Thursday, March 05, 2009

Freedom Hall's Golden Age of Rock : The Seventies (Note this is Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tennessee NOT Louisville, Ky.!!)


When it opened in the summer of 1974 Johnson City's Freedom Hall rocked.

Okay, the first act didn’t rock: that was comedian Bob Hope who opened Freedom Hall on July 5, 1974. But he was certainly a big name act. And by fall 1974 the place was jumping from all the rock and rollers rumbling through: Alice Cooper, KISS, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Doobie Brothers, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, REO Speedwagon, Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band. And that was just the first year!

The seventies were probably the golden age of rock and roll tours. And when Freedom Hall opened we finally got our own arena in upper east Tennessee. We no longer had to drive to Knoxville or Asheville or Charlotte to see big name acts. They came here: Elvis! The Eagles! Bruce Springsteen! The Beach Boys! Tom Jones! Engelbert Humperdinck!

You should have been here.

David Miller and I, who attended many, many of those shows, have been scouring old issues of the Times News to come up with this list of all the big name acts that played at Freedom Hall in the seventies. By our count there were 183 big time acts who played Freedom Hall in that five year period! I can’t promise it’s complete but it’s close. I have included ticket prices where we could find them.

(This post is about Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tennessee not Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.)

Freedom Hall opened on July 5, 1974
July 5, 1974 - Bob Hope w/Karen Stanton and the Bowers Family - $10, $8, $6
Aug. 10, 1974 - Frankie Vali and the Four Seasons - $6, $5, $4
Sept. 28, 1974 – Earl Scruggs Review
Oct. 4, 1974 – Mac Davis - $6.50, $5.50, $4.50
Oct. 18, 1974 – J. Geils Band w/REO Speedwagon - $5
Nov. 8, 1974 – Mountain w/Atlanta Rhythm Section - $5
Nov. 26, 1974 – Black Oak Arkansas w/Foghat and The Stampeders - $6
Dec. 7, 1974 – Doobie Brothers
Jan. 4, 1975 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive w/Bob Seger
Feb. 17, 1975 – Joe Walsh w/Charlie Daniels Band - $5
March 8, 1975 – Marshall Tucker Band w/REO Speedwagon
March 11, 1975 – Guy Lombardo - $6, $5, $4
March 22, 1975 – Lynnrd Skynnrd w/Sensational Alex Harvey Band - $5
March 28, 1975 – Johnny Winter w/James Cotton Blues Band - $5
April 19, 1975 – ZZ Top w/Status Quo - $6
April 21, 1975 – Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
April 24, 1975 – KISS (3,000 attendance) w/Rush and Heavy Metal Kids
May 2, 1975 – Porter Waggoner w/Barbara Lea and Speck Rhodes - $5
May 10, 1975 – America w/Captain - $6
May 17, 1975 – Linda Ronstadt w/Al Stewart - $6
May 27, 1975 – Alice Cooper w/Suzi Quatro - $6
May 31, 1975 – John Prine
June 25, 1975 – Peter Frampton w/Montrose - $5
June 27, 1975 – Sonny Payne Trio - $4
July 4, 1975 – Merle Haggard w/Ronnie Reno and Leona Williams - $6, $5
July 15, 1975 – Electric Light Orchestra w/Slade and Pavlov’s Dog - $5
Aug. 4, 1975 – Eagles w/Poco
Aug. 21, 1975 – Jethro Tull w/Sensational Alex Harvey Band - $7
Aug. 30, 1975 – Uriah Heep w/Blue Oyster Cult
Sept. 19, 1975 – Marshall Tucker Band w/Wet Willie and Heartsfield - $5.50
Oct. 1, 1975 – Aerosmith w/Ted Nugent - $6.50
Oct. 10, 1975 – Four Seasons
Oct. 15, 1975 – Rod Stewart w/Faces
Oct. 22, 1975 – Black Oak Arkansas w/Foghat and Montrose - $5.50
Nov. 5, 1975 – Edgar Winter Group w/Rick Derringer, J. Geils Band and Climax Blues Band - $5.50
Nov. 9, 1975 – Lettermen - $6.50, $5,50
