New Friends of Old Time Music

The New Friends of Old Time Music was a student organization at Illinois State University founded by Mike Metcalf and Greg Koos with a single mission of organizing and promoting folk, bluegrass and blues concerts on campus.  From the fall of 1970 to the spring semester of 1987, the group hosted approximately 300 such performances including seven music festivals and many other unique events.  (See below for the full list of concerts.) 

These concerts included a wide range of musical styles within the folk genre (traditional, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, etc.) and showcased many musicians that would certainly not have played in downstate Illinois otherwise.  While the organization often booked performers from the folk and blues scenes of nearby Chicago, they consistently brought national and even international musical acts to the campus of Illinois State University.  At the same time, the concerts provided a unique venue for local musicians to perform, meet and learn from other like-minded performers.

For nearly all of the seventeen years NFOTM concerts were held regularly on Friday nights at 8 pm during the school semester. Originally they took place in the (Old) Union Building and then temporarily moved to the Union Annex until the construction of the new union (now Bone Student Center) where from 1974 on, concerts were held almost exclusively in the Prairie Room with only bigger events held in Braden Auditorium.  All concerts were open to the public and for nearly a decade free of charge.  Starting in the late 1970's, after some debate as to whether or not student fees should fund these concerts (it was argued that they were poorly attended and more popular with non-students) there was a minimal attendance fee, primarily for non-students. 

The business of booking the acts, budgeting the shows and promoting these concerts was done entirely by a small group of dedicated students.  A call for student volunteers (Be A Friend!) typically went out at the beginning of each school year.  Concerts were primarily promoted with listings, advertisements, articles and occasional reviews in the Vidette (ISU’s student newspaper) and for a brief time in the Post Amerikan (Bloomington-Normal’s alternative newspaper).  In 1979, a NFOTM logo was designed (see above) and used in various print ads.  Posters, buttons, and other such materials were also used at various times to promote the group’s events.  Sadly, none of the organizational papers or promotional ephemera has been preserved by Illinois State University.

A Post Amerikan article from February 1973 mentions that recordings of the concerts were being made and at the time could be heard on WGLT.  It is unknown if these tapes still exist.  However audience recordings were also made, particularly of the earlier shows, and some of these exist in private collections.
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DATE PERFORMER
October 23, 1970 Big Joe Williams October 30, 1970 Fleming Brown November 6, 1970 Stu Ramsey November 13, 1970 Utah Phillips November 20, 1970 J.B. Hutto & His Hawks December 4, 1970 The Lake County String Band
December 11, 1970 The Mayfields
January 8, 1971 Steve Goodman January 15, 1971 Carl Martin and Ted Bogan January 22, 1971 David Bromberg
February 12, 1971 Balfa Brothers
 
