Friday, October 12, 2007

It Is Our Music, After All

In an early example of the participatory theme that has infused every festival that's unfolded in the Walnut Valley, on Saturday afternoon there was an "open concert", I guess we'd call it an "open mic" now. The only performers listed in the Courier are The Country Boys, Dorothy May, The Buchanan Trio, and Jim "Sugar Bear" Kudlacek. I'm sure others signed up after the Courier was printed, and I'm betting Stuart Mossman was among them. If you know of any others, please fill us in.

The Country Boys were from Belle Plaine, Kansas. Four years later, they were on the bill for the '71 festival as The Bluegrass Country Boys, and later evolved into Jack and Mike Theobald and Bluegrass Country, arguably the first working bluegrass band in Kansas. They always packed the house when they played at "The Forum" on North Broadway in Wichita in the 70's.

Jim "Sugar Bear" Kudlacek was living in Oklahoma City at the time of the '67 festival and acted as a secondary contact person for tickets and information. For a while in '68, he directed a television show in Tulsa called "Dance Party". There is one reference through Google to a ceramic artist by that name, but no information on where he might be, or whether it's the same person.

For Dorothy May and The Buchanan Trio, I have no information- maybe if I keep stirring the pot, something will rise to the surface.

Other than that, and whoever else may have also played at the open concert, there is only one major participant left to cover - the professor who started it all off ...


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