In January 1943 you could see the Ink Spots, the Lucky Millinder Band, and the movie “Nightmare” with Diana Barymore, all at the Orpheum Theater.
The musical event of the year was the production of “Porgy and Bess” at the Lyceum Theater, 11th and Nicollet, on February 8-11. The show starred Todd Duncan and Etta Moten, with Alexander Smallens conducting the orchestra.
Paul Robeson appeared with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra at Northrop Auditorium on April 2-3, 1943.
KSTP’s Sunset Valley Barn Dance did a remote broadcast on Saturday, April 3, 1943, from the St. Louis Park High School auditorium stage. The two stage shows, at 8:30 and 10:15 pm, were sponsored by the Brookside (Elementary School) PTA. The night before, the show came from the American House, 444 Rice Street, St. Paul. Future dates would be at Mahtomedi (April 9) and South High in Minneapolis (April 10).
The club with the all-time best name, the Rhumboogie Club, opened on June 15, 1943, at 128 Hyland Ave. The club was replaced by the Cara Okara Cafe by November 1945, and it appears that Hyland Ave. was wiped out completely with highway and other construction. But in 1943, “You’ll Enjoy Yourself.” I believe it!
Another club with a great name was Club Bengassi, “For an Evening of Fun.” Opened in August 1943.
The Clef Club hosted a Thanksgiving Ball featuring Jimmy Baker’s Orchestra.
Marian Anderson appeared with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on December 3 and 4, 1943.
It was the Clef Club again for Cabaret Dances on December 25 and New Year’s Eve, with entertainment and floor show music by Jimmy Baker’s Band.