First Theatre Engagement
is a photo of Vaughn while we played at the Paramount theater in 1940. We
had played a ballroom the night before we opened and arrived at the theater
at or about two am for a rehearsal on stage for lighting and sound
adjustments. We were there for almost two hours and had just about enough
time to go to the hotel, change clothes and ready to play the opening show
at ten am. What an exciting and memorable event that was!
On the morning of the first
show, no one ever mentioned we had to wear makeup on stage, consequently
after the first show, the stage manager came up to us and told us we looked
like a bunch of ghosts (as white as snow). Much to our embarrassment, we
had to go out and buy pancake make up and made sure we had it on for the
next show. The stage lights were so bright, we couldn't even see the music
on our music stands, let alone worry how white we appeared.
The band was situated on an elevator type stage and as soon
as the theme song started, the stage started to lift up and there we were
right in front of a roaring audience that practically deafened our ears, the
goose bumps almost threatened our ability to play. Although we were very
tired, not having slept the night before, we certainly enjoyed our first
public appearance and played the first show without a hitch.
Most of us got some shut eye between shows and were able to
finish the day okay. We played the last show at nine pm; the show lasted
for about one hour. After having a bite to eat I went back to the hotel and
just collapsed. It took a few days to recuperate from the first day
marathon, after which it was smooth sailing. Vaughn, as usual, retained his
composure throughout our stay and did a tremendous job as Master of
Ceremonies introducing the other entertainers and singing up a storm.
There you go, a play by play description of the first
Submitted by: Ben Wastaferro (Benny West)