Tony Johnson » Feelin’ Today: My Thoughts

by Tony Johnson

Being in the music & entertainment industry in Amarillo since the early 80’s. I’ve always gave props where props were due and with that being said “My Props” goes out to “Kings Nation”.

Jan 28th Kings Nation hosted “Laughs & Lyrics – The Comedy And Poetry Showcase” that was highly successful with a packed audience.

Of course my girlfriend and I were there and to my surprise one of the poets performing was my niece Tanesha Centell aka “Nox” I was completely surprised and shocked that she could spit out poetry the way she did actually all of the poets, comics and singer Devlon Jones did a great job the only minor complaint I had was the sound man who could have done a better job controlling the microphone feedback and the heating of the venue otherwise it was an excellent show given by Kings Nation.

I’m a strong supporter of Kings Nation events because I love their professionalism by the way they market and promote their events. At their events they give you the very best by making you feel like royalty by greeting you as a King or Queen with V.I.P. and red carpet treatment with a photographer taking pictures of everyone.
Their events are always classy and elegant in decorations.

I was completely floored by my very first Kings Nation event back in October of 2011 at the “All Black Affair” at Wildcards in Downtown Amarillo. Everyone had to wear black and you had to be 25 or older to attend. Everything that night was on point. The Dee-Jay, The V.I.P section with a bottle of ciroc and candles at every table, the red carpet and photo setup was all professionally done and the way they had the place decorated was truly amazing thanks to Kings Nation staff member Ashlee Woods but the main kudos goes out to one of the CEO’s of Kings Nation Ricky Malone Jr aka” King Rick” who I have great admiration for as a business man and for being just a down to earth person and I’m a good friend of his father Ricky Malone Sr.

I have nothing but great respect for the whole Kings Nation crew and thank you for continuing to bring great entertainment to the city of Amarillo, TX

Lastly, I’m deeply sadden by the passing of Don Cornelius one of the most successful prolific innovators and entrepreneurs of our era. Ironically his death fell on the first day of black history month (Feb 1st) and “Soul Train” is definitely black history being the longest black running syndicated show of all time.

I can remember first watching Soul Train in the early 70’s when I was 7 yrs old with my mother in California visiting my father who was in the Air Force at the time. I was in awe to see a black show that was like American Bandstand but instead of Dick Clark it was Don Cornelius with his deep voice and cool afro. I can’t recall who performed on the show but I’ll never forget the Soul Train dancers doing the Soul Train line.

Having to come back to Amarillo my mother didn’t have cable and it would be years well into the 80’s before my mother finally got cable and every Saturday at 11 am I was tuned to Channel 3 WGN watching Soul Train.

“Soul Train” inspired me to want to become a musician and form a band that one day I may get the chance to perform on Soul Train. I eventually formed a band but we never made it out of Amarillo to play on Soul Train but it’s okay to dream 🙂

I will forever remember Don Cornelius for his vision and creation of Soul Train not for committing suicide in which the media will be quick to remind you. True, suicide is a terrible way to go and due to my religious beliefs I honestly believe you can’t be forgiven for such an act but I’ll leave that up to God to judge.

In 2006, I had a close friend commit suicide and I thought to myself “How can a person take his own life, I could NEVER do such a thing” 3 yrs later after a crushing break-up with a girlfriend I was contemplating suicide but because of my strong foundation in Christ I couldn’t go through with it but depression is NO joke and you just don’t know what a person is going through and with bad business decisions, poor health, and an ugly divorce that took hundreds of thousands of dollars from his children and other family members may have caused Don Cornelius to go over the edge.

Despite the tragedy let’s not forget his legacy and what he has done for Black America since this is black history month and as always in parting, we wish you Love, Peace and Soul!

R.I.P. Don Cornelius


Copyright 2012 – Tony Johnson. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Feelin' Today, {Music Corner}