July 06, 2011

Music Venues

The Lake View Beats
We begin this post with a music venue that was popular during the Great Depression of the 1930's when a couples that would 'marathon dance' for money and prizes.
a pocket mirror per Ebay
Opened on Labor Day 1921 at 3136 N Sheffield. This venue was built by Ethel Kendal and Jack Lund and survived for 31 years. 
After that the building became a warehouse and then in 1961 it was demolished becoming a parking lot.
1922 photo - Chicago History Museum via Explore Chicago
The Merry 'Dance' Gardens on the left with its neon sign
with the Victoria (Vic) Theater to the right
1922 photo - Chicago History Museum via Explore Chicago
The Sanborn Fire Map Evolution of this Area
 This 1894 Sanborn Fire Map indicates a 'Summer Garden' space probably for a Beer Garden entertainment 
- name unknown
The area in 1923 with the Howard Line tracks with the main entrance on the south side of Belmont
below a 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance view
This ballroom that was built during the first quarter of the 20th century noted for its 'Marathon Dancing(scroll down) during the Depression years to make money for themselves 
and their families.
image - my personal collection
news in 1928

Irish Dance in 1935
photography by G.E. Thornrose Jr.
2600 hours of dancing in 1930
(click on image to enlarge)

Days Later ...
 images and text - Ebay
This trophy was awarded to the World Championship Dance Marathon winner, First Prize, to Mike Gouvas, dated August 7, 1930, held at Merry Garden Ballroom in Chicago. His partner was Ann Gerry and the photo shows her collapsing in his arms. Mike lasted/danced for an incredible 2831 hours 
4 1/2 minutes! During the 1930’s, dance marathons weren't for the faint at heart but rather taken very seriously, competitively for cash and prizes, physically & emotionally exhausting.

images from my personal collection
One particular dance endurance contest began on August 29th 1929, and didn’t stop until April 1st 1931. Mand Edith Boudreaux claimed first prize of $2,000 cash, and the marathon record. They danced for a total of 5,152 hours and 48 minutes. 
A Brochure

This booklet is part of my personal collection

part of my purchased was a photo album from Ebay
beginning of the end by 1960 ...
Alan Halfen via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 1950's?
1961 photo - University of Illinois-Chicago 
via Explore Chicago Collection
Replaced by a Car Lot by 1961

The Chateau Ballroom
within the Chateau Theater Building
 3810 N Broadway
(also view my 'Theater Past' post on the theater)
photo - Explore Chicago Collection
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
The Lodge Hall would become the Dance Hall or ballroom
with the general area below
This ballroom was operated by Andy Anderson located inside the Chateau Theater on the 2nd floor at 3810 N Broadway. The ballroom size was 6,660 square feet built  sometime before or just after the early 1920’s. The establishment featured mostly local bands. Across the street along Grace Street was Bismarck (Marigold) Gardens that also featured entertainment that included live performances and
'Big Band' groups from early 1890's 'til mid 1920's.
a 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
The Chateau (silent film) Theater would be The Vogue 
(motion pictures) by 1950.
The Lodge Hall would become the Dance Hall or ballroom
with the general area below
the apparently second location 
on Irving Park Road just west of Clark Street 
 text - 'Swedish Chicago' by Paul M. Peterson
matchbook - Ebay
a gift from Rizal Center for my collectioin
According to Forgotten Chicago, the Orphei Singing Club was a Swedish-American social club that featured singing, gambling, wrestling, and an art gallery. It was also used to host social events. The club purchased a building at 1332 W. Irving Park Road approximately 1930 (though it is unclear whether the purchase of the building signals the start of the club or whether it was already in existence). The club was also listed by Cook County as a tax-exempt organization in April 1943. The club disbanded by 1974.The singing organization apparently had a building, a possible social hall, on somewhere on School Street prior to 1930-ish.
The building that housed 
the following music venues ..
959 W Belmont Avenue
a Latin social club and nightclub where Cubans - followed by an immigrant population from Puerto Rico, the wider Caribbean and Colombia - gathered to dance, listen to the music of their homelands and speak their first language, Spanish. The club was opened by Luis “Witto” Aloma, a Cuban-born player for the White Sox in the early 1950's, who wanted his fellow Cubans to have a place where they could come to drink coffee and play cards and dominoes.  
Eventually it morphed into a more lavish operation with a beautiful dining room featuring Cuban musical acts and a full Cuban/Spanish menu. “Along the way the ownership changed hands as Tony Quintana, a very respected Puerto Rican radio and television personality, businessman and activist [host of the 1960's radio show “Tony’s Latin A-Go-Go”], took it over,” said Delgado. And then there was the matter of music, which, as Delgado explained, “changed over time at the club, moving from the original mambo, cha-cha and romantic boleros, and all the African rhythms of Cuban music, to the salsa sound that really was born in the U.S. & is kind of a multicultural baby.” It apparently closed in 1971.
The Quiet Knight

zoomed view of the entrance
1970's photo - Saul Smaizys 

via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Join the conversation on Forgotten Chicago-Facebook!
The owner of the Quiet Knight
'The effervescent owner of the Quiet Knight was the first to bring Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Talking Heads and Jimmy Buffett to Chicago. He loved Bob Marley as much as he loved Miles Davis.' - Daily Swarm

1975 ad
This venue was located 953 W. Belmont Avenue between the years 1969-1979 on the second floor of a vintage and still existing building on the corner of Belmont and Sheffield, a short walk from the Belmont station L stop. 
Miles Davis in 1971
article from 1975

Rita Coolidge paid a visit in 1972

image - Obit of the Day
Shawn Phillips at Quiet Knight in 1973 
photo - ceebop via Flickr
'Richard Harding’s club, The Quiet Knight, was only open from 1969 to 1979. But during that decade the 400-seat concert venue saw of the biggest names in music whether it was rock, jazz, or reggae. Located at 953 West Belmont in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, The Quiet Knight occupied the second floor of an otherwise non-descript brick building; but what went on inside was music history. Herbie Hancock, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt (backed by Don Henley and Glenn Frey), Bob Marley, Arlo Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Loudon Wainwright all made appearances at the Knight. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band first performed in Chicago in Harding’s club. Jimmy Buffett performed outside of the South for the first time at the Knight.' 
Listen to Bob Marley performance in 1975
 Recorded in 1975 LIVE!
images - Ebay
Muddy Waters in 1978 
co-starring with The Rolling Stones
Muddy Waters and Mick Jagger, The Quiet Knight, 1978
photo - Examiner 
Neil Sedaka in 1982

 35mm Camera Original Negatives - Ebay
Venues after Quiet Knight:
(same location)

3730 N Clark Street
and then at 959 Belmont Avenue
moving in 1980 on Belmont
New Zealand's Misex in 1980
photos - Ebay
a performance in 1984

 Richard & Linda Thompson in 1983
(click on article to enlarge)
images - Calumet 412
View more photos from the retro Facebook page

Avalon Nite Club

959 W. Belmont Avenue 1987-1995
image above - Avalon Nite Club-Facebook
same building as the Quiet Knight and Tuts
1987 article: 'The ghosts of the Quiet Knight and Tuts have long since departed the premises. In their wake has arisen a comfortable neighborhood club called Avalon night club.'
view west vs view east along Belmont
photos - Scotty Brown via Avalon Nite Club-Facebook
photo - Avalon Nite Club-Facebook
View more photos of this night club on Facebook
1980 ad - via Lethal Amounts
Echo & The Bunnymen at Tuts 1981
According to Christina Sybil Cary from Forgotten Chicago-Facebook,” It's was The Quiet Knight first then it became Tuts. Groups like the Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cramps & Bauhaus were notable bands that played there.The Punk Club played there when the space was called Avalon. 
the night club closed in 1995
The Evolution to the Punk Scene
The Reader by Leor Galil
My thanks to Carter O'Brien 
for bringing this article to my attention
Here is an excerpt
"Punkin' Donuts didn't just attract folks from the Aetna park and Medusa's. Many regulars spilled out of other nearby venues: Tuts, a small rock club at 959 W. Belmont, had hosted an up-and-coming Bruce Springsteen in its previous incarnation as the Quiet Knight, and in 1987 it was replaced by the Avalon. Queer cabaret-inspired "video bar" Berlin opened in 1983 across the street from Tuts at 954 W. Belmont. Less than a mile north, you could see punk shows in the early 80's at Cubby Bear and Metro, some of them booked by Duffy. Punkin' Donuts pulled in characters from all those places, creating what Roman calls "a weird mix of family and fun." Now let's scroll down & read even more ...
photo - Chris McCown
more than a Cub's Hangout
watch this 1984 video from above link
The Wild Hare
3530 N Clark Street
photo - Loop.net
The Wild Hare, known for reggae, had a variety of national and international acts, music seven nights a week, and a huge space to 'groove in' were operated by Jamaicans and financed by venture capitalists. Such groups include Shabba Ranks, Rita Marley, Kwame & Wan Afrika, Aswah Greggorri and the Enforcers, Gizzae, Tony Reble, and Yellow Man. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and bands typically take the stage around 9:30 according to the 
Chicago Bar Project"Most people in this neighborhood are great, but there are a few who don't like racial mixing and didn't think that black people belong here," says Zeleke Gessesse, a musician and part-owner of the club. "It's disturbing to think that these attitudes persist." - Reader in 1993
by TimeOut editors and Joel Reese, 
complied by Laura Baginski 2014
 'The place that made the Belmont/Clark corridor a goth haven, this club was birthed by Dave Shelton in the early 1980's on the corner of Sheffield and School. It opened its doors for all ages from 7:30-10:30 pm, before the dance owls swooped in until 3 am, at which point each night the speakers blasted the grinding synths of Severed Heads' "Dead Eyes Open" as a farewell alarm. The nascent Smashing Pumpkins took the stage here in black capes, as did much of the local industrial scene. It may have closed in 1992, but you can still buy black leather and spikes on Belmont.' - Laura Baginski
Above is Medusa's when it housed the Japanese American Service Committee. Before that, it was the Viking temple, a Swedish social club according to Matthew Nickerson, 
author of two books on the history of Lake View.
1910 postcard of Swedish Viking Temple 
that apparently had a buffet on the ground floor
postcard - Chuckman Collection
Another Perspective
by Chicago Magazine/Arts & Culture
great article with lots of photos by Mike Thomas
"Billing itself as a “juice bar,” the cavernous Lake View club sold no alcohol (there were convenience stores for that) and it stayed open until the dancing stopped, which was often mid-morning the next day. Its teen dance parties, which increasingly became the club’s focus in its later years, were a rite of passage for a generation of high schoolers, and the music was as eclectic as the clientele: funk, electronic, R&B, industrial, punk, ska, house, even pop. Live bands were part of the mix, too—little-known artists who’d go on to fame: Al Jourgensen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Corgan, the Violent Femmes, Front 242." - from the article

