Concerts at Neville Auditorium.

I am amazed at the national level talent that came through Monroe in the middle of the last century. I just browsed around searching instances where Neville Auditorium was mentioned in the papers and I was floored. I know this is not a complete list but just look at the names! Neville was one of the biggest venues in Northeast Louisiana until the Civic Center was built, so it makes sense.

Jr. Came too, in 1965.
Hank’s 1951 performance.

Hank Williams [Sr] (1949, 1951 & 1952) [Hank’s final performance in Monroe was just a little over a month before his death!], Jr. came in 1965 and many more times to the Civic Center. Kitty Wells (1949), Slim Whitman (1952 & 1953), Little Jimmy Dickens (1952), Gene Autry (1949), Roy Acuff (1949, 1954, 1956), Spike Jones [This would have been fun to see!] (1949), Tito Guizar (1950), Bob Hope (1951), Guy Lombardo (1952, 1953 & 1955), Ernest Tubbs (1953), Sammy Kaye (1953), The Boston Pops, conducted by the famous maestro Arthur Fielder (1953 & 1957), The Detroit Symphony (1959), The Houston Symphony (1940), Paul Harvey (1961), Eddie Cantor (1950), and Dale Carnegie [author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”] (1939).

The Little Theatre had some of their earliest performances here too. A couple of big named actresses walked the stage. One was Tallulah Bankhead in 1950 in a play called “Private Lives”. The second one was a lady who was in town in 1943 because her first husband, Captain Mack Paul Meyer was serving at Selman Field. She had just begun her acting career. She had a part in the production called “Twin Beds”. You may have heard of her…Shelly Winters.

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