Some of the people who performed at the Duluth Armory:
The famous Irish-born American tenor, John McCormack, began his singing career within the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin, Ireland. He first sang in the USA at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. He was best known for his ability as a concert performer, always performing to sold-out houses. Convincing portrayal of the words was an essential and integral part of his singing experience. The world-renown coach/accompanist Gerald Moore said, "...the secret of his hold on the vast public was his sincerity. If he could not sing a song with conviction he would throw it away. Every song had to have some special message for John."
Charles Hardin Holley, known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll." Holly was in the first group of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Two days before his final performance, Buddy Holly and the Crickets played at the Duluth National Guard Armory in Duluth Minnesota.
Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, painter and poet. He was born in St. Mary's Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Iron Range west of Lake Superior. He has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008 a Bob Dylan Pathway was opened in the singer's honor in his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota.
George Percy Grainger was an Australian-born composer, and pianist, who worked under the stage name of Percy Aldridge Grainger. His piano solo Country Gardens became a smash hit, securing his reputation as a remarkable composer, although Grainger grew to detest the piece. In his last years, working in collaboration with physicist Burnett Cross, Grainger invented the "Free Music Machine", which was the forerunner of the electric synthesizer.
Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an internationally renowned American bass-baritone concert singer, scholar, actor of film and stage, All-American and professional athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism. During his days at Columbia Law School during the Harlem Renaissance, Robeson sang professionally but with little thought of pursuing a career in song. Through his renowned singing and his work with Lawrence Brown, Alan Booth and other accompanists, arrangers and producers, Paul Robeson went on to a lucrative concert, radio and recording career. But the Red Scare in 1949 brought his career to a halt. He was unable to perform in the U.S.; and his passport was revoked from 1950 to 1958 under the McCarran Act, which left him unable to travel overseas to perform. He made a comeback in 1958 by performing at Carnegie Hall.