Friday, July 22, 2016

1967 "Where the Action Is" Tour - Spring Edition

 
 
 
The final "Where the Action Is" tour is booked for the spring of 1967 with a hot new artist as the headliner, Neil Diamond.  Clark also signed P.J. Proby, along with tour regulars, Tommy Roe and Keith.  This unit focused primarily . on the south for a very short run.  The ability for a package tour such as the Caravans to earn money had run its course.
 
 
 
 


3/29/67 Alumni Coliseum, Western Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Hard Times, Don & the Goodtimes, Men of Action



3/30/67  Civic Theatre, Akron, OH
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, The Hard Times, Don & the Goodtimes

3/31/67  ISU Arena, Terra Haute, IN
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Tommy James & Shondells, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, The Hard Times, Don & the Goodtimes

4/2/67 Fieldhouse, Muncie, IN
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids
 
4/3/67  Lone Oak High School, Paduka, KY
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids
 
4/6/67  City Auditorium, Birmingham, AL
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids
 
4/7/67   Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GA

 Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids
 
4/9/67  Virginia Beach Dome, Virginia Beach, VA
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids

4/19/67  Robinson Auditorium, Little Rock, AR
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Freddie Cannon, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Baby Ray and the Precious Few, Action Kids

4/20/67  Fairgrounds Coliseum, Nashville, TN
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Freddie Cannon, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Baby Ray and the Precious Few, Action Kids

4/23/67 Indiana
Talent: Neil Diamond, P.J. Proby, Tommy Roe, Keith, Billy Joe Royal, Keith Allison, Dale Wright, Men of Action, Hard Times, Soul Spectacular, Action Kids

Last show of the 13-city tour


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Biggest Show of Stars of 1957 Spring Edition




Promoter Irving Feld puts another compelling package out in the spring of 1957 headlined by Fats Domino.  This gathering of talent focuses on black performers in an attempt to avoid the problems encountered in 1956.  It didn't always work as the racial tensions remained in the south.  In addition, Fats Domino goes AWOL for some shows when it approaches his home in New Orleans and has to be forced back on the tour.  Booked for 45-dates, the tour is so successful that repeat dates are booked in several cities.
 



Talent: Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Lavern Baker, Bill Doggett, Clyde McPhatter, Five Keys, Ann Cole, Moonglows, Five Satins, Charlie Brown, Eddie Cooley & Dimples, Schoolboys, Paul Williams Orchestra

 


 
February 15, 1957 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
 
Two sell-out shows pull in a gross of $22,700.
 
February 16, 1957 Olympia, Detroit, MI
 
February 18, 1957 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada
 
February 19, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY
 
February 21, 1957 Indiana Theater, Indianapolis, IN
 
February 22, 1957 Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
 
February 23, 1957 Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO
 
Both houses were sold out and the demand for tickets was so high that another show is booked in April.
 
February 24, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Topeka, KS
 
February 25, 1957 Civic Auditorium Arena, Omaha, NE
 
February 27, 1957 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, UT
 
March 3, 1957 Coliseum, Spokane, WA
 
One show at 7:30 p.m.

 
March 4, 1957 CPS Fieldhouse, Tacoma, WA
 
March 5, 1957 Memorial Auditorium, Portland, OR
 
March 7, 1957 Orpheum, Seattle, WA
 
March 8, 1957 Portland, OR
 
March 10, 1957 Auditorium, Oakland, CA
 
March 11, 1957 Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA
 
March 13, 1957 Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
 
March 14, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach, CA
 
March 17, 1957 Sports Center, Tucson, AZ
 
Fats Domino is late for his performance and when he does finally show, he has laryngitis and is unable to sing.  Domino's manager takes him to the hospital where doctors order him to rest.
 
March 18, 1957 Coliseum, El Paso, TX
 
March 19, 1957 Armory, Albuquerque, NM
 
March 22, 1957 Heart of Texas Coliseum, Waco, TX
 
March 23, 1957 Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, TX
 
March 24, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX
 
March 25, 1957 Gregory Auditorium, Austin, TX
 
This appearance was cancelled.
 
March 25, 1957 Sportatorium, Dallas, TX
 
March 27, 1957 Little Rock, AR
 
Domino leaves the tour and flies home, still sick.  He promises to return the next night.
 
March 28, 1957 Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, TN
 
Two shows today - segregated audiences with whites in the afternoon and blacks in the evening.  5,134 shows up at the first show.  Fats Domino fails to show, claiming to still be sick.  With the news that Fats was not going to show, only 2,500 show up for the evening show.
 
March 29, 1957 Loyola Field House, Loyola University, Baton Rouge, LA
 
Fats Domino shows up tonight, but still complains that he isn't feeling well.  Howard Lewis, the promoter of the shows in the South decides to scare Fats with a gun but it backfires when Domino disappears again.
 