February 19, 1971 Mike McCarthy February 26, 1971 Pat & Victoria Garvey March 5, 1971 Erik Frandsen March 12, 1971 John Prine
March 19, 1971 Luther Allison March 26, 1971 Bill Staines April 16, 1971 Michael Cooney
April 16, 1971 Karen Smith, Celia Wyckoff & Mike Drayton April 23, 1971 The Sorry Muthas April 30, 1971 Paul Geremia May 7, 1971 Ola Belle Reed - CANCELLED -
May 14, 1971 Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys
May 21, 1971 Larry Johnson
May 28, 1971 Utah Phillips September 24, 1971 Michael Cooney October 1, 1971 Owen McBride October 8, 1971 Pat & Victoria Garvey October 15, 1971 The Beers Family October 22, 1971 Blind Jim Brewer October 30, 1971 Larry McNeeley November 12, 1971 Bob White November 19, 1971 Wheatridge December 3, 1971 Lou Killen December 10, 1971 Alex Bevan January 8, 1972 Bobby Rush January 14, 1972 Utah Phillips January 21, 1972 Andy Cohen February 11, 1972 Jack McGann February 18, 1972 Roy Book Binder, Bowan and Carmichael February 25, 1972 Luther Allison March 3, 1972 Hedy West, Marilyn Mendelson March 10, 1972 Bill Vanaver April 7, 1972 Norman Kennedy - CANCELLED - April 14, 1972 Hedy West April 21, 1972 Bruce & Mimi, Raun MacKinnon April 28, 1972 Patrick Sky May 5, 1972 Kurt Anderson May 12, 1972 Dave Van Ronk May 19, 1972 The New Grass Revival
May 26, 1972 Paul Geremia, John Roberts & Tony Barrand June 2, 1972 The Sorry Muthas September 29, 1972 Eddy Clearwater October 6, 1972 NFOTM concert listed in Vidette - no more info October 13, 1972 George & Gerry Armstrong October 27, 1972 The Holy Zioneers November 3, 1972 Bob Gibson
November 10, 1972 Jon Wilcox
November 17, 1972 Pop Wagner, Ginni Clemmens December 1, 1972 Ola Belle Reed December 8, 1972 The Ship January 19, 1973 Jean Redpath February 9, 1973 Cousin Emmy February 16, 1973 Art Rosenbaum February 23, 1973 Sugar Creek Dixieland All Stars March 2, 1973 Bryan Bowers March 9, 1973 John Roberts & Tony Barrand March 16, 1973 Owen McBride & Norman Kennedy March 23, 1973 Mike Seeger & Alice Gerrard March 30, 1973 Gordon Bok April 6, 1973 Ed Holstein April 27, 1973 Rural Free Delivery Boys May 4, 1973 George Hutson and "Friends" May 11, 1973 Luther Allison May 18, 1973 McLain Family Band June 1, 1973 Dave Van Ronk September 14, 1973 Armadillo String Band September 21, 1973 Utah Phillips September 28, 1973 Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys October 5, 1973 Andy and Doug Goodman October 19, 1973 Paul Geremia October 26, 1973 Margaret Barry November 2, 1973 Frank Wakefield November 9, 1973 Bill Staines November 16, 1973 DOWN HOME: Vassar Clements, Norman Blake, Tut Taylor, George Hutson, Bray Brothers, Calton Family and the Armadillo String Band
November 30, 1973 Mike Seeger December 7, 1973 Red Lightning Blues Band December 14, 1973 Martin, Bogan and Armstrong January 18, 1974 The Calton Family January 25, 1974 ISU's Jazz-Rock Trio February 1, 1974 Owen McBride February 8, 1974 Jimmy Dawkins Blues Band February 15, 1974 Alex & Belle Stewart February 22, 1974 The Bray Brothers March 1, 1974 Bryan Bowers
March 20, 1974 THE MEMPHIS BLUES CARAVAN: Furry Lewis, Houston Stackhouse, Joe Willie Wilkins & the King Biscuit Boys, Harmonica Frank Floyd, Hammie Nixon, Bukka White, Sleepy John Estes, Piano Red
March 22, 1974 Highwoods String Band
March 29, 1974 Leon Redbone April 7, 1974 The Boys of the Lough April 19, 1974 Sam Lay Blues Band April 19, 1974 Jimmy Walker & Erwin Helfer April 26, 1974 Balfa Brothers May 3, 1974 Mighty Joe Young September 6, 1974 Armadillo String Band September 13, 1974 Martin Peifer September 20, 1974 Jimmy Walker & Erwin Helfer September 27, 1974 Jimmy Driftwood October 4, 1974 John Roberts & Tony Barrand October 18, 1974 Bob Gibson October 25, 1974 The Boys of the Lough November 1, 1974 John Lee Granderson Blues Band November 15, 1974 Mike Dunbar November 22, 1974 Highwoods String Band December 6, 1974 Sweet Betsy from Pike Memorial Autoharp Band December 13, 1974 Art Rosenbaum January 24, 1975 Elizabeth Cotton January 31, 1975 Ola Belle Reed
