Jump to content

Hitching Post Club Next To 8101 South Main St.


NotGivinUp

Recommended Posts

Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of a Houston bar named the Hitching Post that existed in 1954-55? There's a singer living in England who goes under the name P.J. Proby (real name James Marcus Smith) who claims to have sung there with Elvis and Tommy Sands in 1954. His publicity people say it was a "cowboy bar" famous for giving country singers and musicians their start. Proby's website says Biff Collie broadcast his radio show from the bar and it was located at the end of South Main.

I can't find any references to this Hitching Post bar in Houston other than on websites that are talking about P.J. Proby's life and career. Nor can I find anything that corroborates Proby's story about singing with Elvis and Tommy Sands anywhere at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The name of the bar may be wrong and I don't ever recall hearing it. Elvis certainly made many appearances in Houston in 1954/55 before his career took off nationally, befriended at least a couple of djs, Collie among them. Have you accessed the source Elvis Day By Day? This citation puts Elvis at Eagles Hall in January, 1955, with Tommy Sands on the bill, and a show hosted by Collie for KNUZ. Somewhere I had a link to a piece about the show, which was also broadcast on KNUZ-TV, but I can't find that link now. Perhaps scrolling through that source will yield something or there may be others here on HAIF who have something on that bar. I do not know where the Eagles Hall was.

I'd also suggest just googling on Elvis, Biff Collie and Houston together - you'll get a lot of hits, some of which may be helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies and suggestions. I have several books about Elvis including both Elvis Day By Day and Last Train to Memphis. I've also been to numerous sites (including Scotty Moore's and several about Biff Collie) that list his appearances in Texas. So far I'm reaching a dead-end on the Hitching Post bar but I will keep looking.

P.J. Proby's staff say it's definite that Proby sang at the Hitching Post in 1954 and so did Elvis and Tommy Sands. Proby also claims that Elvis was in Houston off and on for several months during the summer and fall of 1954 and he was driving a pink Cadillac. I've had no luck verifying that Elvis was in Houston before late November 1954 or finding anything about a him owning a Cadillac before March 1955.

I'm willing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt but like a lot of other people I take history very seriously. If I were anywhere near Houston now I would be at the public library looking for the Hitching Post in microfilmed city directories. If all else fails I may have to do that but I thought I would try here first. Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My '57 phonebook doesn't list a Hitchin Post but it does have a Hitchin' Rack at 930 McCarty.

Maybe Proby got his post and rack mixed up! ha!

It looks like there was also a popular restaurant and/or dance hall in Addicks called the OLD Hitchin' Rack.

I saw at least one reference on the web to bands playing there in what seems to have been the 30's and 40's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions. If this 1950's Hitching Post bar played as big a role in Houston history as PJ Proby claims, it seems like people here would have heard of it. I'm beginning to think it's part of a yarn somebody dreamed up to place Proby on the same "stage" as Elvis and Tommy Sands. But I'm keeping an open mind. I hope someone who was around back then will remember whether this bar actually existed - or didn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another link I just remembered - Pine Grove Press photostream - this is Collie and Sands at Magnolia Gardens, 1950 according to the tag. Sands would have been 13. I searched the whole photostream for Proby or the Hitching Post to no avail. When did Smith adopt the stage name? Was he perhaps performing under another name or just as part of a group?

Some more people who might be able to help: Glad Music Co. They have quite a bit of history on their website but don't know if there's anybody there today who goes back that far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links and I'm following up on them. Some great pictures there.

Proby is a native of Houston and used his real name - Jim or Jimmy Smith - when he was performing there as a teenager. He wasn't singing as a member of a group either. This is from a bio page on his website describing his performances 1954-1956...

"The first place where Jim performed was the Hitching Post, a cowboy bar at the end of South Main Street in Houston, where the two-years-older Tommy Sands was singing"....."Also George Jones and Elvis Presley (who was almost four years older than Jim) played there sometimes."

...Smith/Proby left Houston in 1957 after high school and moved to California. He started using the name PJ Proby several years later in California and when he moved to England in 1964.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We moved out South Main at Hiram Clark in 1957 into a brand new house. There was no development out there at the time, except maybe the huge light and power installation (don't know when it went in) and of course the South Main Drive Inn. Waukesha was out nearer Post Oak but mostly it was bare land.

