Guess Who Performed in Evansville: Part 4

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

Are you ready for part four of Guess Who Performed in Evansville? Get ready to go to the late 1970’s in the American rock music scene. This is the first band and we three clues for you. Get ready, guess away!

  1. Their first album came out in 1976 and had three Top 40 hits.
  2. Their band logo is in the shape of an UFO.
  3. Some of their best-known songs are “Amanda” and “More Than a Feeling”.

Can you guess who the musician is?

The answer: Boston.

Boston was formed by Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, Fran Sheehan, Barry Goudreau, and John “Sib” Hashian. Boston started in 1969 when the band members met at MIT and worked on their music. 1976 proved to be their year when Boston released their first album, Boston, selling over 17 million albums. Boston became one of the best-selling debut rock albums in history. Boston released a follow-up album, Don’t Look Back, in 1978; however, by the 1980’s, Boston experienced setbacks from personal and legal issues.

In the meantime, Boston switched record labels because of Sheehan, Goudreau, and Hashian left Boston for solo careers; new members joined Boston and they released their third album, Third Stage, in 1986. On this album, their only number #1 hit, “Amanda” came out. Just as before, Boston experienced more personal and legal issues in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s: Delp left Boston and would return to the band by the early 2000’s. From 1994 to 2002, Boston only released two albums; however, the band wouldn’t be the same after 2007 when Delp continued suicide. In midst of this Delp’s death, Boston continued to work on their latest album, Life, Love, & Hope, which was released in 2013 and featured the vocals of Delp. Boston’s last concert tour was in 2017 and consisted of Tom Scholtz, Gary Pihl, Tommy DeCarlo, Jeff Neal, Tracy Ferrie, Beth Cohen, and Curly Smith. In April 2017, Scholtz stated the band is working on new songs and wanting to produce a seventh album. As of 2019, the album has yet to be released.

Boston performing at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum on December 9, 1976. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-0492).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-0492), USI.

Boston performed in Evansville on December 9, 1976; however, their concert was not at Roberts Stadium. Their concert was held the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum. Their concert was a month or so after the release of their debut album. Over 4,000 people attended the concert and according to Chapman (1976), the concert was a giant rock party full of drinking and smoking of “various scents”. That sounds like one heck of a party! This is incredible knowing Boston performed in Evansville right at the beginning of their career.

For more information, the Greg Smith collection at the University Archives and Special Collections at the David L. Rice Library at the University of Southern Indiana has over 1,500 photographs of Evansville history available online. Take a moment to explore his photographs of athletic events, local businesses, and many more. Stay tuned for our next addition of Guess Who Performed in Evansville.

Reference Consulted

Boston (band). (2020, April 6). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_(band)

Chapman, C. (1976, December 16). 4050 come to a rock party. The Evansville Press. https://bit.ly/2RCq7id

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018, June 21). Boston (band). https://www.britannica.com/topic/Boston-American-rock-group

Musicians. (n.d.). Boston (band). Retrieved April 13, 2020, from http://bandboston.com/?page_id=310

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Guess Who Performed in Evansville: Part 3

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

Welcome back to another exciting addition of Guess Who Performed in Evansville. Today, we explore the life and career of another famous country singer. She came to Evansville in 1977 and performed a concert at Roberts Stadium. Let’s get started and see if you can guess who she is with three clues:

  1. She known as the “Queen of Country”.
  2. Her best-known song was also made into an autobiography and popular film in 1980.
  3. She isn’t the only singer in the family: she is half-sisters with Crystal Gayle.

Can you guess who the musician is?

The musician is Loretta Lynn.

Loretta Lynn was born Loretta Webb on April 14, 1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky in a one-room log cabin. She was the second of eight children and grew up extremely poor. By 1948, she married her husband, Oliver “Mooney” Lynn and had six children together. Lynn was musically inclined, and her husband saw her an opportunity. He bought her a guitar to play and eventually led to a future career in singing. Lynn’s musical career started in 1960, upon the release of her first hit song, “Honky Tonk Girl”. Within a few years, Lynn was a country music superstar, performing at the Grand Ole Opry and releasing her best-known song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, in 1970.

Loretta Lynn performing at Roberts Stadium on March 1977. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-1496).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-1489), USI.

By 1971, she was an established solo artist, having won the Country Music Association’s (CMA) female vocalist of the year on three occasions. Lynn formed a successful duet duo with fellow country music singer, Conway Twitty, becoming popular overnight! Twitty and Lynn won numerous Grammys and Country Music Association’s (CMA) awards for best vocal duos. Lynn would become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, becoming the 119th individual to receive that honor. Learn more about their partnership in Guess Who Performed in Evansville: Part 1. Adding to her legacy, Lynn won the CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1972, becoming the first woman to do so.

