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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Frances Langford's Outrigger, Jensen Beach, FL (restaurant)
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Frances Langford's Outrigger, Jensen Beach, FL (restaurant)
Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2005-03-31 6:58 pm   Permalink

Name:Frances Langford's Outrigger
Type:restaurant
Street:(Now operated as the Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House)1401 NE Indian River Drive
City:Jensen Beach
State:FL
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:(772) 781-5136
Status:defunct, but still operating as a restaurant and bar

Description:
Frances Langford's Outrigger survives as the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House. It is no longer a tiki restaurant, but the basic structure remains and a shrine to Frances Langford and the original restaurant is in a small room near the lobby. The full history of this restaurant is recounted in the March 2005 issue of Barracuda magazine. (The following was re-edited and expanded in Feb. 2010 - KG)



Frances Langford -- Tha Bamboo Blonde












Langford's Outrigger Restaurant designed and managed by Ed Lawrence, a hollywood set designer, seabee and architect who worked on the original Don the Beachcomber restaurants and did the set designs for Joan Crawford's "Rain".


A great early "sin in the south seas" film

Matchbook with graphics similar to those used on menus for Don the Beachcomber's restaurant.

an early menu amd newspaper clipping.


a few drinks were on the menu

the only style of mug known to be used by the Outrigger. A Daga bamboo mug

placemat and swizzle




Yes kids, adults were allowed to smoke










The original restaurant changed hands a few times, going through Jimmy Buffetization and eventually being brought back in a classier style that included a shrine to Frances Langford. The Outrigger is now the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House. (These photos are from about 2003 - before the infamous hurricane season of 2004 included a hit on Jensen Beach.)





Langford was a Florida native and one of the first recording stars signed to Decca records. She recorded a number of Hapa Haole numbers backed by the same Hawaiian musicians that backed Bing Crosby on his early recordings. Her big hit was the song "In Waikiki".


Starting in the pre-tiki era ofthe 1930's, she began a successful decades-long career in radio, recording, film and television.

A young Frances Langford with a uke.



Various publicity shots

Langford, Hope and Sinatra.

Frances Langford and her first husband Jon Hall. Hall was the part-Tahitian nephew of the co-author of the book "Mutiny on the Bounty"; James Norman Hall. His first big movie role was in John Ford's The Hurricane, another book by Nordoff and Hall.


Hall was the star of numerous south pacific adventure films and most famously paired with actress Dorothy Lamour in The Hurricane. This is the film from which the song "The Moon of Manakoora" comes.




Lamour is best known today for her "on the Road" films with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Based on the success of The Hurricane, she did her own Hapa Haole Decca album - although she never thought of herself as a singer.


Although they were paired again in the film Aloma and the South Seas, Hall and Lamour didn't get along very well. Despite their on-screen romantics, Lamour said Hall was tempermental and hard to work with. When Frances ariived on the scene, one can easily imagine her tendency to compete with Lamour's popular Polynesian film persona; especially given her her husband's own Tahitan background and the success of the Hurricane film. Perhaps this explains why the "Florida Thrush", as she was sometimes called, developed an obsession with Polynesia?
While Lamour eventually cast off the Polynesian type-casting of her early career, Hall did not. He went on to make a succession of South Sea adventure films; all of which would were basically b-pictures even though he played with notables such as Charles Laughton, Jon Carradine, Peter Lorre and Frances Farmer.





From a tiki / exotica perspective, one of his most interesting films is Forbidden Island.


In the opening scenes Martin Denny plays piano in a bar which appears to be the old Trader Vics in Waikiki.

Hall also released a pair of exotica / Hawaian jazz records under his name, including this one. They are both quite good; although whether he is actually involved with the recordings is unclear.


Hall and Langford met while appearing on a radio show called Hollywood Hotel and were married shortly before World War II. (Langford is on the right)

After the war started Langford toured with Bob Hope's show throughout the south pacific, and later in Korea and Vietnam. Hall joined the army during the war.

Although Langford had black hair in her early career as a singer, she went blond. After the war, she did a picture called "The Bamboo Blond" about a bomber pilot returning home from the south pacific.



Although Hall and Langford purchased the land and began developing the retreat that would become the Outrigger Restaurant before the war, the couple split up before the restaurant was built. Langford married millionaire Ralph Evinrude of boat motor fame, and constructed her Polynesian palace where she entertained locals and celebrities until the 1980's.

