BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Music superstars are ‘The Soul of The Midnight Special

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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS:

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Music lovers rejoice. Some of the greatest recording artists of the 1970s performing their biggest hits are featured on “The Soul Of The Midnight Special,” an extensive new five DVD set compiling their appearances on the late night show now available for the first time at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

More than 70 historic live performances from the Burt Sugarman-produced series that ran every Friday night on NBC from 1972 to 1981 — many of which have never been obtainable before — are here uncut in front of an audience.

Among the many highlights on the first disc is the great Ray Charles with his orchestra and sitting at the keys for a duet with the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin; The Stylistics crooning the ballads that made them one of the top groups of the era; and Al Green displaying his enormous soulful appeal.    

Disc 2 features the legendary Curtis Mayfield; Gladys Knight with The Pips and B.B. King; the phenomenon of Sly & The Family Stone; guitar god Chuck Berry reveling in the appreciation of his young audience; and Wilson Pickett, who really does look like he could be Eddie Murphy‘s twin!

Bill Withers, who hosts and delivers “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me,” opens Disc 3; which also features The O’Jays and Barry White unveiling “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” along with the Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Disc 4’s highlights the emergence of the bands with Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the Ohio Players, who were so big at the time that the show moved to the University of Chicago to film them in concert. It also has The Spinners; LaBelle; Minnie Riperton; and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass, who headlined the show’s disco special hosted by “Soul Train” impresario Don Cornelius.

“Soul Brother #1” James Brown is in fine form in Disc 5 – splits and all! Also here are Rufus featuring Chaka Khan; The Staple Singers, performing and receiving their gold record for “Let’s Do It Again;” The Miracles; The Brothers Johnson; The Manhattans; and The Sylvers.

In addition, there are sets with The Main Ingredient, Johnnie Taylor, Billy Preston, Blue Magic, Al Wilson, The Chi-Lites, and Bobby Womack; along with exclusive interviews with Patti LaBelle, Gerald Alston, songwriters Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, and more.   

Do yourself a favor and pick up this musical encyclopedia for your binging and jamming pleasure.

CLIPPETTES: Mother and daughter Marla Gibbs (“The Jeffersons,” “227”) and Angela Gibbs (“Black Jesus,” “Checkmates”) will discuss the impact of the pandemic on the performing arts, and the response of the arts to the recent global uprising in support of racial and social justice at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at robeytheatrecompany.org. A $10 donation is suggested for the Zoom presentation                

Theo Croker, eclectic jazz artist and grandson of the legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham, is in concert Oct. 9 streamed from NYC”s The Blue Note at 5 p.m. RSVP for $15 at bluenotelive.com/eventsold/croker-main

Ari Lennox and Rapsody are among the performers set for Community Coalition’s Together We Vote 2020 streaming live at 3 p.m. on Oct. 10 via YouTube, Facebook and SouthLAPowerFest.com

Two hours later, Pitbull: Live & Timeless will be presented by LiveXLive at fite.tv. Tickets are $14.99

Saturday Night with Marcus Miller & Friends ends things in grand fashion with special guest George Benson, king of the organ Joey DeFrancesco, and the amazing Saturday Night Band led by Patrice Rushen, Eric Marienthal and Paul Jackson Jr. Comedian Alonzo Bodden will emcee at www.saturdaynightwithmarcusmiller.com/#

Acclaimed jazz pianist/producer Robert Glasper, musician/rapper/producer Terrace Martin, music journalist Marcus J. Moore and Howard University Professor Greg Carr riff on CAAM’s new exhibition Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth, which includes profiles of Kendrick Lamar, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane. RSVP to join the free Zoom event Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. via www.caamuseum.org/programs/talks-and-workshops/in-conversation-robert-glasper-terrace-martin-marcus-j-moore-and-greg-carr

TC ON TV: Oct. 9 – “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix): Radha Blank wrote, directed and stars in this funny, heartfelt debut feature that won a best director award at Sundance. In it, she plays a struggling New York City playwright who finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper. “The Oprah Conversation” (Apple TV+): Best-selling book “Caste” is discussed in two parts with its author Isabel Wilkerson. “Ellen” (Syn): Tiffany Haddish guest hosts. “The Real” (Syn): Ledisi, Laz Alonzo “Room 104” (HBO): Ntare Mwine, so good as troubled vet Ronnie on “The Chi,” portrays a man reflecting on his life and painful memories in the series finale. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Lenny Kravitz    

Oct. 10 – “Austin City Limits” (PBS): Grammy-nominated British singer-songwriter Yola

Oct. 11 – “The Spanish Princess” (Starz): The eight-episode conclusion of the story of Queen Catherine and Henry VIII. “Fear The Walking Dead” (AMC): Lennie James (Morgan) will be making his directorial debut joining fellow cast member Colman Domingo, who will be directing his third episode this sixth season. “Uncensored” (TV1): Jenifer Lewis (“black-ish”) talks about her bipolar disorder, relationship with Whitney Houston, and that recent ordeal with the pastor who took her career after molestation.

Oct. 12 – “Travel Man” (Ovation): Brit comic/actor Richard Ayoade continues his world adventures opening in “Rome” and “Valencia.” “POV” (PBS): “Softie” follows Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi in his quest to run for political office.

Oct. 13 – “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): Henry Louis Gates, Jr. opens his sixth season exploring the family trees of fashion’s Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and RuPaul Charles. “Driving While Black” (PBS): How the advent of the automobile exposed African Americans to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today. “Made From Scratch” (Fuse): The intimate cooking show that features stars and their families making their favorite dishes is back with singer Miguel and leads into a new food show “Struggle Gourmet.”

Oct. 14 – “2020 Billboard Music Awards” (NBC): Kelly Clarkson returns to host for the third time with performances this year by Alicia Keys, BTS, Bad Bunny, En Vogue, Post Malone, Sia and more. “I Can See Your Voice” (Fox): Nicole Scherzinger, Deray Davis, Russell Peters, Adrienne Houghton

Oct. 15 – “Freedia Got A Gun” (Peacock): Big Freedia takes viewers on a tour of New Orleans to raise awareness about the complexities of gun violence that disproportionately affects Black communities. “Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story” (Crackle): Narrated by Dr. Dre, the documentary features never-before-seen footage from the three-time world heavyweight champion’s personal archives along with extensive interviews with Lewis and some of his greatest competitors including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield. “Social Distance” (Netflix): A new anthology series about the experience of living in social distance scripted and shot with crews working remotely. It guest stars Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”), Danielle Brooks (“Orange Is The New Black”) and Guillermo Diaz (“Scandal”) filming themselves. “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBSAA): The third season finds the crew led by Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) flung into the unknown. “The West Wing: A Special To Benefit When We All Vote” (HBO Max): The cast of the hit NBC drama reunites after 17 years (along with “This Is Us” Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown filling in for the late John Spencer) to do a staged reading of a 2002 episode with breaks filled by Michelle Obama (whose nonprofit, non-partisan initiative benefits), President Bill Clinton and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

TASTY QUIP: “At 95, I’m only beginning to fully understand my identity.  The accolades, the lights, the glamour and glitter — they’re all just ornaments on a tree. It is only a tree’s roots, its origins beneath the soil, that can reveal its entire story.” – CICELY TYSON announcing her memoir “Just As I Am” coming in January 2021.

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

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