Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Sunset High School on Film — 1970

sunset-pt-2_3_pep-rallyPep rally in progress… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Thanks to the heads-up from UNT media librarian and film/video archivist Laura Treat, I now know about “Spotlight on North Texas,” a collaborative project between the University of North Texas Libraries and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) to preserve North Texas film history. The bulk of the collection centers on Denton County, but there are the occasional glimpses of Dallas, such as the 3-part “Sunset on Film” which was shot by student James Dunlap in and around Sunset High School in 1970 on Super-8 film (without sound). It’s definitely a student effort — nerdy and charming — but it has lots of great footage, and if you are a Sunset alum, you’ll probably see a lot of familiar sights from your Oak Cliff school days. And for those who missed the era when high school students dressed like extras from The Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch — and who swarmed to get their bikes after school (when was the last time you saw that?!) — this will be almost exotic.

PART 1 (running time 7:55) is here (click image on UNT site, then click the “play” arrow — don’t forget to watch in full-screen). The images below are screenshots from the digitized film; they are larger — and grainier — when clicked.



Vogue Theater alert!


PART 2 (running time 11:51) is here.


sunset-pt-2_2Pep rally alert!


PART 3 (running time 10:43) is here.

sunset-pt-3_1Groovy mini-skirt alert!

sunset-pt-3_2AMC Gremlin alert!



More about last year’s “Spotlight on North Texas” project can be found here. You can see what’s been uploaded here. They also have a Facebook page, here.

All images in this post are screenshots taken from the film(s) “Sunset on Film,” which was donated by Blaine Dunlap to the Spotlight on North Texas collection, University of North Texas Media Library; accessible on the UNT-hosted Portal to Texas History website.

Thanks, Laura!


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Jimi Hendrix, Glen Campbell, Tiny Tim — In Dallas (…Separately), 1969

jimi_wfaa_hamon_smu-1The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Love Field, 4/20/69 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

My Tiny Tim post from a few days ago has been surprisingly popular — who knew Tiny Tim was still so admired! I tracked down the original source of one of the clips I’d used — which I had stumbled across on YouTube — and found that the clip comes from a longer video of footage from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection, housed at the Hamon Arts Library at SMU. Jeremy Spracklen — the Moving Image Curator — compiled the short video (see below) and posted it a couple of months ago on the Hamon Library blog. The Tiny Tim footage is great, but there’s also Glen Campbell (in a very short discussion on the importance of Tommy Smothers to his career), and… oh my god, footage of Jimi Hendrix, standing on the tarmac of Love Field with bandmates Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding on April 20, 1969, giving a great, relaxed interview to a very lucky Channel 8 reporter.


Jimi Hendrix appeared at least 4 times in Dallas:

  • Feb. 16, 1968: Fair Park Music Hall
  • Aug. 3, 1968: Moody Coliseum, SMU
  • April 20, 1969: Memorial Auditorium (where he was headed after the Ch. 8 interview)
  • June 5, 1970: Memorial Auditorium

Dallas Morning News, Jan.. 21, 1968

DMN, Feb. 25, 1968 (click to see larger image)

DMN, July 28, 1968

Two surprising errors (grammatical and factual) appear in a Neiman-Marcus tie-in ad (of sorts) which states that Jimi would be at Memorial Auditorium, rather than Moody Coliseum. Despite the error, it’s cool that Neiman’s was expanding its cultural horizons to include someone like Jimi Hendrix in one of its ads (which was featuring teen fashions, but still). N-M has always had its finger on the pulse of current fashions — and Jimi Hendrix was certainly fashionable.

DMN, July 31, 1968 (ad detail)

DMN, April 20, 1969


Jimi & Noel Redding, WFAA-Ch. 8, April 20, 1969 (screenshots)

June 5, 1970 — poster via


Glen Campbell was in town for several days in June, 1969. He arrived at Love Field on June 15 and was met by a “high-spirited throng” of teenage admirers. He was here to promote the release of the movie True Grit (in which he appeared with John Wayne), as well as to perform at Memorial Auditorium on June 19, 1969.

DMN, June 17, 1969 (click to see larger image)

DMN, June 19, 1969

WFAA-Ch. 8 interview, June 16, 1969 (screenshot)


And Tiny Tim was in Dallas on June 17, 1969 to appear at a book-signing at the downtown Sanger-Harris department store.

