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- Missouri Valley Boys
- Colonel Ford
- Hillbilly Authority
- Fred & the Rangers
- Roadhouse Band
- Jazz at the Grove
- The Grovers
- Nite Time Friends Band
- Open Mic Show
- The Paliminos
Alternating Saturday Nights
Traditional Country Western, Hillbilly, Top 40
Riverfront Times "Best Of" Winner - Best Country Band - Traditional - 2008
- Missouri Valley Boys have made Stovall’s Grove the “Home of country music since 1935” featuring Traditional Country Western and Hillbilly music. Musical talents of the Missouri Valley Boys showcase Allen Cully, on vocals and bass, Terry Miller on vocals and guitar, Donny Sloan on drums, Fred Williams, lead guitar and vocals, Mark Vaccaro on fiddle and Pat Heller on pedal steel guitar . Step back into genuine country music history with classic songs made famous by Ray Price, George Jones, Ernest Tubbs, Lefty Frizell, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams. Ain’t country music without the pedal steel guitar and fiddle player. Occasional yodeling. Two step, country western line dancing, cloggin’, and good old fashion slow dancing. Ya’ll come!
Hillbilly, Honky tonk, Traditional Country
Riverfront Times "Best Of" Winner - Best Country Band - Traditional - 2010
- Colonel Ford and the Rough Riders are Honky Tonk music at its finest. Gary Hunt leads the band in that county western high lonesome sound. Gary Hunt, guitar, fiddle, and vocals, Justin Branum, master fiddler, Dade Farrar, Standup bass, and vocals, Jay Farrar, pedal steel, Johnny Horton, guitar, and Dan Kathriner, drums and vocals. Mighty fine music and a great big howdy of country. Country music just doesn’t get any better than this. Features Grand Masters Fiddlers Champion Justin Branum!
Select Fridays & Saturdays
Traditional Country, Top 40, Southern Rock, Original Music
- With a one-of-a-kind blend of deep vocal harmonies, fiddle, guitar, bass, and drums, Hillbilly Authority spans from traditional to new country and from southern rock to original music. Get your foot stompin' with Greg Manis on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Scottie Kemp on lead guitar and background vocals, Abbie Steiling on Fiddle/Violin and background vocals, Mike Hatfield on keyboards and background vocals, Dan O'Neill on drums and percussion and Rick Steiling on bass guitar. Hillbilly Authority delivers a high-energy stage show that appeals to music fans of all varieties.
Select Saturday Nights
Classic & Traditional Country Western
- Ooh Baby is this baby hot! Fred and his band have been long time friends and musicians at Stovalls, Fred and the Rangers have played Nashville and have many cds available with their fabulous country style. Fred Ermentrout, leads the fast pace on vocals and lead guitar, with Wally McCanless, on Bass, Ron Mecey,on pedal steel, and Clay on drums. Whether you are from Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, or Missouri – a delightful evening of plenty.
Country, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Western Swing
- Okay Buckeroos...join Greg Hart, on vocals. guitar and harmonica. And Steve "Hap" Hollander, vocals and guitar for a special show of Americana Roadhouse style - country, folk, rock, bluegrass, rockabilly and western swing.
Select Wednesday Nights
Straight Ahead Jazz Genre, Jazz, Some Standards, Fifties & Sixties
- Relax with Jazz at the Grove on a great weeknight of pure joy, with Freddie Kemp tickling the ivories on piano, featuring straight ahead jazz. Gary Hunt on guitar, Justin Branum on fiddle, Glenn Meyers on Bass - the small ensemble will bring you all your favorites and take you to some great adventures on the way. Jazz improvisation just doesn’t get any better.
Select Friday Nights
Variety, Traditional County, Top 40
- A fiddle in the house with a bounce...It's the Grovers. Gary Hunt leads the Grovers, on vocals, lead guitar, and fiddle, with Ron Meecey on pedal steel guitar, Bobbie Regot, on vocals and drums, and Wally McCanless on vocals and Bass, and Justin Branum on fiddle, The Grovers’ smoke the saloon for the best country western line-dancing, two stepping and listening pleasure. A Stovall’s Favorite for years.
