Kathy’s Wall consists of pictures and memories via a scrapbook from the late 1950’s through the heyday of one of Iowa’s Premier Dance halls, “Danceland.” Many of the photos were taken by Kathy Wall, or are original artist promotional 8 x 10’s. Artists provided personal pictures/autographs/personal note/letters to Kathy. Kathy Wall left her scrapbook of memories to her daughters, who have allowed them to posted on iamnotjerry,com Among the pioneers of Rock n Roll are: Roy Orbison, Duane Eddy, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everley Brothers, Link Wray and Chuck Berry. See Winter Dance Party
Danceland was known as Iowa’s smartest ballroom, and it was the best-known ballroom in the state, according to advertisements published during the middle decades of the 20th century. It was the place to be on Saturday night, a place where people gathered to dance, listen to music and enjoy a cocktail, sometimes even if they weren’t old enough. More than one local resident remembered waiting for those who were old enough to enjoy alcoholic drinks to get up and dance so that they could consume what was left of the cocktails left behind.
Danceland patrons were supposed to be at least 18 during the 1960s when Virginia Horning and her teen friends started going there.
“There were a lot of us 16 or so who went every week,” Horning recalled. “As long as we didn’t cause any trouble we could get in.”
Ma Daugherty was there to make sure everyone stayed out of trouble. Those who danced at Danceland remember Ma, the rather intimidating, x-large lady who stood at the top of the stairs ready to “bounce” anybody who misbehaved.
Danceland Ballroom was built in 1927 and like other ballrooms of the era, it was a place where classic orchestras played to dancers dressed in swanky attire. During the World War II era, single gals gathered at Danceland hoping to meet a handsome soldier. They danced to tunes of the Swing Era. In the late 1950s Danceland became one of the first ballrooms in Iowa to bring rock and roll to teenagers. Bill Haley and the comets appeared in 1957.
By the time it closed in 1968, patrons had danced to the music of several great musicians. MORE
Kathy’s Friend, “…We went to every concert at Danceland and Armar Ballroom that we could! Kathy’s one dream was to meet Elvis, she met everyone else though. Kathy was striken with Polio when she was 10 and needed a wheelchair most of the time. The owner used to let us in the service entrance and made sure that Kathy had an opportunity to meet every act that played there. ..Rock on my friend!” MARY
Featured are Kathy’s memories of Live Music @ Danceland…