"The time was 6:30 p.m., June 25, 1927. St. Joseph, Missouri citizens-factory workers, packing plant employees, professionals-arrived in Model T Fords, Stanley Steamers, Pierce Arrows or hurried on foot up the sidewalk to the seventh block of Edmond Street for the gala opening of the city's $1 million, 1,200-seat "Movie Palace." The air was electric with excitement..." The Missouri Theater opened June 25, 1927 with Rough House Rosie as the feature. After paying their 25 cents admission, guests were astounded at the theater's intricate beauty. The silent film showing that evening must have paled in comparison to the theater's plush seats, ornate chandelier and exquisite plaster work. The Missouri Theater was built as a cinema in the atmospheric style, using a combination of Art Deco and Moorish detailing. It features a single balcony that looks over a house designed to resemble an open tented courtyard, decorated with details borrowed from Assyrian and Persian architecture. While the theater was principally designed for movies, it could also be used for live performances, with dressing rooms, a fly loft and an orchestra pit. It also featured a Wurlitzer theater organ. We can attest to how cool the Missouri Theatre is as we played there in 2013. And we’re excited to return there on Thursday August 1st.. We hope you can enjoy this amazing theatre with us.
In 1890 St. Louis was the fourth largest city in the country. At the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and dubbed the “Gateway to the West” by the many thousands of settlers who had passed through on their journey west, New people constantly came to St. Louis by road, riverboat and railroad, bringing new ideas that would mix with older traditions. St. Louis played a key role in the development of ragtime, jazz and blues. Rural musicians, including many African-Americans who were former slaves or descended from slaves, and musicians from other towns and cities were drawn to St. Louis, where their music, mixed with band music, classical music, parlor songs, music from minstrel shows and vaudeville, and dance music of all kinds. St. Louis was the center for ragtime music, the syncopated music that preceded jazz and blues. Early ragtime was usually played on the piano and took the country by storm in the early part of the 20th century. The “King of Ragtime” Scott Joplin lived for a time in St. Louis. St. Louis subsequently has had a rich musical scene and has produced many great musicians. Including Jazz musicians Miles Davis, Clark Terry, Grant Green, David Sanborn, and blues, soul and pop musicians Albert King, Ike and Tina Turner and Michael McDonald. We’re always happy to come to St. Louis and steep ourselves in it’s musical heritage. This time we are playing at the River City Casino on August 2nd. Come have a fantastic meal at their multi-award winning steak house, and help us celebrate America’s unique music heritage in one of it’s most prolific sources, St. Louis.
We played in Evansville, Indiana back in 2005 with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and have come back to visit in 2009 and 2018. We liked it so much last year that we decided to return again! On August 3rd we’ll be back at the Historic Victory Theatre. The Victory Theatre opened in 1921 as part of the Victory Theatre - Sonntag Hotel complex on Main Street. Originally seating 2,500, the theatre gave Evansville residents the chance to see "high class vaudeville" in a state-of-the-art setting. In 1926, the theatre was leased to Loew's Theatres as a film chain, and was renamed "Loew's Victory." The Loew's Victory continued to operate as a movie theatre until 1971. Some time after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, Victory Theatre's doors were closed. It re-opened after extensive renovation in 1999. The theatre now seats approximately 1,900 and hosts a variety of events, including yours truly. They treated us very nicely last time, and we’re excited to return the favor with another awesome show! We hope you can join us!
