Tag Archives: D.C.

Lost Luther Vandross Interview: Ali McGraw’s Death in ‘Love Story’ Penetrated Everything I Wrote

Where do we begin to tell the story of Luther Vandross‘ poignant 2001 interview—in which he revealed an unexpected source of musical inspiration?

DATELINE: Kingston, Jamaica. July 2001. Journalist Craig Seymour is side by side with Luther in Luther’s limo, en route to the Palace Theater, where the R&B legend—who’d pass away four years later, at age 54—was scheduled to perform.

CAPTION: "I'm never one to blantantly state what could be implied," said Luther (above).

"I'm never one to blatantly state what could be implied," said Luther (above).

On assignment for Vibe magazine at the time, Craig asks Luther what he thinks of the moniker “King of the Bedroom.”

“I can’t stand being strapped with that label. I hate it!” he snaps back.

“Are you a prude?” asks Craig, author of the 2008 memoir, All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.

“I’m not a prude. I’m who I am,” says Luther, who won eight Grammy Awards and has Continue reading

Lost Chaka Khan Interview: Tell Me Something True! (Me and Stevie Wonder Never Hooked Up)

Chaka Khan may duet with the best of them, but there’s no, ah, doin’ it once the track has wrapped.

Interviewed by journalist Craig Seymour in 2004, who was working in Atlanta at the time for a paper called Creative Loafing, the funk queen dispelled longstanding rumors surrounding her 1974 collaboration with Stevie Wonder.

Chaka: Kept it professional.

Chaka: Kept it professional.

“So let’s go back to the heyday of Rufus,” Craig asked of the band she fronted from 1970 to 1983. “What was your favorite moment?”

“It probably was when Stevie Wonder came into the studio. We didn’t believe he was gonna show up. But he came, and that sorta rocked my world.

“We were brand new to the industry. And I’d grown up listening to Stevie, so I was a little bit star-struck.

“He came and offered two songs to us. The first one, I didn’t like it, and I told him,” continued Chaka, who has won 10 Grammy Awards.

“He said, ‘What’s your birth sign?’ I said, Continue reading

Lost Cher Interview: The Tabloid Media Are ‘Soulless, Godless, Motherless Trash’

Just because Cher ignores the tabloids doesn’t mean she’s got no opinion on the matter—particularly when it comes to coverage of her daughter, Chastity Bono, who’s now living as a man.

Quite the contrary, as she told host Craig Seymour in no uncertain terms eight years ago.


Cher: Bemoaned Chastity being "bitterly attacked for no reason."

“I was working as pop-music critic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and she was promoting the post-Believe album, called Living Proof,” Craig says of his 2002 phone convo with the Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning pop icon.

“I’ve always loved Cher. I don’t remember a time without her. I grew up watching The Sonny & Cher Show. And then when Cher had her own show, the set was this gigantic ‘C,’ and the ‘h-e-r’ was written inside the ‘C,'” adds Craig, now an associate professor of communications at Northern Illinois University, and author of the 2008 memoir, All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.

“So when I was in elementary school, I used to write my name, Craig, like that.”

Not long into his lost interview with the I’ve Got You Babe singer—which was never meant to be broadcast—she launched into Continue reading

Lost Janet Jackson Interview: I Had to Dump My First Beau—Because He Wasn’t Jehovah’s

“That’s the Way Love Goes,” Janet Jackson sang in 1993 at the still-tender age of 27.

But the inspiration for that Grammy-winning single may have come 12 years earlier when Jackson family values (and statutory law) forced the would-be diva to dump her first love.

CAPTION: "I thought he was 12," Janet (above) said of her twentysomething beau. "He looked like a baby."

"I thought he was 12," Janet (above) said of her twentysomething beau. "He looked like a baby."

This revelation—and many more—comes from an interview conducted in 2001 by BlogTalkRadio host Craig Seymour.

A Vibe scribe the time, Craig had been assigned to write the first of two cover stories about Janet for the magazine.

“I had to fly to Minneapolis, where she was recording an album with her longtime producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis,” he says. “We had a lot to talk about, because she had been gone from the music scene for about four years, since 1997’s The Velvet Rope.

“And she was also Continue reading

Jesse Jackson: ‘We Have to Reinvest in America’

Jesse Jackson is anxious that the $787 billion federal stimulus package be used to help our nation regain its economic strength – rather than make us beholden to overseas labor.

Interviewed at the America’s Future Now conference in Washington, D.C., Rev. Jackson warns against escalating trade imbalances.

CAPTION: “We must make sure that the hemorrhaging of the economy doesn’t outdistance the stimulus,” Rev. Jackson tells us.

“We must make sure that the hemorrhaging of the economy doesn’t outdistance the stimulus,” Rev. Jackson (above) tells us.

“We have to reinvest in America’s infrastructure and manufacturing capacity. We need to get up to capacity to make shoes and steel and iron and clothes and auto- mobiles – and stop surrendering the manufacturing sector to cheap labor abroad,” he tells corres- pondent Matt Bader.

“I was in Malaysia about a month ago. And I went to the BMW plant, where workers – at max – $6,000 a year, making BMWs that sell for $60,000. Massive profits.

“Well, would you make a car in Detroit or make a car in Malaysia?

“I went to a place called Free Shell. They make computers, laptops and microchips and micromemory – the whole range of electronic infrastructure. Workers there make $2,500 a year.

“So unless there is some plan to deal with balancing trade, we cannot survive as a manufacturer. We offer them bridges, they offer us walls.”

Rev. Jackson also calls Uncle Sam’s bailout of General Motors a “gift of bankruptcy” whose terms “cannot be allowed.”

To hear Rev. Jackson’s full interview, click here.