Do You Remember The Cotton Club in Lubbock?
The Cotton Club in Lubbock is an iconic venue that has hosted some of the biggest names in music and has always been a progressive, community-minded venue.
The Cotton Club was first opened in Lubbock in 1938. According to the Texas State Historical Association, in 1946 The Cotton Club was the first dance hall in Lubbock to welcome people of all races and cultural backgrounds. The club had no affiliation with The Cotton Club in Harlem, but rather was named in honor of West Texas' prized crop.
The original Cotton Club was located at 50th Street and Railroad Drive and opened in 1938. It started out as a place for upper society folks to come listen to the big band and orchestra names of that era -- like Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman.
To support the 1,400-seat capacity, The Cotton Club started expanding its musical talent to include country and western acts in the mid 1940s like Tex Ritter and Bob Wills.
In the mid 1950s, the club played host to Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley (a favorite venue of his) and Roy Orbison. The club burned down in 1958, and owner Ralph Lowe chose not to rebuild.
In 1962, husband and wife Tommy and Charlene Condray Hancock rebuilt The Cotton Club on the Slaton Highway on Highway 84 where, despite another fire in 1964, it still stands today. The Hancocks rebuilt on the same spot and reopened the club in 1967.
The club in the late 60s hosted hippies and cowboys alike, then transitioned in the early 70s to a venue for artists such as Waylon Jennings and The Maines Brothers.
In 1978, the Hancocks sold the venue to Joe Ely and C.B. Stubbelfield, who owned it only for a short time. The pair booked Stevie Ray Vaughn to play there before closing the club in 1982. The Koontz family then bought it and has owned it since.
The venue is still available to rent for parties, reunions and live music.
[Source: Texas State Historical Association]