Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Before there was line dancing...

It's always a good time to visit the Pavalon in Huntington Beach. Well, actually, now would be a bad time, since it's gone. (Duke's is now located in a new building at that location, at the foot of the pier.) But here's a nice late-1940s photo of the Pavalon anyway. I found the image on eBay.

Note that Ole Rasmussen and his Nebraska Cornhuskers were playing. Ole wasn't a musician himself, but I understand he ran a great Western Swing band. Naturally, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were a California band. I found the photo of the band shown below in a post at The Steele Guitar Forum. This photo is also from the late 1940s, although it was not taken at the Pavalon. (I've been listening to a lot of 78s lately, and I'm developing a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Western Swing. You could do worse than Spade Cooley's "Oklahoma Stomp.")

Sorry these posts are a little thin, folks. I've been writing a long article for the forthcoming Orange Countiana (Vol. 7), and it's eating some of my spare time. I'm enjoying the chance to tell a story in more depth and do more original research. But I'm also a little more anxious than usual about doing this right, because I'll be sharing the pages of Vol. 7 with historians I greatly respect. Anyway, I think you'll find the subject interesting, even if it's obvious that I'm the new kid among practiced pros.


Connie Moreno said...

Chris, excuses, excuses - LOL! This was very interesting and I too, like Western Swing music. Love to see pics of buildings that are no longer here.

Major Pepperidge said...

I am generally not a lover of whatever falls into the "country music" category, but western swing is pretty cool (I have a number of great compilations). It's like the older it is, the more "real" it is, if you know what I mean.

You listen to real 78's? Neat. I used to have a bunch from my grandma, but once the old phonograph crapped out, I decided to sell them. Nobody seemed to want them, either!

Chris Jepsen said...

I've got some 78s myself (mostly found them cheap at thrift stores), but also have copies of recordings from other folks' collections.

A lot of that 1920s jazz -- from groups nobody talks about these days -- is great stuff.

No, I'm not a fan of what passes for Country music these days, (bad pop/rock music with a nasal twang), but *some* of the old stuff is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about going to an event at the Muckenthaler in Fullerton? Its an historic house from the 1920s and holds several interesting cultural events! Tonight there is an event called American Nostalgia exhibiting artwork from several artists inspired by Norman Rockwell. There will also be a few bands playing.

And Thursday July 28 from 5 to 7pm is another 1920's inspired event: Leisure League. Its sure to be a really fun night!

Chris Jepsen said...

Zoot? Is that *you* being all anonymous? You don't have to do "guerilla marketing" here. Just shoot me an email with the basics about any Orange-County-history-related event, and maybe a URL to a site with more details, and I'll be happy to plug it here. (I extend the same offer to anyone, BTW.) I'm not sure if the Rockwell thing qualifies as OC-history, but I think a 1920s-themed event in a historic 1920s OC home probably does.