It was indeed an old-school sort of morning: Tom Joyner today brought back his Sky Show for the first time in five years, this time at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
Credit George Lucas and his film “Red Tails” for the Sky Show’s return. Lucas and Wells Fargo helped under-write the free event. Joyner’s syndicated show airs live on more than 115 stations nationwide, including Kiss 104.1 locally.
Joyner, 62, on stage wore a Tuskegee Airman jacket and walked around with a glittery cane. He brought out a former Tuskegee Airman and people involved in the film.
Elijah Kelly, an actor in the film who is from LaGrange, told Joyner it was a treat to be able to meet some of the remaining Tuskegee Airman on the set.
“To see them, to be able to touch history and look history in the eye,” Kelly said, “it was amazing.”
Joyner revived the old-school dance contest, the winner getting a leather jacket. At one point, the entire building did the “Wobble” line dance. Comic J. Anthony Brown gave out prizes during commercial breaks if, say, anyone in the audience has a doughnut. (Nobody did.)
He brought out acts such as Estelle, Ashanti and SWV to sing. And comics such as Chris Paul filled out the line up.
Joyner ended the Sky Shows, which he said cost $150,000 per show, when primary sponsor Southwest pulled out in 2007. He would fly out every Friday to a different city and host his live show before thousands of fans.
College Park’s Arlene Pleasant said she was brought to the Rialto by her cousins, who have been to Sky Shows in the past, to celebrate Pleasant’s 54th birthday. “It was great,” she said. “I knew it was fun listening to it but it was even better in person.” Her highlight: seeing her 53-year-old cousin Joseph Duckett in the old school dance contest.
He won a $10 Wal-Mart gift card for coming in fourth. (He said he danced at the original “Soul Train” shot in Chicago in the early 1970s.)
Pleasant arrived to the Rialto at 5:45 a.m. and the place was already full 15 minutes before the show began. She had to watch from the downstairs lobby in the overflow area. She only got inside the actual theater at 9:15 a.m.
Wal-Mart also passed out free movie passes for the “Red Tails” film for an 11 a.m. screening at Atlantic Station.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk