Latest News and Updates

Mon - February 8, 2021 12:48 pm     A+ | a-
Oscar Contender ‘The Times Of Bill Cunningham’ Reveals Beloved Fashion Journalist
Oscar Contender ‘The Times Of Bill Cunningham’ Reveals Beloved Fashion Journalist
Congratulations to Film Producer Mark Bozek on “The Times of Bill Cunningham” and its Oscar Contender. My song “Tonight Josephine”sang by Legendary Super-Model Ms. Pat Cleveland is featured in the movie.…….Maurice Lynch

Oscar Contender ‘The Times Of Bill Cunningham’ Reveals Beloved Fashion Journalist Who “Documented Everything”
By Matthew Carey
February 4, 2021

Bill Cunningham, the renowned chronicler of fashion, once wrote of himself, “I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women…That’s all there is to it.”
That fascination abided over a long lifetime as he roamed the streets of New York on bicycle, stopping to snap candid photos of the city’s most fashionably dressed. At night he kept at it, capturing the fashion choices of New York’s elite at glittering events. His astonishing career comes into focus in the Oscar-contending documentary The Times of Bill Cunningham, directed by Mark Bozek.
“He documented everything,” Bozek tells Deadline. “He never left his place without a camera since 1966, when he covered Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball at The Plaza.”

Cunningham was deeply self-effacing. Despite himself, he became a kind of New York institution, most notably through his work for the New York Times, where he was employed from 1978 until his death in 2016. He published mosaics of snapshots in his weekly columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours,” required reading for fashion insiders and anyone interested in the cultural life of the city.
Curiously, “he didn’t think of himself as a photographer,” Bozek states. Rather, he considered himself a fashion historian—and the director says in that respect Cunningham was without peer.
“He was a savant. There’s nobody that has come close to his fashion historical knowledge. Not dead, not alive, nobody that I’ve come across,” Bozek say. “His knowledge is what I think people respected about him so much.”
The documentary traces Cunningham’s route through New York, beginning as a fresh-faced 19-year-old from Boston. After working in advertising at Bonwit Teller, he began making hats for socialites and movie stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers. Later he joined Chez Ninon, an exclusive boutique that catered to grande dames and monied belles like Jacqueline Bouvier, the future first lady.
“The circles that he lived in and played in were some of the most influential people not just in fashion but in society, in the history of New York,” Bozek notes. “The Rockefellers and the Astors, certainly the Kennedys and people like that.”

His real calling would be in journalism, though he considered what he did “fluff” to squeeze in between newspaper ads. Over time, he amassed a mountain of material.
“His archive will easily become the most valuable in the history of New York City,” Bozek declares. “The letters that he saved…just incredible things. When you get inside there you see the history of this city, and in many cases Paris as well, through his lens…and Studio 54 and Diana Vreeland and the ’60s and the craziness of New York City in the ’70s when it was really in bad shape. And it’s just so much there.”
The Times of Bill Cunningham is built around a single interview Bozek did with the fashion journalist back in 1994. Bozek had long pursued him for a profile while working for Fox television news stations, but the publicity-averse Cunningham had always declined. Then one day at QVC, where Bozek had gone to work, he received a call from Cunningham.
“He said, ‘Hey, young fella, I have to accept this award of this CFDA organization, I don’t even want to. I’m not a photographer. It makes me so mad but the New York Times really wants me to do it,’” Bozek recalls. “‘Would you mind coming to my studio and interviewing me for 10 minutes?’”
The chat was supposed to be a brief one for a video piece for the Council of Fashion Designers of America tribute. It ended up going on for four hours.
“At some point, I realized to just shut up and let him talk because he clearly wanted to talk,” Bozek remembers. “Every now and then I’d throw out a word and he would go off.”

The conversation revealed a central paradox about Cunningham. Though his work was devoted to examining fashion, he cared little about what he himself wore. He told Bozek he got most of his wardrobe from thrift shops or from friends who gave him clothes of dead relatives.
“I know I should care more how I look,” he told Bozek apologetically, “but it’s more important I go out and get the right picture. That’s the main thing.”
Cunningham’s modest lifestyle extended to his apartment, a warren at Carnegie Hall that looked more like a storage facility.
“He lived in a humble room the size of a closet with no kitchen, no bathroom,” Bozek points out. “He shared a bathroom with everyone on the 12th floor at Carnegie Hall studios for 45 years, not just for a couple of months. He just lived this incredibly humble life.”
Cunningham’s endearing personality shines through in the interview. He seemed to struggle with intimacy, yet a big heart beat under those second-hand shirts. During the conversation, he broke down several times.
“When he talks about being shy and then he just starts weeping hysterically, that flipped me out,” Bozek admits. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I got one of the most respected, nicest people on the planet, in this fashion and society world, and he’s crying.’”
After 1994 Bozek packed away the interview tapes and there they sat until 2016. In the interim he had risen to lead the Home Shopping Network, but he had never forgotten his long-ago encounter with Cunningham.
“The day he died, I went in my basement and I retrieved the interview I had done with him 23 years prior,” he remembers. “I played it for a bunch of his friends, ruthlessly protective friends…And they were weeping by the end because many of them had never even heard Bill talk that much, even to them, because he was just a very private guy…They encouraged me to make the film, in a big way.”
The documentary was released last winter, just before Covid-19 shut down theatrical distribution.
“It came out in New York and Chicago and LA and it did really well and I was really proud of that,” Bozek tells Deadline. “And then it was going to open in 70 or 60 theaters on Friday, March the 13th. And that was the week that was, and so it didn’t.”
The film is currently available on iTunes and Amazon and soon will begin streaming exclusively on Live Rocket, a company Bozek owns. He’d like to see Bill Cunningham’s story become a fictional film, and he’s got just the actor in mind for it.
“Hopefully Ed Norton will read the story and will play him in the scripted feature,” he notes. “He’s just wiry like Bill was. He’s always been at the top of the list.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CK422r0gNYI/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851532242044745362/

https://deadline.com/2021/02/the-times-of-bill-cunningham-director-mark-bozek-greenwich-entertainment-documentary-interview-news-1234687800/?fbclid=IwAR0GDS5csATC3ebgYlBqh12P7A69P91QUSMI5jc7JPthe3_3yefBXvOTKx0
 
Maurice Lynch
Producer

Please visit me on Instagram   @mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates.... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

Alyson Williams - Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
http://www.mauricelynchmusic.com/alysonwilliamsjazz/

Pat Cleveland - Tonight Josephine -  Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://music.apple.com/us/album/tonight-josephine/1122370887?i=1122371081
http://mauricelynchmusic.com/tonightjosephine-patcleveland/

#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
#AlysonWilliamsMusic
#TonightJosephine
#PatCleveland
#MauriceLynchMusic
#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz
Tue - February 2, 2021 8:48 am     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music - Celebrates Black History Month - Black History Is More Than a Month.
Maurice Lynch Music - Celebrates Black History Month - Black History Is More Than a Month.
 
February is the month Americans celebrate Black History Month. We commemorate the accomplishments and struggles of the African-American community in their quest for equal rights in the United States, the country has dedicated February of every year to make sure our bravery is remembered. During this period we celebrates the history and journey of African-American slave descendants in their quest to gain equality and civil rights.
 
One of the most significant ways we have found success was through music. The black experience in America has long been immortalized in music, spanning genres and centuries. . “The roots of black music is spiritual.  History has always had its eyes on us. Black music of all kinds has shaped the mindset of both black and white communities, helping to prolong their faith and hope toward a better life in the US.
 
I feel it’s important for all to learn our history and understand where and how we get soul and heart in our music. Through that we are able to share our culture, so that all can feel and appreciate it and remember Black History is more than just one month.

Please visit me on Instagram   @mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates.... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

Alyson Williams - Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
http://www.mauricelynchmusic.com/alysonwilliamsjazz/

Pat Cleveland - Tonight Josephine -  Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://music.apple.com/us/album/tonight-josephine/1122370887?i=1122371081
http://mauricelynchmusic.com/tonightjosephine-patcleveland/

#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
#AlysonWilliamsMusic
#TonightJosephine
#PatCleveland
#MauriceLynchMusic
#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz
Tue - January 5, 2021 9:31 am     A+ | a-
 Let's Celebrate 2021 and Give It a Kick-Off with Alyson Williams & Blown Woofer Magazine
Let's Celebrate 2021 and Give It a Kick-Off with Alyson Williams & Blown Woofer Magazine
Hi Music & Fashion World,
 
Let’s start off 2021 with you checking out Alyson Williams who is one of the artist featured on the cover of Blown Woofer Entertainment Magazine and with a really great article about our new music ventures this year. 
 
Blown Woofer is an entertainment magazine which features underground artists from all over the country, celebrities, pop artists as well as articles on the latest tech gadgets and much more. From Belinda Trotter James, Editor-In-Chief who brought you Word Up, @ Hype Rap Masters, Hype Hair and Modelocity online.
 
Make sure you check out and download a copy of Blown Woofer Entertainment Magazine
 Click the link for your print or digital copy.
https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1900096?__r=696005

 @alysonwilliamsmusic, @angeloellerbee, @blownwoofermagazine
#musiclegend #blownwoofer #mediarelations #magazine #magazinecover
 
Maurice Lynch
Producer

Please visit me on Instagram   @mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates.... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

Alyson Williams - Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
http://www.mauricelynchmusic.com/alysonwilliamsjazz/

Pat Cleveland - Tonight Josephine -  Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://music.apple.com/us/album/tonight-josephine/1122370887?i=1122371081
http://mauricelynchmusic.com/tonightjosephine-patcleveland/

#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
#AlysonWilliamsMusic
#TonightJosephine
#PatCleveland

#MauriceLynchMusic
#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz
 
Thu - December 24, 2020 12:00 am     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music: Seasons Greetings Wishing Everyone A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Maurice Lynch Music: Seasons Greetings Wishing Everyone A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Seasons Greetings Everyone, 

On behalf of everyone at Maurice Lynch Music.I would like to personally thank everyone who has worked with us this year. I have been so blessed to have a magical team. 

This has been a challenging year. But inspite of this pandemic just remember. Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings you happiness should be the most important things in your life. 

May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season be with you throughout the coming year. Let's look forward to Health, Happiness and a Prosperous 2021.

Maurice Lynch & The Maurice Lynch Music Team

Please visit me on Instagram   @mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates.... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

Alyson Williams - Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
http://www.mauricelynchmusic.com/alysonwilliamsjazz/

Pat Cleveland - Tonight Josephine -  Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://music.apple.com/us/album/tonight-josephine/1122370887?i=1122371081
http://mauricelynchmusic.com/tonightjosephine-patcleveland/

#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
#AlysonWilliamsMusic
#TonightJosephine
#PatCleveland

#MauriceLynchMusic
#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz
 
Fri - December 11, 2020 6:04 pm     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music: Alyson Williams -  GRAYSON DANTZIC PHOTO
Maurice Lynch Music: Alyson Williams - GRAYSON DANTZIC PHOTO
Hi Music & Fashion World,
 
I wanted to share this article from “The Amsterdam New in New York” and continue to congratulate Alyson Williams on her the success of “Summer Nights In Harlem” and Thank  the Harlem and NYC Community…. Maurice Lynch - Producer
 
The New York Amsterdam News, was founded in 1909, and is the oldest, and largest Black newspaper in New York City and one of the oldest ethnic papers in the Country still in continuous print.

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2020/dec/03/jazz-notes-alyson-williams-more-just-singing/

ARTICLE: JAZZ NOTES: Alyson Williams More Than Just Singing

The songbird stylist Alyson Williams was in the middle of recording her album when COVID-19 stamped stop on the world. As time drudged on as though turtles had taken over time technology it was clear the pandemic was not going to end in the very near future.

Williams decided to release the two completed songs “Summer Nights in Harlem” and “The Romance of You,” both written by the executive producer Maurice Lynch; co-producers Williams, Ray Chew and Ajaay Swindell. This song is most apropos for the singer, who was born in New York City and grew up in Harlem. The song is a jaunting Bossa Nova with Williams offering a jazzy sultry sassiness that swings like a late autumn night breeze. A love song that captures memories and the essence of Harlem, with standout solos by Kirk Whalum and Ron Blake on tenor and soprano saxophones (on both songs). Also featured are the recognized musicianship of pianists Christian Sands and keyboardist Ray Chew (musical director for ABC-TV’s “Dancing With The Stars”), Grammy award winning bassist Christian McBride and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.

“The Romance of You” shows off her song stylings of icons Nancy Wilson and Shirley Horn. She has a warm distinct delivery like a honey kiss and a haunting timbre that carries throughout and those flowing strings, look out. Musicians featured include pianist and orchestral arrangements/strings (on both songs) Chew, percussionist Ajaay Swindell, guitarist “King” Solomon Hicks, and Greg Sneed on flugel horn. “We didn’t want COVID to stop our entire production so we prayed on it and then put this effort out as a buzz of what’s to come once the CD is completed,” said Williams. “We need happiness today between loss of life, distractions, injustice and disrespect This is happy music that will make us feel better.” Lest we forget that Williams has always been a hell of a singer known to lay down a ballad.

Ever since she became the first R&B vocalist to be signed by CEO Russell Simmons of Def Jam Records (1980s), she has been a shining star. Although her star continues to rise her accolades and proper just dues are yet to find her. Hopefully, her jazz repertoire will catapult her to the forefront of both genres. She is known for her R&B chops but the main influence in her life was jazz sparked by her father Bobby Booker, the celebrated jazz trumpeter and bandleader. “While working on this jazz project, I am not done with R&B. There is gospel and house music coming.”

Another Williams’ project that was about to be held hostage by COVID-19 was “Old Friends: Celebrating the Life of Phyllis Hyman.” The celebration a one-woman show featuring Williams singing her good friend and mentor’s repertoire (along with an all-star band), as well as injecting key points in her life. It was filmed at Manhattan’s Birdland Theater. Due to the pandemic the live show was recorded without live audience and band. Instead it became the duo of keyboardist, composer, arranger and songwriter Nat Adderley, Jr. and Williams. They have worked together so often she named their duo DNA (Definitve Nat and Alyson).

