Nat Towles appeared at the St. Paul Auditorium on January 2, 1946.
Duke Ellington and His World Famous Orchestra appeared at the Minneapolis Auditorium on January 23, 1946. Minneapolis bass player Oscar Pettiford had just joined Ellington’s band a few weeks prior; Esquire Magazine had deemed him the best bass player in American bands. The promoter was C.C. Milkes.
Paul Robeson performed at the Concert Bowl at the Minneapolis Auditorium on January 27, 19466, as part of Mrs. Carlyle Scott’s Sunday Series, which may have been a radio show.
February 2, 1946, was the debut of Irving Williams and His Rhythmaires, the former Wold-Chamberlain Navy Band. They performed in the Azure Room of the Mandalay Club, which apparently was a restaurant. The band played again on February 10, this time at the Dreamland Annex, which could have been the same place, as the address given for the Mandalay Club (347 E. 38th Street) was just across the street from Dreamland. That dance was billed as a Dance for Grown Ups. On March 3 and 24 the band played at the CIO Hall, this time billed as the 10-piece Irving Williams’ Ex-Navy Band, featuring vocalist Judy Perkins. The band provided the music for St. Thomas’s 12th Annual Easter Style Parade, featuring Auzie Dial (the Hazel Scott of the Northwest). Dances would continue every Saturday night at the CIO Hall.
Auzie Dial was the pianist in the Robin Hood Room of the Hotel Dyckman. The Spokesman reported, “She is also a favorite of many members of the millionaire set here who ask for her talent at their most exclusive private affairs.” In 1946 Miss Dial noted that “the town is going sweet due to the influence of Sinatra and Perry Como. Boogie is on its way out, but that’s all right… When you get into a boogie rut you can’t get out of it.”
Howard Brown and His Five Great Knights of Rhythm provided the music for the weekly Sunday matinee dance at the Elks Rest on February 22, 1946.
The Gay Nighters Club presented a dance on May 18, 1946, at the CIO Hall featuring the music of Nat Towles and His Decca Recording Orchestra, Exotic Song Stylist Florine, and nationally-known blues singer Joe Simmons. They made a repeat performance on August 10.
The Dorie Miller Post No. 544 of the American Legion presented an Independence Eve Frolic at Ramsey Hall, St. Paul Auditorium, with music from Joe Broadfoot and His Rhythm Boys.
The Gay Nighters were back with a cabaret-style dance on July 14, 1946, at the CIO Hall featuring Lloyd Hunter and his National Orchestra – St. Louis Record Smasher.
The Credjafawn Social Club picnic and dance on Harriet Island took place on July 19, 1946, and featured a jitterbug contest. Music was provided by Irving Williams’ X-Navy Band.
Lucky Millinder and his Decca Recording Band appeared at a dance at the CIO Hall on July 28, 1946.
“Here It ‘Tis” “This Is It” “The Cats and Gaters will be Jumping at the “BROWN DERBY,” a floor show (featuring Lillian Goodhue) and dance at the Phyllis Wheatley House on August 10, 1946. Music by the X-Navy Band, and local talent such as the “Ink Tots.”
Gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with singers and soloists, appeared at the CIO Hall on August 11, 1946. The show featured Mme. Marie Knight, “Golden-Voiced Evangelist Singing Favorite,” and was presented by the King David Lodge No. 2.
Joe Broadfoot’s Orchestra provided the music at the Big Halloween Party and Dance at the Elks Rest.
Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra appeared at Stem Hall, St. Paul Auditorium, on November 11, 1946, presented by Northwestern Artists Corp.
Percy Hughes and His Ex-Navy Band performed at an Armistice Day Day, Cabaret-Style Dance, November 11, 1946, at Norway Hall. The dance was sponsored by Brutus Cassius, owner of Dreamland, and featured:
- Judy Perkins, Pleasing Vocalist
- David “Duffy” Goodlow, Dynamic Trumpeter
- Bobby Crittenden, Mr. Drums
- Frank Lewis, noted Arranger and Tenor Sax
Josh White, “The New Idol of New York’s CAFE SOCIETY” and Successor to Hazel Scott there, came to the Lyceum Theater on November 16, 1946. He was billed as “America’s Greatest Singer of Folk-Songs, Blues and Ballads.” The show was presented by Al Sheehan.
Paul Robeson made one of his now regular appearances, at the Concert Bowl of the Minneapolis Auditorium on November 17, 1946. “Comparable to the greatest singers and actors of any race or age,” read the ad. His concert was one of a series of four; one of the other artists was Jascha Heifetz.
Joe Broadfoot and His Orchestra provided music for a Gardenia Party at the Elks Rest on November 17, 1946. Gardenias were given away to the first 30 ladies in attendance. Mercedes Brown was on hand, singing your favorite songs.
Spike Jones appeared at the Minneapolis Auditorium on November 23, 1946. So many people were turned away that he came back for another “corn-cert” on February 20, 1947
Woody Herman’s Orchestra came to the Minneapolis Auditorium on December 13, 1946.
The usual dances at the Elks Rest, including special dances on December 24 and 25, were now featuring Ira Pettiford and His Jesters of Rhythm, with a floor show with Kelly Stone, Ira Pettiford, and others. Mercedes Brown was the vocalist.
Percy Hughes’s Ex-Navy Band provided the music at the Christmas Dance at the Treasure Inn, December 25, 1946.