Clarence Fountain, Founding Blind Boys Of Alabama Member, Dies At Age 88

first_imgClarence Fountain, a founding member of the long-running and culturally significant gospel outfit Blind Boys of Alabama, passed away on Sunday, June 3rd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 88, according to a statement issued by longtime Blind Boys manager Charles Driebe.Fountain was born November 28th, 1929 and grew up in a religious household in Selma, Alabama. Notes Celebrity Access, After losing his sight as a small child, Clarence Fountain was enrolled at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, where he joined the school’s large boys choir. There, in the mid-1940’s, inspired by the weekly radio broadcasts of the Golden Gate Quartet, he and a group of his classmates decided to start their own singing group, eventually dubbed the Blind Boys.Explains the Blind Boys’ eloquent official bio:In the seven decades since the Blind Boys of Alabama first began singing together, America has witnessed a World War, the civil rights movement, and the Summer of Love; the moon landing, Vietnam, and the fall of the Berlin Wall; JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X; the invention of the jukebox, the atomic bomb, and the internet. Through it all, the Blind Boys’ music has not only endured, but thrived, helping both to define the sound of the American south and to push it forward through the 20th century and well on into the 21st. Praised by NPR as “pioneers,” the group has transcended barriers of race and genre to become one of the most acclaimed and celebrated groups in modern music. From the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, where the original members met as children, all the way to The White House – where they’ve performed for three different presidents – the band’s story is, in many ways, America’s story.The Blind Boys went on to win multiple Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an NEA National Heritage Fellowship, as well as being inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and performing at the White House. Watch Clarence Fountain sing lead with the Blind Boys on “Too Close To Heaven” from How Sweet It Was, The Sights and Sounds of Gospel’s Golden Age:The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama – “Too Close To Heaven”[Video: Pannellctp Traditional Gospel Music]Due to declining health, Fountain stopped touring with the band in 2007 but did contribute vocals to the Blind Boys’ latest album, Almost Home, released last year. Below, you can also listen to a fascinating NPR World Cafe interview by Fountain and his fellow founding Blind Boys member, Jimmy Carter, about their early lives and their incredible 70-year career.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>[H/T Celebrity Access]last_img read more

NBA: Miami Heat executive under investigation by FBI for money laundering

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementAn executive for the Miami Heat has been placed on leave by the team in the wake of an investigation by the FBI into a suspected money laundering scheme that occurred when he was an executive with the Sacramento Kings, according to the Sacramento Bee.The executive is Jeffrey David who started his job as the Miami Heat’s chief revenue officer on July 9. He is suspected of siphoning off $13.4 million from two of the team’s top sponsors and using the funds to purchase beachfront property in Southern California.The funds in question include $9 from Golden 1 Credit Union, which signed a 20-year, $120-million agreement in 2015 to become the naming-rights sponsor for the Kings’ Golden 1 Center, and an additional $4.4 million from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation.According to the report, the allegedly embezzled funds were unrelated to any ticketing operations for the franchise but rather funneled directly from business partners. Golden 1 holds a multimillion-dollar naming rights agreement for the Kings arena, which David negotiated according to a release announcing his hiring in Miami. Kaiser Permanente was an advertising partner with the team.The FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into the matter.“That investigation is underway and on Monday, U.S. Department of Justice authorities began the formal process of recovering and seizing the properties involved in the investigation,” the Kings wrote in a statement to The Sacramento Bee.“We are aware of the investigation of Jeff David, which focuses on events that took place prior to his joining our team,” the Heat said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities.”Also Read-NBA: Kobe Bryant’s $6M investment in BodyArmor is now worth $200Mlast_img read more