It had been relentlessly hyped by various social media (and by various hands) for weeks, and the self-styled “Last Holiday Party of the Season,” a karaoke affair hosted by lawyer Barry Frager and numerous others defied the wet and frigid elements Saturday night to be a success.
A significant crowd turned out at the Asian Palace in East Memphis to hear amateur warblers from both political parties do justice — or injustice, as the case might be — to assorted musical standards. Below Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar, a Republican, and his wife Brenda, a lawyer and consultant, are captured in a photo by co-host David Upton as they try their hands (literally) at “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
The party, the second annual one of its type at the Asian Palace site, doubled as a fund-raising event via contributions to the South Memphis Alliance, a community-based service organization founded by another Commissioner and attendee, Reginald Milton, a Democrat. Last year’s initial effort raised several thousand dollars for SMA’s coffers, and Saturday night’s likely did as well.
In the shot below, Milton listens as State Rep. Joe Towns (D-Memphis) explains the purposes of the organization. (Towns was conspicuous also in his customary rendition of “Wonderful World” in a voice that (most often) succeeded uncannily in sounding like the late Louis Armstrong.)
A more solemn weekend event, a memorial service for the late Robert Hummel, an almost legendary proprietor of direct mailing, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Highland Heights Presbyterian Church in Arlington. Hummel, whose services at election time were decidedly bi-partisan, died unexpectedly last month.