Sunday, December 30, 2012


"HUNTSVILLE UNCHAINED"-Alabama's Contribution to the National Music Scene 

(Huntsville, AL.)--"Freedom," a soulful number performed by the incomparable Anthony Hamilton and newcomer Elayna Boynton is a featured single on the soundtrack of the blockbuster movie, "Django Unchained!"  Kelvin Wooten, Daniel Beard and Duane Allen,  three Alabama based musicians served as producers and engineers on the historical project.

Anthony Hamilton  Photo: "E" Elpwe's Photography
During the entire month of December, "VISION/VOICE/VARION" had the privilege of joining the publicity and marketing staff. Through the course of several meetings with Wooten and Beard and their team, "Huntsville Unchained" was born.  “Huntsville Unchained”  was created celebrate and honors Huntsville's influence on the national music scene. Weeks later “Freedom” is gaining critical acclaim for everyone involved.

"Freedom" is not only apart of the "Django" soundtrack, it is embedded in the film in a "flashback" scene when Kerry Washington's character "Broomhilda" is savagely beaten by the slave masters. "Django Unchained" is raw, edgy, exotic, beautifully crafted and the song "Freedom" enhances the scene brilliantly! 

“Django Unchained” ends 2012 as a "blockbuster" box office smash. The movie's controversial director Quentin Tarantino is thrilled the "much anticipated" flick has tongues wagging from "Hollywood to Huntsville." 

“Django Unchained” is now in contention for an Oscars and a Golden Globe Award. "VISION/VOICE/VARION" is happy to report Hamilton, Boynton, Wooten, Beard and Allen are enjoying the ride.

Courtesy: Special Assignment Operations, Inc.
"Huntsville Unchained"

At press time "Freedom" had surpassed a major hurdle, beating out nearly 75 other songs to be performed live during The Academy Awards January 10, 2013. Tradition dictates that only five musical scores from movies of the previous season are performed during the lengthy awards show.

Congratulations Anthony, Elayna, Kelvin, Daniel and Duane. You are upholding a long honored  tradition for North Alabama. Your continued success is a vivid reminder of Musicle Shoals long and rich history in the industry. Aretha Franklin is just one of many great Pop Music legends who made their way to North Alabama to lay down the tracks to some of their biggest hits. 

I'm sure I speak for thousands all over Alabama when I say, “Freedom” is already “golden”. "Let Freedom Ring!"  “Let Freedom Ring!” 


For more information on "Huntsville Unchained"-visit:  Huntsville Unchained-FB Fan Page

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May your holiday season spark with moments of love, laughter, goodwill and cheer!
Vision, Voice, Varion...wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Dr. Yvonne Kennedy longtime Alabama Representative
January 8, 1945-December 8, 2012

Pain and heartache give way to the memory of an incredible public servant. Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, a Mobile native "never forgot where she came from because she never left!" For more than 20 years she was a "single woman 
on a single mission" of helping all people along the Gulf Coast. Today Alabama is remembering Dr. Yvonne Kennedy as she is being laid to rest. Yvonne Kennedy served tirelessly for more than three decades as an educator, state lawmaker and humanitarian. 

December 15, 2012 

It has always been a joy and privilege to be around and cover news events involving Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, whom I considered my friend.
It might interest folks to know this wonderful and dedicated woman, a true servant of the people, passed away exactly one month to the day prior to what would have been her 68th birthday, January 8th. She will be greatly missed by this community of Mobile for her professional talents and abilities as an educator and state legislator, but primarily I believe people will miss her warm smile and genuine ability to demonstrate her care for others, reflecting the love of the Lord in her daily life. I am positive as she entered the gates of His kingdom, she heard His words... "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

.    varionwaltonDecember 10, 2012 6:44 PM
Ron, I know she earned your respect many years ago. Her death came as a shock to me. Her passing is much bigger than Mobile. Here's a woman who adopted, believed and lived the philosophy "each one teach one!" Long after gaining national prominence as the National President for Delta Sigma Theta she could have left The Port City for a larger city. She didn't. She stayed and believed in a "better day" for many of Mobile's underprivileged. I'm sure Dr. Kennedy would appreciate you remembering her good works. Thanks for sharing.


