Thursday, December 27, 2012

RIP Fontella Bass & Marva Whitney

Hope you all had a great holiday.  Our prayers and well wishes go out to their loved ones.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

70s TV Superheros Are Coming to Digital in 2013

Anybody that was a kid from 1975-1980 can appreciate some Steve Austin or Jamie Sommers a.k.a.The Bionic Woman, regardless of color.  Or my favorite at the time, 'Charlie's Angels'...with Farrah Fawcett, of course!

Yep, somebody's been taking notes and realized that you can never beat the originality of old (or retro) TV shows.  I've also been pretty fortunate to see some Blaxploitation movies I've never heard of.  When I think of Sugar Hill, I think of Wesley playing a more toned-down Nino Brown, not an actress named Marki Bey doing some voodoo mess.  I may get that one uncut for Halloween next year.

So, back to topic.  Just as I was getting comfortable with watching restaurants that I would never visit and noting those places in Cali (yes, I will ride a train), here comes this Cozi TV channel out of nowhere.  They're also supposed to bring back the Lone Ranger (before my time, sowwy) and some other classics.

Here is the link.  Just enter your zip and it will give the current and future listings.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bounce TV Schedule Updates

One of my favorite pastimes (cause I'm a little broke but it's getting better) is looking through the Bounce TV schedule weeks in advance.  So far, I've seen about 20 movies that were completely new to me so I hope someone continues digging in those crates.  And of course, you can NEVER see Blacula too many times!

So I'm looking up 'til Christmas Day and I see a couple of things that are very interesting.  One is "Paid Programming" Do we really need more infomercials?  I mean really, Cindy Crawford is pretty because of a melon, Debby Boone still sings that same song from 1975/76.  And there's a gadget for $29.95 that will replace your skillet, microwave, Dutch oven - buy now and they will send you ... another one because the first is SO great!

The other shock was 'Forgive or Forget' , a talk show from the 90s that starred Mother Love and somehow Robin Givens (who was trying to rebuild her rep) ended up hosting.  Now, I burned out on talk shows way back when Morton Downey and Richard Bey left the air so I never got the full tea as to why Mother Love left in the first place.  (I had a life, no kids and a car so it just slipped me).

So now in the age of gossip blogs, I get a little bit here and there about celebs which 90% is true.  And I'm curious as to whether ML was railroaded or what.  And is Bounce losing $?  I hope not because I tend to have bouts of insomnia that last from about 2:00a to 5:30a and nothing makes me feel better than watching a blaxploitation classic or Soul Train rerun.  Even if it's from the 80s with that no-dancing guy on there.  Yes, the tall one.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Donald first REAL reading experience

If you've read earlier posts, I mentioned how I came to appreciate that street culture/blaxploitation is captured in the media.  However, like many of you, I hate when others think that "the streets" are the only story that a Black person has to tell.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s, people thought Alex Haley, Maya Angelou and other noted literary figures told the Black Experience, or who had an interesting story to tell.

While I liked some of those stories, I wanted to hear something different.  School book clubs and ABC Afterschool Specials (yep, like when Jan Brady was a street ho) scratched the surface but I wanted something that was grittier.  Which was strange for a teen who lived in a section of Inglewood that was quickly changing from a White liberal/Black suburb to a 'hood that was featured on the 5 o'clock news regularly for drug-related crimes.

In my mother's quest to try the 'burbs thing again, I used to wander through Waldenbooks at Fox Hills Mall often.  For those who didn't remember, there was no Internet, no coffee bar (overpriced or otherwise), no hipsters looking through art books by Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol, not even eclectic or acid jazz selections.  Just books and people looking to buy books, not mistake it for a library.

Since I'm a fast reader, it only took a couple of pages for me to see that Donald Goines was what I had been looking for.  All the grit, funk and those pieces of honesty that I would see in Terry McMillan years later.

So almost like clockwork, I would visit the Black Books sections at least once a month to buy the next in his series, which were semi-autobiographical tales of crime, drugs and pimping.  Him, Iceberg Slim and others opened me up to another world to which I could visualize from a safe distance and escape.

It was around this time, I learned that a video store on Manchester in Inglewood (now closed) specialized in blaxploitation movies as well as indie films of that time.

Recently, TVOne paid a little homage to the late Mr. Goines in an account of his life as probably the first Black Urban-style author known to this generation. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Richard Pryor

 Classic clip from his NBC variety show.  If you're at home on this cold Sat. night, check out the marathon on Bounce TV.