Thursday, December 12, 2013

RIP Don Mitchell

Last week, we lost the great Don Mitchell at the age of 70.  I have not gotten around to watching the original Ironside but he was the only person I liked in Scream Blacula Scream.

As the link shows, he made many TV guest appearances but never became a household name or had the name recognition that ex-wife Judy Pace would have.

However, one thing that impressed me was that he became a businessman after acting gigs slowed down and he would be considered part of Hollywood's First Black Power Couple back in the 1970s.

Mr. Mitchell is in the brown suit below.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Goodbye Great One

Nelson Mandela was born the same year as my last uncle who I lost a few years ago.  While I was glad the physical suffering was over with in the case of both men, I cried inside because I knew these type of men are a dying breed.

My uncle was never a political person but at peace being a Black man who provided for many making an honest living and never took BS from anybody.

In short, we now live in an age where Black males are more than happy to display their sexual prowess on camera for 15 mins.  And make babies without a ring.  And accept scraps from anyone with a smile.

We hear more about this type of being instead of proud family men who are upstanding citizens, pass down morals and good living to the next generation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Shows From Bounce TV

 I still love Bounce network even though their last attempt at original programming left me a little dry (seems others felt the same because its been about a year and no mention of either show returning).

Anyway, I love a good roommate sitcom and you can't tell me Laverne and Shirley wasn't funny back in the day.  I once even read that before they became really famous, Wendy Williams and MO nique were supposed to do a buddy-buddy show before they fell out for good.  Hopefully, Bounce will get the rights to The New Odd Couple with "Lamont Sanford" and Ron Glass (Black dude from Barney Miller).

Yes, roommate shows are nice but why do I get the feeling that My Crazy Roommate is a copycat of Half and Half?

The show about half-sisters who live and try to get along in the same apt. bldg. was one of my favorites and I hate that Rachel True was maligned because she only spoke the truth about these up-and-coming networks.

So politics and racism aside and back on topic, I see the multi-colored eclectic-style apartment (I liked Mona Thorne's place better) with the lighter female as bourgie, a little too uptight and other characteristics that remind me of DeeDee Thorne.  Then there is the darker one with curly hair but a lot more attitude but still an outcast of sorts.

Hmmm....I'm going to stick around to see where this goes.

BRKDWN is news geared towards a younger demo.  It also has a lot of scripted dialogue that goes on behind the scenes.  I don't love or hate it but I do think it needs a little work.

Hosts - Ol girl is cute and has personality but IMO, multicolored hair went out with Kelis.  The guy is kind of just sorta there...maybe.  This could be why the female sometimes talks superfast.

Supporting characters - As a former member of Team Chunk, I have to say this.  If you're going to have a big girl on there, show her some love.  Get clothes that fit and weave that's not matted or weird looking.  A big sweet dark Chunky Bar in bad wrapping though funny like Shirley the waitress from Whats Happening.

Though I hate they debuted with RayJ but I appreciate them spreading the message on politics, cancer, and college ball.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Should Blacks Stay Away From Reality Shows?

Since I've been without cable for going on two yrs. now, I've gotten deep into cooking shows when there's nothing else on.  Though I love to cook, I hate the predictability of reality shows.  Particularly those that star 
Gordon Ramsay.

Just found out that former MasterChef competitor Josh Marks allegedly committed suicide.  Not long ago, the 26-year old had an altercation with police and it has been said that he suffered from a mental disorder.

Coming from someone who deals with addiction and other destructive behaviors from various family members, a reality show is the last place he should have been.  Even if he was talented (though he lost to a blind competitor), needed the exposure or money.

Reality TV is one thing I do not miss with cable services.  Recently, while in recovery, I skipped through many marathons of Hollywood Exes, R&B Divas, and too many too count.  I got my NeNe fix back when she had a medium-length weave and bell pepper nose.  I'm not even going to discuss Basketcase Wives.

However, it did start off innocently enough with Real World back in the early 90s.  I even made plans to join the San Fran (1993-94) cast but found getting that audition tape was at the bottom of my priorities.  Now I think had hat come to fruition, I would probably be another stereotype that would not have the resource to turn things around for the better.

