BART WOODYARD: BANDLEADER TO AWARD WINNING RESTAURATEUR

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  • #11146
    Craig_Adams
    Participant

    Today May 31, 1907 Ephraim Bartley “Bart” Woodyard, Jr was born in Bluefield, West Virginia to Maude Virginia (Slaven) & Ephraim Bartley Woodyard, Sr. Bart had two older brothers: Lant Slaven & Roger William. Plus three younger brothers: Thomas Montgomery, Wade Virginius & Gordon Houston. By October 1908 the Woodyard family had moved to Hood River, Oregon.

    On September 11, 1922 Bart’s oldest brother Lant Slaven Woodyard died at age 19 in Portland. He was working for Western Union, riding a motorcycle on E. Burnside. Lant was attempting to cross in front of a car. In 1925 Bart began attending the University of Oregon where he began learning to lead an orchestra. By July 1927 Bart’s father was running a restaurant at: 184 Fifth St. in Portland called “E.B. Woodyard.”

    On April 23, 1930 Ephraim Bartley Woodyard, 22, married 18 year old Zelma May Totten. Three years later on October 18, 1933 Bart and Zelma divorced in Portland.

    On February 10, 1934 The Bart Woodyard Orchestra began a show on KOIN Saturday nights from 10:00 to 10:30pm for a month. On August 1, 1934 Woodyard’s Orch. traveled to Salt Lake City, appearing on KSL. On August 14, 1934 Bart Woodyard’s ten-piece orchestra, back in Portland, began performing at the “Club Victor” at 10th & Stark (upstairs) carried over KGW 11:30 to midnight and on the NBC Pacific Red Network weeknights to September 10th. Billed in ads as Bart Woodyard & His NBC Orchestra, Bart had one of the big bands in Portland.

    On September 9, 1934 Bart’s mother Maude died at age 55 in Portland. On September 21, 1934 Bart moved to 10:30pm on KGW only, weeknights from The Arabian Room at The Multnomah Hotel. Then on September 28th a move to 9:30pm. On December 20, 1934 Bart’s Orchestra was part of the new KEX “Thursday Theater” program live from The Arabian Room and continued with his own program on KGW.

    On March 3, 1935 “Thursday Theater” became “Lipman-Wolfe’s Theater of The Air” switching to sister station KGW Sunday night’s at 9:30pm and came to you from KGW’s 7th floor studios in “The Oregonian” building at 325 S.W. Alder St. On April 28, 1935 the show aired for the last time. May 25, 1935 was Bart’s last KGW program. His band left for Seattle where they were heard on KOMO-KJR and on NBC four nights a week. Then stops at KYA & KFRC San Francisco and KHJ Los Angeles and other Pacific Coast stations.

    On December 14, 1935 it was announced Bart’s Orchestra had added singers Ed Perry and Barbara Barry and they were on there way to Honolulu. The orchestra had been booked for a two month engagement at the Alexander Young Hotel’s Tropical Roof Garden where CBS broadcast the band transcontinental every Monday night. Woodyard’s band also made an appearance on “Hawaii Calls” radio program.

    On April 25, 1936 Bart’s band was back on the mainland, playing over KHJ Los Angeles at 10:30pm. On May 14, 1936 Bart Woodyard & His Orch. helped with the grand opening of Spokane’s Natatorium Park Pavilion with a three week dance engagement. The Daily Chronicle commented: “Praise was lavish, and many pronounced the group the best dance band to touch those climes for many moons. The majority of the members are skilled on more than one instrument.”

    On June 19, 1936 Woodyard”s orchestra played at the Algeria Shrine Temple in Helena. A treat for Montanians, they came from Butte, Missoula & Great Falls just to listen and watch. On June 23, 1936 Bart’s orchestra played Salt Lake City. On July 15, 1936 Ephraim Bartley Woodyard, 29, married 23 year old Carolyn May Hessemer.

    In August 1936 Bart Woodyard & His Orchestra recorded four sides for Columbia Records: “No Regrets” backed with “On A Coconut Island” Columbia 3149D and “Pretty Red Hibiscus” backed with “Kuu Ipo (My Sweetheart)” Columbia 3150D. On August 17, 1936 Bart Woodyard & His Orchestra played the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. In September 1936 they played the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles.

    On December 5, 1936 Bart’s band appeared on KFOX Long Beach, Calif at 8:20pm. On March 25, 1937 Woodyard’s Orch. was heard over KNX Hollywood at 11:30pm. Also in 1937 Bart Woodyard & His Orchestra were back at the Cocoanut Grove and also appeared at the Trianon Ballroom in Seattle where Woodyard’s 14-piece orchestra was voted the most popular Dance Band on the Pacific Coast in a student poll at the Univ. of Washington.

    On May 6, 1937 Woodyard’s Orchestra were heard on KSFO San Francisco. On June 18, 1937 Bart’s Orch. was back playing at Spokane’s Natatorium Park Pavilion. In October 1937 Bart Woodyard & His Orchestra were heard regularly on CFCN Calgary, Alberta, Canada. On March 12, 1938 it was reported Bart and his band played on KFYO Lubbock, Texas and then on April 2nd and May 31st. On December 26, 1938 Woodyard’s Orch. played the Blockhouse in Goldendale, Wash.

    On February 11, 1939 Bart’s orchestra played a one night engagement at Gerlinger Hall for the annual U. of O. Whiskerino. The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper said: “Woodyard uses four saxophones and four brass, giving his music a deep rich fullness that makes it very danceable. Playing a very distinctive style of its own creation, this popular band features the latest style in modern, rhythmic swing.” On February 27, 1939 Bart & Orchestra were heard on KDON Monterey, Calif.

    June 5, 1939 Reno’s “Nevada State Journal” said: “Bart Woodyard will appear with his well-known orchestra at El Patio Ballroom Tuesday night. Woodyard’s famed hotel orchestra has been playing long engagements throughout the middle west. Woodyard is known as the “Master of The Swing Clarinet.” On October 25, 1939 Bart & Carolyn welcomed their first son Perry Lee Woodyard. Most of the time Bart made his home base in Portland and would be heard on KGW-KEX now and then until 1940. (heard on KFPY Spokane on a stop in 1939).

    On November 4, 1940 One thousand students danced to the music of Bart Woodyard’s Orchestra in the Salem Memorial Union ballroom. By January 1942 Bart had left radio and disbanded the orchestra, getting into the restaurant business. Bart first bought “The Triple XXX Drive-In” in Yakima. That didn’t go well but Bart tried again. By December 1944 Bart was back in Portland. In 1945 Bart & Carolyn welcomed their first daughter Penny Jean Woodyard.

    On June 17, 1946, back in Portland, he opened “Bart’s Drive-In” at 5005 S.E. Foster Rd. The $75,000 circular-shaped building featured a 15 foot overhanging marquee with some 900 feet of neon. It was surrounded by an 80 car parking area. On October 8, 1947 Bart & Carolyn welcomed twin sons Gregg Bart Woodyard and Glenn Bart Woodyard. On December 25, 1947 Bart’s father Bartley died at age 76. By 1948 “Bart’s Drive-In” was sold, becoming “Ming’s Drive-In” by the end of August 1948. Then “The Little Waldorf” in 1951. “The Speck Drive-In”, 1956. KFC.

    Also the end of August 1948 Bart came home from Seattle aboard his new 46-foot Trimmer-ship, “Kingfisher.” The craft from Mike Shain ship builder slept 10 and was fully equipped for coastal navigation which Bart used for fishing off Astoria. On January 6, 1949 Bart arrived in Portland from Seattle aboard his new 53-foot Trimmer-ship, “Periwinkle I.” On April 3, 1949 it was announced Bart Woodyard was appointed Portland Yacht Club’s Fleet Captain. In September 1950 Bart purchased a new “Periwinkle II” 55-foot Trimmer-ship cruiser from Seattle.

    On February 21, 1952 Bart and new partner, his brother Wade, purchased “Don’s Drive-In” at 2050 S.W. Morrison and it became “Bart’s Drive-In.” Right after Thanksgiving Bart’s closed for a month, for a $25.000. remodeling. On December 26, 1952 Bart reopened as “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler.” Central was the broiler unit set up in the dinning room. The old counters with close to 100 seats were gone, replaced by a cocktail lounge seating up to 35. Flagstone fireplaces and carpeted floors were also new features. The drive-In was eliminated and off street parking was provided.

    On January 15, 1953 Bart’s yacht the “Periwinkle II” was wrecked by breakers and driven aground at Oyhut, North of Grays Harbor. Roland Adair Wardell, 44, of Portland was washed overboard and drowned. Others on board were Arthur T. James and Howard Cunningham, all of Portland. Cunningham was at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Aberdeen for two weeks with broken ribs.

    On July 24, 1954 it was announced Bart & Wade had purchased the “Arctic Cold Storage Co.” building at 2074 West Burnside, next to “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler” tearing it down for 40 additional parking spaces. Bart had hit paydirt with “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler.” By 1955 Bart was living at 1100 S.W. Westwood Drive in Terwilliger Heights. In Summer 1955 “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler” received the “Holiday” magazine award for dining distinction, having developed special recipes, the only Oregon restaurant honored.

