palomar

palomar

hal smith
hal smith

July 19th, 2009, 2:13 pm #1

Did anyone ever hear that the palomar ballroom, was burned down because a black band was to appear there(Count Basie)
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 19th, 2009, 2:42 pm #2

The management of the Palomar followed a strict color policy. To my knowledge, there had never been a black band booked as a regular attraction. I recall, while still in high school, that a prominent Los Angeles disc jockey promoted occasional matinee dances featuring local bands. On one occasion, he arranged for an afternoon appearance by Floyd Ray, who led a fine band featured at several Central Avenue clubs. This was the first time the ballroom relaxed its color barrier. Unfortunately, a group of teenage hoodlums created an ugly incident reported as a "race riot."

That was the last time a black band appeared at the Palomar. There has always been conjecture that the announced appearance of Count Basie provoked a racist reaction, which the local authorities labeled as "arson."


See the complete article in the IAJRC Journal

http://www.iajrc.org/archive/palomar.htm

Before the fire



During the fire



Albert
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Linda
Linda

July 19th, 2009, 4:01 pm #3

The Palomar Ballroom, in Los Angeles, was the victim of a race riot and mention of arson when a black band performed there. It is interesting to me that when Louis Armstrong performed at the Suburban Gardens in New Orleans, which even was a more racist time, 1931, there was no riot or arson. Only one stupid radio announcer making a racist remark and Louis then announced himself and made the guy look like a fool.
New Orleans is in the Deep South, mentioned by many as the most racist part of the country, yet no riots or arson happened when Louis Armstrong appeared at the Suburban Gardens but big trouble did occur at the Palomar in Los Angeles.
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hal smith
hal smith

July 19th, 2009, 4:15 pm #4

The management of the Palomar followed a strict color policy. To my knowledge, there had never been a black band booked as a regular attraction. I recall, while still in high school, that a prominent Los Angeles disc jockey promoted occasional matinee dances featuring local bands. On one occasion, he arranged for an afternoon appearance by Floyd Ray, who led a fine band featured at several Central Avenue clubs. This was the first time the ballroom relaxed its color barrier. Unfortunately, a group of teenage hoodlums created an ugly incident reported as a "race riot."

That was the last time a black band appeared at the Palomar. There has always been conjecture that the announced appearance of Count Basie provoked a racist reaction, which the local authorities labeled as "arson."


See the complete article in the IAJRC Journal

http://www.iajrc.org/archive/palomar.htm

Before the fire



During the fire



Albert
wow nice article thanks the music in the 20's and 30's was great but the people were nuts
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David Weiner
David Weiner

July 20th, 2009, 5:17 pm #5

The management of the Palomar followed a strict color policy. To my knowledge, there had never been a black band booked as a regular attraction. I recall, while still in high school, that a prominent Los Angeles disc jockey promoted occasional matinee dances featuring local bands. On one occasion, he arranged for an afternoon appearance by Floyd Ray, who led a fine band featured at several Central Avenue clubs. This was the first time the ballroom relaxed its color barrier. Unfortunately, a group of teenage hoodlums created an ugly incident reported as a "race riot."

That was the last time a black band appeared at the Palomar. There has always been conjecture that the announced appearance of Count Basie provoked a racist reaction, which the local authorities labeled as "arson."


See the complete article in the IAJRC Journal

http://www.iajrc.org/archive/palomar.htm

Before the fire



During the fire



Albert
The fire occurred during Charlie Barnet's appearance there, actually between sets while the band was taking a break - a curtain or something caught fire and spread. I've read numerous accounts and this is the first I've heard of arson protesting the Basie band appearance.

There is an aircheck of the Barnet band at the Palomar several days before the fie on an IAJRC LP, RADIO RHYTHM. The complete closing of the broadcast is included, with the announcer extolling all the many virtues of the Ballroom.
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David Weiner
David Weiner

July 20th, 2009, 5:19 pm #6

The management of the Palomar followed a strict color policy. To my knowledge, there had never been a black band booked as a regular attraction. I recall, while still in high school, that a prominent Los Angeles disc jockey promoted occasional matinee dances featuring local bands. On one occasion, he arranged for an afternoon appearance by Floyd Ray, who led a fine band featured at several Central Avenue clubs. This was the first time the ballroom relaxed its color barrier. Unfortunately, a group of teenage hoodlums created an ugly incident reported as a "race riot."

That was the last time a black band appeared at the Palomar. There has always been conjecture that the announced appearance of Count Basie provoked a racist reaction, which the local authorities labeled as "arson."


See the complete article in the IAJRC Journal

http://www.iajrc.org/archive/palomar.htm

Before the fire



During the fire



Albert
The fire occurred during Charlie Barnet's appearance there, actually between sets while the band was taking a break - a curtain or something caught fire and spread. I've read numerous accounts and this is the first I've heard of arson protesting the Basie band appearance.

Barnet's bassist Phil Stephens blamed the fire on faulty electrical wiring - from the IAJRC article:
"As far as the fire is concerned, they tried to blame it on me. They said "the bass player threw a resin rag in the flood lights." I never owned a resin rag! Here is the truth about how that fire started: "We heard that a potential fire was averted during the engagement of a band that preceded us. Their vocalist was seated on the left side of the bandstand next to an electrical outlet. It began throwing sparks that scorched the coat draped on her chair. Fortunately, the sparks subsided.

"One night, about two weeks after we opened, the sparks started again, Charlie ran over and threw a pitcher of water on the source. We asked the management to repair the faulty outlet, but they didn't do a damn thing about it! And that's where the fire started the night the place burned down - in that same electrical outlet.

Sound engineer Cecil Charles, who was employed at Kelly Music, across the street from the Palomar, also knew about the ballroom's electrical problems. He recalls servicing their sound system and advising them that the circuit was dangerously overloaded. Apparently, as Stephens said, the problem was not corrected.

Stephens continues:

"If we had been on the bandstand instead of taking a break, we'd have been able to put it out again. They said I threw a rag in the footlights - but the fire started on the other side of the stage and I was across the street at the bar when it started. The newspapers said, "Hot bull fiddle player causes fire." That was a lotta crap! I was on the other side of the stand on a riser in the curve of the piano. Later, a police officer came to see me and wanted to know who paid me to start the fire!"

There is an aircheck of the Barnet band at the Palomar several days before the fie on an IAJRC LP, RADIO RHYTHM. The complete closing of the broadcast is included, with the announcer extolling all the many virtues of the Ballroom.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 20th, 2009, 8:13 pm #7

The Nebraska State Journal, October 8, 1939, issue carried the following story.

"Friday, the 13th, turned out to ba a hard luck day for R. H. Pauley. The booking of Charlie Barnet, the orchestra leader, for that date was cancelled. Barnet had the toughest luck, however, because he lost all his instruments and his music library in the Palomar, Los Angeles, fire early this week."

Albert
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