Many of the bands that played at Canobie were known nationally and many were known locally.
Some of the bands that appeared at the Canobie Lake Park Ballroom were:
Tommy Dorsey Jimmy Dorsey Benny Goodman Charlie Barnet
Gene Krupa Lawrence Welk Artie Shaw Les Brown
Stan Kenton Paul Whiteman Woody Herman Duke Ellington
Count Basie Jimmie Lunceford Glenn Miller Bob Crosby
Guy Lombardo Harry James Kay Kyser Sammy Kaye
Glen Gray Vaughn Monroe Louie Prima Buddy Rich
Xavier Cugat Louis Armstrong Horace Heidt Tex Beneke
Lionel Hampton Ina Ray Hutton Johnny Bothwell Claude Thornhill
Tony Pastor Mal Hallett Will Hudson Allen Curtis
Val Jean Ippolito Tony Brown Ted Herbert Roland Russell
Frankie Kahn Hubie Turner Ralph Flanagan Freddie Martin
Tommy Tucker Charlie Ventura Cab Calloway Blanche Calloway
Ray McKinley Isham Jones Skitch Henderson Ted Weems
Jan Garber Randy Brooks Georgie Auld Lee Castle
Charlie Spivak Blue Baron Georgie Kay Carmen Cavallero
Billy Butterfield Boyd Raeburn Sam Donahue Ray Anthony
Charlie Parker Buddy Morrow Tommy Leonard Joe Jedraski
Jack Teagarden Earl Fatha Hines Saxie Dowell Randy Brooks
Roy Eldridge Buddy Johnson Richard Maltby Larry Fotine
Sabby Lewis Dick Jurgens Joe O'Leary
Some of the vocalists that appeared at the Canobie Lake Park Ballroom were:
Tony Bennett Frank Sinatra Pattie Page Joe Williams Frances Wayne
Rosemary Clooney Kenny Gardner Dinah Washington Art Carney June Christy
Connie Haynes Kenney Sargent Jack Leonard Edythe Wright Al Martino
Bob Eberley Carmen Lombardo Al Hibbler Jo Stafford Bonnie Baker
Jimmy Rushing Frankie Fontaine Ivie Anderson Herb Jeffries Pha Terrell
Lisa Kirk Mel Torme Orlando Robeson Janet Blair Ginny Simms
Jane Russell Don Cornell Merv Griffin Peggy Lee Doris Day
Helen O'Connell Ray Eberle Marion Hutton Helen Forrest Kitty Kallen
Anita O'Day Ella Fitzgerald Dick Haymes Sarah Vaughan Joni James
There were also groups like the Four Aces, Pied Pipers and Modernaires.
One warm summer night, all the doors of the ballroom were propped open as usual to allow for a cross-ventilation breeze. A young vocalist, Merv Griffin, was on stage with Freddie Martin's Orchestra. In mid-performance, a huge skunk walked into the ballroom amid the several thousand dancers. Petrified that, if startled, the skunk would spray, Merv stopped singing and the band stopped playing. Everyone in the ballroom froze. The skunk sniffed around as everyone remained motionless. Just as nonchalantly as it entered the ballroom, the skunk turned and exited. Its curiosity apparently satisfied. A sigh of relief could be heard throughout the ballroom and the show went on. Merv would later tell the story on t.v. during a talk show interview.
Maurice was a tireless promoter who was always interested in a variety of entertainers. From Hollywood stars to professional baseball players to television personalities to political figures, Maurice brought some of the most talented personalities of the time to Canobie.
Greats like Johnny Pesky, Walt Dropo, Vern Stephens, Eddie Stanky and many other baseball players from the Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves visited Canobie and played ball in the regulation diamond baseball park.
Very talented trombonist Jerry Colonna, the musician turned comedian, made appearances at Canobie. Jerry would walk through the park, kid with visitors and go on the amusement rides like the roller coaster with customers.
Buster Crabbe, who starred as Tarzan and Flash Gordon, made a personal appearance in the ballroom.
In July 1954, admission was twenty-five cents to see the Howdy Doody t.v. pals in the ballroom. There was lovable Clarabell the clown doing pantomime and honking his horn and colorful Chief Thunderthud saying kowabonga! Also, appearing were, Buffalo Vic (filled in for Buffalo Bob), Zippy the chimp roller skating and Princess Summerfall Winterspring from the Tinka Tonka Tribe.
Gabby Hayes, who acted in many westerns, was Roy Rogers' side-kick and hosted westerns on t.v., made appearances in the ballroom. It was 25 cents to see Gabby Hayes on August 14 and 15, 1954.
In September 1957, the grandfatherly "Big Brother" Bob Emery made a personal appearance.
Maurice, a true jazz and big band enthusiast, continued bringing the big bands to the ballroom. In 1957, the Holland's last season at Canobie, Lionel Hampton brought his band and played his high-flying swing on vibraphone performing "Flyin' Home". Lionel also sang, played piano and drums. Buddy Morrow, Richard Maltby and Woody Herman and his 3rd herd and many more performed during the Holland's last season at Canobie.
Bill Haley and His Comets rocked around the clock at Canobie.