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Author: Subject: Old Grey Whistle Test Macon Whoopee Concert/Documentary 1976 Capricorn Picnic

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  posted on 6/14/2017 at 02:01 PM
I just love this concert film and documentary of sorts. I've probably watched this dozens of times and I still love it. The U.K.'s BBC TV concert series "The Old Grey Whistle Test" in 1976, had host Bob Harris travel to Macon, GA to showcase the annual Capricorn Picnic, August 19, 1976. Included are tons of live concert performances and interviews.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoVFbIteEUs

My favorite is an absolutely marvelous interview with, and acoustic performance by Dickey Betts. Dickey also sings and picks guitar and also plays some phenomenal slide acoustic guitar on some fantastic old classic country tunes and acoustic blues music on his front porch at his cabin home while discussing his music roots and influences including Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rogers, and Hank Williams. Love watching Dickey's guitar voicings, fingerings, and just beautiful chime harmonics. And can he play that slide! Could watch and listen to him play slide all day. Really great to hear Dickey discuss his music heroes and influences and see him play in a setting where he is so at ease and organic and it really shines through in his wonderful performance and in his eagerness to discuss his roots. Just awesome.

Performers include Jimmy Hall and Wet Willie performing"Baby Fat", The Marshall Tucker Band performing "24 Hours At A Time" both in Charleston, South Carolina. Then Bob Harris drives down to Macon to the Capricorn Picnic. Bonnie Bramlett performs and Bob interviews her, more performances by Sea Level, Stillwater, ending with an all star jam at Macon's Uncle Sam's nightclub featuring Dickey Betts, Elvin Bishop, Dan Toler, Bonnie Bramlett, and Stillwater.

Interviews with Capricorn Records' Pres./Founder Phil Walden, Criteria Studios Engineer & Producer Karl Richardson, Billy Joe Shaver, Governor Jimmy Carter after he announced his run for President and he imparts just wonderful, profound things about the power of rock music and its relevance to young people of that period in time and how they relate to music as a voice for spiritual, political and social change for the better in society. Bob also interviews with Elvin Bishop about his music influences and beginnings.

Look out for sightings at the picnic also for Capricorn Records' Co-Founder Frank Fenter and Andy Warhol!

[Edited on 6/14/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

[Edited on 6/14/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

 

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  posted on 6/14/2017 at 11:38 PM
Thanks much for the link. Going to watch this weekend.
 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 11:50 AM
That is a phenomenal documentary.

Thank you for posting.

Like you say, the Dickey acoustic footage is one of the high points. That is some clean playing.

What I would give to have gone to one of those picnics! Killer lineups... including Bonnie Bramlett and
Chuck Leavell's band with Lamar Williams and Jaimoe.

I skipped through a couple parts -- is Gregg in any of the footage ( ? )

-Rob J.

 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 12:09 PM
quote:
That is a phenomenal documentary.

Thank you for posting.

Like you say, the Dickey acoustic footage is one of the high points. That is some clean playing.

What I would give to have gone to one of those picnics! Killer lineups... including Bonnie Bramlett and
Chuck Leavell's band with Lamar Williams and Jaimoe.

I skipped through a couple parts -- is Gregg in any of the footage ( ? )

-Rob J.


I don't see Gregg. Just remembered that 1976 was when the Scooter Herring trial happened and the rest of the ABB temporarily was estranged from Gregg, so that might explain why he isn't there.

Just Dickey solo (by the way is that cabin he calls home that Bob Harris interviews him at, the infamous Idlewild South?) and then Dickey jamming at the all star jam at the end with Dan Toler, and then Chuck, Lamar, & Jaimoe with Sea Level.

And yes I agree with you I would have LOVED to have gone to this or any of the yearly picnic events. I never would have wanted them to end. All that incredible music and talent, barbecue, a beautiful woods, park, and boat lake and the bands would take the event to the local Macon clubs and jam there too through the night like the all star jam here which was at Uncle Sam's nightclub.




[Edited on 6/15/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 02:34 PM
Thanks so much for posting that!!

Had seen only small bits and pieces of it before but seeing it in it's entirety was great and gives you a real flavor of the Southern music scene at the time.

LOVE the Dickey footage, seeing him playing acoustic blues in an informal setting like that.
You could just see how the guy was such a student of blues history and forms. He was a hell of a slide player in his own right even though he stood next to one of the greatest of all time.

Also, in my opinion he had one of the best pure country voices in modern music, especially during that era. Even though he probably didn't want to pursue that direction totally, he could have been a major country artist with that golden down home voice.

And the Sea Level footage was amazing too, what a killer early fusion group those guys were without being overly bombastic which was typical of some of that early fusion. Great grooves.

Chuck had some amazingly melodic and percussive piano chops and I forgot what a great drummer Jaimoe was at that time. He obviously didn't play anything like that in the latter years of ABB, maybe due to physical limitations, but he was a smoking, syncopated R&B/jazz player back in the day.

Will watch this again....Thanks!!



 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 02:41 PM
By the way is Dickey Betts' cabin home that Bob Harris interviews him at and where Dickey plays and sings on the porch, is that the infamous Idlewild South?

 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 02:57 PM
Great stuff, I had seen bits and pieces but never the whole thing. Great seeing Dickey picking on Blind Wilie McTell's "Blues at Midnight" almost 20 years before the Allmans played their adaptation, "Midnight Blues".

Anyone know the story behind Andy Warhol at the Capricorn Picnic?

[Edited on 6/15/2017 by porkchopbob]

 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 04:02 PM
quote:
Great stuff, I had seen bits and pieces but never the whole thing. Great seeing Dickey picking on Blind Wilie McTell's "Blues at Midnight" almost 20 years before the Allmans played their adaptation, "Midnight Blues".

Anyone know the story behind Andy Warhol at the Capricorn Picnic?

[Edited on 6/15/2017 by porkchopbob]


Here's some background on The Capricorn Picnic and a little info. about Andy Warhol and other celebrities that came to the picnic in other years. The food info is making me hungry as all get out! LOL!

"5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE CAPRICORN BARBECUE AND SOUTHERN GAMES"

https://www.gatewaymacon.org/live-music-macon-ga/top-5-lakeside.cms

A blog documenting someone's personal experience at the 1976 Capricorn Picnic with photos of Jimmy Carter, Wet Willie's Michael Duke & Ricky Hirsch, and yes, Andy Warhol with Andy's Business manager Fred Hughes!

https://sealplace.blogspot.com/2015/04/capricorn-barbeque-summer-games-augu st.html




[Edited on 6/15/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

 

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  posted on 6/15/2017 at 08:53 PM
Thanks for sharing Arlene, that was a pretty good doc.
 

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  posted on 6/19/2017 at 04:14 PM
Never seen this before, enjoyed watching this time trip back to the 70's, thanks so much for posting this!

 

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