Re: Driscoll's Danceland aka Cascade Bowling Alley
Date: February 26, 2010 02:17PM
According to the book "That toddlin' town: Chicago's white dance bands and orchestras, 1900-1950", by Charles A Stengstock, Driscoll's Danceland went through a number of name changes until in became the Golden Pumpkin Chinese restaurant in 1930. It later reopend in the late 30's as a dance hall named the Park Casino. After it was converted to a bowling alley years later, it lay dormant until it was destroyed by fire in 1990.
The Stengstock book has a wealth of information concerning the era of dance halls, cabarets and clubs in Chicago during the golden age of the big band, from around WW I to the 1950's...Thanks to WGN Radio, Chicago became a major attraction for all the premier orchestras and band leaders of the era.
Back in the day, the big band leaders, and even more so, the lead vocalist of the big band were like the current day rock or rap stars. Frank Sinatra, Dorothy Lamour, Doris Day, Lena Horne and many others certainly spent time in Chicago and all began their careers as big band singers.