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DeeWorks Live! was in the building to cover this event for EliteRadio 97.5FM and WDWL.FM Live! Radio along with the support of Mr. Phil Shootworks Jackson company videographer Jimmy Jam Jam.  We had the opportunity to interview the performers as they left the stage which included interviews with Hunter Hayes, The Silver Stars, and of course The Blue Notes.  Somehow we missed CP. Lacey who was probably in a rush to get out of the stage makeup he used in his hilariously funny impersonation of Michael Jackson and of course the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.  
This was a BYOBB event with free food which was not too shabby.  The menu consisted of Fried Chicken, Meatballs, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Green Beans, and Yellow Rice.  Not a bad event for the price of the tickets.  The turn out was great and the event was very well organized. 
Mayoral Candidate Mr. Ras Baraka was in the building and seemed to enjoy the music.  
Performer Hunter Hayes was definitely a one man show with a big group sound.  A 7 time emmy award winner, his passion and performance on stage certainly makes him a class act worth seeing whenever you hear that he is performing.  A Montclair born and raised native, Hunter Hayes can certainly have you singing along and even getting up out of your seat as he sang covers to such greats as Al Green, Marvin Gaye and other R&B legends.

The Silver Stars were quite impressive as they harmonized with a melodic sound that left the audience speechless.  I am still amazed at some of the high notes that they were able to hit and hold.  Another group well worth the ticket price, their singing, dancing, and outfits certainly showed why they have been able to maintain such a high performance standard after 30 years of singing together.

Harold Melvin's Blue Notes were the featured performers of the night, and boy did they perform.  These gentleman out of Philadelphia certainly came to town and left their mark on the city of Newark.  Taking us back on a musical journey singing songs that reminded us of just how great a musical history this group has and the impact that they have had on the history of music.  The Blue Notes certainly live up to the legacy of the late greats Harold Melvin and Teddy Pendergrast.  
Kudos to Mr. Late Night Love and Mr. Big Al Benton for putting on an event that started on time and ended in a timely manner and which certainly made the city of Newark proud.  The host for the evening was Comedian Willie Asbury who was as sharp as a tack and of course he brought along "President Obama" to commentate.  

We look forward to future great events from these producers as they prepare to bring other great acts to the city in the coming months which they have indicated may include The Stylistics and Ray Goodman and Brown artists.  When you see the event flyer don't wait, rush out to purchase your tickets because the next event is sure to sell out quickly.


Check out our LiveStream Channel for Video Footage from the event.

 
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Walese Edwards is the founder and CEO of Waliworld Productions which he describes as a multifaceted entertainment company  with a high emphasis on worldwide networking strategies.  Waliworld productions regularly produces comedy and music showcases in NYC.  He was kind enough to stop by and hang out with us on Father's Day along with his dad Mr. Walese Edwards Sr.  We had a great time chatting it up and doing our father's day shoutouts.


 
I met Asenseofaah on a social networking site called Klip and after hearing her story, I knew that I had to have her as a guest on the show.  Her story is one of unbelievable circumstances yet we hear the stories every day and wonder what happened to these children once they grow up.  The first guest in a new series of shows entitled "Empowerment Mondays" on WRN Radio.  It is our hope that you will be inspired and uplifted to be the best you that you can be after hearing some of the guests who will be joining us and their amazing stories.
About Tina Dixons:
My history with addiction goes as far back as I can remember. I grew up in Brooklyn with an abusive alcoholic mother and a younger sister with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. My mother was always very violent, but when I was 13 she threw me out of a window and I finally reported her to the police. Child welfare authorities sent me to some group homes where I was sexually assaulted, and I ran away pretty quickly. I went straight to the streets.

I became involved with a much older gentleman – I was 15 and he was about 35 – and we would drink and do cocaine together. He was possessive and abusive, and when things got too bad I ran away again and this time joined the army. In the military, you’re not allowed to use drugs but you are allowed to drink, so I would drink--so much that I’d often black out. I tried to make the army into a good experience but I never learned responsibility or discipline because I had no support systems in my life. I wound up leaving with honorable discharge; they thought I had potential, but I just couldn’t follow the rules.

