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The Cecil Camp Family Collection, no. 2 - Loretta Lynn at Panther Hall (1963)

Marceal Clark


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  •  Loretta Lynn visits in the audience 
  •  Loretta Lynn on the Panther Hall marquee 
  •  Cecil Camp's band plays on KLTV in Tyler, where they played a live broadcast on Sunday afternoons 
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This home movie captures scenes of Cecil Camp playing in a band at Ft. Worth’s Panther Hall with country music legend Loretta Lynn in 1963, the year her first album, “Loretta Lynn Sings,” was released. The band warms up and plays their set while Loretta Lynn visits with Mrs. Camp and other audience members. Scenes documenting the marquee at Panther Hall, the world’s largest honky tonk, are also included, as well as scenes of Camp’s band playing at Tyler's KLTV studios for their regular live set on Sunday afternoons.
Panther Hall, the "World's Largest Honky Tonk," is a Fort Worth music venue known for country music performances (originally rock-and-roll, low turnout led to the change).  The name derives from a comment made in the 1800s by a Dallas attorney that Fort Worth was "so quiet, he had seen a panther asleep on Main Street." Fort Worth pridefully took the nickname Panther City, even having police officer uniforms completed with a patch that featured the sleeping beast.
Bill and Corky Kuykendall opened the 2000-person hall in 1963.  Country music brought a crowd, but it was a television show that propelled the hall to another level of fame.  Cowtown Jamboree, a syndicated country show,  was shot on location at the venue every Saturday before a concert performed by various artists that included Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson. Shows were continuously held throughout the venue’s lifespan until its closure in 1978.