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Duke Ellington


An album that won a Grammy in 1978 was actually recorded in Fargo on this date in 1940. Duke Ellington played to a full house at the Crystal Ballroom that night, and the concert was recorded.

Many people believe the band Ellington had during that period was his greatest, and the Fargo concert was among his best. From that show, Ellington released seven albums during the ‘40s: Fargo Concert (Live); At Fargo; Duke Ellington Fargo Encores; Fargo 1940, Vol. 1; Fargo 1940, Vol. 2; Fargo ND, November 7, 1940; and Fargo, North Dakota.

Duke passed away in 1974, six years before a new release of his Fargo show won a Grammy for best jazz instrumental performance by a big band. It was simply called, “Live.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm