Country in the City of Big Shoulders
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Posted by: KirkWest | Categories: Blog

So it wasn’t all Blues and no Country when I got to Chicago. It was just a little more hidden. You had a hard time finding any kind of good Country joints, in Chicago… in the city itself that is.

A lot of times, places were scattered in the neighborhoods, or out in the suburbs and the more rural areas of Chicago. But one of the best places in town, one of my favorite places, was right down in the core city… downtown… in the loop… on Randolph Street, not far from various bus stations.

It was this little underground place. A little downstairs joint called the Bar Double R Ranch. You had to be a real country music fan to hang there.

The house band was The Sundowners. And it was about as Old School as you could get. Trio. Big hollow-body double bass. Nice little outfits. Used to hang out there a lot. A lot of old business folks, a lot of young honky-tonk fans… it was an interesting mix of people.

And it was downstairs. No windows… a basement honky-tonk in downtown Chicago,right underneath the ‘L’. Because it was near Randolph Street and that is where the ‘L’ runs. [the ‘L’ is the elevated subway system]

So it was an interesting joint. Pictures were plentiful. You will see some here from time to time. Here is one now. The club owner whose name was Arthur Brown. And you know what it is with club owner’s? They all think they ought to be the lead singer. I can’t tell you how many times people had to suffer through 3 sets of Mustang Sally and Hang on Sloopy with a band. He Stopped Loving Her Today was also a big hit as well, back in the day.

So anyway that’s your scoop. I hope you enjoyed your photo. I enjoyed my time here.


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