Tuesday, June 23, 2015
On hot Monday evenings, in the summer of 1978, visitors to Jaycee Park were treated to music, varying in style from jazz to disco, out in the open air. The Troy Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Pontiac Federation of Musicians, sponsored a summer-long series of free outdoor concerts in the park. Musicians performed on the rented Oakland County Stagemobile, and about 500 people enjoyed each concert.
The series opened on June 26th, with the Oakland University Jazz Ensemble, a group of 19 students, led by Professor Marvin Holliday. This first concert was the only one in the series to be rained in. Concerts in the series were scheduled to take place rain or shine, so this one was held in the Athens High School auditorium, before a crowd of about 400 people. When there were questions about why the music had been moved indoors, despite the rain having cleared four hours before the concert was set to start, John Anderson of the Parks and Rec Department expressed caution, saying, “The grass in the low spots probably would have been damp,” a legitimate concern, for an audience directed by Recreation Supervisor Jenny Cupples to “bring chairs or blankets.”
Other groups featured throughout the summer included The Kings of Dixieland, The Hal Jones Band, Y Sus Bluenotes, and La Strata Disco Band.
Daily Tribune (Royal Oak MI). 1978. Jazz Ensemble Opens Troy Outdoor Concert Series. June 1.
Troy (MI) Eccentric.1978. Free concert slated in park. June 22.
Oakland Press (Pontiac MI). 1978. Troy gives free concert series. June 22.
Troy (MI) Eccentric. 1978. First concert rained in. June 29.
Troy (MI) Eccentric. 1978. Summer outdoor series has finale: Concertgoers hear last tunes. August 10.
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org