Ron Moore Remembers
Anchorage Teen Night Clubs
by Michael R Dougherty
Ron Moore at the Microphone
Anchorage Memories caught up with popular Anchorage DJ Ron Moore.Anchorage Memories – Mike and Mary:
We spoke with Ron about his involvement with some of Anchorage's teen clubs and teen nightclubs.
Ron, what was the first teen club you created or were involved with in Anchorage, and where was it located? Do you remember the years it was open?Ron:
It was the Anchor Teen Club. It started in 1954. I'm not certain how long it existed.
I was its first President. The club was for teens in the City View-Anchor Park area.
The club formed and met most of the time early on in the home of Earl and Mary Jane Hillstrand on Lake Otis Parkway. Hillstrand was an attorney who served in the legislature and founded Land's End in Homer.
In 1955, a KBYR DJ, Robert “Steamboat” Fulton, helped the club take over the abandoned Carnival Club that was owned by Larry and Midge Starns that also owned the Starns Club downtown.
It was a major undertaking, but it was rented from the Starns, remodeled and operated with a kitchen. We had teen dances with live bands and DJ.In 1956, we had the 1320 Youth Club
While President of the Anchor Teen Club, I was asked to become involved in the 1320 Youth Club which had been started downtown. But its advisor had been charged with crimes. The club met in a building on C street for a short period.In 1958, it was Carpenter's Hall at 4th and Denali
We rented the hall each weekend for record hops with Cuz Muz, a DJ from Elmendorf AFB.
We had to set up equipment each time for the sound system and turntables, tape decks, etc. Betty Poeschel (later of Betty’s Record Den) ordered my first custom show suit, and it later became the Gold Lame’ tux.Around 1959 we started The Royal Pad
It was billed as a Teen Night Club more than a youth center.
It got started when several sponsors of my radio show joined to take over the upstairs of Blaine's Paint store at Northern Lights and Spenard Road.
It needed major remodeling and the youths themselves had a contest to name the club.
That resulted in the name “The Royal Pad” after The Royal Coachman theme.
The club featured one of the nicest sound systems and a great Juke box.
Live bands by some of the earliest rock n' roll bands in Anchorage graced the stage on the weekends with live broadcasts on KFQD Radio.
A live broadcast was scheduled from the Pad the evening of March 27th, 1964 but the earth shook violently, and I stayed on the air for 27 hours at the station.Note:
At this stage of my Royal Coachman days, many of the shows we did were becoming too large.
So several of the people who had helped, joined together to form a group called Pacestters Internationale. The group included Betty and Pretz Poeschel from Betty’s Record Den, Joe Bacon, Duncan Roberson, Buff Westin, and Skip Konte (he became nationally recognized as a member of Blues Image and composer of the hit song. “Ride Captain Ride”).
So from Shindig City forward it was Pacesetters putting things together, including the Battle of the Bands and many big name concerts such as The Grass Roots, Young Rascals, Sam the Sham and others.Then in the mid-60s it was Shindig City
That club was located on Muldoon Road in a building formerly used for Procter's Grocery.
It was a massive building converted into a combination dance floor with a large stage and recreation area with ping pong, slot car racing, Juke box and other games.
We could hold several hundred teens on the weekend with two or more popular Anchorage rock bands such as The Heartbeat Band, Arsons, Blue Chip Stock, Burgundy Rose, Proof and many others. Go Go dancers named The Fringe Benefits danced on a side stage throughout the night. A group of young men called The Red Guard made sure the evening stayed peaceful.In the late 60s we had the Cheetah
Located on Government Hill. The building was the former Railroad Club owned by the City. We transformed it into a large youth center open daily with games and a kitchen.
We had dances featuring many Anchorage Bands and a large light show projected over the full dance floor appropriate for the flower children days. National stars also appeared, sponsored by Pacesetters.Note:
Over the years and between some of the places mentioned, there were quite a few regular youth activities. Most centered around The Royal Coachman activities.
Those included the Elks Lodge, DeMolay Boys, Rainbow Girls, Cotillion Club, and the National Guard Armory.Anchorage Memories – Mike and Mary:
What was the most popular club and why?Ron:
The Royal Pad seems to be remembered the most. But Shindig City was the largest draw.Anchorage Memories – Mike and Mary:
Ron, tell us about your memories of those clubs?Ron:
We, yours truly along with Betty and Pretz, tried feverishly to make the activities fun and exciting, but always something safe and free from drugs so that parents would support it.
Most of them had youth involved in organizing and managing. And we had the Pacetters Youth Activity Council supervised so wonderfully by Betty Poeschel.
The Royal Pad had the RMFC (Ron Moore Fan Club) and they did all the remodeling work to make the Pad get started. Anchorage Memories – Mike and Mary:
What do you want to say to all the now grown up teens, that enjoyed those clubs?Ron:
It is my wish that any of the guys, and gals that recall those days do so favorably and cherish those memories with the same fondness as yours truly.
Looking back, I feel as though I was just along for the ride.Anchorage Memories – Mike and Mary:
Ron, that was an incredible “blast from the past”.
Looking back over the many years you were involved in helping to provide good activities for the Anchorage youth, we're certain that these memories will touch the hearts of many who were there and remember when.
Our thanks to Ron Moore for taking us all back to the day when The Royal Coachman ruled Anchorage's radio airwaves.
Thank you, Ron
BONUSHere the Royal Coachman Theme Song right now
DOUBLE BONUSPacesetters Memories
Betty Poeschel of Betty's Record Den remembers the Pacesetters group and the teen dances and concerts they put together for Anchorage teens.
Check out Pacesetter Memories
What are your Anchorage Memories of the teen nightclubs, dances and concerts?