What are you doing New Years Eve? I mean besides that? Howz ’bout heading to Dallas’ historic Longhorn Ballroom for the return of one of Texas’ finest musical traditions, ringing in the New Year with Old 97’s!
Arguably even more of a cultural landmark than Dallas’ famed Sons of Hermann Hall, the Longhorn Ballroom has one remarkable history. Built in 1950 by the father of Western Swing, Bob Wills, and originally called “Bob Wills Ranch House,” it was intended to be the new home base for his Texas Playboys. But bad business decisions and a debt to the IRS soon forced Wills to sell the building to another Dallas club owner, one Jack Ruby. Yeah, that Jack Ruby.
Renamed the Longhorn Ballroom, the club then went on to host THE biggest names in country music for another quarter century – Willie, Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb regularly graced its stage – before it hosted its most notorious show ever, the January 10, 1978 show by the Sex Pistols, during which a wasted Sid Vicious was viscously head-butted by a female audience member. The Pistols played just two final dates on their tour before disbanding, but the Longhorn Ballroom soldiered on, and just after the Pistols left the country, hosted its next gig: Merle Haggard.
So come on out on December 31st! Soak up some history along with some suds. Who knows, maybe the 97’s will even play “Miss Molly” (orig. Bob Will & His Texas Playboys) or “Beer Cans” (orig. Homer Henderson, who also penned the infamous “Lee Harvey was a Friend of Mine,” Lee Harvey himself having been put away by that other one-time owner of the Longhorn Ballroom 😉 Either way, you know the Old 97’s will be playing at least a few cuts off their upcoming album, plus all of the favorites that have made them Texas legends in their own right. So be there for what’s sure to be one unforgettable show. And you say can’t find tickets? Not to worry, we’ll have that info here just as soon as it becomes available.
And speaking of new songs, Pegasus News last week posted a free clip of the Old 97’s public debut of one of their new tracks, taped at the Carter Albrecht Memorial show. The song would appear to be titled “Dance With Me” and you can check out the video here. And don’t forget to click here or scroll down that page for a link to a fantastic 1995 KCRW in-studio performance by the band.
And Austinites, don’t fret, as y’all get your own chance to see the boys NYE week too, as on Saturday December 29, the Old 97’s play your own La Zona Rosa. Now, nobody claims the history of LZR matches that of the Longhorn, but on December 29 the music will surely be the equal of that in Dallas on the 31st.
All right, I’ve got a few more things, but I need to get out the door and vote today. You do too, so go!