The livestream recently viewed on the National Arts Club’s YouTube channel. At some point Jazzmobile will air excerpts of the show on their website. During a recent telephone interview from her home in Winston Salem, N.C. Williams noted, “I am trying to evoke her music not sound like her.” This special tribute once again pronounces William’s stylistic skills when it comes to song phrasing. This show received rave reviews in the chat room. This celebration of Hyman is only a prerequisite to Williams’ overall goal to perform her show “Old Friends: Alyson Williams Sings Tribute to the Legendary Phyllis Hyman.” The few times she was able to perform the show, she received great accolades. One former record executive, Laverne Perry-Kennedy, who caught her show at Manhattan’s TriAd Room noted “Alyson was Phyllis Hyman.”

“The way she sang with passion in her voice, her class and style drew me in,” said Williams. “I was introduced to her as a fan by her manager Jimmy Lewis, at Russ Brown’s (a former jazz spot and restaurant on the Upper Westside). We quickly became sisters, friends and mentor. She suggested good entertainment lawyers for me, we hung out at each others gigs when time allowed and she even gave me clothes from her vast wardrobe. She helped me so I didn’t have to hop over the same hurdles she did.”

Williams was on the road when the Apollo Theater management called her on June 30, 1995 to ask if she could fill in for Hyman that evening with the Whispers. Their request didn’t mentioned Hyman had committed suicide earlier that afternoon in her Manhattan apartment. Unfortunately, Williams didn’t find out about her good friend until she arrived at her destination later that day.

“I felt this concept was the best way for me to continue the legacy of Phyllis Hyman, to give me closure and spread the music to her fans,” stated Williams. “This show has attached itself to me and I can’t stop until it gets to a place where everybody can see it.” Williams would like to see the performance in art centers, night clubs, major theaters and a run on Broadway. This production is equivalent to the Broadway run of “Emerson Bar & Grill A Day in the Life of Billie Holiday” which eventually had a tragic ending. During my performance I remember how emotional people became says Williams. “I live the news of hearing she passed. I live knowing how she felt happy and sad, the situation of people living with mental illness which is an issue in the Black community. My goal is to partner with a mental health organization to help fight this illness. Manic-depression and bipolar disorder are all part of the emotions she was dealing with alone. We can’t let people continue to fall between the cracks of mental illness. We have to bring this problem out in the open so more people can be helped.”

While Williams continues to negotiate her production she is celebrating the 5th year of “Love Notes with Alyson Williams in the Chill Zone,” her Tuesday (8 p.m.-10 p.m.) radio show on WHCR-FM (90.3). Her interviews cover everyone from politicians to community activists, artists from rap to classical and R&B legend Chaka Khan to jazz group Manhattan Transfer. She is currently broadcasting remotely. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of her hit song “Just Call My Name” and she was inducted into the Soul Music Hall of Fame.

Williams has an umbrella company “A Woman’s Prerogative” that cover her many ventures from producing music, writing plays, concepts for television shows and films. And there is a jewelry line on the way. “You have to have other things going on, you have to brand yourself,” says Williams. “I am above the sky the stratosphere is the limit.”

William’s “Summer Nights In Harlem” and “The Romance of You” is available on Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.

 Follow Alyson Williams On Social Media...
WHCR
Love Notes: In The Chill Zone with Alyson Williams
Love Notes In the Chill Zone | WHCR 90.3 FM
 Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/alysonwilliamsmusic
 Instagram
@alysonwilliamsmusic
Twitter
https://twitter.com/alysonwilliams
 
 Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem

Please visit me on Instagram   @mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates.... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851532242042136448/
#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
#AlysonWilliamsMusic
#MauriceLynchMusic
#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz
Thu - December 3, 2020 11:19 am     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music - Alyson Williams ~ Still Sangin’! ~ Interview With Robert Walker
Maurice Lynch Music - Alyson Williams ~ Still Sangin’! ~ Interview With Robert Walker
Hi Music & Fashion World,

I wanted to share this great Interview with Alyson Williams by Robert Walker...Enjoy 
Maurice Lynch - Producer 

https://discover.hubpages.com/entertainment/Alyson-Williams?fbclid=IwAR3Jcr9mDhv0jDi6xht0zeaW31p622z7b_icAZPVQtEw02n7xSg9PnQm398

Alyson Williams ~ Still Sangin’! ~ Interview With Robert Walker - Nov 28, 2020
By: ROBERT WALKER
 
 The music definition for the word, "Sang Girl" is used to identify a singer who sings really well. I would have to say that describes R&B/Jazz/Pop vocalist, Alyson Williams, perfectly.

