During the late 60’s and 70’s, there were several places around Oelwein for listening to live music every weekend:
In the mid 90’s, when I became a hardcore blues fan, I was at a blues festival at which Blues Hall of Famer Luther Allison was performing. Out of the blue, it hit me that I had seen him play at the Paddock on a Thursday night in the summer of 1975.
I worked the door that July night. Luther had a very long guitar chord and he went out on the sidewalk to play. This was a Thursday night so the stores were open late so the farmers could come to shop. As the farmers drove by in their pickups, there was a black man wailing the blues on guitar. What a sight in little old Oelwein!
The next time I was in Oelwein, I asked Diesel Madigan who was still bartending at the Paddock “Who was the black blues man who played here in 1975?” Without missing a beat, some 20 years later, he replied “Luther Allison.” We lucked out that night because not too long after Luther moved to France and did not really return to the states for almost 20 years.
By the way, I witnessed Luther Allison that night also.
He walked into several bars both to the left and right of the Paddock that night while still playing. And this was before wireless guitars. His guitar cord must have been 500 feet long!
Jay & Kelly Thanks for bringing that night up!!! It’ll be 40 years next summer.. Yeesh!! I’d never heard of Luther Allison before and was fortunate to be in the Paddock that night!!! It’s pretty incredible that he was playing in Oelwein to begin with!!! If I remember correctly.. Luther was on Bergie’s shoulders as they went outside to play or when they came back in. Can’t remember for sure!! Just remember him having to duck down to get through the door. I followed outside to watch because I had never seen anything like that or probably since in Oelwein!!!