On April 25, 1958, Alan Freed’s Big Beat show rolled into Minneapolis. Tickets were $2.75. On the bill that night at the Minneapolis Municipal Auditorium were 17 acts, including:
- Buddy Holly and the Crickets
- Chuck Berry
- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
- The Diamonds
- Jerry Lee Lewis
- Frankie Lymon
- Danny and the Juniors
- Billy and Lillie
- Billy Ford
- The Chantels
- Larry Williams and His Orchestra
- Dicky Doo and the Don’ts
- The Pastels
- Jo Ann Campbell
Local musician Sherwin Linton described the show:
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins wore a bright orange zoot suit and opened with “Little Demon” while shaking around a lot, and then sang ” I Put A Spell On You.” It was fantastic. Sam “The Man” Taylor was the back up orchestra and played the arrangement exactly like the record. About 15 other acts followed, with Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee’s closing in a Bright Yellow suit and ending by tossing the mic through the back curtain creating a loud blast when it hit the wall. Greatest Rock and Roll Show ever.
WDGY personality Bill Diehl was invited onstage by Alan Freed and Bill introduced a couple of the acts.
Sherwin also scored a coup with the poster:
I got the original poster, which was red and black on heavy card stock, 18 x 24. I sold it in 2006 to a Boston collector for $20,000. I had some copies made on the same card stock.
He sold copies of the prints, and one of them holds a place of honor in my living room!