1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

July 4 – 5

Pottawattamie Beach, Saugatuck, MI
1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival
ARTWORK: GARY GRIMSHAW
1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

Line up

  • MC5
  • SRC
  • Procol Harum
  • Muddy Waters
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Amboy Dukes
  • Rotary Connection
  • Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Bob Seger
  • Frost
  • The Stooges
  • Big Mama Thornton
1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

1969 #14

I reckon this as the 14th festival of the 1969 festival season. The main reason I’ve done these reviews is because for decades I ignorantly thought Woodstock was the only festival of 1969.

Sure, there was Altamont at the end of the year with its tragedy and the shibboleth that the “60s ended at Altamont.”

The 60s in its full meaning had hardly begun until 1965 and certainly continued into the early 70s at least.

The legacy of the so-called 60s is a topic for another time, another discussion.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

Faded festivals

The reasons why some festivals, despite stellar performers likely doing stellar performances, faded with the newspapers that had a few columns about them are not complicated.

1. The location was away from the mainstream media’s purview.
2. The promoters had not the foresight or finances to record or film their event.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

As much as Michael Shrieve and his “Soul Sacrifice” drum solo helped carve Santana’s performance onto the monument of rock history, the fact that Woodstock Ventures did have the foresight to record and film the festival with high quality equipment made Woodstock the historic event it is today.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

Stop stalling…

When am I going to start telling you about the Saugatuck Pop Festival? Unfortunately there’s not much to tell.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

Plea

So (not supposed to start sentences with “So…”) today’s blog is a request: do any of you have any information about the event? If so please comment and let me know and I’ll add what you contribute and give you credit for that contribution.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

For now

Alice Cooper

First: not listed but at the festival was Alice Cooper. In fact, one of the few things found about the festival is that the positive reception the band got at Saugatuck gave them the boost they had been looking for to continue as a band. [From The Original Glen Buxton site]

Gary Grimshaw
1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival
photo from the Grimshaw site

Second: Gary Grimshaw designed the poster. According to the bio at his site, “…Grimshaw (1946 – 2016) had a fifty-year carreer in the arts. He touched on many traditional disciplines and innovated new techniques. woven into his early and mid-career works are great examples of early underground comics.

1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival

 

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Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Birthday greetings

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

July 11, 1941
Jazz musician and…
Member of Keef Hartley Band at Woodstock

Thomas Henry Lowther was born in Leicester, England. “As a child Lowther learned trumpet from his father and took private violin lessons before going on to study with Manoug Parakian at London’s Royal Academy of Music.” (from All Music).

It has been a lifetime of music since then.

Of Woodstock he said, ““You know I played Woodstock as the first gig of an American tour with the Keefe Hartley band. The only other trumpet player at the gig was Sly Stone’s sister!”  (Jazz Wise magazine)


John Till and Louis Gasca with Janis, Steve Madaia and Keith Johnson with Paul Butterfield, and Chuck Winfield and Lew Soloff with Blood, Sweat and Tears might differ with his view, but we’ll just attribute Lowther’s error to that famous Woodstock Haze.

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Henry Lowther

           From  Vortex Jazz site: During the sixties Henry was one of the first musicians on the British jazz scene to experiment with total free improvisation, notably with Jack Bruce, Lyn Dobson and John Hiseman. He played with the original and seminal Mike Westbrook band (which included Mike Osborne and John Surman), and also with John Dankworth, including playing on the now legendary and rare Kenny Wheeler album “Windmill Tilter” while also working on occasions on the rock scene with musicians such as Manfred Mann, John Mayall and  Keef Hartley, with whom he appeared at the famous Woodstock festival in 1969.

          His work on the British jazz scene reads like a “Who’s Who”. He has played regularly with the likes of Gordon Beck, Michael Garrick, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Pete King, Loose Tubes, John Surman, John Taylor, Stan Tracey and Kenny Wheeler. 

Here is his All Music list of credits. You’re going to be here awhile!

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

After Keef Hartley

            After Lowther left Keef Hartley in 1970, he worked with dozens of different musicians including Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, and did the trumpet solo for Elton John on “Return to Paradise” in 1978.

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

From his own site

              In 1996, along with his great friend the great bass player Dave Green, Henry formed his own band Still Waters to enable him to pursue his increasing interest in composition. In 1997 Still Waters recorded an album, “ID”, on the Village Life label, to much critical acclaim

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

2018

In March, Still Waters released a new album: Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe. The personnel are: Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugel); Pete Hurt (tenor); Barry Green (piano); Dave Green (bass); Paul Clarvis (drums)

Of it, the Financial Times said, “The sturdy theme and somnolent harmonies of the opening title track have trace elements of a works’ brass band. But the melody has a quizzical edge, and elliptic splatters of percussion lie underneath. As the piece evolves, the trumpeter’s brassy certainty is interrupted by drummer Paul Clarvis’s off-kilter breaks. Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe is dedicated to cynics everywhere. As the album progresses, Lowther’s modern jazz quintet embroiders the trumpeter’s elegant and knowing compositions with unruffled emotions and filigree detail. Pete Hurt is a wispy-toned tenor sax foil to Lowther’s precise turn of phrase, and pianist Barry Green’s haunting impressionist voicings are underpinned by Dave Green’s pitch-perfect counterpoint bass.”

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther
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1969 Laurel Pop Festival

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

Laurel Race Course, Laurel, Maryland

July 11 & 12, 1969

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

Festival #18

The 18th festival of 1969. I realize that there were other 1969 music events such as jazz, country, and folk festivals, but I am limiting my ongoing coverage to what I generally refer to as rock festivals. I included the Newport Jazz Festival earlier in the month because it included several rock bands as well.

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

Nice line-up

The Laurel Hill Festival does not make the list of answers when we ask anyone, “Name a festival that happened in 1969.” If we said “Laural Pop Festival” to anyone, we likely  get a blank look.

The line up for that weekend suggests otherwise on both counts. We should know it. Look at the line up:

July 11

  • Al Kooper
  • Jethro Tull
  • Johnny Winter
  • Edwin Hawkins Singers
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Buddy Guy

July 12

  • Jeff Beck
  • Ten Years After
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Mothers of Invention
  • Savoy Brown
  • Guess Who

This post’s background audio mentions that five of the Laural Pop acts played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August.

Actually not.

Three did and I’ve underlined them. I again note that Johnny Winter played. The guy was indefatigable that summer!

Nick and Bobbi Ercoline

Perhaps the most iconic photo of Woodstock attendees (as opposed to Woodstock performers) is the picture of Nick and Bobbi Ercoline.

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

For Laurel Hill, we have John and Debbie. I suppose had Laurel Hill become as famous as Woodstock, we’d recognize themtoday, too.

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

The picture of John and Debbie is from a site that attendees have commented about their experiences there.

1969 Laurel Pop Festival

Wet ending

From the Baltimore Sun: Lost in the smoky haze of 1960s history is The Laurel Pop Festival held in July 1969, which was attended by 15,000 fans and offered an incredible lineup of some of the biggest pop performers of the year. Held just one month before Woodstock, The Laurel Pop Festival ended in controversy as rain-soaked fans built bonfires with wooden folding chairs and refused to leave as the concert dragged on into the early morning.

1969 Laurel Pop Festival
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