I got a framed poster of the Summerfest lineup from 1976 as a gift recently. It's pretty cool and a great reminder of the history, character and coolness of Milwaukee's "World's Largest Music Festival."
As you probably know, the Summerfest idea was came from Mayor Henry Maier and the first event was held in 1968. Some of the first headliners? Ronnie Dove, Up with People and The New Colony Six. Don't worry, I don't really know who any of these acts are, either. But, I do know that Summerfest's long, rich history is laced with many of the biggest names in music.
Who were 1976's Summerfest headliners? Here's what my poster says. By the way, it was a 12-day festival then.
June 30: Tony Bennett with Torri Zito, music director
July 1: War
July 2: Judy Collins
July 3 : Elvin Bishop
July 4: Helen Reddy and Quiffy
July 5: John Sebastian and Valdy
July 6: Ohio Players and Charles Earland
July 7: The Spinners and The Shotgun Band
July 8: Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge
July 9: The Band and Leon Redbone
July 10: The Outlaw Music Festival featuring Waylon Jennings and the Wayors, Jessie Colter and Tompall and his Outlaw Band
July 11: Bobby Vinton and Hank Garcia
Browsing the rest of the stages (Miller High Life Jazz Oasis, Pabst International Festival, Schlitz Country USA, Comedy) names like Billy Crystal, Sigmund Snopek III, Maynard Ferguson, John Hiatt, Woody Herman and Koko Taylor stand out.
splitlipservice, thank you so much for your post! I could never remember when that concert was was. That was without a doubt the best concert I ever saw. Everyone just kept playing until well after the entire place had closed down, and when we left the grounds were essentially deserted.
On the Miller Jazz Oasis the night of July 3rd, 1976, the Brecker Brothers were the headliner. Their show went on well past Elvin Bishop on the main stage, so Elvin came over to the jazz stage and jammed for 40 minutes with the Breckers. It was something never duplicated!
I think it was 1980, or 1981, that I called in to work at UW-Madison with "car trouble" so we could catch Aretha Franklin's second day on the Main Stage.
I don't miss un-paved walkways where "considerate" merchants gapped water-filled rivulets with planks or pallets.
Wow. I was at the July 3 Elvin Bishop show. Journey opened for him - pre Steve Perry.
Show me the other Talkback
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