reeves_web.jpgMIAMI — He carried forth the vision of his father to lead the oldest black newspaper in the Southeast United States. He is the first black to sit on the governing boards of Miami’s major educational, business and non-profit organizations. He has fought against racial segregation. And he celebrated his 95th  birthday last month.

But, Garth C. Reeves Sr. told hundreds of people who turned out to honor his life and legacy at Overtown’s Historic Lyric Theater on Friday, “Don’t worry about 95. That’s just a number.”

The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, honored the publisher-emeritus of The Miami Times for his distinct business acumen and limitless contributions to the community.

The occasion was the second edition of the Archives’ new amateur night monthly showcase, Lyric Live.

After a reception, guests entered the newly renovated theater, which is owned by the Archives, to witness the “newspaper man” being presented with a proclamation by Timothy Barber, executive director of the organization, and Willowstine Lawson, an aide to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The proclamation commends Reeves an unwavering supporter of the Archives and designated March 7, 2014, Garth C. Reeves Day. The near centenarian’s infectious smile was on full display when he invited the audience to come back and celebrate with him next year on his 96th birthday.

Complete with a charming host, live band, starry-eyed contestants and a $500 grand prize, Lyric Live is reminiscent of Showtime at the Apollo. Yet it wouldn’t be South Florida if there wasn’t a twist. Instead of Steve Harvey, Ray Chew and the Crew and the Sandman, Lyric Live boasts the hysterical comedy of Chello, the musical stylings of Jody Hill & Deep Fried Funk Band and the Junkanoos as the ones who usher out contestants who get booed off-stage. The show even has its own theme song, All The Way Live. Lyric Live takes place every first Friday of the month.

Ten contestants showed off their talents ranging from singing, rapping and poetry to original house music and graphic design.

Crowd favorites included LaMihya Manuel’s rendition of Tasha Cobb’s Power in the Name of Jesus and Mimi Lattimore’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Believe in You and Me. But it was Mailyn Cuadra’s version of Houston’s hit I Will Always Love You that took the grand prize –  for the second month in a row.