Happy Anniversary! 300,000 Rock & Rollers at August Jam Charlotte 1974

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fred Griffin Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788

      Rock and Roll History!  The last  Woodstock-style rock festival held in the United States was in Charlotte North Carolina, on August 10, 1974.   We were there! 

     Today marks the 42nd Anniversary.

 

August Jam Charlotte North Carolina 1974

 

     The Allman Brothers Band, Foghat, Marshall Tucker, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Black Oak Arkansas, Grinder Switch, PFM, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils all performed.   (The Eagles were scheduled; they were a no-show). 

 

     Wolfman Jack was the master of ceremonies.  He introduced the Bands; he tried to keep the enthusiastic crowd under control.

     My brothers David, Joe, and I, along with our friend Mike, were at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the August Jam on Saturday August 10, 1974.    

      Helicopter footage of the Jam can be viewed on this Black Oak Arkansas video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tHtAV3uMRI 

 

 

 Black Oak Arkansas at the August Jam

 

     Wikipedia says,

     "There was a limited number of tickets sold prior to the concert, and when many thousands of additional fans showed up on the day of the performances, those thousands proceeded to crash the fences and rush to the infield.

     Many of the facilities were overwhelmed due to the crowds, and the weather did not cooperate either, producing a sporadic rain that drenched the concert goers, and turned the infield into a muddy quagmire.

     However, the music went on as scheduled, the fans helped each other stay moderately comfortable, and to many it turned out to be an unforgettable experience."



The August Jam Charlotte NC 1974

 Photo courtesy of Sandy Boggs Kosarski, via 1974 August Jam Facebook Group

 

     The exact number of Attendees is not known, but estimates show that well over 300,000 people were present.  The Charlotte Motor Speedway was inundated with partiers, rockers, teenagers, college students, hippies, locals, and thrill-seekers from all over the United States. 
 

  The Music

    
The Allman Brothers Band.   They played all the classics, including "Statesboro Blues", "Whipping Post", and "Rambling Man".   Greg Allman passed out from the heat about halfway through the set, and had to be carried off.  Dickie Betts and the Band finished the set without him.

     Foghat!   Lonesome Dave Peverett and Rod Price were in their absolute prime.   These men were true blues-rockers, the likes of which has rarely been seen since.  "Road Fever", "Eight Days on the Road", "Dreamer", "Stone Blue", "Slow Ride".   This was unforgettable rock history!   See great photos on this website.

 

Wolfman Jack Introducing Foghat Charlotte August Jam 1974

Wolfman Jack introducing Foghat!



   Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.   Pioneers in techno-rock music.  They played "Hoedown" late night Saturday with an incredible light show.  Keith Emerson's "flying piano" was absolutely unreal. 

   Black Oak Arkansas.   More Southern rock at its best!   Proudly waving the Flag of our Southern Heritage; Jim Dandy and the boys went all out.  The videos attached to this blog are priceless, they give a true picture of how it was at the August Jam. 

     The two Black Oak Arkansas videos on this page are the only live footage of the August Jam that I have ever seen. 

     Black Oak Arkansas plays "Dixie" at the "Southern Woodstock" in Charlotte, North Carolina August 10, 1974:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSoIi_KkOUU

 

 Black Oak Arkansas at the August Jam

 

     My View from the Top of the Press Box

      I had climbed up onto the top of the press box, and spent Saturday afternoon and evening up there.  The acoustics and the view from that vantage point were amazing.  You heard the music, you saw the entire crowd that stretched to the horizon in all directions.  What a great place to take in the show!

 

 

August Jam 1974 Press Box Charlotte NC

    August Jam Charlotte North Carolina 1974

 

 

     Our Family Road Trip to Charlotte from Brevard, North Carolina

    My brother Joe was 15 years old, my brother David was 12, I had turned 18 the week before.  Joe's friend Mike came with us; he was also 15. 
     My brothers and I told Mom that we would hitchhike to Charlotte from our home in Brevard (near Asheville, a distance of about 150 miles).  Mom quickly proclaimed:  "No way!  If you are going, I am driving you boys to Charlotte!"


     We left for Charlotte early Friday morning, in Mom's 1968 Dodge Dart.  As we got close to Charlotte, the traffic was already backing up.   (You can see a helicopter view of the traffic, in the Video clip posted below).


     Mom pulled into a Texaco Station near the Speedway.  She said, "You boys can walk the rest of the way from here.   I will be back at this gas station to pick you up on Sunday morning."   Brother Joe, Brother David, friend Mike and I eagerly trekked toward the Speedway, while Mom u-turned and headed back to Brevard.

