Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Cocoanut Grove
Dancing through the years
In 1924 Isham Jone’s band brought jazz to the Cocoanut Grove.
1932 introduced big-name bands, and the golden age of ballroom dancing had begun. Artie Shaw, Ted Fio Rito, Lawrence Welk, Benny Goodman, Skinny Ennis and the King of Jazz, Paul Whiteman, brought their talents to the Cocoanut Grove.
While big band appeal faded in the fifties, the music was kept alive by orchestras led by Billy May, Tex Beneke, Les Elgart, Hal McIntyre and Si Zentner.
By the 1960s the emphasis switched to a younger audience with artists such as Nat “King” Cole, Sonny and Cher, the New Christy Minstrels and the Four Freshmen.
In 1977 the Cocoanut Grove reopened to a big band dance series held each spring and fall. Les Brown and His Band of Renown performed to a crowd of 1,400 at the gala opening. Such stars as Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman performed in the Santa Cruz landmark during ensuing years.
“Pride of the Pacific
The Cocoanut Grove was built in 1907 to replace the fire ravaged Neptune Casino. More than 1,200 people attended an elaborate gala in June of 1907 to toast the new Santa Cruz landmark. Congratulatory messages included a telegraph from President Theodore Roosevelt. Through the years, the Cocoanut Grove has been the scene of hundreds of public and private events, concerts, and dances featuring the great music and musicians of the day.
Today the Cocoanut Grove continues to charm visitors with its graceful architecture and picturesque setting.
Erected by Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt series list.
Location. 36° 57.846′ N, 122° 1.207′ W. Marker is in Santa Cruz, California, in Santa Cruz County. Marker can be reached from Beach Street. This marker is located near the entrance to the Cocoanut Grove. There is a duplicate marker located near a second entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (within shouting distance of this marker); Before the Boardwalk (within shouting The Plunge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Santa Cruz Seaside Company (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Love Story (about 400 feet away); Beauty and the Beach (about 700 feet away); Burgers at the Beach (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Cruz.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the grounds of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 24, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 424 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 24, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.