Musicians, organizers, & fans tell the epic story of how the Watkins Glen Summer Jam started as a giant rock show & turned into history when more than a half-million came to see the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, & The Band.
by Jesse Jarnow
Perhaps one of the reasons that the Watkins Glen Summer Jam didn’t enter rock mythology alongside Woodstock and other festivals is because there was no accompanying concert film. That might change soon, with a new documentary underway, made in conjunction with original festival promoters Jim Koplik and Shelly Finkel.
Alan Paul wrote the deep new book, Brothers & Sisters: The Allman Brothers and the Inside Story of the Album that Defined the ‘70s. Lost Live Dead explored the history of the Dead playing on racetracks. Dead Essays on the entwined histories of the Dead and the Allmans.
John Ramsey helped mastermind the pirate radio station, Concert Free Radio, maintains the Connecticut Radio History site, and is the author of the Hartford Radio entry in the Images of America series.
Bob Student’s silent footage of the Summer Jam campgrounds. The Grateful Dead en route to Watkins Glen soundcheck, photo by Suki Coughlin.