Remember: The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon? 

When the legendary crooner passed away in 2006 at the age of 72, he helped the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) raise more than $200 million to benefit over 65,000 college students. Rawls never had the opportunity to attend college, so he made it his priority to ensure that students, regardless of their income, are able to attend and graduate from college. Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of UNCF shared in a 2006 interview, “Lou did not receive the kind of recognition that he deserved. He was someone who [came along] before entertainers recognized that celebrity could be used for humanitarian purposes — and that’s been lionized by people like Bono (of the rock band U2) — [Lou] was already doing that.” (Source: The Non Profit Times, Feb. 1, 2006)

One of this great pleasures was meeting people on this travels, who had benefited from UNCF scholarships that allowed them to succeed in life.  Lou coined the phrase “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”  and it was something he truly believed.  To learn more; visit:  Lou Rawls Bio
Lou Rawls exemplified the third principal of Kwanzza which is “Ujima” meaning “Collective Work & Responsibility”
This principal is further defined as:  “To build and maintain community together and make our brothers and sisters problems our problems to solve them together.”
I came across Lou’s extraordinary philanthropic contributions and the fact that he was the founder of The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon when I was pondering using the song “It Was A Very Good Year”; to represent the close of 2011.  The song was written for Frank Sinatra which won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance in 1966 and it should be noted that Frank also raised funds for philanthropic organizations and his extraordinary role in desegregating venues in Nevada and working publicly and privately with The Civil Rights Movement was exceptional.  To learn more; visit:  Frank Sinatra Bio 
While other performers have sung “It Was A Very Good Year”; I prefer the two versions in the video below.  The Lou Rawls version has a more upbeat and jazz arrangement.  Frank Sinatra’s original version is a more reflective and melancholy arrangement.  Listen to them and see which version you prefer.
It Was A Very Good Year!

Camille Mitchell
NCM Enterprises

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