Roots, Rhythm and Rock-Music That Moved Fort Smith

Trapeze performs at the Fort Smith Municipal Auditorium, May 1972.

Roots, Rhythm and Rock-Music That Moved Fort Smith:  Second Movement, 1945-1995 opened on June 30, 2016 with an exhibit opening and volunteer concert featuring local and regional performers, and will remain in place until June 2017 at the Fort Smith Museum of History. Thank you to Fort Smith native and longtime musician, Dave Matthews for invaluable assistance in preparing the exhibition and concert.  The volunteer concert featured the Mathews Brothers, Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes, Paper Kid, Lacey Schaffer-Thomas, Tom Ware, Gary Hutchinson and more.

Many Fort Smithians remember music venues such as Billy Garner’s Supper Club, the Glass Hat, the Music Box, the Bee Hive, the Elephant Run, Josenberger Hall, Old Town Grain and Feed, and Harper Stadium.  Local people who influenced the music scene in Fort Smith include Dick Renko, Bob Ketchum, Charly Hiatt, John McIntosh and many more will be included. Learn the stories of musicians George Hughen, Lacy Schaffer-Thomas, Tom Ware, songwriter Kye Flemming, dancer Betty Wilkins and radio personalities and performers Herschel Parker, Carl Riggins, Fred Baker, Dennis Snow and many more.  Bands featured include Wendy Austin and the Hot House Tomato Boys, Paper Kid, Judge Parker, Kamakaze, Oreo Blue, David and the Immatures, the Cate Brothers, Dark Horse, Razorback, Gray Ghost, Trout Fishing in America and more.

Did you see your first real concert at Harper Stadium?  Were you buying records at Elmore’s?  Who remembers Bee Bumble?  Who played on 9th Street in 1950s and 1960s?  Where did Alphonso Trent play after returning to Fort Smith?  Did you ever attend a USO dance in Fort Smith?  Remember the Wintergarden or Bobby Don’s?  How about the Eternal Boogie parties?  Learn the stories of the people and places who made music history in Fort Smith.  And are still making history today!

The exhibition will feature vintage instruments, photographs, recordings and band memorabilia.  Remember the monthly calendars from Old Town?  How about flyers taped to windows and stapled to telephone poles?

Learn the fascinating stories of the Music That Moved Fort Smith.

1 Comment

  1. by Anonymous on April 25, 2017  7:56 pm Reply

    Are the black muscians ever acknowledged as part of Fort Smith music history?

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