A few weeks back I posted asking readers to post their memories of Dallas back when it was still a “small” town and got some great responses.
Reader Barclay Kleese remembered:
My Grandfather started a radio show called the Early Birds. It aired every morning. Kind of a music, skit kind of thing. I was only six or seven at the time, but I remember going down with my Dad, who played sax and clarinet on the show.
I have some great memories and some pics.
Remember the Creek on Greenville Ave. Pappy’s Showland. Louanns. Open air music at the Shell at Fair Park. Streetcars downtown. The peanut shop downtown…ahh what a smell. Cowboys playing the Texans at the Cotton Bowl. 50 cents to sit in the end zone. Saw the big tornado from my front yard. Elvis came to town. We had no air conditioner….fans. Ice Box and the guy would chip us off a piece to suck on. Central only went to Richardson. Then you had to get on Greenville (Hwy 5) to go any further north. And Central wasn’t all that busy. Lovers Lane was really lovers’ lane.
Thanks for the memories. TV went off at night…..that is when you finally GOT a TV. You could drive by the KLIF station and look up and see the DJ.
Great stuff. Most a bit before my time (hint – I was born the year of the great tornado), but I do remember the Fair Park Band Shell and the KLIF studios in their distinctive triangular building at the intersections of S. Central, Commerce and Jackson St. as shown in this picture.
Reader Shirley adds this great stuff:
I was 19 years old, it was late 1955…I had just hit Big “D” from a small East Texas town. WRR ruled the airwaves from 10pm to midnight with that “race music” as it was called and all the young’uns from 13 to 25 could not wait to turn on the “Kool Fool” Jim Lowe at night. KLIF ruled with the top 40 format and became the top radio station in the USA. Our radio’s were on KLIF until Lowe’s Kat Karavan at night, then back to KLIF.
I have posted some stuff about Dallas and the 50’s on my web page: dance, clubs music etc.
Does anyone remember the “sitting on the pole” stunt KLIF did in around ‘57 ?
Oh! by the way semitough, sounds like your dad and I might be around the same age, yep, write a little blurb about Ruby’s Vegas Club as well as Lucas B&B next door, also the It’ll Do Club.
have your Dad check out www.belovedcity.com
I can’t remember WRR as anything other than a classical station. I do remember KLIF which ruled the radio in Dallas until KNUS and the newfangled FM stations came online in the early 70s. I remember Dad talking about the “It’ll Do Club” but not Lucas B&B. Unfortunately we lost him in 1983 before I understood the value of capturing all his stories in some format or other. I’m only left with dim memories of snippets of stories across the years. Thanks Shirley for bringing those sweet memories to share.
And last, but definitely not least, intertube friend Scot over at businessgolf, the man who got this trip down memory lane started writes:
I remember Louann’s (the first place I went to NOT learn to dance), the 50 cent Cowboy Seats and the tornado I do remember with a vague memory of Central ending at the Mink Farm where TI is now. I do remembering sitting in the back seat of my Dad’s 1950 Chevy Deluxe taking a full day trip to Lake Texoma when I was five… The chipped ice and no air was around the we quit walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow. But I love those memories.
Uh hey buddy, you forgot “uphill both ways”. I don’t ever remember 50 cent seats at the Cowboy games, but I do remember attending a Pokes-Vikings game before Texas Stadium got all luxury suited up. There was an open space between the upper deck and the roof that allowed air to flow, the way I.M. Pei intended it. My best friend was dating a girl who danced on the Bryan Adams Belles, who were performing at halftime. We went out afterward and she set me up with one of her drill team friend. Sitting in the front seat with a girl I barely knew while they made out heavily in the back seat. One word-awkward. I wonder if somewhere she’s remembering that awkward night too? If so, that would really be awkward.
I also remember going to free afternoon concerts in Lee Park with cousin Beefy then catching a movie at the old Inwood Theater in the evening. I also remember my first real rock concert, Leon Russell and local great Johnny Nitzinger at Dallas Memorial Auditorium circa 1971. None of our parents would let us drive downtown so we had to catch a bus. I’m not sure which was worse. I remember drive in movies at the Gemini with cousin Becky who was always trying to fix me up with some friend’s little sister. She was a few years older and thought it was “cute”. Me? Not so much.
I remember weekend trips down Hawn Freeway to the relatively new lake, Cedar Creek Reservoir, and finally moving down there full time in 73. Which of course forced me to drive back to Dallas on weekends for nights at Travis Street Electric Company, Hangar 19, The Bellringer and other discotheques who’s names have faded into oblivion.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to contribute. Feel free to leave additional memories in the comments and I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic in the not too distant future.