With Samm Brown "the voice of labor in entertainment"
A weekly behind-the-scenes look into the entertainment industry
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Emmy Award winning documentarian Ken Burns once said that no matter what subjects he tackles in his documentaries — baseball or jazz, Mark Twain or the Civil War — they always seem to boil down to two things: "race and place."
Ken’s latest documentary, The Central Park 5, (aka The Jogger Case), involves the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a female jogger in New York City's Central Park, on April 19, 1989. On that date, the 28-year-old investment banker was violently raped and beaten almost to death. As a result of the severe trauma, she had no memory of the attack or of any events up to an hour preceding the assault.
According to the NYPD preliminary police investigation, the culprits were gangs of teenagers who would assault strangers in Central Park as part of an activity that became known as "wilding"
No DNA evidence ever tied the suspects to the crime, so the prosecution's case rested entirely on the boys confessions, despite the fact that analysis of the DNA collected at the crime scene did not match any of the suspects — and that the crime scene DNA had all come from a single, as yet unknown person.
One of the suspects' supporters, Reverend Calvin O. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, told the New York Times, "The first thing you do in the United States of America when a white woman is raped is round up a bunch of black youths, and I think that's what happened here."
The “5” were tried and convicted for the crime, and each served seven years in prison for a crime they did not commit.
The convictions were vacated in 2002 when Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other crimes, confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence confirmed that he indeed, was the sole contributor of the semen found in and on the victim "to a factor of one in 6 billion people.
Despite this new analysis of DNA and other exculpatory evidence found in 2002 by the District Attorney's office, New York City detectives maintained that the defendants had "most likely" been Reyes' accomplices and are sticking by their story that they “got it right”.
No indictments, convictions or disciplinary actions were ever taken against prosecutors, the District Attorney's office staff members or the NYPD detectives.
In 2003, three of the ”5” sued the city of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress. As of early 2013, the suit is yet to be settled. The city is refusing to settle the suits, citing the "confessions that withstood intense scrutiny, in full and fair pretrial hearings and at two lengthy public trials".
In other words DNA and exculpatory evidence be damned.
The documentary airs all this week. Check your local PBS station for time and date.
By definition a racist is someone who believes that one race (usually theirs) is superior to others.
Having defined that, the new Brad Paisley song causing much controversy is called "Accidental Racist". It's a song about a Southern man who can't understand why the black male Barista who waits on him at a Starbucks can't relate to his wearing of a Stars and Bars T-shirt.
To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I'm a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view
Brad Paisley -
Accidental Racist Lyrics
On Monday it hit YouTube. By Tuesday, it was being discussed and commented on all over the internet, bloggers, cable TV, and most TV entertainment shows. By Wednesday, the video had been taken down because of copyright issues (or was it the controversy), but if you missed the discussion on ABC News with Brad Paisley and L.L. Cool J., (who raps on the song) defending it, here it is:
Paisley, LL Cool J: 'Accidental Racist' Is About Forgiveness
ABC News - 16 hours ago
Tonight, we'll be opening our phones to hear your thoughts. Is the song insensitive, ignorant or not? (See below for the lyrics) Is it just ignorant of black history with respect to slavery? If you missed the show from two weeks ago (Slavery By Another Name) by Pulitzer Prize winning author Douglas A. Blackmon, here are a couple of links you might want to check out.
FROM THE CD:
Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the
18th and 19th Centuries
Rachel Barton, violin
Encore Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Hege,
Here is a website where I got some of my source material: AfriClassical.com
Tonight we will once again be visiting a subject, which we received a lot of positive emails on, and that is: BLACK CLASSICAL COMPOSERS OF THE 18TH, 19TH and 20TH CENTURIES YOU SHOULD¹VE HEARD OF.
For centuries, all but a few Americans outside of academia were even aware of the fact that there were any black or "mixed race" composers who were highly regarded by their peers including Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Dvorak. In addition to composition and orchestration most were also virtuoso pianists or violinists. Tonight we will be rediscovering them and listening to some of their music.
1. LE CHEVALIER DE SAINT GEORGES, (1745-1799), a black Frenchman, also known throughout Europe as the “Black Mozart” (Le Mozart Noir). According to music scholar Gabriel Banat he was a virtuoso violinist and composer as well as a European fencing master. His father was an aristocrat French plantation owner, his mother, was an African slave from the island of Guadeloupe in the Antilles. He ws given the broad Classical musical training of a European nobleman by his father (who accepted him as his only son whole heartedly); giving him the best education money could buy. Saint Georges was so proficient as a composer and violinist that King Louis XVI appointed him co-director to the Royal Academy of Music (it would later become the Paris Opera), and also appointed him as a Captain in the King¹s black Legionnaires Afrique. (Alexandre Dumas, Sr. also a black Frenchman, was in the Legionnaire unit, and was to become famous writing about their swashbuckling exploits in a novel titled, “The Three Musketeers”.)
