“The Day the Music Died: History of Sleepy Hollow Ranch” – Sunday

A short program  on the Sleepy Hollow Ranch, followed by a moderate panel discussion, will be held on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m on March 23, 2014 at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center at 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For 23 years, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, summer weekends at the Sleepy Hollow Ranch in Milford Township, in rural southeast Pennsylvania, usually featured a Wild West and Rodeo show where it wasn’t unusual for crowds of over 3,000 to attend. Log cabin concession stands in wooded surroundings, pony rides, games, and “kiddy” rides helped provide a carnival atmosphere. The rodeos were indeed popular, but the musical entertainment that filled the large auditorium was the trademark of the the local club.

Country Western stars like Roy Rogers, Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Dean, Loretta Lynn, Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones, Tex Ritter, George Jones, and Porter Wagner appeard on the same stage as pop stars Bill Haley & the Saddle-men (later known as Bill Haley & the Comets), Frankie Avalon, The Everly Brothers, Jan & Arnie (better known to America’s teens as Jan & Dean) and more. Even Wayne Newton performed there.

Learn a bit of the history of the local entertainment venue and hear about the devastating fire that doomed the place once popularly known as “The Country Music Capital of the East Coast.” The speaker and panel moderator is local historian Larry Roeder, a life-long resident of the Upper Perkiomen Valley region. Roeder has been the publisher of the Town and Country newspaper since 2006.

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