March 30, 1957 Mobile, AL
 
Fats Domino is again absent and Allan Bloom takes a plane to New Orleans and stakes out Domino's house.  Bloom corrals him going out and they head back to the airport.  Unfortunately, they miss their return flight and instead fly to Atlanta.
 
March 31, 1957 Atlanta, GA
 
April 4, 1957 Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
 
April 5, 1957 Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
 
April 7, 1957 The Mosque, Richmond, VA
 
Two sell-out shows tonight leads to the promoter rebooking the package for May 5.  As they head out to Washington DC, a car carrying some of Fats Domino's band catches fire and is destroyed.  Luckily, injuries were minor.
 
April 9, 1957 Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WVA
 
April 10, 1957 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
 
April 11, 1957 Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
 
April 13, 1957 Boston Garden, Boston, MA
 
April 14, 1957 Bushnell Auditorium, Hartford, CT
 
April 15, 1957 Mosque Theatre, Newark, NJ
 
April 16, 1957 Arena, New Haven, CT
 
April 18, 1957 Auditorium, Ottawa, Canada
 
April 19, 1957 Indiana Theatre, Indianapolis, IN
 
The package returns for a second date in Indianapolis.
 
April 20, 1957 Kiel Opera House, St. Louis, MO
 
A return to St. Louis as two shows are booked for 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
 
April 22, 1957 Roberts Stadium, Evansville, IN
 
April 24, 1957 Garden, Cincinnati, OH
 

April 27, 1957 CYC, Scranton, PA
 
April 28, 1957 Forum, Montreal, Canada
 
April 30, 1957 War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, NY
 
May 5, 1957 Mosque, Richmond, VA
 
The package returns to Richmond for another two shows tonight.



 

 

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

George Martin - R.I.P.

Today's news of the passing of producer Sir George Martin is very sad, but very uplifting in the sense that even the most cursory look at his career is the story of a life well-lived.  As I am in the midst of research and writing a new book on the British Beat Boom and British Invasion and it's impossible not to come across the footprints of this amazing man.  Martin, who had already signed and produced the Beatles, subsequently signed both Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas to contracts and became their producers.  Gerry had three #1's with his first three singles in England and Billy J. hit the top spot twice in his first year.  Such was the golden touch that George Martin seemed to have in those early years.

Of course, anyone my age has the Beatles' catalogue imprinted on their DNA and so much of the Beatles' sound was due in large part to George Martin.   The partnership they developed remains unique.  Thankfully, the contributions of Sir George have been well documented and the music will live forever.  Rest well, Sir George.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Biggest In Person Show of 1956


This package was booked as a 40-date tour and although Bill Haley was once again the headliner, Frankie Lymon was the hot group at the time of the tour.  Although not as tense as the spring tour, Haley is banned from several shows by local ordinances or orders.  The Vic Lewis Orchestra is a British set of musicians who join the tour for part of its run backing most of the acts. The Buddy Johnson Orchestra later joins when the British musicians return home.

 
Talent: Bill Haley & Comets, The Platters, Clyde McPhatter, Frankie Lymon & Teenagers, The Clovers, Ella Johnson, Chuck Berry, Shirley & Lee, Shirley Gunter, The Flairs, Buddy Johnson Orchestra, Vic Lewis Orchestra
 

I have only a partial itinerary for this tour, so any additions would be welcomed.




October 14, 1956 The Mosque, Richmond, VA
 
October 17, 1956 City Auditorium, Winston-Salem, NC
 
October 18, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WVA
 
October 20, 1956 Olympia Theater, Detroit, MI
 
October 21, 1956 Sports Arena, Toledo, OH

A single show booked at 8:30 p.m.
 
October 22, 1956 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
 
Two sell-out shows tonight with plenty of police presence to keep the crowd under control.  Bill Haley and the Comets were banished from the show by police order.
 
October 23, 1956 Arena, Cleveland, OH
 
One performance scheduled tonight.
 
October 24, 1956 Gardens, Cincinnati, OH
 
A total of 8,000 fans fill the Gardens for tonight's show.   The local Enquirer newspaper sent their theatre critic to review the show.  His review was kindly but he left long before the headline acts performed due to deadlines.
 
October 25, 1956 Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown, OH

Two shows booked at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
 
October 26, 1956  War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, NY

Two shows booked at 7 and 10 p.m.
 
October 27, 1956 Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
 
Two shows scheduled tonight.
 
