Earth, Wind and Fire, the rhythm and blues group founded in 1971 that incorporated African, Latin, jazz and soul elements in their repertoire, performed in the Chapel. The group's first album, Earth, Wind, Fire (1971) was an instant success as was the second album, In Need of Love, released later the same year.  "Earth, Wind and Fire is reported," said The Miscellany News, "to have 'an original musical style that encompasses all the elements of the universe, and then some: African drumbeats are fused with funky Southside Chicago blues, then jumbled together with highspirited Southern gospel, raucous rock and relevant message lyrics.'"

The group's appearance was part of "Sickle Cell Benefit Weekend," sponsored by the Student Activities Committee (SAC) in support of the Vassar Sickle Cell Anemia Testing and Education Program, an extension into the black communities of Poughkeepsie of the senior research in biology done by Linda Kinsey '72.