UNC Jubilee Performers: A List

Cover to the 1965 Carolina Jubilee pamphlet. From the Records of the Student Union.

From 1963 to 1971, the end of UNC-Chapel Hill’s spring semester was marked by Jubilee, a festival that lasted for three days.  Though it began as a small and fairly restrained affair on the lawn of Graham Memorial,  it expanded to bigger and more raucous events that took place in larger venues such as Polk Place and Kenan Stadium. Each year would feature an abundance of performers, and a list of those performers can be found below.

1963: The Four Preps; The Chad Mitchell Trio; The Jades; The Migrants; The Duke Ambassadors; The Harlequins; Iain Hamilton

1964: The Four Freshmen; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs; The Serendipity Singers; Charlie Byrd; The Sinfonians;

1965: Johnny Cash; June Carter; Statler Brothers Quartet; The Tennessee Three; The Four Preps; The Platters with the Sinfonians; The Modern Folk Quartet

1966: Jay and the Americans; The Bitter End Singers; Warm Brows and Cool Tones; David della Rossa and Brooks; Charlie Byrd; Al Hirt

1967: The Temptations; Jim Kweskin Jug Band; Petula Clark; The Association; The Fabulous Five Combo; The Dynamics Combo

1968: Carla Thomas; Rufus Thomas; The New Bar Kays; Neil Diamond; Junior Walker and the All-Stars; Spanky and Our Gang; Nancy Wilson; Soul, Limited

1969: Chambers Brothers; Babe Stovall; Red Parham; Elizabeth Cotton; Alice and Hazel; Bill McElreath; Rev. Pearly Brown; Paul Butterfield Blues Band

1970: Sweetwater; James Taylor; Pacific Gas and Electric; Joe Cocker and the Grease Band; B.B. King; Grand Funk Railroad; Baby Boy Glover Resurrected; New Deal String Band

1971: Chuck Berry; Spirit; Cowboy; Muddy Waters; J. Geils; Brushy Mountain Boys; Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band; Allman Brothers; Alex Taylor; Tom Rush

Read more about Jubilee here.


Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1931-2013 (#40128)

Jock Lauterer Photographic Collection, circa 1964-1968 (#P0069)

8 thoughts on “UNC Jubilee Performers: A List”

  1. I attended Jubilee in 1970. At the time I was a student at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. As I had no transportation, I packed my backpack and hitch-hiked to Chapel Hill. Going down was OK but coming back was all rain. I seem to remember that it rained a lot that weekend. B. B. King performed late one night at a venue that if I remember correctly a long water slide from the top of the bleacher stands to the field had been rigged. I remember Phil Ochs performing at a different venue that weekend as well. I seem to remember him playing “The Draft Doger Rag” As I had no place to stay, I went to the Wesley Foundation (Methodist Student Center) to get out of the rain. Someone there put me in touch with a Professor who let me set up my trail tarp shelter in his backyard for the weekend. Times have changed. It was in some ways a simpler, more trusting society back then. The idea of trying to hitch hike across two thirds of the state and back again in a long weekend was not out of the question then. The previous summer, I had hitch hiked from NC to the New Mexico and back.

      1. John, as I remember it, they did. According to the Yackety Yack of 1970, they were not mentioned in the opening pages describing the year. Also the yearbook photos contain a few pics from Jubilee ’70 of James featuring James Taylor and Joe Cocker. I actually thought BS&T was the true featured act that year because they had several songs on the charts and the song, “And When I Die” was the No. 17 song from 1969 and was on the way up. Their first Album was in the top 10 Billboard albums throughout the year. I also thought Leon Russell was on that bill, but I stand to be corrected. We had so many top acts during the 1960s and early 70s thanks to Howard Henry who was head of the UNC Student Union entertainment committee. You might remember he got us a second “Chicago” concert following the original scheduled one on the same night.

  2. My wife, then and now, attended Jubilee from 1967 through 1971. We were dating ’67 and ’68 and married before our Jr. year in Summer of ’68 and attended ’69, ’70, and ’71 Jubilee’s as we alternated work and school until graduation, in ’70 and ’71. Each year the weekend of Jubilee was magical as we all floated through the campus at various venues to see the acts, movies that were set up outdoors, and even a baseball game or two. We watched an unknown James Taylor (resident) perform Fire and Rain, the Association and Never My Love, Cherish. Joe Cocker was dynamic. But no matter who the artists were, the atmosphere was all “Carolina.” We were care free and had no worries about the future – whatever was going to happen would always be framed by how good it could be and the good vibrations of Jubilee.

  3. You failed to mention the great concert by Grand Funk Railroad.
    PG & E was another surprise. I knew what to expect from Joe Cocker. However his true “spazmo” performance was unprecedented seeing it Live!

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