October 29, 1956 Auditorium, Ottawa, Canada

October 30, 1956 Auditorium, Kitchener, Canada

November 2, 1956 Indiana Theater, Indianapolis, IN
 
November 3, 1956 Missouri Theatre, St. Louis, MO
 
November 4, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO
 
November 8, 1956 Ice Arena, Albuquerque, NM

Two shows are scheduled at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
 
November 9, 1956 Liberty Hall, El Paso, TX
 
November 13, 1956 City Auditorium, Galveston, TX
 
November 14, 1956 Heart of Texas Coliseum, Waco, TX
 
November 15, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX
 
November 16, 1956 Sportatorium, Dallas, TX
 
November 24, 1956 Opera House, Chicago, IL
 
Two shows scheduled tonight at 7 and 10 p.m.
 
November 25, 1956 War Memorial Auditorium, Ft. Wayne, IN
 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Biggest Rock n Roll Show of 1956


Today's post starts another series of documenting early rock n' roll package tours.  The Biggest Rock and Roll Show of 1956 was a 45-date tour headlined by Billy Haley and the Comets.  This package is quite a show with all the acts except the headliner African-American.  As racial tensions are peaking throughout the country, the potential for trouble exists at every tour stop.  Several shows are cancelled because of racial troubles including bomb threats, protests, pickets, and violence.  The success of the tour winds up with two dates being added during the tour, making it a 47-date tour. Information on this tour regarding attendance comes from Bill Haley's personal diary.
 
Talent: Bill Haley & Comets, Platters, Bo Diddley, Drifters, LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter, Big Joe Turner, Red Prysock, Shirley & Lee, Roy Hamilton, Five Keys, The Turbans, Frankie Lymon & Teenagers
 


April 20, 1956 Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, PA
 
8,000 attend tonight's opening show.  As the headliner, Haley earns $1,430 for tonight's show and every show during the tour.  LOOK magazine sends a reporter to cover the tour's first couple of dates.

LOOK magazine photo of Bill Haley and the Comets at Hershey, PA

 April 21, 1956 Warner Theatre, Atlantic City, NJ
 
6,000 people attend tonight's show.  LOOK reporters interview Haley and others in the package.
 
April 22, 1956 Mosque, Richmond, VA
 
Two sell-out shows tonight with 9,600 attending and thousands turned away. 
 
April 23, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, VA
 
Another two sell-out shows tonight as 7,000 people attend and 5,000 are turned away.
 
April 24, 1956 Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, PA
 
The crowd is rowdy tonight as 3,000 are crammed into this small venue.  Bill Haley is punched in the eye as he leaves the stage.
 
April 25, 1956 Arena, Philadelphia, PA
 
Another two sell-outs as 11,000 fans jam the arena for two shows.
 
April 26, 1956  Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY
 
An unruly crowd tonight as another 5,000 are turned away and those that make it in will not stay in their seats.  An estimated 6,000 are in attendance.  Haley is again assaulted as he leaves the stage.


April 27, 1956 Mosque Theater, Newark, NJ
 
The tour has its smallest crowd tonight as only 3,000 show up.
 
April 28, 1956 Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
 
Another big crowd as 10,500 attend the sell-out show.  Another large group of people were turned away. 
 
April 29, 1956 The Forum, Montreal, Canada
 
Two sell-out shows bring 16,000 fans out.
 
April 30, 1956 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada
 
A record setting crowd of 13,000 for a single show.  The press and TV are pressing Haley about whether rock and roll is dangerous.
 
May 1, 1956 Auditorium Theatre, Rochester, NY
 
Two sell-outs with 5,500 in attendance.  An attempt to pull Haley off the stage during his set fails.
 
May 2, 1956 Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY
 
A crowd of 9,000 attend the concert with another 3,000 attending the premiere of Rock Around the Clock.
 
May 3, 1956 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
 
A big crowd of 9,000 fill the Mosque.  The crowd was energetic but well  behaved.
 
May 4, 1956 Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH
 
Two shows tonight and during the second show, the crowd dance din the aisles but no violence.
 
May 5, 1956 Memorial Auditorium, Canton, OH
 
Two shows tonight with 7,000 in attendance.  After the shows, the package stops for food along the turnpike and a fight takes place between some of the acts.  They hit the road and Haley hopes the situation isn't picked up by the press.
 
May 6, 1956 Olympia Arena, Detroit, MI
 
A new record crowd tonight as 22,500 fans for two shows.
 
May 7, 1956 Dayton University Fieldhouse, Dayton, OH
 
5,500 fans show up tonight.
 
May 8, 1956 Arena, Cleveland, OH
 
Tonight's show is attended by 4,000 fans.  The Associated Press reports on the fight a few days prior and Haley is upset that the press named him as involved.
 
May 9, 1956 Gardens, Cincinnati, OH
 
May 10, 1956 Indiana Theater, Indianapolis, IN
 
Two sell-out shows tonight and after the show, the package drive to Chicago arriving at 6:30 a.m.
 
May 11, 1956  International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
 
The crowd was well behaved although only 6,000 fans show up.  Haley had expected a bigger turnout and blamed the lack of promotion and the wrong venue.
 
