LEARN about Minneapolis Music History
Map of Known Music Related Sites
Twin Cities PBS in conjunction with The Lowertown Line produced several short videos related to music in Minnesota. Check out some of the videos related to Minneapolis below:
- Foshay Tower
- Heilicher Brothers and SOMA records
- David Hersk and Gaity Records
- The Longhorn Bar and Lori Barbero
Minneapolis Artist of the Week Archive
The Trashmen were a local garage rock band formed in 1962. They released their biggest hit “Surfin’ Bird” in 1963 which reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was recorded at Kay Bank studio on Nicollet Avenue.
The Jets are a family band from Minneapolis who started performing together in 1977. The original band consisted of the 8 oldest children of Maikeli and Vake Wolfgramm. They had several Billboard Hot 100 hits and 8 top 10 singles including “Crush on You” in 1986 which peaked at number 3.
While its common knowledge Bob Dylan got his musical start in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota, many do not know that he returned to the city to re-record several songs for his Blood on the Tracks album at Sound 80 in 1974.
Babes in Toyland is a punk rock band formed in Minneapolis in 1987. They sharpened their abrasive, angry sound and released their first album in 1990 on local Twin/Tone Records. The group disbanded in 2001 after releasing three full-length albums and a number of singles and EPs, but reunited in 2014. You can still find them playing shows at local venues including First Avenue.
The Minnesota Orchestra has been playing in Minneapolis since November 1903, back when they were the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. Their first conductor was Emil Oberhoffer who fine-tuned the group into the 8th major orchestra in the United States at the time. They performed at The Auditorium at their inception and the Northrup Auditorium beginning in 1930, but their first permanent home was and continues to be Orchestra Hall, dedicated on October 21, 1974.
The Castaways, a rock band from the Twin Cities, recorded their famous hit “Liar, Liar” at the Kay Banks studio located at 2541 Nicollet Avenue. The song reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. The song was used in several movies including Good Morning Vietnam.
Hϋsker Dϋ got their start in St. Paul in 1979 with members Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart. By the 1980s they were performing regularly in Minneapolis, with frequent gigs at Jay’s Longhorn and the 7th Street Entry. They are among the most influential bands to emerge from ‘80s underground punk scene.
Tetes Noires was one of the first all-female rock bands in the country when they were formed in Minneapolis in 1982. Their first show was in 1983 at the Pride Festival in Loring Park. They also played at the Walker Art Center, First Avenue, and other notable venues around the country such as CBGB.
The activity that is the subject of this Minneapolis Music History project has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, not does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior.
Last updated May 29, 2018