BILLY BOB’S, A TRADITION IN TEXAS
Built in 1910, the building that is now called Billy Bob’s Texas was a barn originally. It was used to house prize cows that would be featured in the Fort Worth Stock Show. The tower above the main entrance was built and Fort Worth city enclosed the building in 1936. It was a part of the Texas Centennial Project. The brand “new” structure had an auction ring and livestock stalls. Since then, it has been converted into a Bull Riding Arena. Until 1943, when the Will Rogers Memorial Complex was built, livestock occasions and events took place in this building. The building was used during World War II as an aircraft factory. In the 1950s, it became a large department store. Stock boys used roller skates to help them do their jobs.
Billy Bob’s Texas opened on April 1, 1981. It attracted national attention with its 100,000 square foot entertainment center, over 30 bars stations, country music’s biggest stars and real Pro Bull Riding. It became popular as the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”, wherein more than 6,000 people of all ages enjoyed entertainment each day.
Billy Bob’s has been hosting the greatest stars in country music and classic rock from Alabama to ZZ Top for over 40 years. The Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association has named Billy Bob’s as the “Country Music Club of the Year” 12 times.
People who visit Billy Bob’s will be greeted with a history video narrated and explained by George Strait. They can also enjoy the extensive collection of memorabilia. The Wall of Fame displays the impressions of each entertainer. Visitors can compare their hands to Ringo, Garth and Willie’s. The Guitar Bar at Billy Bob’s features 75 guitars signed by stars who have performed there.
Billy Bob also has a gift shop that offers unique western gifts and souvenirs. The HonkyTonk Kitchen serves delicious food such as bar-b-que and steaks, as well as light meals. Billy Bob’s is a favorite venue for parties, conventions and other special occasions. It can accommodate from 20 to 6000 people. Party planning is easy thanks to the unique decor and nightly entertainment.
Spencer Taylor and Billy Bob Barnett joined forces at the height of the Urban Cowboy trend to transform the Fort Worth Stockyards’ former department store into the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. After extensive renovations, Billy Bob’s was opened in 1981 on April Fools Day. The new entertainment venue featured Real Bull Riding and was larger than Gilley’s. After seven years of success with country music’s biggest stars, Billy Bob’s was forced to close in January 1988 due to an economic downturn. While Don Jury was working on a rescue plan, the club remained dark for eight months.
A NEW BEGINNING
After briefly closing in 1988, Billy Bob’s was reopened by 4 Stockyards leaders. Holt Hickman and Steve Murrin, Don Jury, as well as Billy Minick, had a deep affection for Fort Worth Stockyards. They teamed up to restore Billy Bob’s status as a top spot for artists to perform. Artists were excited to return by the spring of 1989 and a new tradition was established at the club. The wall of fame featured handprints of entertainers, which were then captured in concrete. The eighth anniversary of Billy Bob’s was celebrated on April 1, 1989. This date was also selected for the club’s Grand Opening. The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau assisted in planning and executing the event because Billy Bob’s was so important as a tourist attraction. The celebration was started by Willie Nelson on March 31st. The Bellamy Brothers performed on April 1st. Billy Bob’s was there just in time for a brand new era in country music. Because of Holt Hickman and Steve Murrin, Don Jury as well as Billy Minick. Their families are still included in Billy Bob’s ownership, as well as Donnie Nelson, the basketball entrepreneur.
Real Bullets, Real Action
Every Friday and Saturday, a Live Pro Bull Riding is held. These are not mechanical bulls but real ones! Our guests can also be rodeo stars at Billy Bob’s by taking a photo of a stuffed bull as if it were part of the live action.
A LITTLE BIT ROCK & ROL
Although Billy Bob’s is popular for hosting country music’s biggest stars, it likewise hosts rock ‘n’ roll and pop music stars. Ringo Starr and Men At Work, .38 Special, Steppenwolf and REO Speedwagon are just a few of the many performers at the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. Ray Charles and Bob Hope were among the many performers at Billy Bob’s Texas.
While you are in Fort Worth, you should also visit Log Cabin Village
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Fort Worth, TX 76137
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