1970 saw the arrival of Mungo Jerry to the music scene the world over as they stormed up the charts the world over with their debut single, In The Summertime and their legendary performance at the Hollywood Music Festival in May of that year.
|27th April||The Marquee Club, London|
|15th May||The Temple Club, London|
|22nd May||In The Summertime – Worlds 1st Maxi-Single released.|
|23rd/24th May||The Hollywood Festival|
|31st May||Disco 2 TV Show|
THE HOLLYWOOD FESTIVAL
Mungo Jerry turned in legendary performances at Hollywood and Melody Maker enthused…”the bonfires were burning brightly on the hills, and the assembled crowd accompanied the band by banging coke tins together until the sound heard from a few hundred yards away was like a very groovy scrapyard working overtime”.
Ray Dorset on Hollywood…“ I came off stage on the Saturday night to be greeted by a hoard of radio and press people asking me questions.
“I was too hyped up to answer any of them coherently and I don’t think that the BBC managed to use anything that I said in their reporting of the event.
“I think that everything has already been said about the festival but one thing that sticks in my mind is that a hippy guy came straight up to me after the performance and summed it all up with the words, “No Bullshit!”
Colin Earl on Hollywood…“We were the first band to use the lights (it being dusk), and this has a galvanising effect at any all-day type show, flood it with good lighting plus the sounds and the performers come to life, like so many enchanted puppets.
“Hollywood was magical and I am proud to have been a part of something so heartwarming and good.”
Barry Murray (Mungo Jerry’s producer) on Hollywood…“We brought the Grateful Dead in from the U.S that cost us £10,000 and several others as well – Free, Jose Feliciano, Black Sabbath, Ginger Baker’s Airforce and Traffic.
“Well Mungo just blew everybody else away, it was amazing”!
Mike Cole on Hollywood…“There was about 40,000 people there, we did the first number, and then something happened that was totally unexpected and that was about 40,000 people stood up and started cheering and waving their hands…it was fantastic!”
Ray Dorset gave us his memories of the Hollywood Festival in April 2020…
- There was an estimated 35,000 people there.
- The moderators were Pete Drummond, Jerry Floyd & John Peel.
- The P.A system was a Wem and consisted of several rectangular 4 x 12inch speaker cabinets linked together which were powered by several WEM slave amplifiers which were fed by the signals that came from a few WEM audio mixing desks.
- Charlie Watkins was the designer of such systems.
- The Grateful Dead made their first European performance at this festival, they were said to have brought an entourage of 35 people with them, they performed in the late afternoon on Sunday, May 24th, and did a set of about three and a half hours, they were said to sometimes play for up to five hours. I went on after Free, the Dead spiked the BBC camera mens drinks with LSD and the footage that they shot was mainly unusable.
- I did not play In The Summertime on the Saturday but I may have had a go at playing it on the Sunday.
- The record was released as a 33 1/3 maxi single (the first) on May 22nd and entered the UK chart at No 13 on the following Wednesday, we did the TV show, Disco 2 on the Sunday and on the following Tuesday went straight to No 1.
- There were all kinds of financial shenanigans going on in the aftermath of the event, I found this out a lot later but complete details about these I do not have.
- The atmosphere at the festival was absolutely awesome and it was one of the very first and very last of what a real music festival should be, unlike many of today’s major festivals which in my opinion have grown far too big for their boots and seem to be run by corporate giants.
One hell of a commotion broke out during Mungo Jerry’s act.
A group I’d never encountered previously, they did a storm and had to be re-booked for the following day.
They started off sounding like a skiffle group but got into jug band music and country blues things, tearing the place apart.
Rock Island Line and Midnight Special were both very good, as was Dust Pneumonia Blues.
The crowd kept yelling for In The Summertime, the new single which singer and lead guitarist Ray Dorset wrote, but things were going so well on the Sunday that the group didn’t want to slow the action down and it was left to the disc jockey to play it at the end of the proceedings”.
Richard Green – NME, May 1970.
Mungo Jerry, as I said earlier were the surprise monsters!
They did so well on Saturday afternoon that they played again on the Sunday evening.
They are a combination of a skiffle group and a jug band. Acoustic guitar, banjo, washboard and piano in their line-up.
They play happy, good-time music perfect for the Festival atmosphere in fact. Laugh a lot. Drink cider and beer on stage and really get an informal thing going.
Their main attraction, a huge one, was that they got a cosy, intimate folk club-type atmosphere going at a big, open air show.
They deserved all the accolades. Their future looks bright”!
Tony Norman, Music Now, May 30th, 1970.
|4th June||Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (live vocal over recording)|
|11th June||Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (repeat performance from 4/6/70)|
|16th June||The Lyceum, London|
|18th June||Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (repeat performance from 4/6/70)|
|20th June||Hamburg Festival, Germany – German gig photos from 1970.|
|24th June||Keele University|
|25th June||Starlight Ballroom, Crawley|
|26th June||Rotterdam Festival, Holland|
THE ROTTERDAM FESTIVAL – THE TIMES REVIEW
By about 8 o’clock in the evening, everything had changed.
We had heard and quite warmly applauded, Fotheringay with pretty and talented Joan Baez-style singer and their pleasing, tasteful folk-music.
