‘The Wiz’ Turns 30!

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Lost in all the hubub surrounding Michael Jackson‘s 25th anniversary Shriller Thriller project is the fact that another Mijac project is celebrating a huge anniversary in 2008. 

That’s right, the movie that had us believing that New York City subways were able to transform, that Richard Pryor was an anti-depressant-swilling phony, and that 30-year-old Diana Ross was a teenager–The Wiz–is turning 30 years old.

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Do you remember the two-disc soundtrack to the film, scored by Charlie Smalls and Quincy Jones?  Songs like “Believe in Yourself,” “You Can’t Win,” “Ease on Down the Road,” “Slide Some Oil to Me” and “Home” became part of every black household’s playlist. And when Mabel King, as the evil witch, said “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News,” best believe that became every black mama’s anthem.

My favorite track from the second disc was “A Brand New Day.”  Man, when that scene came up, and all those beautiful people started shedding those ugly uniforms, even at seven, I was proud to be black, y’all.

So let’s take a moment and give a huge SoulBounce salute to Diana, Mike, Rich, Mabel, Ted Ross, Nipsey Russell and Lena Horne, who were all part of a project that helped change the musical movie landscape. Join us as we raise a glass to one of the greatest movies Motown ever made–The Wiz.

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Now that’s some real black history. Word to Toto!

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