Monday, May 29, 2017

Biggest Show of Stars 1958 - Spring Edition

After another successful year, Irvin Feld finds the field crowded this year.  DJ Alan Freed put together a package called the Big Beat Show to run head to head against this tour.  Universal Attractions, who booked a large stable of black acts, put together the Rhythm and Blues Cavalcade of '58 to tour.  And Dick Clark announced plans for a package tour for later in the year.  A battle for prime venues in key cities and talent took place in an atmosphere of an economic downturn.   Then on May 6 in Boston a riot broke out during Alan Freed's Big Beat Show leading to the cancellation of the remainder of that package.  The R&B Cavalcade had also ground to a halt with only the Biggest Show of Stars completing its itinerary. 
Talent: Sam Cooke, Paul Anka, The Everly Brothers, Clyde McPhatter, Frankie Avalon, Lavern Baker, Jackie Wilson, The Royal Teens, George Hamilton IV, The Silhouettes, The Crescendos, Storey Sisters, The Monotones, The Playmates, Huey Smith & the Clowns, Jimmy Dell, Bobby Marchan
April 5, 1958 Norfolk, VA
The Spring tour opens in Norfolk after several days of rehearsals in New York City. 
April 6, 1958 The Mosque, Richmond, VA
Two Easter Sunday shows at 7 and 10 p.m.
April 11, 1958  Sports Arena, Hershey, PA
April 12, 1958 Philadelphia, PA
A disappointing crowd of less than 1,000 show up tonight.
April 13, 1958 Arena, New Haven, CT
April 14, 1958 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
April 17, 1958 War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, NY

April 18, 1958 Auditorium, Ottawa, Canada
A modest crowd of 1,500 attend tonight's show highlighting Paul Anka's return to his hometown.  Five youths in leather jackets were thrown out of the show for throwing things onto the stage.
April 19, 1958 Sports Arena, Hershey, PA
April 22, 1958 Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY
April 23, 1958 Warner Theatre, Erie, PA
Two shows scheduled at 7 and 9 p.m.
April 24, 1958 Sports Arena, Toledo, OH
April 26, 1958 Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
May 1, 1958  Indiana Theatre, Indianapolis, IN

May 2, 1958 Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO
May 3, 1958 Civic Opera House, Chicago, IL
May 4, 1958 Auditorium, St. Paul, MN
A matinee performance of the package.
May 4, 1958 Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN
An evening show.
May 5, 1958 Civic Auditorium, Lewiston, ME

May 8, 1958 Arena, Saskatoon, Canada

May 12, 1958 Orpheum Theater, Seattle, WA
The show is booked for three performances at 4:00 and 7:00 and 9:30 p.m.
May 14, 1958 Paramount Theatre, Portland, OR
May 17, 1958 Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, TX
May 18, 1958 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX
May 20, 1958 Municipal Auditorium, Oklahoma City, OK
May 24, 1958 Music Hall, Civic Auditorium, Omaha, NE
Two shows booked at 7 and 9 p.m.
May 29, 1958 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Biggest Show of Stars of 1957 Fall Edition

Promoter Irvin Feld booked the fall edition of the Biggest Show of Stars to cover 28 states and 5 Canadian provinces with a total of 80 shows.  Even before the tour began, it made headlines when the September 8 show in Washington DC was cancelled when city commissioners banned headliner Fats Domino from appearing because his behavior would lead to a riot requiring every policeman in the city.  Feld, a native of Washington DC, moved the show to Annapolis.  This package adds the red-hot Buddy Holly and the Crickets and Paul Anka to the lineup.

Talent: Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly & Crickets, Paul Anka, Spanials, Drifters, Everly Brothers, Frankie Lymon, Lavern Baker, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox, The Diamonds, Clyde McPhatter, Johnnie and Joe, The Bobbettes, Paul Williams Orchestra

September 6, 1957 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
September 7, 1958 The Mosque, Richmond, VA
September 8, 1957 Carr's Beach Ballroom, Annapolis, MD
September 9, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, VA
September 10, 1957  Akron Armory, Akron, OH
September 11, 1957 Garden, Cincinnati, OH
September 12, 1957 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Columbus, OH
September 13, 1957 Sports Arena, Hershey, PA
September 14, 1957 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada
Chuck Berry comes down with the flu and is unable to perform tonight.

September 15, 1957 Forum, Montreal, Canada
A huge 30,000 crowd packs the Forum for two shows for a gross of $51,890.

September 16, 1957 War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
September 17, 1957 War Memorial Audiorium, Rochester, NY
September 18, 1957 Coliseum, Baltimore, MD
September 19, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC
September 20, 1957 Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC

September 21, 1957 Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

September 22, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, GA
September 23, 1957 New Auditorium, Columbus, GA

September 24, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga, TN

Starting today, Paul Anka, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and the Everly Brothers are dropped from the lineup for the next five shows since black performers and with performers cannot appear together in those cities.

