Cotton Club

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Cab Calloway's band was one of the big acts at the Cotton Club
Singer, dancer and actress Dorothy Dandridge was another star

The Cotton Club was a New York City night club in the 1920s and 30s.It was first in the Harlem neighborhood on 142nd St & Lenox Ave from 1923 to 1935.[1] Then for a brief period from 1936 to 1940 it was in the midtown Theater District. The club was a big success in America's Prohibition Era.

The club had a whites-only policy for customers, but featured many of the best black entertainers and jazz musicians of the era. Stars included (musicians) Cab Calloway, Andrew Preer, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Waller - (vocalists) Adelaide Hall,[2][3] Lottie Gee, Ethel Waters, Avon Long, Aida Ward, Edith Wilson, the Dandridge Sisters, Avis Andrews, Will Vodery Choir, Berry Brothers, Nina Mae McKinney, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and (dancers) Bill Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, Stepin Fetchit, Butterbeans and Suzy, Earl Snakehips Tucker and Evelyn Welch.

During its heyday, the Cotton Club served as a hip meeting spot featuring regular "Celebrity Nights" on Sundays, which featured celebrity guests such as Jimmy Durante, George Gershwin, Sophie Tucker, Paul Robeson, Al Jolson, Mae West, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Langston Hughes, Judy Garland, Moss Hart and Mayor Jimmy Walker among others.

The club was set up by world boxing champion Jack Johnson, but taken over by the Yorkshire-born gangster Owney Madden in 1923. Johnson stayed on as manager.

References[change | change source]

  1. Black Past 2007/2011
  2. Williams I.C. 2002. Underneath a Harlem Moon ... the Harlem to Paris years of Adelaide Hall, Chapter 15. ISBN 0826458939
  3. Google