Ahh.. the 1970’s. The era of the Rolling Stones, ABBA, and The Village People. Where were you when the Beatles called it quits?
Not born yet, I know, but, technically, neither was James Madison University. Yup, the greatest school on earth changed its name from Madison College to its current name in 1977.
The 1970’s brought great things for JMU, just like the University Program Board brings great concert artists to JMU. Thanks to Dave Imre, a former UPB chair member and CEO of Imre located in Baltimore, UPB now has hands on some of the greatest concert shows brought to JMU in the late 1970’s.
Let’s have a flashback together on how the process went for choosing concert artists back then, shall we?
Look at this poster! Do those names sound familiar? That’s right! UPB brought Hall & Oates to Godwin. According to Dave, he remembers having to drive them to and from their hotel before they played their set. “The students drove university white panel vans to transport the bands and the roadies back and forth from their hotel to Godwin” said Dave. “They were extremely nice…and very young at the time.”
You might not recognize this rock group, but they were a hit in the late 1970’s. UPB brought Little Feat to JMU in 1978. What’s special about this is that the band broke up about a year after they performed in Godwin Hall. Isn’t that crazy? Well, at least I think so. Just so there are no rumors floating around either, UPB didn’t cause them to break up!
Now, we treat our artists with the utmost luxuries the Shenandoah valley can give! Each concert artist have riders that say what they want in their dressing room while they are waiting to perform. Dave looks back on his time interacting with the artists and their thoughts about what UPB gave them. “Some of the bands were understandably disappointed in the locker room ‘accommodations’ and the on-campus catering we provided in Godwin,” said Dave. However, UPB did something right for our most recent Wilson artist.
Let’s take a moment to flash back to just a few months ago when UPB brought JESSE MCCARTNEY to JMU! He featured his rider on his Instagram story (pictured above).
The greatest didn’t stop there for UPB in the 1970’s! We also brought Happy the Man, George Benson, The Marshall Tucker Band, Geil’s with Elvin Bishop, and Michael Johnson and Burton Cummings. These artists were the talk of the town when they were here.
Dave remembers just how the Harrisonburg community needed this music scene. “Our music-starved Harrisonburg crowds were boisterous and loudly showed their appreciation when Hall and Oates broke into “Sarah Smiles” or when the Marshall Tucker Band started playing their biggest rock-a-billy hits towards the end of their set. They literally raised the rafters at Godwin Hall.”
Now, JMU, remember that we have brought amazing artists for your enjoyment at such a cheap cost! We brought Jesse to you in the fall and you will just have to wait a little longer to see who we are going to bring for the spring! Keep your eyes out, Dukes. The time is almost here.