Forever Yours: The Unpublished Works: Lyrics and Poems of Tony Rose 1966 - 2016
by Tony Rose
Publication Date: Jun 28, 2018
List Price: $12.00
Format: Paperback, 252 pages
Imprint: Amber Communications Group, Inc.
Publisher: Amber Communications Group, Inc.
Parent Company: Amber Communications Group, Inc.
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When I was thirteen I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and I immediately picked up a broom and imitated them playing something that was in their hands. Some-time later, I learned that what they had in their hands was called a guitar.
Once I learned what it was and what it was called and that you could buy one, I looked in the Sears and Roebuck catalog, and saw a picture of what a guitar looked like. It looked exactly like what the Beatles had in their hands when I saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The catalog said it cost $39.99, so I immediately started saving for it. I was working at the Christian Scientist Monitor Newspaper in the afternoons after school, and selling the Record American Newspaper at night, and the Bay State Banner on the weekends. I was a professional Newspaper boy and had been one since I was six years old.
Within two months I was standing at the loading dock of the Sears and Roebuck store, across from a park called The Fenway, and about one mile from the Whittier Street Housing Projects where I lived, with my arms outstretched, reaching up, while the warehouse guy lowered down my box with my bright red, shiny, new guitar in it.
The world shifted for me at that moment because I knew just what I wanted to do. I took that guitar home and right away I started plucking the strings, singing to it, making up words, my hand doing what the Beatles had done.
The guitar didn't sound like the Beatles did, but I had fun making up words and strumming my guitar. I did that for a couple of years and by the time I was fifteen I was rhyming and making up words to the songs I was listening to on my little am/fm radio, by James Brown, Major Lance, The Moments, The Delphonics, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells and all the English groups I was listening to like, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, the Zombies, The Animals, Gerry and the Pacemakers, all the hits and hit-makers from the early sixties.
By the time I was sixteen I was given a book by some people in a school for truants, dropouts and at risk kids that I was going to at the time.
The book was called 'Black Voices'. It was an anthology of poems and short stories by black poets and writers, like, Sterling A. Brown, Charles W. Chesnutt, John Henrik Clarke, Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, Naomi Long Madgett, Paule Marshall, Clarence Major, Claude McKay, Ann Petry, Dudley Randall, J. Saunders Redding, Jean Toomer, Darwin T.Turner, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Leroy Jones, W.E.B. Dubois, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Malcolm X.
It was the first time I had seen or read a book like this with all African American writers and poets and it literally changed my entire life. I, by this time, had read thousands of books from the bookmobile that used to come around the projects every week, and the libraries that I had taken a liking to for the books and as a place of refuge, whenever I needed a break from my mother and the ghetto.
I would go to the Roxbury Boys Club Library on Dudley Street, to the YMCA Book Library on Huntington Avenue, I read books everywhere in school and out of school, but never had I read stories and poems like these. I had a small bookcase, in my bedroom filled with books like: Robin Hood, the biography of John J. Audubon, King Arthur and the Round Table, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, and the biography of Robert Louis Stevenson, but the stories and poems in ‘Black Voices’ were about me, and I was never the same again.
I began to see the world and approach the world differently, it was as if I had been awakened and was now aware of who I was and who we, as black people, are. I was now ready to begin my journey and knew that I wanted to be a writer or a journalist and that my guitar was a part of that. By the time I was seventeen I realized that I didn't know a damn thing about music.
But, I did know how to play what I heard and thought, and I could make up words that sounded like the guitar. I had never had a music lesson and I finally had realized, (some kid had told me), that the reason why my guitar didn't sound like the Beatles was because I needed an amplifier, but nobody in my family had known enough to tell me that and I didn’t know.
But I soldiered on and began saying things to my guitar that I knew about, drinking, drugs and girls, making up stories and poetry about life in the ghetto. Just like my 'Black Voices' book, except with music and words that I made up.
By the time I was eighteen years old I had left the projects for Lackland Air Force Base and Shephards Air Force Base in Texas, Misawa Air Force Base in Japan, Puson Air Force Base in South Korea, Tegu Air Force Base in South Korea and DaNang Air Force base in South Vietnam. I wrote no poems or words when I was there, I was too busy being a warrior for good ole Lyndon Baines Johnson and then Richard Milhouse Nixon.
When I came home I got married; but I had no poems, no words for that marriage, until much later, when it was all over. But I did take creative writing classes, as an English Literature Major, and I did win short story writing awards, for two stories I wrote, "And I will take the Clouds Clean out of The Sky and Give Them to You with Love" and a story about my father, six dead people, and a place called N.E.G.R.O., called "The Life", while attending the University of Massachusetts (Boston). They were major accomplishments for me, at the time.
I then went to Los Angeles, where I found a guitar in Mexico and the words found me again. I met a woman who after she heard me say the words, on a guitar, put me in show business.
I found a friend in the mail room at Warner Brothers and Columbia pictures called The Burbank Studios, and we would sneak inside one of the screening rooms during lunchtime and I would write lyrics while he would play piano, giving notes to the chords that I would play on the piano for him.
