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Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story

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by Michael Seth Starr

“[T]his book returns life to a well-deserving comedy legend”¦.This well-presented biography will be especially valuable to those who were not around when Foxx was at the top of his .”

 ““ Library Journal

                      MONTCLAIR, N.J. ““ In the eyes of most of America (certainly most of white America), Redd Foxx was an “overnight sensation,” materializing on television in 1972 at age 49 as the bow-legged, chest-clutching junkman Fred Sanford on the hit sit-com, Sanford and Son.

                      But, as Michael Seth Starr recounts in Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story (September 2011, Applause Books, $27.), Foxx arrived on the set of Sanford and Son as a street-smart, natural-born comic, who, through sheer talent, guile, and unbridled self-confidence, overcame a life of poverty in the slums of St. Louis to make his mark on three entertainment genres: stand-up comedy, recorded nightclub comedy, and, finally, television.

                      With the 1956 release of Laff of the Party, Foxx was crowned “King of the Party Records,” and his frank, trailblazing style opened the door for generations of African-American , including Dick Gregory, , , Eddie Murphy, and , but did little for his own career.   Shielded from mainstream (that is, white) both by the color of his skin and his refusal to tone down his act, Foxx eventually clawed his way up the show-business ladder, breaking through in and and appearing in a few films, before that first episode of Sanford and Son in January 1972 changed his life utterly.   Sanford and Son took Foxx to the pinnacle of television success, but it also proved to be his downfall.

                      Based on Starr’s interviews with dozens of Foxx’s friends, confidantes, and , Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story provides unique insight into this generous, brash, and vulnerable performer ““ a man Norman Lear described as “inherently, innately funny in every part of his being.”

CEO of RF Focus, Radio and Music Industry Veteran. Radio DJ, Programmer, Musician and Voice Talent. Graduated from Performing Arts in Buffalo, N.Y. and worked at the legendary KKBT (92.3 The Beat) during its nationwide heyday in the early 90s. Also worked for Stevie Wonder at KJLH.