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"The Carnegie Hall of Western Swing" is just one of many titles that have been bestowed on Tulsa's famed Cain's Ballroom since its opening in the 1920s. It was from this stage that Bob Wills helped introduce Western Swing to the masses, and decades later crowds continue to flock here to take a spin on its legendary dance floor. In this episode, we'll experience this venue's magic on the occasion of Asleep at the Wheel's 50th Anniversary Tour, and hang out backstage with their legendary front man Ray Benson. Former owner Larry Schaeffer also shares stories of some of the more temperamental artists who've passed through including Hank Williams and The Sex Pistols. Author John Wooley is also on hand to provide a little history, while current stewards Chad Rodgers and Brad Harris talk about how they've guided Cain's into the 21st century.  Cain's Ballroom  Asleep at the Wheel  Twentieth Century Honky-Tonk  John Wooley --- Send in a voice message:
From "The World's Second Largest Rocking Chair" in Cuba, Missouri, to "The Leaning Water Tower of Groom, Texas," Route 66 boasts no shortage of roadside oddities that are all great for a stop, snap and chuckle. At the same time, it's easy to forget that these sites were all built by people with hopes and dreams, and most always offer a bit more than what meets the eyes. In this episode, we'll visit Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park, The Blue Whale of Catoosa, and the Slug Bug and Cadillac Ranches to not only learn of their origins, but hear a few stories of how they've shaped and impacted lives.  Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park  The Blue Whale of Catoosa Slug Bug Ranch Cadillac Ranch Lile Art Gallery  John Wooley Books by Linda Ross-Hobbs Strong Sense of Place --- Send in a voice message:
Entering the town of Miami, Oklahoma on Route 66, you'll pass the GAR Cemetery. A resting place for over 20,000, its director Nancy Bro is quick to say that each one of their graves holds a life that meant something for many people. This is, of course, true of all burial plots. Yet GAR is unique as walking its grounds, you will notice a Union Jack flag flying above fifteen WWII Era graves bearing the badges of Britain's Royal Air Force. In this episode, we'll pay our respects at a memorial service, hear the story of how these young men came to rest so far from home, and learn of how this rural community has honored these fallen soldiers for over eighty years.   British Flyers History    British Flyers Cadets Gallery  GAR General Information  Nancy Bro on Our American Stories  Nancy Bro on The Route 66 Podcast --- Send in a voice message:
Among the titles it's earned, Route 66 is often hailed as "The Main Street of America." But America is a lot of things and absent from many of its popular myths and legends are the stories of those who preceded the pilgrims or Jamestown. Yet it is indisputable that our country wouldn't exist as we know it without them and the same is true of the Route itself. Even today, more than half of 66 passes through Indian country and driving the road will carry you through more than twenty-five tribal nations. While this presence was propagated for many years as a means of luring tourist dollars, in this episode we'll begin our travels by getting to know a few makers of different tribes and backgrounds along the Route whose work not only dispels stereotypes, but reveals stories that are in their own way quintessentially American. Featuring visits to Quapaw, Oklahoma, Gallup, New Mexico, and Lupton, Arizona, contributors include elder leader Grace Goodeagle, potter Betty Gaedtke, artist and educator Teri Frazier, and knife maker David Yellowhorse. David Yellowhorse Knives Betty Gaedtke's Quapaw Pottery The Gallup Cultural Center --- Send in a voice message:
The name Route 66 has a certain kind of magic. For some, it calls to mind images of muscle cars and neon. For others, the words of Kerouac and songs of Guthrie. But how did this legend come to be, and what is Route 66 to begin with? Featuring a sampling of stories collected over a journey spanning 6,845 miles, we’ll kick off this season long road trip by attempting to answer these questions through the voices of some who’ve witnessed its many transformations firsthand. Contributors include renowned authors Michael Wallis and Jim Hinckley, “The Guardian of Route 66” Angel Delgadillo, Cynnie Troup, Rhys Martin, and more.  Michael Wallis  Jim Hinckley, Jim Hinckley’s America on facebook, Wake Up with Jim  Delgadillo’s Original Route 66 Gift Shop  Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post   David Yellowhorse Rhys Martin  Route 66 Podcast  Asleep at the Wheel  Instagram, facebook --- Send in a voice message:
COMING SOON! Named "One of the Best Podcasts You Should Listen To in 2022" by Digital Trends, Vanishing Postcards returns for a cross country odyssey on Route 66. From the plains of Oklahoma to the beaches of the Pacific Coast, ride along with host Evan Stern as he explores how the past, present and future of The Mother Road is revealed through the people and places you'll find in driving it today.  --- Send in a voice message:
