Cain's Ballroom Receives More Recognition As Premier Concert Venue
TULSA, Oklahoma - You'd be hard-pressed to find someone in Oklahoma who isn't aware of the legend and lore of Cain's Ballroom. And over the past few years, the rest of the nation seems to have caught on to Tulsa's secret.
Since 1924, Cain's has gone from a hole-in-the wall dance academy to one of the premier places to catch a concert. It now sits among the top 10 spots in the U.S., according to a story published Wednesday by CNN International.
In a world where the popularity of arena shows brings in the masses with million-dollar stage productions and theatrics, fans are still drawn to the simplicity of intimate performances at places like Cain's.
Tulsa's "Carnegie Hall of Western Swing," which was home to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys from 1935-1942, is listed among cozy venues like Nashville's Bluebird Café and Billy Bob's Texas, which are launching pads for up-and-coming country artists; Schuba's Tavern in Chicago, which is a premier spot for unsigned rock and indie acts; and the infamous Troubadour in Los Angeles.
A complete list of the top 10, as chosen by CNN International's website, CNNGO.com:
- Severence Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
- Schuba's Tavern, Chicago
- Billy Bob's, Fort Worth, Texas
- Troubadour, Los Angeles
- Rose Theater at Jazz, Lincoln Center, NYC
- The Bluebird Café, Nashville, Tenn.
- Tipitina's, New Orleans
- Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa
- The Continental Club, Austin, Texas
- Red Rocks Ampitheatre, Morrison, Colo.
In 1978, Cain's recieved a second wind when the Sex Pistols played an iconic show at the "house that Bob built" on their only American tour, which had very few stops.
The joint hasn't stopped hopping since.
Just two months ago, Cain's was ranked No. 15 globally in ticket sales for the first quarter of 2012, according to industry tracker Pollstar Pro.
Along with paying homage to local music by lending its stage to many Oklahoma artists, Cain's, within the last year, has hosted bands from folk favorites Old Crowe Medicine Show and The Civil Wars to music giants like Ben Folds and Jack White.
Tate Whittenburg, an Oklahoma filmmaker, will soon make his love affair with the Tulsa music landmark into a documentary film, "Raisin' Cain."