t is unusual if you read an article about Glen's time in Albuquerque without The Hitching Post
being mentioned. Some say it was Glen's home base, he was seen there so often. Early on, it was with Dick Bills, his uncle, and the Sandia Mountain Boys and in 1958 with Glen's own band, the Western Wranglers. It was a typical bar and restaurant that catered to the working class of Albuquerque. As with most honky-tonk bars in the '50s, it was a pretty rough crowd.
Glen, in 2000, stated:
“They should have had ‘Fightin’ And Dancin’ Nightly’ advertised outside some of those clubs. I was playing at a place called the Hitching Post, and some of the guys I worked with in the daytime, they would come out and dance. Some cowboy would smart off to them, and they would jump right in. I would take my guitar and hide it. Protect it. If a flying bottle hit it, man, you couldn’t replace it. I never thought of shielding myself, the first thing I thought of was, get the guitar out of the way”
The first nightclub to be at 4501 West Central, was the El Patio Club. It was actually on Hwy 66 (later Route 66) and was outside of Albuquerque city limits. This ad came from a May '48 edition of the Albuquerque Journal.
The original Hitching Post was opened on October 26th, 1949 at 4501 NW Central. Dick Bills and his Sandia Mountain Boys provided the entertainment, along with Glen's aunt, Miss Judy Campbell.
Glen's uncle, Dick Bills, probably became the house band for the club. The club was located by the Rio Grande river. This is what the outside of the club looked like:
Here are a couple of pictures of the neon sign that advertised the Hitching Post.
The Hitching Post moved to 6321 NW Central on March 17th, 1953.
It appears that around the first of August, 1959, Glen appeared at the Hitching Post with his own band. Glen left for fame and fortune in California about a year later.
It is said that Glen met his second wife, Billie Jean Nunley, at the Hitching Post. Glen stated in an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch on 2-8-70 "Billie had finished high school and come out to Albuquerque where she lived with her sister and worked as a beautician. She'd come into the Hitching Post, where I was playing. We began talking and just seemed to hit it off right from the start."
Mary Van Dyke is to be given a lot of credit for the information contained in this post. She owns and operates Finding Grandpa
, a genealogical research service. She is a pro at producing a tremendous amount of information that Google misses. Thank you Mary!