Larry and His Attitudes
Dave Burgess and the Champs
Lord Dent and the Invaders
Woody Herman Band
Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids
Leon Smith and the Orbit Rockers
Clayton Watson and the Silhouettes
The Teen Kings
Woody Herman Band at the Cottonwoods - 9 November 1947 - Photo by John Eggen
The Cottonwoods Ballroom was located on highway 20 about halfway between Albany and Lebanon, about 7 miles from highway 99 (before I-5) It was built as a dance hall in 1930 and operated steady until 1961, then sporadically over the years. It even suffered the indignity of being a "disco" in 1979. The building was last used as a bingo hall until 1995, when the roof collapsed and it was torn down. The sign still stands on the vacant lot.
In the 1940's, the list of big bands who played at Cottonwoods reads like a "who's who" of that era. It is a fascinating list for those who are interested in that time. For example, Duke Ellington, Harry James, Count Basie, The King Cole Trio, Louis Armstrong, etc, etc.
My father-in-law told stories about how he saw Elvis Presley play there before he was famous.
Becky Hiller, September 2010
We were the first group to play Rock and Roll at the Cottonwoods Ballroom in Albany, Oregon. After the first gig the owner, "Evelyn", fired us because she thought we were too loud.
A month or so later - she called us back -- and we went back as a trio.
Jess Johnson, The Corvettes
Fats Domino was there too. He also signed autographs at Sarchets' Music Store downtown. I got one and still have it. Unfortunately, I was too young while I lived in Albany to go inwside the dance hall.
Joan Fick, August 2017