Jump to content

Texas Corral (Palladium Club) At 8100 South Main St.


Don Julio

Recommended Posts

I asked mom again about where they saw Harry James play and she said the old City Auditorium! :D He was wearing a white dinner type jacket that was then very popular and now again popular. $ was hard to come around in those times so when you saved enough you really appreciated what all the rage was all about!

Harry James also played at the Paladium Club on South Main @ OST in about 1954. It was owned by local musician, Johnny Martinez. Everybody played there, even Elvis what's-his-name. It could seat 2,000 people.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
  • 4 weeks later...

tinker, I don't know what "the old days" means to you but according to the Houston Chronicle Archives 04/08/2004 the Texas Corral club didn't exist until after the end of World War II...

Tony Sepolio spent the last year of WW2 in London playing every night at Piccadilly Circus for Allied solders. He then returned to Texas, hooked up with Jerry Irby and opened a club at Old Spanish Trail and South Main called the Texas Corral. In 1950 Sepolio bought the club from Irby. He changed the name to the Paladium and operated the club until 1957.

The Paladium was closed when Houston Astrodome construction plans would have put the club in its stadium parking lot. According to Ballparks of Baseball concerning the Houston Astrodome...

Trying to lure a major league team to the Houston area, Hofheinz built a model of a domed stadium and presented it to National League owners. On October 17, 1960 Houston was awarded a franchise. Voters then approved an $18 million bond to build the stadium. Plans were drawn for the domed stadium and construction began January 3, 1962.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi NotGivinUp,

Thanks for the info. So the location of the Paladium Club was indeed at the crossing of South Main and Old Spanish Trail and existed from 1950-1957. It was then demolished for the building of the Astrodome. Since Elvis played there in November 1954, this must be the Hitchin' Post that Proby is referring to.

Before it was called the Paladium Club in 1950, it was called Jerry Irby’s Texas Corral. Do you have any idea whether the place existed under another name before that time? In Billboard 25 December 1948 it says that Jerry Irby has just purchased a nitery that seats a 1000: The Texas Corral. What was this place called before 1948?

Would anybody have an address of the Paladium Club/Texas Corral?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Houston Chronicle only says that Tony Sepolio wasn't the operator of the Paladium after 1957. I haven't found the date the club closed. In the book Lone Star Swing by Duncan McLean (1998) there is a picture of a dance ticket with this information...

Admit One Couple Free

Corn A Poppin' Dance

At Texas Corral - 8100 S.Main At O.S.T.

Tune in KLEE 5:00 p.m. Week Days Corn a Poppin Show

Saturday 3 o'clock With Sleepy Bob

Also Texas Corral Show 8:00 and 10:30 Nightly

Benny Leaders - The Western Rangers

Jerry Irby - Texas Ranchers

Ride the 9300 South Main or Playland Park Bus

Madison 6526

Thursday JUL 14 '49

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The address 8100 S. Main does place the Texas Corral right at the junction of OST and S. Main, on the west side of the street. The Astrodome does not front on Main at all, it is between Kirby and Fannin, east of Main Street. There's no way this club was torn down to make room for the Dome unless some investors bought the land for some other purpose. Keep in mind also the MLB franchise for Houston wasn't even approved in 1957, much less construction underway on a stadium.

However, This thread on HAIF gives the location of the Grant Motel as 8200 S. Main, while this post in another thread, citing a 1969 directory, shows Lee's Den, an eatery, at 8100 S. Main, and the Grant still in existence so perhaps the club was not demolished but simply closed.

The December 1948 Billboard article mentioning Jerry Irby taking over a 1000 seat nitery on S. Main gives no indication of the previous name; so far as we know, it was already the Texas Corral and just became Jerry Irby's Texas Corral. A search of those BB archives for Hitching Post Houston or Hitchin' Post Houston does not seem to find any evidence of such a club.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Houston Chronicle only says that Tony Sepolio wasn't the operator of the Paladium after 1957. I haven't found the date the club closed.

