© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

March 9: North Dakota Concerts

Ways To Subscribe

Here is another sampling of musicians from far and wide who have performed in North Dakota. Perhaps you’ll remember some!

Duke Ellington and his orchestra played the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo in 1940. The concert is considered one of his greatest live recordings and is a jazz classic.

On this date in 1974, Three Dog Night played the Bismarck Civic Center. The band reportedly drew a larger crowd than the North Dakota State Class A high school basketball tournament’s championship game, which was happening at the same time in Fargo. More than 8,000 people attended the concert. It was also the first time the Civic Center was filled to capacity after the recent installation of more than sixteen-hundred balcony seats. As an encore, Three Dog Night performed their hit, “Joy to the World.”

Country singer Charley Pride performed several times in North Dakota, including three concerts in Bismarck in the 1970s. More than 4,700 people attended his Civic Center concert in 1974, his second in the capital city. Pride dedicated his performance of “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” to a man from Wing, North Dakota, who had recently donated a kidney to his niece.

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, who recorded their hit duet “Islands in the Stream” in 1983, each performed in North Dakota during their heydays.

Parton performed in 1978 at the Minot City Auditorium for 3,380 people. Her concert included the songs “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Me and Little Andy” and “Heartbreaker,” a single from her latest album at the time. At a press conference earlier that day, the City Council president gave Parton a plaque designating her as an honorary citizen of Minot.

Kenny Rogers performed at the Bismarck Civic Center in 1983. Eight-thousand fans, some from as far as Winnipeg. Rogers performed for less than an hour, but his repertoire included “Lucille,” “The Gambler” and “Lady.” One eager fan tripped on a cable, breaking her foot, but she still climbed the steps to her seat in the bleachers. She stayed for the entire show before seeking medical help!

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura


  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1974, March 11. Pages 1, 12: Three dogs’ night packs 8,000 into Civic Center; Three Dog Night late, excellent 
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1974, July 30. Page 10: Transplant girl is doing well 
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1974, August 2. Page 16: Pride thoroughly entertaining
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1975, April 3. Page 2: Civic Center used 251 days
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1978, April 22. Page 28: Charley Pride set Sunday at Civic Center
  • Minot Daily News. 1978, July 29. Page 17: Dolly Parton live in person
  • Minot Daily News. 1978, July 31. Page 2: Dolly’s just ‘country girl’
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1979, July 20. Page 16: Fair attendance keeps going up
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1983, September 6. Page 15: Rogers delivers in high gear
  • The Bismarck Tribune. 1983, September 26. Page 1: Browsing around with Jack E. Case
  • Lamb, J. (2015, November 2). 75 years after Fargo show, recording keeps Duke Ellington’s music alive. InForum. Retrieved from: https://www.inforum.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/75-years-after-fargo-show-recording-keeps-duke-ellingtons-music-alive
  • Dura, J. 2021, July 16. North Dakota concerts. Prairie Public, Dakota Datebook. Retrieved from: https://news.prairiepublic.org/podcast/dakota-datebook/2021-07-16/north-dakota-concerts

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Related Content