Though it's been argued for more than a decade now but the question remains, Why even support these shows? The ones that try to not be violent are dull, other were bust at the starting gate (e.g. Who Wants to Marry a Midget) and truthfully, nine times out of ten, when you've seen one person sing, you've seen them all sing.  Little Asian men that sound like Barry White or blue-eyed blondes that can wail like they grew up in a Baptist church are nothing new in L.A. or other major cities.

So while Bounce TV may not exactly read my mind or show the old blaxploitation movies I want to see, every day of the week...I will always respect their choices.  I discovered the Aspire network while I was recovering and I have to say I'm pretty impressed at the strides Black Hollywood is making when it comes to showing positive images.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Marvin Gaye Biopic Sneak Peak

According to Crunk and Disorderly, there is more going wrong with this flick. I'm sure Marvin is somewhere spinning.

First, it was casting but there is no Usher or Lenny Kravitz (whew!) but the original pick for the past decade or so, Jesse L. Martin.

Then it was music clearance issues as the Gay(e) family does not own the rights.

So why proceed?  Beats the hell outta me!

Now I gotta warn you, in the clip above, there are a lot of White women, no Berry Gordy or any familiar Motown figure, and ...yeah, that was my feeling exactly.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Your Favorite Underrated Actor

Here is a tribute video that combines songs by the late actor as well as clips from classic movies like The Landlord.  Gone too soon, here is a rundown of her accomplishments in film and the stage.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Way Back Weds High Inergy/Vintage Vid

I'm not into girl groups or women singers outside of Chaka Khan but everytime I see an old episode of Soul Train from the mid-to-late 70s, I get mad because these ladies did not get their due.  Maybe I was too young to remember but I really hope one day they will develop their own cult following since a reunion is not likely.

Since I think I did post the above in the past year, I decided to throw this in.

I was a fan of disco music as a kid, almost as much as blaxploitation films, and this is another one I cannot get out of my head.  Alton McClain and Destiny may have been a one-hit wonder but in the age of booty-poppin, autotune, bad hair weaves,and other stuff that brings on migraines, they would be very welcome.

YouTube Blaxploitation Magic

You probably already know that YouTube is a great source of free movies and the blaxplotation films are not the exception.  However, there have been some serious gems...even if they were duds.

I saw Black Sister's Revenge on TVOne some years ago.  It was edited and though I got the message okay.  However, this version had my eyes glued to the monitor and sho' nuff wanting more wishing Jamaa Fanaka had done a sequel.  Here's a summary.

A homegirl from the South arrives in Compton in the early/mid 1970s to stay with relatives.  The relatives initially look their nose down at her (?) but since she's got one of those personalities, she wins them over.  Same applies to the neighborhood kids who are less than tactful (IMO she looks okay, she's just dark-skinned...but then again so are a lot of BLACK people).  However, by the time the big party arrives, one of the local thugs has his eye on her.

She falls for him even though he ain't got no job or prospects and even her uncle tries to place a wedge in between the new couple.  It is when dude gets locked up, she shows us what a ride-or-die chick REALLY is.  I won't give away the in-between but when she catches him cheating....let's just say there were no stunts!


On the flip, I saw a little bit of Darktown Strutters.  The truth is that there was only so much I could take.  I have surgery coming up in the next month so maybe I will get bored enough to sit through the entire thing.  How bad is it, you ask?  Well, I was able to sit through TNT Jackson, the Blacula sequel, and many Tyler Perry movies.  I don't mind women in Labelle outfits riding around in choppers but those special effects and cartoon sounds were just too much.  Not even Roger Mosely could save this flick...and I liked Sweet Jesus Preacherman!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Will Bounce TV Take a Stand Against Russy?

What I think about Russell Simmons money.
I haven't seen the entire travesty of a video and I will not share it here.  However, I've seen enough to know that drugs really fries brain cells.  Though I've had my own issues to deal with in the past few weeks, I've noticed that I haven't seen those Rush Card commercials on Bounce TV.

