Opening Slide Image

The 1960s and ’70s were a time when music became the voice of a new generation. Artists toured the country, spreading a new sound. Rock, blues, folk, and, R&B were all maturing and replacing the sound of the previous generation. The growing diversity of musical styles was felt all over the country, including the growing student population in Oshkosh.

 

 

Fleetwood Mac Poster  1973

Fleetwood Mac concert poster for 1973
UW Oshkosh SC 131


stagelayout

Stage layout for the group Lake
UW Oshkosh Unprocessed Collection

 

The university at Oshkosh during this time was experiencing unprecedented growth. In 1960, the campus student body was at 2,200, and it grew to 11,594 students by 1971. To house and educate these students, the campus underwent enormous expansion and added many new buildings.

 

Don McClean

Don McClean on campus in support of his #1 single "American Pie"
UWO Archives Image 72-46-#42

 

Prior to the 1960s, most musical acts performed in Albee Hall. After the construction of Kolf Sports Center and Titan Stadium, these two sites hosted many of the large and popular musical events. Acts including Jethro Tull, Rod Stewart, and Johnny Cash played at these venues. Titan Stadium even attracted the Grateful Dead, but the show was suddenly cancelled by a nervous University administration only days prior to a concert. Despite the new opportunities for larger shows, this "Golden Era" of music was not without its challenges.

 
 

John Prine poster

John Prine concert poster, 1973
UW Oshkosh SC 131

Some of the acts that performed on campus, 1960-1970:

-Johnny Cash, June Carter, Carl Perkins *Oct. 1962

-Kingston Trio *Oct. 1966

-The Kingsmen *Oct. 1967

-Simon & Garfunkel *Oct. 1967

-The Circus *Oct. 1968

-Blood, Sweat, and Tears *1969

-'Cannonball' Adderley *Nov. 1970

Johnny Cash Image

Johnny Cash performing on campus in 1972
UWO Archives Image 72-591-#11

Loggins and Messina poster

Kenny Loggins flyer
UW Oshkosh SC 131

In the 1970s, concerts became increasingly more expensive, and attendance at some did not cover the costs. According to the Advance-Titan at the time, Jean-Luc Ponty's jazz concert in 1978 lost close to $5,000. This large loss forced some soul searching on the part of student leaders. Could the campus support such big-name acts?

Some of the acts that performed on campus, 1970-1973:

-Lou Rawls *March 1970

-Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins *Oct. 1972

-Don McLean *1972

-Sha Na Na, Mason Profit *Oct. 1972

-The Carpenters *Nov. 1973

-Maynard Ferguson *Nov. 1973

-John Prine *Dec. 1973

-Fleetwood Mac, Blue Oyster cult *Oct. 1973

Seals Croft poster

Seals & Croft flyer
UW Oshkosh SC 131

 

Some of the acts that performed on campus, 1974-1976:

-Santana *Oct. 1974

-Three Dog Night *1974

-Wishbone Ash *1975

-Jethro Tull *Oct. 1975

-Rod Stewart *Oct. 1975

-Fenton Robinson *Oct. 1976

-Electric Lights & Orchestra *Feb. 1976

 
Certainly, the growing diversity of musical tastes made it difficult to find affordable acts that appealed to a large enough group of students. The economics of the music industry put big favorites like Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the bands students asked for, out of the question. Those that did play were still within budget but may not have been appealed to all students.

Carl Perkins

Carl Perkins performing on campus in 1972, backing Johnny Cash
UWO Archives Image 72-574-9A

. Wishbone Ash poster

Wishbone Ash concert poster for 1975
UW Oshkosh SC 131

 

Grateful Dead Ticket

A Grateful Dead ticket for the show that was canceled by the University only days before the show date.
UW Oshkosh Unprocessed Collection

UFO want list

UFO "must have" list for backstage
UW Oshkosh Unprocessed Collection
(Click image to make larger)

 

Some of the acts that performed on campus, 1974-1976:

-Larry Norman *Oct. 1976

-Chuck Mangione *Sept. 1977

-Poco, J. Geils, Muddy Waters *June 1977

-Jean-Luc Ponty, Luther Allison *Sept. 1978

-UFO *Oct. 1978

Other Featured Artists:

-REO Speedwagon, Foghat, Kingfish

-Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina

-Seals & Croft

Blue Oyster Cult image

Blue Oyster Cult as the opening act for Fleetwood Mac in 1973
UWO Archives Image 73-509-#1

  Today, University organizations such as Reeve Union Board (RUB) face these same problems. RUB strives to bring in musical acts that will appeal to college students but is hindered by the realities of money and popularity, making it impossible for top-40 acts to perform here…or on any college campus, for that matter. This all but assures that the 1960s and ’70s will remain the Golden Era of music on this campus.

 

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