The original Famous Kiltie Band article was posted on August 8, 2008, and this updates that article with new photographs. To see the original article, click here.




What do Oklahoma City and Shamrock, Texas, have in common? Aside from being in the same general area on this planet, both being on the Mother Road (Route 66), and the fact that the Rock Island Railroad once ran through both cities, I really didn’t know. I didn’t even wonder.

Not until yesterday, May 2, 2009. Yesterday, it was my great privilege to receive via e-mail from Roger M. Pace of Shamrock eleven (11) high resolution photographs of the Kilties performing in Shamrock, Texas, during that city’s now-annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, when the Kilties performed at Shamrock’s inaugural St. Pat’s event 71 years ago. Having received the images, I did a little research to come up with the following:

When the Kilties were in Shamrock, they would certainly have dined at the Route 66 iconic U-Drop Inn built in 1936 and shown in this 1936 postcard:

It’s Still There

As to why the Kilties were in Shamrock in 1938, read this from Texas Travel,

The town of Shamrock gleaned its name thanks to the suggestion of an Irish immigrant back in the 1800s. Over the years, the name has certainly lent an air of Irish to the town. In 1938, the Shamrock St. Patrick’s Day Festival was first staged at the suggestion of the town’s bandmaster. Originally a two-day festival, the event has now grown to three days, but is still held on the weekend nearest St. Patrick’s Day.

From Legends of America, I see that the town’s bandmaster was then Glen Truax, and, quite likely, he was responsible for inviting the Kilties to perform at this inaugural event.

And, now, thanks to Roger Pace, here are the Kilties having a great time with the residents of Shamrock around March 17, 1938, or so.

As I said, the images originally furnished to me are high resolution scans, generally 2800-3000 px wide at 600 dpi. I’ve modified them here for internet purposes — those shown below are 500 px wide with larger images on-click at 1024 px wide. If you see a family member or are otherwise interested, let me know and I’ll e-mail the higher resolution scan to you. For all “main” images, click on an image for a larger view. For crops of the originals, only “landscape” (horizontal) crops have larger on-click views — vertical (portrait) crops do not.

Captain Fry & His Wife, Georgia
A Kiltie Enjoying Herself In Shamrock
Another Bonnie Oklahoma City Lassie
Yet Another Kiltie Closeup on St. Pat’s Day
Is that a G-Man In the Background?
Three Kilties
Fourteen Kilties
Cropped to Ten
Kilties Knock Shamrock’s Socks Off
Captain Fry Bids The Ladies of Shamrock A Fond Farewell

Well, I don’t know if the ladies are from Shamrock or not, but it seemed like the right thing to say.

Update note May 3, 2009 @ 1:40 p.m.
Roger just sent four additional photos of the 1938 Shamrock event, he wondering if I might like to have them, also! Ha! Doug Dawg wants any OKC-related photo he can get! The photos below were taken at the same time as the above, and, rather than me paraphrasing what Roger said, I’ll just let him do the talking:

I’ve had those pictures a long time, but pulled them out because my son & daughter-in-law just bought the Texas Theatre here and I wanted to show him how it looked back then. I came across those Capt. Fry photos and realized I had never searched for any history about them, and your site was the only one that popped up. I am posting some more pics below that may interest you, even though you may not need them. The first is the crowd lining Main Street on that celebration. The second is the crowd that was standing around while the Kilties were performing. The other two are the Light Crust Doughboys, which I believe are still around today, in the second & third generations. Bob Wills was one of the original members, but had left the group before the 1938 Celebration. There is a pretty good article about them here.

All I can add is that these Shamrock, Texas, guys and gals sure knew how to throw a party! Enjoy Roger’s additional photos below:

Airplanes & Crowd On Main Street
Crowd around Kilties Watching To The Right
Light Crust Doughboys
The Kilties Were Doubtless Watching Them Perform

Thanks very much, again, Roger Pace, for sharing all of this with us!

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