Former Gilley's co-owner dies

August 17, 2009 4:57:34 AM PDT
The former owner of one of the most famous clubs in the Houston area has died. Sherwood Cryer made a name for himself with Gilley's in Pasadena. It was Cryer's club that made mechanical bullriding cool. Gilley's wasn't just famous here in the Houston area, but around the world.

Cryer died Thursday at age 83 of natural causes. He and singer Mickey Gilley opened the tin honky-tonk in 1971 and it was a massive success.

In 1980, John Travolta and Deborah Winger put Pasadena on the map when they filmed the movie Urban Cowboy there. The main characters, Bud and Sissy, hung out at Gilley's, and so did hundreds of patrons. The club was perhaps best known for its mechanical bull rides, but it also hosted motor-cross races on the weekends.

The club closed after Cryer and Gilley had a falling out. And it was gutted by an arson fire in 1989.

Pasadena ISD which owns the building tore it down in 2006.

The rule at Gilley's was that you automatically got a bumper sticker if you parked in their lot. Those who didn't want one had to leave their visors down, but the stickers were a huge hit.

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