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The historic sign of Cain's Ballroom.
|Address||423 North Main Street|
|Location||Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States|
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 located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1924 to serve as a garage for W. Tate Brady's automobiles. 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.
It fell into disuse until 1976 when Larry Schaeffer purchased the building, refurbished it, and reopened it with the current name, Cain's Ballroom. It hosted the Sex Pistols in 1978, and several bands from the Second British Invasion.
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.
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.
Madison 'Daddy Cain' hosted dance lessons and evening gatherings under the new name of Cain's Dance Academy. Jazz, rag, blues, country, and other genres were among the band styles booked. Bob Wills became a regular performer. By 1932, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys broadcast a popular radio show from Cain's on KVOO (1934–1942).
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 Wills 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, Marie sold Cain's Ballroom to rock concert investor Larry Shaeffer. 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. Souders focused on international artists in the 'new wave' scene.
In 2013, Oklahoma Joe's BBQ began serving lunch out of Cain's.
In Popular Culture
Cain's Ballroom is referenced in the Turnpike Troubadours song "Easton & Main" on their 2015 album "The Turnpike Troubadours".
Billy Joe Shaver's song Oklahoma Wind contains a lyric about "a gig in Tulsa at the Cains ballroom." The song was performed by Shaver and Waylon Jennings on the 1982 album "Billy Joe Shaver." It was also recorded for the 2000 album "Honky Tonk Heroes" by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Billy Joe Shaver.
- Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Chancellor, Jennifer (April 13, 2010). "Cain's Ballroom ranks No. 26 in club venue ticket sales worldwide". Tulsa World.
- Oklahoma Wind Lyrics