From The Archives

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 About Rufus Wonder


Best known for the Northern soul favorite "Under the Moon," singer Rufus Wonder was born Matthew Breckenridge in Bossier City, Louisiana. Raised by his aunt and uncle, he spent much of his adolescence in California singing in church, local theater groups, and his Fresno high school choir. After graduation he briefly moved to Los Angeles before joining the U.S. Navy. Assigned to the
USS Badoeng Strait aircraft carrier, Breckenridge formed a vocal group dubbed the Blenders and around this same time he adopted his stage name. (He borrowed "Rufus" from his father and "Wonder" from a ski shop in Shreveport, Louisiana.) After receiving his discharge, Wonder returned to L.A. and joined the Ripps. Upon the group's breakup, he mounted a solo career and worked the San Francisco club circuit before his relocation to Chicago, finally settling in Detroit in 1965. There he signed to Frank I. Robinson and Clifford Dickerson's tiny Lando label and cut 1966's "Under the Moon" with a backing group dubbed the Additions. Though now a cult classic among rare soul cognoscenti, the record earned little attention upon its original release and Wonder returned to the West Coast. In the years to follow, Wonder worked as a television cameraman, a bellhop, and a floral delivery man, where his duties included delivering orchids each week to the grave of Marilyn Monroe at the behest of Joe DiMaggio. In 1972 Wonder learned he had glaucoma, although the condition did not fully affect him for close to two decades. By that time he owned an Oakland-based printing business, and when he went blind in 1999, he returned to songwriting. A Google search clued him to his fame among Britain's Northern soul circuit and he performed overseas regularly. Wonder also formed his own label, Oh! O'Star Records, to release his new material, including Tell Me So and The Radiant One. ~

 

Jason Ankeny, Rovi, MTV

 

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Roy Hamilton, not the musician/vocalist, he once played basketball for UCLA, and the Detroit Pistons.

He is now with Fox Sports.

This is my Nephew, my oldest sisters son. 

Her married name was: Mary Francis Hamilton.

She is passed on now.

His brother that also played basketball played for, Caracas, Venezuela

His name is: Alexander Hamilton

 


Sports Industrialists
Published July 20, 2007
 

The Daily Catches Up With FSN's Roy Hamilton
 

FSN VP/Production & Coordinating
Producer Roy Hamilton

FSN VP/Production & Coordinating Producer ROY HAMILTON, today one of the highest-ranking African-American producers in sports media, was so coveted as a high school basketball player coming out of L.A. that when he and Verbum Dei High School teammate DAVID GREENWOOD announced they were going to UCLA in ‘76, local Channel 4 sportscaster BRYANT GUMBEL got the exclusive and his station televised the announcement live. Hamilton was not drafted No. 1 in the’79 NBA Draft, as that honor went to a player named EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON. But Hamilton was taken at No. 10, eight spots behind Greenwood. Following a brief NBA career, Hamilton worked as a TV commentator for UCLA basketball before moving on to CBS Sports as a broadcast associate in ’82. Promoted to producer in ’90, he was behind the net’s coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament from ’90-96, as well as its coverage of the NFL, NBA, MLB, the ’92 Olympics and the Daytona 500. Prior to joining FSN in ’97, Hamilton also served as a producer for ESPN’s NCAA football and NCAA men’s and women’s basketball. Hamilton recently took some time to chat with Staff Writer Jeremy Caslin.

Born and raised: L.A.
Favorite sports team: UCLA Bruins.
Favorite movie: “Ray” and “Gladiator.”
Favorite band/musician: BEYONCE and CHRISTINA AGUILERA.
Best basketball player you ever competed against: JULIUS ERVING.
Favorite sport to produce: NBA.
Favorite Web sites for news and sports: Yahoo and FoxSports.com.
Recommended L.A. restaurant: The Lobster in Santa Monica. 

Q: GREG ODEN and MIKE CONLEY, the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in the NBA draft last month, are believed to be the first high school and college teammates selected among the top ten since ‘79, when David Greenwood and you were taken Nos. 2 and 10, respectively. Who wins that two-on-two game?

Hamilton: I think we do. We’re old-timers, we have to win.

Q: Apologies for bringing this up, but you were cut by three NBA teams, one of which, the Pistons, was coached at the time by DICK VITALE. Is it true you were cut by Dick Vitale? Has he really ever met a player he didn’t like?

Hamilton: Dick Vitale didn’t cut me. He was released after 12 games of the season. He only coached 12 games. So he got cut first!

