Thursday, December 29, 2011

"VISION/VOICE/VARION"

We're gearing up for a new season and its going to be epic!"


  VISION/VOICE/VARION......"always on, always connected!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Weekend Wine Down" in This Month's Radar Magazine

TOAST THE NEW YEAR!
  HERE'S TO 2012!!

CLICK ONTO THE LINK FOR CURRENT ISSUE
http://issuu.com/mediaeyecon/docs/nov-dec2011?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222



Check out Page 19--"Weekend Wine Down"
Varion Walton has some tips on when "GOOD wine goes BAD!



THE ULTIMATE THROWBACK: Timothy L. Jones Photography: "A Day With Varion" 07/07/07

                   BLAST FROM THE PAST! CHECK OUT "VINTAGE VARION"!

Varion Walton and Tim Jones July 7, 2007
   

CLICK HERE TO PULL UP PICTURES:
Timothy L. Jones Photography: "A Day With Varion" 07/07/07:

That day was truly a special day. Varion Walton is a dear friend of mine. She invited my wife and I to her birthday party at the historical ...



I just had to go back and save this one from my dear friend and gifted photographer Timothy L. Jones.
It makes me think of the spiritual, "my soul sits back and wonder how I got over!"
2007 was a very challenging year.
Thank God Tim was there to help me capture the memories of some happier times!

"Thank you Tim"

2011 YEAR IN REVIEW: K-Rob Live on VISION/VOICE/VARION

                 K-ROB's "Golden Opportunity" for BayFest 2011


(MOBILE, AL.)  What do you get when you stir up soulful ingredients like a "choir boy" in the church, a direct link to a legendary R&B family along with the incredible influences of iconic crooners like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway?  K-Rob, of course!  This rising star appeared Live on "VISION/VOICE/VARION" following his performance with BayFest 2011.  Check him out as he talks about mixing the nuances of today's R&B/Hip Hop with the "old school" flava.

(PREVIOUSLY RECORDED-- K-Rob Live on Vision/Voice/Varion during BayFest 2011)

Photo Courtesy: "E" of Elpwe's Photography
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON K-ROB                  
CLICK ONTO THE LINK BELOW:
http://www.myspace.com/kheights

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 YEAR IN REVIEW: The Mid-South's Hottest Concert! The Bar-Kays, Ron Isley, Anthony Hamilton, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly

               
                      A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HOTTEST CONCERTS OF 2011

Ron Isley and The Isley Brothers in Concert In November 2011 
(MEMPHIS, TN.) --VISION/VOICE/VARION is your only "all access" internet magazine featuring some of the Mid-South's hottest concerts. In November Desoto Civic Center near Memphis put on one of the best concerts ever. There was just too much talent on one stage!  The Bar-Kays featuring Larry Dobson, Anthony Hamilton, Ron Isley featuring the Isley Brothers, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. We wrapped up our tour of the Memphis area in December with the smooth sounds and cool vocals from Stax Recording Artist Lalah Hathaway and her featured opening artist Jonathan Winstead.  Jonathan is definitely a "rising star" in his own right.  He opened for Lalah the night of his birthday, but everyone in the audience walked away with a gift, the pleasure of enjoying the outstanding performance of this Tennessee based newcomer.


Check out the images captured by celebrity photographer "E" of Elpwe's Photography of Memphis.




CLICK PLAY TO SEE VIDEO

THE SOUL LOUNGE TOUR-Featuring Lalah Hathaway

(December 22, 2011)--I got a chance to see Lalah Hathaway live in Memphis this week and let's just say it was the best early Christmas present ever! Lalah has a new CD "Where It All Begins".  Not only is this new project with STAX Records hot, but this sistah sets the room on "fire" with her rendition of "Summer Time." She would do the cast of "Borgie and Bess"proud.

Her live performances are truly a treat because everything you thought you knew about her vocally from her previous CDs pales in comparison to having her standing three feet in front of you.

If she's playing anywhere near you take advantage of hearing this incredible performer.  In an age of "auto tunes"you won't be disappointed.

