The story is well known of popular music in 1969. The utopian Woodstock festival, the murderous unravelling at Altamont. There was a third major festival that year which disappeared from collective memory. Until now.
US music producer Questlove has just released his film Summer of Soul - documenting the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It ran over six weekends that summer. A joyful celebration of black pride, black music.
All up, 300,000 people saw the biggest stars of black music,
Nina Simone, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, Fifth Dimension, Gladys Knight and The Pips, and many more.
The event was filmed, but the tapes sat in a basement for 50 years. It was a huge and successful event, but has been completely left out of our histories and memories of that memorable year.
Questlove hopes to change that,
AUDIO: Listen to some of the music from Summer of Soul.
Richard is a writer, podcaster, radio and TV broadcaster, an editor, and a lover of music. He tells the stories of how great songs are made, and of the people who make them.