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Cult Clip: Wattstax (1973)

I previously mentioned the great musical documentary Wattstax in my review of the new book The Notorious Ph.D.'s Guide to the Super Fly '70s. Wattstax is one the best concert films made in the seventies and if you enjoy good funk and soul music it's a must see movie.

Wattstax was an all-day concert put together in 1972 by the Stax record label. It was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots and hosted by Reverend Jesse Jackson. Over 100,000 people attended what would later be known as the "Black Woodstock," and they got to enjoy some amazing live performances by artists like The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes and Rufus Thomas.

This terrific clip from Wattstax features The Bar-Kays performing Son of Shaft for an audience of thousands. It's one of my favorite moments from the film. If you'd like to see more of Wattstax it's currently available on a special NTSC Region-1 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD at Amazon.

- Kimberly Lindbergs


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