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Don Julio

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  1. The Paladium was owned by Johnny Martinez. Tony Sepolio was the booking agent. It probably closed in 1957. Don't know when it was torn down, but there was no demand for huge ballrooms after 1957 (except the Pan American club).
  2. The Paladium Club was never called The Hitching Post. It wasn't a "cowboy bar," but a huge ballroom that could seat over 2,000 people.
  3. Musicians make a lot of claims. Bear in mind that they often exaggerate, distort, and invent memories and events in the process, especially if famous celebrities like Elvis are involved. It's quite possible that there was a bar called the Hitching Post and all these people played there, but just as likely, if not more so, that Proby either invented this event or confused the name of the Paladium Club.
  4. They weren't dated when they were wearing them.
  5. Found this ad in the book "River Oaks: A Pictorial Presentation" (nd, c.1930). Does anybody have any issues of "The Gargoyle," the magazine for the discriminating Houstonian?
  6. Here's the dust jacket to Sig Byrd's Houston.
  7. Here is how Byrd appeared in the Houston Chronicle in January, 1962:
  8. The Champion Sisters are George Champion's daughters. George and Bennie were Houston artists. They never "made it big" nationally. Which is meaningless, anyway.
  9. Come to think of it, I did talk to someone who knew him, and described him as "a big, tall fellow." But he doesn't appear to be much taller than the rest of the band in the photo. Oh well. Anybody remember the pianist, George Champion? He played a lot with Bennie Hess as well.
  10. Great story. Looking at the picture, I doubt Carl was 6'6".
  11. The Historic Houston section attracted me to this site. It's still the only one I look at, except this one (occasionally).
  12. Here's a good pic of Utah Carl and the Gulf Coast Playboys in Channel 13 Studios. 1958? Left to right: Herbie Treece, Utah Carl, Clem Kujawa, Sam Reece, Wiley Barkdull, and George Champion on piano.
  13. Here is the complete text of the Marie Phelps article. Visit to Frenchtown by Marie Lee Phelps (Houston Post, 22 May 1955) "Comment ca va?" It was a soft voice from the Bayou Teche country of Louisiana. "Oh! Pliz scuse. How you?" Black eyes rolled in mischievous welcome. "You come into my house?" I stood on Deschaumes Street, or was it Delia, Adalia, or Lelia? Or was I in Houston at all? The air was heavy and sweet with a tropical abundance of oleanders, cape jasmines, vines. The sumptuous smell of creole gumbo sifted lazily out of a kitchen window. Was I really only a stone's throw from that roaring artery of the city -- Jensen Drive? You're farther than that, sister. You're as far away from Jensen Drive as the Evangeline country is from Houston. You're in Frenchtown. This fascinating community, the least known facet of Houston's multiple personality, has been in existence near Liberty Road on the northeast side of the city since 1922. It is about four blocks square. The heart of the settlement may be said to lie between streets with the musical names Lelia and Roland. Here in an atmosphere as foreign as French pie and rub bo'd (sic) music live about 500 people of French and Spanish descent. They come from Saint Martinsville, Lafayette, LeBeau, Louisiana. They call themselves creoles. Most of them have very fair skin, lustrous, expressive eyes, beautiful black hair. I was struck by the patrician features of those I met, the long nose, the thin, sensitive lips. What brought these people from the Bayou Teche country to Houston, where they have stuck together thick as a family clan, yet ever apart from the city? Father Cornelius Sullivan, their priest who holds mass, teaches their children at Our Mother of Mercy Roman Catholic Church nearby, says they came when jobs got scarce in Louisiana. The Southern Pacific Railroad in Houston was offering many job opportunities in the
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