Tag Archives: Stambaugh Auditorium

The stars of 1956

Here’s another one of those “All Star” lineups from the ’50s, I found. Here we have Carl Perkins and Cathy Carr perched at the top of a bill that included Eileen Rodgers, Big Maybelle, The Drifters, The Cleftones, G-Clefs, Otis Rush, Frankie Brunson and Jimmy Rushing on Nov. 4, 1956 at the Stambaugh Auditorium.

I have no idea what the Asian cartoon is supposed to represent.

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Ray Charles at Stambaugh

Ray Charles showed up on September 3, 1968 to do a gig at the Stambaugh Auditorium. By this time, the R&B legend was entering a period of commercial decline as more modern sounds came into play. As a bonus, I found the following ad in the same Vindicator edition for a James Brown performance at Struthers Fieldhouse.

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Smokey Robinson at Stambaugh

Motown was the flavor of the moment in the ’60s and it was not unusual for its biggest stars to show up here to play a gig. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, who produced some of the label’s biggest hits, were another big Motown roster name to do a show here. This one coming on June 22, 1968 at Stambaugh Auditorium.

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Psychedelic Motown

The Temptations were kings of the pop charts all over the world throughout the ’60s along with many others on the Motown label. When the ’70s arrived, the group was diving into new directions in attempts to keep a fresh sound. As the group hit Youngstown for two shows on February 10, 1970 at Stambaugh Auditorium, the single “Psychedelic Shack” was establishing The Temptations firmly into the genre of psychedelic soul. It was a break from the smooth R&B romance tracks of the middle ’60s, but it was still something off the Hitsville USA pipeline in Detroit. The Temptations would start fracturing a bit within the year as mainstays Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams would give way to a rotating lineup of any number of names which continues to this day.

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Dave Clark Five … direct from England

Youngstown wasn’t really a big stop for the major players in the British Invasion in the early ’60s. The explosive impact of the major players like the Beatles and Rolling Stones wasn’t meant for a mid-size Midwestern city since there really was no where big enough to hold the hordes of screaming teenage girls. The Dave Clark Five was not chopped liver though and it managed to play a couple of shows on June 3, 1964 at Stambaugh Auditorium. The band was riding incredible chart success when it hit Youngstown as it had three top 10 Billboard singles to propel a sellout tour of the United States. The band peaked a little more than a year later with the No. 1 hit “Over and Over.”

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The King of the blues

B.B. King might be associated primarily with the blues, but he was an integral part of the shaping of rock ‘n’ roll’s feel and sound. On March 23, 1975, the 49-year-old King showed up with Lucille to play a gig at Stambaugh Auditorium. I’m fairly certain it wasn’t his first in Youngstown and it was definitely not his last. After all, the man has played more than 50,000 concerts the world over.

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A new era dawns

Rock ‘n’ roll music in America was undergoing a significant change as the ’60s dawned. The original rock stars were in taters. Chuck Berry was battling underage sex charges in relation to the Mann Act. Jerry Lee Lewis was dealing with the fallout from marrying his teenage cousin. Elvis Presley was just finishing up a stint in the military and Little Richard turned his eye to preaching. Those that may have ignited the next wave of American rock music – notably Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens – perished in a plane crash in early 1959. In the radio realm, a huge payola scandal ended the career of pioneering DJ Alan Freed.

So what did American teens turn to? Vocal groups, teen idols, doo-wopers and instrumentals. All of that was evident when Frankie Avalon headlined a pair of shows on January 29, 1960 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. Also filling out the roster were Clyde McPhatter, Bobby Rydell, Johnny and the Hurricanes, The Crests, Freddy Cannon, Sammy Turner, The Isley Brothers, Linda Laurie, The Clovers and Cliff Richard.

Note: A reader named David sent me a color copy of the poster earlier in July. Sorry for the delay in posting it, but it looks good!

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Fats Domino and a hit parade of stars

Fats Domino was a pretty big star already by the time he arrived for a pair of shows on February 17, 1957 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. The future Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famer had a mess of hits from the R&B and pop charts to draw from including “Blueberry Hill”, “Ain’t That A Shame” and “I’m Walkin'”. He also had performed in such films as Shake, Rattle and Rock and The Girl Can’t Help It. Bill Doggett was second on the bill and he was famous at the time for his hit “Honky Tonk” which reached No. 2 on the pop charts in 1956. Clyde McPhatter, also a future Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famer, was seemingly a regular on these sorts of shows in the late ’50s. LaVern Baker, the second female inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, was coming off a huge hit in “Jim Dandy” in 1956. It’s hard to believe that Chuck Berry would get booted down the list so far, but in Feb. of 1957 he still only had one huge pop chart topper to his name in “Maybellene”. Berry’s “School Day” released the next month was a bigger single on the pop charts and would propel him into a really strong year or two into the end of the decade.

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A hardcore show at Stambaugh … wait, what?

Corrosion of Conformity garnered mainstream hard rock/metal success in the mid’ 90s with albums such as Deliverance and Wiseblood, but well before that happened COC was a sought after hardcore band with a pretty cool logo hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. On August 12, 1987, COC along with local hardcore legends Sacred Hate and a few others played a benefit “concert” for the Youngstown Peace Council in the ballroom of the Stambaugh Auditorium building. Yeah, that’s right… they played in a room essentially made for hosting upscale weddings.

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Bob Dylan’s first time

It was revealed this week that Bob Dylan is coming to town for a show on August 28, 2012 at the Covelli Centre. This will not be his first go-around here though. On November 2, 1992, he played an acoustic show at Stambaugh Auditorium. Surprisingly it was a box office bomb as only 1,168 of 2,600 seats sold (I would hope Covelli’s management took that in mind when booking him at the arena). Dylan was supporting the Good as I Been to You album which was released a day after the performance in Youngstown. The 51-year-old played 18 songs in the two hour gig.

WHAT THE SHOW SOUNDED LIKE: A good sounding bootleg of the show was released in 1994 under the title Himself. Unfortunately recent copyright cyberlocker sweeps by the U.S. government have wiped out any places where the show can be downloaded.

 

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