Alyson is a singer and actress still singing after getting her start in the 1980’s in New York City where she started out as a “Hook Girl” doing chorus vocals on tracks where rappers needed that R&B touch. She did this for friend Kurtis Blow who introduced her to his manager, Russell Simmons. Russell would put her on sessions recordings where she quickly became one of the go to “hook girls” recording with some of the biggest names in music.

And when you can “sang” like Alyson can, there is no such thing as being an 80’s and 90’s Diva. Alyson’s new record will be released in early 2021, and her new single just dropped in November from her LP title, “Summer Nights In Harlem”.
I caught up with Alyson recently to discuss her career, life in a pandemic world, and new music and projects.
Sangin'

“Southern African American vernacular slang which purposefully uses the past tense to refer to singing in the present tense. Sanging means "singing really well"; "singing with a lot of soul".
— Urban Dictionary
 
Q&A with Alyson Williams

Thank you Alyson for taking the time to speak with me and allow our readers to catch up with you and some of the new things going with your career.

RW) How are you and family doing as we continue to endure this pandemic?

AW) Thank God my family, my extended family, my friends, have fared well throughout the pandemic. We have lost a lot of people, but we remain faithful, and prayerful, and smart. Taking things seriously so that we can stay safe and continue to be well, but it is truly a challenge. I’ll be glad when we get back to some sort of normalcy, whatever the new normal is going to be.

RW)  I was just speaking with the late David Bowie's piano man for thirty years, Mike Garson, and he and many of Bowie's band mates were in the middle of a world tour when the COVID-19 virus became a pandemic, essentially shutting down all live stage performances for the year. I would imagine the same is true for you. How have you adjusted as a performer to maintain your career and livelihood?

AW) Yes, as an artist, everything was shut down very abruptly, and many of my colleagues have been figuring out what we can do to continue to have a livelihood, and to maintain our careers. But, the one thing about music is, music is a bonding agent, music is a healer, and the world needs some medicine. So I think music is going to be that medicine (beyond any vaccine). I think we as artists will be a source of providing that healing. We just have to figure out how to keep that music going so that we can have that impact. Be it music, or dance, or theatrical, we just have to figure a way to make it happen.

RW) Have you turned to the internet and hosted your on-line watch-parties, like I have seen so many singers do in 2020?

AW) Yes, I have turned to the internet on many occasions to do virtual performances since the pandemic. I worked with Queens Public Library and we did a wonderful virtual concert that I produced out of Charlotte, NC. I also worked with the Jazz Mobile, which is a great organization I have worked with for years where I hosted Great Jazz On The Great Hill, and we were just lucky enough to get into Central Park with a special ordinance to film it, and we streamed it on the date the live performance would have taken place. That is now available to stream at the Queens Public Library and online at Jazz Mobile.org. You can check those concerts out on their sites.
So, yes, the internet is the go to source for these types of events. It is the normal for now until we can return to live performances with any consistency. I had a virtual birthday party that someone threw for me that was surreal, but we embraced it.

RW) Speaking of the internet, we are now in the digital age where streaming events, although were becoming more mainstream, have really been forced on us now. Is that something you embrace or see as a draw-back?

AW) The internet is the way to go, but the drawback is that there is still nothing like live performance, making that human connection is still what makes for a memorable musical performance, but, as mentioned, we have to remain smart and safe so that we can continue to perform, and so we’ll work the internet and strive to make as personable as if you were at a concert.

RW) I know that you started your professional career as a back-up singer with many performers and singers, including Ms. Melba Moore, one of my all time favorite artists. How did becoming a back-up singer start for you, and tell us some of the other pros you performed with as a back-up singer?

AW) I started out singing background as Kurtis Blow’s “Hook Girl” - you know a hook girl is the girl who sings the hooks! Back before we had the terminology of hip hop, we had rap music, and Kurtis Blow was the King of Rap. Kurtis was managed by Russell Simmons who Kurtis introduced me to. I began doing a lot of recording sessions for Russell, singing, and arranging, and contracting the sessions.
It was really weird because as you may recall, everyone thought that rap music was just going to be a passing music fad, and that turned out to be the greatest untruth (chuckles), and so a lot of the established background singers weren’t doing rap music sessions, nor were rap artists seeking those singers who may have been working regularly with a Luther Vandross, or Duran Duran, and I happened to be in the midst of it, in mid-town Manhattan, and that allowed me to sing the mainstream music like, “They Playin’ Basketball” or “If I Ruled The World” (she is singing it); I sang that before Lauryn [Hill] sang it.

So, doing that sort of bridged the mainstream music with rap and gave me a great opportunity in being noticed by mainstream artists. I had an audition with a group called “High Fashion” it was myself and Melissa Morgan, and Eric McLintock. The day that we got the word that we had been accepted, Kashif was one of the producers who asked me If I would like to come sing a session for Melba Moore, and that was my start into mainstream R&B music.

