Adolph's Beautiful America

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Wayne Hancock narrates an 18-minute documentary about the career of western swing bandleader Adolph Hofner, whose career spanned six decades blending the sounds of Texas with the sounds of old Bohemia. You'll learn a little something about German and Czech influences on rural Texas, and Texas dance hall culture. Mom and Dad would bring the children along to the dance, and they'd dance the night away while the kids slept on pallets under the benches.

Adolph's Beautiful America from Geoff G on Vimeo.

UPDATE: Commenter D. J. Hellwege notes that Czech Hall near Yukon, Oklahoma, still holds dances every Saturday night.

UPDATE(2): Wayne "The Train" Hancock, narrator of this documentary, is playing Tulsa's Mercury Lounge, 18th & Boston, this Saturday night, December 30. It's a release party for his new album, Tulsa.

UPDATE 2013/02/16: Google Video's gone; replaced with the video on Vimeo.

And Wikipedia has an answer to something I've been wondering about for some time: What is that snippet of Czech conversation at the end of "Shiner Song" ("Farewell to Prague")?

In order to accommodate their sponsor, Pearl Beer, the Hofners recorded the original version of "Farewell to Prague", which had been known in the old country, instead of the more recent Czech-American "Shiner Beer Polka," the same song with the word Prague (Prahu) changed to Shiner. This avoided the implied reference to the rival Spoetzl brewery in Shiner, Spoetzl's being closely identified with the "Shiner Beer Polka." The brothers could not however resist inserting a joke in Czech at the end of the recording, when one of the Hofners asks the other to "give me a dark beer" ("Daj mne cervene pivo"), Spoetzl's Shiner Bock being the most well-known dark beer in Texas at that time, as it remains today. The other brother firmly replies, "No!" ("Ne!").

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DJH said:

I remember attending dances at Czech Hall outside of Yukon where children would be dancing with their parents. I am thrilled to see it is still holding dances. I will have to take my girls one of the next times we visit my parents.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 25, 2006 11:29 PM.

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