Rufus Thomas of "Walk the Dog" fame shows up, unfortunately he doesn't do "Walk the Dog" even though the back notes on the DVD box seem to indicate that he does. Instead he sings "Do the Push Pull," which does manage to get the audience up on their feet, either because of the suggestive repetition of the lyric or else Thomas's colorful costume: bright yellow shorts and shirt topped with a yellow cape. High white boots complete the outfit. Unlike Thomas Jerry Butler steps out in a traditional tuxedo, but unfortunately after Kennedy introduces him with a long list of all the great songs Butler had been associated with, he sings something called "Hey, Western Union Man."
The same thing happens with Percy Sledge who sings "You Had to be There" instead of "When a Man Loves a Woman." Freda Payne at least sings a lively version of "Band of Gold" and looks beautiful while she does it. There is also a black and white film of Otis Redding dancing with a crew of children to his "Satisfaction."
The highlight of the concert is Gladys Knight and the Pips. This is a woman that commands the stage. She exudes warmth. It is clear she loves what she's doing, and no matter how many times she has sung some of these songs, she still manages to make them fresh and exciting. "I Will Fight," "You Are the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me," "Save the Overtime" and of course "Midnight Train to Georgia" show her in top form and justifiably get members of the audience up on their feet before she's through.
While the sound on the DVD is good, the picture does show its age. Images are not always as sharp as we have come to expect from modern technology. Also cuts from the concert to the host are not always managed as seamlessly as one would like. The DVD does include biographical information about the performers and a convenient track listing to play individual songs.
In the end it’s the music that counts, and there is some mighty fine music here.