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History[ edit ] Inheavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson rented the upper floor of the building on the corner of nd Street and Lenox Avenue in the heart of Harlem and opened an intimate supper club called the Club Deluxe.
Owney Maddena prominent bootlegger and gangstertook over the club after his release from Sing Sing in and changed its name to the Cotton Club. Madden "used the cotton club as an outlet to sell his 1 beer to the prohibition crowd". Harlem producer Leonard Harper directed the first two of three opening night floor-shows at the new venue.
Cotton Club dancer Mildred Dixon - Duke Ellington's second companion The Cotton Club was a whites-only establishment and reproduced the racist imagery of the era, often depicting black people as savages in exotic jungles or as " darkies " in the plantation South.
The club imposed a subtler color line on the chorus girlswhom the club presented in skimpy outfits. They were expected to be "tall, tan, and terrific," that meant they had to be at least 5'6" tall, light-skinned, and under 21 years of age.
The revues featured dancers, singers, comedians, and variety acts, as well as a house band. Duke Ellington's orchestra was the house band from December 4, until June 30, The first revue that Ellington's orchestra performed was called "Rhythmania" and featured Adelaide Hall.
Hall had just recorded several songs with Ellington, including " Creole Love Call ", that became a worldwide hit. The club also enabled him to develop his repertoire while composing dance tunes for the shows as well overtures, transitions, accompaniments, and "jungle" effects, giving him a freedom to experiment with orchestral arrangements that touring bands rarely experienced.
Ellington recorded more than compositions during this period. Eventually, responding to Ellington's request, the club slightly relaxed its policy of segregation. Jimmie Lunceford 's band replaced Calloway's in Ellington, Calloway, and Louis Armstrong returned to perform at the club in later years.
Dorothy Dandridge performed at the club while part of the Dandridge Sistersand Coleman Hawkins and Don Redman played at the club as part of Henderson's band.
The club also drew from white popular culture.
Walter Brooks, who had produced the successful Broadway show Shuffle Alongwas the club's nominal owner. InHall starred in the "Cotton Club Parade ", the highest-grossing show ever to appear at the club. The show opened on March 11,and ran for eight months, attracting overpaying customers.
During Hall's performance of "Ill Wind", a dry-ice machine was used to create a fog effect, the first time such equipment had been used on a stage.The original Cotton Club opened in the ’s on nd street and Lenox Avenue when central Harlem was the playground of the rich.
The club was segregated in the sense that only white patrons could enter the establishment while all the service and entertainment was provided by black entertainers who often worked jungle themes or black face parodies for their guests.
During the waning years of the Harlem Renaissance Cotton Club, Ella Fitzgerald ascended the stage at the tender age of 17, after she'd been discovered at a talent show in Harlem's Apollo Theater.
Despite the racial barriers that it promoted, the Harlem Renaissance Cotton Club is . The Harlem Renaissance was an extraordinary time of cultural and artistic growth in the African-American community and that began in and flourished until the stock market crash in and was centered in Harlem, which had become an African-American neighborhood in early during the Great Migration of southern blacks to northern cities, such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit.
Video: The Cotton Club: History, Performers & Harlem Renaissance The Cotton Club was an essential part of the Harlem nightlife in New York City during the s and s. Harlem Renaissance - Black heritage and American culture: This interest in black heritage coincided with efforts to define an American culture distinct from that of Europe, one that would be characterized by ethnic pluralism as well as a democratic ethos.
The concept of cultural pluralism (a term coined by the philosopher Horace Kallen in ) inspired notions of the United States as a new. The Cotton Club was a New York City nightclub located in Harlem on nd Street and Lenox Avenue from to , then briefly in the midtown Theater District from to The club operated most notably during the United States' era of regardbouddhiste.com club was a whites-only establishment, but featured many of the most popular black entertainers of the era, including musicians Fletcher.