WorldCat Identities

Watkins, Mel 1940-

Overview
Works: 21 works in 61 publications in 1 language and 5,237 library holdings
Genres: Criticism, interpretation, etc  Biography  Quotations  Fiction  History  Filmed interviews  Documentary films  Interviews  Exhibition catalogs  Detective and mystery fiction 
Roles: Author, Interviewee, Editor
Classifications: PN6231.N5, 792.2308996073
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works about Mel Watkins
 
Most widely held works by Mel Watkins
On the real side : laughing, lying, and signifying-- : the underground tradition of African-American humor that transformed American culture, from slavery to Richard Pryor by Mel Watkins( Book )

9 editions published between 1994 and 1995 in English and held by 1,099 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Watkins chronicles both the public stereotype through minstrel performers, motion pictures, radio and television, and the underground humor that resurfaced in the 1970s with comedians like Richard Pryor
Stepin Fetchit : the life and times of Lincoln Perry by Mel Watkins( Book )

9 editions published between 2005 and 2010 in English and held by 762 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The first African American movie star, Lincoln Perry, a.k.a. Stepin Fetchit, is an iconic figure in the history of American popular culture. In the late 1920s and 30s he was both renowned and reviled for his surrealistic portrayals of the era's most popular comic stereotype; the lazy, shiftless Negro. After his breakthrough role in the 1929 film Hearts in Dixie, Perry was hailed as the best actor that the talking pictures have produced by the critic Robert Benchley. Having run away from his Key West home in his early teens, Perry found success as a vaudevillian before making his way to California. The tall, lanky actor became the first millionaire black movie star when he appeared in a string of hit movies as the whiny, ever-perplexed, slow-talking comic sidekick. Perry was the highest paid and most popular black comedian in America during Hollywood's Golden Age, but his ongoing battles with movie executives, his rowdy offscreen behavior, and his extravagant spending kept him in gossip column headlines. Perry's spendthrift ways and exorbitant lifestyle hastened his decline and, in 1947, having squandered or given away his fortune, he was forced to declare bankruptcy. In 1964 Perry was discovered in the charity ward of Chicago's Cook County Hospital; he later turned up in Muhammad Ali's entourage. In 1972 he unsuccessfully sued CBS for defamation because of a television program that ridiculed the type of characters he had portrayed. But his achievements were eventually acknowledged; in 1976 the Hollywood chapter of the NAACP gave him its Special Image Award for having opened the door for many a succeeding African American film star, and in 1978 he was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. In Stepin Fetchit, Mel Watkins has given us the first definitive, full-scale biography of an entertainment legend
African American humor : the best Black comedy from slavery to today( Book )

4 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 760 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

To be a Black woman: portraits in fact and fiction by Mel Watkins( Book )

8 editions published between 1970 and 1971 in English and held by 477 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Who killed Tiffany Jones? : a novel by Mavis Kaye( Book )

3 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 204 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The sensational killings that have rocked the seemingly untouchable world of international jet-setters and powerful glitterati appear to be unrelated but Kim Carlyle, former police detective turned entertainment agent, senses there'as a thread connecting them all."--Jacket
On the real side : a history of African American comedy by Mel Watkins( Book )

6 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 192 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Explores how humor in the African American entertainment business has sahped America and African Americans themselves
The Bob Love story : if it's gonna be, it's up to me by Bob Love( Book )

3 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 138 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Who was Stepin Fetchit?( Visual )

2 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 106 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this edition of Tony Brown's Journal, Tony Brown and his guest, Mel Watkins, discuss the career of Stepin Fetchit. Who was the real man behind one of Hollywood's most negative images, Stepin Fetchit? Author Mel Watkins explains that Lincoln Perry was very different from the lazy, bug-eyed buffoon on screen
Images of African-Americans on prime-time television( Visual )

3 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 14 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The panel discusses the social, political, and historical influences that have shaped depictions of African-American life on television. They examine the stereotypes of Amos 'n' Andy in the postwar era, the success of The Cosby show in the 1980s, and the recent trend of burgeoning networks concentrating on African-American-themed programming
The tell tale heart : Washington Project for the Arts, March 9-May 5, 1990 : Ken Little, James Luna, Judy Southerland, Pat Ward Williams( Book )

1 edition published in 1990 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Directions in black writing( Recording )

1 edition published in 1970 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Approaches to Canadian economic history; a selection of essays by W. T Easterbrook( Book )

1 edition published in 1971 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Stephen Foster : America's first great songwriter( Visual )

1 edition published in 2001 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

