The initials in the J & M Club name stood for its original owners, John and Marie Chapin. Darryl “Turk” Franken bought the Sioux Falls club in October 1972. At first it featured live country music daily. The Ransom Brothers and Reese were big draws, but Turk soon realized rock and roll was his best bet to lure bigger crowds.

In 1974 Turk was introduced to a new band with rising popularity. Starchild was immediately hired to kick off rock and roll at the club. Wakefield, another great local band, was only in high school at the time when Turk hired them and insisted that Rollie Jones, father of one of the band members, be at the club while the youngsters performed. Wakefield entered the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Turk always welcomed new bands. Another favorite was Blueberry Buckle, which also has been inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That band featured local musicians Boyd Bristow, Dennis Westphal, Dave Hofstad and Al Slaathaug. The decision to switch to rock and roll paid off. Local bands got their start at the J & M Club, and regional bands made it a “gotta play there” gig on their schedules.

Turk remains friends with many of them today. Every weekend at the J & M Club was a party weekend with over 200 people showing up in a venue that was only supposed to hold 100. If you didn’t show up by 7 p.m., you didn’t get in.

Photo Caption:
"My Mom made the curtains at the J & M. Deb Sehr took them and made this pillow. It’s the only thing that remains from the club.” - Turk


2019Ballrooms/Dance Halls/Night Clubs