Summer Of Soul By Tyria GILMORE

Summer of soul

This was the Harlem cultural festival that took place from June 29 – August 24 in 1969. This festival had artists from the genres of Rock music, R&B, soul music, jazz, pop- music, and gospel. This event took place at Mount Morris park in Harlem New York. Tony Lawrence hosted this event and had a wide range of artist perform. Nearly 300,000 people attended this event. The New York City police department did not want to be security for this event so the Black Panther Party provided security instead. Over 40 hours of this event was recorded as well.

B.B. King (left) and The 5th Dimension at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969.


One of my favorite artist that performed was Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder was born on May 13, 1950 in Missouri. Stevie Wonder is a very diverse musician. The genres he has been included in is pop, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, etc. he is one is the best selling music artist of all time. Stevie Wonder became blind from being born premature. But he didn’t let that stop him so he began to play instruments at a early age. But the end of 1969 Stevie Wonder has released 10 albums. According to critics when Stevie performed at Summer of Soul he looked very young and handsome. During the show Stevie Wonder performed many cover songs such as “It Is Your Thing”. That song was a diss to Motown records because the Isley brothers felt as if they were getting ripped off.  This song pissed Motown records off and they tried to take Stevie Wonders 10 year worth of royalties because of this but couldn’t because the new contract Stevie signed gave him full control over his music. Stevie wonder left an impact on the Black community during that time because by him singing that song he was giving smaller artists a larger platform. And he had also brought awareness to issues artists were dealing with in the music industry.

Stevie Wonder in 1975.

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