Tennie Lindsey/December 11, 2012December 11, 2012 1:25 PM
I first saw Dr. Yvonne Kennedy in action from a distance at a Delta Sigma Theta Regional Meeting. I was newly initiated into the sorority and was very impressed with Dr. Kennedy and the skillful and professional manner she took charge as the leader she was. When she walked to the podium complete silence. Later, I had the opportunity to meet her up close and personal. Oh, what an experience. With all the characteristic attached to her, she took charge of the situation and dared anyone to stop her. With professionalism, respect from her peers, charm, grace, and knowledge of the situation she removed all obstacles. It was an awesome task but she remained steadfast and unmoveable until the situation was resolved Dr. Kennedy was a "Drum Major" for justice and truth. Her legacy will definitely live on in our hearts. We will always love her.

                        AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 10:17 PM
Please continue to remember Dr. Yvonne Kennedy's good works.
Statement made in the write up about Dr. Kennedy resignation and financial scandel could have been omitted.
Please THINK before you write.

                        PacofRiceDecember 12, 2012 7:34 AM
Varion, this is a wonderful tribute to such a phenomenal woman. Dr. Kennedy was one of my early inspirations. I did research on her for school years ago. I never forget how she gave me an 8 X 10 photograph of her that I still have to this day. When I rise to speak, I attempt and I mean attempt to speak as eloquently as she did. She was the epitome of a lady with grace, class, beauty and sophistication. Her legacy shall never die!

ChocsityDecember 12, 2012 4:04 PM
It is with great sadness my heart is feeling right now after learning the lost of someone who I considered a family member. I am a member of Stewart Memorial C.M.E church family and have been since birth. I am now a 46 year old woman that was born and raised in that church. Every Sunday while preparing to go to church, my siblings and I would ask our mother if “Aunt Yvonne” was going to be at church. To us (at that time) she was bigger than the pastor.
No matter what she was involved in, she took time out of her busy schedule to make sure the children at Stewart Memorial C.M.E. as well as children in the community was always taken care of. Whether it toys for Christmas or baskets & eggs for Easter; she would personally see that we all had what we thought we needed or wanted. 
I grew up watching her every move. She played a role in my life that is continuing this day. When I was 18 yrs old, I will never forget I was really upset about a situation and I went to her office at S.D. Bishop State to discuss it with her. She sat in her “BIG” chair in her office and listened to me until I was done venting. She told me in her mild matter tone, “Change what you see, by changing how you see”. I didn’t understand what she meant until the situation got resolved. From that day to this one, I use that philosophy and it has allowed me become a better women. I will never, never forget that day. 
For many of us young ladies have watched her over the years as she would gracefully walk across our paths and we wanted to be her. To us, she was our Coretta Scott King. Before Michelle Obama, we had Dr. Yvonne Kennedy.
Many Mobilians does not know she is the reason we still have the parade on Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. When it was taken off the “Avenue” she was the Drum Major that marched Downtown Mobile and fought to have it put back in the neighborhoods it was originally for. She was a woman of integrity, resilience, and determination. 
Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death. When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death's perfect punctuation mark is a smile.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. We will forever miss you Dr. Yvonne Kennedy. Thank you for just being you. 




(New Orleans, LA)--It is a follow-up to a "VISION/VOICE/VARION" Exclusive!  Soon officials will unveil the "new look and voice"of the "Louisiana Lottery." But you don't have to wait, in this week's edition of What's Hot--"VISION/VOICE/VARION" has your FIRST LOOK at the commercial hitting the airwaves soon.

It is a "sweepstakes" paying off with BIG DIVIDENDS for Gina Brown.  She's been selected to lend her talents to this campaign on the heels of turning heads and winning critical acclaim with her new CD, "G's Spot!" Her single "The G Slide" has Gina Brown line dancing all over the country while climbing the Southern Soul charts as "Best New Artist" of 2012.

