Stevie Wonder -- A Musical Treasure

Today I was privileged to be on Stevie Wonder’s radio show on his Los Angeles station, KJLH 102.3 FM. Stevie is an icon of 60s and 70s soul/R&B/funk music – my single favorite music category contending with great jazz, 70s salsa, jumping cumbias, Hip Hop, creative rock, and more. Of course, his music has traversed more than those years through five decades. What an honor to meet one of this country’s most important musical treasures. He was down to earth, funny, and gracious.

I was invited to sit in on Stevie’s show after my guest hosting duties for KJLH’s Front Page talk show with Dominique Di Prima. This morning our guest was Anita L. DeFrantz, a former bronze Olympic medalist who is presently the only African American on the US Olympic Committee’s Board of Directors. She is also President and board member of LA84 Foundation and various others sports organizations. She is a strong advocate of neighborhood sports, seeing sports and healthy competition as part of a cohesive and whole community. Anita DeFrantz also took part in Stevie’s show. She’s a truly self-sacrificing community leader. You can get more information about LA84 Foundation at

One thing Stevie and I talked about was the need to sit down with gang youth, and all youth for that matter, and begin to work out strategies and plans for peace. Of course, I contend this must be united with jobs, training, education, arts, sports, treatment, and other resources. But a good start would be sitting on the floor, as Stevie said, and begin talking.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning, Friday, April 25, 2008, to do my last guest hosting show this week on Front Page (remember it’s from 4:30 AM to 6 AM). I’ll address the 2012 Mayan Calendar phenomena – what it is, what it means, and why it’s important for us today. Please listen in if you’re in the LA area.

Also this weekend I’ll be on a panel and do a poetry reading during the annual LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA campus. It’s a great book fair that I’ve been privileged to take part in for many years.

The panel is called “Poetry and Fiction: Writing in Two Genres” and will be held at noon on Sunday, April 27. And I’ll be reading from my book “My Nature is Hunger” and new poems at 4 PM the same day. Book signings will follow. Please check schedules for exact locations.


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