Linda Ronstadt at Texas Hall, 1977

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Few would argue that Barry Manilow and Kiss have little in common. Likewise, you rarely mention Desmond Tutu and Carrot Top in the same sentence. But all four, as well as hundreds of other high-profile singers, bands, speakers, and comedians, have played Texas Hall since the building opened in 1965. The lineup includes singer Linda Ronstadt, whose 1977 performance before a packed house featured Top 10 hits You’re No Good, When Will I Be Loved?, Heat Wave, and Blue Bayou. “It was a great concert, very upbeat, and guitarist Waddy Wachtel was just amazing to watch,” recalls Craig Howell, who took this photograph after making his way to the front. With the Maverick basketball and volleyball teams’ recent move to College Park Center, Texas Hall returns to its roots as a performance venue. Jazz legend Louis Armstrong christened the place Oct. 18, 1965, when it was called the Arlington State College multipurpose auditorium. Renamed Texas Hall in 1968, it boasted the largest proscenium stage (the area between the curtain and the orchestra) west of the Mississippi River. Although it no longer holds that distinction, Texas Hall was big enough to host Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, Jerry Seinfeld, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon, Spike Lee, Rihanna, Maroon 5—the list goes on.

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