The housing subdivision we moved into had only 3 streets and it was in a prairie, nothing near at all. No convenience store, no gas, no grocery.

What I'm saying is, that in 1954 I'd think that "the end of South Main" was probably somewhere around O.S.T.

I do remember the Big Chief Motel as a landmark. And Playland Park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, there's a reference to O.S.T. on Proby's website too. I found the following on another bio page on the same site...

"Jim met and worked with Tommy Sands and Elvis Presley, George Jones, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Collins Kids and many others while growing up in Houston at places like The Hitching Post, The Eagles Hall, The South Maine Olde Spanish Trail for the leading D.J.s at the time, Cliffie Stone & Biff Collie."

Taken literally he's saying The South Maine Olde Spanish Trail is a venue but I doubt that's what he means. Proby has talked about a Hitching Post bar in various print, radio and on camera interviews within the last 10 years with references to both South Main and O.S.T. Therefore I'm guessing the HP bar was supposed have been at or near the intersection of O.S.T. and Main St.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the book, "Elvis in Texas - The Undiscovered King 1954-1958", Elvis played in Houston at:

- Magnolia Gardens 1954, 1955

- Cook's Hoedown Club 1954, 1955

- Paladium Club 1954

- Eagles Hall 1955

- City Auditorium 1955, 1956

- Sam Houston Coliseum 1956

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sevfiv,

Looks like that address for the Trading Post is over 2 miles from S. Main @ O.S.T. so I don't think it's the location that Proby's talking about.

Is your source a 1955 phone book or a city directory? So it doesn't have anything on S. Main for The Hitching Post, Hitching Post or maybe even for Post, Hitching?

That motel sign beats Burma Shave's hands down :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's from a city directory - I checked Main St. and that was the closest thing I could find. The only other "social club" type establishments listed in the mid fifties to early sixties were:

Al Pliner's 88 Supper Club at the Friendly Courts Motel (about a block away from the Trading Post)

Troubador (I can't remember the address at the moment but it would have been closer to OST)

Plantation Club (near Murworth)

End of Main Ballroom (near the current south Loop)

Las Vegas Motel's private club (next to the End of Main)

Copacabana (next to the Grant Motel)

The Lamplight (near Braeswood)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A helpful forum member suggested I contact a Houston businessman he thought might remember the Hitching Post, so I took his advice. The man said he didn't but was kind enough to contact someone he has known for many years who knew both Tommy Sands and Elvis back then. That person said the only place Elvis performed on South Main in the early days was his one stint at the Texas Corral (renamed the Palladium Club). This contradicts singer PJ Proby's story that Elvis performed regularly at a famous bar on South Main called the Hitching Post but I'm still trying to keep an open mind about it for now in case someone else has more information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, Notgivingup,

I’ve just read this discussion with great interest. I’m in contact with P.J. Proby and I’ve asked him what he remembers about the Hitchin Post. His memories are quite vivid::

“The Hitchin Post was at the end of Main, near the Drive-In and the Old Spanish Trail. It was at the crossing of South Main and the Old Spanish Trail. The place has been gone for over fifty years now! It was located on the spot where they later built an hotel, just before Playland Park. In those days it was the end of the city of Houston. It was the first place where Elvis performed in Texas, when he was still unknown. It was the place where Biff Collie hosted his radio show Billie’s Cracker Barrel Corner.”

P.J. Proby must have been 14/15 years old and was still a kid. He wouldn’t have been advertised in those days, but he hang out with Tommy Sands and the others whenever he could. Biff usually let him to do some DJ-work and let him sing an opening song for the shows. Also George Jones appeared regularly in the Hitchin’ Post in Biff’s program “Collie’s Corner” (named “Biff Collie’s Cracker Barrel Corner” by Proby).

I believe that The Hitchin’ Post may have been a local name they gave to a bar that had a different official name. Of course the question is which bar is meant by the referral to The Hitchin’ Post? Like you I take history very seriously. It’s an interesting puzzle to combine people’s subjective memories with known facts. Alas I live in Europe and have never been to Houston. I hope to visit one day

In the book “Elvis Day By Day” the writer mentions the following appearances by Elvis:

25 Thursday November 1954 * Paladium Club, Houston, Texas. He says: It is unclear whether this was the first Houston date that Biff Collie booked, or if Elvis played the Houston Hoedown at another location earlier in the week. In any case, the ad for the Paladium Club on Friday indicates that Elvis will be held over for two more nights "by popular demand."

