WEMBLEY COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVALS
The International Festivals of Country Music - more commonly known as the 'Wembley Country Music Festivals' ran from 1969-1991. They were held each Easter weekend at Wembley Arena (formerly known as the Empire Pool up until 1978).
Promoter Mervyn Conn was the man behind staging these iconic festivals - the first Country Music event of any great magnitude to be held in Britain. Admired and respected, Mr Conn brought a plethora of overseas stars to these shores but he also encouraged home-grown talent too who would often be given the oppotunities to appear alongside the American stars on the main stage. The 'Wembley Country Music Festival' was, for many years, the one event in the country music diary that everybody looked forward to. Sadly, in 1991, they came to an end - however, in 2012 Mervyn Conn staged a similar, scaled down, one-off event, as a finale.
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 his band Country Fever (1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1991) but he was also present at the majority of the festivals throughout the 1970's and early 1980's either backing other artists or compering the 'Best of British Talent Show' that took place next door at the 'Wembley Conference Centre'."
Click on the 'Wembley Festivals' sub-headings to discover more about Jon Derek's involvement in Mervyn Conn's 'International Festivals of Country Music'