Select Friday Nights
Variety, some Top 40, Traditional Country
- Tim Brown gathers his friends for a bouncing evening of fun country music with the Nite Time Friends Band. Make plans to play and play hard with Tim Brown on bass and vocals, Mike Snodgrass on guitar and vocals, Jerry Moon on drums and vocals, and Ron Meecey on steel guitar. You’re gonna have to step out on the dance floor now.
Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Traditional Country Western
A Tradition at Stovall's for over 70 years!
- Razzle Dazzle with your talent at the time honored tradition of open mike at Stovalls,Open Mic Wednesdays. Various musicians gather to share their musical guitar, bass, fiddle, accordion and vocals with much impromptu harmonies, voicings, and great fun. Play, sing, or just enjoy watching the shows. All welcome. Any style related to country.
- Must be twenty one.
Variety, Traditional County
- The Paliminos are an all time Stovalls’ crowd pleaser, Gary Hunt, fiddle,and guitar, Justin Branum on fiddle, and vocals, Vince Corkery, on Standup Bass, Fred Gumear on drums, and vocals, Bob Briedenbach, on Dobro, and pedal steel guitar, and John Jump, on guitar and vocals. These merry musicmen will dazzle and delight for a memorable evening of some of the best music in the Grove- the guys can do it all.
- Stovall's Grove History
- Missouri Valley Boys
- Still Playin Hillbilly Tunes
- Stovall Leaves Legacy
- Addtional Historic Photos
The History of Stovall's Grove
"Memories of Good Times, Good People and Good Music"
Stovalls' Grove opened it's door on November 16, 1946 when George and Mollie Stovall bought the existing establishment with their three sons. The sons and their wives helped run the tavern and dance hall. Delbert and his wife Marcedes, Chester and his wife Verna, and Delmer and his wife Norma Jean. Their daughter Hazel (Mueller) also helped out from time to time with her husband Buzz. The Stovall family ran the business for 40 years.
The original tavern was destroyed by fire on November 12, 1958. At one time it was a stage coach stop and the Missouri Guerrillas used to stop and water their horses on their way back from Kansas during the Civil War. "There used to be Civil War Generals that would camp out in the grove. It was over a 100 years old when it burnt. The old tavern used to be Hencken's Grocery Store" said Verna. "There used to be a hitching post. There was a big well that was used for water until the fire. It went dry after the fire department pumped all of the water out of it."
After the fire, a bar was added to the old dance hall next door just to keep the tavern open. The bar was at one end of the building and there were no tables and chairs at first. Benches went around the edge of the dance floor against the outside walls. Above the benches were old style windows that tilted out and had to be propped up. There was no inside plumbing, just an outhouse in back. Two wood stoves warmed the place up in winter. The middle of the existing building was the old dance hall. The bar on the west end of the building was added in 1960. The east section of the building was added last. In addition for the tavern, dancing and good music. Stovall's used to be famous for their bar-b-que pit. At one time there was just a dirt road out front. When the original dance floor was replaced it was over 150 years old and just plain worn out.
Twins Delbert and Delmer Stovall were key players in the Missouri Valley Boys Band. Delbert owned the band and Delmer was a member. They started appearing at the Grove in 1960 and previously played music all over the country. Delbert passed away years ago but Delmer still appears at Stovall's every Saturday night (amended Delmer passed away on Jan 25, 2010). "It has been a lot of fun" said Delmer. "We basically play country but we play almost anything. Mostly the old stuff. I started playing at home with a guitar I picked up and learned by ear. We used to play at the old time fiddle contest at Eureka's homecoming every year. The contest was first and then we played for the dance after that. We've been playing the Rock Church picnic for 27 years. We used to have a lot of square dancing here. This was the old time square dancing and there were three or four sets on the floor at a time. Each set had it's own caller."
The Missouri Valley Boys Band today consists of Randy Russell, Bill Bryant, Bill Hughly, Erv Chesney, Jack Tuck and Delmer Stovall.
