Louis Armstrong in Monticello Indiana
” We recently posted a video on YouTube of home movie footage taken at Indiana Beach in 1961. The brief film shows trumpet legend Louis Armstrong and his band playing a concert, but we don’t know if it was taken on the original Shafer Queen paddleboat, which came to Indiana Beach that year. ” – Video submission by Carol Seymour
Here is a little more information that we found regarding Louis Armstrong in Monticello Indiana:
The Indiana Beach Ballroom’s music lineage can be traced back to a time before the term rock ‘n’ roll was coined.
The venue brought in top talent during the height of the big band era. Starting with Glenn Miller in 1940, records show jazz legends such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and Dave Brubeck played Monticello in the 1940s and ’50s.
The transition from big band to pop and rock ‘n’ roll bookings at Indiana Beach started around 1957 when Bill Haley & the Comets performed.
The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer was followed by the King-ston Trio, Four Freshmen and Brenda Lee from 1958 to 1961. From 1964 on, the shows were dominated by rock ‘n’ roll.
“I’m pretty lucky to have that opportunity to hear and meet Louis Armstrong,” Davis said. “People really loved his music and showed up for Louis Armstrong.”
Davis said Armstrong and his band were among the more popular acts of the 1950s.
As a girl, Davis remembered seeing Armstrong’s band members sleeping on the ballroom benches after a long bus ride.
She also recalled a Monticello restaurant opening just for Armstrong and his band after a late-night gig.
When Armstrong was touring, racial tensions were often high, but they did not seem to affect his show.
“There were some racial issues also, but I thought for the most part people liked him and the band,” Davis recalled.