BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Houston’s spiritual voice is focus of new documentary

By Bill Vaughan

 Entertainment Writer

The musical roots of a superstar gone too soon are spotlighted in “I Go to the Rock: The Gospel Music of Whitney Houston,” a new documentary accompanying the release of a new album, premiering March 24 on UPtv and Aspire.

Hosted by her dear friend CeCe Winans, who is also on the album, the hour explores some of Houston’s faith-based performances from the American Music Awards, Ebony magazine’s 50th anniversary special and the NAACP Image Awards.

The album contains unreleased songs including a live version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from “VH1 Honors,” the first single, “Testimony,” “I Found a Wonderful Way” and “He Can Use Me.”

In addition, the collection features tracks from Houston’s best-selling gospel album of all time, “The Preacher’s Wife,” as well as “Sparkle” and “The Bodyguard.”

“‘I Go to the Rock’ is a testament of Whitney’s heart,” says Pat Houston, executor of Houston’s estate. “Her love for gospel music permeates through every song with love, compassion and conviction.

“To love Whitney is to love what she represents to all that love the gospel. I salute this project, knowing that Whitney always stood on a solid rock for her love of gospel music. I hope you enjoy this amazing project that was simply a labor of love for all involved.”

RED CARPET WALK: Vivica A. Fox, Miguel A. Núñez Jr. and Nollywood stars Adjetey Anang and Patience Ozokwo are slated to attend the L.A. premiere of “Mother In Law” at the Fine Arts Theatre March 25 at 7 p.m. Prince Joshua Nana Morrison Budukuma’s film is described as a romantic dramedy, giving a front-seat view of a train wreck of wedding nuptials gone wrong, for the sake of preserving #BlackLove.

TASTY QUIP: “I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar! I’ve come up in the business with some people who are absolutely well off and have very little of my accolades. So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload as well.” – DJIMON HOUNSOU (“Shazam,” “Gladiator,” “Amistad”) to The Guardian

CLIPPETTES: Patti LaBelle sings March 24 at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex as The War and Treaty perform at The Constellation Room at The Observatory (also March 26 at The Troubadour), Freddie Gibbsraps at The Observatory, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias begins a two-night stand at the Ice House Comedy Club, and the L.A. Women’s Theatre Festival is in full swing through March 26. For details, visit: lawtf.org …

“Bel-Air,” the dramatic reimagining of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has earned a third-season renewal from Peacock …

Eric Benet croons at The Novo March 25 while Jeff Goldblum plays jazz with his band at the Orpheum Theatre, and the Hammer Museum is hosting its Together In Time Opening Party with a special all-vinyl performance from Grammy Award-winning artist DJ Pee .Wee (Anderson .Paak). Visit membership@hammer.ucla.edu for more info, including a first look at the new outdoor sculpture terrace, featuring Sanford Biggers’ 25-foot-tall cast-bronze sculpture, Oracle …

Debbie Allen Dance Academy performs to Nina Simone‘s “Four Sisters” in an afternoon setting March 26 at the California African American Museum. Later Deon Cole is at the Hollywood Improv, Johnny Britt holds his “After We Play” album release party at The Venice West, and the rescheduled Samara Joy concert with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra commences at The Soraya …

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell have announced they will reunite to make “Good Burger 2,” a sequel to their beloved ‘90s movie based upon a popular skit from their old Nickelodeon series …

Comic/author/actress Phoebe Robinson (“2 Dope Queens”) begins two nights at Dynasty Typewriter March 27, as Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”) works out new material at Largo, and the Grammy Museum presents “Reel To Reel: Chevalier,” a panel discussion with director Stephen Williams, writer/producer Stefani Robinson, composers Michael Abels and Kris Bowers, plus a performance by violinist Randall Goosby

Singer Fefe Dobson with special guest James Barre fills the bill at The Roxy March 28, while the Beleasco hosts DJ Paul Oakenfold, the Grammy Museum talks with reggae band Morgan Heritage, followed by a stripped-down performance, and Poets Jazz House presents “Gil Scott-Heron Bluesology” at the Willie Agee Playhouse. The play features the legendary poet’s daughter Gia Scott-Heron as she kicks off her Tour Across America …

WaleMania finds rap star Wale hosting a music and pro-wrestling party with surprise performances at The Novo March 30. Also that date: Eric Bellinger is at The Constellation Room at the Observatory, while Arlo Parks is at the Belasco Theater, Broadway diva Lillias White (“Hadestown”) makes her Wallis debut, and actor, rapper, and mental health advocate GaTa leads a Season 3 Launch Party for his FX series “Dave” at The Venice West …

Universal announced that filmmaker Jordan Peele’s follow-up to “Nope” will arrive on Christmas Day 2024.