DMN, June 17, 1969

WFAA-Ch. 8 interview (screenshot)


Video is from the WFAA Newsfilm  Collection, held at the Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University. (I have captured the color images from that video.) The video appeared in a post on the Hamon Library blog (its homepage is here); that post can be found here. Any requests to license these clips (or any of the other thousands at SMU!) should be directed to curator Jeremy Spracklen.

All photos and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

West Jefferson and Tyler — 1913

mallorys-drug-store_ca-1913_cook-collection_smuWhy, yes, we ARE accessible by streetcar… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Every time I pass the northwest corner of West Jefferson and Tyler in Oak Cliff, I admire this building. Actually, I love this building. And I’m always surprised it’s still there.

This photo shows Tyler St. to the right and Jefferson Blvd. heading off to the left. See what it looks like today on Google Street View, here.

It appears to have been built in 1912 or 1913. And it still looks pretty good.

Thank you, Oak Cliff!


Real photo postcard titled “Mallory’s Drug Store” from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; see the card front and back and read more information here.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Tiny Tim Mobbed at the Melody Shop — 1969

tiny-tim_northpark_012469_photoDallas teens loved Tiny Tim! (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Tiny Tim — one of the most … unusual performers of the 1960s — was a hit with teenagers when he made his first appearance in Dallas at the Melody Shop in NorthPark mall on January 23, 1969. What had been expected to be a nice little autograph party turned into something altogether unexpected.

Dallas Morning News, Jan. 23, 1969

Tiny Tim (…”Tiny”? “Tim”? “Mr. Tim?”…) had the unlikeliest of hits during the hippie-era: “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” a lilting little ukulele-accompanied song which had originally been a hit in 1929. Tiny Tim’s first few appearances on U.S. television must have caused a lot of heads to be scratched and/or jaws to be dropped. He was just kind of … weird. But gentle, and he seemed to be a genuinely nice fellow who just happened to have a penchant for songs from the megaphone-era of popular music. If you’ve never seen Tiny Tim — or if you just haven’t seen this performance in a long time — this clip from the Tonight show (1968?) is … well … it’s great.


So anyway, Tiny was booked to do a little autograph party at the Melody Shop in NorthPark mall. I’m not sure what sort of crowd they thought they’d get, but it’s safe to say they did not expect 5,000 teenagers. The news report the next day was peppered with words like “pandemonium,” “swarm,” “mob scene,” and “human wall.” Who knew a 36-year-old man who strummed a ukulele and sang songs from the Victrola-age in a nasal falsetto would whip up that much enthusiasm amongst Texas teenagers? (Click article below to see a larger image.)

DMN, Jan. 24, 1969

Below, an interview with “the sweet-voiced boy wonder” conducted at the Hilton Inn that evening is very entertaining. (I’m not sure who “YouthBeat Editor” Marge Pettyjohn was, but the articles of hers that I’ve read are really good.)

DMN, Jan. 25, 1969

Tiny was back in Dallas a few months later, this time to do a book-signing at Sanger-Harris. (Yes! He wrote a book!)

DMN, June 17, 1969

No riot was reported this visit, but he did give a little interview and impromptu performance to Channel 8 while he was in town (and am I the only person who sees shades of Jeffrey Tambor here?):


tiny_ch-8_3  tiny_ch8_2  tiny-ch-8_1

Also in 1969, he took time out to pose with KLIF on-air talent Paxton Mills, Dave Ambrose, Deano Day, Hal Martin, Sande Stevens (not sure if she worked for KLIF), and Jim Taber, seen below.



And, why not, here’s an early publicity photo of Herbert Khaury, the man who would one day become famous as the singer Bing Crosby once described as having (I paraphrase) a vibrato big enough to throw a Labrador through.



Top photo accompanied the Dallas Morning News article “5,000 Kids Mob Tiny Tim” (Jan. 24, 1969).

The Chanel 8 video has been clipped from a longer video which also features Glen Campbell and Jimi Hendrix (!) — the footage is from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection held by the Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University, and it was originally posted here; the three color photos of Tiny Tim are screenshots I captured from the video.

KLIF promotional material found on eBay several months ago. The back of the card lists the KLIF’s top 40 of the week, here.

Glamour shot found on the internet.

Tiny Tim Wikipedia entry is here.

One would be remiss in not mentioning Tiny Tim’s other ties to Dallas, namely his association with Bucks Burnett’s Edstock and Burnett’s tiny Tiny Tim museum from the 1990s. I’d link to articles in the Dallas Observer, but every time I go to the DO site my computer freezes. I encourage you to seek out these articles yourself.

