Spring 2017 News
A Dance Hall Tour, A Legend and Boot Scootin news from Lone Star Beer!!
Lone Star Beer Announces 'Tabs For Texas' Campaign benefiting Texas Dance Hall Preservation

The proclaimed "National Beer of Texas" and Texas Dancehall Preservation, Inc. are teaming up to help preserve and promote one of the Lone Star State's most iconic cultural treasures-the Texas dancehall.
Lone Star Beer has launched the "Tabs For Texas" campaign statewide in over 200 locations. Large acrylic boot receptacles will be located at over 228 retailers and dancehalls statewide, while 12 oz. and 16 oz. cans of Lone Star Beer will feature either red or blue pull tabs. The idea is that, for each tab placed in the boot containers, $1 will be donated to TDHP to help in its stated mission of saving historic Texas dancehalls and preserving and promoting the authentic music and culture they embody. (Deb--TDHP charity status here? 501©3). The promotion continues through April 30th. The goal is to raise $30,000 to help preserve these historic structures.
For more information on Texas dancehalls and the "Tabs For Texas" promotion, see this sponsored article at Texas Monthly's website.

Long synonymous with Texas music, good times on a dancefloor and the Texas lifestyle, Lone Star Beer is deeply rooted in the fabric of the state since Adolphus Busch and his partners began brewing Lone Star in 1883 at the first large mechanized brewery in the state in San Antonio. Flash forward 134 years, and Lone Star is taking the point on helping to preserve another quintessential feature of Texas life and culture, the community dancehall. The "Tabs For Texas" promotion is the largest partnership with TDHP since the group's inception a decade ago. "This is a great way to kick off our tenth anniversary year," said Deb Fleming, the TDHP president.
"Tabs for Texas" is an ideal opportunity to combine two Texas symbols-Lone Star Beer and Texas dancehalls. Both are a deeply-woven part of the cultural history of the Lone Star State.

Look for these Lone Star Boots and Toss in those Tabs for Texas. 

Saving Texas Dance Halls 
One Lone Star Beer At A Time!



Upcoming Events

Combine a handful of Texas traditions-the road trip,live music, historic dancehalls, Hill Country sceneryand maybe a good dose of spring wildflowers -set 'em to a soundtrack of country, Western Swing,boogie-woogie and hillbilly jazz, and you come up with an event that should be on every trueTexans' bucket list: The 2017 Spring Texas Dance Hall Tour.
Produced by Grammy-winners Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel with the assistance ofTexas Dancehall Preservation, Inc., the weeklong tour, set for March 20-26, will visit a handful ofCentral Texas' most historic dancehalls and will feature concerts starring Asleep At the Wheel,along with musical guests Grammy- and CMA-award winner Lee Ann Womack, Ameripolitan star   DaleWatson, the   Hot Club of Cowtown, the Quebe Sisters, Heybale! and High Plains Jamboree.
Beginning on March 20 with a welcoming reception and performance by Asleep At the Wheelbandleader Ray Benson at the restored Pearl Stable in The Pearl complex in San Antonio,the Dancehall tour will pay calls at the Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, the FischerDance Hall between Blanco and Wimberley, the Luckenbach Dance Hall in Luckenbach, Sengelmann Hall in Schulenberg before wrapping up with a big show and dance atthe Fair Pavilion (aka Round-Up Hall) in La Grange.
Along the way, fans will be treated to special events and excursions including (but not limited to)a local distillery tour, visits to nearby historic dancehalls, tours of Fredericksburg andLuckenbach, and more.
Dance Hall Tour packages include an array of levels ranging from $300 to $3500 depending onaccommodations and transportation options.  There are week long packages for couples andsingles as well as Weekender Packages for two of the final shows on March 25th and 26th. There will be no walk up, individual show tickets available and reservations need to be madeahead of time. 
A complete breakdown of artists, schedules, venues, ticket packages and reservations can befound on the Texas Dance Hall Tour website:  www.texasdancehalltour.com.
The Texas Dance Hall Tour is a chance for fans of Texas music and history to reconnect with anessential component of Texas culture, the community dancehall. "These halls were once acentral fixture of Texas' small towns and have been the breeding grounds of Texas music formore than a century," says TDHP president Deb Fleming. "If you've never danced in one, you'remissing out on a piece of the rich cultural and musical history of this great state."  TDHP will be abeneficiary of the Texas Dance Hall Tour which will allow us to assist more historic halls with thecritical support they need to stay a viable and active part of our Texas communities.
Adds Asleep At the Wheel's Ray Benson, "There wouldn't be Texas music without our Texasdancehalls. They're the Carnegie Hall of Western Swing and Texas Music!"