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).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

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

Several weeks ago I saw a lengthy obituary for Johnny Martinez on dignitymemorial.com but the link now says the obit is no longer available. This is the only part I can find in my notes:

(John Anastacio Martinez, January 6, 1915 - June 18, 2010)

In 1953, Johnny and his wife, Gloria, opened the Paladium Nite Club on South Main and booked many local big bands, Latin/Tropical and Western Swing bands. Famous entertainers were booked to play the Paladium such as trumpeter Harry James, drummer Buddy Rich, Perez Prado from Cuba as well as those from Mexico like Luis Alcaraz and singer Maria Victoria. Johnny and Gloria occasionally hired a young, unknown singer- truck driver on Saturday nights named Elvis Presley to perform, as well as local young crooner, Tommy Sands.

Perhaps someone else here has all of it. Below is the Martinez death notice that was published in the Houston Chronicle on June 21, 2010:

JOHN ANASTACIO "JOHNNY" MARTINEZ, 95, loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, great and great- great grandfather, slipped peacefully into eternity June 18th.Johnny is survived by his loving wife of 74 years, Gloria Sepolio and four daughters: Gloria Alice Corvin (Tom), Mary Louise Perry (Tom), Carol Casas (Jesse) and Jeanette Azzarello (Jim). Johnny will be missed by his sole surviving sister, Teresa Maldonado, of Ft. Worth, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.Visitation will be held Monday, June 21st, from 5-8 PM with rosary beginning at 7 at Heights Funeral Home, 1317 Heights Blvd. Funeral mass: Tuesday, 10 AM at Christ the King Catholic Church, 4419 N. Main St. Graveside services following at Hollywood Cemetery, I45 North and Main Street Exit. In lieu of flowers, we suggest donations to the Houston Hospice Hospital.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several weeks ago I saw a lengthy obituary for Johnny Martinez on dignitymemorial.com but the link now says the obit is no longer available. This is the only part I can find in my notes:

(John Anastacio Martinez, January 6, 1915 - June 18, 2010)

In 1953, Johnny and his wife, Gloria, opened the Paladium Nite Club on South Main and booked many local big bands, Latin/Tropical and Western Swing bands. Famous entertainers were booked to play the Paladium such as trumpeter Harry James, drummer Buddy Rich, Perez Prado from Cuba as well as those from Mexico like Luis Alcaraz and singer Maria Victoria. Johnny and Gloria occasionally hired a young, unknown singer- truck driver on Saturday nights named Elvis Presley to perform, as well as local young crooner, Tommy Sands.

Perhaps someone else here has all of it. Below is the Martinez death notice that was published in the Houston Chronicle on June 21, 2010:

JOHN ANASTACIO "JOHNNY" MARTINEZ, 95, loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, great and great- great grandfather, slipped peacefully into eternity June 18th.Johnny is survived by his loving wife of 74 years,
Gloria Sepolio
and four daughters: Gloria Alice Corvin (Tom), Mary Louise Perry (Tom), Carol Casas (Jesse) and Jeanette Azzarello (Jim). Johnny will be missed by his sole surviving sister, Teresa Maldonado, of Ft. Worth, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.Visitation will be held Monday, June 21st, from 5-8 PM with rosary beginning at 7 at Heights Funeral Home, 1317 Heights Blvd. Funeral mass: Tuesday, 10 AM at Christ the King Catholic Church, 4419 N. Main St. Graveside services following at Hollywood Cemetery, I45 North and Main Street Exit. In lieu of flowers, we suggest donations to the Houston Hospice Hospital.

That's interesting. Billboard listed Jack Irby as opening the Corral around 1949, around the same time as Collie opening/operating Cook's Hoedown on Capitol St. Tony Sepolio was the fiddle player in Irby's band. Jack Kennedy who also played in his band is the one Billboard quotes. The Chronicle article says that Tony Sepolio bought the place the following year from Irby and changed it to the Paladium. The obit say that Martinez opened it in 53, I wouldn't be surprised if he may have actually bought it or into it since I'm going to hazard a guess they were brother-in-laws. Theere's no reference in Billboard anywhere of Johnny.

