News 12 Now: Remembering the First Riverbend in 1982

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – During the 35th edition of the Riverbend Festival, we’ve been taking you back to the very first one in 1982.

This time, we’re looking at the first headlining acts.

That first year was quite different from what it grew into.

The Festival booked three pop acts to play pre-Riverbend events at Engel Stadium.

The Beach Boys on Memorial Day Weekend, The Commodores in June & Rick Springfield on the Fourth of July weekend.

Remember, that first Riverbend didn’t actually arrive until August.

The festival itself only had one proper stage, the barge in the river.

The goal was to book a variety of acts to bring different audiences down to the river.

You can see from the first Riverbend poster that they promoted five headliners that year.

Riverbend Festival 82

Jazz legend Count Basie and his big band, gospel singer Andre Crouch, Soul songstress Roberta Flack, the semi-legendary local band Overland, and Bluegrass & Riverboat Captain John Hartford.

Categories: From The Archives, Local News, Riverbend

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