 
(Click Here To See Lalah's Schedule and Website along with The Soul Lounge Webpage)
http://www.lalahhathaway.com/
http://soulloungeusa.ning.com/
All Photos: Courtesy of "E" of Elpwe's Photography

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Up Close With Lalah Hathaway

(Memphis, TN.)--Some say her "sultry alto" vocals are as smooth as "Godiva Chocolate".  Lalah Hathaway, known as the "First Daughter of Soul" chats with Varion Walton about her years in the industry, her push to get music back in the classroom, plus her connection to one of the most legendary singers in R&B.  Check your local listings, this show is "on fire".  Lalah is an incredible talent. Let's help her "go platinum."

 (Digital Video Provided by "E" of El-pwe's Photography)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

BayFest 2011--ONE OF VARION'S FAVORITE THINGS!

(MOBILE, Alabama) - 2011 is definitely the year I racked up a lot of miles covering a number of major entertainment events all around the country.  I have to say one of my favorites was right in my own backyard!  BayFest Music Festival continues to be one of the most premiere events of the year.  After checking out the line-up and the impressive images captured by famed celebrity Elpwe Ray, I think you see why!  Here's to a rocking 2012!  Check out one of my favorite things for 2011!

           

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WHAT'S HOT! NPR "Loving" Anthony Hamilton's New CD-"Back To Love"

(December 13th)--Anthony Hamilton's "BACK TO LOVE" is available NOW on I-Tunes and area music stores.  The CD was released today, December 13th and already is winning critical acclaim.  The enclosed NPR-Music review is definitely "required reading."  


I'm especially excited to see Anthony Hamilton teaming up again with Huntsville's own Kelvin Wooten on the beast of a track #9 "Sucka for You".   The two really make beautiful music together and earned Grammy nominations for their work with "So In Love" with Anthony Hamilton and Jill Scott.  
(See Kelvin Wooten: The Man Behind The Music" on this blog.)   I'm no music critic, but I like what I like and I like a lot of it.  "Back To Love" truly becomes addictive with every play!  


(Article as it appeared in NPR Music)

FIRST LISTEN: ANTHONY HAMILTON'S  "BACK TO LOVE"
by ANN POWERS 
Anthony Hamilton's new album, Back to Love, comes out Dec. 13.
EnlargeAdrian Sidney
Anthony Hamilton's new album, Back to Love, comes out Dec. 13.

December 4, 2011

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to see Anthony Hamilton perform before a 
few thousand fervent fans at an outdoor concert in the Deep South. The 40-year-old 
singer and songwriter was opening for his recent duet partner, Jill Scott. But for the 
hour in which he led his funky band through a set that was as funky as beautiful gets, 
this was his revival meeting.

As Hamilton went deep in the pocket with his band, sexy slow jams segued into gospel testifying. The singer shouted the crowd to its feet and then took us down to a simmer with the deep amber falsetto he's known to break out. He cracked jokes, prayed and humped the floor. As my husband remarked, the performance made the whole idea of 
retro-soul irrelevant. Hamilton's songs about surviving hard times and keeping the flame
of steady love were soul, that's all — as connected to present realities as music gets.
Hamilton has made a steady career in R&B by mindfully responding to the genre's legacy. His baritone, one of the few on the charts today that has real grit, touches on the magnificence ofTeddy Pendergrass and the tenderness of Donny Hathaway. A North Carolina native, Hamilton also sometimes reminds me of my favorite Southern gentleman: Bobby "Blue" Bland.
His ownership of soul's legacy is one thing, but Hamilton also has serious hip-hop bona fides. In the 1990s, he toured with D'Angelo's legendary Soultronics, and he's sung on tracks by the likes ofTupac and Eve. Working with great rhymers has helped the singer shape an exquisite sense of timing. Even when he's clearly looking back to Stax or early-'70s funk, Hamilton stays free of the straitjacket of nostalgia by connecting with hip-hop's incessant inventiveness.
Back to Love is Hamilton's sixth album, and also his most consistently hooky and inviting. On previous efforts, he's developed strong grooves and showcased his killer pipes, but only sometimes hit on great hooks. Here, working with an array of producers who understand that "classic" and "contemporary" aren't contradictory terms, Hamilton has created a set that becomes more addictive with every play.
Variety is the spice of Back to Love — out Dec. 13 — as Hamilton applies his commanding vocals to rock-tinged funk, cool quiet storm and bare-bones balladry. The legendary Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds produced three cuts, including the bumping "Woo" and the hymnlike "Pray for Me," and his coolly open-minded approach infuses the whole album. That's Hamilton's approach, too, and he never gets lost working with a wide range of collaborators.
Salaam Remi takes Hamilton into the Curtis Mayfield zone for the creamy title track. "Sucka for You," co-authored by Hamilton and longtime collaborator Kelvin Wooten, is a climb-on-the-chairs stomper. A Keri Hilson vocal and a squeaky synth beat make "Never Let Go" totally now, while listeners craving Southern funk ought to be satisfied by the bluesy "Life Has a Way."
"Life humbles you down," Hamilton moans in that song, a mournful acknowledgment of how hard the journey can be. He's always been the paragon of modesty, a great talent without much interest in bragging or high rolling. More than ever before, this music makes the case for his importance. Let him lift you up.
FOR A SECOND LOOK AT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AND TO SAMPLE TRACKS:
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/04/143006086/first-listen-anthony-hamilton-back-to-love

WHAT'S HOT-- It's a Boy! Fantasia Welcomes Her Baby 2 Weeks Early!

(Charlotte, N.C)--Congratulations are in order for the American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, sources close to the singer tell "VISION, VOICE, VARION" she has given bright to a "bouncing baby boy".

File Photo: Fantasia Barrino
Dallas Xavier Barrino was born Monday, December 12th in a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital.  Sources close to Fantasia's latest movie on the life and legacy of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson confirm the baby was born 2 weeks early.  Fantasia was expecting her little bundle of joy just after the holiday, December 29th.  Apparently little Dallas was "ready for his close-up."

No word yet from producers on if or when they will resume shooting the Mahalia Jackson movie now that Fantasia who was cast in the starring role has given birth.

MOONPIE OVER MOBILE!


NEW STAGE LOCATION AND FUNKY OPENING ACT ADDED TO MOONPIE FUN 2012 IN DOWNTOWN MOBILE


Event Televised Over Much Of The Country

MOBILE, Ala., December 13, 2011 – The corner of St. Joseph and St. Francis Streets in downtown Mobile will be the hot spot for New Year’s fun this year. Prepare for a “Fantastic Voyage,” as Lakeside warms up the crowd before legendary rockers Three Dog Night ring in 2012, along with the MoonPie Drop, a laser show and fireworks from atop the RSA BankTrust Building and in Mobile Bay.

The events will kick off with a Mardi Gras-style parade at 7:30 that will parade through downtown. From the funky “Fantastic Voyage” to rock anthem “Joy to the World” the music will be both diverse and family-friendly taking revelers on a musical flashback. Whether you prefer RC Cola or a glass of champagne, ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile. 

“We looked at several locations and wanted to bring the MoonPie Drop and stage location closer together to build more enthusiasm,” said Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile. “The combination of the great entertainment, the uniqueness of the MoonPie Drop and an anticipated large crowd have the makings of one amazing evening,” said Jones. “Our sponsors are making this possible and we are delighted that nearly 20 media markets will be counting down the new year live from Mobile, Alabama.”  
File Photo: Downtown Mobile
The new stage location, adjacent to Bienville Square, will allow for larger crowds, better protection from the weather and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. A new VIP area on the sixth floor of the RSA BankTrust Building parking deck will enable sponsors to get a bird’s eye view of the entertainment and the falling cookie. The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA BankTrust skyrise as the city welcomes 2012 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.

This year’s MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start with a Mardi Gras-style parade double the size of the 2010 parade and will feature floats, bands and a few surprises. Afterwards, a street party of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. Downtown Mobile will be one giant street party that will last into the early hours of the New Year.  