Loretta Lynn performing at Roberts Stadium on March 1977. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-1499).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-1499), USI.

Outside of the music world, Lynn decided to write an autobiography on her life. Her book, Coal Miner’s Daughter, was published in 1976. By 1980, it was produced into a movie, starring Sissy Spacek, who portrayed Lynn, and Tommy Lee Jones. (If you haven’t seen the movie, it is a must see!) Lynn’s music career continued to remain solid until the death of her husband in 1996, she went on hiatus. Lynn returned to the music scene in 2004; however, she wasn’t going in alone. Alongside fellow singer, Jack White, of the band, White Stripes, produced the album, Van Lear Rose, winning a Grammy and Americana Awards for the album. In the last couple of years, Lynn has suffered numerous health issues, including a stroke; however, it didn’t stop her from producing another album in 2018.

Loretta Lynn performing at Roberts Stadium in 1979. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-2619).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-2619), USI.

From photographs taken by Greg Smith, Lynn came to Evansville to perform twice: in March 1977 and 1979. She came as a guest performer alongside her duet partner, Conway Twitty (“Singing up country”, 1977). According to the Evansville Courier and Evansville Press newspapers in 1979, there was no available information about her concert. Regardless, it is an honor knowing Lynn came to Evansville to perform twice in her career.

For more information, the Greg Smith collection at the University Archives and Special Collections at the David L. Rice Library at the University of Southern Indiana has over 1,500 photographs of Evansville history available online. Take a moment to explore his photographs of athletic events, local businesses, and many more. Stay tuned for our next entry on Guess Who Performed in Evansville.

References

Singing up country. (1977, March 26). The Evansville Press. https://bit.ly/2xVir3I

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2020, March 19). Loretta Lynn. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Loretta-Lynn

Zwisohn, L. (n.d.). Loretta Lynn. https://countrymusichalloffame.org/artist/loretta-lynn/

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Guess Who Performed in Evansville: Part 2

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

In today’s edition of Guess Who Performed in Evansville, we are leaving the country music scene and moving into the 1970’s and 1980’s pop scene. We have three clues for you: can you guess who he is?

  1. Throughout his career, he has had 33 Top 40 hits.
  2. He was married to supermodel, Christine Brinkley.
  3. His nickname is “Piano Man”.

Can you guess who the musician is?

The musician is Billy Joel.

Joel was born on May 9, 1949, in Bronx, New York. His musical career began when he was four years old: he started taking piano lessons, primarily focusing in classical music. When he was a teenager, the Beatles had invaded the United States and he began to play for rock bands. By 1971, he finally released his first album, “Cold Spring Harbor”. It wasn’t until 1973 when he released his best-known song, Piano Man, later becoming his nickname. Through the 1970’s, Joel released four albums and won two Grammy Awards in 1979 for “Just the Way You Are” for Album of the Year and Record and the Year. As the 1980’s approached, his career would continue to go strong!

Billy Joel performing at Roberts Stadium on April 24, 1979. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-2996).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-2996), USI.

In 1980, Joel won two more Grammy’s for “52nd Street” for Album of the Year and Male Pop Vocal Performance. That wasn’t all Joel was going to do: he won one more Grammy in 1981. He made history in 1987 when he became the first American music entertainer to perform a rock concert in the Soviet Union (he would perform five concerts in the USSR). By the 1990’s, Joel’s career was slowing down, but produced one more album in 1993 and performing concerts all over the world. Joel would be awarded numerous lifetime achievement awards, inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and Kennedy Center Performing Arts Award (2013), and won the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (2013).

Billy Joel performing at Roberts Stadium on April 24, 1979. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-2986).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-2986), USI.

Billy Joel performed at Roberts Stadium in Evansville early on in his career. His concert was on April 24, 1979. He performed for two hours in front of a packed crowd, singing Piano Man, Stiletto, Just the Way You Are, Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die, just to name a few. When Joel sang Let and Let Die. He had fun with the audience when he performed Live and Let Die by saying to the audience, “This isn’t my song, is it?” The audience replied, “No!” with Joel then saying, “I don’t care!” (Graham, 1979). The concert was successful and “Joel proved himself to be an exciting performer and a true talent” (Hibbs, 1979).

Billy Joel performing at Roberts Stadium on April 24, 1979. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-3001).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-3001), USI.

For more information, the Greg Smith collection at the University Archives and Special Collections at the David L. Rice Library at the University of Southern Indiana has over 1,500 photographs of Evansville history available online. Take a moment to explore his photographs of athletic events, local businesses, and many more. Stay tuned for our next addition of Guess Who Performed in Evansville.

References Consulted

Billy Joel biography. (n.d.). Billy Joel biography. Retrieved April 8, 2020, from https://www.billyjoel.com/biography/

CNN. (2019, May 2). Billy Joel fast facts. Retrieved on April 8, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/28/us/billy-joel-fast-facts/index.html

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019, May 5). Billy Joel. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Billy-Joel

Graham, R. (1979, April 25). Billy Joel: Tough and tender. The Evansville Press. https://bit.ly/34mGqVw

Hibbs, M. P. (1979, April 25). Tireless Billy Joel makes it seem easy. The Evansville Courier. https://bit.ly/39MOcsU

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Guess Who Performed in Evansville: Part 1

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

In our new blog series, Guess Who Performed in Evansville, the focus is on renowned musicians and bands who performed concerts in our great city! Our first musician is best known for his country music and produced forty number one hits. Need more clues? UASC has you covered with three clues:

  1. His best-known song is “Hello Darlin’”, released in 1970.
  2. He performed alongside Loretta Lynn and won 5 music awards from their duet career.
  3. The FOX animated series, Family Guy, played cutaway clips of this artist in some of their episodes.

Can you guess who the musician is?

The musician is Conway Twitty.

Conway Twitty was born Harold Jenkins in Friars Points, Mississippi on September 1, 1933. As a child, he learned how to play the guitar by his grandfather and from there, his music career would begin. Along with his musical abilities, he was known for his baseball skills, even scouted to play baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies; however, he was drafted to serve in the Korean War. During his time in Korea, he continued to listen to music and wanted to pursue a music career. After the war, he signed with Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, change his name to Conway Twitty and the rest would be history.

Conway Twitty performing at Roberts Stadium on March 25, 1977. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-1489).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-1489), USI.

His song, “It’s Only Make Believe”, was released in 1958. It was a hit on the charts and was incredibly popular. In the early 1960’s, his career began to wane down. He realized he needed to change his act from pop music to country ballads and country love songs. That move proved to be successful and his career skyrocketed. By the 1970’s, he and fellow county music superstar, Loretta Lynn, formed a duet, and was a successful collaboration. Twitty and Lynn won numerous Grammys and Country Music Association’s (CMA) awards for best vocal duos. He was inducted into numerous halls of fames; however, he was never inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is in Nashville, Tennessee and is best known for promoting country music. The Opry air their programs on the radio and television: their radio program is the longest-running radio program in US history. Twitty continued producing multiple #1 hits in his solo career and continued to perform until his death in 1993, at the age of 59, after having a stomach aneurysm.

Conway Twitty performing at Roberts Stadium on March 25, 1977. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-1490).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-1490), USI.

Conway Twitter made a concert stop to Evansville back on March 25, 1977, at the height of his career. He performed at Roberts Stadium. According the Evansville Press newspaper (“Entertainment”, 1977), Twitty did not perform only that night. His duet partner, Loretta Lynn, was at the concert as well and performed alongside Twitty in front of 6,100 fans. Twitty even did an Elvis impression (Uh-huh-huh!) much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Conway Twitty performing at Roberts Stadium on March 25, 1977. Source: Greg Smith Collection at University of Southern Indiana (MSS 034-1493).

Source: Greg Smith Collection (MSS 034-1493), USI.

For more information, the Greg Smith collection at the University Archives and Special Collections at the David L. Rice Library at the University of Southern Indiana has over 1,500 photographs of Evansville history available online. Take a moment to explore his photographs of athletic events, local businesses, and many more. Stay tuned for our next addition of Guess Who Performed in Evansville.

References Consulted

Betts, S. L. (2020, March 23). Why Conway Twitter is the butt of ‘Family Guy’ jokes. Rolling Stones. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/conway-twitty-hello-darlin-song-971680/

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019, August 28). Conway Twitty. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Conway-Twitty

Entertainment. (1977, March 26). The Evansville Press. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2UTtWle

Oermann, R. K. (n.d.). Conway Twitty. https://countrymusichalloffame.org/artist/conway-twitty/

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In Memoriam: Dr. Darrel E. Bigham

*Post written by Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian.

Dr. Darrel Bigham, 1997. Source: UASC at USI (UP 05625).

