Thu04242014

Entertainment

‘MED Night’ was MEDelicious

 

For the second consecutive year, “MED Night: A Soul Celebration” transformed the Peabody Hotel’s Grand Ballroom into a packed house.

For the second consecutive year, “MED Night: A Soul Celebration” transformed the Peabody Hotel’s Grand Ballroom into a packed house.

The 26-year-old MED Foundation sponsored last Saturday’s (March 31) event, which was co-chaired by Susan Scheidt Arney and Leigh Shockey.

 
 “I have no intentions of stopping what I’m doing. This is my calling. I still love it.” – Thelma Houston (Photos by Warren Roseborough)

 
 The Temptations showed that they could make grandmas get up on their sore aching feet and do their thang.

 
 The Four Tops have one founding member, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, but you’d never know it. Their traditional hits: “It’s The Same Old Song,” “I’ll Be There,” “Reach Out For Me,” and others sounded just as good as when they were first released.

 
 The MED Night groove included the up-beat disco and bluesy tempo of husband and wife, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, who recently celebrated 40 years in the industry and 42 years of marriage.

 
 President and CEO, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, has guided The MED from a financially strapped healthcare institution to a thriving state of the art medical facility.

It was fun – fun for a good cause. During the reception, the crowd’s energy was high and electric with expectation of a good time, many reminiscing about the event’s first successful year.

The reception’s vigor carried over into the Grand Ballroom, evidenced by the smiles and bursts of laughter. The sponsors, supporters and guests shared the same mission: to commemorate and ensure The MED’s continued success, under the leadership of President and CEO, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, who has guided The MED from a financially strapped healthcare institution to a thriving state of the art medical facility.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Robert Sumter, PhD, said in an earlier interview with The New Tri-State Defender, “The road ahead is very bright. We now have the ability to be the hospital of choice. It’s closer now than it’s ever been.”

Board member and co-chair Arney echoed those sentiments on MED Night.

“I was asked three times to be on the board and said no, but when Dr. Coopwood took me on a tour and I actually saw what great work the MED does, I was hooked. I immediately said yes,” said Arney.

“What The MED does is such a well-kept secret. I live in East Memphis. I love The MED so much, I would get care there.”

The evening’s accents included a live auction, with a professional auctioneer offering trips to such places as Paris, France; Tuscany, Italy; China, Bali Hai in the South Pacific, and so much more, with every auction item sold.

Still more excitement was to come, as the headlining Grammy Award winning entertainers prepared to grace the stage. Thelma Houston; Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., formerly of the Fifth Dimensions; The Temptations Review, featuring Dennis Edwards; and The Four Tops have been crowd pleasers for decades, beginning in the sixties and seventies when rhythm and soul ruled the charts.

Thelma Houston, wearing an electric gold metallic outfit, kicked things off with her soulful disco style music. Her stage persona, big voice and musical notes seemed effortless. She wowed guests to the dance floor, moving them to party hardy, as she sang “Do You Like Good Music” and other soul-stirring hits. After forty years of entertaining, she still has the “it factor.”

In an interview Friday (March 30) evening with The New Tri-State Defender, Houston said, “I have no intentions of stopping what I’m doing. This is my calling. I still love it.”

The party was on. No, there was no popping and locking; no dropping it like it’s hot; no breakdancing, because no one came to “break a leg.” It’s The MED, remember – representing a place where people are healed and aren’t encouraged or cajoled to risk injury, but where quality care in orthopedics and other services is highly valued.

Oh, but the “souled-out” crowd danced the night away. They swayed, rocked, glided, twirled and sashayed to the up-beat disco and bluesy tempo of husband and wife, McCoo and Davis, who recently celebrated 40 years in the industry and 42 years of marriage. They sang their classic hits and several love songs from their “Many Faces of Marriage” CD, such as “You Are So Beautiful To Me.”

People who’d been sitting all evening, rushed to the stage during the performance of Motown’s soulful, timeless and classy ensemble, The Temptations, who showed that they can make grandmas get up on their sore aching feet and do their thang. At their disposal were such beloved classics as “My Girl,” “Get Ready, Here I Come,” “Poppa Was a Rolling Stone,” and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.”

When you’ve developed a longstanding love and passion for the Motown rhythm and soul movement, it never ends. The Four Tops, like The Temptations, only have one founding member, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, but you’d never know it. Their traditional hits: “It’s The Same Old Song,” “I’ll Be There,” “Reach Out For Me,” and others sounded just as good as when they were first released.

Yes, The MED Foundation event was “A Soulful Celebration.” It fed the soul and the body. It was literally “souled-out,” with a scrumptious meal, headlining entertainment and wide-ranging financial supporters.

(Dorothy Bracy Alston is a journalist, author, freelance writer and, adjunct English professor. Visit Dorothy’s blog at http://www.CisbaAssociates.blogspot.com; join her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dorothybracyalston, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 901-570-3923.)

 

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