BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Last words from Dick Gregory released in three formats

Comedian and activist Dick Gregory left us on Aug.19 at the age of 84. However, his final words have been documented and presented for posterity in the just released, “Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies” (available through Amistad in hardcover, Kindle and audio CD formats).

In the collection of thoughtful, inspiring essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African-American experience. He starts from the beginning, exploring African ancestry and the Middle Passage, and takes us through both serious and funny aspects of African-American life today.

He also offers explorations of cultural milestones such as the Harlem Renaissance, Sidney Poitier’s and Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar wins, and Billie Holiday releasing “Strange Fruit;” as well as incisive takes on Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.

For decades, Richard “Dick” Claxton Gregory set out to make audiences not only laugh, but think hard about race relations in America. He is on Comedy Central’s list of “100 Greatest Stand-Ups” and was the author of 14 books, most notably the bestselling classic “Nigger: An Autobiography.”

Gregory dedicated much of his life to social activism, organizing student rallies in the 1960s, going on hunger strikes to support Black Lives Matter, marching at Selma and much more. He is survived by his beloved wife, Lil, 10 children and a host of grandchildren and relatives.

This final act is the culmination of a truly important legacy from one of our most indispensable contemporary voices — an essential, no-holds-bar history lesson sure to provoke as much as it will entertain.

TASTY QUIP: “Why is our president so concerned about what football players is doing when the goddamn world is going in shambles? You got this man from North Korea that’s talking about he’s declaring war — which, I don’t know, declaring war on who? Don’t declare war on us. We don’t want that beef.” – Chart topping “Bodak Yellow” rapper CARDI B to Billboard.

CLIPPETTES: The Bob James Trio and Jeff Lorber Fusion co-headline the jazz bill at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach on Sept. 29. Also keyboardist/author Kevin Toney is at the World Stage Performance Gallery (which will feature singer Dee Dee McNeil the following evening

The 10th annual Angel City Jazz Festival will celebrate the centennial of innovative jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk on Oct. 1 at the Ford Theatre. Dee Dee Bridgewater, Conrad Herwig, Manuel Valera, Richie Flores, DJ Logic and Mark de Clive-Lowe are among the participants

Later that evening, Black Star with Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kewli perform at The Novo DTLA

Chance the Rapper begins a two-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 3

We Are One, a benefit all-star concert and fundraiser for the Playing For Change Foundation, is being held on Oct. 3 at the Mayan Theatre with The Doobie Brothers, soul singer Ellis Hall, world-renowned drummer James Gadson, legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar, Mississippi living blues legend Vasti Jackson, Nahko and more

On Oct. 5, Lauryn Hill and Nas bring their co-headlining tour with opening act Chronixx to the Hollywood Bowl; while Gorillaz take a rare concert date at The Forum.

TASTY QUIP: “When Pac died — I mean, if he really did, you know. I mean, when I left that hospital, me and Pac was laughing and joking. So I don’t see how somebody can turn from doing well to doing bad. I’m gonna tell you that with Pac, you never know.” – SUGE KNIGHT to Ice T and Soledad O’Brien on Fox’s “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?”

TC ON TV: Sept. 29 – “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox): For the first time in 17 seasons, Chef Gordon Ramsey invites back 16 runner-ups for a second chance to prove they deserve a head chef position in Las Vegas and $250,000. “Marvel’s Inhumans” (ABC): The two-hour series premiere, which launched with little fanfare in IMAX theatres this summer, airs with additional footage. “US Weekly’s Famous Feuds” (Reelz): Drake vs. Chris Brown. “Z Nation” (SYFY): Kelita Smith’s zombie show enters its fourth and final season. “Anjelah Johnson: Mahalo & Goodnight” (Epix): The former “MADtv” regular presents her stand-up comedy special. “Tavis Smiley” (PBS): Chuck D, Tom Morello

Sept. 30 – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN): Hot BoysYoung Turk has “Rappers Remorse.” “Felipe Esparza: Translate This” (HBO): The comedian/actor jokes about immigration and his ongoing difficulty translating for his parents. “Released” (OWN): This eight-episode docu-series features intimate, first-person narratives of formerly incarcerated men and women as they walk out of the prison doors for the first time to restart their lives. “SNL” (NBC): Ryan Gosling and Jay-Z open the season.

Oct. 1 – “Best Thing I Ever Ate” (Cooking): In L.A. “Ghosted” (Fox): A new paranormal comedy series with Craig Robinson, Adam Scott and Amber Stevens West (“The Carmichael Show”). “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO): Larry David (and JB Smoove’s Leon) are back for more laughs after five years!

Oct. 2 – “TRL” (MTV): The classic live from Times Square weekday show is revived with first guests Ed Sheeran and Migos. “The Gifted” (Fox): A family with mutant kids goes on the run in this spin-off from Marvel’s X-Men franchise. “Ed Gordon” (Bounce): The veteran newsman interviews Steve Harvey, Rep. Maxine Waters, Yara Shahidi and Gregory Porter.

Oct. 3 – “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): More family fact finding with Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. “black-ish” (ABC): Aloe Blacc and Fonzworth Bentley guest star in this season opener celebrating Juneteenth. “The Mayor” (ABC): A young rapper gets elected. “Queen Sugar” (OWN): The hit series returns with an additional episode tomorrow.

Oct. 4 – “The iHeartRadio Music Festival” (CW): Tonight features Pink, The Weeknd and others while tomorrow’s broadcast will showcase Lorde, Big Sean, DJ Khalid and more. “Empire” (Fox): The 50th episode introduces Forest Whitaker to the cast in a recurring role. “Star” (Fox): Paris Jackson, Evan Ross and Elijah Kelly guest-star.

Oct. 5 – “Scandal” (ABC): Can Olivia Pope run the world?

TASTY QUIP: “This idea that black people should be grateful is some sneaky ass racism. Because when a white billionaire spends a year screaming that America is a disaster, he’s in touch with the country. But when a black man kneels quietly, he should be grateful for the successes America has allowed him to have?” – TREVOR NOAH on “The Daily Show”

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.

 

BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Santana teams with Isleys for album of copy tunes

The fulfillment of a dream pairing musical giants Santana and the Isley Brothers is being rushed to release next weekend to the delight of generations of fans.

Led by the legendary Ronald Isley on lead vocals and Carlos Santana on guitars, percussion and background vocals, “Power of Peace” covers songs first made familiar by the Chambers Brothers (“Are You Ready,” “Love, Peace, Happiness”), Stevie Wonder (“Higher Ground”), Billie Holiday (“God Bless the Child”), Eddie Kendricks (“Body Talk”), Curtis Mayfield (“Gypsy Woman”), Muddy Waters/Willie Dixon (“I Just Want to Make Love to You”), Dionne Warwick/Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love”), Marvin Gaye (“Mercy Mercy Me – The Ecology”), Leon Thomas (“Let the Rain Fall on Me”) and more.

Quite the family affair, “Power of Peace” also features Carlos’ wife, renowned drummer/vocalist Cindy Blackman Santana; the sensational Ernie Isley on rhythm guitar; and spouses Tracy Isley and Kandy Johnson Isley, respectively on background vocals.

“I feel a deep sense of gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness,” says Carlos, who served as the album’s main producer/arranger. “There is a spirit of creativity that came knocking and presented itself as a golden opportunity to do something with and for a supreme musician, who I consider to be the best in the world. Brother Ronnie Isley has been in the center of collective unity and harmony on the radio around the world since 1962 with ‘Twist and Shout,’ the song that the Beatles chose to invade America with. Like Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Bob Marley, he’s an iconic supreme of the highest order.”

Adds Ronald: “I hope this record carries the spirit of hope, love, and peace to the world that it brought to me, my brother and Carlos!”