Dr. Darrel Bigham, 1997. Source: University Archives & Special Collections, USI (UP 05625).

Rice Library and its University Archives and Special Collections honor the contributions of Dr. Darrel Bigham (1942-2020), Professor Emeritus of History. Dr. Bigham was instrumental in the creation of University Archives Special Collections.  He and the then University Archivist, Josephine Elliot, applied for a grant from the Lily Endowment, Inc. of Indianapolis in the summer of 1972. The successful application meant that Indiana State University Evansville received a three-year grant to establish an archival project for the acquisition, preservation and processing of regional material. At the end of the third year the University was to assume responsibility for continuing the growth of the Special Collections. When Elliot and Bigham established the Special Collections/University Archives department, they started with just a few regional history books on Indiana from the general collection of the library. Today, the University Archives and Special Collection has over 850 unique collections, 800 oral history interviews, 6,500 rare and unique books, and 30,000 digital resources.

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He also revived the Vanderburgh County Historical Association, which led to the acquisition of several of our UASC collections. A number of the collections that document the history of Evansville were donated specifically because of Dr. Bigham’s efforts. These include the four collections that comprise the African-American Community Gallery, the Meyer-Schlamp collection, and the Evansville Government collection. The African-American Gallery contains photographs from Charlotte Moody, Alfred Porter, Solomon Stevenson, Charles Rochelle collections. One of these photographs is this one, circa 1918-1928, of the Frederick Douglass High School band from MSS 284.

He also revived the Vanderburgh County Historical Association, which led to the acquisition of several of our UASC collections. A number of the collections that document the history of Evansville were donated specifically because of Dr. Bigham’s efforts. These include the four collections that comprise the African-American Community Gallery, the Meyer-Schlamp collection, and the Evansville Government collection. The African-American Gallery contains photographs from Charlotte Moody, Alfred Porter, Solomon Stevenson, Charles Rochelle collections. One of these photographs is this one, circa 1918-1928, of the Frederick Douglass High School band, MSS 284-008.

Frederick Douglass High School band, c. 1918-1928. Source: Evansville African-American Community, MSS 284-008.

The Schlamp-Meyer Family collection consists of correspondence, legal documents, advertising material, and other items on a wide range of topics in Evansville, Indiana, the Tri-State region, and the United States. This collection, which includes over 2800 photographs, covers the years 1786 to 2015. It includes this image of the Evansville High School football team in 1896, MSS 157-0063.

Evansville High School football team, 1896, Source: UASC, Schlamp-Meyer Family, MSS 157-0063.

Evansville High School football team, 1896, Source: Schlamp-Meyer Family, MSS 157-0063.

The Evansville Government collection is a huge one (20 boxes, 353 folders, 26 map case folders—the listing of materials encompasses 19 pages) covering 1880 to 2011. It includes correspondence, contracts, reports from city departments, ordinances, appointments, treasurer’s reports, minutes, arrest reports, and a host of other materials that document the history of governing the city of Evansville. Obtaining this collection was what might be seen as a last minute, hail Mary pass—Dr. Bigham and colleagues Dr. Donald Pitzer and Dr. Daniel Scavone were given permission by the mayor of Evansville, Russell G. Lloyd, Sr., to rescue city records from the old courthouse annex (housed in the 1867 (former) German Methodist Episcopal Church building) just before it was razed in 1973. These materials were almost literally snatched from the jaws of destruction.

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The old courthouse annex before being demolished, 1973.

Below is a January 7, 1918 document appointing Ernest Tidrington a detective for the city of Evansville, MSS 233-04-05-01a. Ernest Tidrington (1883-1930) was an influential member of the African-American community and Evansville’s first black detective.

Document appointing Ernest Tidrington has detective, c. 1910's. Source: UASC collection, MSS 233.

Appointment of Ernest Tidrington to detective, c. 1910’s. Source: UASC collection, MSS 233.

Dr. Bigham was not an Evansville native, but he spent the last 50 years of his life here and was passionate about his adopted hometown. In addition to his work with establishing our archives, he documented Evansville history through a series of books, including We Ask Only A Fair Trial: A History of the Black Community of Evansville, Indiana (1987), On Jordan’s Banks: Emancipation and Its Aftermath in the Ohio River Valley (2005). He also published numerous books and articles on Evansville, including An Evansville Album (1988) and two books in the Arcadia Publishing series, Images of America, on Evansville and another on southern Indiana.

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Rice Library is all the richer in its resources for the work and efforts of Dr. Darrel Bigham. We extend our sincerest sympathies to his family.

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