by Valeria Munoz
The Knight of Columbus Hall (K.C. Hall) located on Harper Road near Interstate 10 in Kerrville, Texas had been a staple in the community for decades. K.C. Hall has allowed Mexican Americans and Tejanos to enjoy Spanish music since the late 1980s. The dance hall opened in 1982 and it was known as the Long Branch dance hall which was owned and operated by Michelle and Billy Powell. During this time, the Powell family focused on bringing in rock and country singers and bands for the community. According to a 1989 article in the Kerrville Mountain Sun, the hall also hosted Spanish dances, but unfortunately it resulted in the police department harassing those who attended. The article also notes that the Spanish bands that performed in Long Branch consisted of La Mafia and Ramon Ayala y Los Bravos Del Norte. Moreover, the hall was not only used for dance purposes, but it also hosted the Martial Arts Tournament for children in Kerrville.
In September of 1989, the Powell family decided to sell the dance hall due to the lack of revenue and electricity bills increasing over the years. A 1990 article in the Kerrville Daily Times reported that the Knights of Columbus bought the established dance hall and worked with promoter Jessie Cruz from Fredericksburg to bring in performers for Friday and Saturday events. That same year, the group La Mafia opened and closed the season for K.C. Hall bringing Tejano and Norteño music to the Mexican American community. The hall also worked with other organizations, such as the Hispanic Scholarship, where they hosted both Hispanic and Mexican American events such as car shows, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence, Mother’s Day, and other events to fundraise for scholarships. These events were often followed by a dance. Some of the notable singers who played in the hall were Grupo Vida, Emilio Navaira, Elida y Avante, Laura Canales, Michael Salgado, Masizzo, and Selena y los Dinos. The Knights of Columbus and Jess Promotion working together in Kerrville allowed for Latin and Tejano acts to be hosted more predominately during the rise of the Tejano scene in Texas in the early and late 1990s.