Louisville goes crazy during the lead up to the Kentucky Derby. The Derby, the “fastest two minutes in sports,” and, quite possibly, one of the last horse races to really matter on the national stage. There’s no vanity in that. There are very few days when the general population cares about the sport of kings. Die-hard fans will be there. John Q. Public is selective.
So for the two weeks before the race, the Ville is bonkers with fireworks, a steamboat race, a parade and lots of other stuff jammed in between. Some of the events belong to the official Kentucky Derby Festival organization. Others are more of a home-grown variety. This year, my favorite time came from more of a grass-roots event.
My daughter Talia has been friends with OJ since 6th grade. OJ’s mother is a long time Louisville performer, Sheryl Rouse-Crawford. She has a large following among the African-American population in the River City and has even appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Against this history, she held an event at Coconut Beach where she sang with passion. She also invited Talia and OJ to sing as well.
It’s been a few years since I’ve seen her on stage because she’s been so the night was a real treat. She tried to keep her nerves in check, but I could tell they crept in at times. She handled it beautifully as you can see from the video. Above is the duet she did with OJ from the Prince classic B-side “How Come U Don’t Call Me.” Below there’s a clip from the standard “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess.”
Yep, pretty darn proud. More photos below.