Cain's Ballroom

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Cain's Ballroom
Cains Ballroom Sign Tulsa Oklahoma.jpg
The historic sign of Cain's Ballroom
Address423 North Main Street
Location Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
OwnerThe Rodgers Family (Jim, Alice, Chad and Hunter)
Capacity 1,800
Opened 1924 (1924-MM)
Cain's Dancing Academy
Coordinates 36°9′38.46″N95°59′35.31″W / 36.1606833°N 95.9931417°W / 36.1606833; -95.9931417 Coordinates: 36°9′38.46″N95°59′35.31″W / 36.1606833°N 95.9931417°W / 36.1606833; -95.9931417
Architectural styleLate 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
NRHP reference # 03000874 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 4, 2003

Cain's Ballroom is a historic music venue in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was built in 1924 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, [2] where he charged ten cents for dance lessons. The academy was the site of The Texas Playboys' first regular radio broadcast, and they continued to play there regularly.

Music venue any location used for a concert or musical performance

A music venue is any location used for a concert or musical performance. A music venue range in size and location, from an outdoor bandshell or bandstand or a concert hall to an indoor sports stadium. Typically, different types of venues host different genres of music. Opera houses, bandshells, and concert halls host classical music performances, whereas public houses, nightclubs, and discothèques offer music in contemporary genres, such as rock, dance, country and pop.

Tulsa, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 45th-most populous city in the United States. As of July 2016, the population was 413,505, an increase of 12,591 over that reported in the 2010 Census. It is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 991,005 residents in the MSA and 1,251,172 in the CSA. The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma, with urban development extending into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.

W. Tate Brady Ku Klux Klan activist

Wyatt Tate Brady was an American merchant, politician, Ku Klux Klan member, and a "founder" of Tulsa, Oklahoma.


It fell into disuse until 1976 when Larry Schaeffer purchased the building, refurbished it, and reopened it with the name Cain's Ballroom. Cain's Dancing Academy was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 2003. It was listed under Criterion B and its NRIS number is 03000874.

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.


Cain's Ballroom at night Cains Ballroom Tulsa Night.jpg
Cain's Ballroom at night

Tate Brady used this building as a garage after its construction in 1924. His garage was renamed "The Louvre" and opened to the public. It became a night spot for the oil boom town.

Madison 'Daddy Cain' hosted dance lessons and evening gatherings under the name oCain's Dance Academy. Jazz, ragtime, blues, and country, and 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).

Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated or "ragged" rhythm.

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

In the late 1960s, Cain's was shut down for a brief time. It was purchased by 82-year-old Marie Mayers, a Bob Wills fan, in 1972. She planned to reopen Cain's as a full-time dance hall. It experienced very limited success with traditional dance evenings and concert rentals. In 1976 she sold Cain's Ballroom to rock concert investor Larry Shaeffer. His investment in Cain's focused on reviving the original elements and structure. In 1977 Cain's Ballroom opened with a concert by Elvin Bishop. Shaeffer's production support was Little Wing.

Elvin Bishop American musician

Elvin Richard Bishop is an American blues and rock music singer, guitarist, bandleader, and songwriter. An original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of that group in 2015 and the Blues Hall of Fame in his own right in 2016.

The Sex Pistols were booked through Malcolm McLaren in early 1978. After the Sex Pistols, Cain's primarily succeeded in music bookings and oddity performances. In the 1980s, Shaeffer had a business partner named Davit Souders who concentrated on new wave musicians.

Sex Pistols British punk rock band

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.

Malcolm McLaren English artist, performer and fashion designer

Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren was an English impresario, visual artist, performer, musician, clothes designer and boutique owner, notable for combining these activities in an inventive and provocative way. He is best known as a promoter and manager of bands such as the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols.

New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

In 2010, Pollstar ranked Cain's Ballroom at #26 worldwide for ticket sales at club venues. [3]

Pollstar is a trade publication for the concert industry. It gets its information primarily from the agents, managers and promoters who produce concerts.

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Bob Wills American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader

James Robert Wills was an American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader. Considered by music authorities as the co-founder of Western swing, he was widely known as the King of Western Swing.

Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat, which attracted huge crowds to dance halls and clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and California during the 1930s and 1940s until a federal war-time nightclub tax in 1944 contributed to the genre's decline.

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The Longhorn Ballroom is a music venue and country western dance hall in Dallas, Texas (USA). It was known in the early 1950s as Bob Wills' Ranch House when the large ballroom was built and operated by O.L. Nelms, an eccentric Dallas millionaire, for his close friend, western swing bandleader Bob Wills. When Wills left, O.L. Nelms leased the sprawling dance club to Jack Ruby who later killed Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy's accused assassin. O.L. Nelms then sold the property to his close friend and business partner Dewey Groom.

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  1. National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. Chancellor, Jennifer (April 13, 2010). "Cain's Ballroom ranks No. 26 in club venue ticket sales worldwide". Tulsa World.