Wattstax! "The Black Woodstock"

The legendary “black Woodstock” finally gets its due when a newly restored and digitally remixed “Wattstax,” Mel Stuart’s documentary of the epochal 1972 concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, receives its first-ever national broadcast. Featuring incendiary performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Staple Singers, the Emotions, the Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel— plus biting humor from a then little-known Richard Pryor — Wattstax is more than a concert film. It also captures a heady moment in mid-1970s, “black-is-beautiful” African-American culture, when Los Angeles’s black community came together just seven years after the Watts riots to celebrate its survival and a renewed hope in its future.

P.O.V.'s broadcast of “Wattstax” includes performances cut for legal reasons from the film’s original 1973 release — Isaac Hayes’s show-closing renditions of “Theme from Shaft” and “Soulsville.” The broadcast, a P.O.V. Classics presentation, coincides with the DVD release of “Wattstax — The Special Edition,” featuring bonus footage from the seven-hour concert and a remixed Dolby® 5.1 Surround-Sound track.

This was on PBS last night. A lot of fun, ya’ll! Richard Pryor is hilarious in
the interview bits and the music is killa. Must get the DVD…

The DVD of this has been out for nearly a year, and I recommend it highly. The Staples Singers are just incredible.

Very cool. I remember reading little bits and pieces about it as I was growing up.

The funky outfits and afros are amazing too!