Live Music Venues – Pre 1980

Source: Texas Music Office – Casey J. Monahan, Director

Antone’s Nightclub
213 West Fifth Street, Austin, TX 78701-2910
(512) 402-1689; (512) 320-8424; Fax (512) 320-0579
Established: 1975
Antone’s has long been known as “Austin’s Home of the Blues.” The legends all have appeared here over the last 2 decades: Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Fats Domino, and B.B. King. Now world renowned as the “Best Blues Club” anywhere, Antone’s has attracted many people from around the globe.

Broken Spoke 2
3201 South Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704
(512) 442-6189; (512) 444-5233; Fax (512) 416-6845
Established: 1964
The Broken Spoke has hosted several videos and motion pictures including videos for Asleep at the Wheel and Chris Wall, the BBC documentary Texas Saturday Night, Honeysuckle Rose with Willie Nelson, and Wild Texas Wind featuring Dolly Parton. Over the past 37 years, we’ve been honored to have some of the greats of country music booked including Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb. Named “Best Honky Tonk in Texas” by Texas Highways in 1991. Our restaurant is open for lunch and supper, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. We also serve large parties up to 500 people for supper and dancing.

Cactus Cafe 2
P.O. Box 7338, Austin, TX 78713
(512) 475-6515; Fax (512) 475-6599
Established: 1970
Since 1970, the Cactus Cafe has featured the finest in local, national, and international folk and acoustic music acts. The Cactus Cafe is located in the Texas Union at the University of Texas at Austin.

Carousel Lounge
1110 East 52nd Street, Austin, TX 78723
(512) 452-6790
Established: 1963
The Carousel Lounge is a quiet, dimly lit, bar with a Cheers-like atmosphere done in a circus motif. One of the filming locations for the 1993 Austin-based film Dazed and Confused. Open seven days with live music five nights a week.

Continental Club 2
P.O. Box 3843, Austin, TX 78764-3843
(512) 441-2444; (512) 441-0202; Fax (512) 443-5478
Established: 1957
The Continental Club is now celebrating our 46th anniversary. The Club has been used extensively for nationally released music videos and movies. Texas music pioneers Tyler Dee “T.D.” Bell and Alfred “Snuff” Johnson performed here regularly. Hours are 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Sundays.
Annual event: Annual events include Elvis Night (January 8 and August 16), Buck Owens’ Birthday (August 12), Hank Williams’ Birthday (September 29), Wanda Jackson’s birthday (October 20).

Dessau Hall
13422 Dessau Road, Austin, TX 78754-1844
(512) 469-0000; (512) 417-8203
Established: 1876
The legend of Dessau Hall spans more then 130 years of Texas Music History. The original hall was built by German immigrants in 1876. It was an attractive 2 story building. After a fire, a second hall was soon constructed around 1940. This hall was well known for a huge tree that grew from the center of the dance floor and out though the roof. However, disaster struck this hall as well in 1967 when it also came to a fiery end taking the old tree with it. The third Dessau Dancehall was built in 1969 by Arkie Sawyer and Leona Kincl. This building stands today and still contains the original 3000 sq ft. wood dance floor, renowned as one of the largest in Central Texas.

Donn’s Depot
1600 West Fifth Street, Austin, TX 78703
(512) 478-0336; (512) 478-3142; Fax (512) 478-1520
Established: 1972
Donn’s Depot is one of Austin’s most unique nightspots. The club opened in 1972 and is housed in an old Missouri-Pacific train depot.

510 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 474-7091; (512) 441-5518; Fax (512) 474-7091
Established: 1978
Ego’s is a small eclectic bar that has hosted Grammy nominees and winners since 1978.