Tracy and Ron with Ray Benson at TDHP Dance at Pavilion Hall, La Grange TX November 12, 2016
From Our Members 

- We are excited to introduce a new "From Our Members" feature in the TDHP newsletter. We want to hear from YOU about your favorite dancehall, or a favorite dancehall memory, or dancehall events and developments in your area. Let's share our news and stories! Email your story of why you love Texas dance halls, what one hall means to you or a great dance hall memory to 
Tracy & Ron Rohrbacher
live full time in League City, Texas.  Tracy is a marketing manager for a Convention & Visitors Bureau in the tourism industry and a lifetime member of TDHP.  Ron is vice president of construction for a major homebuilder.
My husband Ron and I love catching live music in dancehalls near our weekend place outside Columbus, Texas.  Exploring nearby communities and dancing to country music is something we both thoroughly enjoy.  The architecture, history and beauty of Texas dancehalls is hard to capture in words...it's something you just have to experience. 
One of my favorite memories of a Texas dancehall is a New Year's Eve dance at the Swiss Alp Dancehall with our extended family.  Twinkling lights, polka music, an old wooden dance floor and crisp air from the open windows rang in the new year
In the summer of 2016, we were especially excited to see Asleep at the Wheel at the   Airway Dancehall in Round Top , which is where I met TDHP president Deb Fleming.  She talked to me about Texas Dance Hall Preservation's mission, goals and recent accomplishments.  Her passion and enthusiasm for TDHP were contagious, and we become lifetime member shortly afterwards.
Fast forward to November of 2016 where we were able to catch Asleep at the Wheel at the Round Up Pavilion Hall  in La Grange .  Through our membership, we learned about the ticket sale date ahead of time.  This time around, we met the Wheel's frontman and founder Ray Benson, thus adding to our list of memories at Texas dancehall. 

Mark Meloneck  is the president of the  Peters Hacienda Community Hall  in Sealy, TX and they became new TDHP Hall members in 2016.  

Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. is important to Peter's Hacienda Hall , as well as to myself and our members because it gives a sense of camaraderie with other small, like-minded dance halls trying to keep alive in this day and age. In addition, TDHP helps with funding small projects like some much-needed roof repair for our hall.  TDHP has gotten the word out about our hall to folks outside of our community.  We appreciate their support and hope to continue our membership and relationship for years to come.

Peters Hacienda Hall


Ray Benson Interview
As the leader of Asleep At the Wheel, the multiple Grammy-winning standard bearers of Western Swing, boogie-woogie, hillbilly jazz and straight-up two-steps, Ray Benson has seen a dancehall or two in his forty-plus year career. A supporter and connoisseur of Texas dancehalls and dancehall culture, he took a few minutes to reflect on what makes a dancehall, what those venues have meant in terms of the Wheel's career and why it is important to preserve them.
What role have dancehalls played in your career?
When the band and I moved from the Bay Area in 1973 to Texas, the majority of the shows we played were in the dancehalls all across the state. To me, this is where we as a band learned how to keep people dancin', for 3-4 hours straight. We started playing a lot more Western Swing fiddle tunes, breakdowns, shuffles, anything to keep everyone dancing all night long. The dancehalls to me helped define what Asleep at the Wheel became, which is a band to dance and tap your feet to. 
Why is it important to you to keep the dancehall culture alive and well?
Well for me personally, it is where all my music heroes cut their teeth and thrived for many years. Bob Wills, Johnny Bush, Willie Nelson, the list could go on and on. For me, it's about a community coming out to a dance, being able to bring the whole family, and just be entertained by the best in Texas music. These beautiful structures that were built by the Czech and German settlers need to be preserved and passed on for future generations to understand the history and culture of their community. I've played all over the world, in every kind of establishment there is. Still to me, there is nothing like stepping into one of these old dancehalls, the feeling I get. It just makes me wanna play music all night long.
TDHP:  Do you have a favorite?
That's a hard one to answer. Each one is special and unique to itself. There are a lot of halls that unfortunately have gone away, that I really loved, but there is still a lot of dancehalls I haven't played! To me to pick a favorite, I still have 
Halls to visit...it's too soon to pick just one.
For the benefit someone who's just moved here from New Hampshire, what sets a dancehall apart from, say, a beer joint or a honky-tonk?
Well, for one thing, you can bring the whole family. To me it's a blast to play for such a wide range of ages, seeing youngsters interested in the style of music we play, or having the older generation share stories about seeing Bob Wills there when they were younger. Playing the dancehalls is very different from a honky-tonk, where it's more of the drinking culture, where you go to find a date or meet people. Aesthetically, the dancehalls are far superior to me.
TDHP:  T ell us about a memorable night at a dancehall for you, either as a performer or as an audience member.
When we first moved to Texas and started playing dancehalls, we were aware that you had to know the "Cotton Eyed Joe" So we learned what we thought was the right version. We were playing the Farmers Daughter, which was a dancehall located southeast of San Antonio. It was founded by Bobbie Barker, who was known as "San Antonio's Country Queen." I believe Bob Wills was the first band to ever play the Farmer's Daughter, also. Anyway, we started playing "The Cotton Eyed Joe" and everyone stopped dancing and looked at us. Bobbie came up to us and yelled, "That's not the Cotton Eyed Joe"! Anyway, we went on to learn the "right" version and haven't played the wrong one since!