Photos and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #4

centennial_rickshaw_sally-rand_cook-coll_smuSally Rand autographing the shorts of a “rickshaw boy”… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Periodically I add photos or pertinent clippings to old posts. Here’s the latest bunch. (Most are larger when clicked.)

Above, a great photo from the Texas Centennial showing famed fan-dancer Sally Rand (who was one of the top attractions in Amon Carter’s competing Fort Worth Frontier Centennial Exposition) autographing the short-shorts of her dishy rickshaw driver, Guy Johnsen. (This must have been one of the highlights of Johnsen’s life — it was mentioned in his 2005 obituary!) I’ve added this photo to the post “Forget the Ferris Wheel, Take a Ride in a Centennial Rickshaw — 1936.” (Source: George W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU, here.)


Speaking of the Centennial, I’m adding this photo of one of the most popular attractions of the Exposition — Lady Godiva, who rode a horse through the Streets of Paris show, clad only in a wig — to the post “Lady Godiva and the ‘Flesh Shows’ of the Texas Centennial — 1936.” (Source: George W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU, here.)



What grizzled Dallasite hasn’t informed visitors about the connection between the famed “Filling Station” on Greenville Avenue and Bonnie & Clyde? After writing the post, I exchanged a series of entertaining and informative emails with the grandson of the man who built the old gas station and garage in the early 1930s and which still stands. Mr. Loveless graciously sent me several photos, including this one, showing the early days of the station. (Also, I’ve recently learned that Jack Ruby owned or ran a short-lived tavern called Hernando’s Hideaway, which would have been right next door to the filling station. So not only did Bonnie and Clyde fuel up there, chancer are good that Ruby did, too.) My original post: “The Filling Station on Greenville Avenue: From Bonnie & Clyde to Legendary Burger Place.” (Source: Jeb Loveless family photo)



I’ve come across some cool photos of the Junius Heights pillars I wrote about a few months ago — one I found in a 1909 ad, and one that I came across on a Dallas history group. They’re both really great. I’ve added these two photos and a few more things to the post “The Gateway to Junius Heights.” (Source: top photo, Dallas Morning News, Nov. 25, 1909; second photo, personal collection of Jerry Guyer.)




This photo of the Columbian School/Royal Street School (which was built in 1893 and bulldozed in 1955 to make way for Memorial Auditorium) has been added to “The Dallas Skyline: Spot the Landmarks.” (Source: George W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU, here)



I’ve added this Clifton Church photo of the Empire mill, which was once located about where Dealey Plaza is these days, to the post “Empire Mills — Grinding Wheat Into Wedding Presents Since the Cleveland Administration.”



This photo of the outside Exposition Park’s Mitchell Building has been added to “The Mitchell Building: Home to Cotton Gins, Rockets, Frozen Beverages, A/C Units, Slackers, Squatters, Hipsters, and Urban Loft Dwellers.” (Source: Flickr)



I loved the actor Edward Herrmann, best known for his portrayals of FDR and Richard Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), and when he died at the end of 2014, I wrote about the years he spent in Dallas at the Dallas Theater Center. I thought I’d add where he was living back then (two locations, only a block or two from the DTC). The original post: “Edward Herrmann: ‘Professional Apprentice,’ Dallas Theater Center — 1965-1970.” (Source: Dallas city directories)



And I’ve cleared up a few questions I had about this photo of a little-bitty, turn-of-the-century post office at Fair Park by adding some information to the post “A Post Office on the Fairgrounds?”



Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Commerce & Ervay, Looking East

commerce-ervay_east_flickr-colteraEven then a busy downtown intersection… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, Commerce Street, looking east from Ervay, with the old Post Office/Federal Building on the northeast corner (replaced by the Mercantile Bank Building in the early 1940s). In the background, at the right side of the photo, the Metropolitan Business College, at Commerce and St. Paul.

See a view of Commerce looking west in 1913 — showing the Metropolitan Business College in the foreground and the new Adolphus Hotel a few blocks away, here.

Another eastward-looking view — from about 1895, when the post office was still pretty new — is here.

And the present-day Google Street View of Commerce and Ervay looks like this.


I’m not sure of the original source of this photograph, but I found it on Coltera’s Flickr stream (I didn’t save the link and I can’t find it again). If anyone knows of a sharper image of this photo, I’d love to see it!


