Last night I hit my favorite Harlem Restaurant...Melba's on 114th Street to check out a 50th Birthday Party for recording artist Freddie Jackson....for the oh..5-6 people who DON'T know who Freddie is...lol...he's the artist that recorded the hit songs "Jam Tonight", "Tasty Love" and one of the greatest wedding songs of all time..."You Are My Lady". I felt really special because this was the second time in a week that our paths were crossing again....I had just run into him at the African American Literary Awards show last week at the Alhambra Ballroom.
I had a taxi drop me off in front of the restaurant at around 8pm and it was beautifully set up! As I walked up the red carpet strewn with rose petals...I was greeted by a very handsome door person who checked my name off the guest list and held the door for me as I entered. Once inside I saw immediately that the place was packed to the rafters and a live band...led by the legendary Fred McFarlane (he produced Robin S.'s (hmmm...that doesn't look right...lol) big hit "Show Me Love" was THROWING DOWN!!!! I mean they were REALLY tight and the singers were great! The first person I ran into was Freddie's publicist...Irene Gandy, Cynthia Horner, Dedra Tate and then I spotted Freddie surrounded by a group of well wishers...He recognized me immediately and gave me a big hug and kiss and thanked me for coming...After that he kept giving me kisses each time I was near him! There was champagne at the bar and a new drink called "Nuovo" which is a sparkling Vodka...with some fruity notes to it....It reminds me of prosecco...except it's vodka...and it's very tasty to boot! You gotta be careful with drinks like this...cuz it tastes SO fruity that you forget it's vodka and will look up and realize that you are DRUNK AS HELL!!!!
I worked my way around the room taking photos of the entire scene...drinks were flowing, artfully arranged trays of food including Spinach & Mozzarella Empanadas, were coming around the room (The grilled shrimp on bamboo skewers set up in what appeared to be lemongrass to me was the coolest thing in the world to me...lol!) and folks were just having a great time! Each time I looked up someone familiar was coming through the door! I ran into a vocalist that I remember from my Sweetwater's days (Dang!) recording artist M'Lisa Morgan, Songwriting & performing legends Ashford & Simpson...who were kind enough to take a photo with me! Also in attendance was Lou Myers (from "A Different World" and most recently Lackawanna Blues). Freddie comes from a large family and has quite a few siblings and they were all in attendance..including one sister who has been my neighbor for YEARS! We had never formally met until this night but we used to chat on the bus all the time because we admired each other's style....small world ain't it?
A representative for the Manhattan Borough president presented Freddie with a proclamation and a big ol speech...lol. He was very moved by the gesture...he gave a wonderful thank you to his friends, family, various guests and to the hostess...Melba Wilson...who hosted the event for the evening as a birthday gift to Freddie...hmmm...we should ALL have friends who are so loving and giving..lol. As the band finally took a break...I checked out the birthday cake and signed the poster in the vestibule as I said my goodbyes and headed out to hook up with a friend...as I waited for her to arrive...I caught a glimpse of one of my FAVORITE Broadway actor/singers....Victor Trent Cook! I first fell in love with Victor when I saw him in Smokey Joe's Cafe on Broadway! I thought he was awesome on stage and even better in Three Mo' Tenors....The man is talented ya'll!! After I star tripped for a moment at the sight of him....he was gracious enough to take a picture with me...Mr man has been at the gym on the regular because...BOYFRIEND LOOKED GOOD YA'LL!!!
As we finished chatting...I saw my friend arriving and we headed into the Marcus Garvey Park section of Harlem to visit a friend...this in itself was quite the adventure because...I WOUND UP HAVING TO CROSS OVER A ROOF TO GET TO THE FRIEND'S HOUSE!!! (Picture my big ass on a rooftop in Harlem at like 10pm at night...WTF???).
I will leave it at that.
"You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through."