Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More history of the Palladium Building, St Louis, Missouri

The book, Devil At The Confluence, proves that St. Louis was a more important center for American music than has traditionally been thought. One of the reasons that history disregards St. Louis' influence is because the many stories about the city had not been preserved or celebrated. Likewise, the stories and the importance of the historic Club Plantation has nearly been forgotten as well, and the building is now in danger of being demolished. Since the purpose of creating the book was an effort to establish the stories before they were lost forever, it feels like a responsibility now to post the stories of the Club Plantation for the same reasons.

This story is a great example of St Louis' influence and inspiration to American cultural history. Traditional music history has long assumed that the Mississippi river was responsible for the city's reputation as a cultural center, but it's the people and the local culture - not the river, roads or train tracks that make St. Louis a great city.

In 1946, songwriter Bobby Troup left Pennslyvania on a road trip on US Highway 40 to come to the St. Louis Club Plantation where Louis Armstrong was performing to a SRO sellout crowd. Traveling with his wife, he planned his roadtrip to eventually get to Los Angeles. Enthused partly about the new post-War freedom of auto and cross-country travel and partly to get to St. Louie to see the great Satchmo, Troup was inspired enroute to write the song he is most famous for: "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66."

Next: Stories of the gangsters who were behind the historic Club Plantation.