Congratulations Gina, 2012 has been an incredible year.  It is just the beginning,  I'd "bet" cold, cash money "2013 is going to be epic!" Check out Gina Brown in action singing the new official jingle for The Louisiana Lottery.

The Life and Legacy of Dr. Yvonne Kennedy

(MOBILE, Ala.)--Often referred to as the “Black Jackie Onassis” for her style and grace, the state of Alabama is mourning the loss of Dr. Yvonne Kennedy who passed away Saturday following a brief illness.  Yvonne Kennedy, known for her eloquent, refined Southern demeanor, passed away exactly one month to the day prior to what would have been her 68th birthday, January 8th.

Her standards of excellence extended beyond the halls of the Alabama legislature. For 25 years, she rose to prominence and became the President for Bishop State Junior College in Mobile and then later the National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. A woman who wore many hats, Dr. Kennedy is also being remembered for her work as past chairwoman of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus. 
Yvonne Kennedy

Yvonne Kennedy lived in the community she loved and worked hard to become a 'beacon of hope" for the people in her community.  She believed in her community because she was committed to the belief "change comes from the inside-out, not the outside in." Her life was a testimony of her beliefs because she worked hard in expanding the Mobile Community and bringing a quality education, health care and the right to vote to ex-felons incarcerated in the state of Alabama.   

Yvonne Kennedy, a woman Mobile Mayor Sam Jones called a "pillar of the community and will be remembered for her leadership and commitment to the city.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley remembered Kennedy in a tweet. "She was a fine lady who represented her district well," he wrote. Bentley is expected to call a special election in the coming week to fill Kennedy's seat.

A longtime state representative, she was elected to the state house in 1979. Kennedy was the second permanent president of Bishop State Community College, appointed in 1981 after its namesake Sanford D. Bishop, Senior.  She has been credited with overseeing major growth to the campus. She retired from this position amid a financial scandal in 2006.

She will be greatly missed by me and many other Black professional women who always had her as "the best example" of how to be a lady in the mist of a male dominate business and political world.  She was instrumental in giving me an early start in my career as a journalist following high school.  Dr. Yvonne Kennedy also encouraged me to "strive for excellence" in everything and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, a tireless servant of the people who rose in the national spotlight, but never forgot where she came from because she never left.  



VARION'S VIEW---Every so often I find a viral video that makes me smile and I want to share with you.  There is a lot of pain in the world and laughter is often the best medicine to start the healing process.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rare Day: 12/12/12

(Huntsville, AL)—Today is one-day sure to give you pause!  It's the so-called "day of the dozens!" The last time I remember really paying attention how the calendar lined up with "triple numbers" was five years ago when I celebrated my 07/07/07 birthday.  It really felt great celebrating and planning a party at The Battle House in Mobile, Alabama. For the first time in my life I attended a party with family and friends and never had to reveal my age.  I think the invitation read something like "turning seven again never felt so good!"  Everyone in the room was so focus on the theme: 07/07/07 they never bothered to say how old are you again?  

12/12/12 or "the day of the dozens" will also be an easy date to remember for those getting hitched or inducing labor today at 12noon. Headlines for December 12, 2012 also include a special birthday celebration for several children turning 12 years old today.

Organizers are also "banking" on 12/12/12 to hold a "mystical and magical" meaning for tonight's special fundraiser planned for victims still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Whether you give today a "double take" or you simply consider it "just another day, there's no denying 12/12/12 is definitely a day worth noting.                                                            
Click Here: For More on Tonight's Benefit Concert For Sandy Relief

Click Here: For Another look at Varion's 07/07/07
Thanks to Photographer Tim Jones for the beautiful memories that were magical and mesmerizing!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SHINING STAR! Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton-Essence Fest '2012   Photo: "E" of Elpwe's Photography
(Los Angeles, CA.)--2012 is ending the same way it started for Anthony Hamilton, with a bang!  Fresh off the heels of his two Grammy nominations, the R&B sensation is generating a lot of “buzz” with his “Freedom”, his new single on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantio’s new movie starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx and Actress Kerry Washington.  Keep it here; Varion’s got the scoop on a special “Alabama Connection” to the movie opening Christmas Day!  Don’t miss this VISION/VOICE/VARION “Exclusive!”  



