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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Photo Of The Week: Big Daddy, John East, and Jimmy Pyror

The photo of the week was taken at Razzmatazz just before we were kicked out of Urbandale Iowa for playing dance music! Pictured are Dennis "Big Daddy" Cain, John East, and Jimmy"Midnite Cowboy" Pryor. Dennis is the master of country blues, and plays many different styles of blues, while John East is a jump blues master on guitar. Of course, Jimmy was a great performer, with his own style. What was fun about Razzmatazz was that for the month we were there we quietly played blues, and had a small jam session. The owner loved us, and we had a small crowd of players who jammed with us. Unfortunately, a little known law in Urbandale banned dancing in most clubs. If it sounds like something out of footloose then you are not far off. The Urbandale city council didn't want live music and dancing since it might lead to heavy drinking and law breaking! EEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!

In retrospect it is pretty funny. At the time I was very angry. However, we landed on our feet and moved the show to downtown Des Moines, where we lasted another couple months before we got fired by a drunken bar manager, but that's another story!


harold said...

you were kicked out of urbandale for having after hours parties and a young man being shot. tell the whole story.

harold said...

we picked on you because you played music, no we picked on you because you disrupted a whole neighborhood .

harold said...

normal shit, half the dam story and we pickin on minorities

Blues Historian said...

Hi Harold

why don't you tell the whole story. I had a blues band that played a blues jam on Sunday nights. There were no fights, no after hour jams, and certainly no shootings. If someone was doing that years AFTER we played there, then how can you blame me??? We played there in the fall of 1999! Here is the latest information I could find on the shooting in 2008.

Eighteen-year-old Yusuf Jones and 21-year-old Freddie Millsap Jr. are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old James Brown III, on June 15, 2008.

To be honest I am offended that you would accuse my friends, both black and white of inciting violence in Urbandale Iowa in 1999. That is just plain ridiculous. We had all ages attending our show, our crowd ate food, and had an occasional beer. We had school teachers, lawyers, doctors, cops, and some of the best musicians in Des Moines attended our Sunday jam session, but we had to shut down our show because of a city regulation in regards to dancing. Plain and simple.

Finally Harold. Where in the world did you get the "pickin on minorities" from my post??? Why don't you tell the whole story about that??? I didn't because I felt that it didn't pertain to us. Yes, we had a lot of African American friends who played the blues with us, and yes our lead singer was Jimmy "The Midnite Cowboy" Pryor, but we were told by both the bar owner and the city that it was the ban on dancing was why we had to leave. No one ever stated that it was because we had minorities in our band.

I would demand an apology but I doubt one is coming.


Dan said...


I drank at, ate at, and even managed Razzmatazz for a short while. I have managed many bars in my life.

One of the difficulties of running Razzmatazz was the ban on live music.

I did not work there when the Jam sessions went on, and I left several years before the shooting.

I am not sure why Harold would be mentioning any "pickin on minorities" in his post. I do not know about any after hours parties there either. I do know that Urbandale residents did not want a bar there and made it very difficult for the bar to succeed.

If live music were allowed at bars in Urbandale, there would be much less chance of violence. Because Windsor Heights is just on the other side of the road (and they do allow music and dancing) Urbandale only gets the people that want to drink without other activities. That is the cause of the violence.

When we brought in Karaoke, or had people that just wanted to play their own instruments, the crowd was much more oriented in the activity rather than the booze. When there is only booze, people get drunk and find something to do fight.

Sorry to hear about your experience Tom. Harold, perhaps you could do a bit more research on the situation you are writing about instead of making yourself look silly with that type of comment. I also believe you owe Tom an apology.