In doing research for There Was A Time, my book on the Rock & Roll scene in North Carolina during the 1960s, there was one event that may well have been the greatest day for Garage Rock in Charlotte's history. In 1966, 27 bands took part in the Big WAYS radio station's Battle Of The Bands competition, an all-day event featuring the best and brightest of the region's Rock bands. Attendees could remember who else was there, what they wore, and the songs they played. There were only two things that escaped everyone's memory- who won, and what day the competition was.
In talking to the Young Ages last year, we figured out that it was the Young Ones, from Lumberton that won the competition. With that info in hand, I asked Maria David of the Charlotte Observer's Retro CLT section to see what she could find. What she found is linked below.
David not only found the date of the event (Saturday, November 19, 1966), she found the Observer's coverage, and how the Lumberton paper, The Robesonian, covered the event and their hometown heroes. The two articles also provides a fascinating contrast to how media at the time viewed the growing youth culture. The Robesonian covers the Young Ones like they are conquering youngsters, with a cool photo to boot, and even lists the bands's song selections at the competition. The Observer article? Well, you're going to want to smack the writer around more than just his head and shoulders. You're been warned.
You can find further descriptions, and photos from the Big WAYS Battle Of The Bands in our book. Check out the book, and the music at our show at Neighborhood Theatre on June 27th. See you there, and Rock on,
June 1, 2015