KCET’s Artbound: In Bell Gardens, American Legion Hall Post #465 Is an Unlikely Musical Mecca

The American Legion Hall Post #465 has been a gathering place for decades.

Read about the Hall’s history, the music, and the people who keep it alive here at KCET!

In the 1950s, Eddie Cochran wrote the song “Summertime Blues” while he lived in Bell Gardens on Priory Street. Revelers from all backgrounds have danced at the Hall to legendary Wanda Jackson. They’ve screamed lyrics back to iconic punk band The Zeros. Most recently, they bopped and strolled at the rockabilly party Fuss ‘n’ Holler and to songs by and the Crown City Bombers.

And if you have an event coming up, you can rent the hall from feisty Hall Manager Rita Sykes if you live in the area for less than $1000. Huge thank you to Shizu Saldamando, Commerce historian and archivist Joseph Calderon, the Cochran Club organizers, especially cartoonist and writer Rafael Navarro, Max Espinoza, Ruben Gerard, and Robert Fernandez. Que viva Bell Gardens!

The author with Hall Manager and all around badass, Rita Sykes Armas, from East LA. July 2021.

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