||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (May 2008)|
The historic sign of Cain's Ballroom.
|Address||423 North Main Street|
Cain's Dancing Academy
|Architectural style||Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements|
|NRHP Reference #||03000874|
|Added to NRHP||September 4, 2003|
Cain's Ballroom is a historic music venue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1924 to serve as a garage for one of Tulsa's founders, W. Tate Brady. Madison W. "Daddy" Cain purchased the building in 1930 and named it Cain's Dance Academy, where he charged 10¢ for dance lessons. The academy was the site of the Texas Playboys' first regular radio broadcast, and they continued to play there regularly. In 1976, Larry Schaeffer purchased the building, refurbished it, and reopened it with the current name, Cain's Ballroom. In 1978, Cain's Ballroom was one of only a few venues to host the Sex Pistols in their only American tour.
Hosting the Sex Pistols underlined the Cain's Ballroom as a pioneering force of the history of Rock and Roll. It also opened the door to the second British Invasion in several sectors of the USA.
Cain’s Dancing Academy was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 2003. It was listed under Criteria B and its NRIS number is 03000874.
The story of Cain's Ballroom
As early as 1927, the Tulsa Oklahoma structure was making international headlines in the music industry. The original owner / commission investor of the building, Tate Brady, used this building as a garage upon its construction in 1924. His garage was soon renamed "The Louvre" and opened to the public. It quickly became a night spot for the nouveau riche oil boom town.
'Daddy Cain' entered the scene. Hosting dance lessons and evening gatherings under the new clean cut name of Cain's Dance Academy, the hot spot hit full gear. Jazz, rag, blues, country, and other genres were among the band styles booked. One of these artists was Bob Wills. Following the oil boom, there was an oil bust which heralded the Great Depression. Bob Wills entered the scene in the early years of these circumstances. By 1932, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys took the basics of jazz, rag, honky tonk, blues, country, cowboy music, Dixieland, swing, early big band and other genres to define the future of popular music. Their home base was Cain's Dance Academy.
Even in the midst of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys could pack over a thousand dancers into Cain's each night they played. Their radio broadcast performances from KVOO (1934–1942) in conjunction with Cain's were heard coast to coast.
Cain's Ballroom, KVOO and the Bob Wills legacy musically owned the country coast to coast for over thirty years.
It was long been rumored that Cain's polished wood dance floor rests on a series of springs which, well into the early hours of the mornings of the 1930s and 1940s and 1950s, would 'rock' and 'roll' in time to a churning mass of hundreds of dancers crammed back to back inside Cain's dancing in tandem. The current owners discovered during the refurbishing of Cain's that this is not true. The 'rock' and 'roll' motion of the floor was created by the weight and movement of the crowds. The original floor is still in place.
In the late 1960s, Cain's went dark for a brief time as the onset of mass Rock and Roll took the limelight. It was purchased by 82 year old Marie Mayers, a Bob Will's traditionalist, in 1972. She planned to re-open Cain's as a full-time dance hall. It experienced very limited success with traditional dance evenings and concert rentals.
In 1976, the year after Bob Wills died, Marie sold Cain's Ballroom to rock concert investor Larry Shaeffer, also a Bob Wills traditionalist. His investment in Cain's focused on reviving the original elements and structure. Late 1977 marked the re-opening of Cain's Ballroom with a concert by Elvin Bishop. Shaeffer's show production support was Little Wing.
After the Sex Pistols gig, Cain's primarily succeeded in music bookings and oddity performances. In the 1980s, Shaeffer took a business partner named Davit Souders who was influential in the underground 'New Wave' scene. Souders focused on international artists in this growing genre.
Ownership of Cain's passed from Larry Shaeffer to The Finnerty brothers in the late 1990s. The new millennium has seen new ownership through Rodgers Properties in October 2002 hosting Doc Roc Productions as its show production team.
In 2013, Oklahoma Joe's BBQ began serving lunch out of Cain's.
