LifestyleMelba Moore wows audience with hits and new music at BSU

Melba Moore wows audience with hits and new music at BSU

Award-winning songstress and actress Melba Moore recently brought Valentine’s Day cheer to Bowie State University (BSU). Moore performed well-loved hits and new music in the Dionne Warwick Theater at BSU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. With her five-octave range, and the ability to hold a note for what seems like forever, the audience had a great time going down memory lane with Moore.

Aminta H. Breaux (left), president of Bowie State University, stands with singer and actress Melba Moore following her concert in the Dionne Warwick Theater at Bowie State University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center on Feb. 10. (Brenda C. Siler/The Washington Informer)
In between songs, Moore spoke about her upbringing and her career. In 1970, she won a Tony award for her role as Lutiebelle in “Purlie,” the musical “Purlie Victorious.” Earlier this month, the play completed a successful Broadway run, but not before the singer and actress participated in a talkback with the cast of “Purlie Victorious.” The play was written by acting and activist husband-and-wife pioneers Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee and originally premiered in 1961. During the talk back, Moore reflected on when she was in the musical in 1970, compared to society, today. The play and musical looked at race relations in the South with a comic edge.

“First, I got to meet the cast and be with them in front of the audience that had just seen the play,” Moore said. “For me, without the music, the message was very different. You realize that the impact of the play is very strong as a theory piece.”

In the musical, Moore shined with her signature performance of the song “I Got Love,” which she performed during her set at BSU. The song and Broadway performance took the actress to heights in television and movie roles, plus a recording career.

Moore Beyond Broadway

Moore’s musical catalog crosses several genres, including gospel, R&B, disco, pop, and the classics. 

From her latest album “Imagine,” she sang “So in Love,” a mid-tempo tune great for relaxing. The BSU audience also heard examples of Moore’s range of music styles through her repertoire, including “Stormy Weather,” first sang by Ethel Waters in 1933, “You Stepped into My Life,” originally recorded by the Bee Gees in 1976 and re-recorded by Moore in 1978,  and “Falling” (1986) composed by the duo McFadden and Whitehead. People started “moving to the groove” when Moore sang her chart-topping club hit “Love’s Comin’ At Ya.”  

When Moore sang “Lean on Me,” the version co-composed by Van McCoy and Joe Cobb, the impact of her version of this hit was quickly remembered. The McCoy-Cobb version is not the same as the one written and recorded by Bill Withers.

 McCoy was a composer, producer, and vocalist who became the king of disco music in the 1970s. A D.C. native, who attended Howard University, McCoy wrote and produced for top singers and groups during the disco era. Others had recorded his version of “Lean on Me,” but Moore put her signature stamp on McCoy’s arrangement, with her signature long-held note at the end.

“I have become known for this song. “I just want to thank Mr. Van McCoy,” said Moore, who recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the creators of Black History Month, celebrates “African Americans and the Arts,” as its 2024 theme, BSU President Dr. Aminta H. Breaux noted the importance of recognizing the significance of the arts to culture.  

“The arts are very near and dear to my heart. I think it brings people together and unites us in very unique ways,” said Breaux, who was a dance major in college. “We have incredible talent throughout the DMV, and I’d like to see much more showcased here in the Warwick Theater. I want people to see the excellence that we have at BSU.”

Source: Washington Informer

“The Morning Roast” With Cast of Professional Black Men Launches Season 2 in Major TV Markets

Nationwide — Live from the Cave: The Morning Roast is back for its highly anticipated second season, premiering on WGN TV Chicago on April...

Founder of Black Woman-Owned Streaming Service Launches Platform to Fund Stories Told by Black Creators

Nationwide — kweliTV, the premier streaming service celebrating Black culture from around the globe, announces the launch of kweliFUND, a groundbreaking crowdfunding platform designed...

Hip-hop and jazz festival at Kennedy center features hip-hop royalty

A standing-room-only, sold-out throng of hip-hop and jazz enthusiasts filled the seats of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Northwest...

Imani Jean: Freshman standout achieves early success at Howard

From the late Althea Gibson to retired legendary players such as Serena and Venus Williams and Zina Garrison to Naomi Osaki, Sloane Stephens, Ora Washington...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

“The Morning Roast” With Cast of Professional Black Men Launches Season 2 in Major TV Markets

Nationwide — Live from the Cave: The Morning Roast...

Founder of Black Woman-Owned Streaming Service Launches Platform to Fund Stories Told by Black Creators

Nationwide — kweliTV, the premier streaming service celebrating Black...

Newsletter

Don't miss

“The Morning Roast” With Cast of Professional Black Men Launches Season 2 in Major TV Markets

Nationwide — Live from the Cave: The Morning Roast...

Founder of Black Woman-Owned Streaming Service Launches Platform to Fund Stories Told by Black Creators

Nationwide — kweliTV, the premier streaming service celebrating Black...

Hip-hop and jazz festival at Kennedy center features hip-hop royalty

A standing-room-only, sold-out throng of hip-hop and jazz enthusiasts...