Posts Tagged ‘rondeau’


Rondeau Pavilion 1964

November 11, 2009




Club: Rondeau Pavilion
Year: 1964
Built in 1952 by Maurice Smyth (Date noted from article online)
(Update 2017: I have been notified by a personal source that it was actually 1958).
Location: Rondeau Park Ontario
What: Hottest dance club around for decades.

Note: People would drive from a hundred mile radius to party at the Pavilion, and there is no way I could do the Chatham Music Archive without mentioning this place and what I have been told about it. Nothing was like it for miles and miles and the kids would do anything to make it every night.

  • The club drew 1,500 on average every Saturday night
  • People came from Sarnia, Windsor, Detroit, London and everywhere in between
  • Ages 12 – 20 were the scene for the infamous dances held
  • The rules were strict but were respected and followed by patrons
  • Bands included The pharaohs, The Fiends, Sally and the Bluesman, The American Breed, MC5(in 1969)
  • Bob Seger and Alice Cooper played there regularly as struggling musicians before becoming famous
  • The Hops (DJ’s spinning what the kids wanted to hear) were the high lights for the kids
  • Popular Dj’s for the years the Pavilion were most packed were Bill Saunders and Paul Dusten
  • Bill Saunders became the DJ in 1964
  • The place is also memorable for its closing song “The Sand and the Sea”
  • Girls waited against the wall for a guy to ask them to dance, that was the era
  • The guys constantly walked clock wise around the hall
  • Mr. Smyth sold Rondeau Pavilion in 1975, attendance was dropping as policies changed to the park
  • The pavilion was the third and last dance hall at Rondeau
  • Rondeau is Ontario’s second oldest provincial park, which was established in 1894, a year after Algonquin Provincial Park.
    Main Source: The Weekender, May 10th 1980 By S. Dudley

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