Adult Prom: Rockin' Through the Decades

Posted by Anita on April 4, 2023

(written by Anita Taylor Doering, Archives Staff)

The Adult Prom event has been postponed so stay tuned for another date. 

When that event does happen, a special exhibit will introduce the La Crosse History of Rock and Roll Project which centers around the contributions to “the man behind the music” Lindy Shannon. See the Lucky Lindy blog for an inside look at Lindy and his contributions to La Crosse’s pop music history. The Archives is still very much in need of old photographs, posters and other memorabilia related to Lindy bands and this iconic era of La Crosse music.


Local WKBH deejay and rock and roll promotor Lindy Shannon declared November 1, 1960, as Vee Day as that was the day he brought national recording star and teen idol Bobby Vee to La Crosse for two shows. Vee performed with the local group the Super-phonics at the YWCA Youth Center also called the Teen-A-Reena after a quick 20 minute rehearsal! Pictured here from left to right are Gary Wolfe, Al Banasik, Bobby Vee, George Eberdt, Ronnie Hanson and Lindy Shannon. From the La Crosse Public Library Archives collection of the YWCA.

The Adult Prom event will hopefully take place at the Concordia Ballroom when a new date is announced. A bit of history about the Concordia Ballroom…

The Concordia, a German-American social organization, was established in 1870 with Carl Ahrens as president. The group was incorporated in 1876 and was colloquially known as the Concordia Singing Society and later became the Concordia Aid Society. The LPLA has a minute book of the Concordia Aid Society written in German script that covers 1883-1914.


While the Articles of Incorporation of the Concordia Aid Society are in the English language, the rest of the book which are meeting minutes are written in the German language script or "running hand" that was taught in German schools up until the 1930s.

Although singing was one of the purposes of the group, the goals of the group were to practice and cultivate vocal and instrumental music, gymnastic exercises of the mind and body, and provide mutual benevolence and support in sickness and distress. The Frohsinn Society, the branch of the singing interests of the Concordia members, was instrumental in the completion of a community center and dance hall for the group known as Concordia Hall.

The present Concordia Hall at 1129 La Crosse Street was constructed in 1891. The building came to be known as the Concordia Ballroom, and by 1984 the dance hall was no longer profitable, and the building needed serious repairs. By 1994, the members voted to sell the property to pay off back taxes and other debts.

In the late 1990s the hall underwent extensive renovations thanks to public concern for the welfare of the building.  This was a result of a cooperative effort between the Preservation Alliance of La Crosse, the Concordia Aid Society, and a grassroots organization called Save the Concordia, led by Concordia member Bernie Duerkop. In May 1995, the structure was designated as a city historic site, linking remnants of the old “Goosetown” neighborhood to its German-American ethnic heritage. Duerkop and his wife Lorraine purchased the building from the original Concordia Aid Society in 1995, and new Concordia members bought out the old members’ shares in the Society.  Public dances and meeting hall rental as well as volunteers keep the doors open.