Heralded as "The Walt Whitman of American Television," Charles Kuralt while sharing a drink with a cameraman aboard a 1967 flight high above Ohio sparked upon an idea. "By God," he said. "Next time we go somewhere, we ought to drive and find out what's really going on in this country!" For nearly three decades he would do just that, inviting viewers to follow him "On the Road" as he showcased the extraordinary stories of everyday Americans. In tribute to this fine storyteller whose legacy helped inspire Vanishing Postcards, host Evan Stern is honored to perform a reading of an essay in which Kuralt shifted his gaze inward to share his memory of a Christmas before "worldliness and wisdom set in." Featuring the exquisite musical backing of pianist and arranger Kathleen Landis, it is our hope that this piece might provide an opportunity to pause and revisit a few Christmas memories of your own.  --- Send in a voice message:
In this final episode of Vanishing Postcards' inaugural season, we pay a visit to Fort Worth's famed Stockyards. A historic district where western identity is embraced without the slightest hint of a wink, here rodeos are hosted each and every weekend, while crowds clamor for the fajitas at JT Garcia's before hitting the dance floor at Billy Bob's. But more than party central, it's probably the only place you can count on seeing longhorn steers paraded through the streets, and take pleasure in introducing you to a few good people who are making The Stockyards' history a tangible experience through stories, songs and honest to goodness work. Fort Worth Stockyards The Cowtown Opry Miss Devon Dawson and "Outlaw" Jessie Robertson --- Send in a voice message:
It deserves mentioning that today's episode features visits to not one but two haunted houses, a cat that's likely lived more than nine lives, and the tale of a spirit that's rumored to wander the banks of the Rio Grande. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, the adrenaline we experience when hearing spooky tales has a magical way of bringing us closer. Beyond this, ghost stories also often provide reminders of our history, and enable some to confront the fears and demons that lurk in our own imaginations. Many of these elements are at work in the fables featured in today's episode. Above all else, they're also pretty darned fun...  Historic Galveston Ghost Tours Charles Adams Mansion Xavier Garza --- Send in a voice message:
We're pleased to introduce our listeners to Fascination Street, an interview podcast hosted by Texas based broadcaster, Steve Owens. "I'm fascinated by stories," says Owens. "Walk with me as I share them." In his more than 250 episodes, Steve has spoken with a diverse roster of individuals including the departed Ed Asner, Tiger King's Carole Baskin, humorist Kinky Friedman, and recently Vanishing Postcards' very own Evan Stern. In this excerpt, Evan shares a bit about his personal background, and creative journey that led to the creation of Vanishing Postcards. To hear the entire interview, and check out more of Steve's many engaging offerings, find and follow Fascination Street wherever you get your podcasts.  Fascination Street --- Send in a voice message:
The village of Oakville sits hidden in plain sight along an isolated stretch of I-37 between Corpus and San Antonio. Founded in 1856 by a hearty group of Irish settlers, at its  zenith this one-time stagecoach station boasted a population of 400, claimed seven saloons and was a notorious site of brutal frontier justice. But while one could perhaps get away with calling this tiny community a ghost town, each year some of Texas's finest writers gather here to share stories under the stars in homage to Live Oak County's great Poet Laureate- J. Frank Dobie. Featuring a retelling of one of Dobie's great campfire legends, Sancho's Return, this episode invites listeners to experience the magic of this unique celebration of western letters now hailed as "The Greatest Little Literary Festival in Texas."  Dobie Dichos Donna Ingham Lee Haile --- Send in a voice message:
Mention the word “cowboy” today and you might think of Gary Cooper in High Noon, or Gene Autry singing under “starry skies.” Indeed, one can’t overstate the impact Hollywood, comic books, and showmen like Buffalo Bill played in shaping the mythology of the American West. What is rarely reflected in too many of these depictions, however, is that in the 1800s, alongside countless Mexican vaqueros, one out of every four cowboys were black- many of them ex  slaves. In this episode, we’ll introduce you to two extraordinary cowboys, Larry Callies and Myrtis Dightman Jr., who are not only working hard to change perspectives surrounding these narratives, but whose stories are epic on their own terms. Prairie View Trail Riders Association --- Send in a voice message:
While garden clubs and hotel brochures are quick to remind visitors of Galveston’s Gilded Age, few seem to acknowledge that in the more recent past this beachfront city provided a luxurious playground where the likes of Sinatra and Alice Faye flocked to gamble and dance at hotspots like The Balinese Room. Featuring stories of the Maceo brothers who once dominated this island’s nightlife, and memories of a few who experienced these good times first hand, our latest episode takes listeners on a trip back to a time and place known as “The Free State of Galveston.” Maceo Spice Kimber Fountain Peter Mintun - piano --- Send in a voice message:
