Monday, October 25, 2021

Emmett Ryder

Emmett Ryder and his Orchestra poster - no year (watermarked) 

Found this Emmett Ryder poster at an estate sale, up in Denver, recently. Great piece of ephemera, for a concert down in Manitou Springs.

I mentioned Emmett and his band in a piece I did on some University of Colorado newspapers.

Hiawatha Gardens postcard

Emmett Ryder was a very popular band leader. In doing research, I found his band mentioned in almost every college prom and dance announcement, of the era. 

For this concert (no date noted) he included vocalist Dominic Cesario, and vibraphonist Bob Hanna.  

Photos from the author's collection (watermarked)

I first found a mention of Emmett Ryder, in a 1933 story, in the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the Colorado State University student newspaper, as a student performer. The last entry I found, of his band performing, was in 1946. As is often the case, the trail goes cold, after that.

Hiawatha Gardens was a historic "gentleman's resort," beer garden, casino, ballroom, concert venue, and restaurant in Manitou Springs. The original Hiawatha Gardens main building was built in 1889 by F. L. M. ("Flimflam") Smith, and burned down in 1920. A separate open-air dancing pavilion (built in the late 1890s) survived the fire, and was incorporated into the current structure, which was built to replace the one that burned. The new building continued to operate as a dance hall and night club into the 1950s. In 2021, the structure underwent a partial demolition along Fountain Creek just east of City Hall. The city is tearing down additions to the original dance hall that were made between 1921 and 1955 and have become structurally unsound over the years. 


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