ShowPro/Lundeen Productions Anthology
ShowPro was founded in 1969 as a regional entertainment agency and sound company promoting and producing concerts and festivals, and providing entertainment for special events, private functions, clubs, etc.
In the early years, ShowPro did production for groups such as REO Speedwagon, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Gypsy, the Grass Roots and others throughout the upper Midwest.
In 1973 ShowPro was purchased by Tracy Lundeen who continued the tradition of the company’s involvement in both the local and regional entertainment business.
In 1974 ShowPro created the first Northland mobile DJ Show: “The ShowPro Rockin Revue.” The “Rockin Revue” was featured at numerous local nightclubs, schools and other events until it was sold in 1978.
In 1975 ShowPro produced the sold-out Guess Who Concert at the Duluth Arena. It was ShowPro’s first venture into concert promoting
In 1977 Nightlife Magazine was created. This was the first local “arts and entertainment” paper of the era.
Beginning in 1980 through 1982 ShowPro produced the Grandmas Big Top live music concerts on KQDS, and created ShowCase Nightclub. Concerts going on at Grandmas Big Top were simultaneously broadcast live on KDQS Radio. ShowPro engineered, produced and mixed the broadcasts.
In 1983 ShowPro was instrumental in the successful City Council and Court fight to allow outdoor festivals to be held in Duluth’s Wade Stadium. The Willie Nelson Family Picnic, produced by ShowPro, was the first-ever major outdoor concert to be held at Wade Stadium.
In 1984 ShowPro produced the Beach Boys and Three Dog Night at Wade as well as orchestrated the “day after” charity softball games between the BB/TDN and Mayor Fedo’s team raising several thousand dollars for the Boys Club of Duluth.
1984 SPC Security Services was created by ShowPro and licensed by State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as a Security company in Minnesota. SPC Security Services did all event and concert security at the Duluth Arena and other regional venues.
1985 ShowPro was at the forefront in the creation of Bayfront Festival Park working with the Fedo Administration and the Bayfront Park Development Association. The City of Duluth’s Fourth-Fest and the Bayfront Blues Festival were major ShowPro efforts created after the park was built.
In the mid and late eighties ShowPro was instrumental in producing nearly every major rock show to play the then Duluth Arena including: Motley Crue, Huey Lewis, and the News, Bryan Adams, Sammy Hagar, 38 Special, Cheap Trick, REO, Styx, Eddie Money, Huey Lewis, and the News, Amy Grant, The Hooters, Outfield, and many others.
ShowPro helped in creating and producing the Downtown Downhill Ski Race in 1987. Snow was brought in and covered Lake Avenue from Third Street to below Superior St. Timed, downhill races took place on this city avenue in the heart of downtown Duluth.
1988 ShowPro brought in Jay Leno. Leno had just been named Johnny Carson’s permanent fill in and was to be Carson’s successor. The show was a sellout.
In 1988 Wedding Day (now the Duluth Bridal Show) was created. The Duluth Bridal Show continues today and is regarded as one of the biggest bridal expos in Minnesota.
In 1988 Tracy Lundeen was selected by St. Mary’s Medical Center to help coordinate their Centennial Celebration. Besides a year’s worth of events celebrating their 100th, the centennial also spawned the St. Mary’s New Year’s Eve event and Bayfront Fridays.
1988 Bayfront Blues Festival created by Chris Mackey, Tracy Lundeen, and Chuck Poet. The event grows in the early 90’s to one of the largest outdoor blues festivals in the county having an economic impact on the Duluth economy of over 6 million dollars annually. ShowPro’s Blues Festival involvement continued through 1994 when the festival grew to one of the largest outdoor blues events in the country.
1990 Jay Leno, now the permanent host of NBCs “Tonight Show,” returns to Duluth for his second ShowPro promoted sell-out concert.
1992 ShowPro ventures into country music promoting by presenting chart-toppers The Mavericks in Concert at the DECC Auditorium.
1995 ShowPro created Lake, Rattle and Roll, an oldies festival that featured such legends as Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, Johnny Rivers, Gary Lewis, and the Playboys, Gary Pucket, Paul Revere, the Buchinghams, Bobby Vee, the Grass Roots, Three Dog Night and many others.
In 1999 Hoffman Talent Agency of Minneapolis contracted with Tracy to book and produce national acts at venues around the country. From 1999-2007 Tracy traveled the country producing shows at fairs and other venues. These shows included acts ranging from Little Richard to Chrystal Gayle, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Martina McBride to Christina Aguilera.
In 2000 Dave Hoffman, AKA the legendary Winston Fink of the Unbelievable Uglies, called Tracy. Dave was looking for a new Hoffman Talent project. Being a dad, with three of his four kids under the age of 7, Tracy suggested they do a children’s music project. Less than three months later, Tracy spent a weekend in the recording studio with the former head of Disney Children’s Music creating the sound which would become Jungle Sam and the Safari Band!
From 2001-2010 the Safari Band performed in 7 states. Lundeen was one of the first outspoken advocates for anti-bullying programs in Minnesota and, along with Ar Stevens, adapted the classic song, Wooly Bully, into “Don’t Be a Bully” and toured their anti-bullying show at many Minnesota elementary schools. Don’t be a bully was even adapted as the theme song for the Cold Spring Ricori School District’s anti-bullying program.
In the early 2000s Tracy Lundeen of ShowPro teamed up with Neill Atkins to create Northland Calling, a number 1 rated Saturday morning radio show on KDAL.
2003 Created the Duluth Senior Expo, The largest gathering of Seniors and Boomers in the region.
2003 Rebranded the company to Lundeen Productions to better brand the company’s expanding services and events. ShowPro continued as the music promoting wing of the company.
2004 Along with longtime friend Jeff Jarvinen, Lundeen created the Duluth Rocked CD project through ShowCase Records promoting the Northland’s rich music heritage. 4 regional music CD compilations have been released to date. This project also became the launching pad for the popular “Christmas by the Lake” Charity CDs.
2005 Lundeen Productions Entered the publishing business introducing the “Northland Senior Resource Guide” The most comprehensive directory of its kind in the region. The guide is like a “yellow pages” of senior product and service providers.
2008 Created the Duluth Women’s Expo. The event, the first Saturday in March, attracts thousands of regional women to the DECC to enjoy a day of pampering, education, information, fun, and fashions.
2008 Started his own radio magazine show called Talk of the Town. With pre-programmed and satellite radio becoming more and more prevalent in the market Lundeen felt there was a need to highlight local people. Movers, shakers and others “making a difference.”
In 2010 Tracy Lundeen of Lundeen Productions became partners with Rod Saline of Engwalls Florist and Greenhouse to create the Engwalls Corn Maze and Agri-tainment Center.
2011 Entered into the world of theater presenting Cabaret with Director Sheryl Jensen. Cabaret won 6 awards including 2011 Best Musical. Follow-ups included the 2012 production of Side Show and 2013 production of Jekyll and Hyde, The Musical.
Using Visit Duluth methodology for weighing the economic impact of events on the local economy ShowPro/Lundeen Productions’ events have had an impact of nearly a half-billion dollars on the local economy in the last 40 years.
ShowPro raised over $10,000 for local charities and causes in the 1980’s with the Great Music Marathon at the Lakeview Castle (American Cancer Society and Northland Vietnam Veterans).
1999-2006 Music reunions featuring Sound Inc. and QuickBreath raised thousands of dollars for Lincoln Elementary school reading programs, Boys and Girls Club and the Northern Lights Foundation.
2006 Christmas by the Lake annual CD compilation series created. To date has raised over $14,000 for the Northern Lights Foundation and United Way.
2010-12 donated over 15,000 dollars through the Engwalls Corn Maze to regional charities including Animal Allies, Second Harvest, Just Kids Dental, Coats for Kids, Hermantown Community Fund, VCAP, and more.