Gems from Wattstax (Circa 1972)

The Wattstax music festival took place on August 20, 1972, at the Los Angeles Collusium on the seven year anniversary of The Watts Riots. The festival was organized by the legendary Memphis record label, Stax Records. Tickets were priced at $1.00 each. Nearly the entire Stax artist/band roster performed at the festival. 100,000 people showed up for what was dubbed by many as the "Black Woodstock". The festival was a day of unity for the community of Watts who had been victimized and oppressed by Police which led to riots in August of 1965 in a act of resistance to the Police State and the diminished freedom and liberty people felt on the streets and in their neighborhoods.

A documentary film entitled WATTSTAX was released in 1973. All of the music and speeches from social activists was beautiful captured. One performance which was added to the documentary was not shot at the concert itself, but from a church in the heart of Watts. The first time I heard this track, tears streamed from my eyes. This is the real deal, gospel that will take you there.... all the way. Enjoy! Peace Love Groove, GC

The Emotions - Peace Be Still (Live church performance for Wattstax Documentary - 1972)

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Watching all of the film footage and hearing the music from the Wattstax festival is like entering some sort of funky soul & gospel music heaven.

Rufus Thomas performs Breakdown at Wattstax Festival (1972)

Movie trailer for Wattstax

Get the DVD of the entire festival at Wattstax.Com