Yeah, everybody's got bills to pay but I've heard many not-so-great things about celebrity-endorsed debit cards and how they take advantage of regular folks trying to get ahead.  Particularly the Russell/Kimora Simmons Rush Card.  I went on YouTube to find a testimonial but none in the immediate searches got to the point in the first 3 minutes of viewing.

Hopefully, Bounce TV will stop running these commercials and in the meantime, you can check out this 411 on debit card account fees and what is legitimate.  Courtesy of the Federal Reserve Consumer site.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Here is a real genius at work in the studio with a very young Sheila E.  Click here to read more about his life.  Courtesy SPIN magazine.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy B-Day Larry Fishburne!

Yeah, I go back to when he guest starred on the PBS sitcom Up and Coming back in the early 1980s.  Anyway, so many characters to choose from and way too many movies to list.  Not gonna go with Ike Turner, or PeeWees Playhouse, or the obscure $hit that simply paid the bills.

So Larry, or Lawrence, here's to not being a sell-out, handling your daddy business as of recent, and hopefully you can pass the torch on to the next generation without going all Kobe.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wayback Wednesdays...For Trayvon and Justice

This is not to imply that a young man we lost way too soon did not have his faults but how many Trayvons are out there beaten by vigilante neighbors, unable to care for themselves or earn a living because they looked suspicious?

We all have moments when we blow up and say things to provoke that we cannot take back.  There was once a time when someone would take a deep breath and think about the consequences.

Right now it's the consequences that will lead people in the community to make these things disappear...outside of the legal system.

Why?  We HAD to BEG for a trial.  People had to explain why an unarmed BLACK teen should not have been shot at in the first place.  Then the media had to make a mockery of his friend.  For anyone who does not already know, Halle did not look the same when she was 18/19.  Is being dark, heavy-set and not a traditional beauty a crime or reason for some ugly, underachieving virgin to poke fun?  If so, they need to come get me right away!

So basically instead of coming full circle, the course has gone way off.  I didn't know about Mr. Martin's home life but often we hear about absentee fathers, mothers too busy working or trying to keep a man to pay attention to her kids, and the list goes on.  And of course, there's TV to tell others that we love to fight, have OOW kids we can't afford on our own, and cloud our heads with substances.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy 76th B-Day, Mr. Cosby

If you have digital TV, you will see that this man made many contributions long before Dr. Huxtable came along in the 1980s.  Though he has come under fire for telling the truth about certain communities, I'm glad he's one of the few living legends around today.

As an avid DTV watcher, I can find his old movies and Fat Albert cartoon series on Bounce, I Spy reruns on NBC, but I have a hard time getting the channel that shows The Bill Cosby Show (1970).  Personally, I don't hear much about this show or why it was taken off the air.  So below is an episode with Cicely Tyson as his blind date.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WAYBACK weds ... Hot Buttered Boogie/Tasha Thomas

After two posts about people we lost, I thought I'd share a song that gets stuck in my head from time to time.  Actually, its just the chorus and the memory of me disco skating to this and thinking about those Dittos at JC Penney I could NEVER wear because my booty was too big.

Monday, July 1, 2013

RIP Jim Kelly

Blaxploitation era actor Jim Kelly, who later went on to be a tennis coach, succumbed to cancer on Saturday.  He was 67.  Courtesy of People mag.
Best remembered for his martial expertise in movie like Black Belt Jones and Enter the Dragon, here is a compilation video courtesy of Kickassvids/YouTube.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Norman, is That You?

Yep...back to actual reviews.  This 1976 classic stars Redd Foxx, Pearl Baily and a really young Michael Warren as the son reluctant to come out of the closet for a man who spent years calling poor Lamont Sanford a dummy...but he got the ladies.

Another one they never show on the Black stations but here is a spoiler alert that would definitely need editing.

Waylon Flowers and Madame (yep, the puppet from Solid Gold) have a cameo where Ms. M comes out in blackface and sings in "jive".

It was funny but then again, I've never been a PC person.

 This movie was also inspiration for the Sanford and Son episode where Lamont and Rollo visit a gay bar.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Remembering Marvin Junior of the Dells

They inspired the 1991 classic "Five Heartbeats" and in my opinion, never got the recognition they deserved.  Courtesy of 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wayback Weds...Sons of Darkness 1970s Funk

This is really new to me as I discovered them about a yr.ago.  Serious funk but the 411 is hard as hell to here's another.  
Enjoy your holiday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Original Soul Train?

Now, I'm not talking about when it was filmed in Chicago or taking away from Mr. Don Cornelius' legacy but there was someone else that came up with the dance show concept for Black folks because...Dick Clark wasn't hearing it back then.

Okay, let me reverse gears a little.

The Mitch Thomas Show was a local dance program based out of Philly.  It was also syndicated in the Delaware and surrounding areas.  Like Mr. Cornelius, he got his start in radio and eventually created something that most likely had more flavor than American Bandstand did back then.

His show would only last from 1955 to 1958 and never reached the West Coast or South,where it may have done well, but it was popular with black and white teens.

When I read about Thomas over the weekend, it reminded me of the movie Hairspray. My mom was the first person to tell me that Blacks were not allowed to dance on the show when it began.  However, according to her and her friends, this scene was typical if a person of color went to audition for Dick Clark and 'em.

Way Back Wednesdays: Andre Cymone + The Revolution Reunited

I was a diehard Prince fan from 1978 - 199? ...let's just say I didn't care for the TAFKAP period but I did go to a few concerts.  Anyway, my roommate and I always "fight" about whether Andre Cymone and P are the same person (despite having numerous coffee table books around the house w/early versions of Prince and the Revolution).  Bounce TV always plays the Soul Train repeats of Dance Electric (1985) by Andre Cymone but few know his first hit.

Now for you old skoolers that remember that the Revolution actually started with Dez Dickerson and Andre is something special for you.  A rehearsal featuring all the original male players of the Revolution.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Way Back Weds - Bernard Wright

Though many like "Who Do Love?" (which was sampled by LL later), this debut song is my jam from Jr. High.  At first, I thought this was David Hubbard singing but it nice to hear he's still performing.

Pipe Dreams with Gladys Knight (1976)

One of my cousins told me that I should check out this movie on TV because it was so sad. *shrugs*

That was over 30 years ago and even with Bounce/EBT/TVOne channels (Aspire is not in my area) at my disposal, I have yet to see this listed.

This stars Ms. Midnight Train and then-hubby Barry Hankerson (also the late Aaliyah's uncle) as a couple who are stuck in Alaska.  According to IMDB, there are some interesting plots that I won't give away but since it's apparent that someone from Bounce reads this blog, adding this instead of Blues Brothers 2000 or The Fan with Wesley Snipes and DeNiro.  

From the looks of things, I'll get to have her chicken and waffles (though I lubs me some Roscoe's) before I see this movie in its entirety.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Body and Soul/Classic Scene from 90's

I saw this last weekend on one of the digital channels and could only shake my head while waiting for Cheaters to come on (and I liked it better with Joey Greco as a host instead of Clark Gable's son/grandson).  Anyway, I had a bad case of the giggles (in the library, of all places) and decided to post this little treat.

Something nice: Jayne Kennedy is STILL a beautiful woman.

Now this clip here is funny for the YouTube commentary. 

As for yours truly, I was working in the library and gave thought as to why things did not work out for me and my ex.  For one, neither of us had great examples to look up to growing up. Things were never even paced is another factor and below is a classic scene from Five Heartbeats that pretty much sums it up.

Now I realize that drinking is a serious matter but this is some of what I had to deal with for more than a decade.  