Frank Erwin Center
1701 Red River, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 471-7744; (512) 477-6060 tickets; Fax (512) 471-9652
Established: 1977
The Frank C. Erwin Center at the University of Texas at Austin is a 17,800-seat facility with a 7,900-seat half capacity. The Erwin Center has traveling sound equipment and promotes all shows in-house. Box Office manager is Thom Ramirez. Additional memberships include the International Entertainment Buyers Association and Box Office Management International. The Box Office is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Hill’s Cafe and South Austin Neighborhood Bar
4700 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78745
(512) 851-9300; Fax (512) 851-9303
Established: 1941
Hill’s Cafe began in 1941 when Charles Goodnight – the inventor of the frontier Chuckwagon – and his family built a 20-seat coffee shop next to the Goodnight Motel on South Congress. It was opened with partner Sam “Posey” Hill, hence the name Hill’s Cafe. The Goodnight’s bought out Mr. Hill in 1957. After 54 years, Boomer Goodnight and the Goodnight family have passed the torch to Austin radio personality Bob Cole. Throughout the years, the cafe complex has grown to accommodate nearly 500 people. Hill’s Cafe has survived flood and fire, and still continues to tell the story of one of the greatest traditions of Texas. Hill’s Cafe features Texas singer-songwriters Wednesday-Saturday from 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Hole In The Wall
2538 Guadalupe, Austin, TX 78705-4520
(512) 477-4747
Established: 1974
The Hole in the Wall, an Austin music landmark for 30 years at the corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keaton, reopened in 2002 and continues the tradition of booking a wide variety of live music.

Longbranch Inn
1133 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 472-5477
Established: 1934
When G. “Sarge” Godwin was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base during his first tour of duty in Austin in the 1960s, he visited the many clubs lining both sides of East Eleventh Street. They included The Hot Shot, The Shamrock, The Brown Derby, Charlie’s Playhouse, The Navasota Club, The Clock, Shorty’s and The Victory Grill. He especially enjoyed spending time at a corner establishment, The Long Branch Inn, and playing pool there with other servicemen and some of the club’s local clientele. After leaving the service in 1990, Godwin returned to the city with his wife, an Austin native. He decided to purchase the place as a way to enjoy his retirement years. The centerpiece of the club, a massive carved oak bar, is a reminder of the club’s long history, which is rumored to date back to days when its patrons would ride up to and tether their horses outside. Nowadays, the Long Branch is increasingly picking up where many of the other nightspots on East 11th have left off, by hosting live music by blues artists for a loyal following of local music lovers.

Maggie Mae’s
323 East Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-8541; (512) 478-8562; Fax (512) 478-0835
Established: 1977
Maggie Mae’s, located in the heart of downtown Austin on 6th street, has hosted live music off and on since 1977.

Paramount Theatre 2
P.O. Box 1566, Austin, TX 78767-1566
(512) 472-2901; (512) 472-5470 box office; Fax (512) 472-5824
Established: 1915
The Paramount Theatre, then called the Majestic Theatre, was designed by John Eberson of Chicago, who was one of the most respected theatre architects in the United States. Eberson built approximately 1,200 theatres during his career, but today the Paramount is one of less than 25 in existence across the country. It is described by today’s architects as part Classical, Revival (1915) in style, and part Baroque-Revival (1930s glamorization). Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Texas State Historical Marker number 76002072.

Sam’s Boat • Austin
10931 Stonelake, Austin, TX 78759
(512) 478-1284
Established: 1976
Sam’s Boat is a restaurant and bar featuring live music in the form of rock/pop bands at least five days a week.

Scholz Garden
1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-1958
Established: 1866
August Scholz (1825-1891), a German immigrant and confederate veteran, built his public bar and cafe in 1866 over an old boarding house, the year following the end of the Civil War. Scholz Garten soon became a favorite meeting place for the German population in and around Austin for many of their social activities and German food. The Biergarten and other rooms were added as the need arose. Scholtz’s currently presents live music including German bands on Thursdays and bluegrass on Sundays.

