Following are five YouTube clips which appear to form the whole of NINA SIMONE’s blazing knockout masterpiece set at HARLEM FESTIVAL ’69.
Other performers at the Harlem Festival—six free weekend, outdoor concerts held at the Harlem end of Central Park in the summer of 1969—included Stevie Wonder, the Staples Singers, Sly and the Family Stone (click here to watch on YouTube), B.B. King, Mahalia Jackson, The Chambers Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Max Roach…the list goes on and on. It’s a host of magnificent artists, many at the peak of their powers, playing to a predominately black audience at a super-charged, awful-yet-hopeful moment in American history.
Makes you wonder: Why do we all know about Woodstock, but not about Harlem, which took place the same year?
After all, all of the performances were filmed by a professional crew led by director Hal Tulchin. But aside from four songs from Simone’s set, released in fall 2005 on a little-noticed dual-disk entitled The Soul of Nina Simone, which Arthur’s pseudonymous reviewers C & D went apeshit for way back in Arthur No. 20, none of this footage has ever been made commercially available in the United States.
Which is sad. Watch Simone’s remarkable, incendiary heart-soul-voice performance, especially the stunning “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and the closing “Are You Ready, Black People?” and you’ll see why…
Seems like that Smithsonian piece ends on a weird anti-accessibility note, considering the archivist source.
Pingback: YES I’M READY « GIRLS GUIDE TO ROCKING
Pingback: FORGET WOODSTOCK, PART TWO: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE at HARLEM FESTIVAL 1969 - professionally filmed, yet never commercially released | ARTHUR MAGAZINE - WE FOUND THE OTHERS
Pingback: Harlem Festival ‘69 « tastychemicals
Pingback: Arts + Letters Links for Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Veritrope
ah…love of my life…Nina of the voice piano and attitude…first heard first album never got over her…nobody does it better.
Hearing her sing young, gifted and black is truly something!
Pingback: Blue Monday « STEVENHARTSITE
Pingback: Happy Birthday to You | Mighty Writers
Thank God there was somebody as you that took the trouble to save such a masterpiece. if you have this for sale Pls. e-mail me. I hope that the number=just say I love him- would be included.
Please get the info re: how to get these recordings in whatever form they exist. The entire Harlem Festival represents other festivals we dont have recordings of that were the creativity of the Black Power Movement and the evolution of R&B and Soul. Let us know how we can support this movement to make a documentary history of this historical concert. Bless you for sharing.
Where can i purchase this?
Where can Ipurchase the entire concert?
Pingback: Nina Simone – Revolution | I WANT CRAYONS. 2012
Pingback: Nina Simone: To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story » CULTurMAG
Pingback: Nina Simone at the 1969 Harlem Festival | Harlem Arts Festival