The Saratoga Performing Arts Center 1976 summer lineup featured an interesting array of acts. In addition to those fabulous Philadelphians, there was the Third Annual Upstate Jazz Festival, featuring Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald all in one weekend. There was the D’oyly Carte Opera Company, presenting three Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. And there were the SPAC Specials, aimed at the popular music crowd. So what popular music was featured during that Bicentennial Summer?
Well, there was Judy Collins, Harry Chapin, Neal Sedaka, and Seals and Crofts. There was Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow, and, of course, James Taylor.
And then there were the acts that were pictured here in the SPAC program. Can you name them? Answers after the jump.
- Liberace, of course. The other dude in the picture, I have no clue.
- Victor Borge, the Clown Prince of Denmark. This was a thing. (In fact, he was gifted and hilarious.)
- Sergio Franchi, a Vegas-style tenor beloved of Italians. Opening for him were comedian Pat Cooper and singer-actress Dana Valery.
- The Carpenters, then one of the top-selling acts in the country.
- Chuck Mangione, at the height of his popularity.
- Ginger Rogers, the dancer and singer. No idea what this show consisted of, but she would have been 65 at the time, so let’s assume not a huge amount of her famous dance moves.
- Bobby Vinton, the Polish Prince.