Dramatics – What You See Is What You Get [1972)]

Footage of the Watts community of Los Angeles, California in 1972 set to The Dramatics’ “What You See Is What You Get”. That year the Memphis, Tennessee record label known as Stax decides to put on a great, big concert for the community to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots and black power, pride, culture, tradition and heritage struggle. The party and peaceful atmosphere of Wattstax was seen by some as “the African Americans answer to Woodstock”. Be it charity or benefit, in order to encourage as many members of the black Americans community in LA to attend the event at Memorial Coliseum, tickets were sold at a $1.00 each. Note that a dollar in the 70s was worth much more than it is today but was still inexpensive for an event of this scale or magnitude. Customs of the day included advertisements and commercials in play for the event. There have been several CDs with the recordings from this festival and also a documentary film. It was indeed a celebration to upstage all celebrations. 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. There was a film directed by Mel Stuart which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Documentary Film in 1974.


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