56 years after Buddy Holly in Duluth, new Winter Dance Party

Buddy Holly performs at the Duluth Armory on Jan. 31, 1959 in a show attended by a young Bob Dylan.

Buddy Holly performs at the Duluth Armory on Jan. 31, 1959 in a show attended by a young Bob Dylan.

One of the interesting arts projects going on in Northern Minnesota is the proposed renovation of the Duluth Armory as a renewed concert and public event place in the heart of Lake Superior’s “Zenith City.” The Armory, like many armories, was once a bustling concert hall where many famous performers once played. Buddy Holly played the Duluth Armory a few days before he died, in a show that was attended by a Hibbing teenager named Robert Zimmerman (aka, Bob Dylan).

The Armory continues to seek grants, private funds and bonding money to finish its plan, including an event this upcoming weekend. Celebrating the 56th anniversary of that show, the Duluth Armory Arts and Music Center is hosting a winter dance party reminiscent of the old rock ‘n’ roll hops held in the 1950s.

2015 Winter Dance Party

featuring the Travelons
Saturday, January 31, 2015; 7-10 p.m. (CST)
Sacred Heart Music Center
201 West 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55806
Ticket info

Here’s the event poster:



  1. Nelson French says

    Thanks for posting this Aaron. It was a well attended event with great music and great dancing – all for a great cause – restoring the historic Duluth Armory. N

  2. what ever to the story Roy Parr sent you?

  3. I was present at the winter dance party in 1959, in Duluth mn. I remember standing by the stage there were no seats, everyone was dancing. Richie Valens was on the stage behind the curtain, I could see him. As he came out he crossed himself as a good catholic would have. I saved this memory for years for some reason. Then I saw the movie and was surprised when they showed the scene where he went to see the Taliseman. He didn’t have a talise on his neck. Some 35 years later I went to Hot August Nites in Reno, nv. We saw a booth with a picture album, family pictures of Richie Valens. It was ran by his sister and aunt. I told them the story and they cried. At that moment I then knew why I had held that memory so long. My mission was accomplished. Something so special you hold in your memories and be able to share with his family , was indeed and awesome feeling. I will never forget that cold winter night in 1959.

  4. Buddy Holly,Ritchie Valens,Big Bopper,are all very special people to me.I never went to any of there shows,wish I had gone to see them.Does anyone have an original poster from that show in Duluth,Minnesota?If they do,I would pay a good price for it,depending on the condition of the poster.I remember seeing Buddy Holly on Dick Clark’s Bandstand,and the Arthur Murray show,and on The Ed Sullivan Show.I have all those shows on DVD.And a few from England.I wish they Where here today,they knew how to make good music.And I will never forget them…..

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