Langford and Hall remained friends until his death in the 1980s.

The full story of this couple that were at the heart of pre-tiki, polynesian pop and its eventual Jimmy Buffetization, as well the Outrigger Restaurant is in the March 2005 issue of Barracuda Magazine.




[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff on 2005-03-31 20:50 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff 2010-02-27 04:23 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff 2010-02-27 04:49 ]


 
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Thomas
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 15, 2005
Posts: 372
From: Lake Mojave
Posted: 2005-03-31 8:20 pm   Permalink

Wow -- awesome post. I have that record. It's really good and you can hear ambient noise (in a good way) -- there is interesting info. about the recording process I recall (can't find it now -- records all over the place (again)).

 
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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2005-04-01 07:07 am   Permalink

Great post, Kailuageoff !

 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-04-01 08:03 am   Permalink

Hey Kailuageoff-

I got all excited when I saw the location of where this place was, I have family in Jensen Beach and thought I would be able to go there on my next visit. It all made sense when I saw 'operational status:defunct', because I couldn't recall ever hearing about or seeing this place. Oh well. I'm just trying to figure out where the Dolphin Restaurant is. Maybe I have been there and not even known it. Thanks for posting all that cool memorabilia.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2005-04-01 08:27 am   Permalink

I have that record too. Great to have the back story on what looked like a rather kooky cover. I don't think I have even listened to the record. I took it to be another "Big Name Music Guy Does Hawaii" schmaltz adventure. Very cool KG!
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Thomas
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 15, 2005
Posts: 372
From: Lake Mojave
Posted: 2005-04-01 09:24 am   Permalink

I found the record; the cover is slightly different from the one you show; it is "Famous Motion Picture Actor Jon Hall Directs Music from Honolulu." I guess it is the second of the two you mention. Mine has him and that woman closer-up, but in the same outfits (same photo shoot apparently). The reason I got so excited about your post is, I have long considered this one of my best Hawaiian albums. It does indeed have a truly authentic feel and sound. On the back it has very detailed and sometimes humorous details about the recording process, "made at the bar in the La Haina Hotel without the aid of any soundproofing or acoustical advantages we have here..." (Interestingly, that's the La Haina Hotel in Maui (right?), therefore the album title referring to Honolulu is incorrect, no?) Anyway, to top it all off, my copy is in excellent condition and is signed, "To Loretta and Bill --- Warmest Aloha, Jon and Raquel." (I am nearly sure it's "Raquel" -- it's not 100% clear.) Can you shed any light on "Raquel" -- is it the woman pictured -- his wife at the time perchance? (I can google this too of course...) So thanks again for the excellent and colorful post, and it shows how one topic -- Polynesian restaurant "archaeology" and history -- leads to another, namely Hawaiian music and a little gem from my collection. I hadn't known a thing about Jon Hall -- figured it was all a bit of hype, really -- but now I guess the next step is to seek out some of those movies...

 
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Thomas
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Joined: Mar 15, 2005
Posts: 372
From: Lake Mojave
Posted: 2005-04-01 09:38 am   Permalink

Sure enough, Raquel Torres, then wife. Should've Googled before asking. She was 2nd of 3; he married the 3rd in '69.

 
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2005-04-01 12:29 pm   Permalink

Yes, the title is contradicted by the liner notes on the album. I have both records and they are among the most unique Hawaiian music lps in my collection. I especially like the version of Quite Village because it so raw. Sounds like a bunch of local musicians banging out the latest hit tune - which they probably were. JungleTrader had both of these albums on a CD that he was selling at the Hukilau last year.

Frances was obviously the true musical talent here. I have 15 or so of her Hapa Haole 78 rpm recordings, plus some Hawaiian tunes released on an Australian 10 inch lp. They are very charming to listen to. I plan to put them on CD at some point because playing 78's is a pain even on a vintage Grundig console. When I do I'll probably make the CD available to TCers in some way.

As for Hall's movies, I have the Hurricane, Aloma of the South Seas, The Tuttles of Tahiti (based on another story by Nordoff and Hall) and South of Pago-Pago.

The Hurricane was released a few years ago as an excellent DVD, but it doesn't appear to be available anymore and the price of used copies has been sky high on ebay. South of Pago-Pago is available new on VHS and a poor copy of Aloma of the South Seas is available from an e-bay seller. Used VHS tapesof the Tutttles of Tahiti show up on ebay now and then.

