On this date in 1969, Kelly's came into existence
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9579) one month ago
The Gas Lite, local bar and night club at 716 Main, has been sold to Earl Kelly, former owner Art Fritz announced today. Kelly, longtime resident of Miles City, has been employed by the Montana Highway Department for a number of years but now plans to devote full-time to the business. It will be known hence forth as Kelly’s Gas Lite.

From the Miles City Star, July 25, 1969. Anyone have memories of Kelly's?
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Posted by David Schott (+13585) one month ago
Reply to Amorette Allison (#378322)
At what point did they install the shag carpeting on the walls?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+13963) one month ago
I remember my mom being upset with the gas lite being so close to my grandparents drugstore.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9205) one month ago
Aside from the music, there wasn't a great deal of difference between the Gaslite and the Disco. But disco?? Come on! ; -)



[Edited by Hal Neumann (7/20/2019 9:42:31 AM)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9579) one month ago
Kelly's Disco Lounge came along a few years later, in the mid-seventies. Since I didn't get into Kelly's until the later seventies, I don't know if there were decor changes. Was there a disco ball? I don't remember.
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Posted by David Schott (+13585) one month ago
I didn't make it in there until it was The Drake Lounge -- mid-80s. There was shag carpet on the walls at that time which I assumed was a holdover from the discotheque era.

I can't imagine a disco without a disco ball.

Anyone recognize the people in that photo Hal posted? The woman on the right almost looks uncomfortable having to walk past such a place.
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Posted by Wayne White (+271) one month ago
I remember two exotic dancers in the bar one night, quite a sight for Miles City.
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Posted by David Schott (+13585) one month ago
Reply to Wayne White (#378328)
Did one of them look like Witch Hazel?

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Posted by Wayne White (+271) one month ago
No, actually they were more like attractive black goddesses, for Miles they were quite nice. To bad you missed it.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9579) one month ago
I personally saw at least two strippers at Kelly's. What I remember most was they both had a "gimmick" and having seen the musical about Gypsy Rose Lee, I was amused.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+1731) one month ago
In the early 70's Kelly's was the place to go. He brought in a lot of RNR bands and they place was crowded every night. A lot of memories from there.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+868) one month ago
Kelly’s Gas Lite was the first club in Miles that I sneaked into to hear the band. I had met the guitarists outside the back door after they had set up earlier in the day, and they invited me back to hear them play later. I told them the obvious, that I wasn't old enough. They said: "don't worry about that. Just come to the back door." So I did and that was the start of my guitar playing disease. Circa 1975.
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Posted by TheDude (+249) one month ago
Oh yes the Good Old Days of the Gaslite.....shiny vinyl Kustom speakers and amps.....and "Smoke on the Water" every set....Barb with her aerosal mace....full on most nights,packed on weekends.....
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Posted by Bridgier (+8241) one month ago
Good lord how old ARE you people?
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Posted by Wayne White (+271) 27 days ago
Old enough to remember the Tongue River Clinic.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9579) 27 days ago
Also known as the Tongue River Riding Academy. I know a few jokes about it. Yeah, Kelly's was the hot spot in town in the 70s.
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Posted by David Schott (+13585) 27 days ago
My recollection of that bar when it was "The Drake Lounge" is that it had sort of an Art Deco style back bar. Was that the case when it was the Gas Lite as well?
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Posted by Forsyth Mike (+385) 17 days ago
I remember the "disco" days of Kelly's quite well. I was in my early 20s at the time. It did indeed have a "disco ball" (although the proper term is "mirrorball"), and a lot of black lights, but not a whole lot else for lighting. It was definitely no Studio 54.

The dancefloor area was called "Your Room;" there was a large sign saying "Your Room" in a Partridge-Family style font on the front of the DJ booth.

It was pretty damn legendary in its day, but was eclipsed pretty quickly in the disco era by the Sun Dance Inn, which was in the old shopping center on Valley Drive East. But, seedy clubs tend to be pretty hardy, proven by the fact that the Sun Dance Inn is no more but there's still a bar in the Kelly's building.
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Posted by MontanaMeg (+13) 16 days ago
Reply to Forsyth Mike (#378390)
Forsyth Mike wrote:
But, seedy clubs tend to be pretty hardy, proven by the fact that the Sun Dance Inn is no more but there's still a bar in the Kelly's building.


The Texas Club is no longer open as it was purchased by Stockman Bank.
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Posted by Wayne White (+271) 16 days ago
If you couldn't find love at Kelly's you were looking in all the wrong places. I only spent one summer there but the ladies of Miles City were fine, fine, fine. I do remember Leotta Bradley rushing in at times to monitor the degrading of Miles City youth, bless her heart.
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Posted by David Schott (+13585) 16 days ago
Reply to Wayne White (#378399)
Sounds like Leota Henricks.
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Posted by nativemc (+411) 16 days ago
They were one and the same. Leotta also used to sit on Main and monitor the kids dragging Main. Thank God those were days before cell phones. You could get away before she got to the police station to report you.
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Posted by Kacey (+3149) 7 days ago
I have a lot of good memories of Kelly's. They had a very tall blonde dj who worked there once a week. He played disco music among other things. Shorty Spang and his band played there frequently. The stairway to the bathroom downstairs was narrow and inevitably someone was coming the other direction. Earl was great. I walked in one night and one of our local cowboys got grabby. I had enough of his behavior and punched him. He doubled over and spun around. I kicked him in the butt and he went flying down the row of stools at the bar. Earl gave me a round of applause. What fond memories.
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