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Paramount's Save The Children Will Open At An Area Theatre
Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children,” which opens ................ A ORGS er Theatre, is a celebration of life, in music and in narrative form, filmed at last year’s Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) exposition in Chicago.
It was there that the leaders of the black community gathered with the theme to Save the Children, with major performers donating their time and talents to raise money to help children throughout the world.
The motion picture, produced by Matt Robinson, directed by Stan Lathan with Clarence Avant as executive producer, features the musical power of Marvin Gaye, the Staple Singers, the Temptations, the Chi-Lites, the Main Ingredient, the O’Jays, Isaac Hayes, Zulema, the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, the Push Mass Choir, Albertina Walker, Loretta Oliver, Rev. James
Cleveland, Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, Sammy Davis, Jr., Roberta Flack, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jerry Butler, Brenda Lee Eager, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Nancy Wilson, the Jackson Five and Jackie Verdell. Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of Operation PUSH, is one of the many black leaders who make special appearances in this special film.
Among the songs performed in the film are “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Oh, Girl,” “Everybody Plays the Fool,” “Lean on Me,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “What’s Goin’ On?,” and “I’ve Gotta Be Me.”
The narrative for the film was written and spoken by Matt Robinson. Principal photography is by Charles Blackwell, Bob Fletcher, Robert Grant, Doug Harris, Rufus Hinton, Roy Lewis, Leroy Lucas and David Myers.
Roberta Flack's Musical Magic Helped To "Save The Children”
“When people ask me about the place where I was born, I like to say that two preachers came from Black Mountain. Billy Graham and I,” says black, beautiful singer Roberta Flack. “He preaches in his way and I preach my way.”
Roberta brings her musical magic as one of the top performers in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children,” which was filmed at the Black Exposition held in Chicago by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity).
A native of North Carolina, Roberta grew up in Arlington, Virginia, across the river from Washington, D.C. She was working for a master’s in music at Howard University when her father’s death cut short her studies and she went to teach at a segregated high school at Farmville, North Carolina. There being no money in the budget for a music teacher, she was hired to teach English and wound up doing both for 2800 pupils, at a total pay of $2800, or a dollar a year per kid, before taxes.
“A lot of those kids have gone on and finished not only high school but college and have master’s degrees,” Roberta says. “I like to think I had something to do with that.”
Back in Washington the year after, she passed her teacher’s exam and for the next eight years taught in district schools. Some
Jackie Verdell sings it out and blasts down the house in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.” The celebration of life filmed at last year’s Chicago Expo sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) brings together the greatest array of talent ever assembled together in one place at one time. Other top stars performing include Ramsey Lewis, Roberta Flack, Bill Withers, The Temptations, The Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye and Nancy Wilson. Opens in color ....................... at the POD ee ae cM Theatre.
Roberta Flack “kills them softly” with her song in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.” The celebration of life filmed at last year’s Chicago Expo sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) brings together the greatest array of talent ever assembled in one place at one time. Other top stars performing include Bill Withers, The Temptations, The Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes, Nancy Wilson and Ramsey Lewis. Opening in COlOr oo AGEN |. 6 oot ee
where along the line, she signed up for $20 a week to sing for the Sunday brunch crowd at a Georgetown pub. When a regulation was later passed to discourage moonlighting, Roberta opted for a career as a full-time performer.
By Christmas 1967, she was singing at Mr. Henry’s Upstairs, a Capitol Hill club whose owner, Henry Yaffe, had the Upstairs specially built to showcase his discovery. Celebrities from Washington and New York came to see her, including producer David Merrick. Then one night, jazz singer-pianist Les McCann came to check her out and was so impressed, he started her recording for Atlantic Records, his own label, which pressed her albums “First Take” and “Chapter Two.”
Called to sing at Expo 72, with Quincy Jones at the keyboard, Roberta came down with a bad cold. At the same time the producers were having troubles of their own, faced with the necessity of building a new stage and coping with the terrible acoustics at the old hall which in 1968 housed the Democratic National Convention. To their mutual relief, Roberta and “Save the Children” both made it.
The incomparable The Temptations blend music with magic in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.” The celebration of life filmed at last year’s Chicago Expo sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) brings together the greatest array of talent ever assembled in one place at one time. Other top stars performing include The Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack, Bill Withers and Ramsey Lewis. Opens in color ............. at the ........... Theatre.
Black Moses: Singer Isaac Hayes At Expo Because He Remembers
How Isaac Hayes made it from sharecropper’s kid to “Black Moses” (the name given him by a soul brother who once told him, “You are the Moses of the people —you lead us in music”) is the underlying beat that enlivens his spectacular stage presence, the ultimate tug beneath the cool singing voice.
In Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children” the potent power of Hayes’ musical genius is demonstrated in a live performance filmed at the Black Exposition held in Chicago by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity).
You don’t have to be black to read him; rapping or singing, he spells out his message. This is the Isaac Hayes whose “Hot Buttered Soul” sold millions of disks; the cat who with his “Shaft” score copped an Oscar and three Grammies; the bigtime kid from Memphis who joined the vast congregation of soul brohers and sisters at Chicago to put on his own show gratis for “Save the Children” because he remembers.
Born in 1942 at Covington, Tennessee, Hayes at five began singing in church choir lofts. Moving to Memphis at six, he divided his time between school and picking cotton on nearby plantations. When his folks, lacking rent, were compelled to move again, “Bubba,” as he was then called, slept in abandoned cars in a junkyard, doing odd jobs to make ends meet. “I used to dream, just dream,” he relates, “about being able to have a warm bed to sleep in and a nice square meal and some decent clothes to wear.”
