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Merdies Hayes

Staff Writer

323-905-1300 Extension: 1331



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Chuck Berry taught world the meaning of rock ‘n roll

Legendary musician dies at 90

By now, all of the accolades and applause have been afforded to the late Chuck Berry. The man who more than any other musician put a stamp on rock ‘n roll music died last weekend at his Wentzville, Mo. home at age 90. Known for the classic hits “Maybellene, “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “School Days” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” Berry was America’s most influential rock ‘n roll singer/songwriter and left a legacy of musical influence that will likely never be repeated. On these and dozens more seminal recordings, Berry played clarion guitar riffs and a relentlessly rhythmic blend of blues and country music to define the rock ‘n roll sound while celebrating teenage life and loves of 1950s and ‘60s America.

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‘Kill ‘Em And Leave’ provides inside glimpse of the Godfather of Soul

The intriguing life of James Brown is best explained in just two words from the forward of James McBride’s riveting work “Kill ‘Em And Leave” (Spiegel & Grau, New York, NY, 2016) in which the author is warned “watch yourself” when undertaking the writing of the southern history of one of America’s most famous entertainers. McBride ventured into Barnwell, S.C.—Brown’s birthplace—a little country town where Blacks and Whites still maintain an uneasy racial paradigm and where the inquisitive person can find himself in more trouble than it’s worth.

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Chuck Berry taught world the meaning of rock ‘n roll

Legendary musician dies at 90

By now, all of the accolades and applause have been afforded to the late Chuck Berry. The man who more than any other musician put a stamp on rock ‘n roll music died last weekend at his Wentzville, Mo. home at age 90. Known for the classic hits “Maybellene, “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “School Days” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” Berry was America’s most influential rock ‘n roll singer/songwriter and left a legacy of musical influence that will likely never be repeated. On these and dozens more seminal recordings, Berry played clarion guitar riffs and a relentlessly rhythmic blend of blues and country music to define the rock ‘n roll sound while celebrating teenage life and loves of 1950s and ‘60s America.

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Proposed cutbacks in medical insurance result in uncertainty for county and state

GOP unveils American Health Care Act

The rancorous debate and political standoff on Capitol Hill over the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) has the public, physicians and providers wondering what will happen to healthcare funding. Medicaid allocations to states is expected to be sharply curtailed next year. For California, it’s called Medi-Cal and depending who you ask, 1.2 million residents of Los Angeles County and another 13 million people nationwide—may no longer have access to a primary care physician just at a time when America’s overall health is at substandard levels.

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American women are making history; traditional obstacles slow to change

More women serve as the ‘breadwinner’

Women are making history. You can see it in the home, the workplace, the media and, in judging from the worldwide Women’s March in January, definitely in the streets. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. It’s been a gradual, hard-fought process highlighted recently in Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Politics may be the most visible aspect of the American woman’s social influence. Locally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors can serve as an example of the shifting power base with four of its five seats (Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn) occupied by powerful, influential women with extensive national and statewide experience in setting policy.

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American women are making history; traditional obstacles slow to change

More women serve as the ‘breadwinner’

Women are making history. You can see it in the home, the workplace, the media and, in judging from the worldwide Women’s March in January, definitely in the streets. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. It’s been a gradual, hard-fought process highlighted recently in Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Politics may be the most visible aspect of the American woman’s social influence. Locally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors can serve as an example of the shifting power base with four of its five seats (Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn) occupied by powerful, influential women with extensive national and statewide experience in setting policy.

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The strength of Black media

African Americans have played a pivotal role in helping to shape American journalism.

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The strength of Black media

African Americans have played a pivotal role in helping to shape American journalism. From the abolitionist crusade of Frederick Douglass’ “The North Star,” to the popular “O” magazine published by Oprah Winfrey, the Black press has traditionally shined a spotlight on the pressing issues pertaining to its diverse community. Ebony magazine is perhaps the most famous Black publication. Founded by John H. Johnson, Ebony was the standard-bearer of Johnson Publishing Co. and at its height boasted a circulation of almost 2 million readers. Johnson used a $500 loan in 1942 to launch a business empire that made him one of America’s most influential businessmen with his company eventually securing major holdings in book and magazine publishing, fashion and cosmetics, and radio and television stations.

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Top acts headline a showcase of stars now through spring at LPAC

Beatles, Rolling Stones tribute ‘battle’ tonight at 7

From the hottest comedian on the circuit, to classic theater and musical trips down memory lane, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center for the next few weeks promises some of the Southland’s best entertainment choices. For fans who wish to relive the British Invasion—when mop tops and mini skirts were all the rage—then tonight’s “Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown” review is for you. There has always been a debate about which of these two legendary musical groups was the most popular. While the Beatles relied more so on melodic love songs, the Rolling Stones were a more blues-influenced band.

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California storms bring needed rain as well as unexpected havoc

Oroville emergency spotlights crumbling infrastructure

One year ago Southern California was wondering what happened to El Nino? Outside of a few showers, there was practically no rain to speak of. “Darn those wacky weathercasters!” “Curse those miserable meteorologists!” were common complaints. One year later and we’re inundated with too much rain with more mud flowing, more floods growing and more hillsides sliding than anyone could have anticipated.

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