26 Friday * Paladium Club, Houston (Elvis sends a telegram to his parents.)

Was the Paladium still called the Texas Corral then? It sounds like a place where the horses would have been hitched up in the old days. It’s very well possible that locals still called this bar the Hitchin Post in stead of the Paladium Club.

I have two theories:

- The Hitchin’ Post was a colloquial name for the Texas Corral, aka The Paladium Club. Is there any evidence that the Texas Corral was located at the crossing of South Main and the Old Spanish Trail? Other evidence on the Internet seems to indicate The Paladium Bar was on University ground, which seems to add up with the location of the medical grounds at the crossing of South Main and Old Spanish Trail. See the topographical map of Houston 1955:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/texas/txu-pclmaps-topo-tx-houston_and_vicinity-1955.jpg

- The Hitchin’ Post was a bar that was demolished shortly after 1954 and was replaced by a motel. Could this be the Big Chief Motel that Little Frau remembers from 1957? Or would this have turned into the Grant Motel, later palm Court Inn, where they claim Elvis has stayed?

We would need to find out:

- the location of the Texas Corral / Paladium club and the the date of the demolition of this club

- the location and the history of the Big Chief Motel, The Grant Motel and the Palm Court Inn

I hope this helps a little. I can assure you P.J. Proby has a very good memory of the old days in Houston. Thanks for keepin an open mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not young anymore. My memory is not the best, but being in high school during the very early 60's, and "dragging" Main St. from Hiram Clark to downtown every weekend, I'm having a hard time putting anything on S. Main at O.S.T. in the Astrodome's parking lot. The old Prince's Drive Inn was 'right there'. We'd go from there to Bill Williams in what is now the Medical Center all the way to the old, original MacDonalds Drive Inn, complete with car hops. (not the McDonalds of today).

Not saying that the old club didn't close 'because' of the Astrodome, just that it may not have been that close to the actual domed stadium site.

In fact, there was no Astrodome at that time but even more so, S. Main and O.S.T. was not 'that' close to the future Astrodome at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not trying to hijack this thread, but since there is research being done on old bars and clubs... has anyone seen any reference to the Blossom Heath? I'd like to know its location. My dad tells stories about going there when he would come in from Fort Sam in the early 50s. Re the Hitchin' Post/Texas Corral - would that have been located at the triangle of OST and Main where the Antone's Deli was later?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tinker said Biff Collie had a radio show - “Collie’s Corner” (named “Biff Collie’s Cracker Barrel Corner” by Proby) - broadcast from the Hitching Post (or Texas Corral / Palladium Club). Does anyone else know anything about that show and the location of broadcasting?

So far I've only found that Biff DJ'd a show on KNUZ starting in 1948 that was a remote broadcast from the Glad Music Company's record store on 11th Street. He later MC'd the "The Houston Hometown Jamboree" (possibly aka the "Grand Prize Jamboree") as a remote broadcast beginning in 1954. The location apparently alternated between the City Auditorium and the Eagle's Hall depending on the season:

Billboard - Mar 6, 1954

Houston's Hometown Jamboree set for its bow March 13, with a whopping lineup of country talent slated to appear. Potato Pet Hunter, KRCT, Baytown, Biff Collie, KNUZ Houston, and Jack Starns, at Beaumont, handling the talent. Show will air via KNUZ every Saturday night from City Auditorium, Houston.

Billboard - Jul 10, 1954

Jean Shepard inked for a return date at the "Grand Prize Jamboree," Houston, with the show moving to air-conditioned Eagle's Hall for the summer.

Billboard - Nov 13, 1954

"Grand Prize Jamboree," Saturday night country music show emanating from KNUZ, Houston, sponsored by Grand Prize Beer, continues to play to stand-up business, with recent guests including Lefty Frizzell, T. Texas Tyler and Leon Payne. Regulars includ Jerry Jericho, who has just signed with RCA Victor's Label X; Tommy Sands and George Jones. Biff Collie is em- see; Jack Derrick, comedian; Ken Grant, announcer, and Buddy Covington, producer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find just one mention of Collie's Corner in Billboard, in January, 1956, on KPRC, 950 (the KTRC in the BB article is a misprint).

I find no mentions of Crackerbarrel Club or Cracker Barrel Club in BB that are relevant.