It would be the first time I would write music and lyrics with somebody. Somehow that led to my being hired at Warner/Electra/Atlantic Records, (WEA) where someone thought I would do well to learn record distribution, marketing, accounting and sales.
Then RCA Records hired me and I was trained in studio record production, music business, marketing, promotion, distribution, and A&R work for the company.
I kept writing lyrics and music while I worked with Cuba Gooding, Sr. and Luther Simmons, members of RCA's biggest R&B group, The Main Ingredient, while managing, producing and writing for acts I signed to the RCA Records and the Main Ingredient's production company, Super Group Productions.
I went to work at night on Sunset Blvd. for a public relations firm owned by an African American man named Warren Lanier who showed me how to understand what public relations meant, and how to write press releases, and editorial copy for newspapers and magazines.
I booked and managed other acts like Shirley Hemphill at the Comedy Store and bands at other Hollywood and Beverly Hills nightclubs, from my Nova production offices on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, while taking acting lessons, music composition and creative writing courses at Los Angeles City College and attending the University of California at Los Angeles, eventually getting a B.A. in English Literature.
A few years later I returned to Boston and met a Boston Conservatory of Music graduate, and I would have a lot of music and words for her. We would take some courses at the New England Conservatory of Music together, and I would have a lot of music and words for her,
mostly about space, galaxies, and universes.
A year or so later I would meet Maurice Starr, and get him a record deal with RCA Records, for a song he had out called 'Bout Time I Funk You Girl', and he would introduce me to a young musician named Charles Alexander. We would call ourselves Prince Charles and the City Beat Band; and Maurice, his brother Michael Johnzon, Prince Charles and I would make some words and music and I would have my first hit record, "In the Streets", and go on to manage and produce, Prince Charles Alexander for the next ten years,
I would begin a record company called, Solid Platinum Records and Productions. We were very successful having production deals on Virgin Records, Atlantic Records and Pavilion - CBS/Sony Records, with licensing and co-publishing deals with many music companies in Europe, Canada, and the United States, sold some millions of records around the world, receiving two gold albums.
We wrote and published, words and music, like, Stone Cold Killers, Combat Zone, More Money, City Life, Cash Money, Big Chested Girls, Fistful of Dollars, Bush Beat, Rise, You Are My Love, Video Freak, Don’t Fake the Funk, Tight Jeans and Skintight Tina, songs from the albums, "Gang War", "Stone Killers", and "Combat Zone", about the ghetto, politics, money, sex and drugs, things we grew up with, loved, and knew very well.
Some years later, I worked with Maurice Starr on a New Kids on the Block album and received two more gold and platinum albums and two ampex golden reel awards.
My words and music with Prince Charles and the City Beat Band and the other groups I wrote for, are still played, bought, sold and listened to on YouTube.com, Amazon.com, iTunes.com, Google.com, Unidisc.com, Cdbaby.com, and every music source throughout the world, to this very day, this very second.
That same year of, 1979, shortly after I had met Prince Charles Alexander and Maurice Starr, I met a muse named Yvonne, who attached herself to me, and became my inspiration.
Forever Yours, a book of unpublished works, words, poems and lyrics, is dedicated to Yvonne Rose for her friendship, love, and dedicated service, as my muse, wife, best friend and lover, for almost forty years.
I had enjoyed writing words, poems and lyrics since I was a young teenager. One day, once upon a time in a magical place, I married my muse, and during my early life, downtime from Prince Charles and the City Beat Band and upcoming life, I wrote, over the years, hundreds of these unpublished words, lyrics, and poems about ‘love, life, and living’, a lot of them about her, even before I had met her, and long after.
After the music writing and lyric years, I became a book publisher and author, with the number one African American book publishing company in the world, writing six international-critically acclaimed-best-selling books: Is Modeling for You? The Handbook and Guide for the Aspiring Black Model; African American History in the United States of America; Before the Legend: The Rise of New Kids on the Block and a Guy Named Maurice Starr; How to be In the Entertainment Business and Become a Record Producer, Record Company, Personal Manager, Film Producer, and Book Publisher, A Beginners Guide to Success in the Music, Film, Television and Book Publishing Industries; The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy; America the Black Point of View; The Investigation of the White People of America and Western Europe and the Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy; and The Investigation of the White People of America and Western Europe, bought, sold and read all over the world on YouTube.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and noble.com, iTunes.com, Google.com, and Amberbookspublishing.com.
I would publish over two hundred book titles, receiving among other accolades, many Book Publisher of the Year Awards and winning an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature, and setting up a company, Quality Press in 2001, that to date has made authors and publishers of many thousands of African American writers.
I would complete, during my lifetime, a 380 degree turn around from the music world back to the world of books and writing books, a promise that I had made to myself decades ago, when I had to make a conscientious decision to change from the writing and journalism world to the music world.
Thank you for reading volume one of my unpublished works, words, lyrics, and poems. I hope that you enjoy them.
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