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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Summerfest 1976,  A Good Time for a Good Price.
Summerfest 1976, A Good Time for a Good Price.
Look who opened Summerfest in 1976.
Look who opened Summerfest in 1976.
Love the graphics on the poster.
Love the graphics on the poster.

Who were the headliners for Summerfest 1976?

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.

Talkbacks

GrumpyMarmot | Oct. 23, 2012 at 5:01 p.m. (report)

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.

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jakkalope | July 3, 2010 at 11:31 a.m. (report)

35403 That must have been when Summerfest was actually a good time.

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splitlipservice | July 2, 2010 at 4:54 p.m. (report)

35595 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!

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Nezrite | July 2, 2010 at 2:32 a.m. (report)

35236 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.

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mrjohn08 | July 1, 2010 at 4:18 p.m. (report)

Wow. I was at the July 3 Elvin Bishop show. Journey opened for him - pre Steve Perry.

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