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The Smart Brothers


The Smart Brothers Band stage show may’ve been the most over-the-top act ever seen in Wichita outside of three rings. Their major assets were the antics of John and Leroy Smart, who constantly pushed the envelope of performance. John stuck to musical acrobatics: back-flipping at the climactic end of a song, balancing the saxophone on his neck while flipping his torso horizontally, and playing multiple horns at once. Leroy “Iron Jaw” Smart’s moves were even more unbelievable. He’d warm up with some handstands and back-flips, then jump off the stage into the splits, pick up a table or chair by his teeth and toss it aside. Shockwaves shattered the Smarts’ growing world when John Smart’s draft card was pulled in 1967. The Smart Brothers Band chugged on without him for a while, but the air had been let out. The Palace stayed booked with acts that developed under the tutelage of the legendary Smart Brothers while the band itself moved into the pantheon of local greats, their spots in Wichita’s Northeast Corridor Hall of Fame clinched.


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