- ‘Really, Really Messed Up My Life’
- Quick Start to Healthy Weight Loss
- Black Men Can Beat Prostate Cancer
- Health Screenings for Older Black Men
- Healthy Man of the Month for July 2016
- HIV Testing is HIV Prevention
- Your ‘Mental’ Endurance
- Bisexual Health Priorities
- Entertainment CEO DonJuan Clark
- New Drug Helps Men with Melanoma
Part II: Interview with Singer George Huff
B.SLADE: At what point did you realize this was about to be a national emergency and that you would have to flee? And how did you – who came to you and said okay you’ve got to get out of here like you know that type of thing?
GEORGE HUFF: Well I was on the road and everything and my family – my mom called me and she said, “George, you know” – because I didn’t really know the magnitude of the storm. But she was like, “George, we – you know we have to all leave you know here.” And I was like, “Well, Ma, y’all you know I’ll send whatever. Y’all get out there. Leave. Do not sit.” Because that’s what we – everybody have always – anybody that lived in New Orleans whenever a hurricane came through we always you know sat it out. You know but it was a – it was mandatory that we get up out of there and leave and I told my mom I said, “Don’t y’all chance this. Get up out of there and get up out of there.” You know so they all got out. And it was when I –
B.SLADE: Where did they go?
GEORGE HUFF: Dallas, Texas.
B.SLADE: Oh so they had enough time before it really, really hit to relocate?
GEORGE HUFF: They left the day before the storm because they were all going to sit there and wait. So the day before, which it took more like a day to get out of the city because it was so trafficky and stuff. It took them, oh my God, a good 16 hours to make it to Dallas, Texas.
B.SLADE: Wow, now switching gears. Let me ask are you currently independent or are you signed to a label?
GEORGE HUFF: I’m currently independent which I’m happy to do because – or happy to be because I get to do a lot of things that I – my management and the label would have been like heck no. Like sing backup.
B.SLADE: Do you regret not selling as much as your alumni and peers?
GEORGE HUFF: No, I don’t regret it. I don’t regret it because we pray for each other. We prayed for each other and we’ve all had our circumstances. If Jennifer were to sit down and talk to you, or Fantasia, she would tell – they would tell you it’s not about selling a million albums. Their peace and their joy – our peace – my peace and my joy comes from waking up in the morning knowing that somebody didn’t wake up.
B.SLADE: What’s next for George Huff as the artist and persona and servant obviously?
GEORGE HUFF: [Laughter] Well I’m still on the road. But the latest thing that I did was I wrote the title cut for the Blind Boys of Alabama – Take the High Road Through the Valley. The name of that CD is Take the High Road Through the Valley. Their first single was Take the High Road Through the Valley. You know they’ve been singing that everywhere. So to have the title cut on their album was a major accomplishment and something I’m proud of.
B.SLADE: The Five Blind Boys of Alabama?
GEORGE HUFF: Yes, the Blind Boys of Alabama.
B.SLADE: That’s major because they’re Grammy Award winning so that’s a major thing.
GEORGE HUFF: Grammy yes. I said, “Lord.” You know they said, “George, they want to record your song.” I initially did the song – wrote the song in 2009 but I didn’t put it on my album because I wrote it with a country writer, a guy named – I think his name is Jerry Salley. I wrote it with him and you know we sitting down and I said this song is not going on my CD because I ain’t going – it sounded like [singing] take the high road through the valley, take the – I said I ain’t singing this on my album. you know? So I told them. They was like George – they tried to get me to record it. I said, “I’m not recording that.” you know? And all these other country sounding songs (laughing)
B.SLADE: You are crazy.
GEORGE HUFF: Yeah I wrote just too many – took a week in Nashville and just wrote with these country writers and I enjoyed the process. And I’m not – you know I work with other people. I’ll cross the boards you know and everything work across the line – border lines and everything. And we wrote all these country songs and not one of them did I record for my album.
B.SLADE: You are something else.
GEORGE HUFF: I’m telling you. So what happened was that – to answer your question, that was something that I did – I still work with Jennifer Hudson. And the latest thing, that I recorded my first two singles, R&B singles last year. The first one being a cover song to kind of reintroduce myself that’s going to be out in March. The name of that song is called – well it’s a Luther cover so it’s So Amazing. I redid that one.
B.SLADE: Oh that’s going to be fantastic. That’s going to get a lot of attention.
GEORGE HUFF: I’m so excited. That’s the first one. And then the second one, I don’t have a name for it, but that single will follow shortly thereafter so that you know people can purchase that single. So the first single is the cover song and then that’s to set up my first official R&B single that’s coming. That and then also I’ve been writing a production. There was – well I don’t even want to mention that particular production but it’s a one man show basically and it’s about the life of Luther Vandross. Basically I’m telling his story as him on stage in a production.
GEORGE HUFF: So yeah. Basically what happens is that I sing all of his major hits while telling the story – his life story about – you know in the end the underlying message is that you know he had diabetes and because of complications with the diabetes you know he had a stroke and you know eventually you know passed away or whatever and you know it’s funny because in part of the show you know or throughout the show you’ll see me gain weight, lose weight, gain weight and lose weight with the fat suits and everything. I have like three different wigs that I’m going to use. And also like at the point – at the end of the show he comes out on stage and he you know he’s big again and everybody – he says to the audience you know in the concert at Wembley that he did, which is going to be the finale of the show, and he says to the crowd, “I know y’all looking at me, y’all saying you know Lord, Luther done gained all that weight back again.” And you know he says to them, “It’s called diabetes.” you know? And he tells the story about how he you know had the conversation with Oprah and he didn’t know how it worked and how it’s the number one killer you know of African-American women you know and it’s the number one killer or whatever. And he says how – then he tells the story about how he lost his father, his brother and his sister to diabetes. And he bridges – you know he then turns around and say, “I wrote this song.” And he talks about I wrote this song about you know blank, blank, blank. And basically he’s reminiscing about his father and then he sings the song Dance With My Father and –
B.SLADE: This is really powerful.
GEORGE HUFF: Yeah it’s very powerful. It’s going to be an amazing –
B.SLADE: And interestingly enough you’re able to address an issue that could possibly change a life.
GEORGE HUFF: There it is. That’s the point.