Houston is a place that's rich in diversity and innovation. It readily embraces modernity and is less burdened by the weight of tradition one feels in other southern cities. This can be wonderfully liberating. At the same time, many argue its embrace of the new makes it challenging to define. "Houston has a bad habit of destroying our history," one resident confessed to us. But if there's one place that flies in the face of this town's sleek, steel and glass uber-developments, it's The West Alabama Ice House. Opened in 1928 on an unremarkable corner in Montrose, this low frills, outdoor, dog friendly, picnic table lined beer joint not only straddles the past and present of Central Houston, but might even provide a few lessons worth considering as this Gulf Coast metropolis continues its march forward.   West Alabama Ice House   To see David Richmond's documentation of Houston ice houses, and some of the speculative designs they've inspired, check him out on Instagram.  --- Send in a voice message:
An elder statesman of Austin's music scene, Bobby Earl Smith is perhaps best known as a founding member of Freda and the Firedogs. The band that helped launch the career of legend Marcia Ball, they packed houses at The Armadillo and Split Rail, and when writing of them in 1972 The Statesman gushed, “It would be difficult to over-praise Freda and the Firedogs. This is a great bunch of youngsters, both personally and musically. They stick closely to the traditional and their brand of country music is pure listening pleasure.” In celebration of the vinyl reissue of their much delayed debut album, we're sharing this special bonus episode in which Bobby Earl recounts stories of the group's formation, and professional journey, accompanied by a selection of original recordings. --- Send in a voice message:
The Castell and Stuermer Stores are separated by about 160 miles and sit on opposite ends of Central Texas. Their hours can hardly be described as regular, nor do they boast expansive aisles dedicated to rice, face wash, or Greek yogurt. Yet, they help bridge the past of the communities they serve to our present, and provide spaces for fellowship that are essential for different, but important reasons. We'll learn about why this is by sitting down with their respective owners who share stories both touching, humorous and wild- One of which, the tale of a certain rooster, is unlike anything we've ever heard...  --- Send in a voice message:
More than being delicious, food can bring people together, heal the body and soul, and is intertwined with generations of history and tradition. Today, we’re gonna dig into some of this by getting a taste of South Texas. We’ll start at its end point in Brownsville, then visit its gateway in San Antonio. Along the way, we’ll see what a good meal can tell you about a place, but best of all, hear from the folks doing the cooking. You could say this is a tale of two cities, but it’s really a tale of two tacos.  Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que  Los Barrios Restaurants --- Send in a voice message:
Born of the blending of cultures in South Texas, the music of conjunto tells a uniquely American story. In this episode, we'll take a trip to its birthplace in San Benito, where we'll tour the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and learn of its origins from the Avila family whose patriarch, Rey, dedicated his life to preserving this art form's history. We'll also head over to nearby McAllen where we'll catch a performance from accordion prodigy Rodney Rodriguez at La Lomita Park, the venue built by famed performer and elder statesman, Pepe Maldonado.  --- Send in a voice message:
While Texas summers are famously brutal, they are not without their pleasures. Towards that matter, few joys are as delicious as peach season. In this episode, we'll take a trip to The Hill Country at the peak of the harvest to sample the bounty and get to know the extraordinary families who have farmed these crops for generations.  Gold Orchards- Vogel Orchards- Jenschke Orchards- This episode's piano selections were performed by Kathleen Landis --- Send in a voice message:
Museums are important. They're places where we can explore our heritage, and learn about culture, history and ideas in environments that foster conversations. Say the word, and palaces of civilization like The Met, Prado or Louvre often come to mind. In this episode, however, we'll criss cross the state of Texas to visit a few you've probably never heard of. Sites featured include The Billy The Kid Museum in Hico, The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemarata in Austin, and Houston's Museum of Funeral History. --- Send in a voice message:
Comments (2)

Beth Anway

I just started listening to this podcast. I really enjoy it and really enjoyed this first episode. I like the work that you're doing - keep up the good work. I will listen to bygones and barbecues tomorrow, that's how far I've gotten so far. Looking forward to new episodes!

Jul 8th


I loved this episode! I am subscribing and shared before it was over :)

Apr 14th
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