TASTY QUIP: “I would promote therapy for everybody else, but I was lacking. I was putting myself last. You know what it was. It’s like, as a woman, you’re giving to everybody. I was so busy giving, giving, giving and promoting mental wellness, but I don’t think I was really taking care of myself the way I should have. And so now I’ve really bogged down, now it’s the year of the ‘yes’ for me and my health. So I’ve really concentrated on making that a priority and not putting myself last anymore.” – TISHA CAMPBELL on “The Talk”

TC ON TV: March 24 – “Reggie” (Prime Video): An intimate and revealing new documentary that examines the career and legacy of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and activist Reggie Jackson. “My Kind of Country” (Apple TV+): Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck scout up-and-coming artists from around the world and invite them to Nashville, the home of country music, in this groundbreaking new music competition series hosted by Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves. “Knock At The Cabin” (Peacock): M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller, starring Dave Bautista, makes its streaming debut. “Jennifer Hudson” (Syn): Tamar Braxtonthe Isley Brothers “The View” (ABC): Billy Porter “American Masters” (PBS): “In The Making,” hosted by Audra MacDonald, follows two performers as they break down barriers in music — opera singer J’Nai Bridges and country artist Rissi Palmer.

March 25 – “Every Breath She Takes” (Lifetime): Tamala Jones (“Castle”) is executive producer and star of this murder mystery with Brian White, Tisha Campbell and Jackée Harry.

March 26 – “Be My Guest with Ina Garten” (Food): Norah Jones “The Mark Twain Prize For American Humor” (CNN): Adam Sandler is feted by his friends Chris Rock, Jennifer Aniston, Judd Apatow, Drew Barrymore, Steve Buscemi, Conan O’Brien, David Spade, and more. “Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico” (CNN) From the producers of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” the six-part series follows the award-winning actress, producer, director and activist across the many vibrant regions of Mexico, revealing its unique and colorful cuisines. First stop: Mexico City.

March 27 – “The Young and the Restless 50th Anniversary Celebration” (CBS): Hosted by Nischelle Turner (“Entertainment Tonight”), the special will include interviews with actors past and present, unseen footage from its vaults, a tour of the studio and tributes to cast members who have died in recent years, including Kristoff St. John (who portrayed Neil Winters) and Jeanne Cooper (who portrayed Katherine Chancellor). “2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards” (CW): With Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J, P!NKMuni Long, Coldplay and more. “The Daily Show” (Comedy): This week it is John Leguizamo’s turn to guest host.

March 28 – “That’s My Jam” (NBC): Quinta Brunson & John Stamos vs. Craig Robinson & Taraji P. Henson

March 29 – “The Big Door Prize” (Apple TV+): Crystal Fox (“The Haves and the Have Nots”) and Damon Gupton (“Black Lightning”) are part of the ensemble cast of this comedy series about a mysterious machine that changes the lives of a small town’s residents. “Snowfall” (FX): This episode is written by Walter Mosley.  

March 30 – “RapCaviar Presents” (Hulu): A compelling new documentary series that tackles some of today’s most provocative issues through the stories of hip-hop visionaries and emerging stars currently ruling the charts and influencing our culture, from City Girls to Tyler, The Creator, Jack Harlow, Polo G, Roddy Ricch, Coi Leray and more. “Jennifer Hudson” (Syn): Method Man, Larenz Tate

END QUOTE: “I think people are starting to get who I am. I think, for a long time, they didn’t. And I had to get to a place where I stopped caring in order for me to walk into the place where people are like, ‘No, I actually get her.’” – MEAGAN GOOD to Essence

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly 1 million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

       
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