We had heard a Dutch drummer and an Indian sitar-player.
And a Chicago group who clowned irrepressibly and made quantities of noise but no music, and some folk singers.
Then came Mungo Jerry, the group whose song In The Summertime came from nowhere into the top of the English charts a couple of weeks ago.
They were unknown in Holland, as in Britain a month ago.
While they were on the platform it seemed that everybody in the park assembled.
Everybody stood up, began to clap and dance, throw paper plates and toilet rolls in the air.
Many followed Zacchaeus and climbed into the trees for a better view, and they were dancing as well.
Like the gatecrashers on the light-towers (anguished appeals from the excellent English announcer, Ian Knight, but in vain).
During their last number, a gloriously solid piece of rock’n roll, the whole place had visibly metamorphosed from lethargy into two miles of human vibrating electricity.
Total mass-commitment not for boring politics but for live music.
For the rest of the night everyone was reverently recalling the name of Mungo Jerry.
If not the most inventive rock music I’ve heard, it was in context about the most inspiring.
And it’s nice that a British group did it without benefit of an established reputation”.
|27th June||New Century Hall, Manchester|
|28th June||Winter Gardens, Cleethorpes|
|29th June||Latino, South Shields|
|30th June||Town Hall, Wycombe|
|2nd July||McIlroy’s, Swindon|
|3rd July||The Lyceum, London|
|4th July||The Viking, Seahouses|
|5th July||Winter Gardens, Cleethorpes|
|6th July||Civic Centre, Dunstable|
|7th July||Arts Centre, Crawley|
|9th July||Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (audio recording played only)|
|11th July||Aachen Festival
|14th July||Recorded ‘Doing Their Their Thing’ – Granada TV|
|15th July||Top Rank, Hanley|
|16th July||Lafayette, Wolverhampton – also Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (repeat of 4/6/70)|
|17th July||Toperama, Devizes – also Granada TV – Doing Their Thing televised (Have a Whiff On Me/Dust Pneumonia Blues/Somebody Stole My Wife/In The Summertime/Gimme That Harp/Mighty Man)|
|18th July||City Hall, Sheffield|
|19th July||Fox at Greyhound,Croydon|
|20th July||Top Rank, Reading|
|22nd July||Rebecca’s, Birmingham|
|23rd July||Top Of The Pops televised – In The Summertime (audio recording only)|
|24th July||Wincanton Race Course|
|25th July||Nottingham Festival – For more info|
|26th July||Phun City Festival, Worthing – For more info|
PHUN CITY FESTIVAL
The atmosphere changed in seconds.
From a dreary, washed out, ripped off, thirsty, hungry, soaking wet, tired bunch, to a first rate load of geezers with nothing but good times ahead.
I still don’t know why they played.
I would like to think it was because they wanted to.
For us in the crowd it was the experience of a lifetime.
Now my friends are spread across the world.
Some of us became successful others did not.
Whenever we meet the first topic of conversation is always, “What about that show at Worthing where Mungo played.
Was that shit-hot or not?
And the answer is yes, it was shit-hot and we all loved it – crazy days!”
|27th July||Grasshopper, Crawley|
|28th July||Maddox Festival, Spain|
|30th July||Letchworth Youth Centre|
|31st July||Town Hall, High Wycombe|
|1st – 2nd August||Aix En Provence Festival, France|
|7th August||Pavilion Gardens, Buxton|
|14th August||Chesford Grange, Kenilworth|
|15th August||City Hall, Sheffield|
|16th August||Krumlin Festival – For more info|
|21st August||Copenhagen Beat Festival|
|23rd August||Opera House, Blackpool|
|27th – 28th August||Edinburgh|
|29th August||Isle Of Wight Festival (Band didn’t get to perform).|
Colin Earl on the U.S.A tour…“We had a disaster at L.A’s Whisky A-Gogo Club after an afternoon record company bash where undoubtedly too much alcohol was consumed!
“The audience was wrong for us there.
“Ray, Paul and I did a freebie at the Troubadour down the street.
“We tore it apart”!
|4th September||Richmond Park, Inchicore, Dublin. – For more info|
|4th – 6th September||Fehmarn Festival|
|13th September||Caley Cinema, Edinburgh|
|17th September||Venice Festival|
|25th September – 7th November||U.S.A Tour – Tour photos|
|16th November||Town Hall, Leeds|
|18th November||Keele University|
|19th November||Rebecca’s, Birmingham|
|20th – 24th November||France|
|27th November||Bradford University|
|28th November||Climax Club, March|
|4th December||Shire Hall, Hereford|
|5th December||College Of Education, Middleton St.George – CANCELLED
|6th December||Henley Palace – CANCELLED
|7th December||Shades, Sheffield|
|9th December||College Of Art, Chelsea|
|13th December||Casino de Montreux, Montreux, Switzerland|
|19th – 20th December||Italy – also B.B.C 2’s Champagne On Ice televised on 19th.|
|26th December||B.B.C’s Christmas Top Of The Pops – In The Summertime|
|29th December||Resurrection Club, Barnet|
|30th December||College Of Further Education, Hitchin|
|31st December||Mistrale, Beckenham|