Molly Eichel: For 50, Sir Charles has been a fairy-tale prince

With former coach Jim Lynam (center), Barkley does one of the things he does best - talk. He's had a half-century of practice.
With former coach Jim Lynam (center), Barkley does one of the things he does best - talk. He's had a half-century of practice.
Posted: February 21, 2013

C HARLES BARKLEY may be turning 50 Wednesday, but he doesn't foresee any midlife crisis.

"I don't even know what that is. I've heard about it, technically," the Round Mound of Rebound told me. "My life, if you want to talk about fairy tales, mine's it."

Barkley's one plan: Be more reflective in the future. That goal starts tonight as Barkley looks back on his life in a Comcast Sportsnet special at 7 p.m., called "Barkley at 50."

Barkley will be joined by CSN's Neil Hartman and Jim Lynam, Barkley's former coach, who traded him out of Philly in '92.

Barkley doesn't usually celebrate his b-day, but he did share one birthday buddy during his NBA heyday: Michael Jordan, who also recently turned 50. "He's three days older than me," Barkley said. "We spent a lot of birthdays together."

Break a Sweat

How many babies is Keith Sweat responsible for?

Other than his own four kids, Sweat says that he's helped numerous couples conceive with his signature brand of New Jack Swing R&B. Sweat's entire public life is about love (and lust), so Sweat decided it was only natural for him to write a book on the subject.

Make It Last Forever: The Dos and Don'ts, partially named after Sweat's 1987 hit song, is a relationship how-to guide, covering topics like avoiding a sexual rut and and empathy for your partner. He also started his own dating site,, in conjunction with the book.

Sweat will talk about Make It Last Forever Thursday at the African American Museum (701 Arch St.) from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sweat is looking forward to his Philly visit because he loves the people of Philadelphia and he's also a secret architecture buff. "The architecture is great," Sweat said. "I've been all around the world. you can always tell a city by a look for the city, and Philly has that."

To Sweat, the book is just his songs in written form. As a songwriter, he's had to be introspective about his own love life.

"I just took it from the music to the book," Sweat said. "All of my songs are heartfelt, writing about breaking up or making up with a woman. . . . You have to be honest with yourself and honest with the public and acknowledge what your faults were and what your good qualities were."

But what do Sweat's exes, including former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Lisa Wu Hartwell, who had a messy divorce with Sweat, think of his relationship tome? He hasn't heard from any directly.

"I'm quite sure a few of them have read it," Sweat said. "Some might agree, some might not."

Gossip bits

Big Daddy Graham helped Josh Attix propose to Lauren O'Neil Monday night during a round of Quizzo at Rocco's, in Wilmington. One of Graham's questions: "Will Lauren marry Josh?" O'Neil answered correctly. She said yes.

* Actor Jake Gyllenhaal was at the Susequehanna Bank Center on Sunday enjoying Mumford and Sons. Jonah Hill, as previously reported, was also in attendance. No word on whether they discussed a "Superbad"/"Donnie Darko" high-school crossover flick, but that's what I would have suggested.

TV beats

* Don't sleep on the "American Masters" documentary "Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll," about the singer and guitar diva who called Philly home for 13 years and was buried in West Oak Lane's Northwood Cemetery.

Tharpe, who influenced Chuck Berry, Little Richard and other better-remembered men, lay in an unmarked grave until Philly native, George Washington University professor and Tharpe biographer Gayle Wald started to raise hell about the slight. (Her book is Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta. Read it. For real.) Then- Gov. Ed Rendell declared Jan. 11, 2008, "Sister Rosetta Tharpe" day. The doc plays Friday at 9 p.m. on WHYY.

* Swedesboro, N.J.'s Laura Cheadle will compete on the new reality show "Next Great Family Band," airing Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. on Cozi TV. Will Cheadle and the rest of her family band, including brothers Nick and Jim and "Pops" James, be the next Partridge Family? "American Idol" alum Kimberly Caldwell, Phoenix Stone (who was apparently a Backstreet Boy at some point) and drummer Samantha Maloney (cashed checks from Hole and Motley Crue, making her perfect for a family-band show) will judge.


On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

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