A champ among recording artists, top soul singer and song writer (lyrics by David Porter), as well as vice president of Stax Records, Hayes today looks back upon the
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Isaac Hayes mesmerizes the audience with the boundless energy of his performing strength in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.” The celebration of life filmed at last year’s Chicago Expo sponsored by Operation PUSH brings together the greatest array of talent ever assembled in one place at one time. Other top stars performing include The Jackson Five, The Temptations, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack, Bill Withers and Ramsey Lewis. Opens in color ........... at the uuu. Theatre.
grinding poverty of his early years with mixed feelings. “I’m a good natured guy, but it’s hard not to get bitter when I see that there are kids still living in the conditions I once knew,” he says. “Nevertheless, I’m encouraged at the ability of young people of both races to communicate. Every time I sing at a college—be it white or black—I feel that things are going to be okay one day.”
Nancy Wilson Kept Her Expo Date
Nancy Wilson is a dedicated human being. She had promised to be part of the incredible musical line-up for the Black Exposition held in Chicago last year by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) with the theme “Save the Children.”
Days before her scheduled appearance, which is recorded on film in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children,” Nancy came down with a virus in Mexica City and doctors urged her to stay home and rest and not weaken her strength by flying all the way to Chicago.
But this was an important event for Nancy, a chance to help children, a chance to help humanity. She went to Chicago and the audience gave her a standing ovation.
Superstar Nancy Wilson came to New York fifteen years ago from Whiskey Run Road, Chillicathe, Ohio, there to break hearts with supper club and disk favorites like “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “You Can Have Him.” Capitol Records kept the albums rolling,
while Nancy Wilson became a headliner at the nation’s best show places.
Now 35, she makes her home at Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, in a dream house with a view of the Pacific from every room. She likes to cook and play chess with 10year-old Kacy, her son, from her first marriage.
Her concern for children prompted Nancy to visit high schools, to rap with kids and win them over with a concert. “I urge kids to finish school,” she says, “because without an education, I tell them, they are dead.”
As one who made it, she also has ideas about helping others in different lines and serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on Minority Businesses.
On tour in Mexico City, Nancy was sick in bed when called to Expo 72 and “Save the Children.” “I must go to Chicago,” she simply told a manager concerned for her health. Nancy kept her date.
Young Reverend Jesse Jackson Discusses “Save The Children”
Reverend Jesse Jackson, the dynamic young president of Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), which was founded some 18 months ago as an outgrowth of Operation Breadbasket, which in turn sprang from the Southern Christian Leadership Council, is delighted that his organization will be receiving its biggest exposure to date with the release of Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.”
The film is a musical-cum-documentary coverage of the Black Expo PUSH held in Chicago, a five-day celebration in which that city became, as Jackson calls it, “the black capital of the world, with people coming from all over to ‘come home,’ to ‘come together.’ ”
Jackson says the film captures major black performers at their peak, contributing their time and their talents as an expression of their belief in the black cause. “The best of our people came home that week,” notes Jackson.
As proud and enthusiastic about “Save the Children” as he is, Jackson also believes the film is an important one, both as a breakthrough vehicle for his people and also as a strong positive counterforce to the current trend of violence and negativism in black cinema. Regarding the black “image” in movies, Jackson says, “we had the image of blacks as buffoons and inferior people, and now we have the image of blacks as superior—jumping through windows and not getting cut, being shot with machine guns and not dying, being slicker than the law, God and man.”
Jackson decries the current black image strutting across the silver screen and sees danger in the flickering shadows from the projection booth. “I think this inundation of our community with images of slicksters, killers and hustlers is particularly dangerous inasmuch as people want to be like their
heroes,” he says angrily.
“When I was a kid, I saw ‘The Jackie Robinson Story’ and I really wanted to grow up to be like Jackie Robinson. The same with Joe Louis, who was another big hero. I wanted to be like him,” Jackson recalls.
“There are some things about ‘Save the Children’ that I think, are very significant,” Jackson continues. “Ossie Davis said the revolutionary breakthrough thing about it was that we borrowed $750,000. To be able to borrow such an amount of money to make a black movie represents a complete new option for decent producers. Before, many of them, like Ossie Davis, had written decent movies but couldn’t get any funding for them because nobody would engage in risk capital. Now PUSH has enough credibility in several circles to be able to open up avenues of finance.”
“Number two. Clarence Avant as a financial packager has now emerged as an executive producer. As a black man he was simply amazing in his ability to pull the right people together to make the film. Then take Matt Robinson. Except for his work on ‘Sesame Street,’ he’s been relatively obscure. He’s now produced a film. He’s a black man. Then there’s the director, Stan Lathan, another young black man.
“We defied a lot of the union excuses for locking blacks out of the technical end of moviemaking because for ‘Save the Children’ there were all black young people behind those cameras and working those long hours.
“Then of course, you know that some black artists, once they’ve made it big, are depicted as irresponsible and not interested in the black cause. ‘Save the Children’ should stop that way of thinking. For the performers in the film to have given their time—that was an expression of responsibility.”
Bill Withers, one of the countrys best-selling recording artists, shows why in Paramount Pictures’ “Save the Children.” The celebration of life filmed at last year’s Chicago Expo sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) brings together the greatest array of talent ever assembled in one place at one time. Other top stars performing include The Temptations, The Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack and Ramsey Lewis. Opens in color BR on at the .......................... Theatre.
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