    On January 20, 1956 it was announced Dorothy G. Wardell had filed a lawsuit in Federal Court for $50,000 damages as the result of her husband’s drowning in the Pacific Ocean after being washed overboard from the Periwinkle yacht.

    On August 4, 1956 it was announced a new chain of restaurants would open in Washington & Oregon by Bart & Wade, plus Paul E. Burce, father of Portland born actress Jane Powell. The first opened in Longview under the name “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler” at 1408 Washington Way. Next would be a restaurant in Yakima.

    On July 10, 1957 U.S. District, Judge J. Frank McLaughlin found Bart Woodyard “not liable for the drowning death of Roland Wardell.” By this time Bart had purchased “Periwinkle IV” a 50 foot Chris Craft cruiser.

    On October 13, 1957 it was announced Bart Woodyard and brother Wade had purchased property at N.E. 38th Ave. & Marine Drive for a seafood restaurant along the Columbia River for about $18,500. The Woodyards planned banquet rooms and a boat landing. Total cost approximately $125.000. The restaurant was planned to open in 1958. On March 12, 1959 Wade Woodyard purchased Bart’s interest in “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler.”

    On April 18, 1959 tragedy befell the Woodyard family. 11 year old Glenn Woodyard died while playing, when his neck became entangled in a loop-bearing rope tied to an overhead conduit in the family basement. He was discovered by his twin brother. On October 11, 1959 it was announced Bart had purchased “Periwinkle V.” The new 63 foot cruiser had two large private cabins and two public cabins. In November 1960 “Bart’s Charcoal Broiler” was renamed “Wade’s Charcoal Broiler.” Later “The Golden Coin” in 1974. “Kingston Tavern”, 1980. “Red Robin”, 1982.

    On July 13, 1961 Bart Woodyard opened his new $300,000 “Bart’s Wharf” two story restaurant at 3839 N.E. Marine Drive. Waitresses were dressed in red, white and blue nautical uniforms with short skirts. The upstairs banquet rooms seated 160. The ceiling was the color of waters off the Bahamas, decorated with shells from all over the world. Walls were decorated with a purple sea moss which grows on coral. Ash trays were in the form of buoys. The parking lot was capable of parking 250 cars. Outside, the building was decorated with neon-lit sea horses. Bart’s 22 year old son Perry also worked at the restaurant and at some point became owner & manager.

    On May 27, 1962 Bart’s “Periwinkle VI” a 104 foot yacht was damaged when it struck a log near the Longview Bridge. Woodyard had about 30 employees and friends aboard. Bart raced all the way to the Swan Island dry docks. The faster he ran the boat, the more the break in the bottom acted like a venturi, draining out the flooded lazaret. By 1966 the Woodyard’s had moved to Vancouver, Wash. By 1970 Bart had purchased “Periwinkle VII” a 55 foot Roamer. On August 20, 1971 Bart’s older brother Roger Woodyard died at age 65 in Portland.

    On July 15, 1976 Bart Woodyard passed away at age 69 in Vancouver, Washington. A private family service was held at Skyline Memorial Gardens at: 4101 N.W. Skyline Blvd. On October 7, 1986 Bart’s Wharf was shut down by the IRS. The government had filed a tax lien to recover $108,248 in back taxes. Equipment was seized. On January 17, 1987 it was announced “Salty’s” on The Willamette (since 1980) had purchased the Bart’s Wharf building and approximately 1 1/2 acres of riverfront property. In April 1988 “Salty’s” opened on the Columbia River..

    Special Thanks to Joel Miller who helped make this biography more complete.

    References: Eugene Register-Guard, The Goldendale Sentinel, The Independent Record, Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Nevada State Journal, The Oregonian, Radio Guide, The Salt Lake Tribune, The San Bernardino County Sun, Santa Ana Register, Santa Cruz Evening News, The Spokesman-Review.

    #15024
    kjellkub
    Participant

    Hello there.

    I found this interesting as I am the new owner of 55 feet Shain Trimmership Periwinkle II who was ran aground in Greys Harbor during a storm in Jan. 1953. I am in contact with the relatives of the Quigg family who salvaged it and had it until 1973. The boat will after Christmas find its way to its new home in Kristiansund N, Norway where I will restore her. I was wondering if it was possible to get some help to find out more about Mr. Bart Woodyard? I do have a few pics but would love to see more and I would also love to hear his music. Have been a musician for 35 years and love the 30/40 and 50`s music.

    Thank you
    Kjell I. Hansen – Norway

    #15054
    Craig_Adams
    Participant

    Thanks! Bart was a very interesting guy. You can read more about him in “The Oregonian” newspaper articles on-line through newsbank.com which is a subscription service. Search for Bart’s records on ebay and other collectable sites.

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