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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Alex Cooley to reminisce about the Atlanta International Pop Festivals

Alex Cooley (circa 2010) will chat about the Atlanta International Pop Festivals on Sunday's "Deep River Music Vault" show. Photo credit: Jason Getz

Alex Cooley (circa 2010) will chat about the Atlanta International Pop Festivals on Sunday's "Deep River Music Vault" show. Photo credit: Jason Getz

The “Deep River Music Vault” show has only been on the air for a few weeks, but host Deborah Reece is rewinding to a big one this weekend.

On Sunday’s show, airing at 8 p.m. on The River 97.1, Reece will look back at the Atlanta International Pop Festivals of 1969 (at Atlanta International Raceway) and 1970 (at Middle Georgia Raceway). The events’ 42nd and 43rd respective anniversaries are around July 4.

Joining her in the studio will be veteran Atlanta concert promoter Alex Cooley, who produced the festivals, as well as Atlanta musician and “Music Vault” co-producer Guy Grande.

“Those who were there were enriched for life by the experience,” Reece said. “Alex Cooley brought Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to Atlanta for the first time. The lineups were insanely good.”

Reece said she plans to talk to Cooley about his inspiration for the fests as well as the logistics for putting on something so mammoth.

“This man is a national treasure and we’re lucky Atlanta is his home,” she said.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

9 comments Add your comment

Ido DEE Clair

June 28th, 2012
8:32 am

My husband went to one of them but can’t remember it very well. He got stoned and there were some mushrooms.

Ido DEE Clair

June 28th, 2012
8:41 am

I wish I could tape this because I’ll be out of town and won’t be able to hear it LIVE. I hope there will be a rebroadcast. Maybe a documentary on PBS would be possible. I know there are some internet sites with vintage pictures of the event, and they are so groovey!

Steve Goss

June 28th, 2012
1:14 pm

No doubt about it, Alex Cooley is an Atlanta cultural icon. I had the privilege of talking with him on the 40th anniversary of the 1st Pop Festival back in 2009. You can listen to it here: http://www.pba.org/post/alex-cooley-talks-about-woodstock-south-40-years-ago

Patrick

June 28th, 2012
2:59 pm

Ms. Reece is entirely correct–what an asset to Atlanta and the South. As one who attended many shows promoted by Alex Cooley and frequented his many venues during the 70’s I was always impressed by the variety of the acts and the easy going demeanor of the locales. Thanks to Alex –long live rock.!

Ido DEE Clair

June 28th, 2012
3:07 pm

Enter your comments here

Robert Planet

June 28th, 2012
3:40 pm

Alex Cooley was the man! He brought great rock and roll to the ATL!

brock

June 29th, 2012
12:22 am

Cool. Alex has done and continues to do good things for Atlanta music.

DAvid Lee

June 29th, 2012
12:44 pm

My partner and I are hard at work bring a documentary of these two festivals a well as the Texas festival Alex produced – it has been two years in pre-production – stay tuned (Timehascometoday.net)
DAve Lee

Ben

July 1st, 2012
6:59 pm

I remember riding all the way to London in March of 1976 on the Alex Cooley Blue Jean Junket with Alex in the seat beside me (Air India). Had a great conversation. I had been to the festival at Byron. We were going north on I-75 from Valdosta in my VW bus and were wondering which exit to take. When we saw two girls walking topless across an overpass, we all said, “This must be it!”