TOMMY ALLSUP, 1931-2017

Guitarist Tommy Allsup, best known for losing a coin flip that saved him from joining Buddy Holly's fatal flight in 1959, died at age 85 on Jan. 11 in Springfield, MO.
Besides his stint with Holly, Allsup also played on albums by the Everly Brothers, Hank Thompson, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers and many others. Closer to home, he also produced and played on several albums by Asleep At the Wheel as well as releases by Willie Nelson.
Although he stayed active as a musician until near the end, Allsup is destined to be remembered for his role in a fateful coin toss in Clear Lake, Iowa on Feb. 3, 1959. At issue was whether Allsup, who was touring as a member of Buddy Holly's band during the "Winter Dance Party Tour", would accompany Holly on the small private plane ferrying the headliners to the next stop on the tour.
Allsup and "La Bamba" star Richie Valens flipped a coin to see who would get the extra seat on the plane. Allsup lost the toss and Valens perished in the ensuing crash, along with Holly, J.P "The Big Bopper" Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson. Waylon Jennings, whom Holly had recruited at the last minute to play bass on the tour, also escaped the flight.
Allsup did not learn of the catastrophe until the tour bus carrying he and the rest of the musicians reached the hotel at the next tour stop, Moorhead, Minnesota. Allsup recalled walking into the hotel and seeing Richardson's face on the television in the lobby. The woman at the front desk relayed the tragic news.
Tommy's son, Austin Allsup, told the Associated Press after his father's passing, "I know my dad talked about that many times and was very lucky to be here. It could have been the other way around."


The restoration of dance halls is a vital part of preserving history and tradition in South Texas.
German and Czech immigrants brought the tradition to Texas more than 100 years ago, and the dance halls served as community centers, where city leadership met and immigrants new to the country became comfortable around their new neighbors.

See full story here.

Twin Sisters Dance Hall, Blanco, TX
Saving Texas Dance Halls:  One Two-Step at a Time
The Twin Sisters Dance Hall

By Patrick Cox, Ph.D.

A one.  A two.  And away we go with the flow of Texas music on a Saturday night at the   Twin Sisters Dance Hall, located just off US Hwy. 281 about six miles south of Blanco. The region is a hotbed of dancehalls that includes venerable venues in nearby Kendalia, Luckenbach and Fischer. Twin Sisters fits right in.

The nineteenth century dance hall stands among the stately Live Oak trees.  The exact date of the venue's origin is undetermined, but most estimates cite the mid-1870's.  The hall's exterior is a checkboard tin pressed in the pattern of stone blocks and is multicolored from years of exposure to the sun and rain.  Multiple casement windows surround the building to allow sunlight during the day.  At nighttime inside the dance hall, thousands of tiny white lights wrap around the wooden columns and are strung across the ceiling to illuminate the aged wooden dance floor that dates back to 1911. On either side of the interior floor, dancers and visitors sit at long communal tables - just as their predecessors have done since the 19th century.