A biography of Stephen Foster, the first great American songwriter, whose melodies are so much a part of American history and culture that many think his songs are folk tunes. In all he composed some 200 songs and although he virtually invented popular music, Foster's personal life was tragic and contradiction-ridden. His marriage was largely unhappy, he never made much money from his work and eventually died at the age of 37 a nearly penniless alcoholic on the Bowery in New York
[Interview with Mel Watkins : raw footage]( Visual )

1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Raw interview footage used for the documentary Broadway, the American musical. Author, editor and columnist for the New York Times Mel Watkins discusses the American musical. Topics include the Minstrel show, a popular form of American entertainment during the 19th century, which featured white entertainers in blackface makeup who portrayed blacks in stereotypical and often disparaging ways; the incorporation of black entertainers and music into the strict three-act Minstrel show, beginning with the innovative tap dancer William Henry "Master Juba" Lane; the Cakewalk, a traditional African American form of music and dance whose syncopated rhythms gained wide popularity on Broadway and in New York society; Black dances like the Black Bottom and the Shuffle, as well as Ragtime music, which likewise were embraced by Broadway; the culmination of these trends in the show Shuffle along, one of the first African American musicals to be produced on Broadway, written by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles, with music by Eubie Blake. Watkins goes on to discuss Bert Williams, the pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era. Topics include Williams' partnership with George Walker, whose onstage persona as a flamboyant dandy contrasted with Williams' melancholy one; Williams' onstage persona as a "shuffling Black coon," which instead of being laughed at gained him the empathy of white audiences; his talent as a dancer and a mime who is remembered for his poker routine; Williams' sensitive, well-read, intellectual personality in contrast with his onstage persona; Williams and Walkers' partnership and early commercial success as producers of their own shows like the landmark Bandana land, in which a Black trickster outsmarts his White adversaries; Williams' signature song "Nobody," which became one of the most popular songs of the 20th century; Walker's death in 1911; the job offer from producer Flo Ziegfeld for Williams to become a star performer in his Folllies, a rare event for a Black performer; Williams' wide admiration by his professional peers, including W.C. Fields and Eddie Cantor; Williams' view of his own use of blackface; Williams experience with racism and an anecdote involving Williams and a bartender; Williams' ambivalance toward society, which viewed him as a star on the one hand, and a second class citizen on the other, and his gradual descent into alcoholism
Never give a sucker an even break : the wiseguys( Visual )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The fifth episode in a six-part series chronicling how comedy has defined the nation's character with commentary by film historians, comedians, writers and producers, spotlighting comedians through the generations who broke the rules to advance the genre. Episode five looks at the comedy of W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, Joan Rivers, Paul Lynde, Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Larry David
Our turn by Mel Watkins( )

1 edition published in 1971 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

When I'm bad, I'm better : the groundbreakers( Visual )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The fourth episode in a six-part series chronicling how comedy has defined the nation's character with commentary by film historians, comedians, writers and producers, spotlighting comedians through the generations who broke the rules to advance the genre. Episode four looks a the work of controversial comedians. For the groundbreaks fo comedy getting a laugh and getting at the truth were the same. Looks at the comedy of not only Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and the Smothers Brothers, but also Mae West, Moms Mabley and Richard Pryor
Mel Watkins, writer/journalist by James V Hatch( )

1 edition published in 1995 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Continental crucible : big business, workers and unions in the transformation of North America by Richard Roman( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The crucible of North American neo-liberal transformation is heating up, but its outcome is far from clear. Continental Crucible examines the clash between the corporate offensive and the forces of resistance from both a pan-continental and a class struggle perspective. This book also illustrates the ways in which the capitalist classes in Canada, Mexico and the United States used free trade agreements to consolidate their agendas and organize themselves continentally
 
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  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.27 (from 0.07 for The Bob Lo ... to 0.99 for Our turn ...)

On the real side : laughing, lying, and signifying-- : the underground tradition of African-American humor that transformed American culture, from slavery to Richard Pryor
Alternative Names
Mel Watkins Political economist

Watkins, M.H.

Watkins, M.H. 1932-

Watkins, M. H. (Melville H.)

Watkins, Mel

Watkins, Melville H.

Watkins, Melville H. 1932-

Watkins, Melville Henry

Watkins, Melville Henry 1932-

Languages
English (61)

Covers
Stepin Fetchit : the life and times of Lincoln PerryAfrican American humor : the best Black comedy from slavery to todayWho killed Tiffany Jones? : a novelOn the real side : a history of African American comedyThe Bob Love story : if it's gonna be, it's up to me