Featured entertainment at the Florence Fairgrounds included not only fairs but traveling shows such as Grand Ole Opry and Ozark Jubilee TV star Webb Pierce.
The Florence Coliseum:
The Florence Coliseum was site of many different kinds of concerts and events including Ray Charles and the Raeletts, Johnny Cash, Dick Clark’s Cavalcade of Stars, Solomon Burke Orchestra, Barry Goldwater, Country Stars show with Hank Williams, Jr. and Sonny James, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, Anthony Armstrong Jones, Lynard Skynard, Jimmy Buffett, The Lettermen Group, England’s Tambourine Mae The Byrds, ‘You’re on my Mind- We Five, TV’s “Where the action is”, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Sensational Bo Diddley and Trio, James Brown, James Crawford, The Famous Flames, Bobby Byrd, T.V. Mama, “Baby” Lloyd, Vickie Anderson, Pete Fountain and his Sextet, Boots Randolph and his Quintet, and Symphony of Music
Big Rock ‘N’ Roll Show on June 14: Rock and Roll fans from all over Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi will be here June 14 for one of the biggest R and R shows in the country. In 10 big acts, featuring the biggest recording outfits on tour today. Scheduled to appear are Roy Hamilton, B.B. King, the Flamingos, Little Willis John, Buster Brown, Sam Hawkins, the Upsetter and many others. The Coliseum seats 5,000 for each show.
Coffee High School:
Coffee High School was the venue for many of the most famous entertainers.
Miss Beverly Sills’ performance as Violette in ‘LaTraviata’ in 1951 will be remembered by local concert-goers and she will return to the Coffee High School Stage Monday, October 20, 1952 in the role of Micaela in ‘Carmen’.
Jascha Heifetz, a Great violinist; Vienna Academy Chorus; Jan Peerce, baritone; and the Cain Mutiny Court Marshall will appeared under auspices of the Concert Association.
Met Stars Jan Peerce, tenor and Leonard Warren, baritone, will appear tonight under the auspices of the Muscle Shoals Concert Association. Both singers were released by the Metropolitan Opera Company to make their current tour.
Up coming performances include famous daughter of Ex-President, Margaret Truman, Sir Basil Rathbone and Helen Gehanen Douglass.
The internationally famous Philadelphia Orchestra appeared Monday night, April 23, at Coffee High School Auditorium. It will be the final concert of the Muscle Shoals Concert Association’s current season 1955-56.
Other entertainers included the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Vincent Price, Carol Channing, Hal Holbrooks as “Mark Twain”, Paul Harvey, and Constance Carpenter.
The Shoals Theatre closed as a movie house in 1980. It is now home to the Shoals Community Theatre, which sponsors live performances, as well as a season of concerts.
Florence State University/ University of North Alabama:
Speakers, entertainers and events included, Dan Rather, Bill Moyers, Kenny Rogers, Julian Bond, Lillian Gish, Jerry lee Lewis, Billy Joel and the annual season of productions sponsored by Muscle Shoals Concerts as well as the Departments of Music, Theatre, and special distinguished lecture seasons.
Speakers, performers, and special events included those at The Florence/Lauderdale County Courthouse by Margaret Truman, V.P. Thomas R. Marshall, and Sen. John Glenn; Joe Louis at the Florence National Guard Armory; Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. at Mt. Moriah Church; and Capt. William Pogue, Pilot of Sky Lab at Highland Baptist Church.
Music was on the line up for Night Clubs and Restaurants. One of the most popular was Florence music teacher Celia Donohue who received national attention when she has an audition by Arthur Godfrey in New York City on June 9, 1955. Mrs. Donohue is a daughter of Tony Fago, who was one of the first band directors in Florence and organized the first concert band in Florence. She appeared as a soloist with the Gene Krupa band, was a featured soloist with Woody Herman, and was asked to join Jack Teagarden and the Four Aces with her trumpet interpretations. She has also had her own band in this area and played at the old Sheffield Hotel Ballroom for three years according to publicity in 1955.