Monday, September 29, 2014
Nathan Moran, The 1940's - Evenings at The Aragon and The Peabody Hotel
Since I've been scanning pictures I found in Bub's military folder I decided to go ahead and post a few more today. Both are souvenirs from evenings out but only one is annotated and dated.
THE ARAGON-OCEAN PARK, CALIFORNIA
The Aragon was located at Lick Pier, in Ocean Park California. The ballroom and pier were built in 1922 and opened in March 1942. In 1942, the ballroom was renamed The Aragon and held Swing Shift Dances. In 1951, Lawrence Welk and his band was booked for a four week engagement at The Aragon. Welk and his orchestra were so popular it turned into a ten-year engagement leading to a weekly show which was broadcast Saturday nights on ABC. Soon after The Aragon declined in popularity. In 1967 it became known as the Cheetah Club and hosted bands like The Doors and Pink Floyd. In 1970 the building was destroyed by fire.
This picture was taken May 6, 1945. Bub Moran is seated on the left. The two ladies are:
Sgt Melba Hamilton
C.W.A.C., (Canadian Women's Army Corps)
R.C.C.S (Royal Canadian Corps of Signals)
S-1 Sergeant Jeannie McLean,
both of Vancouver Birks, British Columbia, Canada.
The fellow on the right is unknown.
The second picture is undated and the occasion isn't documented but was taken in the early - mid 1940's.
The only person we can identify is Bub Moran, first person on the left.
The location was The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, the Skyway and Plantation Roof. The original Peabody Hotel was built in 1869 at the corner of Main and Monroe. It operated until 1923. In 1925 a new Peabody Hotel was built on Union Avenue. The Skyway and Plantation Roof were added in 1939 and immediately became a hit with big band dances. The likes of Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk (again) played at the Skyway. The Peabody closed again in the 1970's due to economic and social factors of the area. The Belz Corporation purchased the hotel and after a renovation that took six years to complete The Peabody reopened September 1, 1981. It is still known as "The South's Grand Hotel."