The Black Movie Soundtrack Photos

At The Hollywood Bowl

PE and Me

PE and ME!  We’ve known each other for years, and they delivered a crucial song for the HOUSE PARTY soundtrack, but this is our first photo together. They are really both lovely guys and great to work with. It’s nice to be a fan of the artist and the person. 

Hollywood Bowl Marquis

Hollywood Bowl Marquis

I’ve gone to Hollywood Bowl shows since I came to Los Angeles, but to finally have my own show on the marquee is a charge I haven’t felt since I started making movies and would see film titles on a cinema marquee.  

Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard
photo cred: @pose4rose IG

The Whitney Houston tribute was a highlight of the night. The orchestra provided live accompaniment to clips of her performing in THE BODYGUARD. The audience fell in love with her all over again.  

Blaxploitation montage
photo cred: Chanel Landreaux

The Blaxploitation medley had many musical favorites like Theme From Shaft, Freddie’s Dead from Superfly, and Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man. The clips were from all three films plus the filmographies of Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Jim Kelly and the inimitable Rudy Ray Moore. 

Marcus Miller, Craig Robinson, Bilal, Lelah Hathaway

Musical mastermind Marcus Miller, host with the most Craig Robinson, the eclectic and electric Bilal and the lovely Lalah Hathaway

Lelah Hathaway and Maya Rudolph

Daughters of R & B Royalty – Lalah Hathaway and Maya Rudolph

Cindy Herron, Reggie, Terry Ellis, Rhona Bennett (Flavor Flav) 

Me and the lovely ladies of En Vogue who sound and look great. Note Flav in the background. 

Lalah Hathaway and Bilal

Lalah Hathaway and Bilal

Reggie and Maya Rudolph

Maya’s dad Richard Rudolph convinced her to perform at the show. Thanks Richard!  

We took this picture intending to clown around but it turned out very beautiful. Bibi Green, who took most of the pictures you see here, isn’t just a great manager – she’s a heck of a photographer as well!

Craig Robinson, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr., Reggie, Wah Wah Watson

Practice was going so well I called Craig Robinson to stop by. He felt the fire coming from Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr. and Wah Wah Watson and hung for hours.  

Anthony Hamilton, Bilal, Wah Wah Watson

Soul men Anthony Hamilton, Bilal and Wah Wah Watson taking a break at rehearsal. 

Princess performing Purple Rain 

Princess (Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum) lit up the Hollywood Bowl on "Purple Rain"! Thousands of cell phones waved to the groove of the Oscar winning masterpiece as Paul Jackson Jr recreated Prince’s guitar solo perfectly. 

The Hollywood Bowl

For those who have never been, this is what the Bowl looks like. Large amphitheater with center and side screens for clips and shots of the performers. Thanks Nefetari Spencer for the picture!

Marcus Miller, Craig Robinson, Laura Connelly, Reggie

At practice with musical director Marcus Miller, host Craig Robinson, Laura Connelly of the Hollywood Bowl (with Brain Grohl of the Bowl blocked by my head). 

The Hollywood Bowl stage

The Hollywood Bowl stage on show day. The quiet before the groove. 

Pre-show at the Hollywood Bowl

The audience gets to the venue way early and has a nice meal with a little vino before the show starts. Several longtime Bowl subscribers were impressed that the audience didn’t talk or eat through the show. Instead they were pumping it up regardless of age or race!  

John Beasley, Marcus Miller, Anthony Hamilton, Ramon Yslas (in front), Wah Wah Watson, Paul Jackson Jr, Kris Bowers and Louis Cato

John Beasley, keyboards, Marcus Miller, bass and vision, Anthony Hamilton, percussionist Ramon Yslas (in front), the legendary Wah Wah Watson, guitar virtuoso Paul Jackson Jr, and next generation killers Kris Bowers on keys and Louis Cato on drums.  

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The Academy Celebrates The Black Movie Soundtrack

The Hollywood Bowl, September 3rd

The Black Movie Soundtrack

Here are some of the songs you’ll hear in the show interspersed with an essay I wrote on the show.  

