Staples, Lambert & Honey Cone

Originally posted August 6, 2009

So what pops up at YouTube this morning?

Here’s a video of the Staple Singers performing “Respect Yourself” at the 1972 Wattstax music festival, which took place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The festival, notes Wikipedia, was “organized by Memphis’ 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.”

I think – but don’t know for sure – that the video is pulled from the film Wattstax, a documentary by Mel Stuart that focused on the festival and, as Wikipedia notes, “the African American community of Watts in Los Angeles.” Wikipedia adds, “In the film, interspersed between songs are interviews with Richard Pryor, Ted Lange and others who discuss the black experience in America.” (Richard Pryor’s fame still shines; for those who don’t remember, Ted Lange’s fame came from playing Isaac Washington, the bartender, on the television series The Love Boat.)

Video unavailable.

Yesterday, I posted “Bags and Things,” the title track to Dennis Lambert’s 1972 album. This morning, I found a video of Lambert performing “It Only Takes A Minute” in March 2008 at Hollywood’s Viper Room. It turns out – and I might have been one of the few out of the loop on this one – that Lambert co-wrote (with Brian Potter) “It Only Takes A Minute,” which was a No. 10 hit for Tavares (No. 1 on the R&B chart) in 1975.

Here’s a look at Honey Cone dancing and lip-synching their hit (No. 15) “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show Part I” on a 1972 episode of the The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.

Video unavailable.

One of the songs I posted yesterday, “All These Things We Dream” by the Living Daylights, has been downloaded less than any of the other five. Noticing that last evening, I pulled the group’s self-titled CD from the stack and dropped it in the player. I still like almost all of it, and as the CD seems to be out and print and I am persistent, I’ll be offering the entire CD tomorrow, hoping to persuade at least a few of you to give a listen to an unknown group who put out a very, very good album in 1996. See you then!

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