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Meet Raheem DeVaughn, an 'R&B, Hippie, Neo-Soul, Rock Star'


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Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.

I'm Doug Johnson.

Today, we play music by Raheem DeVaughn …

Answer a question about how to become a doctor in the United States …

And tell about the "World's Longest Yardsale."

Long Yard Sale

If you cannot find what you want at the yard sale we are about to tell you about, then maybe what you want just does not exist. Because this yard sale runs all the way from the Midwestern state of Ohio to the Southern state of Alabama. That is more than one thousand kilometers of goods for sale along US Route One Twenty-Seven. Faith Lapidus has our story.

It seems like almost everyone buys or sells goods at yard sales in the United States. People place used personal or household goods for sale outside their homes.

The US One Twenty-Seven Corridor Sale is known as the World's Longest Yardsale. It began in nineteen eighty-seven.  The event's headquarters is in Jamestown, Tennessee. A former local official, Mike Walker, came up with the idea.  He thought it would bring people to the area and show them that small country roads have a lot to offer.  Others agreed. They wanted people to consider traveling on these roads instead of the popular interstate system.

Every year, the four-day sale begins on the first Thursday in August.  So August seventh marks the opening of the twenty-first World's Longest Yardsale.  The event now crosses five states --- Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

Tens of thousands of sellers take part. Some people who live along or near Route One Twenty-Seven simply place their goods for sale in front of their house.  Others use nearby public spaces, like parks.  People sell everything and anything at the sale: furniture, clothing, toys, books and music.  You can also find sporting goods, farm equipment, tools and art.  And, lots of other things.  Tens of thousands of people from across the country drive along the road in search of interesting things to buy.  Route One Twenty-Seven becomes crowded with vehicles.

Leeann Hustonis the director of tourism and membership at the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown, Tennessee.  She says last year she came close to buying one of strangest looking pieces of furniture she has ever seen --- a big, old, round bed.  She said it had a complex design on the shiny, smooth, light blue and white material that covered it.  Ms. Huston says the bed was made in the nineteen thirties or forties.  She said it looked like something that should be at Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.  She says she thinks it sold for more than one thousand dollars.

Medical Education

Our listener question this week comes from Ethiopia. Solomon Mengist Gardie wants to know how a person becomes a medical doctor in the United States.

It is not easy to become a doctor in the United States. Students must attend a college or university and do well in their studies. Students who want to become doctors usually study large amounts of biology and chemistry in college.  Some students work for a year or two in a medical or research job before they attempt to enter medical school.

More than one hundred twenty American schools offer study programs for people seeking to become a doctor.  Competition to enter these medical schools is strong.  About thirty-five thousand people compete for sixteen thousand openings in American medical schools each year.

Students must take the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT.  The Association of American Medical Colleges provides the test by computer.  Applicants for medical school need to do well on the MCAT.

Once in medical school, students spend their first two years mainly in classroom study.  They learn about the body and all its systems.  They also begin studying how to recognize and treat disease.

By the third year, students begin working with patients in hospitals.  Experienced doctors who have treated many patients guide them as they work.

During the fourth year, students begin applying to programs in hospitals for the additional training they will need after medical school.  Competition to work at a top hospital can be fierce.

Doctors-in-training in hospitals are called interns or residents.  They treat patients while guided by experienced doctors, medical professors and other experts.

Some doctors work a long time in hospitals before they are fully trained in a specialty.  Neurosurgeons are a good example.  They operate on the brain, neck and back.  Some neurosurgeons spend six years or more as residents in hospitals before beginning private practice and treating patients on their own.

The American Association of Medical Colleges reports that last year there were over seven hundred thousand active doctors practicing in the United States.

Raheem DeVaughn

Raheem DeVaughn sings and writes songs that include several musical influences.  He describes himself as an "R-and-B, hippie, neo-soul, rock star."  Barbara Klein tells more about the singer and plays some of his music.

Raheem DeVaughn has loved music since a very early age.  But he did not begin his musical career until he was in college.  He attended Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.  Raheem joined a singing group and began writing and recording songs.  He soon left the university and the singing group to begin singing on his own in nightclubs in Washington, D.C.

DeVaughn's first album, "The Love Experience," was released in two thousand five.  The songs are influenced by soul music made popular in the nineteen seventies.  Here is the hit song "Guess Who Loves You More" from that album.

Raheem DeVaughn's latest album is called "Love Behind the Melody."  Music critics praise his singing and song writing.  They say his smooth voice and the important messages in his songs are a welcome addition to the music industry.  His hit song "Woman" honors women for the many important parts they play in life.

We leave you with another song from Raheem DeVaughn's new album "Love Behind the Melody."  This is "Butterflies."

I'm Doug Johnson.  I hope you enjoyed our program today.

It was written by Lawan Davis, Elizabeth Stern and Caty Weaver, who was also the producer.  To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

Send your questions about American life to mosaic@voanews.com. And please include your full name and where you are from. Or write to AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, U.S.A.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.


"American Mosaic" in VOA Special English
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Source: Meet Raheem DeVaughn, an 'R&B, Hippie, Neo-Soul, Rock Star'
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