BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: ‘Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom’ redux

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

The Grammy Museum is bringing back an updated version of the exhibit “Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom,” charting a path from spirituals sung by enslaved people in America and the songs and sounds of the American Revolution to the mass movement of music and art that helped stir action during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the continued fight for racial justice in America today.

A newly expanded section, “The Sounds of Los Angeles,” explores L.A.-based social movements and events that have inspired protest songs spanning a variety of genres and communities, the Chicano movement that formed during the 1960s and 1970s, the 1965 Watts Riots, the 1992 Riots, and the city’s history of poverty and economic disparity, gang violence and police corruption.

Featured artists include Lalo Guerrero, Mark Guerrero, Frost, Kim Weston, Randy Savvy of the Compton Cowboys and more.

Also added is “Song Spotlights,” individual video displays that features artists talking about specific socially conscious songs such as Andra Day discussing Billie Holiday‘s “Strange Fruit” and Ziggy Marley waxing about his father, Bob Marley’s song “Get Up, Stand Up.”

Exhibit highlights include handwritten lyrics to “I Can’t Breathe” and the Martin LX1 acoustic guitar used by H.E.R. to write the song; and the custom dress designed by Naeem Khan worn by Mickey Guyton during her performance of “Black Like Me” at the 63rd Grammy Awards last March.

The exhibit opens on Jan. 15 and runs until May 8. For more info, visit

JOINT VENTURE: A year since the partnership between the NAACP and CBS Studios was announced, a number of projects on the production slate have now solidified.

Among the shows on the way are “Soapdish,” with Whoopi Goldberg continuing in the role of the soap opera writer she essayed in the 1991 movie; family sitcoms starring comics D.L. Hughley and Earthquake; a drama inspired by Cheryl McKissack, fifth-generation owner of the oldest minority and female construction company in America; and “Little Rock Nine,” a mini-series coinciding with the 65th anniversary of one of the most seminal events in American history.

AT LONG LAST: MacArthur Fellow and Hugo Award winner Octavia E. Butler‘s enormously popular and influential science fiction novel, “Kindred,” first published more than four decades ago in 1979, will be adapted as an eight-episode series for FX.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“Watchmen,” “An Octoroon”) will serve as an executive producer, showrunner and writer with the pilot directed and executive produced by Janicza Bravo, director, and co-writer of the critically acclaimed feature “Zola.”

“Kindred” is centered on “Dana” (newcomer Mallori Johnson), a young Black writer who finds herself ripped through time, shunted between modern-day L.A. and a 19th century plantation that holds her family’s secrets.

TICKET WATCH: The Roots, Gregory Porter, Tower of Power, Terri Lyne Carrington, Femi Kuti, Cory Wong, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, José James, Azar Lawrence and Gerald Clayton are the initial artists confirmed for the 2022 Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival (June 25–26).

Two-day festival packages are currently available with single-day festival tickets going on sale when the full lineup is announced on Feb. 15. For more info, visit

CLIPPETTES: Due to the rise of COVID cases, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival has rescheduled its 30th annual edition for April 19 through May 1 in L.A.

Rap legend Rakim performs live this week at two area venues: Jan. 14 at the Troubadour and Jan. 15 at Long Beach’s Gaslamp Music + Bar + Kitchen

Iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be the subject of “Samo Lives,” a new biopic reuniting “Luce” director Julius Onah with that film’s star Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“Cyrano”)

The Commodores play their hits at the Saban Theatre on Jan. 15; while Black Joe Lewis & Cedric Burnside perform at the Troubadour; rapper Devin The Dude is at Catch One; Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons croon at Thousand Oaks’ Kavli Theatre; and Flo Rida headlines at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa

Amazon Prime Video has signed two major Nigerian production companies — Anthill Studios & Inkblot Studios — to exclusive deals with their films to begin streaming later this year

The Regent Theatre presents the North American theatrical premiere of the Grammy-nominated film “Music, Money, Madness, Jimi Hendrix: Live In Maui” on Jan. 20 to be followed by a rare conversation with John McDermott (director), Janie Hendrix (Jimi’s sister) and famed record producer Eddie Kramer (Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and many more). The documentary includes crowd favorites like “Foxy Lady,” “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”

Rihanna announced that the first brick and mortar stores of her mega successful Savage X Fenty brand will open in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. at a date and location to be revealed later this year.