When German immigrant Max Krueger moved to the Texas Hill Country west of New Braunfels, he built a structure and a tradition that remains active to this day over 140 years later.  Krueger's Twin Sisters Dance Hall, originally named the Twin Sisters Hallen Verein, dates from the 1870s.  He held regular dances and events and imported beer from St. Louis to sell to his thirsty patrons.  Krueger's dancehall gained notoriety during his lifetime and built a tradition that has lasted for generations. (Krueger also built a traditional bowling alley adjacent to the dancehall, which burned down in 1967).
The name "Twin Sisters" originated from the two identical peaks located in the nearby hills.  When Krueger moved to the sparsely settled region, he established his ranch, a warehouse, a gristmill, cotton gin and other structures to help build the small Twin Sisters community.  

Today, the Twin Sisters Dance Hall is owned and operated by the Twin Sisters Hall Club, a non-profit corporation. Jo Nell Haas, the current president of the organization, stated, "Since the 1900s, Twin Sisters Dance Hall has maintained a tradition of families coming together to enjoy music and dance. This community gathering place provides a focus on cultural education, historic preservation and a way of life in the Texas Hill Country."  
Over the years, the Twin Sisters Hall has hosted many special events in addition to Saturday night music and dances.  Community organizations utilized and continue to use the building for meetings, educational sessions, social affairs, weddings, and fund raising events.  People from church and school groups, private parties and family reunions have consumed untold quantities of barbecue, chicken, pies, beans, potato salad and, of course, cold beer. The Twin Sisters Hall is also available for private functions.
Jo Nell Haas is proud of the long tradition of the historic dance hall.  She said, "Max Krueger and Henry Bruemmer, Jr., the founders, set in motion for future generations the tradition of music/dancing/history/community and families."  Krueger sold the hall and 2.5 acres to Henry Bruemmer who later sold the hall in 1915 to the Twin Sisters Club for five dollars. The Twin Sisters Dance Hall is now owned by the non-profit organization that plays its role protecting and promoting the heritage of the facility.  "So many people are trying to find their roots and their place in life," Haas noted.    
Jo Nell and her husband Joe have a strong, sentimental connection with Twin Sisters Dance Hall. "My husband has been involved with this dancehall since he was a very young boy and has served on the board/membership for over 30 years," she stated. Recalling some of her ownfond memories of the hall, she said, "I grew up dancing there and met Joe there at the dance. Both of our girls had their wedding reception there."  However, Haas noted that although women participated over the years in events, working and volunteering, women "were NOT allowed to bemembers until the late 1990's."  That has changed. "Now, I have been involved since then and have been Board President for two years." 
  "So many people I have met, talked with, and or know learned to dance on their parents' feet or slept under the tables while their parents danced the night away," she added.
Jo Nell's husband Joe recounted a colorful story about his grandfather coming to the Twin Sisters Hall.  "As a young man he rode many miles to the dance.  The next morning after the dance he woke up after he had fallen asleep on his horse standing in front of their gate," Joe Haas recalled. At least he made it to his horse.
Other stories from long ago shed light on some of the rowdy Saturday night gatherings at Twin Sisters Dance Hall.  Founder Max Krueger wrote that in the early days "a great many pistol-toters and bullies flocked to the place from more distant settlements, and after they had imbibed copious drams of bad whiskey which they had brought with them, the usual brawls and fights started."  We should probably blame those events on the substandard alcohol.   Fortunately, the Twin Sisters Dance Hall today is a more peaceful, safer and family-friendly venue than in Krueger's day.
As President of the Board, Haas said the organization has a number of goals.  Maintaining a historic structure is expensive.  The Twin Sisters Dance Hall has a leaky roof and needs a new one, along with restoration of the numerous exterior windows.  "We also are working with the Texas Historical Commission to obtain an official historical marker," she stated.  As a recognized 501 (c)(3) organization they accept charitable donations that are tax deductible and which can be made online
Haas said that despite all of the hard work and volunteer time, the effort she and other board members and volunteers make is well worth the effort.  They are also members ofTexas Dancehall Preservation, Inc. "I feel we have to protect and restore these historic halls and keep them in the public eye to keep our true meaning of Texas heritage and music," Haas stated.  "It is a Texas Culture." And a Texas treasure.
Patrick Cox, Ph.D. a current TDHP Board Director, is a recognized and award winning historian and author.  He is currently President of Patrick Cox Consultant LLC, a sixth generation Texan, and resides with his wife Brenda on their ranch near Wimberley, Texas.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price presenting Recognition Award to TDHP President Deb Fleming joined by Lil' Red Copeland and Gary P Nunn at The Ranch/Hank Radio Station.
From TDHP President
By Deb Fleming

