Richard Stamz, Pervis Spann, and Carl Wright: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Any More.

Blues & More was a local Chicago talk show on cable channel 25 during the 1980s and 1990s. It combined host and entertainment entrepreneur Pervis Spann’s offbeat sense of humor with music videos from R & B and blues artists.

In this 1994 episode of Blues & More, Spann talks with movie actor and performer Carl Wright and longtime Chicago radio personality Richard Stamz, about Stamz’s career across a changing entertainment industry.

Carl Wright was 59 at the time of the interview. During the 1950s, he performed as a dancer and comedian, in many clubs on the South Side of Chicago. In 1987, he joined Pervis Spann as co-host of Blues & More. He also made appearances in several movies, including Soul Food, Barbershop (1 & 2) and Big Momma’s House.

Spann was 61 at the time of the interview. He was nicknamed the “all-night blues man,” after hosting an 87-hour on-air sit-in to raise money for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s. Additionally, he became a concert organizer and producer. Notably, he brought Aretha Franklin to Chicago and gave her the nickname “Queen of Soul.” During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he hosted an overnight radio program on WXFM-FM 105.9. He was involved with WVON-AM 1690, first as a DJ then as owner, since the early ’60s. His daughter, Melody Spann-Cooper, is the current chair and chief executive officer of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, which owns WVON.

Stamz, who was 88 at the time of the interview, began his career after running away from home to work with Ma Rainey in the Rabbit’s Foot Minstrel Show during the late 1920s. He went on to become one of the first African American radio personalities, hosting his own radio program, Open the Door, Richard on WGES. Stamz went on to host his own TV program in the 1950s.

Pervis Spann died on March 14, 2022 at the age of 89. Carl Wright passed away at the age of 75, on May 18, 2007. Richard Stamz passed away at the age of 101, on June 12, 2007.

Long unavailable, Media Burn has saved and digitized five full episodes of Blues & More. Watch them at Media Burn.

 

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