The sixties were a time of development for rock and roll music. Clearwater’s Recreation Department teamed up with a local radio station and produced the first Star Spectacular event at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium. The year was 1961.

The Star Spectaculars ran monthly and sometimes weekly for almost a decade and brought in national acts as well as giving the local garage bands a place to play for their friends. Dion, Bobby Vee, Jack Scott, Joan Campbell and Curtis Lee were the first headliners. Many more acts followed such as, Roy Orbison, The Four Seasons, The Rolling Stones, Ray Stevens, Gene Pitney, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Tommy Roe, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, Manfred Mann, The Beach Boys, Bruce Chanell, Johnny Crawford, Dale & Grace, Neil Sedaka, Terry & The Pirates,The Tempests, Beau Brummels and Vic Waters & The Entertainers and several others.

More importantly, along with the national headliners, many local groups got their start at the Star Spectacular. Some of those local bands were Terry & The Pirates, The Rockers, Vic Waters & The Entertainers, The Impacs, The Mystics, The Catalinas, The Impressions, Puddin Basin, Sons of Man, Those Five, The Roemans, The Tropics and several others. As these bands split up and reformed, many artists who started at the Star Spectaculars in Clearwater went on to play in groups all of us recognize today.

Bertie Higgins of Key Largo fame started in the Impressions and later in the Roemans. Rodney Justo with The Mystics went on to sing with Roy Orbison and later with the Atlanta Rhythm Section. David Muse played with Sons of Man and went on to form Firefall with Rick Roberts, another local musician and later played in The Marshall Tucker Band. Joe Lala played with Blues Image and later played with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Charlie Souza started with the Tropics and later played with Tom Petty, Greg Allman, White Witch and The New Rascals.

The Return of the Star Spectacular is a tribute to all the musicians, artists and bands that participated in the birth of rock and roll in the sixties. During an era of uncertain times, many being pulled away to fight an unpopular war, music was the driving force that kept us together.

See the next Star Spectacular - Saturday, September 28th, 400 Cleveland Street, Cleveland Street Distict in Historic Downtown Clearwater


Parking Diagram for Downtown Clearwater

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Thanks to our Fine Sponsors for Supporting this Event