The city of Detroit Lakes, originally called Detroit, began north of the railroad tracks and gradually extended south to Detroit Lake. The name Detroit came about when a French Catholic Priest camped on the shore of the lake with a view of the sun setting across the water. The water was low and revealed a sandbar, creating a narrow strait that glistened in the light of the setting sun. The Priest exclaimed, What a beautiful strait. The word strait in French is detroit. Consequently, the city was named Detroit. We’re playing a show in Detroit Lakes on Thursday August 15th at the Historic Holmes Theatre. The Holmes Theatre is named For E.G. Holmes who was born in New York in 1841. After serving in the Civil War – and seeing action at the Battle of Bull Run, Holmes married a young lady from St. Cloud, Lucy Sherman, and they arrived in Becker County in 1870. The Art Deco Theater was an 1931 addition to the school Building that Holmes originally built in 1895. Hope you can join us on Thursday at this great historic theatre
Built in 1904, the beautiful Sheldon theatre showcases the best in arts and entertainment from Minnesota's heartland and beyond. Located in the heart of one of the most beautifully distinctive downtowns in the Midwest, the 115 year old theatre is a truly unique gathering place. The theater began with live theater performances and then transitioned to silent movies and later, talkies and back to live performances. In 1986 it was gloriously restored to its original grandeur. Described as a "glittering jewel box," this turn of the century gem, charms performers and audiences alike. We’re excited to see this beautiful Theatre and the city of Red wing on May 4th. Perhaps if there is time, we can check out a Red Wing shoe store. Do they have an outlet? They do make some exceptionally nice boots.
Sometimes I feel like one of the purposes of this news letter, is to maybe inform the readers from other areas about what’s cool about all of the other special towns we visit. Minneapolis is a good example. Yes, you probably know that Prince is from Minneapolis and filmed “Purple Rain” at the club, “First Ave.” You might also know that the huge retailer, “Target” is from Minneapolis. But did you know that Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis Americas #1 bike-friendly city and that an average of 10,000 cyclists use Minneapolis bike lanes each day? Or that the pop-up Toaster was invented in Minneapolis by Charles Strite? Minneapolis is also home to the “Twinkie Law” A Minneapolis City Council candidate was indicted by a grand jury for serving Twinkies to groups of elderly voters. After the scandal, a fair campaign act was established, which is now commonly known as the “Twinkie Law.” Minneapolis has also traditionally, been very proud to welcome immigrants to their fair city. They even named several streets in the North East region of Minneapolis after US Presidents, in the order that they served, to help immigrants prepare for their citizenship tests. In addition to all of those cool facts, Minneapolis is also home to The Dakota Jazz Club. The Dakota, established in 1985, is a rare gem in the Twin Cities entertainment scene. One of few establishments to serve a full, chef-driven menu paired with world-class music performances seven nights a week, the Dakota is more than a restaurant and more than a music club; it’s where love of great food and great music come together as a seamless duet. We’re going to be there August 17th. I can’t promise that we’ll play “Purple Rain” during our performance, but I have a hunch that we’ll probably play it during our soundcheck.
Yes, we are a “swing” band, we play swing music after all. But if we had a dollar for every time someone has said, “You guys Rock!” well, we’d have a lot of extra cash. We grew up listening to Rock bands and playing in rock bands before the inception of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Some have said we play swing with a rock sensibility. Well, we certainly like to perform high energy shows and we don’t mind getting loud from time to time. Let’s face it, Rock is in our collective pedigree, as a band so It makes perfect sense that we would play a place called “Rock and Brews.” Rock and Brews is a venue at the San Manuel Casino, it’s decor surrounds you with huge portraits of Rock’s Legends. While on stage, a ten foot Jim Morrison head stares at you from the wall. David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Jannis Joplin hold court while we play. It’s inspiring and maybe a little intimidating at the same time. One thing’s for sure, it’s a fun place to see a band. Come rock out with us on August 30th!
Big bad voodoo Daddy
Together for over 25 years, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — famously named after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins — has appeared in concert venues across the world, sold millions of records, and had their music appear in hundreds of movies and television shows. With sold out concerts from the Hollywood Bowl to Lincoln Center, appearances with many of the country's finest symphony orchestras, and television appearances ranging from Dancing with the Stars to Superbowl XXXIII, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues it's decades long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music — America's original musical art form — and bring joy to audiences around the world.