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Great Performances

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"And with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee," says Psalm 81, suggesting God as a source of sweetness and strength. That biblical passage was also the source for a popular spiritual called "Honey in the Rock," which was recorded in Memphis in 1927 by Mamie Forehand. Add the word "sweet" to the title, and you get Sweet Honey in the Rock, the all-female, Grammy Award-winning a capella singing group that has been entertaining and inspiring audiences since 1973. Sweet Honey will be doing just that as guests of the Cultural Development Foundation of Memphis at the Cannon Center on Friday, December 7th.

Sweet Honey's founder, Bernice Johnson Reagon, retired in 2004, but that still leaves current members Ysaye Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Shirley Childress Saxton to combine spirituals and jazz, gospel and blues. Harmony ties it all together. Harmony's also the key to Sweet Honey's repertoire, which speaks out against injustice on every front.

And appearing with Sweet Honey in the Rock at the Cannon Center ... You may know them as "Three Mo' Tenors," or you may know them by name as Cook, Dixon & Young. Their full names are Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon, and Thomas Young, and they've got gospel and jazz going too. But add arias, show tunes, and soul classics, and you've got a trio that's a little hard to categorize. But PBS didn't think so. Cook, Dixon & Young have been featured on the series that goes by the name, pure and simple, Great Performances.

The women in Sweet Honey in the Rock? They've been saluted by a PBS series too. The show, pure and simple: American Masters.

Sweet Honey in the Rock and Cook, Dixon & Young at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, December 7th, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.50-$51.50, plus service charge. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.com or call the Cannon Center at 576-1269.

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