A Farm, a Barn, and Thousands of Country Music Fans. Jamboree in the Hills 1977

Superstar Johnny Cash was the headliner one evening during the first Jamboree in the Hills in 1977.

On this day 46 years ago, over 20,000 country music fans gathered at Brush Run Park in St. Clairsville, Ohio for two full days of music from legendary country artists as Jamboree in the Hills kicked off what would be the greatest country music festival ever. The line-up included Asleep at the Wheel, Barbara Mandrell, Blue Ridge Quartet, Carter Family, Charlie Rich, Donna Fargo, Ernest Tubb, Freddy Fender, Johnny Cash, Johnny Russell, June Carter Cash, Merle Haggard, Mickey Gilley, Tammy Wynette, Tom T. Hall, and a bunch of artists from the Wheeling Jamboree radio program. Little did the attendees know that they were a part of history that would continue to play out for decades to come, as Jamboree in the Hills became known as the ‘Superbowl of Country Music.’

One tradition of Jamboree in the Hills started very early on when the shows were at Brush Run Park.

The casket cooler. The red wagons. The red neck run. The spray bottles. The tarps. The steak sandwiches and the buckets of greasy French fries. And yes, the medical tents. All became traditions during the course of the 45 years of Jamboree in the Hills, a country music festival that was inspired by Jamboree USA, a weekly radio and stage show based in Wheeling. At the Capitol Theatre, a pair of sold-out shows took place on Saturday evenings, with the majority of seats occupied by those who traveled from Canada to the Friendly City in motorcoaches.

Those not making the trip to the Northern Panhandle most often listened to AM 1170 WWVA, once a 50,000-watt radio station focused on the Upper Ohio Valley and not nationally syndicated programming as it does today… read more >

Jamboree in the Hills 1977 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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