"When Vaughn Played the Meadows"

Unfortunately I don't remember the exact date, but it had to be 1950 or 1951, because I was in high school, and I graduated in 1952. I do know that Vaughn still had the string section of the band. I was co-president of the On The Moonbeam fan club with Colleen Canwell, who lived in Boston. I took a train from my home in New Hampshire, met her, and we took a bus to Framingham to The Meadows, making it a point to be there early enough to take in the rehearsal for the Camel Caravan, which would be broadcast that night.


As always, Vaughn made us feel welcome. In fact, there were long tables set up for the band, and I have a vague memory of eating with them. There was a partition setting off the dance floor from the dining room, and I remember seeing Vaughn lift Candy and Christy up to sit on the edge of it so they could watch but not be in the way. Marian was there, and believe it or not, all I remember about her is that she lined up the waiters to inspect their hands to make sure their nails were clean before they went to work, and she was wearing green shoes. 


It was fun to watch the radio broadcast as it included all the hit songs of the day, not just the ones Vaughn had recorded. When it was over Vaughn signed his copy of the script and handed it to me. (It didn't end up with my other memorabilia - I must take another look through the boxes I brought home when I cleaned out my folk's house.)


After the broadcast there was dancing - we, of course, just stood in front of the bandstand and watched and listened - then there was an intermission. We thought we would have to leave before the second half of the dance as the last bus back to Boston left too early for us to stay. We mentioned it to a waiter and he kindly offered to give us a ride back to town. Later we were chatting with Vaughn and told him about it. He immediately asked which waiter. A few minutes later we saw Vaughn talking with him and pointing his finger at him in a way that could only mean one thing - he was telling him to get us back to town safely. Vaughn was always so good to us. I'll never figure out how he managed to keep an eye out for us with everything else he had to do.


Front and back of Polly's menu from the Meadows.


Submitted by: Polly Attridge