“Power of Peace” will be released on CD, 12-inch vinyl and digital formats July 28, with pre-order now available at https://LegacyRecordings.lnk.to/isley-santana_pop.

TASTY QUIP: “[This is] Jay Z’s new album, The 4:44. I want you to take this and listen to it and learn. Learn how to build and maintain a real empire, not a fake empire. And when you’re done with it, send it off to 50 [Cent].” – CONOR McGREGOR to Floyd Mayweather at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center promoting their fight on Aug. 26.

CLIPPETTES: Kool & the Gang headline a big night at the Hollywood Bowl on July 21 with Morris Day & The Time and the Village People …

Also that evening, ChamberSoul cellist/singer-songwriter Shana Tucker returns to the World Stage in Leimert Park Village with her newest project, “Women’s Work: A SisterCentric Musical Collective”

The 14th annual FYE Fest is in effect July 21-23 at Exposition Park with Missy Elliott (in her only 2017 scheduled show), Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Solange, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Kehlani, Thundercat, Little Dragon, Hannibal Buress, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, and many more

The Greek Theatre hosts the Freestyle Summer Festival featuring Lisa Lisa, Jody Watley, Stevie B, Color Me Badd, the Cover Girls and others on July 22

Meanwhile, Judy Pace, Richard Roundtree, Pat Cleveland and Shayla Simpson are among the honorees for “An Evening of Hollywood Glamour” at LA Trade Tech College benefiting multi-cultural fashion designers. Visit www.flairinc.org for details

REDCAT Presents the 14th annual New Original Works Festival (July 27 – Aug. 12) launching nine new works by L.A. artists who confront urgent issues by inventing hybrid artistic disciplines, including Jessica Emmanuel’s response to senseless black deaths: “Witnessing Her” and Vivian Bang’s Korean-American take on the L.A. riots: “Can You Hear Me / LA 92.” Visit redcat.org for info, showtimes and tickets.

TASTY QUIP: “There are no black people on ‘Game of Thrones.’ You don’t see one black person in ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person on screen. Because you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you’re a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers.” – JOHN BOYEGA to GQ

TC ON TV: July 21 – “The View” (ABC): Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish talk “Girls Trip.” “Under The Influence” (Reelz): Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. “Raven’s Home” (Disney): Raven-Symone reprises her character from the hit sitcom “That’s So Raven.”

July 22 – “The Jury Speaks” (Oxygen): A four-night event reexamining the verdicts that stunned the nation through the eyes of actual jury members, beginning with the O.J. Simpson trial, followed by those with Michael Jackson, George Zimmerman and Robert Durst.

July 23 – “Ballers” (HBO): Dwayne Johnson’s sports agent sitcom returns as they eye business in Vegas with Steve Guttenburg (“Police Academy”) and Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Roots” “Miles Ahead”) joining the cast. “Unsung” (TV1): Switch “Insecure” (HBO): Issa Rae not getting an Emmy-writing nomination was a crime.

July 24 – “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” (VH1): R&B singer/reality star Keyshia Cole joins the cast this season. “Somewhere Between” (ABC): Paula Patton stars as a news producer in on the hunt for a serial killer who gets a “Groundhog Day” type chance to change the fate of her family.

July 26 – “Signed” (VH1): Moguls Rick Ross, The Dream and Roc Nation’s SVP of A&R/Artist Management Lenny S work to develop unsigned hip-hop and R&B artists in Atlanta.

July 27 – “Date Nite Live” (Lifetime): From the producers of “Live PD,” this series follows couples from New York City, Atlanta, Dallas and San Diego on live blind dates. Comedian Michelle Collins, Z100’s Bethany Watson and relationship coach Paul Brunson are in-studio hosts providing commentary.

TASTY QUIP: “[Donald Trump] is just a hot, spankin’ mess every day that we wake up. What is it, the 25th Amendment, for impeachment? Whatever is it, please look that up for me, and just say we can’t wait for that day to happen as well.” – VIVICA A. FOX to Us Weekly

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.