An Oakland, Calif., fundraiser is planned for Rosie Gaines, a keyboardist who was Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” co-vocalist.

Brenda Vaughn, an Oakland-based singer, is organizing the “I Am My Sister’s Keeper” benie for Gaines.

Vaughn said that Gaines, who has diabetes and other health problems, is living in a dire situation. “She has been really sick and not able to work. We are trying to raise money to get her a home,” said Vaughn. “Prince has stepped up, which is great.”

That’s much better info than I received from my original tipster.

“From what I understand, he was trying to find out what was going on,” Vaughn said. “We have some musicians from Minneapolis who are concerned and trying to find out how they can help. ”

The Jan. 31 benie is scheduled at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, a downtown Oakland nightclub.

“We have [among scheduled performers] D’Wayne Wiggins from Tony! Toni! Toné!; Maxine Jones formerly from En Vogue, musicians from Graham Central Station; and musicians from Touch of Class, Rosie’s former band,” said Vaughn. Asked if Prince also might perform, she added, “No, no I don’t think so.”

But with Larry Graham and Prince still being tight, last I heard, maybe he’ll surprise Vaughn.

“I don’t think so, but I appreciate anything that he’s doing, done, just like Sheila E, who has been helping me, calling me to find out about Rosie’s health.

“I am in tears,” Vaughn said. “DJs from Europe have called me. They are going to remix Rosie’s ‘Closer Than Close’ CD so that it generates royalties that can be income for Rosie.”

Fundraiser updates can be found at and Vaughn can be contacted at


Prince was golden

Was Symbolina toting a cane or a scepter at the Golden Globe Awards?

I asked that question on Twitter about the same time My 29’s “On the Fly” host Tony Fly tweeted: “Is that a damn magic wand?”

Monday on NBC’s “Today Show” anchor Savannah Guthrie said, “I mean he’s just so Prince. Who else rocks gold pants and cane he really didn’t need to walk.”

Wendy Williams, on her eponymous FOX show, said, “If you’ll notice the shots of the audience everybody was fanning out; he reduced A-listers to little girls. He’s such a little man, with such a big presence.”

Williams then retold the story about being summoned by Symbolina:

It was about 9 p.m. when she got the call “Prince is making a request to see Wendy … in two hours. You only get this invitation once.” She and her husband drove from New Jersey to Manhattan for the audience. It was 11 p.m. and as 11:15 p.m. arrived, “I’m starting to get antsy. I’m like, ‘OK has he no respect?’ ” because she tapes her show at 10 a.m. Around 12:45 a.m. Symbolina finally shows “but it was worth the wait,” said Williams. They went into a tiny room where “we were practically sitting in each other’s laps! He was fabulous! He laughed. He watches [my] show.”

He took no photos, which was fine with Williams, but the Purple One’s other rule was more challenging: “He doesn’t like you to curse around him [and] when I’m not on this show just call me Sailor Wen.”


RIP, Paul Sprenger

Attorney Paul Sprenger, 74, died snorkeling in Curaçao last month.

In 50 years as a lawyer, based here and later in D.C., he took on 3M, Cargill, PepsiCo, Burlington Northern and the U on behalf of the little guys, also known as employees.

Sprenger was always worth watching. There was a time when now-retired Strib courts reporter and lawyer Margaret Zack had to only say, “Paul Sprenger’s giving a closing,” to put a smile on our afternoon.

Marg and I went to watch the exceptionally fine legal oratory showcased by someone we found very handsome (with an emphasis on the latter, in all honesty).

Rest well, Paul Sprenger.


C.J. can be reached at and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.