TV / Documentaries
Since 2005 I have had the privilege of appearing in various television documentaries involving black music and politics.
Most recently I have appeared in episodes of UNSUNG, which airs on cable network TVONE.
In the spring of 2014 I was featured in the episode on Gil Scott Heron, one of their best in my opinion! Producer P Frank Williams was at his best doing that one. My involvement with P Frank Williams on the Gil Scott Heron episode led to work on Williams treatment of the Black Panthers on his installment of Celebrity Crime Files: Huey Newton & Bobby Seale. I was also proud of my involvement with that one.
When I was told that they would be doing an Unsung episode on Sly & the Family Stone, I demanded to be a part of it! After it aired, Sly Stone's daughter Novena Carmel contacted me and thanked me for telling Sly's story the right way! That is the reason why I do this type of thing.
In the fall of 2014 TVONE aired an episode on Wilson Pickett, another very exciting one.
UNSUNG episodes that feature commentary from RV:
Sly & the Family Stone
Con Funk Shun
Gil Scott Heron
Etta James (yet to be aired as far as I know)
I am proud to contribute to the understanding of the crucial role of black music in our lives in any way I can!
How did the Unsung connection happen?
The Unsung appearances came about because my colleague Dr. Scot Brown was doing episodes for the series, and when asked about doing a George Clinton appearance, he suggested they go to the funkateer of the year, RV! Scot has helped Unsung by co-producing some of their best works, the ones on Heatwave, and The Ohio Players. Always grateful to my homie Dr. Brown.
How did this TV thing get started?
In 1998, shortly after my Funk book was published, I was contacted by Yvonne Smith, who had recently completed a
magnificent PBS documentary "Make it Funky" as part of a Time / Life "Rock and Roll" series. Yvonne asked me to contribute to her next film on George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. That work took her seven more years before it finally aired on Independent Lens on PBS in 2005. (it pops up on YouTube frequently nowadays, listed as One Nation Under A Groove)
Around that time, thanks to the original rickeyvincent.com designed by my brother Teo Barry Vincent, I began to get calls from other producers of black music documentaries, as well as CD reissue producers, who wanted some "authoritative" words on the history of Funk. I don't claim to be a definitive expert, but I was serious about being one of the first to publish on the Funk topic, so outsiders with little sensitivity to the culture would be less likely to exploit it. Sadly that has started to happen, but nothing can stop The Funk!
Other music documentaries I have had the honor of appearing in:
2018 Appeared in the NETFLIX documentary Hip Hop Evolution, their Bay Area episode: Out The Trunk
2008 Appeared in the documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston, Directed by David Leaf, narrated by Dennis Haysbert, which aired on VH1 April 5, 2008.
2007 Appeared in the documentary Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson which aired on PBS in August, 2007.
2005 Appeared in the documentary One Nation Under A groove, the Story of P-Funk, directed by Yvonne Smith, which aired on PBS series “Independent Lens” October 2005.
2004 Appeared in the documentary Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music, which was produced by the BBC and airs continuously on US cable channel VH1Soul.
Other Media such as CD booklet liner notes are so numerous, you'll have to dig around the "archives" of the original rickeyvincent.com and check em all out! Go to the archives.
*how to get around the RV archives: The original rickeyvincent.com website still exists, but only as "classic.rickeyvincent.com" so if you want to navigate around it, every link will go bad, unless you go to the page address and insert "classic" into the domain. It's stupid I know, but at the moment u can still access it.
So instead of "rickeyvincent.com/fun" you need to change it to "classic.rickeyvincent.com/fun" and it will work.