Shell Rock Swing Show Turns 50

Apr 15, 2015

The month of April means tax time and for the past 50 years, in one Northeast Iowa town there’s a tradition that’s almost as reliable. It’s the Shell Rock Spring Swing Show.

Performers from 13 communities are helping celebrate an idea that was born in 1965. Shell Rock Mayor Larry Young says the town’s doctor Dale Everson made it happen. He says “when this show started it was a marriage between a guy who could write and arrange music and a community. You could say Shell Rock is very lucky to have your medical practice here and he and his wife Bev would turn around and say we’re lucky to have you accept us for what we like to do with music.”

And what they like to do with music is produce The Shell Rock Spring Swing Show. Young has been part of the crew all fifty years, first as stage manager, then as emcee and for the past 20 years he’s been the producer. This year’s production includes an 18 member band, a 43 member chorus and dozens of behind the scenes volunteers and of course Larry Young who is still the emcee.

Tickets are 13 dollars apiece and during the past 49 years, Young says more than 773 thousand dollars has been donated to projects both in and out of state.