Dec. 6, 1975 – Black Sabbath w/Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Ruby Starr & The Grey Ghost - $5.50
Dec. 27, 1975 – Charlie Daniels Band w/Atlanta Rhythm Section and Grinderswitch - $6.50
Jan. 10, 1976 – REO Speedwagon w/Bob Seger and Styx - $5.50
Jan. 29, 1976 – Vienna Boys’ Choir - $5
Jan. 31, 1975 – Deep Purple w/Ted Nugent and Nazareth - $5.50
Feb. 13, 1976 – Van Cliburn - $5
Feb. 28, 1976 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive w/REO Speedwagon and Trooper - $6.50
March 13, 1975 – Joe Cocker w/Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Point Blank - $6.50
March 18, 19 and 20, 1976 – Elvis - $12.50, $10 (sold out all 22,000 seats for the three shows)
April 2, 1976 – Neil Sedaka - $6.50
April 20, 1976 – Bruce Springsteen - $5.50
May 14, 1976 – President Gerald Ford – 9 a.m. - free
May 14, 1976 – Santana w/Ted Nugent and Star Castle - $5.50
May 31 – Yes w/Pousette Dart Band
June 22, 1976 - Nazareth w/Elvin Bishop & Ian Gillan - $5.50
July 19, 1976 – KISS w/Bob Seger Silver Bullet Band - $6
Aug. 16, 1976 – Doobie Brothers w/Heart - $6
Sept. 2, 1976 – Robin Trower w/Angel - $7
Oct. 10, 1976 – Donald Byrd & the Blackbyrds w/Dorothy Moore and Chocolate Milk - $7, $6
Oct. 13, 1975 – Aerosmith and Ted Nugent w/Rush - $5.50
Oct. 19, 1976 – Frank Zappa and the Mothers - $6
Oct. 15, 1976 – John Denver (Democratic fundraiser) - $100, $25, $10
Oct. 29, 1976 – Blue Oyster Cult w/Mothers Finest and The Ramones - $6
Nov. 9, 1976 – Seals and Croft - $6
Nov. 21, 1976 – Leon Russell w/Thunderbyrd starring Roger McGuinn - $6
Dec. 4, 1976 – Jerry Lee Lewis w/Jeanne Pruett and Ronnie Dove - $6, $5
Dec. 10, 1976 – Kansas w/Sea Level and Starcastle - $6
Jan. 15, 1977 – Charlie Daniels Band w/Elvin Bishop and Cate Bros. - $6
Jan. 29, 1977 – Marshall Tucker Band w/Pure Prairie League - $6
Feb. 12, 1977 – Waylon Jennings - $7, $6
Feb. 18, 1977 – Boston w/Atlanta Rhythm Section - $6
Feb. 19, 1977 – Elvis Presley - $15, $12.50
Feb. 26, 1977 – KISS w/Dictators - $6.50
March 11, 1977 – Willie Nelson w/Jerry Jeff Walker and Steve Young - $6.50, $5.50
March 19, 1977 – Dolly Parton w/Parker McGee - $7, $6
April 2, 1977 – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band w/Starz - $7, $6
April 15, 1977 – ZZ Top - $7
April 22, 1977 – Jerry Reed & George Jones - $6.75, $5.75
May 4, 1977 – Tom Jones - $9, $8
May 6, 1977 – Gregg Allman - $7, $6
May 19, 1977 – Foghat w/Styx and Head East - $6
May 30, 1977 – Ted Nugent w/Nazareth and Michael Stanley Band - $6
June 18, 1977 – Dan Fogelberg w/Fools Gold - $7, $6
June 27, 1977 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer - $8
July 4, 1977 – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Farewell Tour - $7, $6
July 6, 1977 – REO Speedwagon w/Black Oak Arkansas and Judas Priest - $6
July 20, 1977 – Captain & Tenille w/Kip Addotta - $7.50, $6.50 – Cancelled
Aug. 19, 1977 – Bad Company w/Climax Blues Band - $6
Aug. 23, 1977 – Willie Nelson w/Emmylou Harris - $7, $6
Sept. 23, 1977 – Jimmy Buffet w/Jesse Winchester - $7, $6
Oct. 4, 1977 – Tom Jones - $9, $8
Oct. 8, 1977 – Heart w/Sanford Townsend Band - $6
Oct. 13, 1977 – Ferrante & Teicher - $7.50, $6.50
Oct. 21, 1977 – Kenny Rogers w/Stella Parton and T.G. Sheppard - $7, $6
Oct. 29, 1977 – Robin Trower w/Ram Jam and Crawler - $6
Nov. 11, 1977 – Beach Boys - $7
Nov. 12, 1977 – Tom T. Hall w/Jean Shepard and Jerry Clower - $7
Nov. 19, 1977 – England Dan and John Ford Coley - $7, $6
Nov. 24, 1977 – AC/DC w The Motors and UFO
Dec. 3, 1977 – Edgar Winter’s White Trash w/Charlie Daniel’s Band and Wet Willie
Dec. 8, 1977 – Ronnie McDowell - $5
Dec. 10, 1977 – Styx w/April Wine - $7
Jan. 27, 1978 – Bob Barker’s Fun and Games - $6