Q: Many former college and pro basketball players move on to coaching or broadcasting. Why did you choose to go into behind-the-camera work?

Hamilton: My first on-air experience was that I did UCLA basketball locally here in L.A. I had replaced BILL WALTON, who was at Stanford getting his law degree. It was interesting while I was doing the game, listening to the director in the truck. So I thought, with my experience of the game, being able to learn the technical aspect and the business and being able to tell the story, as a producer I can really enhance a broadcast. I became very intrigued with the behind-the-scenes aspect of a broadcast and I had an opportunity to start with CBS Sports on the production side.  It became a very, very wise choice for me, because I love being creative and being able to contribute, and because of the vision I do have of how the game is played and knowing the athletes and the momentum of the game and the situations, and knowing that itís entertainment and that people need to be entertained, it really became a win-win for me.

Q: So you never occasionally have second thoughts where your competitive spirit takes over and you think, “I’d like to be coaching and back in the competition?”

Hamilton: No. I love the competition but the competition for me is in the truck and being able to watch the regional producers here at FSN produce their games in competition to other entities from the TNTs and ESPNs. That’s where my competitive nature becomes involved.

Hamilton Would Like To See More Blacks
Move Over To Production Side Of TV

Q: How would you describe the opportunities today for African Americans on the production side of TV, or in sports media in general, compared to when you began your career in the early ‘80s?

Hamilton: In the early part of the business when I started, there weren’t very many African Americans on the production side. It’s making a little improvement. I’d like to see it get better and see more opportunities given to African Americans. It’s a very, very tough business itself, it’s a small business, it’s almost like playing in professional sports. There are a few jobs and a few opportunities at certain places. I think a lot of African Americans have a tendency of being on-air and they get tremendous opportunities from being star athletes. That’s the first direction that some do go. But I would love to see some move on the production side because there are a lot of creative individuals out there and it’d be great to see more of them in those positions. One of the positions that I’d like to see more of is upper management, in senior positions. I’m seeing glimpses of it working to a certain degree, then suddenly sometimes you see the progress hasn’t been made as much as sometimes you’d like for it to be.

Q: How do changes in broadcast technology continue to impact your work?

Hamilton: The strong demand for HD broadcasts is the big appetite for everyone. HD has been a tremendous visual for fans. Sometimes it’s hard not to watch a game in HD because it’s such a beautiful picture. So that’s the biggest demand for us, getting as many events as possible produced in HD capacity. Everyone has that same challenge, all the networks. It’s a growing business and I think there’s a tremendous future in it. One of the new innovative things that’s going to come across at some point is 3-D. The NBA experimented with that at the All-Star Game. It was incredible. That could be the next wave of the future.

Q: Do viewers want more information or a clean, clutter-free broadcast?

Hamilton: I think we’re in the stage where text-messaging, blogs, e-mails, as much as you can give the viewer within taste, that’s the key. How it’s presented on-air is very, very critical. Sometimes you can clutter the screen with too much information and just the way it’s designed doesn’t look very appealing. But people really love information, reading facts. Sometimes people may not have the audio turned up, but they know if they look at the game they can see where it’s going, they can see the trends that are happening in the game. I don’t think there’s a need for less, I think it’s just a matter of presenting it the right way, and if it’s tasteful, I think it works.

Q: Who would you say have been your top mentors and role models during your career?

Hamilton: [Fox Sports President] ED GOREN and [Fox Sports TV Group Chair & CEO] DAVID HILL. I’ve known Ed a good portion of my life on the production side. The first person who really gave me the appetite for the sports business was Bryant Gumbel. He covered my signing to UCLA. I was very close with Bryant and had the opportunity to intern with him when he was at NBC in Los Angeles. So he was a role model for me in terms of igniting my career and my direction and vision of being in the sports television business. But Ed Goren and David Hill have been very instrumental to me in my career and very helpful and supportive. And the people I work with here – [Fox National Cable Sports Networks President] BOB THOMPSON, [Fox Sports Regional Networks President] RANDY FREER and [FSN Senior VP/Production] DOUG SELLARS – have been very supportive.

Q: Wraparound question from ESPN Senior VP & GM of Digital Media JOHN KOSNER: What technical innovation in sports media coverage do you most value?