image - Richard Ragnar Sammartino
via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
James Kulevick via Original Chicago-Facebook
interior photo from 'Jauers' 
check out the video scene
Medusa's was this punkish rock club that apparently galvanized urban & suburb kids to this building at 3257 Sheffield Avenue once known as a social club for Swedish immigrants during the turn of the 20th century. The well known Alley was nearby, a place to 'hang-out'
 before and after club hours.
Nov/Dec 1986 booklet - Ebay
a notice indicating an issue on the hours of operation
image - Ebay
Read more about the history and the man who created it with this pdf link. Hear the sights and sounds of the entertainment with YouTube#1 and YouTube#2.
3145 N Sheffield Avenue
The only online photo I could discover
This 'nightclub-within-a-nightclub' opened in 1986 within the Vic Theater. The Chicago Tribune wrote that "If Clubland is just a nightclub, then Earth is a mere ball of dirt." One year later the Trib expounded further. This video dance club had 75 25-inch video screens, one of first to use this type of medium in a massive scale in Chicago. The clubs' focal point was the main stage, used as a dance floor while the upstairs served as the balcony lobby with an additional bar along with two snack areas; one for hot appetizers, one for desserts much like a food/drink bar far away from the downstairs bar.  
2941 N. Clark Street
 Matchbook photo - Consumer Grouch
a 2009 Google Map view
For its 25 year tenure this club served patrons who apparently loved Greek culture or just liked the music it provided. Apparently, two-thirds of the clubs' visitors were non-Greek according to Chicago Tribune article. Apparently, folks like Anthony Quinn, Studs Terkel, Nana Mouskouri, Phil Donahue, and Oprah Winfrey would stop by.
photo - Donna Joyce, 1975 with sign on building lower left
Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
part of the article from 1972 - see above link

t-shirt - Ebay
photo - Erin Kuchinsky via LakeView Historical-Facebook
image - Ebay
'In the club's early days, B.L.U.E.S. featured predominantly local bluesmen and only charged $1 cover on Fridays and Saturdays. According to David Grazian in his book, Blue Chicago (2003), musicians also shared from proceeds collected in a blue-painted troll made from papier-mâché, with a long tail and a hole in its head for contributions. The much larger Kingston Mines, originally on Lincoln then on Clark, moved across the street in February 1982, which had B.L.U.E.S. owners nervous until it tripled their revenues and added legitimacy to both operations and clientele synergy as it's impossible to go to one and not notice, or want to go, to the other. As such, both clubs became more well known around the city and to suburbanites, conventioneers and tourists from around the world who learned of the place through hotel concierges and write ups in numerous publications, including Esquire Magazine. Such popularity led to a second location in 1987, called B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, which lasted until 1999 at 1122 (or 1124) W. Belmont and later become the now-defunct club, Lithium, until a new condo building went up in its place.' - Chicago Bar Project
10 Years - since 1979
After Hours with Koko Taylor in 1990
Big Jack Johnson in 1997
 The Metro
 Northside Auditorium Theater opened in 1927 
as the Swedish Community Center 
when Swedish was the language of choice 
photo - Richard Dixon Forgotten Chicago Discussioin Group