I am still with “Auntie” Melba to this day. Shout out to her! That led to many great associations where I sang for Bobby Brown, Evelyn Champagne King - the list goes on and on, we’ll just need to do the book and then biopic (she says with a laugh).
I still like doing background singing and the teamwork in an ensemble thing. It just keeps you focused vocally. It’s a whole other discipline that most people do not recognize the importance of - so, shout out to all my background sangers (she laughs).
 
RW) Can you tell us who, of all the performers you worked with, who was the one that was the absolute most fun to work with or the most outrageous? Any "tea" you can spill?

AW) I have worked with a lot of people. I am celebrating my 30th year anniversary singing professionally, and so you can just imagine over a 30 year period. It would be hard to choose, but I’d have to say one of my all time favorite singers to perform with was Nancy Wilson. Nancy was a mentor of mine, a lot of fun and wisdom. But I just can’t name one because I loved working with Valerie Simpson; I loved working with Chaka Khan; I loved my camaraderie with Miki Howard.
When Miki Howard and I were on a bill together, we’d do nothing but laugh. It was the most fun you could ever have, the same with Tony Terry, so I really can’t just name one, but those are in the top five because every time I worked with them, it was going down like that.
I have no tea at this time to share because there is a book and a biopic on the way (she says tongue in cheek and a laugh).

RW) You come from a musical family, I understand your dad was a professional musician. Who else in your family was musically inclined, and when did you know singing was what you wanted to do professionally?

AW) My father was a Jazz trumpet player who had a big band called The Bobby Booker Big Band, and for 25 years he was the premiere society band for the New York Tri-state area and beyond. He was based in Harlem, NY at the Kennedy Center. He had a 21 piece band. Nothing better than that.

My mother was an actress who gave up her career to raise me and my sister. So, I come by my gifts through God that were naturally nourished by my parents. I had a cousin who was a percussionist who passed when I was quite young. Another cousin, who just recently retired, was the first chair French Horn player for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I am so proud of him because I know the level of professional musicianship you have to achieve and maintain, and so I am proud of him.

I knew I could sing from very early on - from the time I could talk. But I was quite shy and I taught myself to sing through impersonating other singers. I would do impersonations of the singers I liked and became really good at that as a way to overcome being shy because I knew singing, acting and dancing was it for me.

RW) Who were some of your musical influences as a kid growing up, and who do you like that is currently out there musically?

AW) My favorite singers coming up were Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McCrae, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine. You know, all of those great voices. We had limited people of color on TV, but I saw Pearl Bailey and loved Lola Falana, and Diahann Carroll. They all were so versatile back in the day, like with Sammy Davis, Jr. who sang, danced, played instruments, and just did it all. We had to! But, I also love Barbara Streisand and Judy Garland. Dionne Warwick. I was inspired by the best.
Who do I like now? Still love the classics, old school, but I do love India Arie, Ledisi, Lala Hathaway ~ I call them my little sisters; and I like H.E.R. There are some good concepts out there musically with these young artists. I look forward to what I might be able to contribute to it.

RW) Was the single "Yes We Can Can" your first breakout song as a singer, which I know others have covered, but was it the Pointer Sisters who did the song first, and how did the song come to you to record?

AW) The single “Yes We Can Can” was a sort of introducing me as a solo act, but really as a desire by Russell to put me somewhere actively. I was just coming out of the High Fashion group on Capitol Records. Def Jam was not quite ready to launch me, so Russell put me on Profile Records, while he put the finishing touches on Def Jam. So that’s how that single came about.
 
Alyson’s chart topping album “Raw” stayed on Billboard for 67 weeks.

RW) What is your favorite Alyson Williams song of all time?

AW) I don’t think I have sung it yet. At least I hope I haven’t. I hope I haven’t sung my favorite song yet. I don’t know (she thinks for a moment), I guess I’d have to say “Just Call My Name” because it is the song that allowed me to have my career. We had five top ten singles on the Billboard charts, and the ‘Raw’ Album spent 67 weeks on the charts. So we spent over a year on the charts, and that single was the song people really related to.

RW) You are not just a great singer, but you act as well and portrayed your friend, Phyllis Hyman, in a stage play. I guess the obvious question is, how difficult was it for you to portray Phyllis, and where were you when you heard that she had passed away tragically to suicide?

AW) Yes, I did portray Phyllis in “Thank God, The Beat Goes On” with the Whispers. The show was really about them. Phyllis did a lot of shows with them, and you knew if you ever got a ticket to see that show, you were in for a good night of entertainment.
Phyllis was a dear friend of mine, and when that part was available, I was happy to play her. She was a sister in the name of music and love; a mentor sort of speak. I can’t go into great detail about the circumstances about her transition because again, there is a book and biopic coming. But, I was at the airport in New Orleans to attend the very first Essence Festival also when I got the news that Phyllis had committed suicide. I was devastated and actually passed out. I am still thankful to the two women who got me to the car until I came to.
What I took away from Phyllis’ suicide, because of what I knew about her is, to believe people when they say they are going to do something, take them at their word.

