The Cotton Club

In: English and Literature

Submitted By audreyyibarra
Words 424
Pages 2
During the Harlem Renaissance The Cotton Club was one of the most famous nightclubs in history. The cotton club was located in New York City in Harlem. The club operated from the 1920's to the 1930's. The Cotton Club was mostly about jazz. Jazz is the art of individuals working in unison to make one sublime sound. This establishment was for whites only, all though it featured some of the best black entertainers and jazz musicians this era had to offer.
In 1920, heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson opened the Cotton Club under the name “Club Deluxe” on the corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue in the heart of the Harlem district. Owney Madden, a prominent bootlegger and gangster, took over the club in 1923 while imprisoned in Sing Sing and changed its name to the Cotton Club. A deal was arranged between the two that allowed Johnson to still be the club’s manager. Madden used the cotton club as an outlet to sell his number one beer to the prohibition crowd. The Cotton Club was a “Whites-only” foundation. Even in the heart of Harlem, the race line divided the black performers from the white patrons. Inside the Cotton Club, African themes were exploited and only "jungle music" was played to an all white audience. Duke Ellington put together one of the most talented jazz bands ever to walk on stage to play for the patrons of The Cotton Club six nights a week. As the twenties went on, Ellington would continue his huge success at The Cotton Club into many classic recordings, cementing Duke Ellington to go down in history as one of the great jazz musicians and entertainers ever. In 1931, Ellington left his thrown at the cotton club to the bandleader Cab Calloway. Although Calloway wasn't as talented he did have a distinct style called scat singing. Scat Singing is singing in which the singer substitutes improvised nonsense syllables for the words of a song. Which…...

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