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  1. #1

    This 1969 Music Fest Has Been Called ‘Black Woodstock.’

    From Rolling Stone Magazine.com:

    The Harlem Cultural Festival attracted everyone from Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone to Jesse Jackson and Marcus Garvey Jr., but quickly faded into obscurity. Fifty years later, a rediscovery is finally underway.

    In October 1969, the writer Raymond Robinson took to the pages of the New York Amsterdam News, the city’s leading black newspaper, to pose a question. That previous summer, Harlem’s Mount Morris Park had hosted a series of free Sunday afternoon concerts, known collectively as the Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured a startling roster of artists, including Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, the 5th Dimension, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.“The 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival was, indeed, a meaningful entity,” Robinson wrote, “but was it fully appreciated?”

    The series had been an unprecedented success, with combined attendance numbers (roughly 300,000) that nearly rivaled those of that summer’s other unexpected musical phenomenon, Woodstock, which took place 100 miles north. As was the case with Woodstock, a filmmaker — Hal Tulchin — had captured the entirety of that year’s Harlem Cultural Festival, confident that the combination of the music (Nina and Stevie) and the setting (a post-’68 Harlem reeling from the assassination of MLK) would add up to a feature-length film that could cement the series of uptown Manhattan concerts as generation-defining events.

    Read more here:
    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/black-woodstock-harlem-cultural-festival-history-859626/



  2. #2
    I read that article as well. The HCF is actually quite fondly remembered here in the NYC area but does merit remembering. I'd love to see whatever film they have; there are clips around on YouTube but I haven't looked them up in a while. A good post!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    I read that article as well. The HCF is actually quite fondly remembered here in the NYC area but does merit remembering. I'd love to see whatever film they have; there are clips around on YouTube but I haven't looked them up in a while. A good post!
    I've seen the Nina Simone and Pips sets, as well as a clip of Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples singing PRECIOUS LORD. But it would be great to see the rest of it as well.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    From Rolling Stone Magazine.com:

    The Harlem Cultural Festival attracted everyone from Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone to Jesse Jackson and Marcus Garvey Jr., but quickly faded into obscurity. Fifty years later, a rediscovery is finally underway.

    In October 1969, the writer Raymond Robinson took to the pages of the New York Amsterdam News, the city’s leading black newspaper, to pose a question. That previous summer, Harlem’s Mount Morris Park had hosted a series of free Sunday afternoon concerts, known collectively as the Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured a startling roster of artists, including Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, the 5th Dimension, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.“The 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival was, indeed, a meaningful entity,” Robinson wrote, “but was it fully appreciated?”

    The series had been an unprecedented success, with combined attendance numbers (roughly 300,000) that nearly rivaled those of that summer’s other unexpected musical phenomenon, Woodstock, which took place 100 miles north. As was the case with Woodstock, a filmmaker — Hal Tulchin — had captured the entirety of that year’s Harlem Cultural Festival, confident that the combination of the music (Nina and Stevie) and the setting (a post-’68 Harlem reeling from the assassination of MLK) would add up to a feature-length film that could cement the series of uptown Manhattan concerts as generation-defining events.

    Read more here:
    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/black-woodstock-harlem-cultural-festival-history-859626/


    Thank you for this Motown Eddie!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Thank you for this Motown Eddie!
    You're welcome Marv2. I hope that the footage from the event gets released on DVD/Blu-Ray so we can relive the Harlem Cultural Festival.

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