“Mobile’s New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring the MoonPie Over Mobile has become a cultural phenomenon in the entire USA,” said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson.  “Last year we had more than 40,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year,” said Richardson. “I look forward to this New Year’s Eve being the best that has ever been in our city.” First started in 2008, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year’s Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor. “It is time to ‘Celebrate,’ just like the Three Dog Night song.” Richardson is credited for creating the MoonPie Over Mobile concept.

“All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year’s Eve,” said Kent Blackinton, general manager of Renaissance Riverview Plaza and president of the Mobile Hotel Association. “We are going to make a great party even better this year, and we are looking to fill the streets of Mobile and the hotel rooms in the city. Television views throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 35-minute telecast on Raycom stations, but we would rather have you being part of the excitement.” 
  
Why a MoonPie?

Mobile is the home of America’s first Mardi Gras celebration, and the MoonPie is the favored “throw” of the hundreds of Mardi Gras maskers riding the floats during the extensive Mardi Gras parade season.  MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952. Today, Mobile consumes more than four million MoonPies annually, and has adopted the delicious treat as an informal emblem. For the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, this southern city has teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of the iconic MoonPie marshmallow sandwich, to create the largest electronic MoonPie as the featured attraction for its New Year’s Eve celebration. This is the fourth year an electronic version of the delicious treat will light up downtown Mobile.

Mardi Gras was first discovered in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Mobile currently has more than 50 parading and non-parading organizations. An estimated 850,000 people attend parades, parties and other organizations associated with the carnival festivities. This number will likely increase in 2012.

About Lakeside
“The Lakeside journey began when a group of high school students from Ohio formed a band made up of talented musicians and has sustained them for more than 27-years. Recording moguls Motown, ABC and Solars have felt the Lakeside vibe producing many of the "Fantastic Voyage" mega hits that took the music industry by storm. The sound of funk hits such as "All The Way Live", "Raid" and "Outrageous", are known to draw people to the dance floor like a magnet to metal. And of course, there is the Lakeside anthem that sets the band apart from all the rest. Brought back by Coolio, "Fantastic Voyage" boasts to be the only song to knock Michael Jackson's "Heartbreak Hotel" from the number one position on the Billboard Charts in 1980. The hit single "Fantastic Voyage", continues to entertain new and seasoned fans.

About Three Dog Night

Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night, celebrate their 4th decade, performing to sell-out crowds and bringing along some of the most astonishing chart statistics in popular music including 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10's, and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.

Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”,  “Joy to The World”, “Black and White”,  “Shambala”, “One”, “Liar”, “Celebrate” and many more songs that drive their success. Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar) and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations. After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business.   Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.

Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?

Raycom Media will be doing a live 45-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations:  WAFF - Huntsville, AL; WBRC - Birmingham, AL;
WSFA - Montgomery, AL; WDFX - Dothan, AL; WTVM - Columbus, GA; WPGX - Panama City, FL; WLOX - Biloxi, MS; WDAM - Hattiesburg, MS; WLBT - Jackson, MS; KAIT -  Jonesboro, AR; KTRE - Lufkin, TX; KLTV - Tyler, TX; KCBD - Lubbock, TX; WAFB - Baton Rouge, LA; KPLC - Lake Charles, LA; KSLA - Shreveport, LA; WMC - Memphis, TN; KFVS - Cape Giradeau, MO and KYOU - Ottumwa, IA. Locally, WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast. Other stations are certainly welcome to create their own live telecast. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RESTAURANT SCORECARD: Mail-Order Madness and Holiday Food Safety

(Washington, D.C.) --There's nothing worse than food poisoning during the holidays. Don't let your family time turn into a case of dietary distress!  Keep these food safety and mail order tips in mind as you order goodies for you and your family during this festive season.


3-thousand people die every year from a food related illness and the holiday season is no exception.  Food experts say the Christmas holidays are when we change our routines and that could be a recipe for trouble.  You get distracted and in a hurry and that could lead to a critical mistake.  Remember to check your steps during the holiday season.  Keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold.  Remember to wash your hands, utensils and surfaces with the holiday treats often.  More more information on food safety, "visit the food police" http://www.foodsafety.gov.


Don't forget the thing you learned in pre-school, wash your hands and often!
                     
CHECK OUT THE FDA'S ARTICLE ON KEEPING YOUR FAMILY SAFE
AS YOU ORDER FRUIT CAKES, CHRISTMAS HAMS AND OTHER GOODIES THROUGH THE MAIL.

Mail-Order Madness | FoodSafety.gov





Thursday, December 1, 2011

WHAT'S HOT!! Charlie Wilson Gets 2 Grammy Nods

(Los Angeles, CA.)  It was a big night for Kanye West and Adele, but I'm especially excited for "Uncle Charlie Wilson"on his two Grammy nods for R&B Performance as well as Best R&B Song for "You Are".  Charlie you're definitely stepping into your season, again!  No doubt you, photographer El-pwe Ray and the entire writing, producing and management staff at P. MUSIC, INC. are on cloud 9.  Way to Go!!!!




R&B Sensation Charlie Wilson and Varion Walton-Essence 2011

(Photo Courtesy: Photographer El-pwe Ray aka "E", Elpwe's Photography)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Anthony Hamilton Performs "Woo" on The Soul Train Awards

(Atlanta, Georgia)--With his military hat cocked to the side, Anthony Hamilton performs "Woo" the first single off his new CD due in stores December 3rd, "Back to Love".  Check out these exclusive photos from Centric Soul Train Awards and The Chamber Group!!   #HAMFAM

Anthony Hamilton, Soul Train Award Nominee


Hamilton is known for his Collection of Hats!



Check out Anthony Hamilton with The Woo Tour 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"VISION/VOICE/VARION" REWIND: "The Man Behind the Music"

(November 29, 2011) --An interview so nice, I had to post it twice. Here's another look at "The Man Behind The Music, The Kelvin Wooten Story." Since this segment aired, Kelvin has not only gained national attention with a Soul Train Awards nomination for co-writing "So In Love" with Anthony Hamilton and Jill Scott, he's turning heads in the industry as a producer with new artist, Kenn Orr. How about this as "one of Varion's favorite things"?  (Oprah Eat Your Heart Out!!)  Check out one of my BEST INTERVIEWS for 2011.

Monday, November 28, 2011

CEE-LO & MELANIE FIONA PERFORM "FOOL FOR YOU" AT SOUL TRAIN AWARDS!!

(Atlanta, Georgia)--Two-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Melanie Fiona, and singer/songwriter, Cee-Lo, performed their single "Fool For You" last night at the 2011 Soul Train Awards, which took place at Fox Theatre in Atlanta and aired this past Sunday, Nov.27


Fiona also hosted BET's pre-awards show and was a featured panelist at the Centrix X Grammy Foundation Panel, which also included singer, Bobby V; artist management executive, Shaka Zulu; and Executive V.P. of Centric, Paxton Baker.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Rethinking Generation-D!" Facing Diabetes with Anthony Anderson

(November 27, 2011)--Actor and Comedian Anthony Anderson is well known for his rolls in both television and film, but many of his fans may no know he has Type 2 Diabetes. For the second year in a row, he's teamed up The F.A.C.E. Diabetes Campaign to remove the stereotype of diabetes as an older person's disease. Anthony talks about how diabetes has changed his family, plus his commitment to education about the condition.  He recently joined "VISION/VOICE/VARION" for an exclusive interview via the telephone.

ACTOR ANTHONY ANDERSON
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW VARION'S PODCAST
http://player.vimeo.com/video/32756414?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0"

Friday, November 25, 2011

IRON BOWL 2011-Condi's Pick

(FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA) November 25th--For eight years she served in two of the highest levels of government, sometimes seeking common ground with some of our most revered enemies around the world!  While she had to remain diplomatic during her years as Secretary of State, this week this beloved Birmingham native is drawing a line in the sand when it comes to her pick for IronBowl 2011. Visit VISION, VOICE, VARION...."always on, always connected!"