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Sunset High School — 1929

sunset-high-school_1929_jan-gradsAbove-the-knee hemlines! (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Two photos from Oak Cliff’s Sunset High School in 1929. Above, seniors who were to graduate early in January (those girls are wearing surprisingly short skirts!) and, below, the frumpier but generally pleasant-looking faculty.


And the school itself — Oak Cliff’s second high school (Adamson was the first) — then only four years old.



Photos from the 1929 Sunset High School yearbook.

Why, yes, Sunset does have a Wikipedia page, here.

To see what Sunset looks like these days, see it on Google Street View, here.

All photos larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

At the Palace: The Streets of Sin and The Mikado of Jazz — 1928

palace-theater_052628_univ-of-washington-librariesElm & Ervay, 89 years ago… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The photograph above is not the greatest quality, but it’s a photo I’ve never seen before. It shows the Palace Theatre in the 1600 block of Elm Street, just west of Ervay, with the well-known (and very large) Van Winkle’s Book Store in the background. One of the things that makes this photo so interesting is seeing the cumbersome support tower on top of the building holding up the ornate Palace sign. See what a slightly different Palace sign looked like the next year, lit up in neon, here.

The photo above was an amateur snapshot, taken to document the tour of the traveling live stage revue The Mikado of Jazz which played the Palace in late May of 1928. The photo below — which shows the revue’s stage manager and his wife standing on the sidewalk in front of the Palace — was taken at the same time.


Part of a sign visible behind them was probably advertising that the theater was “cooled by refrigerated air.” The ad at the bottom of this post includes this informative little tidbit:

Scientifically correct, the Palace ventilation system refreshes you with cooled breezes issued from the ceiling. You are not chilled!

What was The Mikado of Jazz? It appears to have been a jazzed-up version of The Mikado — making Gilbert & Sullivan relevant to 1920s’ audiences (like Hamilton for the Jazz Age).

Dallas Morning News, May 20, 1928

Also on the bill was Emil Jannings in The Street of Sin, the live stage orchestra, an organ player, and a Felix the Cat cartoon.

Texas Mesquiter (Mesquite), May 25, 1928

The Palace — “Dallas’ Greatest Entertainment!” Enjoyed at a comfortable temperature.

DMN, May 27, 1928


Photographs (taken in May, 1928) are from the Rene Irene Grage Photograph and Ephemera Collection, 1921-1930s, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections: more information on the first photo (the view of the theater from across the street) is here; more info on the second photo is here.

For other posts that show the Palace in this era, see these posts:

  • “Next-Door Neighbors: The Palace Theater and Lone Star Seed & Floral — 1926,” here 
  • “Dazzling Neon, Theater Row — 1929,” here

Click photos and clippings to see larger images.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Flashback Dallas!

postcard_greetings_pre-1909_cook-coll_smuCook Collection/DeGolyer Library/SMU

by Paula Bosse

Today marks the third anniversary of this blog. It seems like I’ve been doing this a lot longer, if only because I’ve been pretty immersed in it for the past three years. I say this all the time, but researching and writing about Dallas history is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I’ve written 851 posts about Dallas’ past (compiled in a continuously updated list which can be found at the link on this page) — about big things and small things — and I’ve learned more about my hometown in the past three years than I had in all the years before I started doing this. It’s gratifying to know that a lot of people out there read the blog: as of this morning, the number of followers of this mini archive stands a few short of 7,400. I sincerely appreciate all of you who read, comment, and share my posts. Thank you!

On to Year 4!


Postcard (postmarked 1909) from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more info on the postcard can be found here.

It shows Main Street looking east toward the white Praetorian Building in the background, Dallas High School (Crozier Tech), the Old Red Courthouse, and the Park Hotel (better known to most of us as the Ambassador Hotel on S. Ervay), built in 1904 as the Majestic Hotel and then renamed by new owners as the Park Hotel in June, 1907. Someday I’ll write more about this history of this still-standing 113-year-old building  — it’s just one of a dizzying number of subjects I’ve researched pretty thoroughly but haven’t gotten around to writing about yet — there are just too few hours in the day…).

Click postcard to see larger image.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Parade Day — 1909

parade-day_1909_clogenson_degolyerDeGolyer Library/SMU

by Paula Bosse

Some of my favorite posts are those containing photographs that I zoom in on to see details in the crowd that one might otherwise miss. This is a perfect photo for discovering little “vignettes.” See the original post from 2014 — “Parade Day — 1909” — here.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: