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Various Artists - The Living Word: Wattstax 2
Various Artists - The Living Word: Wattstax 2
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Various Artists - The Living Word: Wattstax 2

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Release Date 24/02/2023
Format 2LP
Label Craft Recordings
Catalogue Number 7245434

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Wattstax event that took place at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on 20th August 1972, Stax Records reissues “Wattstax: The Living Word 2”. These two LP’s are cut from the original tapes by Chris Muth and feature performances by The Emotions, Johnnie Taylor, Kim Weston, Isaac Hayes and more.

Wattstax was a benefit concert organized by Stax Records in conjunction with the Watt Summer Festival to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles. Attended by more than 100,000 people and lasting 7 hours, the concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972, and featured a mix of Soul, Funk and Gospel. It featured performances by Stax’s biggest artists with a line-up that included Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, the Bar-Kays and many more. Rev. Jesse Jackson was featured at the event, acting as MC for the day and opening the event with his often referenced ‘I Am Somebody’ speech. A 2-LP soundtrack of the concert’s highlights was releases several month later selling more than 500,000 copies just weeks after its release. This was followed in 1973 by the Mel Stuart directed concert film ‘Wattstax’ which features Richard Pryor as the host of the film and went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Documentary in 1974. In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. (Note: The film at the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress also includes an essay by Al Bell, the President/owner of Stax at the time of the concert).

Tracklist: 

LP1 - Side A
1 Jessie Jackson – Introduction
2 Kim Weston – Lift Every Voice And Sing
3 The Rance Allen Group – Lying On The Truth
4 Jimmy Jones – Someone Greater Than You And I
5 The Golden 13 – Old Time Religion
6 The Emotions – Peace Be Still

LP1 - Side B
1 Richard Pryor – Saturday Night
2 Richard Pryor – Blue Note
3 Richard Pryor – Back Room
4 David Porter Show – Introduction
5 David Porter Show – Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)
6 David Porter Show – Can't See You When I Want To
7 David Porter Show – Reach Out And Touch
8 David Porter Show – Finale
9 Richard Pryor – Arrest
10 Richard Pryor – Line Up

LP2 - Side C
1 Johnnie Taylor Show – Introduction
2 Johnnie Taylor Show – Steal Away
3 Johnnie Taylor Show – Stop Doggin' Me
4 Johnnie Taylor Show – Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone
5 Little Milton – Walking The Back Streets And Crying

LP2 - Side D
1 Richard Pryor – Niggers
2 The Emotions – Group Introduction
3 The Emotions – So I Can Love You
4 The Emotions – Show Me How
5 Richard Pryor – Negroes
6 The Dramatics – Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
7 Richard Pryor – Handshake
8 Mel & Tim – I May Not Be What You Want
9 Richard Pryor – Wino Get A Job
10 Isaac Hayes – Rolling Down A Mountainside

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