To my knowledge, Elvis only played the Paladium in November of 54, for three consecutive nights commencing on the 25th. Sands had been playing most of those clubs as early as 1950.

Here is a link to an article on Johnnie's military background and talks of his musical background and the club too.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/voces/no-search/template-stories-indiv-print.html?work_urn=urn%3Autlol%3Awwlatin.274&work_title=Martinez%2C+John+Anastacio

IMG-274-04-600.jpg

Edited by James V. Roy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a link to an article on Johnnie's military background and talks of his musical background and the club too.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/voces/no-search/template-stories-indiv-print.html?work_urn=urn%3Autlol%3Awwlatin.274&work_title=Martinez%2C+John+Anastacio

Nice article about big band leader, John Martinez. Thanks for this link. Noticed that it refers to the Palladium as a "nightclub" in downtown Houston.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

This is all so interesting! I wasn't born until 1969 and although I've heard bits and pieces about Dad's career back in the Houston days, I've learned a lot just in reading this thread. I wish I could contribute some answers. I wish he were still around because he'd be able to answer it!

The tv show that's been mentioned....THAT must've been the show where Dad was demonstrating how he could put his leg behind his head and, um, had a rather "explosive" reaction, live, on the air. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...

September 26, 2016

Read the six replies on The Texas Corral,  most dated 2011.  Just found this site.

Does anyone have any photographs of Jerry Irby's  band?   I saw Julio's (from 2009), but was unable

to pull the photo up when I clicked on it.  I was Jerry's  daughter-in-law for nearly ten years.  He was a great guy !

A very nice and decent gentlemen.  I am doing genealogical research ,  he has lots of descendants who don't

know hardly anything about him and don't have ANY pictures.  I had some, but they were destroyed in Hurricane

Carla.  Love to hear from someone with even a small remembrance.

Carole Kirby

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/26/2016 at 0:37 PM, carole kirby said:

September 26, 2016

Read the six replies on The Texas Corral,  most dated 2011.  Just found this site.

Does anyone have any photographs of Jerry Irby's  band?   I saw Julio's (from 2009), but was unable

to pull the photo up when I clicked on it.  I was Jerry's  daughter-in-law for nearly ten years.  He was a great guy !

A very nice and decent gentlemen.  I am doing genealogical research ,  he has lots of descendants who don't

know hardly anything about him and don't have ANY pictures.  I had some, but they were destroyed in Hurricane

Carla.  Love to hear from someone with even a small remembrance.

Carole Kirby

 

 

 

Edited by px4man
Wrong place :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some mentions of Jerry Irby on Wired for Sound if you haven't already seen them (use the search feature).  Interesting how numerous descendants of the musicians mentioned have commented; maybe you could too.

 

I'm not absolutely certain but I believe the blogger may be the person who posted here as Don Julio years ago.

 

A Google search pulled up a lot of references and pictures which I presume you've seen.

Edited by brucesw
Link to comment
Share on other sites

px4man - You already know this, but other readers here may not. Cody Irby's father was Houston Police Officer James Irby, who was killed in the line of duty June 27, 1990. Cody was born 2 and a half months after his father was gunned down in cold blood by a guy who had been stopped for a traffic violation. The killer is still on death row.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to 2
  • 3 months later...

Unidentified audience members at The Paladium, sitting at tables during the ceremonies celebrating Arnett Cobb's return to Houston.

kNRqobB.png

Alonzo H. Alonzo performs as Cantinflas at the Paladium in front of the audience.

mjVJh1o.png

Houstorian Calendar, The: Today in Houston History:

Elvis rocked Houston. Today in 1954, Elvis Presley played his first gig in Houston, at the Paladium Club, on Old Spanish Trail at Main Street. Even though nobody knew about the future King of Rock & Roll (the adds misspelled his name.)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Texas Corral (Palladium Club) At 8100 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...