The biggest dance crowd in the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium’s history — 11,072 strong — gathered there to hear Harry James and his hand. Second biggest dance crowd — more than 10,000 — assembled to hear the Glenn Miller band.
Both of those dances were in 1942, the first full year of World War II.
Harry James’ big number in those days was “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You, Baby,” and Miller went strong for “One o’clock Jump,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “String of Pearls.”
Judy Garland sang her “comeback, on to Broadway” concert in Municipal Auditorium in July 1955.
The place was packed. Judy sang to what she said was the most appreciative audience of her life. She sung six extra numbers, running the concert 45 minutes overtime,
Frank Sinatra chartered a bus and brought to Judy’s concert Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Dean Martin, Van Johnson, Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Betty Hutton, Leslie Caron, Danny Davis Jr., Dick Powell, June Allyson, David Wayne, Edgar Bergen, Prince Mike Romanoff and composer Johnny Green — to name a few. Then Sinatra took the stage in impromptu fashion and sang a duet with Judy.
Next: rhythm and blues at the Muni