of Swingin' Door Records
Risk, Executive Producer of Swingin' Door Records explained
how their first project came about: "Last winter Earl and
Ernie Cate and I got together for lunch to discuss a possible
recording project. The brothers had recently semi-retired; abandoning
their relentless road trips to stay home and enjoy life. But,
there is more music in these boys. The idea was to assemble
some of the regions' best musicians in the studio and see what
happens. The Cates got on board and with their connections we
were able to bring together a diverse mixture of area pros."
Mark went on to say, "The players laid down some wonderful
music, magical at times. The spirit was with us and we had a
lot of fun."
of the Swingin' Door
Swingin' Door swung open its doors in December 1971 in what
is now a part of the Ozark Brew Pub at the corner of Dickson
and West Street. Prior to that time, the building housed Bill
& Lil's Steakhouse. When Bill & Lil's decided to move
out to Highway 71, an enterprising bartender of theirs asked
if he could take over the lease. That bartender, David Barrow,
opened the Swingin' Door in late 1971. The infamous two story
cowboy that graced the exterior of the building and guarded
the door was erected shortly thereafter. The first group to
play at the Swingin' Door was a duo know as "No Strings
Attached" featuring Chris Basore and Gary Brockway. They
simply set up on bar stools and passed the hat for tips after
their shows. They caught on, started a following of sorts, and
within months were playing to full houses.
1974, David Barrow sold the Swingin' Door to David Reese and
Marilyn Reese Sorrells. David Reese was a Vietnam veteran with
a passion for live music and the foresight to see the potential
of the saloon. With Marilyn's business sense, the couple took
the Swingin' Door to new heights. The following is a partial
list of performers who graced the Swingin' Door's hallowed stage:
Traci Nelson, Willis Allen Ramsey, Kevin Welch, Alvin Crow,
Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Tennessee Hat Band, Rusty Wier, David
Allan Coe, Asleep at the Wheel and Zorro and the Blue Footballs.
1979, the Reese's sold the bar. The new owners from Little Rock
took down the cowboy and renamed the saloon the Whitewater Tavern
and the era ended.