Category: Music

Palomar Ballroom


The Palomar Ballroom burned to the ground on October 2, 1939. It claimed to be the largest dance hall on the West Coast, at 3rd Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. The swing era of jazz began there, according to and other sites, with a performance by Benny Goodman and his band in 1935.


This undated, circa late 1930s view shows the night club as customers would have seen it at night. Learn more about the Palomar and see additional photos at

Evenings on the Roof


Peter B. Yates, undated, from .

“From 1937 to 1962 [Peter B. Yates] was a functionary at the Calif. Dept. of Employment in Los Angeles, but this bureaucratic occupation did not preclude his activities as a musical catalyst. In 1939 he inaugurated on the rooftop of his house in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles a chamber concert series which was to become an important cultural enterprise in subcultural Calif., under the name ‘Evenings on the Roof,’ he served as coordinator of these concerts from 1939 to 1954, when they were moved to a larger auditorium in downtown Los Angeles and became known as the ‘Monday Evening Concerts.’”

Excerpt from .


“Monday Evening Concerts, far and away the longest-running new music series anywhere and one that has played an important role not only in Los Angeles but in the history of 20th century music…

” The purpose of the programming was to explore the unknown, and that included neglected early music…”

Excerpt from Marc Swed, music critic; P. 1, Calendar, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 28, 2019.


Learn more at and at .


…and there is a book, too: .

Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano


Image: 1939 NBC Radio National Broadcast of St. Joseph’s Day & Return of the
Swallows Celebration with Father Hutchinson, Mission’s resident priest from 1933-1951 via

“The annual swallow migration has received a lot of attention over the years. For instance, Leon Rene’s 1939 hit, When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano song lyrics are a tribute to the long migration.

“The amazing journey takes the swallows over 12,000 miles round-trip. They abandon their winter haven in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina and travel to southern California, arriving on St Joseph’s Day (March 19th)…”

Excerpt from .