At Long Last, Texas International Pop Festival In Lewisville to Receive a State Historical Marker

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The scene in Lewisville during Labor Day weekend 1969
Longtime Friends of Unfair Park are by now well aware of my lifetime obsession with the Texas International Pop Festival, held during Labor Day weekend in 1969 in a Lewisville field. The roster, put together by, among others, Angus Wynne, was legendary: Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Ten Years After, Santana, Johnny Winter, Sly and the Family Stone. For starters. It was North Texas's Woodstock -- a place where, as The New York Times noted, "more than 25,000 youthful rock fans gathered in a grassy drag strip ... to shout, clap and groove on the music and each other." Far out.

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Photo by Steve Campbell
Janis Joplin at the festival
Richard Hayner, keeper of the Texas International Pop Festival website, has long been trying to commemorate the site or the event with a historical marker. I've just been informed that he was successful:
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the Texas International Pop Festival as a significant part of Denton County history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be held Saturday, October 1, at 10 a.m. at the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) Hebron Station in the 900 block of Lakeside Circle in Lewisville. The dedication is free and open to the public.
The full release follows. So too do more photos ... of Robert Plant and Sly Stone. Hayner was kind enough to provide them. In fact, we may have to do a slide show. Which go well with our boxed set. Far out.

Update: Did someone say slide show?!
OFFICIAL TEXAS HISTORICAL MARKER DEDICATION FOR TEXAS INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL SET FOR OCTOBER 1

In 1969, Lewisville, a small farm town of approximately 9,000 residents, was the site of a music festival that attracted 150,000 hippies, bikers and music lovers

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Photo by Mark Porter
Robert Plant at the Texas International Pop Festival
LEWISVILLE, TX - It was 1969 when Lewisville, a small farm town of approximately 9,000 residents, became the site of a music festival that attracted 150,000 hippies, bikers and music lovers. As a result of that momentous event, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the Texas International Pop Festival as a significant part of Denton County history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be held Saturday, October 1, at 10 a.m. at the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) Hebron Station in the 900 block of Lakeside Circle in Lewisville. The dedication is free and open to the public.

The 1969 event's original stage was located near the area where DCTA's Hebron Station recently opened. The Dallas International Motor Speedway, which had opened in July 1969, was the site of the three-day event held 42 years ago on Labor Day weekend. The Texas International Pop Festival is the first event that has been recognized with a state marker in Denton County. To qualify for a marker, events must have happened at least 30 years ago.

Richard Hayner, sponsor of the THC 2010 subject marker application, attended the pop festival when he was 16 years old. During the dedication, the Denton County Historical Commission will present certificates of commendation for efforts that led to the placement of the marker recognizing Hayner along with Andie Jones, Swan Song, Soul Sacrifice, Piece of My Heart, Johnny Nitzinger, Bill Winter, Angus G. Wynne III, Ed Cullum and Randy James.

Wynne, a partner in the Dallas-based concert promotion company, Showco, asked Atlanta Pop Festival promoter Alex Cooley to join him in promoting the Texas International Pop Festival. The Atlanta Pop Festival was held in Hampton, Georgia, the weekend of July Fourth in 1969. On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair began near Bethel, New York.

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Photo by Steve Campbell
Sly Stone at the Texas International Pop Festival
The Texas festival featured 25 musical acts. In Hayner's historical narrative submitted to THC, he wrote:

"The festival opened with an unknown band named Grand Funk Railroad. The line-up included rock and roll and rhythm and blues. B.B. King played all three days. Other blues acts were present such as Johnny Winter, The James Cotton Blues Band, Canned Heat, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, and Freddie King. Rhythm and blues was represented by Sam & Dave and Sly & The Family Stone. Rock and blues crossover acts Rotary Connection, Ten Years After and Janis Joplin tied the genre together. Jazz was represented by flutist Herbie Mann, and even a bit of Cajun sound was made by Tony Joe White. Mainstream rock music was represented by Chicago Transit Authority, Spirit, Santana, Nazz, Sweetwater and an up-and-coming blockbuster band from England named Led Zeppelin."

In addition, a free stage was constructed at a public campground at Lewisville Lake, which was five-and-one-half miles north of the festival grounds at the motor speedway. Each evening the campground attracted thousands of festival campers. Local bands performed on the free stage along with some of the big name acts after playing the main stage. Famous icon of the 60s, Wavy Gravy, acquired his moniker at the free stage.



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19 comments
Sharona
Sharona

I was 12 years old and from Montreal, we moved to Dallas because of my fathers job. As if that wasn't a bit of a culture shock all by its lonesome, my aunt's neighbors son was going to the Texas pop and took me along for the ride. His parents and mine thought it was a regular 6 Flags type fair. Ha..rude awakening for mum & dad when I didn't come home that night..nor did he I found out later. We split from one another upon entering the site..what can I say..that evening as I was sitting around a fire with many other people listening to the most amazing music I'd ever heard, little bitty papers were being passed around and people were putting them in their mouths..human see..human do Blotter acid..the rest as they say..is history.

Jack
Jack

Seems like yesterday. I was there (or was I?). My memories of toking, drinking, with Janis and Johnny at the free stage as the sun rose to day 3. 1969 can never be reproduced. It was history man.

Lloyd B Caraway
Lloyd B Caraway

I was there. I remember clearly - hmmmm, well somewhat clearly - Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, BB King and many of the others. It was history. Glad it's getting its marker.  Looking forward to seeing "The Chicken Hawks" next week featuring on guitar one of the original promoters. Well done Ango & Jack.

Don
Don

I was 18 when I attended and loved every minute of it. What a time!

Bart
Bart

I was ten years old and the hippies across the street were loading up the truck. Mom and dad said hell no i couldnt go . So my hippie friends picked up the peace sign poster and gave it to me when they got back . I still have that posted framed on the wall.

Mr Natural - Maranatha!
Mr Natural - Maranatha!

 I had just turned 15 and to my eternal gratitude my parents let me go all 3 days.  One night, exhausted, I fell asleep to Chicago (then CTA) and woke up to Canned Heat.  Sam and Dave warmed up the crowd for Led Zeppelin.  Goat ropers drinking electric koolaid, locals on boats ogling the skinny dippers in the lake, the trip tent, you had to be there. Read more on myFOXdfw.com: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/ne...

Billyhank1
Billyhank1

65 years young....I remember the festival as it was yesterday (well, almost).  Had a great time, especially watching the skinny dippers in the lake and all the "fishermen" coming in from the lake.  I guess the fish were really biting there!  Great music and a fun time!

Raoul Duke
Raoul Duke

I may be old but I got to see all the cool bands.

Garry Potts
Garry Potts

I was there, too. I don't remember it very well for obvious reasons. The music was awesome. Hour after hour, everybody was kickin' it.

Bluedog50
Bluedog50

I am 61 years old now; I attended the festival and it was amazing; I think back on who played and I am still blown away. B B King and the magic beer; I parked along the side of 35 like a zillion other idiots and came back to find my car towed; rode the wrecker to get it out of the impromptu pound and $50 bucks later was back on the road. Janis, Sly, Plant & Page, Grand Funk, Canned Heat, Polk Salad Annie, it was all good - too bad it was overshadowed by the johnny come lately Woodstock. By far the highlight of my 19th year.

Billy Bob Harris
Billy Bob Harris

Hats off to Angus Wynne!  I was there with Don Meredith and the scene was so wondeful I don't even remember who we saw perform.  Congrats to you Angus!

Lonestar
Lonestar

The citizens of Texas have a LOT to thank rock promoter Angus Wynne for (not the least of which were this festival and the New Year's Eve Ike and Tina Turner Revue shows, long before the rest of the world had a clue who Tina Turner was).  He was the Bill Graham of Texas who operated mostly behind the scenes without Graham's need for relentless self-promotion.

Space in Time
Space in Time

24 year old Alvin Lee could play the heck out of that ES-335.

Jon
Jon

Wavy Gravy was the 60's Expo

Russ Garrett
Russ Garrett

Actually Woodstock was a few weeks earlier. (I was at Texas Pop too. It was just fantastic)

Markarreola
Markarreola

Grand Funk Railroad. The Greatest American Band of all time. Wish I was there. Too young at the time. Must have been great.

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