Hamilton: The EVS machine (which allows producers to package replays and add production elements while simultaneously recording the game on a different channel) that is used on a lot of our broadcasts is one tool thatís really ignited the business itself, and itís made a lot of producersí and production peopleís jobs a little easier in the truck to manage. This equipment can record different channels of a broadcast. It really makes your broadcast go very smoothly in terms of the visuals that you can give to a viewer in terms of actually replaying packages, replaying different graphics, being able to enhance your broadcast.  It allows producers to package replays and add production elements while simultaneously recording the game on a different channel.

Q: Your wraparound question:

Hamilton: Will KOBE BRYANT be in a Lakers uniform next season?

 

 

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Soul Trip USA 2004Ö At The WILSHIRE GRAND HOTEL Los Angeles, California

KEV ROBERTS--The Los Angeles Classic Soul Festival!

From:  Kev Roberts, Hi Everyone,

This mailing is for Soul star performers, VIP's and close friends of the promoters. With less than 3 weeks to go, I am writing to you from the UK to highlight our plans for this truly amazing get together. For those of you 'out of the loop' (possibly due to me only connecting with

you recently), the festival is aimed at bringing together over 400 enthusiasts from Gt. Britain, and US fans of Soul music from the 60's-80's.

The UK has championed this genre for 35 years, with many songs extremely popular over here while the artist and in some cases record companies, have been

oblivious to the fact!

The UK end have a spirit and camaraderie all their own with Northern Soul. And for those of you still a little hazy over the movement, think Motown 1966 and you will be halfway there!

The audience, primarily white, dance frantically to obscure 45's from artists like Patrice Holloway, The Sequins, Gwen Owens and 1,000's of others, while they love the hitmakers too, such as Brenton Wood, Bobby Freeman, Kim Weston etc.

The romance of this incredible underground is sealed by countless TV programmes, cd compilations, magazines currently on sale in Europe.

Our aim is to showcase many 'gone but not forgotten' artists into one great weekend of nostalgia and eye opening hoopla!

To simplify our plans, take a quick glance at exactly what's happening and when, and contact me with any questions. I will be on hand throughout the week of March 11-18(the week the British contingent are in town) to speak with new contacts and old friends.

 

Here is the rundown of activity;

March 11 UK contingent arrive in LA. Staying at the Wilshire Grand hotel, 930, Wilshire Blvd (downtown)

March 12 Pre-Weekend party in the Sports Bar from 9pm 'A 60's Soul night-all welcome)

March 13 THE BIG ONE in the Pacific Ballroom starting at 5pm. Over 800 expected for this incredible night of nostalgia. LIVE on stage from 8pm Freddie Hughes, Dean Courtney, The Olympics, Evie Sands, Rufus Wonder, Alexander Patton, Lou Ragland, Marva Holiday, The Magnificents and Jewel Akens.

Many other artists will be with us in a 'greet and meet' and PA capacity (that could mean you!)

Network with other industry pros-Meet the UK film crew-See the UK passion for great songs from the past.

We have either mailed you VIP passes or you are on the guest list. If you require additional GUEST passes, please let us know.

The evening ends at 2am.

March 14 The Weekend continues at 11am with a RECORD SWAP-MEET.

Hungry collectors will be eager to buy rare and collectible 45's and albums. Over 20 dealers will be on hand with vinyl, books, cd's etc. If you have any oddities-BRING THEM TO THE SWAP MEET.

 

It's all a case of awareness, Alexander Patton (a failed but excellent vocalist from Long Beach) was amazed to find his one shot 45 on Capitol in 1966 is $200.

Edna Wright, former lead with chart toppers The Honeycone (Want Ads etc) was thrilled to hear her first 45's under the recording name of Sandy Wynns are worth hundreds of dollars! Miles Grayson, a superb producer of many 60's independent labels in the LA area, has at least 5 productions worth a 'grand' each!!

Following the show, the dancing continues in the adjoining Pacific Ballroom from 5pm-12 mid.

March 15-17 We are nightly in the Sports Bar from 9pm. Feel free to join us.

THIS IS ONE UNUSUAL BUT HIGHLY ENTERTAINING SPECTACLE. AND A GREAT CHANCE FOR US ALL TO MEET AND MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND BUSINESS CONTACTS.

I look forward to meeting all of you. Best Wishes from the United Kingdom.

Sincerely,

Kev Roberts

 

         The KRL Group,

         PO Box 909,

         S80 3YZ

         United Kingdom

         Tel:44- (0)1909-774111(ext 20)

         Direct dial from USA 011-44-1909-774111(ext 20)

         e-mail:

kev@kevroberts.com

www.goldsoul.co.uk

 

www.rwe-usa.com