Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hillbilly Heaven

I vaguely remember Hillbilly Heaven on Rte. 1 in the Lorton area as a place that seemed oddly out of place in the eighties. The rednecks were slowly losing their grip on the region, but here was their heaven. I guess the name was a hint about their fate. HH was a nightclub was owned by Earl Dixon in 70s and 80s that was one of the last bastions of the old times. Hillbilly Heaven hosted Bill Haley, Conway Twitty and other country singers, but the show I would have killed to see was Mike Johnson, the "No. 1 Black Yodeler". Anyways, the place had a reputation for hard drinking, violence, and other nefarious activities.

An interesting side note is Earl Dixon's daughter is the actress Donna Dixon.


  1. A Maryland counterpoint would've been the Turf Club on Route 1, South Laurel. Back in high school I went through old newspapers and saw ads for bluegrass and hillbilly bands playing there in the 1950s and 1960s. It had a drive through liquor window and a reputation for hard living and dying, and indeed the final straw was when a guy was shot in the parking lot and killed when he stumbled into Route 1 and was struck by a truck. You know its bad when the Laurel Volunteer Fire and Rescue decides the best thing is to burn the joint to the ground, and that's what they did in the early 1980s.

  2. Other fallen bars of that era are Stowaway, Yellow Lantern and Featherstone Grill. All were on rte. 1 in Woodbridge maybe10-15 miles from HH.