City And Riverbend Partner For Youth Outreach Initiative

Friday, June 06, 2014

Organizers with Riverbend will host live shows featuring the Chattanooga Department of Youth and Family Development’s Stars of Chattanooga, a diversified group of teen and young adult musicians, as well as an outreach concert for teens with the Strut’s headliner act, Big James and The Chicago Playboys.

Over 100 teens, ages 12-18 from various Youth and Family Development Centers, will gather at Lindsey Street Hall for an educational concert on Monday from 1-2 p.m. Big James Montgomery and his contemporary blues band, the Chicago Playboys, horn heavy sound makes for dance music and intricate arrangements that the city’s youth will experience up close, for the first time. Teens will have a chance to interact with blues legends, and discuss and ask questions about the music industry. Power 94’s Eric Foster, will emcee and discuss his own life experiences as a youth in Chattanooga, overcoming adversity and achieving success.

The Stars of Chattanooga,  ages 13-22 years old from various neighborhoods of Chattanooga, will perform live on the VW Stage on Wednesday form 6-7:15 p.m.  These up-and-coming artists, many with little to no experience, wrote, recorded and produced over a dozen songs at the city’s South Chattanooga YFD Center recording studio. This year’s artists feature more diversity, including singer songwriters and blues artist from city of Chattanooga’s Heritage House in East Brainerd. On Wednesday, each artist will perform his or her songs, on one of the biggest stages at Riverbend. 

The Stars of Chattanooga, a youth development group, created in fall of 2012 by the Department of Youth and Family Development (formally Parks and Recreation), has provided exposure and opportunity to over 30 artists as young as 8-years-old, who have written, recorded and produced their own music of choice. Several artists began simply with a piece of paper and an idea, before producing their own song.  The 2013’s inaugural CD featured songs, ranging from those written about violence that the artists had seen themselves, to social issues and lyrics of confidence.  The 2014’s CD will be released at this year’s Riverbend performance and features similar messages, including a compilation song, mixing acoustic, blues, R&B, dance and hip hop, highlighting unity between the artists.  

Each song was screened, making sure lyrics were not offensive, and each artist is required to follow a set of rules while a part of the program. These rules include intolerance of misconduct, attendance, respect for others and respect for oneself, among others. Members of the 2013 inaugural Stars of Chattanooga, along with Power 94’s Big Tula have served as mentors to the incoming artists.

The program serves as both an educational and possible career development path. Recently, famed producer and songwriter, Thomas Paden, who has written for Reba McEntire, George Strait, Kenny Rodgers and others, sat down with the youth, discussing his role in the music industry. 

Both 2013 and 2014 Stars of Chattanooga CDs are available at South Chattanooga YFD Center at 1151 West 40th St. in St. Elmo, on the night of their Riverbend Performance. 

For more information about the city of Chattanooga’s recording studios at Eastdale and South Chattanooga Centers, contact Brian Smith at 643-6096.


Jeff Burr To Speak Monday Night At The Backlot At Heritage House

Noted film director Jeff Burr, known for such films as Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, Straight into the Darkness and Stepfather II, as well as many others, will be the guest Monday night at The Backlot. Mr. Burr will speak on "A Day in the Life of a Film Director" as well as the "Do's & Don'ts of On-Set Protocol." Doors open at  6:30  with festivities ... (click for more)

Lee Singers To Appear On Stanley’s Christmas Special

Lee Singers, one of Lee University’s premiere mixed choral ensembles, will appear on Dr. Charles Stanley’s “In Touch Christmas Special” beginning Saturday, Dec. 20. Dr. Stanley invited Lee Singers earlier this year to record several songs on his Christmas show which will air throughout the week of Christmas.  “Our time taping with the In Touch production team was a great ... (click for more)

Investor Group Plans $31 Million Hotel In Chattanooga Bank Building

An investor group announced that it is planning the development of an upscale 150-room hotel in the historic Chattanooga Bank Building. MCA is comprised of 20 EB-5 investors as limited partners with Red Leaf Development, managed by David Roos, as the general partner. Long-time partner PHG is involved in the development of the hotel and will be responsible for its management ... (click for more)

Police Say Texts From Slain Minister Detailed Drug Deals

An investigator testified Thursday that a minister who was beaten to death during an apparent drug deal had texts on his phone dealing with similar exchanges of illegal drugs. The minister's wife said he had gone out that night as part of a church counseling program to women. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound charges of felony murder and especially aggravated ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)