February 7, 1975 Lou & Sally Killen February 14, 1975 Mike Seeger February 21, 1975 Paul Geremia February 28, 1975 Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys April 4, 1975 Tom Waits
April 11, 1975 Michael Cooney April 18, 1975 Fennig's All-Star String Band April 25, 1975 Original Sloth Band May 2, 1975 The Bray Brothers and Pat Burton September 5, 1975 Sparky Rucker September 12, 1975 Bob Poulsen September 26, 1975 The Hotmud Family September 28, 1975 Cirrus October 3, 1975 Bottle Hill October 17, 1975 Alistair Anderson October 24, 1975 Willy Berry October 31, 1975 Jimmie Walker & Erwin Helfer November 7, 1975 Lou & Sally Killen November 14, 1975 Fleming Brown, Fred Holstein November 21, 1975 Rosalie Sorrels December 5, 1975 Hedy West January 30, 1976 The Red Clay Ramblers February 6, 1976 Ola Belle Reed & Family February 13, 1976 -CANCELLED - March 19, 1976 John Roberts & Tony Barrand April 2, 1976 John Hammond April 9. 1976 "bluegrass music" April 16, 1976 The Rosehip String Band April 23, 1976 Sweet Honey in the Rock May 7, 1976 Lew London September 19, 1976 Jimmy Driftwood September 24, 1976 Mike Seeger October 1, 1976 The Bothy Band
October 8, 1976 -CANCELLED - October 15, 1976 Mad Jack and the Black Label Boys October 22, 1976 The Boys of the Lough October 29, 1976 "a bluegrass band" - no more info November 5, 1976 Michael Cooney November 12, 1976 Memphis Nighthawks November 19, 1976 Mary O'Hara January 21, 1977 Jay & Lyn Ungar January 28, 1977 - CANCELLED - DUE TO WEATHER February 4, 1977 The Gordons February 11, 1977 Larry Rand February 18, 1977 Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon February 25, 1977 Bob White March 4, 1977 Ken Bloom March 11, 1977 Bill Steele March 18, 1977 Ola Belle Reed & Family March 25, 1977 Edith Wilson and Little Brother Montgomery April 15, 1977 Tom Paley April 22, 1977 Lewis London Trio September 9, 1977 The Louisiana Aces September 18, 1977 Steve Goodman October 7, 1977 Original Sloth Band October 28, 1977 Jay & Lyn Ungar November 4, 1977 Bluegrass Crackerjacks November 11, 1977 Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer November 18, 1977 Paul Geremia December 2, 1977 The Alternatives Jazz Band December 9, 1977 Joe Heaney January 20, 1978 John Roberts & Tony Barrand January 27, 1978 Larry Rand February 3, 1978 Memphis Nighthawks February 10, 1978 Wendy Grossman February 24, 1978 Pop Wagner March 3, 1978 Bill Steele March 10, 1978 The Hotmud Family March 31, 1978 John Roberts & Tony Barrand April 7, 1978 Paul Davis April 14, 1978 NFOTM concert listed in Vidette - no more info April 21, 1978 NFOTM concert listed in Vidette - no more info April 28, 1978 Dorothy Carter September 15, 1978 Jay & Lyn Ungar September 22, 1978 The New Missouri Cornhuskers September 29, 1978 The Alternatives October 6, 1978 Ed Holstein October 20, 1978 Kenny Hall Bluegrass Band October 27, 1978 Roxanne & Dan Keding November 3, 1978 Sweet Betsy from Pike Memorial Autoharp Band November 10, 1978 Honey Boy Edwards November 17, 1978 Willy Berry & The Bluegrass Cracker Jacks December 1, 1978 Mike & Barbara Smith December 8, 1978 Bob Bovee January 26, 1979 Pine Valley Boys February 9, 1979 Stephen Wade February 22, 1979 Leo Kottke - CANCELLED (hand injury) - March 23, 1979 Brian Boyer April 6, 1979 Paul Davis and the Rhythm Masters April 20, 1979 Dave Williams & Mike O'Connell April 27, 1979 The Prairie Grass Pickers September 8, 1979 The Gordons September 14, 1979 The Juggernaut Jug Band September 22, 1979 Steve Goodman w/ special guest: Heartsfield October 5, 1979 Bill Steele October 12, 1979 James Durst October 26, 1979 Jon and Erica Wilcox November 9, 1979 Wendy Grossman November 16, 1979 OPEN STAGE December 7, 1979 Roxanne & Dan Keding January 25, 1980 Doc Hult February 1, 1980 Harry Waller February 8, 1980 Charlie Rice and Gordon Wilfong February 15, 1980 Dana Clark February 22, 1980 Buck's Stove and Range Company March 21, 1980 Erin Isaac March 28, 1980 Jeff Grosser April 25, 1980 Art Thieme April 26, 1980 1st Annual Bluegrass Festival: Country Gazette, Special Consensus, Piper Road Spring Band, and Bluegrass Related