September 25, 1957  Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham, AL

September 26, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, LA

September 27, 1957 Auditorium, Memphis, TN
September 28, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Tulsa, OK

The Everlys, Buddy Holly and the Crickets and Paul Anka return to the lineup tonight.  During the day, Buddy and the Crickets go to Tinker Air Force Base and record four songs including Maybe Baby in the Officer's Club Lounge.

September 29, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Oklahoma City, OK

Two shows booked at 4 and 8 p.m.
September 30, 1957 City Auditorium, Wichita Falls, TX
October 1, 1957 New Auditorium, Dallas, TX
October 2, 1957 Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, Ft. Worth, TX
October 3, 1957 Heart of Texas Coliseum, Waco, TX

October 4, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX

Two shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m.
October 5, 1957 Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, TX

Two shows are booked at 7 and 10:30 p.m.
October 6, 1957 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX
October 7 ,1957 City Coliseum, Austin, TX
October 8, 1957 City Auditorium, El Paso, TX
October 9, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM

October 10, 1957 Calalina High School Gym, Tucson, AZ
October 11, 1957 Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ
October 12, 1957 Mission Beach Ballroom, San Diego, CA

Tonight's show is a sell-out.
October 13, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Fresno, CA
October 15, 1957 Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA

Starting with today's show and running the remainder of the tour, Feld drops the black acts The Bobbettes, The Spaniels, and Johnnie and Joe and adds Eddie Cochrane, Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen to the lineup.  Fats Domino also choses to close the first half of the show so he can have his evenings free for partying and socializing.
October 17, 1957 Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA
October 18, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA

October 19, 1957 Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
October 20, 1957 Civic Auditorium, Stockton, CA (matinee)
October 20, 1957 Auditorium, Oakland, CA (evening)
October 22, 1957 Paramount Theater, Portland, OR
October 23, 1957 Georgia Auditorium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Don and Phil Everly with Vancouver Radio personality Red Robinson.

October 24, 1957 Temple Theater, Tacoma, WA
October 25-26, 1957 Orpheum Theater, Seattle, WA

The cast throws a surprise birthday party for Irvin Feld after one of these shows.  He was lured to the party by the report that Lavern Baker and Clyde McPhatter were fighting.

October 27, 1957 Coliseum, Spokane, WA
October 28, 1957 University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Having had their fill of Paul Anka's bratty behavior, the cast decides to strike back.  Backstage, several acts strip Anka while Lavern Baker smears him with blackened cold cream and then dumps two pillows of feathers on him.

October 29, 1957 Stampede Corral, Calgary, Canada
October 30, 1957 Edmonton Gardens, Edmonton, Canada
October 31, 1957 Exhibition Auditorium, Regina, Canada

November 1, 1957 Arena Auditorium, Denver, CO

Feld adds the Diamonds to the lineup, increasing the number of white artists to over half.  After the show, radio DJ Freeman "Free" Hover conducts interviews in Eddie Cochrane's suite for KCSR in Chadron, Nebraska of several stars of the show.  Amazingly, these interviews have survived and can be found on YouTube

November 2, 1957 Forum, Wichita, KS
November 3, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO
November 4, 1957 Music Hall City Auditorium, Omaha, NE
November 5, 1957 Arena Municipal Auditorium, Topeka, KS
November 6, 1957 Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

One show booked at 8:30 p.m.
November 7, 1957 Indiana Theater, Indianapolis, IN
November 8, 1957 Coliseum, Ft. Wayne, IN
November 9, 1957 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Louisville, KY
November 10, 1957 Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
November 11, 1957 Sports Arena, Toledo, OH
November 12, 1957 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
November 13, 1957 Warner Brothers Theatre, Erie, PA
November 14, 1957 RPI Fieldhouse, Troy, NY
November 15, 1957 Boston Gardens, Boston, MA
Boston police prove to be tough on the fans as they arrest dozens of kids and kicked out another dozen for dancing.

November 16, 1957 State Theater, Hartford, CT
November 17, 1957 Forum, Montreal, Canada

A return booking to accommodate the fans who didn't get into the shows back in September.
November 18, 1957 Auditorium Arena, Toronto, Canada
November 19, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Buffalo, NY
November 20, 1957 Arena, Philadelphia, PA

November 21, 1957 Paramount Theater, Brooklyn, NY

LOOK magazine sends a photographer to the show and the bulk of the attention goes to Fats Domino despite several of the acts who went to #1 during the tour.
November 22, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, VA
November 23, 1957 Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
November 24, 1957 Mosque, Richmond, VA

The wrap party was held in a club that did not usually allow blacks, yet another big step that rock n' roll was going to continue to push the envelope.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

SHINDIG Tour 1965

In 1965 the success of the Shindig television show on ABC television network prompted Selmur Productions to book a national package tour to include many of the show's regulars including host Jimmy O'Neill.  The tour would also book national rock acts to supplant the show regulars.  The first non-show regular announced was Linda Gail Lewis, the sister of Jerry Lee Lewis performing as Linda Gale.  Shortly after that announcement, NEMS Enterprises revealed that Gerry and the Pacemakers would also join a portion of the summer tour.  Los Angeles Rams lineman Rosie Greier, trying to start a signing career was also signed to join the tour.  The Australian band the Newbeats headlined two portions of the tour bracketing Gerry and the Pacemakers.

