On this day in music history: October 24, 1978 – “The…

On this day in music history: October 24, 1978 – “The Wiz” has its world premiere in New York City. The big screen adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross. A joint venture between Motown Productions and Universal Pictures, the thirty million dollar musical is written by Joel Schumacher (“Batman Forever”, “The Lost Boys”, “St. Elmo’s Fire”), produced by Rob Cohen (“xXx”, “The Fast And The Furious”), and directed by Sidney Lumet (“Serpico”, “Network”, “Dog Day Afternoon”), it features a score adapted and produced by Quincy Jones. It is filmed in New York City in the Fall of 1977, at the famed Astoria Studios, as well as on location at Coney Island and the base of the World Trade Center. Though the film is a critical and commercial failure upon its release, it is nominated for four Academy Awards and later becomes a cult classic. In spite of the films failure at the box office, the accompanying soundtrack album (released as a double LP set) is successful, being certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. “The Wiz” also marks the beginning of a long and successful working relationship between Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson which produces the albums “Off The Wall”, “Thriller” and “Bad”.