September 5, 1980 Mike Jordan September 12, 1980 The Laketown Buskers September 19, 1980 Beth Scalet October 10, 1980 Robin & Linda Williams October 17, 1980 Timothy P. and Rural Route 3 November 14, 1980 Steve Cormier November 21, 1980 James Lee Stanley December 5, 1980 Bluegrass Crackerjacks January 16,1981 Perry Jordan January 23,1981 New Moon Swing Band January 30, 1981 The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs February 13, 1981 Harry Waller and Byron Roche February 20, 1981 Connie Huber February 27, 1981 Jim Post March 20, 1981 Betsy Redhed March 27, 1981 Special Consensus April 3, 1981 Anne & Jan Hills-Burda April 11, 1981 Perry Jordan April 24, 1981 Battlefield Band April 25, 1981 2nd Annual Music Fest: Livingston Taylor, Timothy P. & Rural Route 3, Megan McDonough August 28, 1981 Mike Seeger September 11, 1981 Harry Waller September 18, 1981 Applegate & Company September 25, 1981 The Ron Dewar Band October 9, 1981 Jump'N The Saddle Band October 17, 1981 Vernon Castle & The Last Dance Band October 23, 1981 Juggernaut String Band October 30, 1981 Honey Boy Edwards and Sunnyland Slim November 13, 1981 Tom Mackenzie November 20, 1981 Jim Brewer December 11, 1981 Banjo Fever January 22, 1982 The Laketown Buskers January 29, 1982 Andy Cohen February 5, 1982 Anne & Jan Hills-Burda February 12, 1982 Dooley Brothers February 19, 1982 Bourbon Street Saints February 26, 1982 Buck's Stove and Range Company March 19, 1982 Harmony Sisters March 26, 1982 Bill Steele April 3, 1982 3rd Annual Music Fest: Tom Chapin, Jim Post & Randy Sabien, Erwin Helfer & Friends and the Bluegrass Band April 16, 1982 Roxanne & Dan Keding April 23, 1982 Red Willow Band September 17, 1982 Eclectricity September 24, 1982 Harry Waller October 15, 1982 Eric Rosser November 5, 1982 Dalglish-Larsen Band November 12, 1982 Whetstone Run November 19, 1982 Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine December 3, 1982 Marita Brake January 21, 1983 Leo Kottke February 4, 1983 Son Seals Blues Band April 16, 1983 John Prine and Steve Goodman April 22, 1983 Chicago Rhythm September 16, 1983 Byron Roche September 30, 1983 Bluegrass Cracker Jacks October 7, 1983 Albert Collins & The Icebreakers November 18, 1983 Jim Post January 20, 1984 Beausoleil January 27, 1984 Art Thieme and Bruce Roper February 15, 1984 Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble March 2, 1984 Doug Wood March 23, 1984 Bob Abrams March 30, 1984 Battlefield Band April 6, 1984 Jethro Burns April 13, 1984 Geoff Poister September 14, 1984 Burgundian Consort September 28, 1984 Mike Cross October 6, 1984 Music Fest: Arlo Guthrie, David Bromberg, Bruce Roper October 27, 1984 Albert King Blues Band, Creative Arts Ensemble November 16, 1984 Harry Waller January 25, 1985 Leo Kottke February 1, 1985 Saul Broudy February 15, 1985 Hot Shandy March 1, 1985 Lee Murdock March 17, 1985 Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown March 29, 1985 Buckwheat Zydeco April 19, 1985 Whetstone Run September 13, 1985 Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine September 27, 1985 Tom Paxton October 11, 1985 Chris Proctor October 26, 1985 Music Fest: John Hartford, Gamble Rogers, The Delta Streamers, Roy Book Binder November 8, 1985 David Barrett December 6, 1985 Jack Henderson January 17, 1986 Buckwheat Zydeco Ils Sont Partis Band February 28, 1986 Applegate & Company March 21, 1986 Corky Siegel September 12, 1986 Aileen & Elkin Thomas October 10, 1986 Rory Block November 21, 1986 Bluegrass Knechtion January 23, 1987 Claudia Schmidt March 20, 1987 Robin Crow April 9, 1987 Blues Fest '87: Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows, Legendary Blues Band, Jimmy Rogers
_____________________________________________ This list was compiled by Chris Young, Milner Library, Illinois State University. Last revised 2/24/20. Taken from listings, advertisements, articles and reviews found in the Vidette and Pantagraph from 1970 - 1987 and the Post Amerikan from 1973 - 1975. Additional notes & corrections thanks to Greg Koos, Tom Paterson, Bob Poulsen and Marita Brake.   

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