The Hurricane is Hall's best film by far and I really like South of Pago-Pago. The Tuttles of Tahiti is a starring vehicle for Charles Laughton -- who played Captain Bligh to Gable's Mr Christian in the first Bounty picture. Aloma is just plain weird, but there is a sequence involving a crop of giant moai's that has to be seen to be believed and Dorothy Lamour is ravishingly beautiful. I really wish I had a better copy of it.
KG

I forgot to mention I have a bootleg DVD copy of Forbidden Island which JungleTrader was also selling at Hukilau. It's not Jon Hall's best picture, but the scene with Martin Denny makes it worth having. Much of the film was shot near Haunama Bay on Oahu were I used to camp and snorkel as a kid, so that makes it special for me. The underwater scenes were done at Silver Springs in Florida which is fairly near my current home.




[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff on 2005-04-01 19:35 ]


 
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Kenike
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Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1205
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2006-10-23 5:36 pm   Permalink

Found this menu today.















Judging from the menu, she certainly didn't want anyone to forget she was a celebrity. There's more emphasis on her than the food! A little more artwork would have been nice instead of the "Here's me with with Nixon and Bob Hope" pics. Speaking of the celebs, what's the deal with the pic of Bing Crosby dressed like a priest?





 
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
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Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1072
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2006-10-23 6:28 pm   Permalink

Nice find, Kenike.

Quote:

Speaking of the celebs, what's the deal with the pic of Bing Crosby dressed like a priest?



Bing played a priest in Going My Way (1944) and Bells of St. Mary's (1945). But I wanna know what's the deal with the Mystery Steak? Does the Mystery Girl bring it to your table?
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11267
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-10-23 8:54 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-10-23 17:36, Kenike wrote:
A little more artwork would have been nice instead of the "Here's me with with Nixon and Bob Hope" pics.



Posing with Nixon? To me, that's actually one more fine example of how Langford's career perfectly mirrors the rise and fall of Polynesian pop, that's the generation that did that.
And also, remember kids, to the proprietors of Tiki temples many of the things we love about Tiki style, like the cocktail illustrations and and mugs, were not "art", but just fun window dressing. The BOT portrays an idealized reality (of an idealized fantasy!) that as a whole, they were not primarily concerned with.


 
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donhonyc
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Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2006-10-25 08:23 am   Permalink

I have family in Jensen Beach and have been to this restaurant formerly known as The Outrigger. As shown in this thread they have a small but comprehensive shrine, it's almost like a mini museum, dedicated to Frances Langford. Nice restaurant, but too bad it's still not the original place. Apparently, Frances was somewhat active in the community and is responsible for the Peacocks that inhabit the town. There are official traffic signs indicating 'Peacock Crossing' and a hefty fine if anyone is caught harming them. I have been to Jensen Beach tons of times and never knew this until I was there a month or two ago and saw little packs of Peacocks everywhere. Kinda wild.

I guess Frances was pretty 'active' in other ways up until the end. She died at the age of 92, and married her last husband in 1994 at the age of 81.


 
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km9v
Member

Joined: Jan 09, 2007
Posts: 1
From: Salerno
Posted: 2007-01-09 11:25 am   Permalink

I worked at the restaurant from 1964 until 1966 as a busboy. Frances was a charming and gracious lady. Whenever she came in she would make a point to visit with the staff and was warm and friendly. I remember one of the waitresses commenting that Francis always remembered one's name after she meet them. She would sing in the bar sometimes when there was a band.

 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2007-01-09 3:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-01-09 11:25, km9v wrote:
I worked at the restaurant from 1964 until 1966 as a busboy. Frances was a charming and gracious lady. Whenever she came in she would make a point to visit with the staff and was warm and friendly. I remember one of the waitresses commenting that Francis always remembered one's name after she meet them. She would sing in the bar sometimes when there was a band.



I hope you were able to grab some memorabilia from there during the time you were employed.


 
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GentleHangman
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 464
From: Stuart, Florida
Posted: 2007-05-04 1:16 pm   Permalink

I had the pleasure of dining there many times from 1975 to 1979. I always got a kick out of the outrigger canoe suspended from the ceiling . . . with the Evinrude motor on it!

Also, at the back of the restaurant, the view was of the Intercoastal . . . occasionally you'd see large fish (Marlin? . . . what do I know!) leaping out of the water. I'm sorry it's lost it's integrity and flavor.

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