The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 31, 2013

Help wanted: Makers of Winter Dance Party documentary seeking photos, memories


“As more time passes, the opportunities to find these photos and stories are lost,” he said. “And in the Midwest, especially this time of year, there is a buzz, a feeling that people remember.”

In a 2007 Free Press article in which Garabedian first issued his call for photos and memories, the late Dianne Cory of Delavan recounted her experience of shooting backstage photos at the Kato with her Brownie camera.

In a 2012 interview about his induction into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame, Jim McGuire recalled his own visit to the Kato Ballroom on Jan. 25, 1959. Already playing in his first rock n’ roll band at the age of 14, McGuire said he and his musician buddies would attend the Kato frequently to “stand by the stage and see if they knew more than we did.”

McGuire said he remembers Holly playing well, but was “disappointed he had to use a capo.” And when Ritchie Valens took the stage ...

“They played the intro to ‘La Bamba’ and I could just about feel my ear drums shattering.”

Garabedian said he hopes to have the film ready for release this year. He said he’s already working with a distributor that is planning to air the documentary on public television and news stations, including PBS and BBC. He’s also hoping to hold movie premier-style events in each of the 11 cities, including Mankato, in which the crew filmed.

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