Presenting Evelyn Nesbit – Club Alabam – 1939

Courtesy Mary O’Dowd.

Evelyn Nesbit’s last booking at Club Alabam was in the spring of 1939. Appearing with her was friend and Club Alabam regular, Paulette LaPierre.

Three bands entertained the customers: Chet Robinson, Dave Unell, and Eddie Roth.

Prices remained reasonable. Club Alabam habitués could order a charcoal steak or broiled chicken dinner for $1.50. There was never a cover or minimum charge.

~

If you enjoy local history, especially the world of entertainment, follow me at joannelyeck.com or on the Facebook page: The Blackest Sheep.

The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online bookstores.

Eddie South Plays Club Alabam

Eddie South, Café Society (Uptown), New York City, c. December 1946.
(Courtesy William P. Gottlieb Collection, Library of Congress.)

 

Dan Blanco always strove to offer his customers something different.

In 1927, Eddie South and his Club Alabamians came direct from New York City to open Dan Blanco’s Club Alabam in Chicago. South was a classical violin prodigy turned jazz musician who began his career playing with, among others, Jimmy Wade, who was featured at the Moulin Rouge.

Soon, Eddie South and his Club Alabamians were cutting records, further spreading the nightclub’s visibility.

~

If you enjoy local history, especially the world of entertainment, follow me at joannelyeck.com or on the Facebook page: The Blackest Sheep.

The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online bookstores.

Club Alabam, 747 Rush Street

Club Alabam Matchbook. “Dine and Dance.”

Club Alabam was a Rush Street favorite from 1927 until Gene Harris’ death in 1964.

Proprietors Dan Blanco and Gene Harris knew how to adjust to changing tastes in food, as well as entertainment.  From cheap Chinese cuisine to fried chicken and waffles to gourmet dining — the variable menu satisfied conventioneers and Chicago regulars alike.

In 1931, John Drury highlighted the club as a late-night hot spot in his Dining in Chicago:

CLUB ALABAM, 747 Rush Street: More dusk to dawn diversion on the near north side. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was a big drawing card when she was here recently. Dan Blanco is host, Slater Brockman does the mastering, and Willie Newberger’s orchestra furnishes the music—which, by the by, is nothing if not “hot.” Floor shows and vaudeville entertainers and Chinese and Southern dishes—what a combination. Cover charge, $1.00. Delaware 0808.

~

If you enjoy local history, especially the world of entertainment, follow me at joannelyeck.com or on the Facebook page: The Blackest Sheep.

The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online bookstores.