Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 20 (July 18, 2021): 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival

Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 20 (July 18, 2021): 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival

This Week’s Theme: The 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival

Ms. Faux, Faux Junior, and I just watched the new documentary Summer of Soul on Hulu and after we watched it there was no doubt that I would make it this week’s theme. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it. I won’t go into much detail about the actual festival here, except to say that I can’t wait for all of the footage and audio to be released for public consumption. If any of you know Questlove, please tell him that the world would like full access to all of the festival content.

You can have all of the Woodstock you want, I’ll take this festival every time.

Welcome to Radio Faux Show number twenty.

First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.


Amazon Music

Theme selections for this week

I selected a sampling of artists from the documentary and I attempted to use songs performed during the festival as much as possible, including some live versions. The actual performances from the festival are not available for streaming but a lot of these songs are at least from the same period or from albums released by the artists at that time.

  • Stevie Wonder “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Dah-Day (Live)”
  • Mongo Santamaria “Watermelon Man”
  • Hugh Masakela “Grazing in the Grass”
  • Ray Barretto “Soul Drummers”
  • Chambers Brothers “Let’s Do It (Do It Together) – Live”
  • Sly and the Family Stone “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
  • Herbie Mann “Memphis Underground”
  • Max Roach “It’s Time”
  • 5th Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”
  • Staple Singers “This Little Light of Mine”
  • Edwin Hawkins Singers “Early in the Morning”
  • B.B. King “How Blue Can You Get (Live)”
  • Nina Simone “Mississippi Goddam (Live)” and “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black (Live)”

Highlights from the song list

That Stevie Wonder clavinet solo.

Any day you get to hear Nuyorican music is a good day.

BB King from one of the best blues albums of all time, Live in Cook County Jail.

Nina Simone. Instant highlight.

Max Roach. We all need to listen to more Max Roach.

Highlights from the documentary not included here

Stevie Wonder playing drums.

Every second of Sly and the Family Stone footage. Same for 5th Dimension.

The gospel, all of the gospel. Those performances are incredible. Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia Jackson with Mavis Staples. The gospel performances should be a documentary on their own.

The interviews with people who were in the audience and who performed. I wish they had replaced the inserts of people like Chris Rock and Sheila E with more footage of those people.

Artist of the Week: Ian “Stu” Stewart

Stu Stewart was a founding member of the Rolling Stones but was moved to road manager because he didn’t fit their image. Even so, he remained an integral member of the band until his death in the ’80s. He performed live with them whenever he felt like going on tour and his piano playing is all over their albums, especially any songs with a honky-tonk or boogie-woogie feel. My favorite quote from the Wiki entry on Stu comes from Bill Wyman’s autobiography: He refused to play in minor keys, saying: “When I’m on stage with the Stones and a minor chord comes along, I lift my hands in protest.” Maybe his look didn’t fit their early image, but that attitude is pure Rolling Stones!


  • Weeknd with Ariana Grande “Save Your Tears”
  • King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard “Yours”
  • BTS “Butter”


  • Hugh Masakela “Grazing in the Grass
  • Ace “How Long”
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
  • Martha Reeves and the Vandellas “Nowhere To Run”
  • Dion “Runaround Sue”
  • Talking Heads “Burning Down the House”
  • Chris DeBurg “Don’t Pay the Ferryman”
  • The 5th Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”

2 for “Two”day

Stu Stewart: From Led Zeppelin’s album Physical Graffiti, “Boogie With Stu” is named after him and features his trademark boogie woogie piano. The title track from the Stones album Let It Bleed may be the most Stu-influenced of all the Stones’ songs.

Nina Simone: Two live recordings – her classic civil rights anthem “Mississippi Goddam” and a song she wrote for the Harlem Cultural Festival, “To Be Young Gifted and Black.”

Happy Birthday (July 18)

Nelson Mandela: Thank you Specials for the most upbeat protest song ever written!

Thomas “Papa Dee” Allen: Percussionist for War, Papa Dee was the heart of this extremely underrated band.

Phil Harris: Lead guitar for Ace.

Stu Stewart: Artist of the Week

Martha Reeves: Reeves is one of the original queens of soul music.

Dion: Dion is one of the biggest stars of rock and roll’s early years.

Tim Lynch: Lynch is a founding member of the Flamin’ Groovies.

Let’s Take A Trip Around The World

South Africa

Hugh Masakela “Grazing in the Grass”: He is the father of African jazz and one of the most important anti-apartheid artists. A perfect selection on Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

Puerto Rico

Ray Barretto “Soul Drummers”: Ray Barretto is one of the original Nuyorican artists. I had never heard this song before, and now I can’t stop listening to it.


Mongo Santamaria “Watermelon Man”: He is one of the greatest percussionists in recording history. This is his biggest hit.

3 Chunks of Funk

All of this week’s funk tracks are from the Harlem Cultural Festival. They really need to release those performances. A collection of the funk songs would be amazing.

  • Chambers Brothers “Let’s Do It (Do It Together) – Live”
  • Sly and the Family Stone “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

Spending My Allowance: 45s I bought when I was a kid

  • Talking Heads “Burning Down the House”: You’ve got to love that record sleeve!
  • Chris DeBurgh “Don’t Pay the Ferryman”
  • ELO “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle”: This is actually the B-side to the single “Livin’ Thing”, but I played it much more than the A-side.

A Little Jazz

Herbie Mann “Memphis Underground”: The Herbie Mann footage in the documentary is a must see if only for the appearances of Sonny Sharrock on guitar and Roy Ayers on vibes. This song is the title track to Mann’s 1969 album, one of the best selling jazz albums of all time. The Memphis Underground album is an influential fusion of jazz and R&B. It was recorded at a R&B studio in Memphis and features Sonny Sharrock and Roy Ayers, as well as guitarist Larry Coryell.

Max Roach “It’s Time”: From his 1962 album of the same name.

Thanks for listening (and reading)!

Track List

TrackArtistSong Title
1Stevie WonderShoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Dah-Day (Live)
2The Weeknd (with Ariana Grande)Save Your Tears (Remix)
3The Special AKANelson Mandela
4Mongo SantamariaWatermelon Man
5Hugh MasakelaGrazing in the Grass
6Ray BarrettoSoul Drummers
7WarAll Day Music
8AceHow Long
9Led ZeppelinBoogie with Stu
10Rolling StonesLet It Bleed
11Chambers BrothersLet’s Do It (Do It Together) (Live)
12Sly and the Family StoneI Want to Take You Higher
13Gladys Knight and the PipsI Heard It Through the Grapevine
14Martha Reeves and the VandellasNowhere to Run
15DionRunaround Sue
16Talking HeadsBurning Down the House
17Chris DeBurghDon’t Pay the Ferryman
18Electric Light OrchestraMa-Ma-Ma Belle
19Flamin’ GrooviesTeenage Head
20King Gizzard and the Lizard WizardYours
22Herbie MannMemphis Underground
23Max RoachIt’s Time
245th DimensionAquarius/Let the Sunshine In
25Staple SingersThis Little Light of Mine
26Edwin Hawkins SingersEarly in the Morning
27B. B. KingHow Blue Can You Get? (Live)
28Nina SimoneMississippi Goddam (Live)
29Nina SimoneTo Be Young, Gifted, and Black (Live)

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