RW) What did her death mean to you about life?

AW) Life is short, and you have to value each and every moment, and don’t take anything for granted.

RW) What new projects are you working on currently Alyson?

AW) Well, speaking of Phyllis Hyman, people have been asking about a revival of that old show, and while I pointed out that the original show was about the Whispers that had Phyllis in it, it seems that people really wanted something more about Phyllis and her music, and that made sense to me. So, I did a one woman show called, “Old Friend: Alyson Williams Sings Tribute to the Legendary Phyllis Hyman”.

Now that was back in the late 90’s and we have done it a few times, but I feel it could be a Broadway show. So, since Covid, I just recently started doing some work with Nat Adderly, Jr. of the Adderly legacy who of course was Luther Vandross’ music arranger. And we will be doing a more intimate version of the show, just piano and me, at the National Arts Club. The National Arts Club is in New York and has a virtual performing portal on the internet.

I have a new LP that has just been released called “Summer Nights In Harlem“ and the title track single is available now. The LP should be ready after the first of the year, and so we are doing some “soft” launches with promoting the record.
“Summer Nights In Harlem“ and the “The Romance of You“, written by the great Maurice Lynch, and they are new school standards, is chock full of wonderful musician/arrangers like Christian McBride, Christian Sands, Ulysses Owens, Ron Blake, Kirk Whalum, Ray Chew, and the incredible Solomon Hicks on guitar. And I am so thankful because we have a hit on our hands.

The record is in the traditional Jazz genre, but we have Smooth Jazz features with Najee, and we did the Bobby Caldwell classic, “What You Won’t Do (For Love)” that was produced by Chris Big Dog Davis, and I covered Norman Connors “Valentine Love”, and so much more that I think this record will find a cross section of listeners.

I also am still doing my community radio show from Harlem on WHCR. We broadcast live from City College, when we can be there, otherwise we are virtual, that’s Harlem Community Radio, “Love Notes in The Chill Room with Alyson Williams” every Tuesday from 8 to10 PM Eastern. You can go to WHCR.org to tune-in.

I am also finally doing what I have always wanted to do and that is a television show called, “Life After Def: The Gig, The Grind“ on The C.R.E.W. (Women) TV Network, Civically Re-Engaged Women. Shout out to Ms. Sharon Nelson for creating it. It was originally to be a reality show, but COVID has made it more a talk show with all of the wonderful personalities I have worked with since my days starting at Def Jam.

I have a show scheduled to air on the C.R.E.W. TV Network produced by BulLion Entertainment. Special thanks to Anre’ DaCosta, Sandra Trim-DaCosta, Gale Monk, Sherman Wing, Khirlu Burton, Helen Greenberg, for making that happen and you can check scheduling for that show on the network to see it / https://www.crewomen.tv/
 Alyson was one of the original “Hook Girls” who sang the hooks on those classic rap jam tracks!
 Kurtis Blow introduced Alyson to his manager, Russell Simmons, and the rest as they say, is history.
 
RW) I never like to close out these interviews without asking, if you were requested to give the commencement speech for the graduating class of 2021 after a year like we all experienced in 2020, what words would you share with those young people entering a life as adults, starting their careers?

AW) I really hope that I will be asked to speak to a graduating class one year. From your pen to God’s ears. I would first say, Congratulations! You have survived and have come through something stranger than fiction. I would remind them that they are strong and braver than they even know, and now is the time to build their future.
Don’t stop dreaming, don’t stop believing, don’t let anything deter you from your goals, not even a pandemic, not even a nation dealing with social and racial unrest, and a government out of control, just continue because you have what it takes to carry this on.
Thank you for this interview and for your support. Love and Light; Peace and Blessings. Ciao.

 RW)  Thank you Alyson for this interview. We wish you continued success and look forward to supporting your new works from your one woman show in tribute to Phyllis Hyman to your new record, “Summer Nights In Harlem”.

https://discover.hubpages.com/entertainment/Alyson-Williams?fbclid=IwAR3Jcr9mDhv0jDi6xht0zeaW31p622z7b_icAZPVQtEw02n7xSg9PnQm398  WHCR
Love Notes: In The Chill Zone with Alyson Williams  Follow Alyson
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Summer Nights In Harlem & The Romance of You -  Are Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
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Fri - November 20, 2020 1:35 pm     A+ | a-
 Ms. Alyson Williams Sings "Summer Nights In Harlem" with Ray Chew, Christian McBride & Kirk Whalum
Ms. Alyson Williams Sings "Summer Nights In Harlem" with Ray Chew, Christian McBride & Kirk Whalum
Hi Music and Fashion World, 

