Thursday, July 10, 2008

Remembering The Encinitas Ranch Hands

The Encinitas Ranch Hands started out in the late 1920s and continued as a dance band through the Great Depression of the 1930s and up to World War II. The photograph above was probably made in the 1930s at the Sea Cliff Villa, which was an hotel and restaurant housed in the two story white building right next to the park at Swamis, now just inside the SRF compound. They also played to enthusiastic audiences at the Beacon Inn, another inn/tavern just south of where the Chart House is today in Cardiff. The Beacon Inn was built on pier pilings and the tide washed in right under the building.

The musicians pictured are Lyle Hammond, Charlie Brass, Neil Conrad, Mrs. MacFarlane, Fred Harvey and Frank Nay. One member is not identified. In the 1940s, they were joined by Owen Lienhard, still in his teens, on trombone and trumpet and Mac Brink on piano. Don't let the outfits fool you. They were the hottest dance band around and could get the audience on the dance floor in nothing flat.


m.o.M. said...

Love this picture! I have a picture of the Encinitas ranch hands that was my mother's. A couple of notes (for what it's worth): Lloyd Nay is the man in the picture. Frank Nay was his son. I know this because Lloyd Nay was my grandfather and Frank, my uncle.
The unnamed man could be either Mac McFarland or Rube Cole based on the picture I have. If you would like a copy of the picture that I have, let me know.

Sam Winter said...

This is fantastic! I'm currently researching the San Diego County Bluegrass Scene for a class I am taking (at Virginia Tech, but I'm from Encinitas) and I'm trying to learn more about the musical landscape of the area before the 1960's. Is there any chance you have recordings of their music? Do you know anything about the "Ranch Hands" group that formed after WWII?