Society Confidential: Detroit Youth Choir has clear view ahead

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
CJ Pitt, left, from Detroit Youth Choir gets fitted for new glasses by Andrew Stinson from See Eyewear.

Richard Golden, owner of See Eyewear, is a big fan of “America’s Got Talent," and he’s an even bigger fan of his hometown, Detroit. He was over the moon recently when the talented kids from Detroit Youth Choir received “The Golden Buzzer” after their performance on the popular NBC TV series, catapulting them right into the live shows. “I saw the kids performing and was so moved that I got in touch with the choir director (Anthony White) right away,” says Richard.  “I noticed many of the kids wore glasses and I wanted to make sure their prescriptions were up to date and that the kids had the very best lenses and frames.” With that, Richard teamed with Visions to Learn, a nonprofit committed to providing free eye exams to children in low-income communities, to give the kids of the Detroit Youth Choir free eye exams and free glasses. “We found that many of the kids hadn’t had exams in quite some time and had eye care needs that weren’t being met,” adds Richard. “The transformations were amazing, and the kids were thrilled.” Wednesday night, the Detroit Youth Choir, many wearing brand-new glasses, was elevated into the semifinals of the TV show. Congratulations, and here’s looking to a bright future through your new glasses.

Thomas McClary, (center) founder of The Commodores with Detroit photographer, John Enot singing background.

Commodores party on at Cafe D'Mongo's Speakeasy 

What a fun night at Cafe D'Mongo's Speakeasy last week when veteran entertainment manager and native Detroiter George Murphy walked through the door with the world-famous Commodores. Things really heated up when the legendary group’s founder, Thomas McClary (he wrote most of the group’s music over the years along with Lionel Richie) took to the intimate stage, joining the house band, performing an outstanding 20-minute version of one the Commodores biggest hits, “Brick House.” Guests sang along, danced and partied as McClary sang and played his guitar. “We took him back in time,” recalls owner Larry Mongo. “He got up there and went into a zone. He told me that it's been over 40  some odd years since he played a small club and it brought back so many inspirational emotions in him. His wife had to stop him from playing more. She told him you’ve had fun, now it’s time to go. What a wonderful treat for us all.”

Chuck Bennett is the creator of