Wednesday, November 28, 2012



(Fayetteville, TN)--Nationwide, lottery tickets sold at a rate of 130-thousand tickets per minute before Wednesday night's big drawing. "VISION/VOICE/VARION" discovers in the mist of the Powerball Frenzy, not everyone is looking to win big bucks!


Alabama residents are catching lottery fever, driving across state lines hoping to strike it rich.  Varion Walton talks with a few folks who say the "Powerball Frenzy" fizzles for them when it comes
 to "cashing in!" They believe "big lotto winners" ultimately end up being major losers!

Friday, November 23, 2012

In Medias Res: Calculated Risks

Photo: Courtesy Terasha Nicole
(Milan, Italy)--If you've heard me say it once, you've heard me say it a thousand times before- "it is about thirty when a woman truly gives birth to herself." A year ago that was the mantra of my life and truly helped me determine who could really be my friend.

That very phrase-for what it's worth, often spills over into my new calling as a "talent coach".  Everyday I advise and counsel rookie  television news reporters and anchors in finding their first gig or being promoted to what they think is truly  their 'calling in the business.'

Many of the female reporters I work with have heard that phrase all too often. As I use my new company to 'influence the next generation' of journalists, I have to admit I am often the one being 'schooled.' Everyday I learn something new and "eye opening" from tomorrow's "digital journalists." Unlike my generation, some of these kids are not afraid to spread their wings and embrace change. Ironically, I guess you could say on occasion--we find our true "place and purpose" together.

Terasha Nicole is one such writer. She is a technical writer for a company with a concentration on instructional manuals for the helicopter industry. All work and "limited play" have definitely not made for a "boring Terasha."  She kicked off 2012 with an "exciting" new job that took her across the pond; all the way to Milan, Italy. Initially I thought God brought Terasha and I together for something else.

For more than two months I tried to help her get her foot in the door of the television news industry.  After graduating from The University of Alabama in Huntsville,  Terasha expressed an interest in becoming a television news producer in Memphis, Tennessee newsroom.  Thank God for unanswered prayers!

Little did I know it was already ordained this young woman would go from being a local writer to a global writer.  Ironically God had to take her half-way around the world for her to truly hear his voice and accept his will when it comes to her being a 'creative writer.'

To say she was terrified at first would be an understatement. Who isn't afraid of leaving everything you know and traveling to a foreign land?  Despite many challenges, including the language, Terasha sucked it up and put her "big girl panties" on and handled it!

Terasha Nicole took the "calculated risk".  She jumped in head first, into a "new norm" that included a new country she  later dubbed, "the land of babble!" Taking incredible mental notes, she puts pen to paper and writes about her new discoveries all over Italy. Terasha shares her struggle of never fully understanding all that was being said around her initially.

Despite the language barrier, somehow in her weekly blog entitled "In Medias Res," this Alabama native learned to "let go of who she thought she wanted to be for who God truly created her to be." Six months after moving to Italy, Terasha is heading back to the United States transformed.  I have a sneaking suspension she is now extremely clear on God's purpose and his will for her life.

It has been my pleasure watching her develop and truly "giving birth to herself" all BEFORE thirty! She has not only mastered her craft in becoming a great technical writer for her company, but she is now an incredible storyteller who paints a colorful description of life's journey.  I encourage you to follow her blog and immerse yourself in all of her delicious "Ah Ha" moments that come with it.

She has become such a creative writer it be long before she starts drawing comparisons to other literary giants like Toni Morrison and Maya Angelo at this stage in their careers.  Dare I say before "they were thirty years old and giving birth to themselves?"

