#ElonTBT: Homecoming Weekend concerts of the past

In this edition of #ElonTBT, we prepare for Homecoming by taking a look back at some of the biggest music acts to come to Elon over Homecoming Weekends of the past.

In the #ElonTBT series, the Elon University News Bureau, along with Archives & Special Collections, will flash back to the past to take a look at Elon over the years. You will find videos, newspaper clippings, photos and more to celebrate Elon’s past, while looking ahead to the future. Follow along on Today at Elon and the university’s TwitterFacebook and Instagram pages every Thursday to see what we dig up.

As alumni make their way home to Elon for the weekend, they’re preparing for reunions, football, food and fellowship. But another important aspect of Homecoming & Reunion Weekend is the annual Homecoming concert.

A clipping from a 1972 edition of the Pendulum previews a Homecoming weekend that includes concerts by Stevie Wonder and Black Oak Arkansas.

This year, prolific singer and songwriter T-Pain will take the stage inside Schar Center, entertaining Elon with songs like “Best Love Song” and more. The concert is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m.

The addition of the two-time Grammy Award-winning artist to the 2019 Homecoming schedule continues a history of exciting performers to play at Elon over the Homecoming Weekend.

In 1972, Homecoming featured dual headliners. On Oct. 20, legendary singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder graced Elon fans at Alumni Gym with songs like “I Was Made to Love Her,” “My Cherie Amour” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Wonder had just wrapped up a United States tour with the Rolling Stones before kicking off the Homecoming Weekend.

The following night, the Elon community was treated to a second show by Black Oak Arkansas, a band the Oct. 13, 1972, Broadside Today student newspaper said “put on a dynamic, flamboyant and at times outrageous level of performance.”

A photo from Linda Ronstadt’s Homecoming performance in the Oct. 9, 1975, Pendulum newspaper.

Three years later, the Elon Student Union Board brought the “First Lady of Rock,” Linda Ronstadt to perform at the 1975 Homecoming concert. Ronstadt’s performance brought nearly a thousand fans to Alumni Gym to hear top hits like “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.”

In 1978, Homecoming Weekend brought pop rock duo Hall & Oates to Elon. Daryl Hall and John Oates had already reached five Gold Records by the time they performed at Homecoming that year. The cost to hear the group perform hit song “She’s Gone,” and many more, was six dollars for students and seven dollars for non-students.

A photo from a Sept. 1978 edition of the Pendulum of Hall & Oates performing at Elon.

Other past Homecoming performances include shows by hair band Top Secret in 1987:

Rock band Sugarloaf in 1971:

And solo artist John Prine, who performed a free Homecoming concert in 1981:


A list of “past major concerts at Elon,” according to a 1982 edition of the Pendulum.

The big acts haven’t only been reserved for Homecoming Weekend. Elon has served as a venue for some of music’s biggest names over the years. Some other exciting performers have been Jimmy Buffett in March 1977 and Willie Nelson and the Outlaws in May of that same year.

Do you have any special pieces of Elon history? Share your photos and videos with us via email at news@elon.edu or using the hashtag #ElonTBT on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.