Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.
The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which explores the world of rock 'n' roll's backup singers, opens to the soundtrack of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Reed sings half the refrain — "And the colored girls go, doo do doo do doo" — until a chorus of backup singers pick up the "Do doo" line. At first these women sound far away, but as the chorus progresses, their voices get louder, less produced and polished, more real and intimate.
Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 12:38 pm
During Tuesday's debate on the Senate's immigration bill, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) took to the floor and launched into an almost 13-minute speech in support of the bill crafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight."
That's not the news. The fact that Kaine delivered it in Spanish is, because it's the first time a senator has delivered a full speech on the floor of the Senate in a language other than English.
Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:33 pm
A federal appeals court slapped down a quixotic legal campaign against Monsanto's biotech patents this week.
Organic farmers had gone to court to declare those patents invalid. The farmers, according to their lawyers, were "forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement" if their field became contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed.
As Iran prepares to hold a presidential election Friday, many women say that their limited gains have been rolled back by the outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Since all of the presidential candidates have been officially approved by Iran's clerical leaders, women say most are conservative and would be likely to continue adopting policies that target the social and educational advances by women.
Ozwald Boateng was the youngest and first black tailor to have a shop on London's prestigious Savile Row, a street renowned for its fine tailoring, where the world's royalty come for their attire.
Boateng also dresses athletic and Hollywood royalty. Actor Laurence Fishburne once said, "When you wear an Ozwald Boateng suit, you become a statesman of cool." Boateng is also a statesman for something else: the future development of Africa.
He joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to talk about style and diplomacy.