Monday, April 26, 2010

4/26 - Kimberly Locke, Larry Van Aalst, Robin Doody,

Kimberley Dawn Locke (born January 3, 1978) is an American singer and plus-size fashion model who has achieved success in the dance, pop and adult contemporary music genres. She gained fame with her participation in the 2003 American Idol television series, and in 2007 garnered media attention for her participation in Celebrity Fit Club. In 2010, following a six year contract with Curb Records, Kimberley became the first artist signed to Randy Jackson's dance music label, Dream Merchant 21.  Locke was born in Hartsville, Tennessee, to Donald and Christine Locke, an African-American truck driver and a Caucasian clothing warehouse worker for the Gap/Old Navy distribution center in Gallatin, Tennessee. She is the second of two children, with an older brother named Ashley. She and her brother spent most of their life in Gallatin. At age five, Locke began singing in church. Her parents divorced when she was eight years old. Locke grew up admiring such singers as Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross. In 1987, she and childhood friends Chandra Boone, Selina Robb, and NaCole Rice formed a quartet named Shadz of U, which performed at many local churches. The group later appeared on Locke's 2007 Based On A True Story album, singing backup on Everyday Angels. Locke went to Gallatin High School, where she was one of sixteen members to participate in its performing group. She remained in the group throughout her high-school years. She was also selected twice as a member of the All-Middle State Chorus. After graduating, she began to work for a company in Nashville as an administrative assistant. Like 2007 American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, Locke is an alumna of Belmont University in Nashville. On October 30, 2002, the reality-TV singing competition American Idol held auditions in Nashville, Tennessee for the show's second season. Locke successfully passed through to the next round, and in December was chosen to perform on the show. She finished third, behind runner up Clay Aiken and eventual champion Ruben Studdard. Simon Cowell at first criticized Locke as lacking in personality; by the final three however, he declared her, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard to be as worthy winners as any. She has since been invited back to the show to perform twice (seasons 3 and 7).  Locke went on to sign a record deal with Curb Records on September 6, 2003. Her debut album, One Love, was released May 4, 2004. Debut single "8th World Wonder" reached the top half of the Billboard Hot 100 and was successful on other charts, and even entered the UK chart with little promotion. "Wrong" and "I Could" followed as singles and were hits on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts respectively. "Coulda Been" was the album's only single not to chart.  Locke released her version of "Up On The Housetop" in Fall 2005 and by the end of year it had reached the top spot of the Adult Contemporary (AC) charts and broke many records, due to its quick rise to the top. The following year, Kimberley's version of "Jingle Bells" was released and topped the same charts. A full Christmas album entitled Christmas — only available digitally — was released on November 6, 2007. Locke's second album, Based On A True Story, was released on May 1, 2007. The album's original lead single, "Supawoman," co-written with her producers Damon Sharpe and Mark J. Feist, was released to radio on August 7, 2006, however after underwhelming radio support, Curb Records decided to refocus. "Change," was released to radio on January 15, 2007 to positive support and climbed the charts well into the summer of 2007. The album's next single was a cover of Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," which was released to radio on August 13, 2007 and became Locke's 6th solo AC Top 10 hit. The album's third single,"Fall," co-written by Clay Mills was also recorded by country music artist Clay Walker, was released to radio in February 2008. All three singles from this album hit #1 on the Billboard dance club chart.  After parting ways with Curb Records in 2009, Kimberley signed a deal with Randy Jackson's Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment record label  and immediately got to work on her upcoming single "Strobelight", to be released April 6, 2010 .

Larry Van Aalst - Sommelier Equus Restaurant 
Fountaingrove Inn Hotel & Conference Center

Stylish, classic and modern…the Equus Restaurant and Loungebar has been transformed into an inviting casual dining experience. The California fusion menu highlights local ingredients and emphasizes classic flavors with Mediterranean, Spanish and French influences. The Loungebar features Friday evening wine tasting and Saturday entertainment. Equus Restaurant and Loungebar…make it your next stop. Reverse Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 9:00pm-10:00pm Happy Hour Monday-Thursday from 4:30pm to 6:30pm Wine tasting on Fridays - Back by popular demand and better than ever. Join us for a complimentary wine tasting in the Equus Wine Bar every Friday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Robin Doody - GM Northeastland Hotel - Presque Isle
(Side Note - Jack Roberts was on WEGP AM 1390 in Presque Isle, ME and he worked for the late Skip Carroll, a local car dealer doing afternoon drive 3-7 PM. He had a trade with the Northeastland Hotel and stayed there for almost a year (great breakfasts!!) (1973-1976) What is today one of the most prestigious Presque Isle hotels, now known as The Northeastland Hotel, originated as a wooden structure "house" aptly called The Presque Isle House. It was taken down by hand, stick by stick, in 1931. The brick structure that you see today was opened in 1932. The elevator, one of the first in Presque Isle, was built in 1950. The first tenant of The Northeastland Hotel was Vincent Baressi, who owned and operated his barbershop until the early 1970s. The Coffee Shop, formerly a jewelry store, opened for business in 1950 and is currently known as The Sidewalk Café, although to some it will be forever known as "The Coffee Shop."