The following is the opening to a novel I intended to complete this year. I don’t believe I will continue, so I thought I’d share the prologue here. I hope that you enjoy.
2017, Los Angeles, California :
Lights dimmed and silence fell over the Dunn-McNeil Auditorium. Thousands of seats filled with excited individuals, eager for the moment promised to be a spectacular surprise and treat for all Soul lovers in attendance. Photographers stood in various spots, prepared to catch what producers hoped to be the highlight of the evening.
An older gentleman stepped forward, a thin grin spread across his face as he nodded and waited for the applause to fade. Taking a deep breath, he placed his hands behind his back and read directly from the teleprompter. “Ladies and gentlemen tonight has been a wonderful celebration of our amazing Soul and R&B legends. All evening we’ve highlighted and uplifted the pioneers that made it possible for many artists of our new and younger generation to be who they are and create the music that speaks to them specifically. It has been such a powerful sight to witness the coming together and reuniting of many acts who dominated the stage and charts during music’s greatest heyday; the 60s and 70s. But now, in this moment, I feel that there is no greater than the one I have been blessed to announce and re-introduce to Soul fans, both young and old.” Scattered applause began to ring out as he took a moment to pause, clearing his throat before he continued with the formal introduction of the next performers.
“The year was 1974. The place was unknown Niota, Tennessee. And there resided four teenage girls, the daughters of a local reverend and school teacher. True and faithful to their Gospel roots, the sisters took a single chance in asking permission to perform secular music in a talent contest held in Chattanooga on a Sunday morning meant for singing in their father’s choir. As their worried, yet supportive mother looked on, the sisters gave a stirring performance featuring a medley of their favorite Stevie Wonder songs. In the audience that morning; Atlantic Records executives. The rest, as they say, is history. The sisters went on to form a chart-topping quartet, known around the world as one of the 70s greatest Disco acts. Between 1975 and 1985, the group produced a total of eight albums. Four of which broke the US R&B top twenty, two of which broke the top two, one of which hit number one thanks to guidance and style delivered by members of another legendary Disco act. In 1986, as the music climate began to shift, success of the group had waned, and one member parted in hopes of beginning a solo career. While three have remained, continuing to tour as a trio, it has been more than thirty years since Soul fans have been blessed with the sight of and a performance from all four founding members. It is my immense pleasure to welcome the marvelous Jones Sisters. Adrian, Cameron, Erin, and in her first public appearance in nearly twenty years… Gabriel. They are 70s Soul and Disco icons, HONEY.”
A thunderous applause swept through the room, many other artists considered legends and icons in their own rights standing to their feet as curtains behind the man rose. He stepped aside, allowing the audience to view four beautiful, stately looking women in all their glory.
Dressed in divine sequined gowns, with subtle makeup and their hair flowing, giving proof to the time-old adage of Black Don’t Crack. Dividers used as decoration that separated them were pulled away and for the first time in years, the sisters caught sight of one another. The three who remained, and the one who’d walked away.
Overcome with emotions, tears fell furiously as they came together and embraced one another. Among the large crowd their biggest support sat with tears flowing down his wrinkle worn face. Their father beamed, an overflow of pride as he did his best to clap for his girls.
With their microphones at their sides, the eldest spoke where no one in the room could hear them. “We’ve been pretty silly all these years, huh?”
A collective laugh escaped from the four, the youngest stepping back with a simple reply. “It doesn’t matter anymore. We are family, and nothing will ever change that.”
Pulling themselves together quickly, they returned to their designated positions, taking in the love from their old friends, their own idols, and the younger artists looking to witness the example of pure talent they once displayed proudly.
A sweet and gentle melody began, strumming of guitar that was soon joined by light percussion and strings. The sisters swayed from side to side, falling into their old routine as if they’d performed it just yesterday. The biggest piece missing for so many years, the voice of the group, stepped forward with a wide smile on her face, the first note pushing forward with ease.
It was a sight to behold; one many enjoyed, and one that left many wondering why it’d taken thirty-one years for it to happen again.