     Joe, David, and Mike headed straight to the infield; they wanted to be up close (and they were close - they sat right at the front of the stage!).   I wanted to hang around the exterior for a time, and take in the sights and the crowd.   We agreed to meet up at the Texaco Station where Mom had dropped us off.

 

August Jam Charlotte 1974

 

    The Sunday Morning aftermath.

 

     I had fallen asleep on top of the Press Box (thank God I didn't roll off the edge during the night!).  Someone woke me up around dawn.  Police were coming through, with loudspeakers and megaphones blaring, telling the stragglers and the campers that it was time to leave.  It was eerily similar to the Ozark Music Festival in Sedalia, Missouri that I had attended a few weeks before... there were no cops to be seen anywhere during the show, but when it was over, an armada of Mayberry / Andy Griffith police cars showed up to run everyone off.

     I walked to the Texaco station where Mom had dropped us off on Friday.  As I approached, I saw Joe, Mike, and David lying on the curb in front of a Coke machine, sound asleep.   I woke them up.   We looked at each other in amazement.   "Wow, can you believe what we just saw?"  "Wasn't that the coolest thing ever?"  "Wow, we were a part of it!"

     A 1968 Dodge Dart pulled up; the driver honked the horn.  It was Mom!  She was glad to see us, but was rather perturbed when she saw the shape that we were in.  We had slept on the ground for two nights, and not showered or bathed since we had left Brevard on Friday.  

     We got into the car and headed home.  Mom stopped somewhere for breakfast.  I fell asleep with my head on the table.  Before I knew it we were back in the car, rolling down the highway.  My brothers and Mike and I rehashed the concert all the way to Brevard, while Mom sighed and shook her head.

 

August Jam Newspaper Clipping

 The Charlotte newspaper said 200,000. 

However, local TV reporters said there were 300,000.

 

     The August Jam was the last of the Woodstock-style rock concerts.  The California Jam in April 1974, the Ozark Music Festival at Sedalia, Missouri in July 1974 (I was there, too!), and finally the August Jam in Charlotte, to end the Era.

     There would be no more of these epic multi-band rock festivals.  Massive crowds of people, an acute shortage of sanitary facilities, no police presence, traffic backed up for miles, open-air drug markets, and other issues were simply too much for the Authorities to condone.  The August Jam was the end of an era in American music history.

 

 

Crowd Photo August Jam, source not known

 Crowd Photo believed to be in Public Domain, source unknown

 

 

     Join the Facebook Group "1974 August Jam Charlotte, North Carolina"

  Sincere, heartfelt thanks goes to Tammy Shropshire (the administrator and creator of that Group).  She has reunited so many of us August Jam Alumni; over one thousand of us are together again after all these years!  It is a closed group, mention this Blog or my name, ask Tammy to let you join.

 

August Jam Charlotte NC 1974

 

 August Jam Charlotte 1974 Rock Concert

 

August Jam Charlotte NC 1974

 

        See more photos of the Jam on these websites:

 

       August Jam 1974 on Flickr (30 Photos)

 

       Great August Jam Photos on This Website

 

       August Jam, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1974  


       August Jam, 1974  

       

       274 Photos of August Jam Rock Festival, UNC Charlotte Library  

 

 

 

     Join the Facebook Group "1974 August Jam Charlotte, North Carolina" 

 

 

August Jam, Charlotte, North Carolina

August 10, 1974   

We were there!

_____________________________

 

Posted by

Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    

 

 

  

 

 

 

Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area    

 

Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

 

Comments (34)

Anonymous
Don Thomas

Is there any way I can get one of the posters I was 17 when we right after graduation

Aug 10, 2017 06:22 PM
#16
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Don Thomas comment #16

  Ask on the Facebook Group... someone there claimed to have 20 new unused posters... others have found them on eBay.   

   Join us on the Facebook Group,   August Jam Charlotte 1974

 

           Happy Anniversary!!!

Aug 10, 2017 06:34 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Soon to be 44 years ago, Fred - doesn't it seem just like yesterday?! I'm sure you had an amazing time in Charlotte...what you can remember of it! LOL

Apr 30, 2018 08:10 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Debe Maxwell, CRS    comment #18 

      Thanks to the Facebook Group that I mentioned in the post, our memories get refreshed.  Just the other day someone who was at the concert found some old photos in a drawer and posted them to the Group.  

Apr 30, 2018 08:21 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Debe Maxwell, CRS 

    Perhaps you know local weatherman Larry Sprinkle of WCNC TV.  He was also an announcer at the Festival.  On the 40th Anniversary, Larry did a segment on the concert... I will try to find that video clip.

