The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scott Joplin (1977)


Billy Dee Williams (Hit!, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings) stars with Art Carney and Clifton Davis in Scott Joplin, the fascinating story about the life of the ragtime great. Best known for his song, "The Entertainer", Joplin began his career touring as a piano player in bordellos around the country. When he is discovered during a piano competition by the famous music publisher John Stark (Carney), Joplin turns into an instant success, composing songs so popular that he becomes the first black composer to be allowed to play at the World's Fair. This historic film recounts Joplin's determination in the face of racism, his heroic struggle with a debilitating disease and his ultimate triumph as a composer and musical legend.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Glass House - Inside The Glass House (1971)

1. Look what we've done to love
2. You ain't livin' unless you're lovin'
3. I surrendered
4. Hey there lonely girl
5. If it ain't love (it don't matter)
6. Hotel
7. Touch me Jesus
8. Heaven is there to guide us
9. Crumbs off the table
What's this? A Northern Soul LP listed under blaxploitation LPs? Well, here's an interesting story. Originally, the movie Detroit 9000 was to have been titled Motown 9000 and had a tie-in soundtrack issued through Motown. Motown got their crack songwriting team of Lamont Dozier on the case, and two songs were shot for the movie, Sunday Morning People and Touch me Jesus. Motown then dropped out, but the songs remained in the film. Both songs were issued on Lamont Dozier labels, so a version of Touch Me Jesus appears on here. It's a much more righteous, soulful mix with additional strings, but is still powerful and a good floorfiller. Many of the other tracks on this LP are also very funky (and some are straight soul) so it's a good one. Arrangements are by HB Barnum and Tony Camillo too, so it's going to be first-rate.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blackjack (1978)


When the mob picks Roy King (Damu King) to take the rap for a crime he didn't commit — they picked on the the wrong man! Roy survives and gets out of Nevada's toughest prison with only one though on his mind — REVENGE! THe Mob's head boss in La Vegas (William Smith) tries to stop this One Man Hit Squad with everything he got, but when he "craps out", the Mob decides to turn Brother against Brother when they pay Roy's friend Charles (Tony Burton) $50,000 to kill Roy. The electrifying events that follow turn Las Vegas into a seething neon inferno when Roy and his gang of the Baddest Brothers to ever Strut on the Strip decide it's time for the Mob to cash in its' chips — permanently!