Tonight, his Allegro Moderato (1775) from his Violin Concerto in A Major, Opus 5, No. 2
2. CHEVALIER J.J.O. de MEUDE-MONPAS, according to international black composers biographical researcher Eileen Southern, little is known about Meude-Monpas other than his music and the fact that he too was one of Dumas’ Musketeers in the service of Louis XVI of France. Meude-Monpas studied music in Paris with Peirre La Houssaye and Francois Girost, published 6 concertos for violin (1786), and 2 books on music composition. Said Southern of Meude-Monpas 4th Concerto Allegro: “The Allegro makes dramatic use of silence, likely under the influence of the early symphonists. The whole concerto reveals polish of craft and a fine attention to orchestration. The orchestral writing is so clear and unencumbered that the soloist never gets lost within the din of the musical arrangement.”
We will be playing his Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major (1786) this evening.
3. JOSEPH WHITE, (1835-1918), made his public debut at the age of 18 performing a fantasy on Rossini¹s William Tell along with two pieces of his own. His accompanist was the most celebrated North American pianist/composer of the day, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), who encouraged White to pursue further training in Paris and personally helped raise the money to send him there. In 1856 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome in Violin, and ten years later while teaching at the Paris Conservatoire, wrote Six Etudes pour Violin, Opus 15, which ultimately became standard teaching materials for the school. Numerous awards followed including the Order of Isabella la Catolica, in Madrid¹s Spanish Court. Approximately 32 works have survived in published and or manuscript form.
Tonight we’ll hear his Allegro from the Violin Concerto in F-sharp Minor (1864).
4. SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR, (1875-1912), although English born and the son of an African father (from Sierra Leone) and an English mother, Taylor was to become very involved in the racial politics of the United States as a symbol of what Booker T. Washington called, the “New Negro”, one who was “a full cultural and social participant in American life, the embodiment of what could be the possibilities of the Negro under a favorable environment and equal opportunities.” Although hailed as “the foremost musician of his race”, Coleridge-Taylor became aware of African-American music in 1897, after meeting Antonin Dvorak¹s (New World Symphony). Dvorak¹s took notice of the young Taylor and suggested to him that he should include “more Negro melodies from Negro spirituals” in his works.
5. The work we¹ll hear tonight Danse Negre from his African Suite (1898), appears to bear no relationship to his other black oriented musical materials, but instead displays lush harmonic and melodic beauty. While not remembered primarily for his violin virtuosity, the work is compositional, rather than instrumental, it is one of the most harmonically sophisticated and thematically complex of his compositions for Orchestra. It reminds one of the work of such Hollywood legendary composers as Max Steiner (who was only 11 years old), Alfred Newman and Franz Waxman, neither who had been born yet.
5. PSA's, film/TV music/recording industry current news, commentary.
I hope you will join us for what is certain to be another edifying, enlightening, and entertaining hour of conversation. See you tonight.
IN THE WEEKS TO COME
- THE NEW JIM CROW
- BLACK IMAGE IN THE WHITE MIND (MEDIA IN AMERICA)
- HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD'S DEPICTION OF SLAVERY
(From Birth of A Nation to Gone With the Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird and Django)
- WHEN DO I NEED A PUBLICIST
HOLLYWOOD LEFT AND RIGHT - FILM MUSIC SUPERVISORS : (Getting Your Songs Into Film/Television)
- NEGOTIATING FOR FILM FINANCING
-AFI (AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE)
- THE LIFE OF KAREN CARPENTER
- DEFENDING POP MUSIC
The show's theme is called "Miles Smiles" and is composed, arranged and performed by Samm Brown.
Samm Brown's FOR THE RECORD, now in its 18th season, is the only weekly, one-hour, radio talk show in the nation that focuses exclusively on the $700 billion a year entertainment industry. The show is broadcast every Thursday evening at 8 PM from KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, with audio streaming at www.kpfk.org. Open phone lines (818-985-5735) allow guests on the show to talk directly with the audience.
Some time ago we initiated a segment titled "Film/TV Composers
Forum" -- where from time to time we will invite a panel of working
film/TV composers to come in and talk about anything they want --
rather than a preselected subject by our producers or me. SCL
(Society of Composers and Lyricists) executive director Laura Dunn
will sit in to cohost and assist in moderating.
Features: HOME STUDIO RECORDINGwith David Banta SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE and ARTIST SPOTLIGHT