I wanted to share this article from The New York Beacon this month Congrats to Harlem Legends Alyson Williams and Maestro Ray Chew and award-winning musicians Christian McBride, Kirk Whalum and others who played on my composition "Summer Nights In Harlem" and " The Romance of You" . https://newyorkbeacon.com/

Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem

Please visit me on Instagram@mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates..... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851532242042136246/
#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou
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#MauriceLynchHarlemJazz
#HarlemJazz


 
Fri - November 13, 2020 7:18 pm     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music: Photo Credit – Gregory Dantzic
Maurice Lynch Music: Photo Credit – Gregory Dantzic

Longtime R&B/Soul Singer, entrepreneur and radio personality Alyson Williams has unveiled her latest release, the single, “Summer Nights In Harlem.”

The veteran songstress brings a jazzy, mature, grown-folks vibe to “Summer Nights In Harlem,” as well as sweet sultriness to the accompanying “flip-side,” the ballad “The Romance Of You.” It is the sound Williams has been known for, dating back to her years when she was the first R&B singer signed to Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Records during the 1980’s. Her classic song “Just Call My Name” recently celebrated its’ 30th anniversary.

“Producer Maurice Lynch was putting together a Harlem jazz review and was referred to me by a mutual friend,” says Alyson. “After we completed the show, he offered two songs for me to record – ‘Summer Nights In Harlem’ and ‘The Romance Of You.’ I loved both tunes and offered to cut them with top notch veterans in the music industry- keyboardist Ray Chew (musical director for ABC -TV’s Dancing With The Stars), longtime sax man Kirk Whalum as well as Grammy Award winning bassist Christian McBride.”

A woman of many talents, Alyson also hosts a weekly radio show, Love Notes With Alyson Williams – In The Chill Zone on Tuesday evenings from 8-10 PM EST on WHCR.90.3FM  In addition, this multi-faceted wonder woman has a memoir coming out and her reality/talk television show, “The Gig, The Grind,” is on the horizon.

Blessed with an impeccable and soulful voice, Alyson is well respected by industry royalty and fans worldwide for her genuine heart, innovative mind, and honest lyrics. Her ambition and determination to create her own opportunities is precisely why she is successful, admired by many, and is the next bankable brand. Love and light, peace and blessings, miracles and music all define the Alyson Williams Experience.

“Summer Nights In Harlem” is available now on AMAZON APPLE MUSIC SPOTIFY YOUTUBE PANDORA.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851532242042136185/

Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem

Please visit me on Instagram@mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates..... http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php

#SummerNightsInHarlem
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Tue - November 10, 2020 12:54 pm     A+ | a-
SOUL TRACKS -  Alyson Williams returns gloriously on "Summer Nights In Harlem"
SOUL TRACKS - Alyson Williams returns gloriously on "Summer Nights In Harlem"
I wanted to share this great article and review from SOUL TRACKS on Alyson Williams and " Summer Nights In Harlem". 
 

(October 22, 2020) First Lady of Def Jam Alyson Williams was featured prominently on a handful of rap and dance records throughout the ‘80s before striking gold on her own with unforgettable numbers such as “Just Call My Name,” “I Need Your Lovin’,” and “Sleep Talk.” The New York native has reignited her jazz roots in live performance recently, and is now bringing that flavor to record with several new tunes composed by Maurice Lynch.

Written by Maurice Lynch, “Summer Nights in Harlem,” featuring pianist Christian Sands, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitarist Solomon Hicks, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., is a top-notch affair swaying with classy nostalgia and warm romance. The lush phrasing and stylish scatting which Williams hinted at on her R&B albums is on glowing display here, making the familiar melody and comforting lyrics all the more cozy and affecting.

Take a First Listen to “Summer Nights in Harlem” below and extend a warm welcome back to Alyson Williams!

by Justin Kantor

Available Now on all Digital Platforms
https://songwhip.com/alyson-williams/summer-nights-in-harlem
Please visit me on Instagram@mauricelynchmusic.ny
For News and Updates. http://mauricelynchmusic.com/News.php
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851532242042136059/
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Tue - November 3, 2020 5:26 pm     A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music: VOTE!!! It's your voice
Maurice Lynch Music: VOTE!!! It's your voice
Hi Music & Fashion World,

"I voted........... "By voting I added my voice to the biggest chorus in the world "....... Maurice Lynch 

“Remember music is still new to everyone who has not heard it. ..... Enjoying the Journey.......

Maurice Lynch - Producer. 

#SummerNightsInHarlem
#TheRomanceOfYou 
#TonightJosephine 
#MauriceLynchMusic

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Mobirise

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