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Homeless Harmonizers

Janie 19 Nov 09 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Nov 09 - 11:53 PM
Janie 20 Nov 09 - 12:46 AM
Jack Campin 20 Nov 09 - 03:41 AM
Les from Hull 20 Nov 09 - 10:17 AM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 09 - 11:09 AM
VirginiaTam 20 Nov 09 - 01:54 PM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM
katlaughing 20 Nov 09 - 04:45 PM
wysiwyg 22 Nov 09 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: Homeless Harmonizers
From: Janie
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 09:15 PM

Thought this was worth a mention. Three homeless men in Raleigh, NC who sing a cappella gospel, R&B and Doo-Wop. Lifts their spirits and the spirits of others also.

Article

From a sidebar to the right of the article you can link to a short video.

I'm sure there are others like them in other urban centers. I'm a social worker and have psychotherapy clients who are homeless, some of them for years. These three men coming together like this with purpose can be so empowering to the human spirit.

And we all know the power of music.   

This post is as much a human interest "story" as about music, but I think it belongs above the line.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 11:53 PM

Thanks for sharing this article, Janie.

I wish I could see the video, but it didn't work for me. Nonetheless, I'm glad the guys are singing.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: Janie
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 12:46 AM

Glad you found it interesting, leeneia.

If you had been able to play the video, you would have been able to hear from the interview their correct understanding that they are giving something of value to the community, and reclaiming some sense of their own intrinsic self-worth in the process.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 03:41 AM

I couldn't play the video either, it locked up Firefox. Some bit of excesssive cleverness at the newspaper website.

Thanks for the story, though.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 10:17 AM

Shame about no video, but a nice story. Raleigh is one of Hull's 'sister cities'.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 11:09 AM

Apparently the name of the group is "MKM"".

Streetcorner a capella music has long been a US tradition, even before our culture knew the term (and the stereotypes) about being "homeless." I.E. barbershop singing which actually began as a multi-task-type strategy targeting poverty, racism, and Jim Crow laws against Black males congregating in public-- they simply moved off streetcorners and into Black-managed/Black-owened barbershops. They sang there. Some made it to recording opportunities Many examples can be found at Kevin Nutt's excellent weekly archival (and archived) radio show, "Sinner's Crossroads" at WFMU. There are good recorded collections as well. I think I got one from CAMSCO.

It often bothers me, on accuracy, when an adjective is turned into a button-pushing noun and then used to identify a group of people. One long-bothersome example: "'The' homeless" as often used in the media-- these are PEOPLE who happen to be homeless.

Even though "The Homeless Harmonizers" is a GREAT gospel-group name, it seems not to have been the name these men chose for themselves. If they had, it would have been great as "typical" gospel-naming not because they lack an earthly home, but because many Christians characterize their stay on Earth as not being at their true home (Heaven).

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 01:54 PM

I am in the UK and it played for me on Google Chrome.

It is not really a video technically. It was sound recording with series of photographs.

I agree with Susan re the term homeless - Aggravating that the common media use of it as an appellation rather than description of a state of being desensitises the hearer/reader to the wrongness of it.


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM

Reading further in the article, I saw that there is also a name they use as a duo. I have not yet had time to look them up under either name and see if they are on YouTube-- hope they are! Maybe someone else has a mo' to look....

BTW Janie is a good friend of mine-- I hope no one misunderstands my post as an attack on her, and I did not mean to suggest that she had perpetuated the stereotype-- I know that she knows better. My comment was meant as a general observation only and as a stepping stone to point folks to the history of barbershop. A lot of folks also do not realize that the white men in striped shirts and straw hats they now as "barbershop" as a later generation of that art form and a heavenly sanitized one. They just "borrowed" the harmonies and got wider press in some places, as part of their privileged status. We have an all-female (white) "barbershop" quartet here that I bet doesn't know they have Black brothers in the form..... hmmmm..... I see a conversation forming up IRL....

~S~


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 04:45 PM

The duo was "Just Us" until the third man joined them a couple of months ago.

Janie, thank you! That is a real lift for the spirits and just shows how any one can pay it forward in some way no matter their circumstances. I hope they get noticed, if they would like that, and get some paying gigs.

Wonderful!

kat


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Subject: RE: Homeless Harmonizers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:40 AM

refresh


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