Apr 30, 2018 08:25 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Yes, he's emceed many events that I have attended - he is quite popular here, Fred! 

And, how cool is that FB group? I am a member of my high school alumni group and people are often posting photos from 'back in the day.' I love that! You just can't beat re-living fond memories as you continue to create new ones, can you?!

Apr 30, 2018 08:48 PM
Anonymous
Wendy Lewis

I was there l am happy to say. We had a Blast! I still have my ticket stub. I was 19 yrs. old. Carolinas Woodstock! Cannot describe that day. Had to be there⭐⭐

Aug 25, 2018 08:54 AM
#22
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 

Hi, Wendy Lewis!   comment #22

       I strongly encourage you to join the Facebook Group 1974 August Jam Charlotte North Carolina.  The photos, a couple of video clips, the stories, and lots of us who were there sharing the good times.  It's a private Group, tell Admin Tammy Shropshire that you were there (and tell her you saw this post)!

 

   

Aug 25, 2018 12:57 PM
Anonymous
Sandy

Yes we were there. That was my 21st birthday. Had a great time! I couldn’t relax for seeing all the stuff going on around us. Lol 😂

Oct 28, 2018 02:27 PM
#24
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Sandy!   re: comment #24

   Be sure to join us on the Facebook Group.  See the link at the bottom of the post.

  It's a closed group, tell "Tammy" that you saw my blog and she can let you in.

Oct 28, 2018 03:26 PM
Anonymous
David McDaniels

Oh yes I was there!!?! So great! Seemed like Allman Brothers played forever! Which was sooo cool! Was 17. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW I CAN GET AUGUST JAM T SHIRT? Mine is long gone but would love new one. Can text info to 864-448-4371. Thanks, peace

Jul 30, 2019 12:13 PM
#26
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

David McDaniels comment #26

   Instructions for how to re-create T-shirts, posters, etc. are in the Facebook Group mentioned above.  Join the Group - there is a zip file there with artwork, graphics, and images that you can use on VistaPrint, Zazzle, or other print websites to create a T-shirt, poster, coffee mug.  Those images are in the Public Domain; copyright will not be an issue.  

   The alternative is to look on eBay.  Every once in a while, someone has an original poster or T-shirt for sale.   Another alternative is to ask on the Facebook Group if anyone has one they want to part with.

  Come join us on Facebook for the 45th Anniversary, this August 10th!

    

Jul 30, 2019 01:05 PM
Anonymous
Richard M ( Marty ) Baker

It was a blast we camp there for three nights glad I survived 🥴

Aug 17, 2019 02:46 PM
#28
Anonymous
David Wright

I was there with an 8mm mostly ELP the reason I went. I took a bus from St Paul to Indianapolis and then hitch hiked the rest of the way via Atlanta. Hitched back. I have a diary as well. https://youtu.be/wppvNez7X3g?t=316

Feb 12, 2020 04:55 PM
#29
Anonymous
Chuck Taylor

We spent the day there....1st time in CLT!! 😂

Jun 24, 2020 06:15 PM
#30
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Chuck!

    Are you in the Facebook Group 1974 August Jam Charlotte North Carolina?  If not, please join!  It's a closed group, tell moderator/admin Tammy Shropshire that you were there, mention my name... Tammy (and 900 other Jammers) will welcome you!

Jun 24, 2020 06:43 PM
Anonymous
Mike Olander

I was driving from South Dakota to Naples ,Florida to be a best man in a wedding, I got to St Louis and heard an ad on the radio for August Jam. I hung a left in St Louis, drive all night to charlotte, got a $12 ticket at a mall and went to the show. We (my traveling companion) got there the night before, picked the perfect location, and unrolled out sleeping bags and claimed our territory!!

Jul 16, 2020 12:20 AM
#32
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  Mike Olander comment #30

                Join us on the August Jam Facebook Page!  1000+ August Jammers, with stories, photos, some videos.   See you there!

Jul 16, 2020 05:48 AM
Anonymous
Mark pearce

Takes me back!!!stories to tell the grandkids. Would love a t-shirt to celebrate.

Jul 20, 2020 01:47 PM
#34
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Mark comment #32

       My grandchildren wouldn't believe me.  They'd think I was crazy!  I can show them the photos on the FB group for proof.

         You can find the artwork for T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters on the Facebook Group Page.  Go to VistaPrint or some other online print shop, create one from there.

       If you want an original button, T-shirt, or Poster, try eBay and Amazon.  Every once in a while, one shows up.

Aug 12, 2020 10:39 AM

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