Photo Courtesy: Terasha Nicole
The countdown is on--Terasha Nicole has less than a week left in Italy.  Join me in recapping her "highs and lows" in Europe and abroad as she takes this incredible journey of discovering her "place and purpose."

Terasha Nicole is an Athens, Alabama native who took advantage of an unexpected opportunity and found herself "In Medias Res"--right in the middle of life. Her journey forced her to discover one epiphany after another.

She said it best only days after arriving in Italy, 'sometimes God takes us to the extreme to truly get our attention.'Sometimes

Thank you Terasha, thank you for "life's lessons" shared in your blog.  It is safe to say, "I get it now."  Sometimes you have be forced out  of your comfort zone to fully understand "who and whose" you are.

What I know for sure; before there can be elevation, first you must experience separation, isolation and yes, even desperation. After all, an older, wiser woman once reminded me--"God even told Abraham to home!"

Click on the link below to be connected to Terasha Nicole's blog. I guarantee you will also considered  required reading!  Godspeed ladybug!

In Medias Res:  Calculated Risks: People cannot handle the truth no matter when, where and how you give it to them. Am I supposed to change my answer if it’s the truth... no...

Monday, November 19, 2012

(Huntsville, AL.)  Tis the season to count your blessings.  Wishing you and your loved ones a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving Season!

Friday, November 16, 2012



Gina Brown "The New Voice of The Louisiana Lottery"

(New Orleans, LA.)  She's the Southern Soul Singer who brought you the "G-Slide."  Now, Gina Brown is "stepping" into a new gig that's sure to "give you something to smile about."  Meet the new voice of the Louisiana Lottery. "VISION/VOICE/VARION" learned Gina was in a Louisiana studio putting the finishing touches on "Something to Smile About", the new Louisiana jingle that's already creating a buzz.   

Producers with the project are excited about the new updated sound of the million dollar jackpot.  They're "betting" Gina's style, vocal ability and love for her native New Orleans is the "winning combination" that will help them to boost ticket sales. 

Look for the new Louisiana Lottery on radio and television stations around the Southeast.  Meantime, check out Gina Brown's new CD, "G-Spot", featuring the hit single The G-Slide and "Can't Stop Thinking of You", available in stores and online at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



(New York, NY)--He's cut, charming and from Cullman-Alabama, that is?  Who knew?  People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2012 is Alabama bred. 

Channing Tatum first turned the heads of "VISION/VOICE/VARION" readers this summer with "Varion's View", my movie review on Tatum's  summer box office hit, "Magic Mike".  Let's just say it is practically December and I'm still recovering from this "skin flick" that left me "red faced" with my mother.  It wasn't exactly The Chippendales.  Not to mention, Mom is still asking if that was an "actual penis" in a suction cup shown on the silver screen in the movie.  (But, I digress).

Wednesday, like everyone else in America, I was surprised to wake up to The Today Show and  People Magazine's  announcement of "Sexiest Man Alive".  I've said  it before, "there's always an Alabama connection" to some of the biggest national stories.  I'd be the first to admit I never made the connection with Tatum and North Alabama.

To say Cullman, Alabama is a long way from "Tinseltown" is  an understatement.  Channing Tatum was born in Cullman, but moved to Mississippi by the time he was six. This former model started his acting career in Pepsi and Mountain Dew commercials. He really got noticed with his "bump and grind"dance moves in Rickey Martin's music video, "She Bangs." The rest as they say, is history!

High fives  to Alabama's own Channing Tatum for standing out in a "crowded field" of beef cake!  This is one "local boy does good story" I'm happy to share.

I recently read Channing and his actress wife Jenna Dewan want a house filled with three or four children. I bet he never thought his "how I met your mom" story would end with "oh yeah,  I was  also voted Sexiest Man Alive in 2012".

Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike"


For Second Look At Varion's View on The Movie "Magic Mike"