Before the old tavern burnt down Mr. Stovall kept it open though the week. After he wasn't able, the business was just open on the weekends. The Stovall couples took turns working on the weekends. One husband and wife, Ches and Verna would work one weekend and Buzz and Hazel Mueller would work the next. Since Delmer and Delbert played in the band, their wives, Norma Jean and Marcedes hired Helen Gilmore to help them work their weekend when it came about. The waitresses were the Stovalls wives who were not tending bar. All this was in addition to their regular jobs. The entire Stovall family lived on the premises.
"It was just family, the business was here with George and Mollie. All the family lived right here. We all got so acquainted with everyone who came here that they were all like family" said Norma. "There were so many nice people. It wasn't like a lot of honky tonks. Ours was a nice family place. It used to be packed every weekend.
We had a lot of celebrities, football players, doctors and lawyers who came here. They were all nicely behaved and it was just good clean fun. We had couples who came for 25 years every Saturday night. They would come as far away from Crestwood and Florissant. We would reserve a table for them. The bad weather never kept them away, they were always here unless something important came up.
We were really close with Merrill and Alice Schneidewind and Raymond and Garnell Whitworth. Every time we took a trip they went with us. We used to have more fun. We had good old times in Nashville, the Missouri State Fair and the Hoot and Hollar contest in Gainsville. Roy Calvin from Pacific was here every Saturday night with his wife Mary. She was paralyzed and couldn't dance. Roy would walk her in, she would sit at a table and he would never miss a dance. I raised my youngest daughter here, I had a porta crib off to the side for her."
"People would bring their kid here. They weren't afraid to bring their kids here because it was a well run place" said Verna. "The kids would fall asleep and they would make their beds on the beer boxes or the tables and chairs. If my mother was living she would be 106 and she used to come here and dance. We sponsored quite a few May Queen candidates in Eureka and had a benefit for a customer that was a flood victim in '93. Verna's husband, Chester Stovall is disabled due to a stroke and was unable to attend the interview.
"These were simpler times, there is too much going on today. I really miss seeing all the people. If I could bring them all back for one weekend it would be lovely but that's impossible" said Verna. "We can't go back, we just have to look ahead, but it's still fun to look back and reminisce." "There were a lot of parties here and it was a lot of work. If these old walls could talk they could tell you a pretty good story" Verna added.
Meet Paul Wilson & The Missouri Valley Boys
For more than 20 years Stovall’s Grove has been a popular gathering place for real country fans. It is not unusual to see entire families with small children in the club and grandmothers are frequently seen on the dance floor. You will also find well dressed business executives and farmers in bib overalls. When the band leader Paul Wilson or one of the Stovall's see someone they recognize (and they eventually get to know about everyone there) they will often announce over the PA that they are happy to see them that evening.
Each member of the Missouri Valley Boy have a rich background in country music and they play bluegrass at it’s best. Now we would like you to meet Paul Wilson and the Missouri Valley Boys.
My parents lived on a small farm about seven miles southwest of Eureka, MO., known as La Barque Creek. I was one of seven children born on La Barque Creek. Growing up my parents were moving around quite a lot from Jefferson, Franklin, and St. Louis county, we finally lived on this farm only about a mile from where I was born, and electricity had just come through this area. So dad bought a radio and on Saturday nights I would listen to the Grand Old Opry. It was there that I really took a liking to fiddle tunes. Dad had a fiddle loaned out and had just got it back. So I started see-sawing around on this old fiddle. After three months and nearly driving my mother crazy I struck my first tune. Then for the next year I would practice on different tunes. Then I met this fellow who played guitar and we got our first job playing for house parties and pie supper socials. This went on for around a year, then we landed a job playing in Saturday dances for the next couple of years. I really thought back then this was great we received $3 a piece and fried chicken gravy and biscuits after the dance. Then it was off to the Army for two years during World War II.
