Monday, November 02, 2020

Cotton Club


The Cotton Club was a New York City nightclub from 1923 to 1940. It was located on 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue (1923 to 1935), then briefly in midtown Theater District (1935-1940).[1] The club operated during the United States' era of Prohibition and Jim Crow era racial segregation. Black people could not initially patronize the Cotton Club, but the venue featured many of the most popular black entertainers of the era, including musicians Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford, Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Willie Bryant; vocalists Adelaide Hall,[2][3] Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Aida Ward, Avon Long, the Dandridge Sisters, the Will Vodery Choir, The Mills Brothers, Nina Mae McKinney, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and dancers such as Katherine Dunham, Bill Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, Charles 'Honi' Coles, Leonard Reed, Stepin Fetchit, the Berry Brothers, The Four Step Brothers,  Jeni Le Gon and Earl Snakehips Tucker.

At its prime, the Cotton Club served as a hip meeting spot, with regular "Celebrity Nights" on Sundays featuring guests such as Jimmy DuranteGeorge GershwinSophie TuckerPaul RobesonAl JolsonMae WestRichard RodgersIrving BerlinEddie CantorFanny BriceLangston HughesJudy GarlandMoss Hart, and Jimmy Walker, among others.