Televised 1966 Ravinia Special Is A Blast From The Past

In 1966, LBJ was president, miniskirts were quickly gaining popularity, and Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" became a hit. This was also the year that WBKB aired The Sound of Ravinia, an hour-long television special that showcased the many sides of Ravinia including classical, jazz, opera, pop, and folk music. It aired on Thursday, August 11, and contains footage from four separate concert dates. (Full video is available below) The featured artists were:

The Back Porch Majority

The first act on the program was the Back Porch Majority, a popular folk music group that appeared on many televised variety shows in the 60s.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson gave an outdoor performance on the Ravinia Lawn surrounded by children and concertgoers. A year later she would star as the hostess of her own show, "The Nancy Wilson Show" which ran from 1967-68.

The Ramsey Lewis Trio

Responsible for showcasing the jazzier side of Ravinia, The Ramsey Lewis trio performed an excellent set. Band members included "the Count's bassist" Cleveland Eaton II* and future Earth Wind and Fire singer Maurice White on the drums.

Seiji Ozawa conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Seiji Ozawa (Ravinia's Music Director at the time) conducted a performance of Tchaikovsky's capriccio italien with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Roberta Peters with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Roberta Peters along with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Josef Krips, performs Debian non tardar from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. She was one of the leading coloratura sopranos of her generation.

Host: Norman Ross

The host of this program was Norman Ross, a well known radio and television personality. Among his hosting duties was an interview show called "Off the Cuff" on WLS 7 and "Extension 720" on WGN AM.

1966 Ad in Ravinia's program book informing concertgoers that portions of the night's concert would appear on this television special.

Here you can see what the rest of 1966 looked like in Ravinia's calendar of events