Collie started in Houston in Feb 1948 on brand new station KNUZ as a sports reporter but apparently quickly became a popular dj. In October 1950 I have an ad for him as morning host on KLEE. Apparently he later returned to KNUZ, possibly when KLEE was sold or perhaps because the owner of the station was known to be very difficult and fired people on the spot for something they said or played he didn't like.

I also know that he later did mornings on KPRC before leaving town, possbly as early as 1955. I'm not sure when he left town but beginning in 1956-57 he appeared on and apparently became the emcee of the Phillip Morris Country Music Show, a traveling show of country artists sponsored by Phillip Morris that eventually became a national radio program broadcasting from the city where it was appearing.

From the BB citation Collie's Corner was on KPRC but he could have used the name earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got our first TV sometime in 1954 and I have memories of my dad tuning in a country music program named Biff Collie's Hoedown Corner. I'm surprised that name has not turned up in any of the very good research you folks have done.

I remember watching it one time when there was a very young girl, maybe 7-8-9 who was going to sing. She was given an introduction and then she didn't appear on the stage. Of course, it was all scripted but after much looking for her in different places, the bass fiddle player simply spun his instrument on its leg and lo and behold, there she was. She'd been "hiding" behind it the whole time. I've often wondered if she ever made it big.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly what you're referring to is the Houston Hometown Jamboree, mentioned above in passing, which was simulcast on KNUZ and KNUZ-TV. Collie was one of the emcees for that show. Hasn't been mentioned in part because Proby didn't say anything about a TV show.

KNUZ-TV was a very short lived station; it ceased operations in June, 1954.

I have never come across any mention of a Hoedown Corner program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

P.J. Proby's staff say it's definite that Proby sang at the Hitching Post in 1954 and so did Elvis and Tommy Sands.

\\

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.

Edited by Don Julio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this in Billboard about the live broadcast from the Texas Corral on radio station KLEE in 1950.

Billboard Nov 18, 1950

Sleepy Bob Everson, KLEE, Houston, reports that Slim Williams has settled in Houston. Everson is emseeing the Houston Barn Dance, held Wednesday nights at the Texas Corral there. Harry Choates, Pete Hunter, Tommy Sands, Hank Lochlin, Jerry Jericho, Hub Sutter and Jimmy Heap are featured.

I've found no further mention of broadcasts from the Texas Corral or the Paladium/Palladium Club after 1950.

PJ Proby describes the Hitching Post of 1954 as a cowboy bar. It's odd they would change the name of a cowboy bar to a swanky sounding name like the Palladium Club unless they also changed the decor and provided entertainment besides C&W.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Then it sounds like the Paladium Club is ruled out as a possibility. The other well known venues in the early/mid 1950's either don't fit the description or their location is wrong.

I still haven't found any info that disc jockey Biff Collie broadcast a live talent show from a bar in Houston. It's strange that if this Hitching Post cowboy bar was famous for giving country singers and musicians their start, no one seems to remember it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your replies and suggestions. I have several books about Elvis including both Elvis Day By Day and Last Train to Memphis. I've also been to numerous sites (including Scotty Moore's and several about Biff Collie) that list his appearances in Texas. So far I'm reaching a dead-end on the Hitching Post bar but I will keep looking.

Hi, I found this thread and your post the other day. I wish I could have had something up for you when you first looked but I only started looking into the other venues that Elvis and Scotty played in in Houston last year. I'm in the process of putting some stuff together now and hope to have it up soon, coincidentally a lot of the information that has been presented in this thread I previously fooun d also. The Chronicle archives were very helpful as was the Billboard magazine. I have to concur with most here that I've never come across a reference to a hitching post club, least of all one they performed in. They did however perform at the The Paladium, Eagles Hall and Cook's Hoedown in addition to Magnolia Gardens and City Auditorium. Interestingly enough I had another address for the Paladium only several blocks from the address listed on the Dance Hall ticket from McClean's book. It was reported at 1600 OST at S. Main. I'm inclined though to go with the 8100 S. Main address since there is apparantly an existing ticket from an event there.

As for Don's post regarding Johnny Martinez' ownership, I would love to hear more about him/that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, Notgivingup,

I’ve just read this discussion with great interest. I’m in contact with P.J. Proby and I’ve asked him what he remembers about the Hitchin Post. His memories are quite vivid::

“The Hitchin Post was at the end of Main, near the Drive-In and the Old Spanish Trail. It was at the crossing of South Main and the Old Spanish Trail. The place has been gone for over fifty years now! It was located on the spot where they later built an hotel, just before Playland Park. In those days it was the end of the city of Houston. It was the first place where Elvis performed in Texas, when he was still unknown. It was the place where Biff Collie hosted his radio show Billie’s Cracker Barrel Corner.”

Hi, tinker,

As you are in contact with P.J. Proby, can you ask him whether Elvis was performing solo at the bar called the Hitching Post or if he had Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana backing him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, tinker,

As you are in contact with P.J. Proby, can you ask him whether Elvis was performing solo at the bar called the Hitching Post or if he had Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana backing him?

According to the book, "Elvis in Texas - The Undiscovered King 1954-1958", Elvis had Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana backing him at most of his Texas gigs in 1954-56.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the book, "Elvis in Texas - The Undiscovered King 1954-1958", Elvis had Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana backing him at most of his Texas gigs in 1954-56.

Most of the dates at any of the venues in Houston only featured Elvis, Scotty and Bill. Elvis never performed solo. DJ only played a couple of times with them at the City Auditorium in 56.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the dates at any of the venues in Houston only featured Elvis, Scotty and Bill. Elvis never performed solo. DJ only played a couple of times with them at the City Auditorium in 56.

You're right, I double-checked the book and it looks like Scotty and Bill were with him at most all the Texas gigs.....though not DJ. He did appear with Elvis at some venues around the state, though not as often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention the Sam Houston Coliseum. By then DJ was a regular member of the band and played with them on their last ever show in Houston there. Though they met DJ in 54 when they started at the Hayride he would often play with them from behind the curtain. He would play other dates with them when there was money but didn't start touring regularly with them until almost the fall of 55 when Scotty and Bill to pay for him out of their split. He went on the payroll officially if December after Elvis signed with RCA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked Tinker whether Elvis was performing solo at the Hitching Post or with Scotty, Bill and D.J. because of this British TV interview I found on YouTube:

PJ Proby: Interview on Elvis Presley

P.J. Proby says in the interview that he had known Elvis since he was 14 when he, Elvis and Tommy Sands all sang at the hillbilly clubs in Houston, the Hitching Post. P.J. Proby (James Marcus Smith) was born November 6, 1938, making him 16 in late November 1954. So at least in that video, he's put Elvis in Houston in 1952 or 1953.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.......So at least in that video, he's put Elvis in Houston in 1952 or 1953.

According to the book, "Elvis in Texas - The Undiscovered King 1954-1958", Elvis' first gig in Houston was an afternoon show at Magnolia Gardens on November 21, 1954....on the same day Elvis did an evening show at Cook's Hoedown Club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the book, "Elvis in Texas - The Undiscovered King 1954-1958", Elvis' first gig in Houston was an afternoon show at Magnolia Gardens on November 21, 1954....on the same day Elvis did an evening show at Cook's Hoedown Club.

That's a common belief but probably not true.

I finally got the page together, a lot you'll find familiar already but this covers The Paladium, Cook's Hoedown, Eagles' Hall and Magnolia Gardens.

http://scottymoore.net/houston.html

Thanks for all the input

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally got the page together, a lot you'll find familiar already but this covers The Paladium, Cook's Hoedown, Eagles' Hall and Magnolia Gardens.

http://scottymoore.net/houston.html

Thanks for all the input

Jim

You've gathered a lot of interesting and important facts and it's great you've put them all together for convenient reference. It doesn't look like your research turned up anything about the Hitching Post bar unless I overlooked it. Incidentally, I haven't found the HP mentioned in any books about George Jones either, although P.J. Proby said he was a regular there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a video of a 2008 or 2009 interview with P.J. Proby talking about the Hitching Post, Elvis and Tommy Sands.

Well that was just very special. I think I have reached some new level of astonishment at this guy's claims and the apparent gullibility of the Brits.

James V. Roy - thanks very much for sharing your research. I've put a link to your page on my radio history site as the article includes a lot of fascinating information about venues and djs and stations back then.

I have tried to insert the 1957 Historic Aerials view of the junction of S. Main and OST but I can't get it to work, so, go to Historic Aerials and enter 8100 S. Main, Houston, Texas in the search window and it will automatically pull up the 1957 aerial.

