© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

SoundTRAX: The Staple Singers from "Summer of Soul"

The poster for "Summer of Soul" has blocks of bright colors with silhouettes of artists performing.
Legacy Recordings
Searchlight Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

Is there anyone left who hasn't seen the sublime documentary Summer of Soul?

If that's you, remedy that immediately.

Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) covers the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and was directed by the Roots' Questlove.

I was stunned that a festival of this magnitude with a lineup that included the likes of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & The Pips and more, would be virtually unknown to most people— myself included.

Festival organizers tried in vain for decades to interest people in the footage and it literally sat in someone's basement for 50 years.

It's appalling to think the film could have been lost forever. Worse, that such a pivotal cultural moment in history could be completely forgotten.

Even Questlove had never heard about it, commenting:

"What would have happened if this was allowed a seat at the table? How much of a difference would that have made in my life? That was the moment that extinguished any doubt I had that I could do this."

Summer of Soul is pure joy from start to finish. The fashion, the message— it's all magical. But especially the music.

So today's SoundTRAX is The Staple Singers from Summer of Soul, with "It's Been a Change."

If the trailer doesn't make you want to see this, nothing will.