The Shindig name was rather popular and many additional promoters tried to cash in on the name.  Promoter Irving Weinhause put a another package tour on the road early in the year.  Shindig '65 played two shows in California headlined by Gary Lewis & Playboys and then headed out nationally with Paul Peterson as the headliner.  Their debut show in Phoenix came to the attention of Selmur Productions, who took out newspaper ads and bought time on local radio stations to inform fans that the Shindig '65 show was not affiliated with the Shindig TV show.  Consequently the show bombed and Weinhause filed a lawsuit and Selmur Productions counter-sued.  In terms of financial success, Selmur was definitely the winners as their tour drew the crowds.

Ad taken out by Selmur in Billboard magazine.

Below is a nearly complete listing - it has a few holes so please comment if you saw a show that's not on the list.

First leg headlined by The Newbeats with support acts Rosie Grier, Dixie Cups, The Hondells, Linda Gail along with show regulars John Andrea, Sue Thompson, Jim Doval & Gauchos

March 26, 1965  Fieldhouse, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

April 1, 1965  Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR

April 6, 1965  Civic Auditorium, Idaho Falls, ID

April 7, 1965  The Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, UT


April 8, 1965  Auditorium Arena, Denver, CO

April 9, 1965  Memorial Hall, Salida, KS

April 11, 1965  Roberts Memorial Stadium, Evansville, IN

April 13, 1965  Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, IA

April 15, 1965  Auditorium, Milwaukee, WI

April 17, 1965  McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

April 18, 1965  Fair & Exposition Center, Fairgrounds, Louisville, KY

April 21, 1965  Music Hall, Houston, TX

April 22, 1965  Municipal Auditorium, Austin, TX

April 23, 1965  Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX

April 24, 1965  Civic Center Arena, Tulsa, OK

April 27, 1965  Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS (two shows)

The second leg is headlined by Gerry and the Pacemakers with support acts Shirley Ellis, Dixie Cups, Rosie Grier, Willy Nelson, Joey Paige, Linda Gale along with show regulars Jim Doval & Gauchos.  Linda Gale's contract was for 4 weeks but the response to her was good enough that she was extended to the entire tour.

April 29, 1965  Coliseum, Ft. Wayne, IN

April 30, 1965  Gardens, Cincinnati, OH

May 1, 1965  Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

May 2, 1965  Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI

May 3 ,1965  Civic Center, Lansing, MI

May 4, 1965  Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown, OH

May 5, 1965  Sports Arena, Toledo, OH

May 6, 1965  Grand Rapids, MI

May 7, 1965  Civic Center, Charleston, WVA (two shows)

May 8, 1965  Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA

May 10, 1965  Bushnell Auditorium, New Haven, CT

May 12, 1965  Four Seasons Arena, Walpole, MA

May 13, 1965  Coliseum, Washington DC

May 14-16, 1965  Academy of Music, New York City, NY  (five shows total)

May 18, 1965  War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, NY

May 20, 1965  Rhode Island Auditorium, Providence, RI

May 21, 1965  Hotel Philadelphia Ballroom, Philadelphia, PA

May 23, 1965  Civic Center, Baltimore, MD

May 23, 1965  The Dome, Virginia Beach, VA

May 26, 1965  Raleigh County Armory, Beckley, WVA

Third leg of the SHINDIG tour has a variety of talent.  The Newbeats fill in as headliners for the last three shows originally planned for Gerry and the Pacemakers then Bobby Sherman takes over as the headliner for the western swing of the tour with support acts Dixie Cups, Linda Gale, Willy Nelson, Rosie Grier and show regulars Ronnie Dove, the Shindogs, Jim Doval & Gauchos

May 27, 1965  Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, SC

May 28, 1965  Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN

May 29, 1965  War Memorial Auditorium, Greensboro, NC

May 30, 1965  Civic Auditorium, Kingsport, TN (two shows)

June 3, 1965  Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX

June 5, 1965  Municipal Auditorium, Lubbock, TX

June 6, 1965  Liberty Hall, El Paso, TX (two shows)


June 8, 1965  Stadium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

June 9, 1965  Fairgrounds, Phoenix, AZ

June 11, 1965  Auditorium, Long Beach, CA (two shows)

June 12, 1965  Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, CA

June 13, 1965  Memorial Auditorium, Fresno, CA