How clouded is his thinking, you ask?  
He will argue with anyone that Chris Brown makes more money than Rihanna.  Really.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Way Back Wednesdays: Loose Ends

  Anybody who knows me knows I'm the queen of B-sides and those things old, vintage.  Anyway, this was my jam during my 1st year in college and I'm happy to have found this on YouTube.  Loose Ends was only around (in the States) for a minute in the 80s and there really much to be found online (I refuse to do that lazy Wikipedia $hit).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy 96th Ella! + 60s Covers Done with Soul

I picture you in heaven right now partying with those who were near and dear to my heart.  Hopefully, if I do not go in the opposite direction (LOL), you will serenade me with this Cream cover.

Not sure if today's her b-day but I thought this was an underrated treat.  Erma Franklin (Aretha's sister) made this cover of the Doors classic. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Black to the Future: The Great Divide

This review is not about a Disney movie review nor does it star the McClain sisters.  This comedy stars Tichina Arnold as a upper-middle class housewife who gathers her eclectic group of friends for an evening which includes the art of Kama Sutra.  Not an orgy if you're unfamiliar with the process but the art of getting to know your mate on a spiritual level...or something to that effect.

Her intentions and the events that unfold come with its twists and turns and there are even a few surprises toward the end.  One person I did not understand was Rosci Diaz and why she was there.  Outside of that I got this on Redbox last week and it was worth time away from the hustle. *Catches breath*

Here are a couple of trailers -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blaxploitation movies...the best? the WORST?... IDK

If you have a couple of hours to spare, here are some vids I ran across recently by a chap named Joseph Thomas, who reps his own marketing company (should I ask him for a job since I get my cert in a couple of months?)

Spoiler Alert - While the best pretty much goes without saying, whether they used content, acting skills or box office numbers to determine this, it's the 'Worst' list that has me.

It goes without saying that there is no confusing Dolemite with James Earl Jones but did they have to list 2/3 Bernie Casey movies?  C'mon now....don't toss my heart around like that!  OK maybe I'm biased because Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde was shot in L.A. but....c'mon(LOL).

*shakes head and walks away*

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Black to the Future - Ol TV Shows as Movies?

Now many people are down on the Man making a Good Times movie.  I've got no problem with it since it seems to be based on James and Flo Evans' lives before moving to Cabrini Green.  But like you,I'm wondering what the plot will be since the kids would be too young to carry two hours by themselves.  I've got some ideas - 

  1. How many husbands did Willona have and how did she end up in public housing as a single woman with a nice job?
  2. Why didn't Bookman have any kids?
  3. What was up with Florida where she didn't want part of any hustle for a better life?

That's my list for now.  Here's a little bit of tea.  Okay, it's old and pretty cold but I have to get back to work.  A long time ago (20+ yrs) I worked for SuperShuttle and who should end up on my line but Dap Sugar Willie (Lennay the Looter).  His voice sounded the same and I think he told me that was his legal name.  Anyway, we talked for a while and he told me that despite being a Black show, the set was covered in snow.  Hmmm

According to Clutch Mag, a KickStarter campaign was started by Mara Brock Akil to bring a Girlfriends movie to the silver screen - with the original cast.  I'd see it.  Click the link for more details.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The New Mayor of Compton?

I went to school in the CPT long before it became the home of gangsta rap.  Recently, there was an incident of Latino gangs attempting to take over the city that once boasted more than 75% AA/Black population.

Anyway, many cities in L.A. County need help and while the immigration issue is definitely a hot topic for those trying to make a living, can a former burger pitchman make a difference? Courtesy of Yahoo News.

While it is impressive that this young man managed to stay out of trouble despite his popularity (raise your hand if you tried to get in on the 1970s commercial campaign to star with him), not sure if his recent work history reflects someone that can help a sometimes turbulent city.  His LinkedIn Summary reads like this:



Anyway, I wish all well as he may be able to use his contacts to bring some fresh revenue to the city.  Sorry, couldn't find the commercial with the song.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

RIP Mr. Gaines

He just gave old school advice that these youngsters could use today.

Monday, February 18, 2013

She's Playing Who? - Pt.2

I didn't see 'Betty and Coretta' on Lifetime because I still don't have cable and I just wasn't feeling it enough to watch at someone's house.  The reviews were mixed and I don't see MJB as an actress and like many, I have a hard time seeing Angie B as Coretta since she played Betty in both 'Panther' and 'Malcolm X' back in the 90's.