Read the conversation from Forgotten Chicago-Facebook about this This venue was establishment in 1982
Metro was once known as the Cabaret Metro, 
and housed Stages Music Hall, Smart Bar
Northside Auditorium 1943

1990 photo - R Krueger Collection,Chicago Public Library
join the conversation on Facebook
A New Craze 1983
with some history from the Metro
How the Metro Began
(click on article to enlarge)
this photo produced an endless threads 
on Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
and view more photographs from this theater via Flickr.

photo from their Facebook page
House music was developed in the houses, garages and clubs of Chicago initially for local club-goers in the "underground" club scenes, rather than for widespread commercial release. As a result, the recordings were much more conceptual, longer than the music usually played on commercial radio. House musicians used analog synthesizers and sequencers to create and arrange the electronic elements and samples on their tracks, combining live traditional instruments and percussion and soulful vocals with pre-programmed electronic synthesizers and "beat-boxes". 
the building in 1926
Once located 3152 N Halsted in a Spanish style building that was once one of the first Buick dealership in Chicago; opened in 1986 - the only pic of the building from the 1920's. 
According to former D.J Michael Ezebukwu “Back then Chicago was full of clubs. It was Den One; it was the Ritz; there was Le Pub, Broadway Limited, & Blinkers. For true house music, Club LaRay was a hot ticket. However, it was common for us to sit around and complain about what LaRay could do better. In retrospect, he did the best with what he had which, considering the clientele was mostly black, gay men, was impressive. That dynamic doesn’t even exist today in Chicago. There was often a healthy helping of women, straight folks, and minor celebrities in attendance, on any given night. - Read more from the title link above.
3435 N Sheffield Avenue
Links Hall Studio building had always been called Link's Hall-named for John J. Link, a dentist who built it in 1914 and emblazoned his name in the plaster above the front door. That same year Weegham Park was constructed on Clark and Addison. In 1978, long before a line of glitzy bars frequented by tourists and sports fans erupted at the intersection of Sheffield, Newport, and Clark, choreographers Bob Eisen, Carol Bobrow, and Charlie Vernon founded Links Hall. Links Hall was an empty room above a hamburger joint next to a women's health organization and a Japanese culture center in a seedy neighborhood where the Red Line rattled by every few minutes. Links Hall was a rehearsal space with shows at night: poetry readings, experimental music, performance art, dance. Exploratory musician Michael Zerang, an accompanist at MoMing who frequently rehearsed at Links, was the first to curate a performance series there and became de facto artistic director from 1985 to 1988. "Friday and Saturday nights were sitting empty," he recalls. "Bob said, 'Do what you want.' I said, 'I do music,' and he said, 'Fine.'" Nurturing the growth of the artistic community is a holistic process at Links. Artists developing work receive not only space and a high percentage of box office returns but mentor-ship from the Links staff, and other, less tangible forms of support. "The artists and the art have sustained Links, and Links supports not only the product but the process," says Felicia Holman, director of Linkage partnerships, Links Hall's in-kind partnerships with other organizations. This organization is currently on Western Avenue. – Reader 2019
There is a Link Studio Archive posted on Explore Chicago Collection of performances from 1978-1990.
Pops for Champagne
2934 N. Sheffield Avenue
Above 2 photos - Ebay 
along with other night clubs in the area
This so-called sophisticated club (click on page link) was established in 1982 and was once located at 2934 N. Sheffield Avenue and currently no longer in the hood. According to past advertisements for various sources this establishment at this location offered "hundreds kind of champagnes" to its live-jazz loving patrons. I wish I had some interior photos - just say'in. Pops also owned Starbar, a bar aimed at a younger crowd;a cheaper alternative to Pops
A Classical Music Venue:
The Lakeview Orchestra
Lakeview Orchestra is Chicago's newest community orchestra and has been hailed for 'committed and energetic performances' according to Chicago Classic ReviewThis orchestras was founded in 2013, the orchestra is dedicated to engaging and entertaining audiences through compelling performances. Lakeview Orchestra presents more concerts each year than any other community orchestra in Chicago, and regularly combines the orchestral repertoire with interdisciplinary presentations such as dance, video, and theater.' - their website
a dress rehearsal at Nettlehorst Elementary in 2015
The goals of this organization are for more concerts and more brainstorming in methods to convert more people to classical music. According to a Classical MPR contributor "Even though I have played hundreds and hundreds of concerts, there are few times I remember being overcome with emotion."
A Precursor Group Formed in 1929

Post Notes:
More on Medusa's
a scholarly report
by Christiane Feldman-Barrett via Carter O'Brien
(click to enlarge or link above)

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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