The Cotton Club History

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The Cotton Club was located in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. The club was previously owned by heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, who named the club Club Deluxe in 1920. Two years later, Owney Madden took over the club and renamed it the famous name of the Cotton Club. He renewed the club to where it was only limited to a white audience, and the only black people allowed were the best performers at the time. However, the only exception to that was when white performers and dancers guest starred. The name of the Cotton Club was inspired between the segregation between the whites in the audience, and the blacks, the employees/performers. It was designed to resemble a “stylish plantation environment” for the audience and enforce the difference between the two types of people and the stereotypes of African Americans. Owney Madden opened the club as an easy way to sell bootleg alcohol to the public. Since this was during the prohibition era, when the law stated that alcohol was banned, the club was often closed down for brief amounts of time. Although the owners’ had political connections allowing them to reopen quickly.…show more content…
It embraced the revival of the talents and abilities that the African American population of America had to offer. Some of the greatest blues and jazz musicians/entertainers from this period performed at the Cotton Club. They include Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Bill Robinson, who contributed greatly to the club’s success. Duke Ellington, and his group the Washingtonians in specific, found their big break from offers to perform at the Cotton Club. The Cotton Club broadcasted their performances regularly, so they soon had national recognition jolting their career further. He and his band were mainly known for their improvisational jazz style known as “jungle style,” which became a signature style in the 1920s and
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