Feb. 4, 1978 – Charlie Pride w/Dave and Sugar - $7, $6, $5
Feb. 22, 1978 – Engelbert Humperdinck - $10, $9
March 10, 1978 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer - $7
March 11, 1978 – Waylon Jennings w/Jessi Colter - $7, $6
March 15, 1978 – The Lettermen - $7.50. $6.50
March 17, 1978 – Rush w/The Babys and Pat Travers - $6
March 18, 1978 – Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn - $6.50, $5.50
April 1, 1978 – J.D. Sumner - $6, $5
April 7, 1978 – Blue Oyster Cult w/Angel and Godz - $7
April 14, 1978 – Willie Nelson w/Emmylou Harris - $8, $7
April 20, 1978 – Ronnie Milsap w/Eddie Rabbit - $7.50, $6.50
April 29, 1978 – Journey w/Montrose – $6
May 19, 1978 – Larry Gatlin - $7
June 3, 1978 – Foreigner w/Head East - $7
June 23, 1978 – REO Speedwagon w/Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio, Cozy Powell, Nantucket - $7
July 4, 1978 – B.J. Thomas - $7.50, $6.50
July 7, 1978 – Johnny Paycheck w/R.C. Cannon - $6, $5
July 12, 1978 – Kansas w/Dudek Finnegan Krueger Band - $7
August 18, 1978 – Seals & Croft w/Eddie Money - $7.50, $6.50
Sept. 1, 1978 – Doobie Brothers w/Wet Willie - $7
Sept. 9, 1978 – AC/DC w/Cheap Trick and The Dictators - $5
Oct. 13, 1978 – Harlem Globetrotters - $6, $5
Oct. 14, 1978 – Outlaws w/Pat Travers - $7
Oct. 21, 1978 – Ferrante & Teicher - $8, $7
November 2, 1978 – Kenny Rogers w/Eddie Rabbit and Dottie West - $7.50, $6.50
Oct. 28, 1978 – Bob Seger Silver Bullet Band
Nov. 3, 1978 – Charlie Daniels Band - $6
Nov. 9, 1978 – Chicago - $8.50
Dec. 2, 1978 – Statler Brothers w/Barbara Mandrell - $7.50, $6.50, $5.50
Dec. 26, 1978 – Atlanta Rhythm Section w/Ambrosia $6
Jan. 6, 1979 – Styx w/Cindy Bullens - $7
Jan. 24-25, 1979 – Red Skelton - $12, $10
Jan. 27, 1979 – Boston w/Sammy Hagar - $7
Feb. 2, 1979 – Heart w/Firefall - $7
Feb. 10, 1979 – Merle Haggard w/Marty Robbins - $8, $7
March 3, 1979 – Sha Na Na - $7.50, $6.50
March 16, 1979 – Waylon Jennings w/Buddy Holly’s Original Crickets - $8, $7
March 17, 1979 - Rush w/Angel - $7
March 23, 1979 – Charlie Pride - $7.50, $6.50
April 5, 1979 – Don Williams w/Charlie McCoy and Barefoot Jerry $7.50, $6.50
April 7, 1979 – Eddie Rabbit w/Gail Davies - $7.50
April 14, 1979 – Black Oak Arkansas w/Stillwater and Brownsville Station - $6.50
April 17, 1979 – Eric Clapton w/Muddy Waters - $7.50
April 27, 1979 – Cheap Trick w/TKO - $6.50
May 5, 1979 – Tom Jones w/Freddie Roman $12, $10
May 11, 1979 – Mahogany Rush w/Blackfoot and April Wine - $7
May 12, 1979 – Willie Nelson w/Leon Russell - $8, $6
May 19, 1979 – Oak Ridge Boys w/Emmylou Harris - $8, $7
June 5, 1979 – Lawrence Welk - $8.50, $7.50
June 16, 1979 – Nazareth w/Mahogany Rush - $7
July 7, 1979 – England Dan & John Ford Coley w/Counterphase - $8, $7, $6
July 27, 1979 – Molly Hatchet
Aug. 24, 1979 – Blackfoot w/Nantucket - $4
Sept. 14, 1979 – Moe Bandy w/Joe Stampley - $6, $5
Sept. 22, 1979 – Little River Band
Sept. 28, 1979 – AC/DC w/Sammy Hagar and Mothers Finest
Oct. 6, 1979 – Johnny Paycheck w/Bellamy Brothers
Oct. 20, 1979 – Blue Oyster Cult w/Rainbow - $7 plus 50 cents parking
Oct. 26, 1979 – Peter Frampton w/Pat Travers and Mothers Finest $8 plus parking
Nov. 3, 1979 – Larry Gatlin - $7, $6
Nov. 17, 1979 – Conway Twitty w/Ronnie McDowell - $8, $7
Nov. 23, 1979 – Harlem Globetrotters - $6, $5
Nov. 24, 1979 – REO w/Ronnie Montrose - $7
Nov. 30, 1979 – Statler Brothers w/Barbara Mandrell - $8, $7
Dec. 8, 1979 – Foreigner w/Wet Willie and Nantucket - $8
Dec. 14, 1979 – ZZ Top w/Point Blank - $8
Freedom Hall kicked off the eighties with teen idol Rex Smith (“You Take My Breath Away”) on Jan. 11, 1980. Tickets were $8 and $7.

Rock and roll didn’t suddenly cease coming to Freedom Hall with the advent of the eighties. Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Van Halen and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons all performed in 1980. But David and I had to draw the line somewhere. If you want a list of eighties acts, you’ll have to make your own. Count on spending four hours per year searching microfilm.

18 Comments:

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Ray said...

And you knew you were at a KISS concert when the girl walking across the parking lot in front of you threw up, right?

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love to see a list of '80's concerts.

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

I would love to see the 80's concerts,too. Please!!!!

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list of shows!! It helped jar the cobwebs...I have a lot of stubs from that era and saw you may have missed a couple of events: 3-10-79 - Triumph and the 7-27-79 - Molly Hatchet was preceded by Henty paul Band and opened with The Rockets. Thannks for making this available for us braindeads.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger RoyLFlush said...

Vince 1- heck of a job
i got a 21& 18yr old
they always heard my stories of Rocking the night away in JC
if not with The Rambler
doing it @ Freedom hall.
I remember giving away my sat. night ticket to Elvis because I was scared I would miss The Rambler
ALL I can say is you did a gr8rt job beginning back memories
RoyL

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I still have the ticket stub from ZZ Top's "World Wide Texas Tour at Freedom Hall dated June 7, 1976!
I remember seeing the Rolling Stones (1976?) there with Billy Preston and Elton John(1975-76?) there.
I lived in Louisville from 1969-80 and saw dozens and dozens of awesome shows.
Great, great memories.
Chris E.
Bridgeport, CT

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They never had music concerts at Freedom Hall until 1974? The place had been around nearly 20 years by then.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Vince Staten said...

Freedom Hall opened on July 5, 1974. It had NOT been open 20 years in 1974.

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Led Zeppelin played Louisville once, and it is omitted from your list. I believe that was April 25, 1977. The C-J ran a review of the concert (AC/DC was the opening act maybe?) so this is easily researchable. Also, The Freedom Hall in Louisville may be confused with a Freedom Hall in Johnson City, TN which may be leading to some errors here.

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger bbob said...

I still have several ticket stubs from Freedom Hall, including the 3/10/78 ELP show. But I have a ticket stub that is definitely from Knoxville Coliseum dated 6/27/77 for ELP which you credit to Freedom Hall. It seems to me that they did do a Knoxville to Johnson City hop on that tour, could the date be one day off?

 
At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Dave said...

Great job with the list...The Kiss '77 show was the first I remember seeing. I would love to have some of the concert t's from those days now even tho they wouldn't fit anymore :) There was a guy I knew that sold keys to Freedom Hall in the early 80's and I saw Rush, The Beach Boys, Foreigner, Billy Squier and a few others with my key

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stones and Zep were never there. Please look at the top of the list again. He did say this list is referring to Freedom Hall, Johnson City, TN. I do remember being at one that wasn't listed - Lynyrd Skynyrd with Sea Level in April or May of 1977.

 
At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One I don't find on your list. I saw Journey and Yes together at Freedom Hall. It was sometime after the original Yes broke up and before Steve Perry joined Journey (which was late '78). I remember that their big hit was "Wheel in the Sky" which they played twice.

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Vince. I was there for the Bob Hope opener (would have been 15 but remember it well and glad I was there) and then it was all rock and roll all the time. Seems I remember that the '76 Springsteen show was very poorly attended...I was on the front row floor in a general admission show. Heard they played Boone (App. St.) the next night and sold out. I seriously doubt there were more than a thousand at FH. I would have sworn Rush or Montrose backed someone up every other week back then...memory is a funny thing...

 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Ike and Tina Turner there in 1974, but I'm not certain what month.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Janie Quiggle said...

Probably were no/very few concerts in 80's, for those wanting a list of them. Suddenly they stopped. But I did see many of the ones listed! Good times!!

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

Great piece of work. And sadly, I missed every one of them while in Sr. year at UT Knoxville... where I recall our "Big Homecoming Concert" being a total bust as Sly and the Family Stone were no-shows.
-- SHHS 1970 grad

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Terry Shortridge said...

saw ac/dc, molly hachet, def lepard,van halen ,kansas,joan jett, cheap trick, billy squire, ozzy diary of madman tour, all during early 80's at freedom hall johnson city tenn.

 

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