by Sam Dunnington, '14
1957 was a very good year for Grinnell Concerts.
In January, the legendary Duke Ellington came to campus and played a show in Darby Gymnasium. Just two months later, Louis Armstrong brought a small band to Grinnell and played for 2 hours in Darby. Below are pictures of the performers in interview at Grinnell, possibly by members of Grinnell's pre-KDIC radio station, KGRW.
Apparently, Ellington's concert garnered mixed reviews. A letter to the editor in a 1957 copy of the S&B stated the following: "As I see the problem, the people who did not care for the concert fall into two categories: those who do not care for jazz, and those who are the continual complainers on the campus."
Armstrong's 1957 visit to campus was the first of two. In 1967, Armstrong came back and performed as part of the same convocation that hosted Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you've got memories of either concert, or if you want to check out some of the other performers that have come through Grinnell over the years, be sure to drop by the Iowa Room soon!