The Tumbleweed Ballroom was a vision for Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hesser, R.A. Lospeich, and John and Linda Klinger in 1981. They purchased ten acres of land from Benny Bradley in the northwest part of Stillwater and started their creation. Tumbleweed Ballroom officially opened the doors for business in October 1981. (This is the same year the Billy Bob’s of Texas in Ft. Worth opened their doors.) The next four years showed continued success and growth in dance hall business for their operation. The dance hall became an initial home for the local and upcoming talent in the area, Garth Brooks.
While in Stillwater, Garth was employed by the Klingers, as a bouncer and entertained the crowds on his nights off. It was during this period that Garth was working at Tumbleweed that he met the love of his life, Sandy. He had to, unfortunately, throw her out of the club that night because she had been involved in a fight with another girl in the bathroom. A story in which Sandy ended up putting her hand through the wall. As he has stated in numerous interviews, he was asking her for her number and address to take her out while having to escort her off the premise. Garth and Sandy have since divorce, but remain close while raising their daughters.
In 1985, the state liquor laws changed and put a hardship on the ballroom and club operators in the state. The Klingers put in a steakhouse to help comply with the law changes. The next two years presented struggles with the changing drinking laws and with the decrease in popularity of country music.
The Klingers decided it was time for them to get out of the club business, and in 1987, Tumbleweed was purchased by Hank Moore and Sherry Perrin. The Tumbleweed would eventually take on a totally new role and presence in the dance hall business of Oklahoma. Tumbleweed held a special place in the new owners’ hearts as they had their first date there and practiced their dance routines on a regular basis for competitions. But as they dove into the business aspect of the club, their dancing time slowly dwindled. They have through the course of the first ten years of their ownership, expanded the club a piece at a time.
The dance hall property now spans over 65 acres and has an outdoor rodeo and a concert arena. The rodeo arena has a capacity of 3,000 people on a grassy hill overlooking a private pond. The concert arena has a capacity of 8,000 people with both reserve seats and general admission available to most shows. Both arenas are capped with an 85’ flagpole that flies the largest flag in this part of Oklahoma. When the large American flag is flying above the Tumbleweed, you can be assured that an outdoor is event is happening. The Moore’s transformed the Steakhouse restaurant and replaced it with a high-energy rock dance club named “Tremors”. Both clubs have floating wooden dance floors and both enjoy the playing of top 40 hits, as well as older hits. Affordable drink prices as always been a draw for customers. There are drink specials on most nights that the dance halls are open. They may range from weekly frozen drink prices, any coin beer, to 2:1 longnecks. All specials are in compliance with the laws of Oklahoma. But, also remain below market prices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas.
Over the years since 1987, the Tumbleweed has become a venue for top recording country stars and expanded their entertainment roster to include rock and alternative groups such as Vanilla Ice, Eve Six, Jackyl, and Third Eye Blind. Some of the major country stars to perform at the “Weed” have been Hank Williams Jr, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Sawyer Brown, Kathy Mattea, Travis Tritt, Keith Whitley, Lorrie Morgan, Joe Diffee, Tracy Lawrence, Tracy Byrd, Wade Hayes, Rick Trevino, the Bellamy Brothers, Chris LeDoux, Neal McCoy, Mark Chestnutt, John Berry, Rhett Akins, the legendary George Jones, John Micheal Montgomery, David Ball, Terri Clark, The Red Dirt Rangers, Rodney Carrington, Miranda Lambert, The Great Divide, Lee Ann Womack, Eli Yound Band, Pat Green, Dierks Bentley, Jason Boland, Stoney Larue, Brandon Jenkins, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band, Casey Donahew Band, Whiskey Myers, Kevin Fowler, Aaron Watson, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Randy Rogers Band, Turnpike Troubadours, William Clark Green, Cory Morrow, Chris Knight, Parker McCollum, Koe Wetzel and Luke Comb.