Mahalia Jackson appeared at a concert at the St. Paul Auditorium on May 1, 1959. It was sponsored by the Elks, with proceeds going to a scholarship fund.
Maurice Turner and Irv Williams appeared at the River Road Club nightly.
B.B. King appeared at a Mother’s Day Matinee Dance at the Marigold Ballroom on May 10, 1959, presented by the Horsemen.
WLOL-FM featured dance band music on Fridays and Saturdays, according to an article in the June 4, 1959 Echo St. Louis Park High School newspaper. “We’re promoting a better brand of music because we believe that most teenagers are getting tired of rock ‘n’ roll,” a spokesman said. Really? Eight Miracle Mile merchants sponsored the program.
Willie Mabon appeared at the Marigold Ballroom for a Sunday Matinee dance on June 14, 1959. It was billed as a “Wash and Wear Affair,” promoted by The Horsemen.
In the June 1959 issue of Select (precursor to Twin Citian/City Pages), Jerry Mayeron advertised his services to book the finest society dance orchestras – one artist or a gala stage production – for your private party or club party. Featured was Arthur Godfrey Talent Winner Mary Davies.
The Youth Chapter of the Minneapolis NAACP gave their Second Annual Semi-Formal Dance at the Calhoun Beach Hotel on July 10, 1959. Appearing for the second year were the Big M’s.
Bobby Bland appeared at the Marigold Ballroom on July 26, 1959.
On the night of August 21, 1959, when the bars let out at Kent Street and Rondo Ave. in St. Paul, trouble broke out and the Spokesman reported that police cracked heads with batons and threatened to use fire hoses.
The Shrine Gala Day at the Marigold Ballroom was on September 25, 1959, 9 pm “til unconscious.” Music was provided by Hank Hazlett and His Band.
Golden Valley jazz venue the White House refused to seat three black patrons and a jury found for the defendants, awarding them damages.
The Key Club featured unknown jazz singer Gloria Smyth from November 2 to 15, 1959.
WDGY sponsored a contest to win an interview Troy Donahue, who was at the Nicollet Hotel promoting his film “A Summer Place.” St. Louis Park High student Susan Fuehrer was a winner, and brought her sister Mary with her for the exciting event.
No rock ‘n’ roll was played on radio station WMMR, which was broadcast from Coffman Union at the U of M to the dorms. Park senior Irwin Gold a/k/a Dean Curtis reported that its repertoire was easy listening and swing.
The Key Club presented the stage act of Christine Jorgensen, who was known more for her sex change operation than her stage show.