When Stevie Wonder Rocked Dartmouth’s Lincoln Park
There are many reasons to miss Lincoln Park, including the many great acts that appeared in the historic Lincoln Park Ballroom and under the roof at the park's Clam Cake Pavilion.
My late mother, who came of age during the Big Band era, often spoke of taking the trolly out to Lincoln Park to see such legendary performers as Pearl Bailey, Louis Prima, and all of the Big Band leaders who toured at the time. That must have been something.
I can recall seeing the Three Stooges, Frankie Fontaine, The King Sisters, Bobby & Sissy, and the Marquis Chimps in the Clam Cake Pavilion in the 1960s and, of course, an assortment of local bands in the ballroom for the Sunday dances in the '70s.
But only recently did I learn that one of the giants of R&B, soul, pop, funk, etc. – a guy named Stevland Hardaway Morris – appeared at Lincoln Park, too. We know Stevland as Stevie Wonder. When he was only 18 years old, Stevie Wonder participated in Spring Weekend '68, a two-day entertainment event on April 26-27, 1968.
Spring Weekend '68 catered to the college crowd. The Tech, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based publication, announced the details in its March 19, 1968 edition.
On Friday night, April 26, Spring Weekend '68 kicked off with a Las Vegas Night at Boston's Hotel Bradford. It featured several hours of casino gaming, prizes, and comedy by The Pickle Brothers. Travis Pike's Tea Party provided music for dancing. The Pavement Narrows was also on the bill.
On Saturday of Spring Weekend '68, attendees were bused from Boston to Lincoln Park in Dartmouth for cookouts, discounted rides, and an afternoon concert by Jefferson Airplane in the ballroom.
That's not all. The grand finale was an evening concert in the ballroom by Stevie Wonder, who had already racked up a litany of Top 40 hits by then.
The round trip bus fare between Boston and Dartmouth was $18. The ticket price included some food and tickets for all musical events.
Jefferson Airplane and Stevie Wonder performing in the Lincoln Park Ballroom on the same day must have been something to see – and all for 18 bucks!
Did any of you attend this event? What do you remember about it?