By Bill Vaughan
The historic life, career and impact of Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest, most emulated and most misunderstood athletes of all time, is examined in a new three-part documentary series debuting on Paramount+ July 14, before its regular Sunday berth on Showtime.
“Goliath,” produced in association with NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett’s Content Cartel and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, utilizes groundbreaking artificial intelligence to recreate Chamberlain’s voice to narrate his own words.
Archival footage provided by the Wilt Chamberlain Estate, has allowed for a complete story of Chamberlain’s remarkable life and how it fits into the fabric of American history.
Beginning with his emergence on the national scene as a high schooler in the 1950s and following the arc of his life through his death in 1999, each episode highlights a specific element of Chamberlain’s cultural impact, focusing on the areas of power, money, race, sex, politics and celebrity.
The Philadelphia-born, 7-1 superstar nicknamed “The Stilt” was dominating on the basketball court with feats like scoring 100 points in a game and averaging 50 points and 25 rebounds in a season.
And may we never forget his career moves with Kansas, the Harlem Globetrotters, Warriors, 76ers, and Lakers; not to mention his turn as Bombaata in 1984s “Conan The Destroyer” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones.
“Goliath” taps into the insightful voices of Garnett, Pat Riley, Rick Barry, Bill Walton, Lisa Leslie, Oscar Robertson, Jemele Hill, Jerry West, the late Jim Brown, and more to share their reflections.
“It was an honor and privilege for my team and me to share Wilt’s incredible legacy with the world,” said Garnett. “Wilt’s cultural impact as a prominent outspoken African-American athlete was revolutionary, especially during a time when social strength was not popular. There is no KG, [Michael] Jordan, Hakeem [Olajuwon], LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], or Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal] if Wilt doesn’t pave our way. We all stand on his strong shoulders.”
LAST CALL: Legendary Latin jazz percussionist and musical patriarch Pete Escovedo is joining the ranks of Gladys Knight, Kenny Loggins, Aerosmith and The Eagles by embarking with his family on “The Retirement Tour.”
At his July 14 date at Catalina Bar & Grill, The E Family with sons Juan and Peter Michael Escovedo take on the classics and selections from the recent “Rhythm of the Night” album.
The tour moves on to Seattle in late July and has an Aug. 5 stop in Atlanta as part of the three-city Sunset Jazz Festival. Escovedo (with Sheila E., perhaps?) will be joined by Robert Glasper, David Sanborn and the sensational Jarrod Lawson, with tickets at LiveNation.com.
TRAILBLAZER: Composer and singer-songwriter Kathryn Bostic, the first female African-American score composer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will unveil new scores for two vintage examples of Black cinema on July 15 for the Academy Museum of Motion Picture’s “Regeneration, Remixed” program.
The films selected for the 7:30 p.m. event are William Nicholas Selig’s 1898 “Something Good – Negro Kiss,” believed to be the earliest cinematic display of Black affection; and Richard E. Norman’s 1926 “The Flying Ace” starring the charismatic Laurence Criner as a former World War I pilot-turned-maverick detective out to get a stolen satchel filled with $25,000 of company payroll and the gang of railroad thieves who took it.
Bostic’s additional current works include “The League,” featured in last week’s Tasty Clips; the animated Freeform series “Praise Petey,” premiering July 21; and Tina Mabry’s upcoming “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat” with Uzo Aduba, Sanaa Lathan, Aunjanue Ellis, Russell Hornsby and Mekhi Phifer.
RUN TELL THIS: “RuPaul’s Drag Race – Werq The World Tour 2023, featuring Asia O’Hara, Bosco, DeJa Skye, Lady Camden, Rosé, Laganja Estranja, and Mistress Isabelle Brooks from Season 15, lights up the Microsoft Theater on July 16.
What better time for a primer in the form of a new book by Maria Elena Fernandez! In the just released “And Don’t F&%k It Up: An Oral History of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the esteemed former entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Vulture and NBC News presents a definitive telling and celebration of the groundbreaking show in its first decade — from a Burbank basement set all the way to the Emmy’s, and every weave in-between, as told by its stars, producers and fans. It arrives via Grand Central Publishing.
REAL PROSE: “May your hands be an extension of your heart and may you do the work of love with them.” — Poet/activist AJA MONET who with The Surrealists performs selections from her debut album “When The Poems Do What They Do” at Pasadena Presbyterian Church with special guest Saul Williams on July 14.
CLIPPETTES: The Friday continues with hip-hop soul artist Don Tolliver’s tour with Pi’erre Bourne stopping at YouTube Theater; Mix Master Mike of The Beastie Boys spinning at The Venice West; Seth MacFarlane crooning at Vibrato Grill & Jazz; and Kool & The Gang and The Village People launching two shows at the Hollywood Bowl …
R.S.V.P. featuring Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P unite for a free show at Pershing Square July 15; while reggae gets repped by Slightly Stoopid, Atmosphere and The Movement at FivePoint Amphitheatre and Long Beach Dub AllStars at The Roxy …
Also that evening, radio blues voice Ann The Raven is having a birthday bash at Harvelle’s and Graham Nash opens two nights at the Lobero Theatre …
Actor/author Hill Harper (“The Good Doctor”) announced he is running for the Senate seat from Michigan …
Director Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed II,” “Transformers: Rise of The Beasts,” “The Land”) and actress Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community,” “Dear White People”) will be honored by the Micheaux Film Festival on July 16 at LA Center Studios …
Chris Spencer hosts the Comedy Block Party with Faizon Love, Esau McGraw, Torrei Hart, Brett Riley and Ron G at Inglewood’s Miracle Theater on July 19 …
Also that night, Smokey Robinson does the hits and new music from his “Gasms” album at Costa Mesa’s Pacific Amphitheatre; Lil Eazy-E is at Whisky A Go Go; jazzy Diana Kraal and The String Queens are at the Hollywood Bowl; and Kool Keith – Is – Black Elvis with special guest VR Sex at the Zebulon Café.
TASTY QUIP: “I’m old news. It’s not a show that they believe fits into who or what they want, or the younger viewers like. I don’t think any amount of fans telling Food Network to bring it back will do anything to change their mind.” – Chef ROBERT IRVINE on the cancellation of “Restaurant: Impossible” after 22 seasons
TC ON TV: July 14 – “Ready To Love” (OWN): Saxophonist Travis “Habibi” will probably find he’s not ready this week. Too bad they weren’t ready for him. That would’ve been some great television.
July 15 – “2023 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game” (ABC): Live from A’ja Wilson’s league home Las Vegas.
July 16 – “See It Loud: The History of Black Television” (CNN): “Laughing Out Loud” “Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins” (NGC): The giant-sized host faces an interesting new challenge: sumo wrestling.
July 18 – “Justified” (FX): U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens is back in this mini-series reviving the popular character created by Elmore Leonard and brought to life on TV screens by star and executive producer Timothy Olyphant. This update from the team behind “Snowfall” leaves the mountains behind for Detroit with a supporting cast of Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Ravi Patel, and Vondie Curtis Hall.
July 19 – “CMA Fest” (ABC): Performers include Darius Rucker, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Jelly Roll, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion and Keith Urban. “Mayans M.C.” (FX): What has been truly motivating EZ Reyes’s questionable actions as leader of the motorcycle club? We find out tonight in the series finale.
July 20 – “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): Chance The Rapper, Taylor Bennett, King Combs “Trippin with Anthony Anderson & Mama Doris” (E!): “Florence, Italy”
END QUOTE: “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” – MUHAMMAD ALI
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 email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.