I had looked at this before and concluded that the only structure shown in the vicinity which might hold a thousand people and also have the parking capability for that sized crowd was the building/cluster of buildings in the Y between S. Main and OST, and I believe that is the 1000 block of OST but it doesn't appear to be all under one roof. So was that the Texas Corral/Paladium? The structures just north of there on Main might also be something significant but it's hard to determine and again it doesn't seem to be all under one roof. The address 8100 S. Main should be, I believe, on the west side of Main.

There are a few other buildings along there which do appear to have the parking to indicate they are public venues of some sort, most notably the building set back, south of OST and SSE of the structure in question - a smaller bar/dance hall/beer joint/restaurant? - but they're all too small to be a 1000 seat nitery. Otherwise it looks to me like mostly it's small manufacturing or industrial or storage - large buildings in some cases but inadequate parking.

South of the merge, on the east side of Main, is what I believe was a trailer park that was still there ca. 1980. I had some relatives come through at that time in an RV and they stayed there; at that time it was nicely shaded by large trees. Even further south on the same side is what must have been Playland Park; I was there only once as a young child but I think that's about where it was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

James V. Roy - thanks very much for sharing your research. I've put a link to your page on my radio history site as the article includes a lot of fascinating information about venues and djs and stations back then.

I saw that. Thank you for the plug and the link.

I wish I could be more help pinpointing the location but all I know I put in the page. As I mentioned the directories didn't list anything and the phonebooks only gave that address. I tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with Tony Sepolio but to no avail. As for Proby, I can't add much. I can't say I ever heard of the guy before this thread, though I'm not that well versed in the peripheral Elvis fan world or have much interest in who impersonates who. There may be some truth to what he said if he was a local but I don't doubt he's overplayed his significance. It's possible Elvis hit on his sister, he hit on just about everything. That's almost no claim to fame. As for a club with that name the best I can say is there was no official venue by that name that Elvis, Scotty and Bill performed in that anyone has ever heard of. It might be time for the OP to change his username.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This doesn't add anything to the issue but I saw a video on a friends' friends facebook this morning that had Proby singing something on some show and then in a similar clip on the side I saw one where he's covering a gospel song that Elvis did. He is really copping on elvis for this one but one cool thing I noticed, if it wasn't editied in, was the Beatles in the audience at the beginning of the clip.

http://youtu.be/HWmGkw1Bi2U

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This doesn't add anything to the issue but I saw a video on a friends' friends facebook this morning that had Proby singing something on some show and then in a similar clip on the side I saw one where he's covering a gospel song that Elvis did. He is really copping on elvis for this one but one cool thing I noticed, if it wasn't editied in, was the Beatles in the audience at the beginning of the clip.

James V. Roy, that clip was from a British TV special hosted by the Beatles and produced by Jack Good, the producer of the Shindig! TV show. Good was a P.J. Proby backer who introduced the singer to England and pitched him as both a close associate of and a demo singer for Elvis. P.J. Proby had some hit records over there in 1964 and 1965 amid all that Elvis hype and a record deal that violated a contract he already had with Liberty Records here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Some additional information from P.J. Proby has turned up on the internet in the last month. He was interviewed for the Classic Bands website (www.classicbands.com) by Gary James, a prolific celebrity interviewer and contributor to the website. Here's the interview link:

http://www.classicba...yInterview.html

In the interview Mr. Proby (Houstonian James/Jimmy Smith) says that during his summer breaks from school he had his own radio show in Houston with Tommy Sands. He says they were working for Biff Collie singing at various places in Houston including the Hitching Post, and that Elvis was in Houston in 1953 and 1954 singing with them. He said too that Col. Parker was with Elvis at that time. Can anyone confirm any of this?

Off topic, but I found another part of the interview amusing. He was talking about his close association with the famous lyricist, Ray Gilbert. He claims in the interview to be the godfather of Gilbert's daughter, Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie fame. Ray Gilbert's daughter was a different actress, Joanne not Melissa, and she's six years older than Proby. Hardly in need of his services as her godfather.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hi NotGivinUp,

Sorry to have been away for such a long time. However, the puzzle kept my brain occupied and like you I'm not giving up! I've done a lot more research and had a good brainstorm with P.J. Proby. He certainly has a very good memory and is not making things up. Of course anybody could make a mistake after such a long time, but the picture is rather complete. Walk with me over South Main in 1954 and judge for yourself. This is the picture I'm getting:

 

We're talking Summer 1954. Jimmy Smith is in San Marcos Academy and in the school holidays he lives with his mother in Houston, near South Main. He's 15 years old. Singing is his passion and he hangs around every place where the music is. Tommy Sands is dating Jimmy's stepsister Betty Moers and Betty and Tommy both go to Lamar Highschool. Tommy Sands is already performing a lot in Houston as a “singing dj” and has a record out. Tommy is almost 17. Jimmy Smith follows his friend Tommy as much as he can and is allowed to sing a few songs here and there as well, or play the drums etc. Jimmy is completely unknown.

