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30 Years of Mann: David and Tamela Mann

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Tamela: Well, I mean even with The Family because we were with Kirk for like nine years traveling and of course not local famous anymore because everybody kinda knew us here in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. But, I think it really did start with some of those songs because like the Now Behold the Lamb kinda took hold. It took off from there. It’s like with the song that they came for me, it’s just so many people with this Christmas song and even with Don’t Take Your Joy Away, but just both of the songs, you know? I kind of hate to talk about myself like that, but it’s just it kind of just happened. How about that?

Rashod: I like that. So you are, you’re making music, your music is touching people. Do you ever have a goal when making the music that says like, I want to touch them? Or is this something where it’s more of, I need to just get this off of me?

David: When selecting music for Tam, we know not to even bring the music if the lyrics aren’t right. I don’t care how the beat sounds. It could be somebody beating on a desk if the lyrics are right, they’re right for her because she only listens to the lyrics first. She’s like, I have to make sure these lyrics are going to impact people and is going to encourage them. She really doesn’t care. She really doesn’t care what the beat and the music is doing. You know? Some people try to hide everything behind this big bad beat. She’s like, no. What are the lyrics saying? Simply tell me is it encouraging? Is it going to inspire somebody?

Tamela: It’s very important to me. It’s good to have a happy song like when you’re riding in your car, but then when you’re down you want to hear something that’s going to help give you some hope and lift you up, you need lyrics. So that was important to me because all of us don’t have happy days, you know, it’s not a happy day every day for everybody. So we’re going to have those days where we’re kind of gloomy and even outside is gloomy so it makes us feel even more down. So we have to have something to give us that “pick me up”.

Rashod: Exactly! Now, you go from music, into plays, then to television. What was the transition like? What made you say yes to going into the theatre world?

Tamela: For me, I was just going to sing (laughing). But David… David loves to act, so that’s kind of like his world. I was coming along to do the solo. I was a doo-wop girl. Once we got going, they were like a position came open and Tyler said, she’s going to do this part. We were taking a little break between shows and Tyler said, “David, you go home, you get her ready.” So when he took me home, oh, he was drilling me and of course, I was getting mad at him. Because you know, us as black people, when you go to the play, we talk to them, we talk to the stage, we’re talking to whoever’s going on stage. So he was acting as the audience and saying stuff as I was saying my lines, I was like “stop it! You’re throwing me off.” And he said, “Well, people are gonna be saying stuff from the audience so you can’t let that throw you.” And it was so true. My first night I opened back up, we came back into the show in Detroit and when I tell you he was right, the ladies would scream “uh uhn don’t let him do that, get him. He can’t talk to you like that.” Oh, he was right. He was so right.

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