No other character on television has touched our hearts the way that George Jefferson did. Here's a character that came up from nothing and became a successful businessman. As a matter of fact, he became synonymous with the phrase "moving on up".
This was a character that actually spanned two television shows. In 1971, Sherman Hemsley was contacted by TV producer Norman Lear to play the role of George Jefferson on a new sitcom called "All in the Family." Although he wasn't quite ready to leave his theatre role, "Lear" held the role for him for two years, after which he joined the cast in 1973. Two short years later, the Jeffersons moved on up to the East side and right into their own sitcom, which ran from 1973 until 1985.
Although he was pretty much typecast as George Jefferson, Hemsley continued to get work for quite a while. The second role he was known for was that of Deacon Ernest Frye on the hit TV show "Amen" from 1986-1991. And while this character was pretty much "Deacon George Jefferson" in my opinion, everyone loved him in that role as well.
Even when that show ended, Hemsley continued to work. He actually appeared in nearly every successful African-American sitcom since then from "Martin" to Tyler Perry's "House of Payne," in which he reprised his role as none other than George Jefferson.
Hemsley died of natural causes on Tuesday (July 24) at his home in El Paso, Texas. He was 74.
J.J. Williamson at the Bartlett Comedy Spot
Funny guy J.J. Williamson has toured with the King of Comedy Cedric the Entertainer and more and you have seen him on BET's "Comicview," "Def Comedy Jam" and "Jamie Foxx Presents." Now you can see him live at the Bartlett Comedy Spot Aug. 3-4. Show times are at 7:30 and 10 each night. The Bartlett Comedy Spot is located at 5709 Raleigh Lagrange. Call 901-590-3620.
'The Gospel According to Soul'
Flo Roach and the Rev. Dwayne Hunt and the Abundant Grace Fellowship Church present "The Gospel According to Soul"! Get ready to be blessed as this production showcases the soul of what we all know as gospel music.
The production features gospel singers Jeffrey Allen Murdock, Everett McBee, Shea Norman and radio personality Michael Adrian Davis. Show times are 7 p.m. on July 27-29 at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church located at 1579 East Shelby Drive.
Join my good friend Tonyaa Staples Rodgers each and every 5th Sunday at Memphis Sounds Lounge located at 22 North Third. If you have ever caught Tonyaa in concert, you know that you're in for a night of sultry soul. Join her this Sunday, July 29, at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.Doors open at 6 p.m.
One last note
Here's a date to put on your calendar, Sept. 8th. It is the date of the "Myron Mays Pre-40th Birthday Bash." Why such a long name? It was the only way I could describe it in the name.
You might also ask why am I starting so early? Well I guess it's the anticipation. This year I turn 39, the last year in my beloved 30's. Although I look forward to my 40's, this will be a pivotal time in my life as I look ahead to the next big decade in my life. Then in 2013, I guess it will be time for Part 2, when I actually turn the corner and enter my fourth decade on earth. I got more details coming. In the meantime, put me on your calendar and plan to have a great night.