released another great resource, but, this one is a must-read for moms and grandmothers raising children. It’s titled “Mommy, Are You Listening???

The good news is you don’t have to be stressed if you follow her 5 step plan, and Lee keeps moms engaged with words of wisdom from ten wonderful moms.

“A delightful book for mommies with much needed, Bible-based advice.  This, mixed with thought provoking “tweets” about what the babies and children could be thinking on their journey from infancy to adulthood, makes for a very delightful and good read.” Delores “Mom” Winans

“Mommy …Are You Listening???” is available on, here.

Lee remains committed to bringing families together to save lives, using her platform to speak to children, parents, and teens via workshops, classroom and anti-bully assemblies. Read more of her amazing books (some materials in Spanish).

Leep4Joy Company Overview:

Leep4joy Books offers books and resources, and conducts workshops for parents, children and youth worldwide making a positive difference in the lives of youth globally, offering faith, hope, healing and love.


Contact: Leep4Joy Books at 248.613.5628, E-mail: [email protected]

ron brewington lester & willie

Comedian/Ventriloquist Willie Tyler & Lester on ActorsE Chat with Ron Brewington

Ron Brewington, Lester, Willie Tyler

Ron Brewington (L) interviews Lester (center) and Willie Tyler

*(Hollywood, CA) –  Legendary ventriloquist Willie Tyler and his partner from the “wood” Lester appeared live on ActorsE Chat, Friday, April 24th with host Ron Brewington.

It’s a wonderful interview as Tyler tells how he got his first big break with Motown Records in the 1960’s. The anecdotes fly as Lester responds when asked questions like if he smokes; or gives an account of his offer to join the group Earth Wind & Fire – it’s hilarious!! I once met Tyler and could not resist asking “Where’s Lester?” He replied, “Oh he’s around here somewhere…chasing women!” He’s a funny guy!

Willie Tyler is an American ventriloquist, comedian and actor. He has appeared in many television commercials, sitcoms and movies. He got his first big TV break on the Merv Griffin Show. In 1972 he appeared many times on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in.

During the program, Tyler discusses:

  • His decision to become a ventriloquist.
  • Explaining the expression “throwing your voice.”
  • Performing in all kinds of venues – comedy clubs, colleges, Las Vegas hotels and corporate shows in 50 states doing what he loves best – making people laugh!
  • 1969 appearance on “Motown At The Hollywood Palace” with Diana Ross and The Supremes, Gladys Knight and The Pips, The Jackson Five and special guest Stevie Wonder.
  • Touring for 8 years as an emcee with Motown greats Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson &The Miracles, The Temptations and The Four Tops.
  • Working with greats Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lou Rawls, Dolly Parton, Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Mandrell and many others.
  • Still loving to perform after more than 40 years.
  • Discusses the future of ventriloquism.

Tyler was born in Red Level, Alabama, and raised in Southeast Detroit, Michigan. He attended Detroit’s Northeaster High School in the late 1950’s. He is the father of Tarince Tyler, and actor Cory Tyler.


ActorsE Chat is a live one-hour program that is seen Monday through Friday worldwide to over 6-million viewers. It has aired since 2009, and has had more than 1,400 guests. ActorsE Chat is a presentation of Pepper Jay Productions LLC / Actors Podcast Network