Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Classic Bits: "Black Nationalist" by Richard Pryor

This week's classic bit comes from Pryor's 1978 album Big Ben The Blacksmith. The details on this record are very cloudy and the only thing on the internet I could dig up was from the wikipedia entry of Laff Records:

Pryor released only one album for Laff, Craps (After Hours), with his direct participation, then later signed a deal with the larger Stax label. Laff sued Pryor after Stax released That Nigger's Crazy in 1974; the case was settled when Laff gave Pryor his freedom in exchange for being allowed to compile albums from recordings they made with Pryor between 1969 and 1973.

In 2002 Richard Pryor and his wife/manager Jennifer Lee Pryor won the rights to all of Richard's Laff masters and raw tapes in a court case. The Pryors then gave free rein to Rhino Records to go through the tapes and make an anthology that included the entire Craps (After Hours) album and the best of other Laff releases. The results were released in 2005 on the 2-CD set Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974).

This explains the cheesy album cover and horrible editing of this record. Often the audience laughs and applauds uproariously in places that don't seem right and certain parts of a bit are simply cut out. But even so, in this bit Pryor mocks six different characters as they discuss religion on television and not even the Black Nationalist is safe.

So at the risk of looking like someone else taking advantage of Richard Pryor, here it is. This is a vinyl rip, so please excuse the scratchiness.

In 1994 the album was re-released on compact disc by Polygram/Island and in 2005 Pryor sued the Universal Music Group claiming that they were selling 11 of his recordings without actually owning the rights.

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