Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Be Me. The latest installment of American Masters looks back at the extraordinary career of the singer, dancer, impressionist and activist. Directed by Sam Pollard, it shows how Davis broke into show business when he was just 3 years old and reached the top – despite having to endure a constant wave of racism. The doc also covers Davis’ political activism, working closely with such civil rights icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Harry Belafonte, and establishing an unlikely friendship with President Nixon. No Davis documentary would be complete with covering his tenure in The Rat Pack, how they put Las Vegas on the map, and how Davis became a key catalyst in ending segregated policies in its venues. With remembrances from contemporaries, friends, family and those he influenced, this is a moving salute to an entertainment iconoclast. Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Me is available now on www.pbs.org.
Tricky Dick. CNN looks back at the life, career and global impact of the nation’s 37th President. It covers his rapid ascendency within the Republican Party, becoming a Congressman, Senator and Vice President before turning 40; his narrow loss in the 1960 Presidential election and stinging defeat in the 1962 race for Governor of California; his stunning political resurrection in 1968 and how the Watergate scandal led to a spectacular fall from grace in 1974. Featuring never before seen footage, archival material and interviews with those within his orbit, this is a fresh look at one of the nation’s most talked about Presidents. Tricky Dick premieres March 17th at 9pm Eastern on CNN.
Joni 75: A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration. This past November, The Music Center, a non-profit organization that brings artists and communities together in the Los Angeles area, threw an all-star 75th Birthday Celebration for Joni Mitchell. Graham Nash, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Chaka Khan, Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, Seal, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Glen Hansard and Los Lobos all performing just some of Mitchell’s timeless songs. The demand for this show to heard was so strong, that’s now available on all formats. To hear this wide array of world class talent covering one of our most cherished singer-songwriters will simply, blow you away. A must have for any Joni Mitchell fan. Joni 75: A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major streaming services.
New York City.: The Music Of Van Morrison at Carnegie Hall. For the past 15 years, producer/promoter Michael Dorf has put together an all star salute to an artist whose music has made a profound impact on popular culture. This year, the work of Van Morrison will be featured with Patti Smith, Darlene Love, Todd Rundgren, David Johansson, Bettye LaVette, and The Blind Boys Of Alabama among the many artists scheduled to appear. All proceeds will benefit music education organizations for underprivileged youth. As in previous years, expect highly imaginative interpretations, unique collaborations and possible surprise guests. Always a fun night for a great cause. The Music Of Van Morrison at Carnegie Hall will be at Carnegie Hall on March 21st. You can also go to www.carnegiehall.org for more information.
New York City: B Is For Bacall. Strong. Smart. Independent. Opinionated. All of these characteristics defined Lauren Bacall on-screen and off. Now MoMa’s Modern Matinees series will present a long overdue retrospective of Bacall’s six decade-long career. It will include classic collaborations with husband Humphrey Bogart (To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo); Vincente Minnelli (The Cobweb, Designing Women); Barbara Streisand (The Mirror Has Two Faces); Robert Altman (Ready To Wear); Sidney Lumet and much more. It’s an great chance to see a cinematic giant where she belongs – on the big screen. B Is For Bacall will be at the Museum Of Modern Art through April 26th. You can also go to www.moma.org for more information.
New York City: Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless. A pioneering artist in the worlds of video, sculpture, computer graphics, photography and print, Gretchen Bender used these mediums to inform – and warn us- about how technology will be a powerful tool (and weapon) in mass media platforms. By the time she passed away in 2004, the ‘cannibalistic river’ that she had predicted – the endless array of screens, social media, smartphones, data collection as a means of surveillance, and politics as entertainment – had become a reality. Now Red Bull Arts New York is presenting the first posthumous retrospective of her work. It will feature every major body of work from her creative canon, including the preliminary stages of ‘So Much Deathless’, which was intended to be her boldest work to date. There will also be artwork and music videos that she did for R.E.M., New Order, Megadeth, and Babes In Toyland; films, oral histories by peers and friends, plus much more. Come out and see the comprehensive look at an artist whose impact is still being felt today. Gretchen Bender – So Much Deathless will be at Red Bull Arts New York through July 28th.