Out of the service in the fall, I didn’t play hardly at all til 1948. It was in the spring of 48 that I got on as fiddler at a small dance hall in Jetburg, MO. From there I was playing for the next year around the later part of 1949. I formed my own five piece string band. We played on radio station KWRE St. Charles, MO, the next year and all over for the next four years. At this time it was getting rather hard to keep fellows because of my family duties. So my band broke up in 1953. In spring of 1954 I joined a band in St. Louis playing Friday and Saturday nights. Also playing over radio station KJCF out of Festus MO, one hour on Saturday mornings. We were also making some guest appearances on TV Channel two in St. Louis. It was there we landed our first booking for nine days at the Missouri State Fair, in Sedalia. While there we had to play several 15 minute shows over a TV station, for our sponsor who was Pepsi Cola. Coming back and playing the next couple of years all over, throughout the St. Louis area the band broke up. Now for the next five years I didn’t play much. Then in June of 1961 I joined the Missouri Valley Boys Band, band at Stovall’s Grove in Hollow, Mo. I’m mighty proud to say I have played with some real fine fellows throughout these last eleven years. And met some of the nicest and most wonderful people there. I can only say I love playing country fiddle and especially country music. Just hope you folks come to see us some Saturday night.
Here is a country singer who has loved country music since a little boy. He used to put the old ear phones from an old Crystal radio over his ears and listen to hillbilly music. John was born in Glencoe, Missouri some fifty years ago and he is still right there in Glencoe, although he started singing with bands at the age of sixteen he didn’t get into the grove until 1942 at the age of twenty. He played with a group from around Union, Missouri back then and they played in a number of towns and counties. He also played with Paul Wilson and his band. Now he’s a member of the Missouri Valley Boys and has been since the band started as he helped organize the band over 20 years ago. John has met a lot of people while playing music and has a lot of friends at Stovall’s Grove where the band plays almost every Saturday night and other places where the band is entertaining so before saying goodbye John would like to say:
Hello friends from a real country music man. Ya'll come see us when you can!
Delbert Stovall and his twin brother, Delmer were born in Ironton, Mo. April 1, 1924. They moved to St. Louis County when they were small boys. They became involved in music in 1950 when they organized a band, named the Missouri Valley Boys. They have travelled from Kansas to Tennessee playing country music on Saturday nights in their own place of business Stovall’s Grove. Their band plays both Square dances, and Round Dances. Delbert plays Dog House Bass Fiddle, Delmer plays rhythm guitar, Paul Wilson, Fiddle, Jack Tuck plays lead guitar, Rosaline Beach, female singer.
Missouri Valley Boys still playing hillbilly tunes after 45 years
Keeping up the good old fashioned, down home tradition of country music, Delmer Stovall still leads the band he and his brother started 45 years ago. "I just like the music," said Stovall, a Hollow resident. "I haven't done it to get rich or even make money at it. I've done it because I enjoy the playing and the people and the fun of it."
It was around 1950 that Stovall, his brother and a few friends decided to combine their musical talents and form the Missouri Valley Boys. Of the original band comprised of the Stovall's, Johnny Augustine, Harvey Walker, John Harness, Cliff Roark, Billy Bryant and Jack Bryant, only Delmer Stovall still takes to the stage with his guitar.
Some left the band of their own accord, others, including Stovall's brother, have since died. "My husband loved the music as much as his brother," said Marcedes Stovall, wife of the late Delbert Stovall. Until his death, Delbert played doghouse bass with the Missouri Valley Boys.
"He was playing with the band on a Saturday night and died on Monday. I think that's the way most of the people who've played with the band feel about their music."
Stovall said it's true of the current group - Jack Tuck, Kenny Hartung and Tom Girard of High Ridge or High Ridge, Sim Gehrst and Ray Ebbern of St. Louis and Dennis Elze of Pacific - who are keeping up the musical traditions begun 45 years ago.
"We're country all the way," Stovall said. "But we do the old time stuff, that's the music I like the best. I hear this new stuff, but it all sounds alike to me. It's not the same as the waltzes and polkas and the square dancing music, the old songs people know and can dance or just sit and listen to. This is good foot stomping music."
The Missouri Valley Boys are considered the oldest hillbilly band in the country, Stovall said, and the group never lacks invitations to play at company get together, benefits and community events like the Old Rock Church St. Patrick's picnic, where they have performed for years.
And the band frequently plays at Stovall's Grove, the dance hall in the hollow owned by the Stovall family for more than 100 years. Delmer Stovall and his wife, Norma Jean, live next door to the dance hall and their neighbor is Marcedes Stovall.
"People like what we do and they keep asking us back," Stovall said.
