Throughout the Si Siman photo collection it’s easy to see a that a least several of the photos were taken at the same club over a period of time. Either the stage props are consistent or we can see the “Stone Arch Ranch” lettering above the stage or on the wall at the back.
Roger Hurst was the first to identify the pictures being from, “the Stone Arch Tavern (not ranch) located at Truman Rd. and Blue Ridge Blvd. just east of I-435.”
Several people have contributed information that Curly Chalker is featured on lap steel in several of the pictures with Blackie Crawford and the Tune Toppers around 1950. However, further help identifying the other bands and musicians is needed.
Blackie Crawford and the Tune Toppers, Kansas City, c. 1949-50. (via Pine Grove Press)
This is Blackie Crawford and the Tune Toppers at a club in Kansas City c. 1950 doing a comedy routine. Blackie is on guitar at the right. Curly Chalker is on steel guitar. (via Pine Grove Press)
Also, Russ Wever was able to find a mention of the club in an old Billboard magazine issue. I’m still not sure how he was able to do this. However, since Russ’s powers as a musician also amaze me, I guess I’m not surprised:
Indiana Drifters on WDAF in Kansas City, Missouri
This photo in particular has attracted interest in the Kansas City steel community. Luckily it comes “pre-tagged” which makes it easier to show around and ask questions.
I showed Roger Hurst of Kansas City and he told me in an email:
I remember the Indiana Drifters when I was a kid playing clubs around Kansas City, working my way through high school and college. Jack Marvin, who is the guy holding the tele and standing behind his blonde Fender Custom Triple-neck, was a really good steel player. They had a killer band and played 6 nights a week in a busy club on 9th street or 12th street in Kansas City. They had a drummer named Bill something or the other who could play Gene Krupa licks to a tee. Jack Marvin later became a chiropractor and had an office down near 31st and Holmes before he passed away. All those guys were very technically advanced compared to most county musicians today.
The Indian Drifters with Grand Ole Opry Stars Webb Pierce (second from left) and Rob Brasfield (far left). Others?
I’d like to recognize mrwaterslide from flickr.com for posting his found black and white photos of old country musicians. This collection of photos from the estate of country music executive Si Siman and the local response I received from showing them to a few key people from the steel community here in Kansas City, Missouri are the core inspiration for kicking off this blog.
It’s the goal of this blog to identify people in the photos and the stories that go with them. So, if you have information to give please leave comments or contact .
Lee Jeffries's recipe for Speedy West's boo-wah sound.
From a post on the Steel Guitar Forum.