Wattstax Documents the “Black Woodstock” Concert Held 7 Years After the Watts Riots (1973)

Wattstax Picture Logokinopoisk.ru
By Josh Jones. Reblogged from Open Culture.

Recent events in Missouri have brought back painful memories for many of the brutal treatment of protestors by police during the Civil Rights Movement. Others see specters of the riots in cities like Detroit, Washington, DC, and the beleaguered Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder. These are battles we would like to think belong to the past, but in remembering them, we should also remember peaceful expressions of solidarity and nonviolent responses to persistent social injustice. One such response came in the form of a massive concert at the L.A. Coliseum put on by Memphis’ Stax records in 1972, seven years after the Watts riots. Featuring some of Stax’ biggest names— Isaac Hayes, Albert King, The Staples Singers, and more — the Wattstax music festival brought in more than 100,000 attendees and raised thousands of dollars for local causes, becoming known informally as the “black Woodstock.”

The idea came from West Coast Stax exec Forrest Hamilton and future Stax president Al Bell, who hoped, he said, to “put on a small concert to help draw attention to, and to raise funds for the Watts Summer Festival” as well as “to create, motivate, and instill a sense of pride in the citizens of the Watts community.” To make sure everyone could attend, rich or poor, the organizers sold tickets for a dollar each. Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, leading the thousands of concertgoers in a call-and-response reading of William H. Borders’ poem “I Am – Somebody.” There to film the event was Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The resulting documentary features incredible performances from Stax’ full roster of artists at the time (see a swaggering Isaac Hayes play “Shaft”). Despite security concerns from LA officials, still nervous about a gathering of “more than two black people” in one place, says Bell, the concert was a peaceful and joyously funky occasion: “you saw the Crips and Bloods sitting side by side—no problems.”

The film intercuts concert footage with man-on-the street interviews and “trenchant musings” from a then little-known Richard Pryor, who offers “sharp insight into the realities of life for black Americans, circa 1972.” It’s a moment of “get-down entertainment, raised-fist political rally, and stand-up spiritual revival” characteristic of the post-Civil Rights, Vietnam era movement, writes the PBS description of Wattstax. Unfortunately, the documentary “was considered too racy, political, and black to receive wide theatrical release or television broadcast” despite a “noted” Cannes screening and a 1974 Golden Globe nomination. It’s been a cult favorite for years, but deserves to be more widely seen, as a record of the hope and celebration of black America after the rage and despair of the late-60s. The messages of Wattstax still resonate. As Bell says, “forty years later, I hear African Americans in the audiences reacting the same scenes, the same way they did forty years ago.”

0888072305205xr

Advertisements

BILL WITHERS LIVE AT THE BBC, 1973 (FULL CONCERT)

BILL WITHERS

* * * * *

You might also enjoy:

74301230_10
BILL WITHERS, The Essential (2 CDs) 
DOWLOAD TORRENT

CD1
01 – Better Days (Theme from Man and Boy).mp3
02 – Ain’t No Sunshine.mp3
03 – Harlem.mp3
04 – Grandma’s Hands.mp3
05 – Hope She’ll Be Happier.mp3
06 – Better Off Dead.mp3
07 – Lonely Town, Lonely Street.mp3
08 – Let Me in Your Life.mp3
09 – Who Is He (And What Is He to You).mp3
10 – Use Me.mp3

CD2
01 – Family Table.mp3
02 – The Best You Can.mp3
03 – Hello Like Before.mp3
04 – I Wish You Well.mp3
05 – Don’t You Want to Stay.mp3
06 – I’ll Be With You.mp3
07 – My Imagination.mp3
08 – Lovely Day.mp3
09 – I Want to Spend the Night.mp3
10 – Tender Things.mp3

DOWLOAD TORRENT

 

Mark Sandman before Morphine: listen to Treat Her Right’s self-titled album from 1986…

Mark Sandman Trat

I’m a huge fan of Morphine (I mean the band, not the drug). Albums like Cure for Pain (1993) and Yes (1995) became some of my most cherished companions since the day I’ve discovered them. And more than a decade listening to them have not diminished the excitement those songs – and that awesome sax sound… – arouse in me. With a sax that sounds so damn cool as Dana Colley’s does, who needs guitars? When I first heard Mark Sandman’s voice, I was sure he was gonna become one of my favorite singers ever, and that he could do stuff I’ve only heard in masters such as Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Graham Parker. Well, for those of you who haven’t yet been acquainted with the life and art of Mr. Mark Sandman (1952-1999), I would strongly recommend checking this out: here’s the full Sandman discography for download (including B-sides and lesser-known projects… this torrent is truly precious!). The intention of this post is only to invite you to dive deep into the music – and also to share a rarity I’ve uploaded to Youtube: Mark Sandman’s band before Morphine, Treat Her Right, whose self-titled album from 1986 is a must-listen for anyone who’s interested in rhythm & blues, rock and roll, and intense musical sensations. So here it goes:

01) I Think She Likes Me (3′ 39)
02) I Got A Gun (3′ 37)
03) Everglades (3′ 35)
04) Square (3′ 41)
05) Trail Of Tears (3′ 41)
06) Jesus Everyday (3′ 56)
07) You Don’t Need Money (3′ 17)
08) Don’t Look Back (3′ 36)
09) An Honest Job (2′ 47)
10) Bringin’ It All Back Home (2′ 48)
11) Where Did All The Girls Come From? (4:11)

Group Members: Billy Beard, Billy Conway, David Champagne, Jim Fitting & Mark Sandman.

Similar artistis: Violent Femmes, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, J. J. Cale, Uncle Tupelo, Tragically Hip.

Also check some similar albums.

dvd-morphine-cure-for-pain-the-mark-sandman-story-legpt_MLB-F-4362820707_052013

“Cure For Pain – The Mark Sandman Story” (brilliant documentary!) – DOWNLOAD

You might also like: