The building started life in 1924. Not as a ballroom or music venue though – it orginated as a garage. The internet tells me that this was ‘for Wyatt Tate Brady’s automobiles’. At first I took this to mean that Mr Tate Brady was in the motor trade but no, he was a little mpore complex than that.
I imagine that therefore, the building was to house Mr Tate Brady’s vehicles, as he was classed as a founder of Tulsa. He was a prosperous businessman, was married to a Cherokee woman and he shot himself in 1925.
But in years later, the building was sold to Madison ‘Daddy’ Cain. He started a dance academy in the building. This morphed into a dance venue and the most frequent performers there were Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. (Don’t you love those 1930s bands’ names? It gives a clue to the type of music they played there. Probably ‘both kinds’*.)
I have to show you Bob and the band…
Now if that, and the above quote* about ‘both kinds’ doesn’t remind you of the Blues Brothers then I don’t know what will.
Now later, in 1972, a fan of Bob Wills decided to buy the almost derelict Cain’s building. Marie Mayers, the fan, was eighty-two at the time. She decided to open the place as a traditional ballroom but as you might expect, it had only a very limited success. Four years later she sold the place to a rock concert promoter.
The sign that the venue was back on the map happened in 1978 when the Sex Pistols performed there. A hole in the wall punched by Johnny Rotten when in a grumpy mood, still exists there.
Since that time, the venue has gone from strength to strength and is one of America’s most popular venues, albeit one with a limited capacity. It will hold only 1200 people.
You can see all the upcoming acts on the Cain’s Ballroom website and have a look at the FAQ section too to learn more about visiting.
HOW TO FIND CAIN’S
423 N Main St,
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.