Kenneth “Doc” Bradshaw, one of the more accomplished pianists to come out of the Twin Cities, returned home in July 1962 after a seventeen-year absence. He performed before a capacity crowd at Miller Park. Doc is seen here warming up in the bandstand with Dorothy Ann Burkhart, a former student of his. Who out there recalls Doc Bradshaw?
Gretchen Stanberry, a senior in the school of music at MacMurray Women’s College in Jacksonville, was the guest speaker before the Bloomington Rotary Club in a July 1938 program at the Illinois Hotel. Ms. Stanberry is seen here with her German shepherd seeing eye dog Queenie.
On Tuesday we posted another photograph featuring this neighborhood music class. These children, who were between the ages of thee and six, were led by music teacher Kay Baylor. Presumably, that’s Ms. Baylor with the accordion. We don’t know where this photograph was taken, but we do know Baylor taught out of her home at 407 S. Linden St., Normal. If you can identify this location, let us know!
Tammi Orendorff conducts Kay Baylor’s elementary rhythm band during the summer of 1951. Baylor, who taught piano and music theory from her home, 407 S. Linden St., Normal, organized this “rhythm band” for local children between the ages of three and six. Instruments included castanets, cymbals, bells, rhythm sticks, gongs, and triangles.
In late June 1951, local barbershoppers held a get-together at Phil Hooton’s residence, 3 Country Club Place. Seen here are winners of the impromptu quartet contest. Clockwise from left: Dick Dennie, tenor; Fred Gehrt, baritone; J.H. Bellamy, bass; and Mac Convis, lead
Bloomington music teacher Julia LeBeau (left), Faye Scheets (center), and Helen Tepe formed a melodica trio back in 1964.
The Bloomington High School marching band passes through the gates of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery on Bloomington’s south side for a Memorial Day program. “Our nation, our young men of necessity, play a role in the tragic drama now a part of current world events on this Memorial Day,” Edward B. Akin of the Illinois Veterans’ Commission told those gathered for a ceremony at the cemetery.
The McLean County Legion Drum Corps, debuting their new uniforms, march south down Main Street on Saturday, May 30, 1936, during Bloomington’s annual Memorial Day parade.
Composer Aaron Copland, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, was the featured guest for Illinois Wesleyan University's Seventh Annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music in 1958. He is is seen here listening to R. Dwight Drexler, professor of piano and theory, and his wife, Maxine.
Opened in December 1898, the Coliseum was a field house-type structure with phenomenal acoustics. It hosted everything from famed sopranos to Jazz Age dance bands. Interestingly, the old Coliseum stood directly across Front Street from the “new” (now 10-years old) U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
This is a photo of one of Duke Ellington’s many visits to this stretch of Central Illinois. Ellington and his orchestra performed at the Elks Country Club in Pontiac in June 1957.
A fascinating discussion was given on the myriad of court battles surrounding the May 30-June 1, 1970 rock & roll festival in southern McLean County. As seen in this photograph, not all of the estimated 60,000 spectators were hippies, yippies, freaks, Bohemians, peaceniks, avant-garde radicals, druggies, merry pranksters, flower children, long-hairs, or drop-outs!
The Pantagraph recounted the story of the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home Band, organized in 1897-98 and active into the 1960s. This state-run home in north Normal changed its name to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS) in 1931.
Beginning in Roaring Twenties, area ballrooms, dance halls and clubs featured tuxedo-clad bands (or orchestras, as they were often called) playing a heavily syncopated, post-ragtime, pre-swing jazz. These early jazz bands were in great demand come New Year’s Eve.
Seen here is the Dale Miller Orchestra in an undated publicity still.
The ninth annual “Community Christmas Carol Sing” was held on the McLean County Courthouse Square on December 23, 1935. Seen here are lead caroler Harold D. Saurer (holding the papers) and the Rev. Frank L. Breen.
During the Great Depression 80 downtown Bloomington merchants staged a “Christmas Caravan” promotion to boost holiday retail sales. The vehicle in the background, equipped with a calliope and pulling trailers loaded with prize giveaways, passed through more than 50 Central Illinois communities. The idea was to generate excitement for a promotion involving downtown shoppers receiving gift certificates with each purchase.
Back in early December 1965, these six-year-old first graders from Lincoln School in Bloomington could sympathize with the wishes expressed in the grating holiday novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
Towanda Grade School kindergartners perform Thanksgiving themed poems and songs for their parents the week of Thanksgiving 1980.
The “Page from Our Past” feature in Sunday November 8, 2015's Pantagraph delved into the history of the Rhythm Rollers, Bloomington’s very own roller skating dance team active from the 1930s to the 1950s. Seen here is a rare action shot, taken at a 1947 or 1948 performance at the Miller Park bandstand on Bloomington’s west side.
The Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival was held outside of the McLean County community of Heyworth on L. David Lewis’ 320-acre farm over Memorial Day weekend 1970. Seen here are two aerials during the festival’s second day, May 31. The festival drew something like 60,000 young folk.