May 12, 1956 Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO
 
Two sell-out shows bring 8,000 fans out.
 
May 13, 1956 Music Hall, Kansas City, MO
 
A disappointing 3,500 fans show up for tonight's show.  Haley blames poor promotion.
 
May 14, 1956 Civic Auditorium, Omaha, NE
 
A disappointing 5,400 fans attend tonight, 400 less than Haley had a few months ago by himself.  After the show, the package drove 540 miles to Denver, arriving at 9 a.m.
 
May 15, 1956 Coliseum, Denver, CO
 
A huge sell-out crowd of 9,000 fans attend as the tour enters the West.   The package head out at midnight for a laborious 850 mile drove to Dallas.  Haley's bass player Al Rex came down ill and was left behind.
 
May 16, 1956 Sportatorium, Dallas, TX
 
The package arrives in Dallas at 3 p.m. tired and beat.  Tonight's show draws 11,500 unruly and wild fans.
 
May 17, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX
 
The package arrives in San Antonio at 8:30 p.m. right at show time. Tonight's show draws 7,000 fans.
 
May 18, 1956 Civic Auditorium, Houston, TX
 
Another solid draw tonight as 9,000 fans attend tonight's show.  At 1 a.m. the package leaves for the 400 mile drive to New Orleans.
 
May 19, 1956 Loyola Fieldhouse, Loyola University, Baton Rouge, LA
 
The package arrives in New Orleans at 9:30 a.m.  There's enough time for sleep before tonight's show.  A crowd of 11,000 attended the show.  Prior to the show, Bill Haley and Fats Domino meet for the first time.  The package heads out at 1 a.m. for Birmingham.
 


May 20, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham, AL
 
On the drive, the Comet's equipment truck turns over in Mississippi.  The truck is damaged and the drivers are injured, but not badly.   The package arrives to find pickets outside the auditorium as the White Citizen's Council had urged whites to stay away from the show.  A modest 5,000 ignore the pickets and attend the show, roughly half the crowd Haley drew last time he was in town.
 
May 21, 1956 Chatanooga, TN
 
A poor turnout as only 1,200 show up as racial tensions continue to mount.
 
May 22, 1956  Greensville, SC
 
Although two shows are scheduled, only the first show takes place with 4,000 showing up.  The second show is cancelled when a bomb is found in the hall.
 
May 23, 1956  Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC
 
A strong 5,000 crowd that enjoys the show and is calm.
 
May 24, 1956  Ponce De Leon Stadium, Atlanta, GA
 
A record outdoor crowd of 10,000 fans at this show coincides with Haley's latest single release.   After the show, the package heads out for Jacksonville, 330 miles away.
 
May 25, 1956  Baseball Park, Jacksonville, FL
 
The package arrives at 8:30 a.m.   A crowd of 7,500 attend and they are calm and appreciative.   They then drive over to Tampa.
 
May 26, 1956  Ft. Hesterly Armory, Tampa, FL
 
The package arrives in Tampa at 8:30 p.m. just in time to make the show.  A total of 7,600 attend and no trouble is reported. 
 
May 27, 1956 Dinner Key Auditorium, Miami Beach, FL
 
The troupe leaves Tampa at 1 p.m. and take the scenic drive through the Everglades to Miami Beach.  They don't arrive until 9:30 p.m.  A record 14,000 attend this show.
 
May 28, 1956  Sports Arena, Savannah, GA
 
The troupe boards the railroad for Georgia.  Two shows are scheduled and 2,500 attend the first show.  However, blacks refuse to attend the second show and it is cancelled.  They leave Savannah at noon.
 
May 29, 1956 Charlotte, NC
 
A record 14,000 attend a single show tonight.  An estimated 5,000 people sent away.  The package stayed the next day in Charlotte since the next show is only  70 miles away.
 
May 30, 1956 Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
 
Another record crowd as 11,000 fans fill the Coliseum.
 
May 31, 1956 Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC
 
A modest 5,000 turnout tonight as the tour begins to wind down.  The package leaves town after the second show and drives to Richmond.
 
June 1, 1956 The Mosque, Richmond, VA
 
Another great turnout as 8,500 fans show up.
 
June 2, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, VA
 
Two sell-out shows for a total turnout of 7,000.  After the show, the troupe drives to the nation's capital.
 
June 3, 1956 National Guard Armory, Washington DC
 
Two shows with a total attendance of 11,000.  The afternoon show was calm but the evening show was unruly and wild. 
 
June 4, 1956 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA
 
Two sell-out shows and 9,000 fans see a great show. 
 
June 5, 1956 Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WVA
 
Bad roads between Pittsburgh and Charleston means the package doesn't arrive until 7 p.m.  A good crowd of 6,000 to wind up the tour.