The Jayhawks, Asking Alexandria, Bassnectar, Wilco, Snoop Dogg, Social Distortion, Umphrey's McGee, Matisyahu, Tesla, Ben Rector, Stoney Larue, Cut Copy, Dr. Dog, Ghostland Observatory, The Band Perry, The National, Interpol, Cage The Elephant, Lucinda Williams, Bowling For Soup, Biffy Clyro, Ratatat, Little Feat, Ben Folds, Tech N9NE, For Today
Asleep at the Wheel, Alejandro Escovedo, 100 Monkeys - Jackson Rathbone's band. - Switchfoot, Hanson, Flogging Molly, Coheed and Cambria, Dirty Penny, Circa Survive, Girl Talk, Bullet for My Valentine, Talib Kweli, Les Claypool, Brotha Lynch Hung, Tech N9ne, Arctic Monkeys, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ian Moore, STS9, BoomBox, Les Claypool, The Dead Weather, Blue October, Papa Roach, Ween, The Smashing Pumpkins, GWAR
Disco Biscuits, As I Lay Dying, Gov't Mule, Citizen Cope, The Game, Jay Rock, Bill Holden, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Andrew Bird, Umphrey's McGee, Kottonmouth Kings, The Toadies, Halestorm, Jack's Mannequin, Shinedown, The Devil Wears Prada, Tinted Windows (band), 311 (band), Ben Folds, Ghostland Observatory, Levon Helm Band, David Cook, Relient K, The Expendables, Sonic Youth, The Crystal Method, Sugar Ray, Mutemath, The Mars Volta, Elvis Costello, Cowboy Mouth, Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, The Avett Brothers, Hanson, The Decemberists, Insane Clown Posse, A Day to Remember, Thrice, Brand New, GWAR, Tech N9ne, Glasses Malone, Stevie Stone, Slaughterhouse (including Joe Budden), All American Rejects, Royce Da 5'9'', Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I.
Ghostland Observatory, Wilco, Jenny Lewis, Plain White T's, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Gavin DeGraw, The Black Angels, Dropkick Murphy's, The Toadies, Sevendust, Matisyahu, Ween, The Black Crowes, Feist, The Whigs, Seether, Tech N9ne, Pepper (band), The Avett Brothers, Bullet for my Valentine, Buckethead, Girl Talk, Beck, MGMT, Buddy Guy, Reverend Horton Heat, Mudvayne, OneRepublic, The Used, N.E.R.D., Henry Rollins, Paul Wall, 311, Down For Five, Black Label Society, Ted Nugent, Rancid
Senses Fail, Tom Morello, Spoon, Robert Randolph, Old Crow Medicine Show, OK Go, New Found Glory, MXPX, Kings of Leon, Jeremy Enigk, Hanson, Flogging Molly, Damien Rice, Cursive, Chevelle, Bloc Party, Ben Harper, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Alice in Chains, AFI, Brand New, Mutemath, Tech N9ne Wolfmother, Jeff Tweedy, Queens of the Stone Age, 311, Static-X
Blue October, The Strokes, Yonder Mountain String Band, Yellowcard, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wicked Wisdom, Ween, Umphrey's McGee, The Sounds, The Fray, The Cult, Ted Nugent, Story of the Year, Shinedown, Pete Yorn, Nonpoint, Seether, Thrill Kill Kult, Mudvayne, moe., Mike Jones, Jurassic 5, Jason Mraz, Jack's Mannequin, Halestorm, Guster, George Clinton, Eagles of Death Metal, Gary Allan, Dwight Yoakam, Clutch, Candlebox, Blues Traveler, The Black Keys, Beck, Augustana, Angels and Airwaves, Disturbed, Alice in Chains, Thirty Seconds to Mars Tech N9ne, 311, Ministry, Staind, Morrissey, Tiger Army.
Back side of the Cain's Ballroom Dancing sign appears in the 1983 film Rumble Fish.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Chancellor, Jennifer (April 13, 2010). "Cain's Ballroom ranks No. 26 in club venue ticket sales worldwide". Tulsa World.