Dallas Historical Society presents Pour Yourself into History
Dallas Historical Society will present a happy hour to learn about the unique history of one of Dallas’ most iconic places, Longhorn Ballroom. Guests can sip, socialize, and “drink in” history knowledge in a fun, relaxed, and enjoyable setting.
The historic Longhorn Ballroom was built in 1950 and celebrates 68 years of operation. It has a long and elusive history. In a city known for its historic music venues like Black Forest Theatre, Sons of Herman Hall, and the Majestic, the legendary Longhorn Ballroom has a consequential past that stands out from the rest. This timeless venue has seen countless musical acts all from different genres.
The famous structure was built in 1950 by Dallas millionaire O.L. Nelms for country music legend Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, originally named Bob Wills’ Ranch House, Wills was the host of the venue. In 1958 it was renamed the Longhorn Ballroom and has seen the likes of some of the biggest names in country music. Stars like Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Ray Price, but it wasn’t long after that Jazz, Blues, R&B and even Punk Rock could be heard at the Longhorn Ballroom.
The Sex Pistols played there in 1978, making worldwide news, to a crowd of 800. Legends like B.B. King, Lionel Hampton, Nat King Cole, and Al Green have all graced the Longhorn stage and in the late '80s and early '90s began to feature newer bands like George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Winter and the Georgia Satellites and its first hip-hop booking, 2 Live Crew in 1990.
In 1996 new owners turned a portion of it into Mexican-style Mercado and even booked performers including Tejano singer Selena and held rodeos outdoors. Since 2017 it has been under the direction of Jay LaFrance. Since his acquisition the Longhorn and has been working tirelessly to restore the historic venue to its former glory as an important part of Dallas history and a venue for memorable events.