NEW! What we are calling "The Lost Pictures" page
Willie Nelson wrote Pretty Papers about these two in downtown Ft. Worth. Check it out.
We've started a new Fort Worth Picture Page. If you grew up here you'll enjoy this!
The original Texas Garage Bands. Link provided by Dan Hukabee.
The Original Panther Hall Lighted Sign contributed by John Garza
Tharin Robertson shared a rare poster of The Hall. Click here.
Pat Grogan receives the Lifetime Achievement Award. Click here to read about it.
Hank Wilton and the Rovin’ Rangers book by D. Larry Patterson featuring Panther Hall.
An original home movie! Check it out here! Then visit www.texasarchive.org
(2013) Tony Douglas passed away following a bout with cancer.
Charlie Crossland Lewis has sent in a poster advertisement for The Hall.
Photos from the Texas State University Collection.
Joyce Smith sent in a few pics and a story.
Laurie McGill sent in some great pictures of Mickey and Amanda.
Listen to Charlie Pride at Panther Hall.
Bob McCartney sent in a few pics of the Good Ol’ Days.
We have a lot of really great pictures thanks to Bill Tarwater!
An excerpt from the Willie Nelson book that mentions Panther Hall.
Pat Grogan is inducted into the Hall Of Fame! Read about it here.
We also have some pictures from Pat Grogan.
Jan Moore is in the Willie Nelson movie Fighting With Anger.
Jan is at it again! See her pics of Willie and Loretta Lynn.
Take a look at the pictures from Sherry Fontaine (Windom)
View a vintage bumper sticker from Rick Benedict.
The image of a Panther has long been a part of Fort Worth history, beginning in the late 1800s, when a Dallas attorney reportedly claimed after visiting Cowtown that "things were so quiet, he had seen a panther asleep on Main Street." And so, the nickname of Panther City was born. “Such stories, whether true or false, later provoked city police officers to wear a patch of the dozing cat on their uniforms. And it was the reason a concert and dance hall off East Lancaster, now demolished, was renowned as much for its name -- Panther Hall -- as it was for the stars who performed there.” My best guess is that Panther Hall opened in the Polytechnic area of Ft. Worth around 1962-1963.
Bill and Corky Kuykendall were brothers who loved Country music and decided to open Panther Hall, the biggest venue in the south at the time. Panther Hall held 2000 people and was converted from a professional bowling alley, The Panther Bowl. (They actually used the wood from the bowling lanes to build the huge dance floor!) Travel up a steep flight of stairs along the wall and you could enter The Loft, a bar for special guests and band members. The view of the stage and dance floor from up there was spectacular. Stars came from all over the United States to play at the Hall. Excerpt: “Talking to Elvis at Panther Hall, in Ft. Worth, Roy Orbison invited Elvis to be a guest on his radio show.” Later on, Panther Hall catered to the younger crowd creating PANTHER A-GO-GO and eventually had many Rock concerts there. Panther Hall was put up for sale in 1972 and closed in 1978.
Across the street from Panther Hall was a small club known as The Annex. This was owned by Pat Grogan, leased to him by the Kuykendalls until 1971-1972. Often times, after the show at the Hall, stars would go across the street and play until the wee hours of the morning. Later, many of them would go to the Lone Star Café on E. Lancaster to get a bite to eat. One of the few 24 hour eateries in Ft. Worth at the time. My Mom was always invited to go along and many times she did.
Hundreds of Artists played Panther Hall and I’ll never be able to list them all, but I’ll try to list as many Artists and Links as I can find. If you know of any that I miss, please let me know. Any information or pictures would be greatly appreciated. If you have any Stories to share, feel free to send them to me and I will put them on the site.
Excerpt from Texas Monthly Magazine—1973
“Everyone in Fort Worth ought to go to Panther Hall at least once. Why not this summer? This country music palace is known nationwide as the site of television's Cowtown Jamboree. In fact, your Saturday night ticket will admit you to the telecast at 6:00 as well as to the regular show 9:00-11:00, and you can go out for dinner in between. You'll probably wind up meeting some of the West Texans who have driven in for the show, and as the night progresses, so will your good old country feeling."
This site is dedicated to my mom, Mary Jo Phillips, (1924-2003) who worked at Panther Hall from the day the doors opened (June 1963) until it closed in 1978. You probably bought your ticket from her and later in the evening saw her as a hostess and server. She was also the designer and creator of the puppets for the show “Mickey and Amanda” shown on the local TV station
KFJZ (now KTVT) The same channel that hosted the broadcast of Cowtown Jamboree live from Panther Hall every Saturday night. (Actually, the show started taping at 6:00 PM and was shown on TV at 6:30 PM, one of the first delayed broadcasts since the show lasted one hour.)
Mary Jo knew most of the stars personally and often would go out to eat with them after the show. Some even came to our house! Thanks Mary Jo for being my mom
My name is Rick Phillips and I am now 63 years old. Bear with me as I try to recount the stories of this wonderful time in American history of the original “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”, Panther Hall. If I get some dates wrong or even a whole story, feel free to correct me since my memory of this time was about 50 years ago when I was 10 years old. Please note that I have searched for several years to find any video footage and have come up empty. (except for the home movie listed above.) If anyone has anything to share please email me. I have contacted many of the stars who played this venue at their fan-site email address and I hope to be able to put their stories up on this site soon. (I know you’ve been here Willie so next time please sign the guestbook.) So let’s get on with it! Remember that anything underlined on this site is a link to something.
Feel free to share your memories of Panther Hall or Poly in our Guestbook.
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