Stormy Weather – Jumping Jive


The Black Movie Soundtrack was born with the advent of sound in movies itself. When Al Jolson speaks directly to the audience and says “you ain’t heard nothing yet” before launching into a ragtime, Black music in movies is established as a signifier of what is modern and hip. As musical styles evolved, from jazz to soul to hip hop, the significance of Black music in movies, regardless of the race of film’s cast, has been a dominant force in American cinema for nearly 100 years. This is why tonight’s celebration of The Black Movie Soundtrack is so important. We will be showcasing some of the greatest music ever made. In fact, often, the music is better than the movies that showcase it. But in some ways, that is an unfair comparison. Black music is arguably the most sophisticated form of artistic expression in our culture. Movies are pretty great too, but it’s hard to compete with composers who wrote for film like Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Oliver Nelson, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Marcus Miller, LA Reid & Babyface, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Pharrell Williams.

In The Heat Of The Night

When I sat down to make a list of tunes to be featured in this evening’s program, the first pass was 130 songs long. Knowing that we would be lucky to fit 20 songs into the evening’s program, I had to accept the idea that an audience member would be disappointed by the absence of the their favorite jam in the lineup, so I apologize but it could not be helped. The good news is that the playlist was a bounty of riches, and could be edited in any number of ways. We could do a night of jazz tunes. We could have done three nights focusing on the great music soundtracks of the 1970s. We could do an evening of Prince’s music in movies alone. We could do a night of hip-hop in cinema. While those are all programs that we might try to execute in the future, we thought that it would be best to start with an overview of Black music in movies for the last 75 years. 

Earth, Wind And Fire – Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song

My first phone call was to my favorite music collaborator, the brilliant Marcus Miller. When we first started working together on the soundtrack of House Party, he told me about a week into his teenage years, when he was invited to join three bands: Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, and Weather Report. He chose Miles Davis and went on to produce several albums for him. With extraordinary dexterity, he was also Luther Vandross’ producer for his illustrious career. He also has a long career as a film composer for many directors including myself. Marcus quickly fell into a working groove with Hollywood Bowl conductor Vincent Mendoza. 

Rose Royce – Car Wash

Usually classic Black music is not revived, and if it is, it is stripped of its lush ornamentation.  Not tonight.  You will hear songs like Theme From Shaft with a full string orchestra! We are also making a point to feature score and not just hit songs in tonight’s program. You will be hearing some great score cues from movies like Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, Boomerang and He Got Game.

Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead

In the same way Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington and Oliver Nelson were the most prominent composers of early black film soundtracks, the work of Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye dominates the 1970s “Blaxploitation” era.  

Isaac Hayes – Theme From Shaft

If there is a single song that personifies the idea of The Black Movie Soundtrack, it is Isaac Hayes’Theme From Shaft. A legendary songwriter with Stax records turned solo artist, for Isaac Hayes, Shaft was the perfect canvas to express his widescreen sonic ambitions with music that harnessed the power of an orchestra with the groove of state of the art soul music to make an enduring classic that won one for the most deserved best song Oscars in Academy history.

En Vogue – Giving Him Something He Can Feel


Sparkle was one of three soundtracks by Curtis Mayfield. He was already a legend from his work with The Impressions, with songs like People Get Ready and Gypsy Woman, as well as huge solo career. But one could argue that Curtis Mayfield’s work on Superfly was his masterpiece. The lyrics of the soundtrack create a great chorus effect that critiques the story and the characters on screen. The combination of the music, the fashions, and the timely storyline all combine to make Superfly one of the most important films of its era. In addition to Superfly and Sparkle, Curtis Mayfield famously collaborated with Gladys Knight on the soundtrack to Claudine, another beloved film whose music is integral to the popularity of the film.

Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man 

Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man is an underrated soundtrack, although aficionados of the genre love it. Marvin was not happy with the soundtrack for Trouble Man, so he rerecorded it entirely before it was released commercially; meaning the music in the film is quite different from the music on the album. Years later, John Singleton used large chunks of the score for his action film Four Brothers.

Prince – Let’s Go Crazy

The next Black artist to receive an Oscar for best song is Prince for Purple Rain. All of his soundtrack albums – Purple Rain, Parade, Batman And Graffitti Bridge – capture a genius at the peak of his talents. 

Public Enemy – Fight The Power

I was a fan of Public Enemy from their debut. Their music felt like the summation of all the potential of hip hop both musically and lyrically. Public Enemy has done a lot of significant movies, including the song ‘Bring The Noise’ from the movie Less Than Zero, as well as songs in many films by Spike Lee. I was fortunate enough to work with Public Enemy on my first feature film, where they delivered yet another amazing song called ‘I Can’t Do Nothin’ For You Man.’ 

Pharrell – Happy

The beat goes on with Pharrell, whose work on the Despicable Me franchise is as impactful as his hit records with Jay Z, Snoop and his own solo career. Happy is one of the most accurately named songs in history, and it achieves the goal of any artist – to bring the whole world together on the One. 

Marcus Miller – Boomerang


I would like to thank the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Hollywood Bowl, Laura Connelly, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Marcus Miller, Vince Mendoza, Jeff Kent and our host Craig Robinson for making a dream come true.

Anthony Hamilton – Freedom

The Academy Celebrates The Black Movie Soundtrack

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 8 pm

Behind The Scenes Of This Year’s Image Awards

 I wanted to post these earlier, but I was too busy making the doggone show!

Stevie Wonder NAACP Image Awards rehearsal

Here’s Stevie Wonder, America’s National Treasure, in rehearsal. One of the keyboardists in his band was jamming one of my favorite songs, Weather Report’s YOUNG AND FINE to warm up.

After hearing Stevie run it down, I made the executive decision to give him more time and add one more song to the medley. More is always more with Stevie. 

NAACP Image Awards rehearsal seating

These signs help the crew in rehearsal so they know how to position themselves to capture crowd reactions and winners as they walk to the stage. 

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Godchildren

California Attorney General Kamala Harris with her very adorable Godchildren being interviewed on the Red Carpet by Kevin Frazier.

Reginald and John Ridley at NAACP Image Awards

During the Red Carpet show (a NAACP Award first!), I ran into screenwriter John Ridley, who won an Image Award and an Oscar for 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Kevin Hart and Tyler Perry backstage at NAACP Image Awards

When I saw two the biggest stars in Hollywood talking backstage, I had to capture Kevin Hart and Tyler Perry together. Kevin was the big winner of the night with awards for best actor in a sitcom, best sitcom for REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD and Entertainer of the Year.

NAACP Image Awards producers with friends and family

After the show, me and fellow producers Phil Gurin and Byron Phillips took a picture with friends and family. Many of these people grew up with me in East St. Louis. Others are more recent but no less dear. These people are what it’s all about.

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Reginald Hudlin Interviews Denys Cowan On The Importance Of Education!

Denys Cowan and I attended an education conference given by Black Enterprise and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  ProfessU, one of the attendees, wanted to interview us, so I took the mike and interviewed Denys about his educational background.  The results may not be what he had in mind when he asked us to do it, but it was still very interesting.

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Miles And Me


RH and Frances Davis

Me with Miles Davis’ ex-wife Frances.  My wife met her years ago and she kept her fascinated with great stories from her life.   She danced with the great Kathrine Dunham, who changed our families’ life as well. 

Miles Davis Exhibition

The Davis family hosted a small exhibition of Miles Davis’ art at a gallery in Los Angeles to celebrate the publication of a coffee table book of his work.

Miles Davis The Collected Artwork

The art was cool, with music spun by the son of Stanley Clarke.  I kicked with Vince Wilburn, Miles’ nephew and a bandleader his self; Nas, who calmly told a hear-wrenching story of owning and losing an original piece of Miles’ art; and some folks who know my mom, because everywhere I go in LA I meet people who love my mom.  She has a busier social life than me. 

Nas, Vince Wilburn, Erin Davis

Nas, Vince Wilburn, Miles’ son Erin Davis.  Vince grew up in East St. Louis too.

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Inner City Filmmakers Commencement

Reginald Hudlin at Inner City Filmmakers Commencement 

Rick Hess, an old friend of mine I met when he was an executive at TriStar when I first came to Hollywood, called and asked if I would speak at the graduation of Inner City Filmmakers, which I was glad to do.  I knew if Rick was involved, it was worthwhile, and I’m always happy to talk to kids. 

This was one of those events that is so inspiring, I worked extra hard to give to the kids as much as they were giving me. 

Inner City Filmmakers Commencement

I met the kids at the reception where we took this picture.  Mainly Latin and Black kids who otherwise would not get a chance to work in the entertainment business.

RH with Fred Heinrich and Stephania Lipner

The folks who put it together are Fred Heinrich and Stephania Lipner, a husband wife team who basically gave up a successful career in commercials to do this full time.

RH with Bettina Fisher and Vic Bullock of the Academy of Motion Pictures

The event was at the Academy of Motion Pictures…here I am posing with two of their executives.  Bettina Fisher heads up their education efforts, and Vic Bullock just joined the organization after a long tenure at the NAACP. 

Rick Hess and RH

First they showed a reel of alumni of the program who have gone on to have great careers in the business, down to winning Emmys.  Then I got up and did a question and answer session with Rick Hess (who is Chairman of the ICF Board) and then opened it up to questions from the audience.  The questions were smart, real, and made me dig deep. 

RH with Inner City Filmmakers students

Afterwards they showed the short films the kids did…so much great talent!  I hope to bring some of them onboard my upcoming projects.

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Reggie At The DGA


DGA AA Steering Committee

Fresh from moderating the DGA tribute to John Singleton, here I am having an off the record conversation with the DGA African American Steering Committee.  In the photo is Carl Seaton, Oz Scott, yours truly, Jeff Byrd, Abdul Malik Abbott and DGA President Paris Barclay.

Reggie at DGA AA Steering Committee

Carl Weathers, Dwight Williams, Craig Ross Jr.

DGA members Carl Weathers, Dwight Williams and Craig Ross Jr.  When Apollo Creed gives you a compliment, your day is made.  Dwight Williams is a legend in the business…he not only had nice things to say, but incredible stories that inspired me.  Craig is true independent who keeps making films.   What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Here’s the DGA description of the event:

A Conversation with Reginald Hudlin

July 13, 2013
An African American Steering Committee Event

The African American Steering Committee (AASC) hosted a conversation with Director/Producer Reginald Hudlin following their regular monthly meeting in the Los Angeles Boardroom on July 13.

Although known as the director of features such as House Party and Boomerang, the main topic of discussion was Hudlin’s work as a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s controversial feature Django Unchained.

In the film, a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christophe Waltz). Django Unchained earned multiple honors including an Academy Award nomination for “Best Picture,” a “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar for Waltz, and a “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar for Tarantino.

Hudlin sat down with Director/AASC Co-Chair Carl Seaton, (One Week, Of Boys and Men) who moderated a conversation that explored the challenges of making the film, the controversy surrounding its subject matter, and the global success of Django Unchained.

In addition to the aforementioned features, Hudlin’s directing filmography includes the feature films The Great White Hype, Serving Sara, and The Ladies Man; as well as episodes of television series such as Bones, Modern Family, The Office, The Bernie Mac Show, and Everybody Hates Chris.

Hudlin has been a member of the DGA since 1991.

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San Diego Comic-Con 2013


Reginald and Orlando Jones

This is me and the hilarious, inventive and hard working Orlando Jones at the annual Black Panel. People were really coveting my custom, limited edition Milestone shirt.

Reggie at the SDCC Black Panel with Steve McKeever

I wasn’t on the panel this year so I got to sit next to friend and Hidden Beach Records owner Steve McKeever and enjoy the show. With hilarity from Orlando Jones AND Wayne Brady, and deep insights from the brilliant artist Ken Lashley, it was the best black panel ever.

Reggie at SDCC Black Panel

Even though I was not scheduled to be on the panel, Orlando sent a DJANGO question my way since I was in the audience. I was asked if DJANGO will change Hollywood’s attitude about films with black heroes. 

Here’s the kick ass finale to the Black Panel – sizzle reels to two cool projects:

Here’s the whole black panel on video:

Milestone 20th Anniversary Tribute by John Jennings

The panel immediately following was the 20th Anniversary tribute to Milestone. Here is a awesome piece of art by John Jennings.

Reggie moderating SDCC Milestone panel

I was the moderator of the Milestone Panel. But the panel started with the Milestone founders Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and Michael Davis getting Inkpot Awards from the San Diego Comicon. It was a pretty magical moment.

Denys Cowan

Here’s Denys with his Inkpot Award in one hand, and a fan-made Hardware helmet in the other. 

Milestone founders

Here are the surviving Milestone founders Michael, Derek and Denys with their awards. My line of questions about the early days of Milestone actually made Michael cry, which shocked EVERYONE who knows him. 

Ken Lashley and Phil LaMarr

Here’s Ken Lashley with actor and voiceover king Phil LaMarr, who is the voice of Static Shock, among a million other jobs. 

Reggie & Shawn Martinborough

Here I am (with my Got Funk shirt gifted from Bootsy himself) with amazing artist Shawn Martinborough.

John Romita, Jr., Reggie, Axel Alonso, Klaus Jansen

After talking with Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso at the Marvel party the night before, I accepted his invitation to crash the John Romita Jr tribute panel. Axel himself moderated the discussion with the defining Marvel artist, and penciller on the first six issues of BLACK PANTHER. Here I am with Axel, JR Jr, and brilliant inker Klaus Jansen.  Sorry for the soft focus on the picture, but that’s because we all felt warm and fuzzy.

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Me And JJ Abrams At The Producer’s Guild Conference


Conversation with J.J. Abrams

Because of my work on DJANGO UNCHAINED, I am a member of the Producer’s Guild, which makes me very proud.   What made me prouder was JJ Abrams asking me to interview him for his appearance at the PGA’s “Produced By…” conference. 
Reggie interviewing J.J. Abrams

I asked JJ the questions I wanted to know, like how, as a devoted dad, he balanced work and home life, and how he decided which projects to take on.  I also wondered what he learned from two parents in the business. 


Before the session, I got a haircut.  When they found out where I was going, they insisted that I ask whether the new STAR WARS movie would use material from the “extended universe” novels.  JJ said the question was beneath me, and wondered what kind of barbershop I am going to.  But between debating Kobe vs. MJ and Ghostface vs. Tupac, such conversation did take place and I had to represent.  No answer was forthcoming.  Still, a good time was had by all.

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Miles 20 Years Later

This is not from the LA show, but this gives a fraction of the feeling of the night.

Miles Tribute Show

Miles left the planet 20 years ago, but his music, his cultural affect continues.  Three of his alumni, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock (lot of alliteration there) and Wayne Shorter teamed up and did a series of concerts celebrating his music.  Since Miles didn’t look back, they turned the music inside out and arranged as the soundtrack to Miles’ dreams.

Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock and Reginald

After going backstage, I was leaving with my man Steve McKeever and said I had never met Herbie Hancock.  Steve said he’s never taken a picture with him.  So we went back to fix both those mistakes.

Herbie Hancock, Steve McKeever, Marcus Miller, and Reginald

Herbie was lovely and we got the dope picture with Herbie and Marcus in the shot.  Niiiice, real nice.

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Last 10 Posts

The Black Movie Soundtrack Photos
The Academy Celebrates The Black Movie Soundtrack
Behind The Scenes Of This Year’s Image Awards
Reginald Hudlin Interviews Denys Cowan On The Importance Of Education!
Miles And Me
Inner City Filmmakers Commencement
Reggie At The DGA
San Diego Comic-Con 2013
Me And JJ Abrams At The Producer’s Guild Conference
Miles 20 Years Later


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