A new year begins and with it, Texas Dance Hall Preservation embarks on our 10th year as a statewide non-profit organization. We are more than ever committed to our mission to save historic Texas dancehalls and the authentic music and culture that still resides in them. 
2016 was a busy year and 2017 should prove nothing less.  With a strong and diverse board of directors, and a growing group of advisory members, we have many things for which to be thankful.
Foremost among them is the growing support of our statewide community of dancehalls and music enthusiasts.Media interest and reporting about historic dancehalls is helping us tell the many stories of Texas history and culture that began over 100 years ago in small communities across the state.
We closed out 2016 with a fun-filled and sold-out event at the historic Round Up Pavilion in La Grange.  Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, along with the Ennis Czech Boys, served up a classic dancehall soundtrack.  We were pleased to have both La Grange Mayor Janet Moerbe and Fayette County Judge Ed Janecka as our guests, along with the winners of the Fayette County Youth Art Contest.  We met so many new friends and fans of Texas Dance Halls and enrolled some new members as a result. If you're interested in becoming a member yourself, here's how to do it!  Go to Membership Page here!
We spent the last few months of 2016 working in-house to install a web-based  application to help us better manage our growing membership and donor base. Improving the infrastructure of TDHP over the coming year is one of our key objectives for 2017.  With growth comes a few pains but we will come out stronger and better able to engage with our constituents in the dance hall community as well as members at large and historic preservation professionals. Think of the process like a new pair of boots - it takes a little time to break 'em in on the dancefloor!
As the new year dawned, I ventured to Fort Worth to receive a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Betsy Price on the first day of the Fort Worth Stock Show.  She named Friday, January 13, 2017 Texas Dance Hall Preservation Day in the city. The presentation was hosted at The Ranch and Hank Radio station offices and we were joined by Texas music icon and dancehall band leader, Gary P Nunn as well as Lil Red Copeland, owner of the historic Longhorn Saloon.  It was an honor to be recognized by the great city of Fort Worth and to support our mission of awareness raising with newcomers to the state and longtime Texans alike.
We start 2017 with a new grant-funded program from the Texas Historical Commission's Preservation Trust Fund to develop a toolkit of resources for "mothballing" (stabilizing, weatherizing, and securing) vacant and infrequently used dancehalls. Over the next 15 months, TDHP will work directly with up to 12 a dozen halls that fall into one of the following categories: (A) Halls that are operating infrequently or have recently ceased operation or are for sale, and (B) Halls that are completely vacant or are being used for storage or other passive/non-productive use. Participating halls will receive a condition assessment by a preservation architect that includes a report of any existing damage, with recommendations for properly mothballing the building. The project is intended to prevent historic halls from deteriorating or becoming damaged while they are waiting to be put back into regular use.   A new TDHP Moth Squad fundraising campaign will be announced in the coming weeks to raise the required matching funds for this grant. Sexy stuff, huh? But that's the kind of hard, detail-intensive work it takes to preserve these historic and valuable structures. Thanks to everyone who put in the long hours and hard work.
We hope you enjoy our new and improved newsletter format and we encourage you to share it with friends and family.  We welcome your feedback and suggestions as well.  What we need the MOST from you is your continued support for the work being done by TDHP.  You can do this by becoming a member as well as committing to a financial contribution either one time or as a sustaining donor.  Thanks for sharing our love for these unique Lone Star institutions and don't forget to send us your own dancehall stories and photos!   
  Hold My Ticket Promotion

Hold My Ticket will donate 10% of ticketing fees earned through ticket sales back to Texas Dance Hall Preservation in exchange for advertising/sponsorship.  
We encourage our historic dance halls who host regular dances and events or even occasional ticketed events to use Hold My Ticket.  

Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. | 512-921-1250  | admin@texasdancehall.org | https://texasdancehall.org
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