The Ponderosa

The Ponderosa was located in the woods outside of Martinsburg, West Virginia, but it was like a Baltimore club because owner Dave Boyd hired Baltimore bands to play there. Boyd lived in Sharpsburg, MD, not far from the Maryland/West Virginia line, and Martinsburg was roughly the same distance on the West Virginia side.

This was a unique place. It can't be denied that part of it's success was the 18 year old drinking age in WV (3.2 beer only), compared to 21 in MD.

I am requesting stories or "photos" about the Ponderosa.


"I remember driving there for a Dynamics gig. For some reason 86 miles stuck in my head...funny how the mind works. Working there was pretty exciting as 16/17-year-olds. It was maybe our first taste of freedom...of going somewhere far away from our parents and playing at being adults. I remember being worried that the audience would want music that was more in the direction of Country, but we went over okay. We started playing our usual R&B stuff and didn't get much of a positive reaction... but then we played Kansas City and they liked that one...a lot. So we played it a couple more times that first night. —Don Barto

"I was there in the summer of '63 with my mother when there were "jam sessions" on weekend afternoons. This was in the "pavilion" along the dirt road before the club was built at the top of the hill. I don't remember the names of all the bands (Jimmy Velvet once) but I remember being introduced to the Boyds. I'm 99% certain that it's Dave Boyd in the photo.   In the late '60's my friends and I would drive down from PA just for the music. It was so great to have "big time" bands from the Baltimore area." —Nita (in Texas)

"The Majestics backed up Ronnie Dove at the Ponderosa" —Frank Invernizzi

"Played with Trudy many many years ago at the Ponderosa in Martensburg, WV when Trudy was still married." —Woody Schneider

"Played there many times in the very early days of The Elegants. I believe Dick Obitts was the agent that booked us then......boy that was a long time ago." —Tom Thompson

"Played The Poderosa regularly w/ Bobby J & The Generation. From '66 to '68. A very cool venue for Live Music. Great College crowd." —Russ Steele

"I played there with a group called "Falstaff"." —Bill Warfield

"I'm pretty sure the owner's name was Dave Boyd, and his wife. They lived in Sharpsburg, MD, just 10 mi. from the club and across the border. He had a day job as a chemist ... this is all sketchy memory as best I can piece it together, so would like to hear from others. " —Don Lehnhoff


This is the only possible Ponderosa-related photo I know of, and it hasn't been totally verified. This is a photo of the Holiday 5 from 1963, and the guy standing in the middle with the cap is believed to be Dave Boyd, owner of the Ponderosa.

the Holiday 5 with Dave Boyd

L to R: Eddie Adams, Jim (left handed guitar), Dave Boyd (owner of the Ponderosa night club in Martinsburg, WV), Bill Winkler (keyboard), Billy Nierhouse(drums) and Ron Becker (bass)

 

 

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