The Story

Raisin’ Cain: A History of Cain’s Ballroom will be a cinematic journey told through the music and artists that have made this Tulsa music venue legendary. Raisin’ Cain will celebrate the spirit of this venerable dance hall through the 80-plus years of its history, exploring the ties between Cain’s, the Tulsa Sound and the myriad of musical genres including the blues, jazz, folk, country, rock and roll, bluegrass and, of course, Western Swing that have been played on its stage. This film will pay homage to “Tulsa’s Timeless Honky-Tonk” as a unique place in American and Oklahoma musical tradition.

Music is the key component of Raisin’ Cain as it reflects the ever-changing American musical and cultural landscape. As one of America’s oldest, still operating popular music venues, Cain’s has been a part of this progression from the 1930’s Dust Bowl era with Bob Will’s Western Swing, to rockabilly and the heady beginnings of rock and roll in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to virtually every genre known today from punk, hip hop, country, rap and techno. Cain’s Ballroom today remains as popular as ever with CNN Travel listing it as one of its 10 fabulous U.S. music venues in 2012.

The influence of Oklahoma musicians and their music will be explored through interviews with many artists who have played at Cain’s. Through the use of historical footage and original one-on-one interviews, this film will examine how and why Cain’s Ballroom and the Tulsa Sound in particular have been so influential in the wider music world.

A central feature of Raisin’ Cain will be the production and filming of the All-Star Jam at Cain’s Ballroom with live footage to be woven throughout the film. This concert will be the culmination of the documentary showcasing generations of musicians together on stage to share and celebrate Cain’s unique and legendary place in American music history. This event will commemorate Cain’s as a monument to the spirit of great music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is considering inducting Cain’s Ballroom into its Landmark Series during this event.

Raisin’ Cain will introduce a global audience to the phenomenon of Cain’s Ballroom as a cultural treasure set in the very center of America’s heartland: Tulsa, Oklahoma.