Friday, March 16, 2012

Video Scenes From Wattstax R&B Concert (1972)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information & selected videos of the 1972 Wattstax Concert.

The videos in this post are showcased for their historical, folkloric, educational, aesthetic, and entertainment values.


"Wattstax is a 1973 documentary film by Mel Stuart that focused on the 1972 Wattstax music festival and the African American community of Watts in Los Angeles, California...

The concert was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 20, 1972, and organized by Memphis's Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Wattstax was seen by some as "the Afro-American answer to Woodstock". To enable as many members of the black community in L.A. to attend as possible, tickets were sold for only $1.00 each. The Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, which included his "I Am - Somebody" poem, which was recited in a call and response with the assembled stadium crowd. In the film, interspersed between songs are interviews with Richard Pryor, Ted Lange and others who discuss the black experience in America."

A complete listing of the performers and their songs is found on that Wikipedia page.

(These videos are posted in no ranking order.)

Video #1: WATTSTAX - Original Trailer Film (1972 "Black Woodstock" Concert, Memorial Coliseum L.A.)

Uploaded by DJDonBozo on Jan 25, 2009

The original "WattStax" theatrical trailer for '73 film of the historical event "Black Woodstock" held in 1972 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

"An extraordinary film that has percolated under the public radar. A must for music fans" ...Copyright 1972, 2001 Fantasy Inc. Available on 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD

Copyright 2004 Saul Zaentz Company, Warner Bros - All Rights Reserved

WARNING: 1:01-1:09 (Richard Pyror clip) includes the use of the "n word".

Video #2: Rufus Thomas-"Breakdown" & 'Funky Chicken' LIVE @ WATTSTAX 1973

Uploaded by ianwoodsman on Nov 25, 2011

Video #3: The Staple Singers Respect Yourself Live Filmed Performance 1972

Uploaded by banach78 on Jun 26, 2011

Video #4: Son Of Shaft - The Bar-Kays @ Wattstax

Uploaded by psedooo on Jul 30, 2011

Video #5: Isaac Hayes - Shaft (Live at Wattstax '72)

Uploaded by Jazzrotique on Apr 27, 2011

The concert was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 20, 1972. This was also Isaac Hayes' 30th birthday.

My thanks to all the performers, the producers of this film, and to the video uploaders.

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