D Magazine

The Return of the Longhorn Ballroom

Can the historic venue be a part of Dallas' future?

The Longhorn Ballroom has seen a lot of action since it was built in 1950 as the resident performance house of Texas country legend Bob Wills. The club was managed by Jack Ruby before he killed Lee Harvey Oswald, Sid Vicious bled all over himself on stage at one of the Sex Pistols’ last concerts, and it has seen performances by everyone from Willie Nelson to B.B. King, the Ramones to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

But for the last 10 years, the venue has kept a low profile, only opening for private events. Now, a new owner hopes to put it back on the map.

Last week, Jay LaFrance purchased the Longhorn Ballroom with plans to restore it, just in time to save the historic music hall from falling into the hands of developers.