Being master of ceremonies for the Dubuque Summer Festival is a job
that keeps a person busy. But Vaughn Monroe seems to be a man at home in
the whirl of activities and interviews during his six day stay here.
His relaxed pleasant disposition is a necessity for someone who has
traveled 150,000 miles entertaining since Jan 1. Personal appearances, night club acts and work for a national
electronics firm take him all over the world during the course of a
year. Monday, when his work at the Summer Festival is finished, Monroe
leaves for Chicago to host the National Music Merchants Assn.
Monroe is an avid boater and almost qualifies as a senior member in
the Boston U.S. Power Squadron. He has been active in the power squadron
for five years and is presently safety officer.
His wife Marian accompanies him on the many longer trips that the
entertainer is required to make. But for shorter jaunts, such as the one
to the Festival, she stays at their home in Boston.
The Monroes are grandparents of a 16 month old boy, the son of their
older daughter, Candace, 21, and her husband who is in the Air Force.
They will be leaving for a tour of duty in Germany soon.
Monroe first entered the entertainment field as a band leader, with
a group that worked out of Boston. he was with that organization until
"I left the group so I could have more time with my daughters. I was
able to be home much more then and I usually arrange to take off the
month of December besides the six weeks in summer."
Monroe is probably best known for his theme song, "Racing with the
Moon," which sold more than 2 1/2 million records. But two other records
of his, "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Dance Ballerina, Dance" have sold
more than 4 1/2 million.
Working with Louis Armstrong and the comedy team of Ford and Hines
as he has at the Festival is hardly a new experience for the master of
ceremonies. He first met the trumpet player 15 years ago on the Milton
Berle Show, and was recently on a Cleveland television show with Ford &
While in Dubuque, Monroe spent his afternoons at the building next
to the Festival headquarters on Locust Street, signing autographs and
visiting with Dubuquers.
"It's sort of my chance to relax and take it easy. The folks here
are friend. It seems to be a wonderful river town."