Jimi Hendrix, Miami Pop Festival, and Hear My Train A Comin'

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: South Florida's first festival and a memorable moment with Jimi Hendrix.

In May 1968, South Florida had very little to boast about when it came to placing its imprint on the national music scene. The Beatles made their bow outside New York City when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in a telecast from Miami Beach, and Criteria Studios had already begun its run of notable R&B hits (James Brown recorded his signature song "I Got You (I Feel Good)" there in 1965), but for the most part, our environs were a kind of musical nowhere land that few in the business ever thought about twice.

That made the first Miami Pop Festival, which took place over two days, May 18 and 19, all that more auspicious. Though many may think of it as footnote in rock's larger trajectory, it was in fact a critical lynchpin between the two festivals that would eventually overshadow it: Monterey Pop, held 11 months before, and Woodstock, which awaited 15 months later.

See also: Jimi Hendrix Albums Possibly to Be Released in the Future

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Lee Zimmerman