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  Readers Write
     
   

You just never know what’s going to elicit a response. As we were compiling the summer issue, we found a blank column in the rear of the magazine and just before going to print, we decided to plug the hole with a hastily compiled list of bands that had played on campus over the years. From the day the issue mailed, our e-mail began to beep. Here’s a sampling of the responses we received.

"Who Played the Fieldhouse"

To The Editor: 
Regarding your column "Who Played the Fieldhouse," (Summer '98) the most memorable concert I attended was Chicago but because of a near riot, not for the music. The tickets had black print on a white background, perfect for photocopying, so most seats had at least two tickets. When the fieldhouse filled up, the organizers stopped admitting people, many of whom had real tickets. The furious ticket holders started pounding on the side doors of the fieldhouse, and the concert only began after the organizers gave up and opened all the doors so those outside could hear and watch.

I think the Chicago experience was one of several reasons why the groups who played the fieldhouse in the years that followed rarely matched the mega-stars who regularly appeared from 1966 to 1971.

Some other concerts: 
1966: Supremes, Lovin' Spoonful 
1967: Eric Burdon, Brothers Four 
1968: Mitch Ryder, Judy Collins 
1969: Smoky Robinson and the Miracles 
Nov. 1968 at Parents' Weekend: Lionel Hampton 
Late 1969 or early 1970: The Fifth Dimension 
Late 1970 or early 1971: Chicago, Dionne Warwick

Brendan O'Donnell '71 
Fairfax, Va. 

To the Editor: 
I enjoyed reading the info on bands playing on campus over the years but what happened to 1945?  If my mind isn't failing, I think I remember Louie Prima playing somewhere on campus in or around that year featuring the vocalist that preceded Keely (Christie?) Smith. Maybe some others from '46 or thereabouts can verify. 
Enjoy the overall format of the magazine and look forward to each issue. 

Carl Costanzo '46 
Arlington, Va. 

(The Tomahawk for 1945 reports on several dances and concerts. On Jan. 13, the Fifth Naval Ball was held at the Worcester Memorial Auditorium and featured the music of Bud Boyce and the Crusaders. According to the paper, Fr. Reed granted "civilian students a 1:30 a.m. permission." On Feb. 10, the Senior Dinner Dance was held at the Worcester Country Club with Boyce and his band again providing the music, this time with "Dusty" Wilson on trumpet. On April 21, the Spring Dance was held at Horticultural Hall in Worcester and the popular Crusaders once again provided entertainment. Unfortunately, there is no notice of a Louis Prima concert. But see below for recollections of the Prima concert from Jack Shea '47.) 

To the Editor: 
In response to the request for information regarding bands that have played at Holy Cross, I can fill in the blank for the year 1945. The band was that of Louis Prima, with Keely Smith as his vocalist. 

As you are undoubtedly aware, The U.S. Navy took over operation of Holy Cross on July 1, 1943 for the purpose of training naval officers. During the war, each night of the week (except weekends) a prominent band was aired on radio from a performance at a military installation. I believe the sponsor was Lucky Strike cigarettes. Such a show was scheduled for Louis Prima at Holy Cross, for sometime in the spring of 1945 (April or May, I believe). 

The performance was held in old Fenwick Hall. My memory is especially accurate because only Navy personnel were to be permitted to be in attendance. At that time, some 50-60 veterans were enrolled at Holy Cross after being honorably discharged from the military due to service-connected medical disabilities. I was numbered among that group. 

The vets got up in arms about this discrimination and appeared en masse at Fenwick about one hour before the scheduled concert to protest the decision. The result: vets got the front row seats before the naval students were allowed into the hall. 

John F. (Jack) Shea '47 
Destin, Fla. 

To the Editor: 
Your feature requested additional groups which played the Fieldhouse. The groups omitted which come to mind from my days at Holy Cross are:  The Supremes, Military Weekend, 1967; and Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, 1965. I am having a senior citizen moment as to any others, but if any do come to mind [presuming, of course, I still have one] I will let you know. 

Jack Nugent '68 
Southington, Conn. 

To the Editor: 
How about the all-time biggest concert - the one the people of Worcester broke down the doors to see? Seals & Crofts opening for Chicago (1970 Homecoming). 
Also: Fifth Dimension, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Melissa Manchester. 

Dick Quinn '73 
Williamstown, Mass. 

To the Editor: 
During the winter of 1948 or 1949, Vaughn Monroe and a woman vocalist played the campus. Don't recall if Monroe had his own orchestra with him. The woman vocalist was a blonde who asked me for directions to "the little girls' room!"

Ed Cunningham '52 
Long Lake, N.Y. 

To the Editor: 
I enjoyed your listing of Fieldhouse visitors. I was a trustee in the 1843 Club (nee: The Outing Club) in its heydays from 1965 through 1967. In fact, John Brogan showed all the early signs of a financial maven in those days. 

The acts we booked in the '65 to '67 period included: Gary "US" Bonds, The Shirelles, King Curtis, Eric Burden & the Animals, Screaming Jay & the Horrendous Grundoons, Barry & the Remains, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. 

Jay McLaughlin '67 
Morrisville, Pa. 

To the Editor: 
How could you forget The Supremes in 1966? An important date for a Regis girl and a Holy Cross guy! 

Ann Fischer (married to Joe Fischer '66) 
Tilson, N.Y. 

To the Editor: 
I enjoyed your "Who Played the Fieldhouse" piece. If memory serves, the following acts also appeared between 1967-69: Wilson Pickett, The Miracles, The Lovin' Spoonful with John Sebastian. Also, Mason Williams played in 1970. 
Keep up the good work! 

Dick Hodgson '70 
Norristown, Pa. 

To the Editor: 
An interesting story: the 1938 prom had two bands - Woody Herman and Chic Webb with Ella Fitzgerald. Two because neither had any kind of reputation at the time. 
1939 was the Red Nichols Band (later played by Danny Kaye in the movie, The Five Pennies). 

George J. Meyer '39 
Lake Placid, N.Y. 

To the Editor:  
My husband and I really enjoyed your list of bands who have played the fieldhouse. We thought of a few that were omitted from the list. I recall seeing Al Kooper and the Electric Flag there in the mid-late 60's, as well as Teddy and the Pandas. (I did not make these names up.) My husband remembers seeing the group Mountain ('71 ?) and Steve Miller ('72 ?). 

Sincerely, 
Lynne Riley

 

"Trip to Iraq": Two Views

To the Editor: 
Thank you for covering the work of Holy Cross Alums Allen-Doucot, Schaeffer-Duffy, and Doe. By bringing much-needed medical supplies to the people of Iraq, these activists continue to live the Good News. In a very real sense, these alums embody the mission of Jesuit education-educating "people for others." I realize this slogan is paid lip service, used more as a mode of self-congratulation than as a challenge to us-as individuals, as members of powerful institutions, as Americans. The Iraqi people have suffered unnecessarily for the actions of their ruler; over 1,000,000 people have died as a result of economic sanctions, over half of them children under the age of five. Many of these deaths, often the direct effect of the 1991 Gulf War bombing of electrical plants, water purification facilities, and other infrastructure, could have been prevented with lifting of sanctions. It is only through the tireless efforts of the aforementioned folks that some of the Iraq people's medical needs can be met. 

Phil Metres '92 
Bloomington, Ind. 

To the Editor: 
I have just read the summer 1998 issue and am more than a bit dismayed over the "trumpeting" of the deeds of several of our alumni who chose to perform an act of civil disobedience. I make reference to the efforts of Allen-Doucot, Schaeffer-Duffy, and Doe, wherein they chose to bring four million dollars worth of medicine to hospitals in Iraq, in violation of the United Nations sanction, and in clear violation and disobedience of our national policy. The Middle East specifically, and the world in general, will be a far safer place when Sadam Hussein is no longer in power. Any act which improves the admittedly tragic lot of the Iraq citizenry only delays that ultimate date when the righteous indignation of his people will rise up and depose him. 

It is unquestionably true that throughout Appalachia as well as a number of areas of the deep south there are a great many enclaves of United States' citizens who have been unable to participate in the affluence of this country. I submit that the efforts of these three Holy Cross graduates, and others like them, would have been more appropriately directed to some of the unfortunate individuals in our country. I do not know which is worse: the actions of these graduates, or the apparent approval of an official publication of the College of the Holy Cross. 

Michael J. Singelyn '58, M.D. 
Newport Beach, Calif. 

 

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