Reflections: The Feel-Good Couple of the Decade


There are couples who, with no special effort, just make you feel good because they radiate authentic happiness, a love that runs deep, and mutual pride.

To put it another way, they are crazy about each other. And you can’t imagine each partner ever being with anyone else.

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson are an example, so are Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and so were Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama always lift my spirits. This is a man and woman who are what love is all about. Even if being married or otherwise partnered is not something you desire, the Obamas are still an inspiration.

Also, I love them because they are such class acts, and they always take the high road, even when being attacked by racists (closet and overt), mean-spirited Republicans and others.

In the ’60s and ’70s, a popular catch phrase was “Black is beautiful.” Well, Barack and Michelle Obama add several new dimensions to it.

I am grateful and very proud.

SOME PEOPLE have issues with certain aspects of Tyler Perry’s hugely successful movies, but he sure has no problem luring major stars.  Among the biggest: Alfre Woodard, Louis Gossett Jr., Kathy Bates, Janet Jackson, Maya Angelou, Blair Underwood, Gladys Knight, Lynn Whitfield and Cicely Tyson.

Halle Berry, Angela Bassett and Jill Scott are among those signed up for Perry’s upcoming film adaptation of the celebrated stage production “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” (Bassett and Scott have worked with Perry before.

Interestingly,  at this time two of the top three best-selling gospel albums in the U.S. are by artists from Detroit: Vickie Winans (“How I Got Over”) and J Moss (“Just James”), numbers 2 and 3 respectively. No. 1 is “The Sound” by Mary Mary.

Coming soon: a two disc, 51-track set titled “The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection.”

MONTEZ MILLER, the Detroit based television and video producer, among her many other skills, celebrated “the big 5-0” recently at a well-attended black-tie affair at the Hilton Garden Inn.

One highlight of the birthday bash was a presentation by Ken Cockrel Jr., Detroit City Council president.

Congratulations, Montez! But how could you possibly be 50?

I asked Rosetta Hines (“The Rose”), a favorite on WJZZ for many years, who her favorite jazz artist is.

“My favorite all-time artist is John Coltrane,” she responded. “His music got me through some difficult times.” She described as “awesome” albums such as “A Love Supreme,” “My Favorite Things” and “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.”

Believe it or not, there is a rapper out there who calls himself “Guilty Simpson.”

THEY DON’T call Vickie Winans “the hardest working woman in gospel music” for nothing. She works 15 to 17 hours a day, but loves it.  Regarding being her own manager, Winans explained, “There’s nothing wrong with having managers, but my thing is this: If I can learn to manage myself, why would I give someone else 20 percent? It doesn’t make sense.”

Smokey Robinson sure was candid about the two years he was on drugs. “I was a walking corpse, totally out of it,” he said.

So what’s the deal with the national Dance Club chart? There is song on it by David Guetta titled “Sexy Bitch” and another by DJ Timbo titled “I’m a F–king Celebrity.”

It’s interesting how people get certain song titles wrong based on something that is said repeatedly in the song.

For example, the hit by Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s (featuring James Brown) is “Doing It To Death,” not “We’re Gonna Have a Funky Good Time.” The Impressions’ song is “We’re a Winner,” not “Movin’ On Up.” And James Brown’s “I Feel Good” is actually titled “I Got You (I Feel Good).”

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW ….that the Young Rascals’ classic high-energy 1967 hit “Good Lovin’” was originally recorded by the Olympics, two years earlier.

MEMORIES: “Free” (De­niece Williams), “Rockin’ Chair” (Gwen McCrae), “Let’s Straighten It Out” (Latimore), “Flowers” (the Emotions), “Valentine Love” (Norman Connors, featuring  Michael Henderson and Jean Carn), “Dial My Heart” (the Boys), “Turn Your Love Around” (George Benson), “Hey There Lonely Girl” (Eddie Holman), “Rub You the Right Way” (Johnny Gill), “If Only You Knew” (Patti LaBelle).

BLESSINGS to Doris A.D. Richardson, Fred Williams, Dale Rich, Yvonne Gullick, David Humphries, Delores Wyatt, Karen Dumas, Alex Alexander, Kelvyn Ventour, Ron Stevenson and Bruce Knight.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Alan Cohen: “Life never dies. It just changes forms.”

Let the music play!

(Steve Holsey can be reached at and P.O. Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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