Documentary To Showcase Tulsa Music Landmark

Tuesday, March 29th 2011, 6:19 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma film maker's love affair with a Tulsa music landmark will soon be a documentary film "Raisin' Cain."

Cain's Ballroom has been a musical venue for more than 80 years on North Main. The documentary will trace the musical history of Cain's and its influence on American music.

Say Cain's Ballroom, and Bob Wills comes to mind immediately, for me perhaps, but not for Tate Wittenberg, a film maker shooting a documentary here.

"I grew up loving this place...probably came to my first show here when I was 15 years old," said Tate Wittenberg.

That was in the mid 80's long after Bob wills, years after the Sex Pistols played the Cain's in the late 70's and opened the door for lots of music.

"The music kept changing, and Bob Wills influenced all of that," said Alice Rodgers.

So when Tate came to Alice Rodgers and her family with the documentary idea they were enthusiastic because he was a local kid who came here for the music, long before he started making movies.

"I want to tell the story through the musician's stories," Wittenberg said.

Every Generation has found its music on stage at Cain's Ballroom. Young bands cut their teeth here, U2 early on, the Police, Talking Heads.

"It's the first place I ever fell in love with live music," Wittenberg said.

There are so many wonderful stories, like Bob Wills writing San Antonio Rose at the Cain's bar, or local moonshiners during prohibition, leaving their phone numbers inside a phone booth for thirsty music lovers.

"Cains is really the last of its kind," Wittenberg said.

The Raisin' Cain's folks are raising money to finish the project. Proceeds from the finished documentary would be funneled back into music programs and a Cain's Ballroom museum among other things.