[Dixielandjazz] The Band Bus

david richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Thu Jul 1 18:54:34 PDT 2004

On Jul 1, 2004, at 10:39 AM, Stephen Barbone wrote:

> And oldie, but goodie with a few additions. Feel free to suggest more.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> Things you will never hear on the Band Bus...
> 1. Ladies, I'll need to see some proof of age, please.
> 2. Boy, I can't wait 'till we get to Okaboji..
Hey - I am a proud graduate student at the University of Okoboji and 
the long history of concerts at the Arnold's Park Roof Garden Ballroom 
goes WAY back to the 1923s, (a bit before the days of Territory Jazz 
Bands) and there were quite a few hot swing bands and  many famous rock 
concerts after that!  It was THE place in the mid-west -the summer 
resort area of the Iowa Great Lakes (Okoboji and Spirit Lakes) drew 
(and still draws) crowds from Omaha, Twin Cities and Des Moines and the 
dancing was not "corny" even by Iowa standards. My mom went to a lot of 
shows there in her youth and saw some really big names there.

Dave Richoux

here is something I found at 

> Probably no other single ballroom in Iowa rock music conjures up more 
> memories than the Roof Garden.  Many youth cut their first dance steps 
> at the Roof while on summer vacation.
> The Roof Garden opened for operation on June 23, 1923 under the 
> ownership of Dr. A.L. Peck and quickly established itself as the place 
> to dance because of the growing popularity of the Iowa Great Lakes 
> region as a midwest vacation mecca. During the 30's and 40's the 
> hottest big bands in the U.S. made the Roof their summer place to 
> play.  From Count Basie to Glen Miller to Louie Armstrong to the 
> Dorsey's. They all called the Roof Garden "Home."
> In the late 50's the ownership of the Roof garden passed on to Darlowe 
> Oleson, and that is when Iowa Discovered Rock and Roll. Darlowe at one 
> time owned five different ballrooms in Iowa and most musicians 
> recognize him as the man who first took the risk to book and bring 
> that "wild rock and roll music" to the teens of Iowa.
> The roster for the Roof Garden reads like a who's who of rock.  The 
> Beach Boys, the Byrds, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Yardbirds, the Monkees, 
> Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, The Crickets and the list could go for 
> Hours.

> Unfortunately we lost Darlowe in a plane crash in 1972 and lost the 
> Roof Garden in 1988 due to old age. Even though the Roof and its rock 
> and roll architect, Darlowe Oleson are no longer with us we'll all 
> remember them both and welcome them into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of 
> Fame.

more at 

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