February 20, 2017

20,000 Vinyl LPs 80: Sidney Poitier & Doris Belack ~ Poetry of the Negro









 iPhone photos by Styrous®






Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, front cover detail
 

This is Black History Month (see link below) and today is the birthday of Sidney Poitier; he is 90 years old. WOW! I remember when he began acting. The first film I saw him in was Blackboard Jungle. This film not only introduced me to Poitier but rock 'n roll as well (link below).    

So, I went trotting off to my vinyl LP collection to see how I could honor him and came up with this vinyl gem, Sidney Poitier in Poetry of the Negro, which features Poitier reading poems of the American Negro. Reading with him is Doris Belack who was an American character actress of stage, film and television. She was born on February 26, 1926. She died on October 4, 2011. The album was produced by her husband, Philip Rose, who died on May 31, 2011.  



Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, front cover
photo by Styrous®



Rose met Poitier while producing, A Raisin in the Sun, a 1959 play written by Lorraine Vivian Hansberry. Rose owned a rhythm and blues label, Glory Records, and asked Poitier to record a spoken word album, Poetry of the Negro, with liner notes written by the then unknown Hansberry. 



Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, front cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®


The title of Hansberry’s play is taken from a Langston Hughes poem, called “Harlem” in which the poet asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?/ does it dry up/ like a raisin in the sun?” In one critic’s words, Hansberry wanted “to write a social drama about blacks that was good art” (npr.org). Because the project was considered risky, investors were scarce, but idealistic record executive Philip Rose was willing to take a chance and produce the play. He knew he had an asset in the star power of his friend, Sidney Poitier, Hollywood’s first black leading man, whom he met after the actor’s phenomenal success as a young juvenile delinquent in Blackboard Jungle (1955) which featured the song, Rock Around the Clock (link below).   



Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, back cover
photo by Styrous®



Hansberry was born May 19, 1930, in Chicago, where her father was a prominent real-estate broker and political activist who successfully challenged the segregated city’s restrictive real estate covenants. These laws denied equal housing to blacks, but Mr. Hansberry illegally moved his family to a white neighborhood and then successfully challenged the laws all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court stuck down the covenants in Hansberry v. Lee, 1943. By the early 1950s, she was writing essays and reviews for leftist journals and was one of an avant-garde circle of black intellectuals. In 1953, she married a Jewish writer and activist, Robert Nemiroff, whom she met on a picket line. At 26, disgusted with the stereotyped portrayals of blacks on stage, she wrote A Raisin in the Sun, produced in 1959. It was the first play by a black woman produced on Broadway, and Hansberry was the first black author to win the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, defeating fellow nominees Eugene O’Neill, Archibald MacLeish and Tennessee Williams. Hansberry, erudite and outspoken, wrote only two complete plays before her career was cut short when she died of cancer at 34.  



The poets & their poems 
with links to their work


Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, back cover detail
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, back cover detail
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, back cover detail
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, back cover detail
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP label, side 1
photo by Styrous®



M. Carl Holman
Debate of the Dark Brothers


Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP, side 2
photo by Styrous®





Sidney Poitier ~ Poetry of the Negro
vinyl LP lable, side 2
photo by Styrous®




Sidney Poitier With Doris Belack ‎– Sidney Poitier Reads Poetry Of The Negro
Label: Glory Records ‎– GLP-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1969
Genre: Jazz, Non-Music, Stage & Screen
Style: Poetry, Spoken Word

Tracklist:

Side 1:

A1     The Creation     4:15
A2     Mother To Son     2:00
A3     When Melinda Sings     3:06
A4     Debate Of Dark Brothers     1:06
A5     To John Keats, Poet At Springtime     3:15
A6     At Candle Lightin' Time     2:39
A7     Yet I Do Marvel     3:01

Side 2:

B1     An Ante - Bellum Sermon     4:36
B2     Ere Sleep Comes Down To Soothe The Weary Eyes     4:16
B3     I, Too     00:37
B4     When You Have Forgotten Sunday     1:55
B5     The Debt     00:52
B6     Epigram     00:43
B7     We Wear The Mask     1:08
B8     Blues At Dawn     00:35
B9     Lift Every Voice     2:25

Credits:

    Percussion, Piano – Specs Powell




Net links:
    
IMBD bio          
Sidney Poitier Filmography                 
Bill Haley ~ Rock Around the Clock            
Black History articles               



Happy birthday, Sidney!


        
Styrous® ~ Monday, February 20, 2017


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