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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OAITW: September 1-2, 1973, Blue Grass Park, Camp Springs (?), North Carolina

This is why I pick up old copies of Muleskinner News and such whenever I can.

It appears based on the image below that Old and in the Way played the "9th Labor Day Weekend Original Blue Grass Music Festival" in Camp Springs (?), North Carolina on September 1-2, 1973.

The only thing standing in the way of this possibility as things currently stand is the Garcia/Saunders outing dated September 2, 1973. I have long held that this date is erroneous. If you look at the liner notes to Merl Saunder's Keepers, it dates "Georgia on My Mind" and "Keepers (Finders)" as from The Record Plant on this date. Yet those tracks are identical to what circulates as a KSAN Broadcast (from ... you guess it ... the Record Plant in Sausalito) dated July 8, 1973. Now, I have no idea if the material was broadcast on September 2, re-broadcast on that date, or if there's just some error that led to this dating in the Keepers liner notes. But either way, I always had pre-existing doubts about this date.

Now comes some evidence that OAITW played a bluegrass festival in North Carolina over Labor Day weeked. It makes sense from a money perspective (I assume that as the "special guest" OAITW got well-paid,  relatively speaking). It makes sense from a logistical perspective: barring the 9/2/73 Record Plant thing, I have Garcia/Saunders at the Keystone on 8/31 and then in New York City Harbor for the Hell's Angels gig on September 5th. Heading east anyway for the GD tour, we know that Jerry did the SS. Bay Belle and the Capitol Theater on September 6th ... why not start a bit farther south, do a gig on Labor Day, have a good time, and then go up to the city?

Makes sense to me.

Any thoughts on the town name?


  1. Wow. Jerry at Elon College. At the time, Elon College's team name was The Fighting Christians.

    I find this totally plausible. There's no way Jerry doesn't play a Labor Day gig somewhere, with some band. And the lineup are true bluegrass all-stars--I didn't realize that Charlie Monroe was still alive in 1973.

    There was good airport access too, so transit would have been no problem.

  2. Camp Springs is an unincorporated community outside of Reidsville, NC. Elon, home of the Elon College Fighting Christians, is the nearest town anyone would have heard of. There would have been signs for Elon on the Highway (I-85), but none for Reidsville, much less Camp Springs.

    Camp Springs Road can be google-mapped at Camp Springs Road, Reidsville, NC 27320.

  3. Fred Bartenstein has said Garcia almost certainly wasn't there. Here's Fred (in private correspondence):

    I have no recollection of Old and in the Way appearing at Camp Springs, and I surely should have remembered that since I was in charge of all stage performances. My guess is that promoter Carlton Haney either had some discussion with them about appearing or engaged in some rather wishful thinking about the possibility, but I’m 99.9% positive that it never happened.


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