News 12 Then: Remembering the first Riverbend

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – We are celebrating the 35th edition of the Riverbend Festival by showing you video from the News 12 Archive of the first Riverbend in 1982.

Tonight, we have video from the fist Bessie Smith Strut.

The band in unnamed (does anyone out there remember?)

But it does show you that in the early days, it was billed as the Bessie Smith Jazz Strut.

And you can see how MLK Boulevard has changed over the years.

The band is playing on a stage in front of a liquor store.

I imagine Bessie would have recognized that more than what the Big Nine looks like now.

Categories: Local News, Riverbend

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