Some famous names have liked what they do, too. Stovall said the band has performed with Roy Acuff, Onie Wheller, John Hartford and Brenda Lee, who had to stand on a soda crate to reach the microphone.
Band Members still write much of it's own music, including the band's theme song, "You All Come," and have produced four recordings sold at their concerts.
"We never did do any practicing though. You forget what you know when you practice too much," he said.
"We just get up and let it go."
Despite three back surgeries, Stovall said he's got no intention of slowing down or putting his guitar away any time soon.
Delmer Stovall leaves country music legacy
by Shelia Frayne Rhoades - West News Magazine - February 18, 2009
Local legend Delmer Stovall passed away on Jan.25 at the age of 85. Stovall and his twin brother, Delbert Stovall, founded the Missouri Valley Boys band, which in the 1950’s gained fame touring Nashville and the Midwest. The band’s last original member, Stovall continued to play his guitar into his 80’s. For more than 50 years, Stovall owned Stovall’s Grove Music Hall in Wildwood, the country music haven that he co-founded, Stovall and his wife, Norma Jean, recently celebrated their 61st anniversary.
With Stovall’s passing, West County lost a piece of it’s musical history. Stovall’s Grove, known as “Home of Country Western Music since 1935, “is housed in a familiar white building at 18720 Stovall Lane and dates back to the 1840’s. In September 2009, it was registered as a Wildwood Historic Property. Stovall’s parents purchased the property in 1930, and to this day, family members live in the adjacent houses. For years Stovall’s Grove was famous as a stop for traveling country entertainers, such as singer Brenda Lee and John Hartford, composer of the Grammy winning hit “Gentle on my Mind”.
The interior of Stovall’s Grove seems unchanged; visiting is much like stepping into a 1950’s time warp. Current owners Liz and Dennis Elze preserve the music hall’s welcoming charm.
“Dennis and Delmer were cut from the same cloth,” Liz Elze said. “Delmer wouldn’t have entrusted his legacy to anyone else other than my husband.
In 1978, as a county police officer on is beat, Dennis Elze met Stovall and the two became fast friends.
“Delmer would let me play my banjo onstage once in a while,” Dennis Elze said. “He was a great guy-a simple man with lots of whimsical ways. Never wealthy, he just kept the hall going.”
“Stovall had a unique way of repairing his beloved Volkswagens, often explaining to onlookers that “poor people have poor ways”.
“Delmer always said he didn’t need successful Nashville musicians in his band, because he couldn’t afford them,” Dennis said, “He wanted the guys who had struck out.”
“My dad loved being around people and telling jokes, said Kim Stovall Greco, one of Stovall’s daughters. “All his friends were like family to him. His legacy touched the hearts of all of us and he’ll be missed.”
Stovall’s classic Martin guitar was silent for the last six month of his life.
“He just didn’t have the strength to play,” Greco said.” Finally his lungs just gave out.”
Stovall’s flower laden cowboy boots now are on display next to the Stovall’s Grove stage. The Missouri Valley Boys band continues to play traditional country music every weekend, while couples clad in Stetsons two-step effortlessly across the smooth dance floor.
“I get a kick from customers who say, “We may not get here as often as we’d like but we’d sure miss it if it were gone,” Dennis said.
Now that Stovall is gone, he certainly is missed, but thanks to his legacy, the Stovall’s Grove tradition plays on.
Additional Historic Photos
PHOTO ABOVE - September 1949
Old Stovalls Grove with Falstaff Signage
Original Building burned in 1958 fire
Stovalls Grove Tavern-Original Dance Hall
Used after 1958, with numerous additions over the years
Stovalls Grove Hall, taken 1960
PHOTO ABOVE - The Old Stovalls Grove Tavern, one of several buildings,parcels & land purchased by George & Mollie Stovall in the 1930’s. Buildings believed to have been a Tavern, Dance Hall, General Store, post office & Stagecoach stop in 1800's. Area Folk lore claims Quantrill’s raiders camped in Grove.
1960’s Stovalls Grove, located on Highway 100, prior to Highway relocation and renaming of road to Stovall Lane
Stovalls Grove was added to the Wildwood Historic Registry in September of 2009.