 

They frequently hang out in The Hitching Post. The Hitching Post is a really small beer bar, that holds maybe 30-50 people. It looks like a wooden cabin. It is right next to Prince’s drive-in on South Main, at the intersection with the Old Spanish Trail, where there is a circle now. The girls at the Prince's drive-in serve you on their roller skates. You could get a beer or a coke, Jimmy went there with his Uncle Dan, who had him order “Two beers for two steers”. One day a little airplane crashes into the roof of Prince’s drive-in, right next to The Hitching Post. The Prince’s Drive in was at 8101 South Main St (later the Taco Cabana).

On the Prince’s website it says: “The Prince's on Main Street was among the hottest hangouts in the city, and when Elvis Presley played a concert here in 1955, he headed to Prince's afterward.” It sounds very likely that Elvis knew this hamburger place for quite a while, 

 

Before Elvis was officially playing in Houston, he was hustling for work and often played in a bar “for the money on the door”.  Elvis was in Houston in the summer of 1954, trying to get in with the dj’s, especially Biff Collie. This was at the time he was just having his first regional hit in The South with That's Alright Mamma" (July 1954).

Tommy Sands remembers Elvis Presley hanging out late at night with local disc jockeys at small hamburger joints in Houston (like the Prince’s drive-in?). “Elvis Presley would eat two or three hamburgers, a double order of fries, and drink half a dozen Cokes. He was the cat”, Tommy Sands chuckled, “We called him that because he purred softly around girls. Elvis had an enormous attraction”, Sands recalled.

 

At the time Tommy and Biff were holding an evening in the Hitching Post, next door to the Prince’s drive-in. Billie introduces Tommy and Jimmy to this new kid Elvis Pressley, who will also do a few songs. This is not an official performance and is not in the Elvis records. Elvis befriended Biff Collie afterwards, who broadcast his radio show from different joints. Biff Collie booked Elvis to come to Houston for a few performances. Colonel Parker was Tommy Sands’ manager at the time. Colonel Parker immediately showed great interest in Elvis.

 

Everything goes quickly from here on. Elvis gets different performances in Houston between the Summer of 1954 and the Summer of 1955 in different joints. The joints were getting bigger and Elvis was officially billed by then. In between shows he would visit the other joints he got to know so well and sometimes join in unofficially.

It is save to say that Jimmy saw Elvis on different occasions during this year. Additionally, Elvis was dating Jimmy’s stepsister Betty when he was in town. She was also still going with Tommy Sands, and Jimmy had to make sure they didn’t find out about each other. One night Elvis had dinner with Betty, Jimmy and their mother at their house (when Elvis was already driving a Cadillac). Probably this was during the Christmas holidays 54/55.

PJ’s Mom was a huge fan of Elvis and loved his record “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” .

 

Jimmy saw Elvis making it quickly. From looking for work in Scotty’s old beat-up Chevrolet to a huge star in a pink Cadillac within a year. Jimmy was present when Colonel Parker told Tommy Sands he would manage Elvis from now on and would have to let Tommy go (Christmas holidays 1954/1955).

PJ also mentions being present later at the Eagle's Hall when Elvis and George Jones were on the bill (August 1955?)

 

Location:

Jimmy gets to the Hitching Post walking over the South Main dirt road on bare feet. There was no dual carriage way with a division in the middle in those days. Jimmy has to go past the Shamrock Hotel, that has an enormous swimming pool, where Jimmy is allowed to swim in, because his Daddy is member of the card club. He comes there with his friend Mike Dees and Mike’s sister Melinda. Mike’s father Buster Dees owns another club on South Main, The Troubadour, which has a little swimming pool with coins in it, to attract the drunks and have them fall in the pool to sober up. Jimmy and Mike dive for the coins, but Buster has a go at them.

