|(from Guestbook 121) Jeff Barkley said:
I left Tulsa in the late 70's. At that time, my favorite hang-outs were Cardo's,
Boston Ave. Market, the Nine of Cups and, of course, Arnie's. I heard that
Arnie's was forced out of its old location. Are the other places still around?
Anybody remember anything about a folk music club called The Dust Bowl?
(from Guestbook 121) Larry L. Kraus said:
The Dust Bowl was a folkie place on 15th Street, just west of Peoria. It
was open in the 1964-1967 time frame, although those dates are approximations.
The house group was called the Folkmen and consisted of Robert Anderson (5-string
banjo), Moby Anderson (bass) and Pat Grahm (guitar).
Notables who appeared over the years were Mike Murphey (later known as Michael
Martin Murphey, of "Wildfire" fame), and B.W. Stevenson (of "My Maria" fame).
Also appearing frequently were Dan Crarey (who still headlines music festivals,
and is/was a fine flat-pick guitar player), and Hermes Nye, a lawyer/singer
from Dallas, and the Roving Singers (Tommy Harris and Jim Smith). Yours truly
also appeared on occasion, but never as a headliner.
The Dust Bowl was part of an informal circuit of folk clubs that included
the Sword and the Stone in OKC, the Rubaiyat in Dallas, and the 11th Door
in Austin. Most of the people who played at one of those played at the rest.
I ran into Michael Martin Murphey about three years ago and he still remembered
the Dust Bowl with fondness. B.W. Stevenson, of course, died about 10 years
ago. (I am still alive, barely.)
I can still remember the night that the Folkmen returned from a tour shortly
after Dylan released "Highway 61 Revisited." Everyone was aghast that they
were playing electrical instruments. Unfortunately, they were using the
electrical instruments on their standard repertoire and it just didn't work
Shortly after that (I'm guessing maybe 1967), the Dust Bowl closed.
As I might have mentioned previously, the only person I can remember being
thrown off the stage at the Dust Bowl for singing "inappropriate material"
was Richard Roberts (in Guestbook 114, Larry recalled it being tagged
as "too gross.") All of us pushed the boundaries a bit, but Richard
apparently went way over. Of course, he was younger then.
(from Guestbook 121) Carl Gregory said:
The Dust Bowl was a great place, had many memories and good times there.
Here is a piece (the menu at top) from the Dust Bowl that used to
be on the tables.
(from GroupBlog 257) Pat Downes said:
My parents were regular patrons of the coffee house as well as charter members
of Tulsa's Folk Artists Association, which was a loosely bound group of
performers and patrons of the art form. In addition to featuring regional
(later headliner) performers the likes of Mike Murphy, Mike Brewer and Dan
Crary, the Dust Bowl drew from a very solid lineup of local artists including,
from my fuzzy memory and in no particular order: Dudley Murphy, Pat Blythe
(occasionally with girlfriend Arlea Stokes), Bob Anderson, John Chick
(Mr. Zing), V.A. McNabb, and dozens more whose
names escape me at the moment.
The Dust Bowl is the source of some truly wonderful childhood memories for
(from GroupBlog 257) Mike Flynn said:
Bob Anderson and I started the coffee house when we wanted someplace to sing
each week. There were a lot more people involved, like Bob's wife Kay, Moby
Anderson (who was not Bob's brother, by the way), and Sandy Wark...whose
mother loaned us $300 to get started.
Bob, Moby and Sandy had a trio--The Lowland Three. Some of the better known
artists who were there included Michael Martin Murphy and Jack Elliot. I
sold my half of The Dust Bowl to Pat Blythe a couple of years later. It was
a great place...
Courtesy of Joel Burkhart
(from Guestbook 121) Jon Cummins said:
I remember going to the Dust Bowl and seeing Bob Anderson play his
ODE banjo when I was
about 12. Dad was with me, and that may have been my first taste of "folk"
music and pizza.
I was first at the Dust Bowl on 15th St in late 1966. I believe that it had
been operational for at least a year before that.
I spent the summer of '67, my senior year, doing the floors every week. I
was paid enough to rent a bucket and mop, buy the Spic & Span, and have
a few bucks left over.
I also got in free while I was doing the floor. I spent every Friday and
Saturday night there. When I left for college I gave up the job (don't remember
to whom), but it was still going at that time, about August of 1967.
The performers were mostly from a different planet and I have few memories
of them. The exceptions would be the house band, and Dudley Murphy. Even
after hearing their sets so many times, they were always entertaining to
There was a regular group in the audience, while I was going, which included
Joe Allen, Joe Colpitts, Mike Rawlins, David Heckle, a blond girl from Brookside
named Kristy, a girl with long brown hair named Shelly, Sandy Courter, Carl
and Larry Gregory and some others I remember even less well than these. Most
of us were underage, which I believe is why Bob never pursued a liquor license.
For me, the Dust Bowl was a unique experience and made a lasting impression
on me and my life.
(from Guestbook 130) David Bagsby said:
There used to be a coffee-house type place somewhere along 15th between Utica
& Peoria called The Open Door. Then of course
there was the coffee house in the Sears complex at 21st & Yale.
Featuring Sears' in-house group, The Craftsmen, performing their smash
hit "If I Had A Hammer" (rimshot).
(6/25/2008): The Open Door Coffee House by Rickey