Scoot Inn and Bier Garten
1308 East Fourth Street, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-6200
Established: 1871
Built in 1871 The Scoot is the oldest continuously running beer joint in central Texas. In the olden days weary pioneers would roll their wagons into the Scoot “drive in” for a jug of beer, rations and perhaps some ice when available. Now we have plenty of ice, a great juke box, pool table and plenty of rock and roll several nights a week!

Ski Shores Waterfront Cafe
2905 Pearce Road, Austin, TX 78730
(512) 342-0015; Fax (512) 342-2224
Established: 1954
Since 1954, this laidback landmark has been providing quantities of dockside cafe food and live music on the waterfront stage. Ski Shores looks like a classic wharfside diner from the Flipper era. Easily approached by boat, you can also get there from City Park Road.

The State Theatre
719 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701-3216
(512) 472-5143; (512) 472-5470; Fax (512) 472-7199
Established: 1935
The State Theatre is a vintage movie house designed by Austin architect Sinclair Black. Its house interior was recently renovated into an inviting, open, 320-seat space offering patrons optimum visibility and comfort. The renovation also included the construction of a new lobby, backstage work areas, dressing rooms, and a rehearsal hall. In 2000, the State Theatre Company merged with its next-door neighbor, The Paramount Theatre for the Performing Arts, to form the Austin Theatre Alliance (ATA). An endeavor that began with two distinct operational and business models has combined the best of both to become one of Austin’s most uniquely productive performing arts resources – a thriving organization that both presents and produces a broad range of drama, comedy, music, dance and spoken-word events of the highest caliber, in downtown Austin’s most commanding venues.

6416 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78752
(512) 451-5440; Fax (512) 451-3256
Established: 1933
Threadgill’s is the birthplace of the contemporary Austin music reputation. Threadgill’s is now an award-winning restaurant. Janis Joplin first performed regularly in public here at Threadgill’s at the behest of yodeler Kenneth Threadgill. Texas music pioneer Mance Lipscomb also performed at Threadgill’s.

Victory Grill
1104 East 11th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 474-7440
Established: 1945
The Victory Grill was established in 1945 at the end of World War II. It was named “Victory” because of the victory over Japan. The Victory Grill encompasses an American story because it was begun during a time when African Americans lived within Jim Crow southern segregation; they could not go to places where other soldiers would go to celebrate. Johnny Holmes named it “Victory” so the African American soldiers would have a place to celebrate. Currently Ms. Eva Lindsey is the preservationist and manager of the Historic Victory Grill, Austin’s oldest existing blues club. The Victory Grill is recognized as an “original chitlin circuit” juke joint listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, archived by the Texas Historic Commission, and donned as a Texas Treasure by the statewide organization Preservation Texas. During the Victory Grill’s heyday, it hosted nationally and internationally renown musicians such as Ike & Tina Turner, Bobby Blue Bland, Freddie King, Albert King, Etta James, Kenny Dorham, Gilbert Askey, Teddy Wilson, Martin Banks, Gatemouth Brown, Big Joe Williams, and Big Mama Thornton to name a few. Johnny Holmes also promoted B.B. King, Lena Horne, James Brown, Chuck Berry and others. Artists like Billy Holiday and Janis Joplin made the grill a regular stop when in the city, as it was a gathering place for musicians from all walks of life. For students from Huston-Tillotson College and The University of Texas the Victory Grill was the place to meet, greet and perform. It was the hot spot! Although currently under restoration, this historic venue is open for scheduled events, tours and educational opportunities. For location and information, log on to or contact Eva Lindsey, Manager at (512) 391-0174.

Waterloo Ice House
600 North Lamar, Suite G, Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5400; (512) 444-3286
Established: 1976
Waterloo Ice House offers live music of many differnt genres every Thursday (starting between 6-8 p.m.) Friday & Saturday night (starting at 10 pm). We have our own in-house PA system, a dance floor, and cover price depends on the band. We have hosted such acts as Tony Price, Schrodinger’s Cat, Reckless Kelly, Uncle Walt’s Band and many others.