Monday, November 14, 2011

Actor and Comedian Anthony Anderson "FACES" Diabetes

(November 14, 2011)  Today is National Diabetes Day and many of you are waking up to some sobering statistics.  Health officials now predict in less than three years, 1-in 10 Americans will be affected with diabetes. For the second straight year Actor/Comedian Anthony Anderson is helping with raising the awareness by becoming the face of Eli Lilly's F-A-C-E campaign; "Fearless African-American Connected and Empowered Diabetes initiative. Keep it here for Varion's interview with Anthony Anderson later this week as he opens up about finding the right balance between being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and acting.  That's Anthony Anderson, "Rethinking Generation D" ONLY ON VISION/VOICE/VARION! 
Anthony Anderson
Don't Miss Varion's Exclusive Interview with Actor and 




Comedian Anthony Anderson as he faces his daily struggle with this crippling disease.
FACES: "Fearless African-American 





November is American Diabetes Month. With type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes, the body doesn't make enough insulin or the body ignores the insulin that is made. We need insulin so we can use the glucose our body produces for energy from the food we eat. 7 million people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, while 24 million people currently live with type 2 diabetes, there are ways to delay onset or prevent the disease. Increasing your level of physical activity, changing your diet and maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce your risk and stay healthy longer.
http://player.vimeo.com/video/32756414?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0"
VIDEO LINK:

CLICK HERE FOR VARION'S PODCAST WITH ANTHONY ANDERSON

Friday, November 11, 2011

VETERAN'S DAY, HONORING THOSE WHO PROTECT AND SERVE

(November 11, 2011)  We salute our Veterans for their service and sacrifice in keeping our free!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"MOBILE'S GOT TALENT TOO" --- RECAP, PART 2

(Mobile, Alabama)--In case you missed it during Bayfest, here's a recap of a video I really need your help in taking viral on YouTube.  Meet Diamond Washington, a 16 year old Baker High School student I really feel has talent.  In addition to signing up to "CONNECT AND FOLLOW" VISION , VOICE , VARION, visit my YOUTUBE account and share this new "singing sensation" with your friends.  



Video Courtesy: El-pwe Ray aka as "E"of Elpwe's Photography

"ALL IN A DAY'S WORK"--Interviewing Former U.S. Secretary Rice

(Fairhope, Alabama)--There's "no higher honor" than meeting one of your childhood role models. Dr. Condoleezza Rice is and always has been considered a strong example for me and my siblings. I personally have always considered her to be the "one to watch"while growing up in the state of Alabama. Dr. Rice is a "classic" example of the "sky is the limit".  Politics aside, she has held two of the highest positions in U.S. government and did so by maintaining her integrity and honor.  It was absolutely my honor finally meeting her in Fairhope, Alabama.

Condoleezza Rice is as genuinely strong as you might imagine, both on and "off camera".  I also had a great time "hamming" it up briefly with some of my colleagues in Mobile. Thank you to Photographer Timothy L. Jones and Cederick McMillan for your continued support in helping "VISION, VOICE, VARION."  Still Photos: Courtesy of Tim Jones of Timothy L. Jones Photography.
Dr. Rice arriving for book signing at Page & Palette-Fairhope,AL.
Varion Walton asking questions about her new memoir-"No Higher Honor"
Varion Walton and Former U.S. Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Varion Walton and Studio 10 Co-Host Joe Emer
Cederick McMillan and Varion Walton
Pastor Cederick McMillan and Former U.S. Secretary Rice




CONDOLEEZZA RICE-"No Higher Honor" Interview

(Fairhope, Alabama)--For more than eight years she served in two of the highest levels of government, sometimes seeking common ground with some of our most revered enemies around the world!
How did she do it?  Does she have any regrets in the role she and the Bush administration played in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?  Who does she thinks gets the credit for bringing down "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED" Osama Bin Laden? What about her pick in the upcoming Iron Bowl?  Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is talking and Varion Walton has her story.  "NO HIGHER HONOR", Condoleezza Rice's new memoir of her "years in Washington."

                 
ONLY ON "VISION, VOICE, VARION", live coverage of Dr. Rice's visit to the Gulf Coast as it happens. "VISION, VOICE, VARION" more of what you love, "24/7".



                     

Celebration Weekend with Ruben Studdard | Birmingham, Alabama

Ruben Studdard's Celebration Weekend | Birmingham, Alabama

HAPPENING NOVEMBER 18TH
SIGN UP AND REGISTER TODAY
Ruben Studdard Celebrating Life
Ruben Studdard talks exclusively about his upcoming event in Birmingham, Alabama later this month.  This former American Idol sits down in an interview with Varion and opens up about maintaining a healthier lifestyle now that he is a husband and father. Check out the exclusive story and sign up to take part in Ruben's Celebration Weekend November 18th in the Magic City. A portion of the proceeds go on to Ruben's foundation which helps other rising young stars.   "VISION, VOICE, VARION"-information for your heart and soul!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Michael Jackson's Doctor Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

Michael Jackson/Dr. Conrad Murray
(Los Angeles, California)--Conrad Murray, the personal physician of Michael Jackson is spending his first night behind bars after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the singer Monday.  While Murray sat motionless as the unanimous verdict was being read, a gasp or outburst could be heard in the courtroom gallery. Courtroom spectators report the reaction came from Michael Jackson's older sister Latoya Jackson who tweeted earlier that she was "shaking uncontrollably at the news of the verdict finally being reach." The same sentiment spilled over outside the courtroom as hundreds of Michael Jackson's devoted fans celebrated and cheered after hearing the guilty verdict.

Dr. Conrad Murray  (File Photo)

                 



The jury found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of administering a lethal dose of propofol prosecutors say led to the pop star's death in 2009. A sentencing date for Conrad Murray has been set for November 29th.  Tonight he's facing up to 4 years behind bars, but may only serve half of that in the county jail because of prison overcrowding in the state of California.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Anthony Hamilton's "Woo" Tour Starts November 9th

(Mobile, AL.)-Anthony Hamilton's voice is known worldwide.  He has a sound that is distinctively his own!  Right now he's gearing up for his "Woo" Tour which starts November 9th.  He's also preparing to give millions of his fans more of what they love, new music!  His new album, "Back To Love" drops just in time for your Christmas shopping list December 13th.  I loved it one of his true blue fans from the "HamFam" described his soulful sound as someone discovering the last "batch of collard greens were just stolen from the fridge.
Grammy Award Winning Singer Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton, classic singer, electric performer and one of the most prolific voices of our time! Check him out folks as he heads to a town near you with his new music, new tour and continued commitment to making you go "woo!"  As you'll see in this video taken during his performance during BayFest 2011 in Mobile, Alabama you won't be disappointed.


                                   











Andy Rooney-Legendary News Man Dead at 92

BREAKING NEWS
CBS' Andy Rooney Dead at 92
Saturday, November 5, 2011

(New York, NY)--Former 60 Minutes Commentator Andy Rooney dies exactly one month after his final commentary aired on the popular news magazine.  CBS News confirms Rooney died in New York Friday night. Can't you just see it now, Andy Rooney telling St. Peter about the "oddities and or unique" things he's already observed noticed the pearly gates?

It reminds me of something another legendary "news woman"who was very instrumental in my career told me once.  Dot Moore worked well into her golden years and was determined to remain active. She told me "Varion never retire, working truly gives you something to look forward to everyday." I never forgot Dot's words and to this day and I've always declared I would only be considered "semi-retired!"  Here's to Andy Rooney and his iconic career.  If you're anything like me I simply can't imagine 60 minutes without Rooney telling me "exactly why Oranges are orange!" I'm already missing my "Rooney Fix!" Andy Rooney, a journalism legend dead at 92.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mobile's Got Talent Too! Introducing Diamond Washington

(Mobile, AL.) BAYFEST 2011 RECAP--A lot of music lovers are still basking in the after-glow of BayFest 2011.  More than 50-thousand fans jammed into downtown Mobile for the annual music festival. Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, 3 Doors Down, Ludacris and dozens more entertained the massive crowd for three days on 9 different stages. Some of the activity behind the stage created quite a still as well. Meet Diamond Washington, a 16 year old student from Baker High School in Mobile.

Diamond, her best friend and her mother Tonya Tolbert turned heads as Diamond blew away celebrity photographer El-pwe Ray and Grammy Award winning singer Anthony Hamilton during an impromptu concert that was caught on tape! Click onto the link below to find out why everyone is now saying "Mobile's got talent too."
Diamond & Anthony Hamilton


Diamond and Her Mother Tonya Tolbert
Photographer El-pwe Ray and Diamond 

Diamond Washington and Friend


CLICK HERE TO SEE DIAMOND WASHINGTON SING
*All photos courtesy of Photographer El-pwe Ray also known as "E" of Elpwe's Photography-Memphis, TN.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Up Close with Gospel Artist Brian Courtney Wilson

(Mobile, Alabama) October 9th-His message of "Just Love" resonated with gospel music fans for an unbelievable 60 weeks. His chart-topping debut album in 2009 quickly turned heads and had music fan believing in the "musical genius" of Brian Courtney Wilson.

Find out how you can help this "Stellar Award" winning artist get the nod again. Plus, Brian Courtney Wilson tells Varion Walton in what he calls a leap of faith he is "simply redeemed" when it comes to "humbling" himself and accepting all that God is doing in his life.  Tell a friend; "VISION/VOICE/VARION" is your all "access backstage pass" to some of the biggest names in entertainment.
"Just Love" Brian Courtney Wilson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BayFest 2011--RECAP OF LIVE TICKET GIVE AWAY!

(Mobile, AL.) October 6th--BayFest 2011.  It's the "hottest ticket in town" and 3 lucky "VISION/VOICE/VARION" viewers are joining in on all the fun!  Varion Walton announces the winners of her special "BayFest 2011" weekend ticket give away.  "It pays to WATCH AND WIN!" Tell a friend to FOLLOW www.varionwalton.blogspot.com.


                           Previously Recorded Sat. Oct. 1, 2011-Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Mobile

CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER FRED SHUTTLESWORTH DIES AT 89

(Mobile, AL) October 5--LONG BEFORE THERE WAS "KING", THERE WAS SHUTTLESWORTH! 
I remember meeting and interviewing Mr. Fred Shuttlesworth in Birmingham, Alabama in 1998. My photographer Stephanie Brooks and I were in total awe. He left the City of Mobile as a mechanic and truck driver many years ago for the City of Birmingham.  He would later become an iconic figure during the Civil Rights movement, but wasn't truly appreciated until the latter years. The "lessons learned" and the sacrifices he made during that time made it possible for me and so many others. We're standing on some "giant shoulders" and we have Fred Shuttlesworth to thank for "paving the way".


Civil Rights Pioneer Fred Shuttlesworth   Photo taken By Stephanie Youngblood



Stephanie Youngblood He hugged me. Kissed me on both cheeks and said , "Now THAT'S equality!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN "VISION, VOICE, VARION" BAYFEST TICKET GIVEAWAY!!

(Downtown Mobile) October 1--It pays to watch "VISION/VOICE/VARION". During a live drawing at The Hampton Inn & Suites Varion Walton announced the winners in this weekend's big drawing.
Cicone Prince, Tiffany McCall and Greg Walter are the winners of (2) free weekend passes BayFest 2011.  Check out their pictures and reaction to winning the "hottest ticket" in town!  (Greg Walter, not pictured!)

Cicone Prince--Mobile, AL.





I am so grateful to have won tickets from Vision, Voice, Varion! My wife and I will make the most of them at Bay Fest 2011 and we Thank Varion Walton for giving us this opportunity!
There will always be people in your life that make an indelible impact, whether a parent, teacher or mentor these individuals ignite passion, creativity and servant hood. Varion Walton is one of those people. Varion provides insight, inspiration and integrity that embodies professionalism in journalism that is impactful and relevant. Her approach to coverage, interviewing and communicating leaves you wanting more. I am grateful to know her and I look for nothing less than stellar reporting from her in the future. I will be tuning into Vision, Voice, Varion for the latest in News, Entertainment and Inspiration.
Thanks.
Cicone Prince