makpjazz57

Bop City at 1619 Broadway and 49th Street in the Brill Building

19 posts in this topic

My Aunt just sent me a scan of a brochure she got while at Bop City sometime between 1949 and 1953.  Does anyone here have add'l information on this club?  I do know that it was in the Brill Building, but not sure if it was right on the ground floor.  I found one photo of Bop City from the outside, but no interior photos (supposedly could seat 1,000 people)!  I've attached a copy of the brochure cover.  My Aunt says her original is in perfect condition!

bop city.JPG

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1a836b1e22aab2e9011175e82f1e3964.jpg

Bop City, NYC, 1953 by Herman Leonard

 

entertainer-milton-berle-cr-during-openi

Entertainer Milton Berle (CR) during opening ceremonial of Bop City NYC 1949

 

artie-shaws-40-piece-symphony-orchestra-

Artie Shaw’s 40 piece symphony orchestra playing during Bop City opening NYC 1949

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4 hours ago, kh1958 said:

This website has a map of jazz clubs on 52nd Street and vicinity and a variety of photos. 

http://popspotsnyc.com/jazz_clubs/

An amazing piece of work. 

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When exactly was 52nd street over-- i saw a pic of james dean on that page from 1954-55.  was it not long after that the jazz clubs left?  i know birdland remained, lost of early 60s recording for it

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I remember Jimmy Ryan's was still around in the '70s.  

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I think Eddie Condon's was, too, but they may have been on 54th St. by then! I dimly remember going to both Ryan's and Condon's (at least one for sure :lol:); they were practically next door to each other iirc. I definitely recall Max Kaminsky hawking his LPs at the back of one of the clubs. As a NYC tourist in the late '70s-early '80s, I might have been naive, but regarded the 54th St. survivors as the last of "52nd St.".

I believe "52nd St. loosely interpreted" ended for good when a big new building went up in 1983 (?) and the (brownstone) bldgs housing the remaining clubs on 54th were demolished (as happened on 52nd in 1962, see Wiki citation below).

[Added]

Condon's opens @ 144 W 54 in 1975

1976 article on Ryan's, which moved to 154 W 54 in 1963.

According to Wikipedia, "52nd St." proper seems to have ended in 1962, though I'm never 100% sure of Wiki assertions.

Edited by T.D.

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15 minutes ago, T.D. said:

I think Eddie Condon's was, too, but they may have been on 54th St. by then! I dimly remember going to both Ryan's and Condon's (at least one for sure :lol:); they were practically next door to each other iirc. I definitely recall Max Kaminsky hawking his LPs at the back of one of the clubs.

 

This may have been in the late 70s? An aunt of mine went there one " night out" as a tourist during a cruise trip that included a stay in NY. This was in April 1979 and, though not a jazz fan at all, she bought one of his LPs (MK Records 1001, looking like one of those Boris Rose things and including a collection of far earlier live recordings featuring Suillvan, Cutshall, Russell, Wettling et al. if the cover info is correct) and thoughtfully got it autographed by Max Kaminsky himself as well as a handful of his then band embers (whose names I cannot decipher). She later on passed it on to me and that platter has been residing in my collection for some 20 years now. ;)

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24 minutes ago, T.D. said:

I think Eddie Condon's was, too, but they may have been on 54th St. by then! I dimly remember going to both Ryan's and Condon's (at least one for sure :lol:); they were practically next door to each other iirc. I definitely recall Max Kaminsky hawking his LPs at the back of one of the clubs.

I believe "52nd St." ended for good when a big new building went up in 1983 (?) and the (brownstone) bldgs housing the remaining clubs on 54th (?) were demolished (as happened on 52nd in 1962, see below). As a NYC tourist in the late '70s-early '80s, I might have been naive, but regarded the 54th st. survivors as the last of "52nd St.".

[Added]

Condon's opens @ 144 W 54 in 1975

1976 article on Ryan's, which moved to 154 W 54 in 1963.

According to Wikipedia, "52nd St." proper ended in 1962.

I went to NY often in the '70s and regret that I never went to either club.  IIRC Roy Eldridge was in permanent residence at Ryan's. 

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3 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

This may have been in the late 70s? 

Probably. Somewhere in the '78-81 time frame, I think very late '70s more likely.

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So this coincides with the date my aunt visited the club. Regrettably I never thought of asking her about the club and the gig itself (though I guess her recollections would not have been very specific).

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Thanks, everybody!  SonnyMax, wow, a photo of the inside of Bop City!!!!  I'm really appreciative of everyone's posts.  I missed this entire era (born in 1957), so I'm somewhat obsessed with finding photos of the interiors of Minton's Playhouse (back in the day), Royal Roost, Birdland - all of them!  In fact, a guy named Milan Simich self-publishes  a 3-volume extraordinarily detailed book(s) on Birdland with really obscure photos and interviews with Jazzmobile's Johnny Garry (passed away recently).  Johnny managed Birdland for 5 years and gives a very detailed description of the inside of Birdland (the original, of course).  I'm waiting now for my 3 volume set and I'm told by a friend there's even more obscure photos of the interior and musicians!    Also, thanks Medchuck for the link - going to check that out now.

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Please let us know how the book(s) are when you receive them. 

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

Please let us know how the book(s) are when you receive them. 

Will do, Brad - I should have them in about 2 weeks and hope to just stay home one full weekend and devour them.  I did get to read Vol 1 at my friend's home (that's how I found out about the 3 volume).  Had to/have to have these since there are many comments/stories from the musicians we love.  In a way, it reminds me of Ira Gitler's Jazz Masters book(s) and from Swing to Bop - even Notes and Tones (Art Taylor) in that you are getting the history directly from the source(s).  Hefty cost as it is self-published by Mr. Simich so I literally had to save my pennies - have to purchase them as a 3 volume set and cost was total of $300.00.  Anyway, I'll have them in my hands in about 2 weeks and promise to report back, though I can tell you Vol. 1 was outstanding, which is why I worked hard to save my $ to buy the set! 

Edited by makpjazz57

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That great map of the clubs reminds me that between when  the Hurricane Cub and Bop City were there, the Zanzibar (where Duke also played a lot) was in the Brill Building.   Anyone know any other clubs that t used the space? 

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Does anybody have a menu from the Royal Roost? Apparently they served fried chicken!

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11 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Does anybody have a menu from the Royal Roost? Apparently they served fried chicken!

Check out "Charlie Parker & Jazz Club Memorabilia" (The Norman R. Saks Collection) published by JALC in 2007.

It shows a Royal Roost menu as exhibit 247 but it's way too small to scan and reproduce here. From what can be deciphered they did serve chicken soup as well as Southern Fried chicken as part of the special dinner at $1.85 as well as broiled chicken, various cutlets, steaks, sea food etc. on the main menu, Hot Turkey sandwich in the "Sandwich" section etc.

Exhibit 253 of the book shows the brochure shown by Makpjaz577 in the opening post, BTW.

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