July 20, 2012—
I can hardly wait.
Soon I will have my favorite lady over to my house for a candlelight dinner.
I will make my spicy jambalaya, well, because, it is the only thing I know how to make well. I will put on some romantic Curtis Mayfield smooth grooves in the background. On vinyl that crackles like a warm fireplace.
And pour a glass of Super Fly Cabernet.
Yes , it is true. The man of the hour has an air of great power. The dudes have envied him for so long……
A line of three wines named after Mayfield hit songs will be out this fall.
Besides “Super Fly,” named after his 1972 number one hit, look for “Gypsy Woman Chardonnay” (pegged after the 1961 crossover hit by the Impressions) and “Move On Up Merlot,” titled after the 1970 hit from Mayfield’s debut solo album. The wines are being produced by Grapeswine.com out of Norwalk, Ct.
Best of all, a portion of proceeds will benefit the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, which was inspired by the July 20 “Here But I’m Gone” Curtis Mayfield Tribute Concert featuring Sinead O’Connor, the Impressions, Mavis Staples, Dr. Lonnie Smith, musical director Binky Griptite of the Dap-Kings and others as part of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York.
“I tried to start this foundation right after Curtis died (in December, 1999), but it got difficult and I put it on hiatus,” said Altheida Mayfield, who was with Curtis for 28 years. “When I got the call from the Lincoln Center it gave me the opportunity to open it back up . We have a performing arts school here in Atlanta called Tri-Cities (High School). One of my kids went there. (As did Outkast)”
Tri-Cities graduate Cheaa P. Mayfield did the label artwork.
His mother said, “Each year I’m going to try to send one of their children that is in the music field off to a college of their choice through a scholarship from the foundation.”
Jake Lambertson is Senior Wine Advisor at Grapeswine.com. “I struck up a relationship with the family,” Lambertson said over the phone from Norwalk. “I used to be a musician myself. We started talking about the Lincoln Center event. We came up with the private label idea. We’re a company that is more palate driven, we have collectively between 10 and 25 years wine experience. We’ve seen other celebrity labels (former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson just announced his own wine line) , a lot of times what is in the bottle falls short. We’re not a gimmick.
“We want to find a wine that is rich. I’m not a hundred per cent sure on the price point, maybe between $35 to $40 a bottle. We’re doing single (California) vineyards for these wines.”
The Impressions, a vintage taste of soul.
And there could be more.
Mayfield scored the soundtrack of the 1976 film “Sparkle” that was updated with Whitney Houston in her final role.
Do you catch my drift?
“Its something Curtis wanted to do,” Mayfield said. “ This just continues on his work. We would do a show at Justin Park in Atlanta and take the proceeds and pay for other artists to come in over the summer. This was to keep the kids off the streets, especially when we had all those kids killed in Atlanta (when 29 children were killed between 1979-81 in the Wayne Williams child murder spree).” The Mayfields moved to Atlanta from Chicago in 1980.
“He was always reaching out to help somebody from the inner city,” she said.