On a lighter note, VH1 has decided to bring us a bio-pic on TLC.  Not a hip-hop head but I liked them back in the day and feel they should have called it a wrap when Left Eye died.  Anyway, they have brought on a non-actor to play the one with the most personality (RIP, girl) and a great actor to play the one with the least personality (maybe she'll get the baby hairs right).  So for the one that barely sang, they will probably cast Fantasia.  In today's world, anything is possible.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blaxploitation and Other Movie Classics on ThisTV in February

Though there is nothing on their homepage, ThisTV is doing a tribute to Black History Month by showing the following

Across 110th Street
Black Girl
Five on the Black Hand Side
Halls of Anger
Hotel Rwanda
I'm Gonna Get You Sucka
Odds Against Tomorrow
The Organization
...and I'm pretty sure Sugar Hill (not Wesley an 'em) is in the lineup also.

So far, it looks good and if you have events you want to advertise for the month of February, hit me up!

Here's one that I hope to catch soon.  UPTIGHT came out in '68 with a very young Max Julien, Ruby Dee and other familiar faces.  Bounce TV would air this after midnight when my lights were out right before the holidays.  

Speaking of, what's up with those Soul Train reruns?  3 and 4 in the morning?  Think of us on the West Coast, PLEASE!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Django, Mandingo,Ding Dong a Dango

Not making light of slavery.  However, I did find it only appropos that I give my take on the whole Django controversy.

While I am both a fan of Quentin Tarantino and have genuine love for my people, I am not in a race to see this movie.

Many people like Dick Gregory and Spike Lee have made excellent points about why people of color should or should not see this flick, I'm not phased.

Wanna know why? Because in a sense, $hit has not changed.

They throw us a crumb and we act like its the cow.

A crumb is still a crumb and there is no justifying or glorifying slavery.

You can say that Jews and Mexicans were able to overcome the obstacles but from POV, they had the sense of community that a lot of Black communities have been missing out on for some time.

Only a handful of us have the sense to pass things forward to make someone else's life better. A small percentage of New Money Negroes are too busy patting themselves on the back for getting ahead and the remainder are still chasing the crumbs as they come and go which is rather quick since many have their priorities mixed up.

Is there one answer?  Hell no but if you know that your $10-12 would be put to better use, hold on to it.  And if you're desperate for entertainment (I will be back to business soon, I've got bills), RUN to your DVD guy. If you don't have one, I know of someone that has that unreleased Halle Berry movie where she plays someone who is unbalanced.  Since she's behind it, I haven't given into temptation but I know how it is.

Anyway, here is an interesting trailer that shows one of many Black cowboy movies from the 70's as well as the original Mandingo trailer.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year and a Little Tea

Hey'yall!  I first heard about Bettye Lavette last year on PR.  Since I (no longer, LOL) don't have the audacity to copy & paste and I never heard of her, I let the tea of her new tell all pass late last year.  Courtesy of The Daily Beast.

Here is a vintage vid and I really want to say that I HATE the state of music today.  That is all.

Okey dokey.  I got some Soul Train tea though it wasn't everything I expected.  Linda Howard, a dancer from 1973-77 who also performed with the Motown group High Energy passed over the holidays.  On many forums, people asked which one she was since you rarely saw their faces dancing.  She had more Asian features.  Not sure of her nationality as I remember arguing this with friends at West Athens ES (Go Class of 1980!) but her features stood out the most.  Here is a hit that I didn't know about until a couple of yrs. ago.  Would be nice if Mariah can get off whatever and do covers of these classics. JMO.
On a lighter note, I got found an interview with Damita Jo Freeman.  If you're just barely catching up to what Bounce TV has to offer (NOW it either comes on early in the A.M. or it comes on twice in the afternoon on the West Coast), she's famous for doing THAT high-ass kick.  Like Pat Davis had the neck-roll (back when it was cool and not a stereotype), the kick and robot were her signature steps.  Check her out in this classic clip w/Joe Tex.