Wembley Festivals

Mervyn Conn

The Wembley Country Music Festivals ran from 1969-1991. They were invariably held each Easter weekend at Wembley Arena (formerly known as the Empire Pool). 

 

Showbiz promoter Mervyn Conn was the man behind staging the biggest and most prestigious Country Music event. Admired and respected, he brought a plethora of overseas stars to these shores but he also encouraged home-grown talent too who would appear alongside household names on the main stage. The Wembley Festival was, for many years, the one event in the Country Music diary that everybody looked forward to.

 

Jon's son Mark says, 'As far as I'm aware, dad appeared on the main stage seven times either in his own right or together with Country Fever but he was also present at the majority of the festivals throughout the 1970's and early 80's either backing other artists or compering the 'Best of British Talent Show' that took place next door at the Wembley Conference Centre.' 

 

Jon Derek was once quoted to have said, 'I think there's only one person who's appeared at more Wembley Festivals than me and that's Mervyn Conn!' 

THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1970

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: COUNTRY FEVER, GEORGE HAMILTON IV, LYNN ANDERSON, ROY ACUFF, SKEETER DAVIS, DON GIBSON & LORETTA LYNN

 

COUNTRY FEVER APPEARED ON MARCH 28, 1970 - THEY ALSO BACKED DON GIBSON AND CHARLIE WALKER

 

THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1972

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: COUNTRY FEVER, CONWAY TWITTY, TOM T. HALL, BILL ANDERSON, ANNE MURRAY, GEORGE HAMILTON IV & HANK WILLIAMS JNR.

 

COUNTRY FEVER APPEARED ON APRIL 1, 1972 - THEY ALSO BACKED DEL REEVES & ANNE MURRAY AT THE PRE-FESTIVAL BANQUET

THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1973

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: COUNTRY FEVER, SKEETER DAVIS, HANK THOMPSON, HANK SNOW, ERNEST TUBB & FERLIN HUSKY

 

COUNTRY FEVER APPEARED ON APRIL 21, 1973 - THEY ALSO BACKED GEORGE HAMILTON IV

THE SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1975

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: JON DEREK & COUNTRY FEVER, MARTY ROBBINS, DOLLY PARTON, GEORGE JONES, WANDA JACKSON & MELBA MONTGOMERY

 

JON DEREK & COUNTRY FEVER APPEARED ON MARCH 29, 1975 - THEY ALSO BACKED VERNON OXFORD, MIKI & GRIFF & MARVIN RAINWATER

THE EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1976

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: JON DEREK, DON WILLIAMS, WANDA JACKSON, TAMMY WYNETTE, DOLLY PARTON, MARTY ROBBINS & CARL PERKINS

 

JON DEREK APPEARED ON THE WEMBLEY STAGE - APRIL 17, 1976. THE SHOW THEN TRAVELLED TO SWEEDEN (APRIL 19) WHERE JON WORKED ALONGSIDE DOLLY PARTON, MARTY ROBBINS, TAMMY WYNETTE, SKEETER DAVIS & GEORGE HAMILTON IV

THE NINTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1977

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: JON DEREK, DON EVERLY, CARL PERKINS, CONWAY TWITTY, DON WILLIAMS, EMMYLOU HARRIS & CRYSTAL GAYLE

 

JON DEREK APPEARED ON APRIL 10, 1977. THE SHOW THEN TRAVELLED TO SWEDEN (APRIL 11) AND FINLAND (APRIL 13) WHERE JON WORKED WITH BILLIE JO SPEARS & GEORGE HAMILTON IV

THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS OF COUNTRY MUSIC - 1991

 

FEATURING AMONG OTHERS: JON DEREK & COUNTRY FEVER, JOHNNY CASH, TAMMY WYNETTE, CRYSTAL GAYLE, THE JORDANAIRES & SLIM WHITMAN 

 

JON DEREK & COUNTRY FEVER APPEARED ON MARCH 30, 1991 - DURING THEIR PERFORMANCE THEY WERE JOINED ON STAGE BY FIDDLE PLAYER JOHN McEUEN FROM THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND