Crystal Beach Live: Buffalo & Toronto Entertainers & More is the second volume of the History of Crystal Beach series. It is a chronicle of the live entertainment – musical and thrill show – that entertained and thrilled park visitors during its 100 seasons.
The first half of the volume focuses on the non-musical entertainment – the aerialists, stunt pilots, acrobats, daredevils, athletes, celebrities, fashion shows, beauty pageants, animal acts, and many other "shows" – that awed Crystal Beach audiences from as early as 1891 through the mid 1950s. It is a forgotten aspect of Crystal Park history but was an integral part of the amusement offerings that made Crystal Beach the summer entertainment capital of Western New York and Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula.
Musical entertainment is the focus of the second half of the volume. Unlike the nostalgic accounts of Crystal Beach that only scratch the surface of the musical entertainment at the park with a brief mention of a few of the famous big bands, Crystal Beach Live delves into an entire century of music that attracted untold millions to the resort. The artists that performed at Crystal Beach represent the popular sounds of their eras that range from the brass bands of the late 1890s to new wave rock of the 1980s. Musical entertainers span the genres of:
- Brass Bands (1890s-1910s)
- Jazz (1920s-1930s)
- Big Bands and Rock-n-Roll (1940s-1950s)
- Polka Bands (1950s-1960s)
- Rock Groups and the return of the Big Bands during the 1980s.
- Over 400 photographs and images from museum archives and private collections.
- Over 30 thrill show and non-musical acts, ten originating from Buffalo and Toronto.
- Twenty Buffalo area bands and orchestras.
- Biographies of over 20 bands and orchestras from Toronto and the surrounding region.
- Coverage of three Miss New York State pageants held at Crystal Beach.
- Artie Shaw’s infamous 1939 appearance.
- Mini profiles of once famous national and international bands and orchestras that played at Crystal Beach and have slipped into obscurity.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009908526