 

Another joint on the way is Bill Williams Fried Chicken. Bill Williams had the best fried chicken in town, across from the Pony Ride. It was next to the place where college kid Kenny Rogers (stand-up bass) and Mike Dees (on drums) performed with a blind piano player “ The Bobby Doyle Three “ a few years later. (The name of this club across the road from the Shamrock was Rib-eye Supper Club on Holcomb Blvd and Main Street)

 

And of course there was PlayLand Park, where Jimmy cut his first record with his Uncle Dan, when he was very little.

 

If you went past the Hitching Post, to the left on the Old Spanish Trail, you came to the big place that Aunt Bonnie was involved in, where Elvis and Tommy Sands also performed later (This must have been The Paladium, formerly Texas Corral.)

 

There were three theatres on Main Street. The other way, into town, was the Auditorium where Elvis also played later and there was a Rodeo.

 

Conclusion:

The Hitching Post was on the crossing of South Main and Old Spanish Trail. It was just a small wooden beer bar where kids that were unknown got a chance to show their musical abilities and talent was scouted. Nothing fancy. It was next to Prince’s drive-in on 8101 Main St.

.

Are there any old photos known of this spot?

 

Tinker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before Elvis was officially playing in Houston, he was hustling for work and often played in a bar “for the money on the door”.  Elvis was in Houston in the summer of 1954, trying to get in with the dj’s, especially Biff Collie. This was at the time he was just having his first regional hit in The South with That's Alright Mamma" (July 1954).

Tommy Sands remembers Elvis Presley hanging out late at night with local disc jockeys at small hamburger joints in Houston (like the Prince’s drive-in?). “Elvis Presley would eat two or three hamburgers, a double order of fries, and drink half a dozen Cokes. He was the cat”, Tommy Sands chuckled, “We called him that because he purred softly around girls. Elvis had an enormous attraction”, Sands recalled.

 

At the time Tommy and Biff were holding an evening in the Hitching Post, next door to the Prince’s drive-in. Billie introduces Tommy and Jimmy to this new kid Elvis Pressley, who will also do a few songs. This is not an official performance and is not in the Elvis records. Elvis befriended Biff Collie afterwards, who broadcast his radio show from different joints. Biff Collie booked Elvis to come to Houston for a few performances. Colonel Parker was Tommy Sands’ manager at the time. Colonel Parker immediately showed great interest in Elvis.

 

Everything goes quickly from here on. Elvis gets different performances in Houston between the Summer of 1954 and the Summer of 1955 in different joints. The joints were getting bigger and Elvis was officially billed by then. In between shows he would visit the other joints he got to know so well and sometimes join in unofficially.

It is save to say that Jimmy saw Elvis on different occasions during this year. Additionally, Elvis was dating Jimmy’s stepsister Betty when he was in town. She was also still going with Tommy Sands, and Jimmy had to make sure they didn’t find out about each other. One night Elvis had dinner with Betty, Jimmy and their mother at their house (when Elvis was already driving a Cadillac). Probably this was during the Christmas holidays 54/55.

PJ’s Mom was a huge fan of Elvis and loved his record “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” .

 

Jimmy saw Elvis making it quickly. From looking for work in Scotty’s old beat-up Chevrolet to a huge star in a pink Cadillac within a year. Jimmy was present when Colonel Parker told Tommy Sands he would manage Elvis from now on and would have to let Tommy go (Christmas holidays 1954/1955).

PJ also mentions being present later at the Eagle's Hall when Elvis and George Jones were on the bill (August 1955?)

Edited by TileIsBetter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tinker,
Entertaining story but you're ignoring everything that's known about Elvis' whereabouts, band members and other associates, automobiles, livelihood and when he actually connected with Tom Parker. You're also ignoring the fact that P.J. Proby has told many different versions of his story, varying his dates by several years and has even said he and Elvis grew up together. It's too late in the game to be claiming he has a good memory and tells only the truth.

 

I can understand why he's determined to establish there was a Hitching Post bar since he's used the name for years in his stories about knowing Elvis. I wish him luck but the existence of a Hitching Post won't prove Biff Collie broadcast from there or Elvis ever sang there. Could have happened's simply aren't good enough from someone like Mr. Proby who has a reputation for telling tall tales.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Hitching Post Club Next To 8101 South Main St.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...