TASTY QUIP: BOB SAGET was the guy who showed that I could do this, that you can be an adult comic. I used to watch his set and go, damn, I wish I had wrote that. He was such a nice man, and a nice person, always cheering people on. But he showed that you can be an adult comic, but also be the father on a sitcom … and host ‘America’s Funniest Videos.’ I almost didn’t come to work today because I’m heartbroken. … [For] comics, I won’t say who, but we were all calling each other. Are you okay? How are you feeling? Checking in with us, because when a comic passes, all comics come together.” – SHERYL UNDERWOOD on “The Talk”

TC ON TV: Jan. 14 – “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (Apple TV+): Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star in the latest film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play from fellow Oscar winner Joel Coen. “Archive 81” (Netflix): Mamoudou Athie (“Uncorked“) stars as an archivist hired to restore a collection of tapes that leads him into the discovery of a dangerous cult. “Use of Force: The Policing of Black America” (Peacock): A documentary narrated by Chuck D that highlights the now-famous stories of George Floyd, Philando Castile and Eric Garner, among others. “The Wrong Blind Date” (LMN): Vivica A. Fox portrays a therapist in this latest entry in her “Wrong” franchise. “Ray Donovan: The Movie” (SHO): A showdown, decades in the making, brings the Donovan family legacy full circle in this closure to the series starring Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight and Pooch Hall. “Chillin Island” (HBO): Gunna & Killer Mike; Coi Leray & Rosalia

Jan. 15 – “Remix My Space with Marsai Martin” (Disc+): The “black-ish” actress and her team of experts surprise remarkable young people who have made a lasting positive impact in their communities with a bedroom makeover. “Safe Room” (Lifetime): Boris Kodjoe directs and co-stars with his wife Nicole Ari Parker in this new thriller. “Austin City Limits” (PBS): St. Vincent, Joy Oladokun “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) hosts with musical guest Roddy Ricch

Jan. 16 – “Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins” (Oxygen): Investigates burgeoning romances from their sweet beginnings and follows what happened all the way through to their bitter endings. With her background as a criminal prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and with her expertise in matters of the heart, Jenkins gives her professional POV of the nightmarish cases. By the way, news just dropped that Jenkins’ seat judging “Divorce Court” will be filled by former “The View” co-host and lawyer Star Jones.

Jan. 17 – “Becoming: Michelle Obama In Conversation” (BET/BET Her): Moderated by Yara Shahidi (“grown-ish”), the discussion with students will cover topics such as mental wellness and diversity and inclusion on college campuses. “Urban One Honors” (TV1/Cleo): Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Timbaland, Gamble & Huff, Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Jennifer Hudson are recognized in the ceremony hosted by Ne-Yo and Eva Marcille. H.E.R., Kelly Price, Tyrese, Tank, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and D-Nice are set to perform; with Jermaine Dupri, Marlon Wayans and Vashawn Mitchell tapped to present. “That’s My Jam” (NBC): Anthony Anderson & T-Pain vs. Ryan Tedder & Bebe Rexha “Black Market” (VICE): “The Art of Boosting” “Independent Lens” (PBS): “A Reckoning in Boston” is an examination of the systemic racism that exists in communities across the U.S. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Robert Glasper celebrates the 10th anniversary of his now classic album “Black Radio” with guests Rapsody, BJ the Chicago Kid, Amir Sulaiman and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Jan. 18 – “Fuse Docs” (Fuse): “The Third Strike” profiles attorney MiAngel Cody and her team of women fighting to free people sentenced to life in prison for drugs and to end the brutal drug law that put them there.

Jan. 20 – “I’m A Survivor, No Longer A Victim” (AllBlk): A documentary about women who have who suffered from domestic violence. “Ellen” (Syn): Mahershala Ali, Martha Stewart

END QUOTE: “If I’m remembered for having done a few good things and if my presence here has sparked some good energies, that’s plenty.” – SIR SIDNEY POITIER


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, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.


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