By the time I came back to New York I was pregnant, and the baby’s father had promised to marry me. We did get married, but I only saw him three or four times after that. He would send me checks for the baby but there was no relationship, and I never understood why. That hurt me a lot; I had thought he would be my opportunity, my “somebody to love” who would take care of me. But I was wrong. So I took that rejection along with all my other baggage, I gave my son to my in-laws, and I went back to the streets. I stayed there for ten years.From 1992 to 2002, I never had a real place to stay. I was afraid of shelters so I slept on rooftops, in parks, and in hallways. My drug use went from alcohol to coke to crack, and it wasn’t long before I picked up heroin. I survived by prostituting because I was too scared to rob anybody—I didn’t even look appropriate enough to go into a store. Physically, a lot happened during my ten years of prostitution that should have woken me up, but nothing did. My addictions were always there. I remember crawling out of the hospital in a diaper, trying to find a dealer. I remember limping out, turning tricks, buying drugs, and sneaking back in. I got infections in my buttocks, my hip bone, my leg, my arm, my aorta…my body was resistant to antibiotics. It was probably the blood transfusions that saved my life, but they couldn’t make me stop using.

One day, I got assaulted really badly by someone who was trying to rob me. My head was bleeding, but instead of calling the police or going to the hospital I went out to buy drugs, and I got arrested. Initially they said I could do 30 days in jail or six months at Phoenix House Long Island City Center; of course, I had already been arrested 21 times, so serving 30 days was no big deal to me. But the judge was really phenomenal, he kind of screamed at the courtroom, “Are you people crazy? This woman keeps showing up in front of me and she needs help!” He said to me, “Do you realize the condition you’re in? Do you know you’re about to die?” I was scared, 90 pounds, shaking, throwing up, already going through withdrawal from being in the precinct overnight…needless to say, I went to Phoenix House.

My first six months in treatment, I didn’t do any work. I was wrapped up in flirting with the guys! Sure, I would cry, but I never put words with the tears. On my days off, I would still go out and prostitute. I thought that everything was fine as long as I wasn’t using drugs, but I had no idea. One day, I left Phoenix House, relapsed, and immediately overdosed. I woke up in the hospital and what did I feel? I felt pissed off because I didn’t get to feel that high! That’s when I realized; it wasn’t just my behavior that was an issue, it was my entire mindset. I knew I no longer needed those things – drugs, prostitution, self-destructive attitudes – to survive.

I went back to Phoenix House and I never looked back. I went through a lot of therapy, encounter groups, crying and crawling on the floor and throwing chairs. It was very painful but I learned how to identify how I felt and how to put words with my tears. When I completed treatment, I went to the Phoenix House Academy of Westchester to work as a stipend in the dental department. The program director knew I was a hard worker, and she had faith in me—even though she recognized me from when I worked the street corners in Brooklyn! She promised me I’d never have to go back to prostitution, and she helped me do my training to become a dental assistant. Now I’m the Dental Coordinator for the NY region, and I’ve been going to college part-time for the past seven years. I have degrees in Business and Human Services, and I’m looking forward to pursuing an advanced degree in the near future.

I’m passionate about Phoenix House and I make sure I put myself in a position where I can make a difference. I have a great relationship with the clients; I’m a free spirit, and I try to make them laugh. Phoenix House saved my life; I love everyone here, and I know they genuinely love me. October 14, 2011 marked my ninth year sober. I mean, who would have thought I could even last nine minutes? It feels like yesterday that I was sleeping on a rooftop in a blizzard. I remember going to sleep and wishing I wouldn’t wake up—but I always did. At the time, staying alive was a disappointment, but today I’m so glad I survived.

I’ve found a new family in my wonderful husband (whom I met at Phoenix House), in the dental team, and in my little sister, Crystal. That’s right: I got custody of my sister when my mom died. Crystal was 32 at the time and very damaged, but I got her into an amazing group home two minutes away from my house. Because of her fetal alcohol disorder, she needs guidance and supervision in everything she does, and I’m so happy that I’m sober enough to help her now. She’s been in therapy for three years and she’s come a long way; today she’s social and articulate, she speaks more and goes out. Before, she was afraid of everything. My recovery has done so much for me, but seeing Crystal happy is the icing on the cake.