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Remembering The Juke Joints and Hang Outs

Updated on October 21, 2015
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Marc has worked in Radio for years, his folks having started a jazz station when he was a teen and he has been on WMUR, WNCU, and now WCOM

Two years from now, I will hit the double 5's.....55...but i have been in the entertainment game for years, and have lived in some cool places, and my folks where in Radio, so I have got to visit some cool Juke Joints and Hang outs...

I remember growing up in Warrenton, there was a popular nightclub called the Starlight that drew people from neighboring town Henderson as well as Southside Virginia on a regular....It was basically like a big Shed in terms of it's decor...and before that, it's also location at been about the size of a house but that was too small and it went and expanded....Not the most glorious of clubs but the music kept people coming back...

And, then there was Park Avenue when I was in Milwaukee in College which was modeled after Studio 54 best I could tell and which definitely had that kind of vibe of being the place to be and that was in the early 80's.....And there was also a club in the Spanish community and if memory serves me correctly it was called Papagaio's....Definitely could get your groove on there...

And, during my College days, I also remember coming back home and hanging out at Club 43 which was run by a family friend, Willie C who also did our blues show...His joint was definitely a Hole In The Wall but you were guaranteed to have some good times....Now that I am thinking about it, I think his spot might have been a converted gas station...and if you went further down the road, there was Daze Disco which ironically was located right next to the popular church Pine Chapel in Hollister, NC...

And, I also remember a couple of clubs from Greensboro...Dad knew the owner of Cosmos I and Cosmos II and that was definitely a fun dance spot...And, another great one was Side Effects also located in the Gate City...Around the corner in Winston, there is Ziggy's which has been around for a long time and still has a great folllowing and they have also converted the Post Offce down there to Millennium which is a performance space that definitely has had some parties....

And, in Charlotte, I am sure there are some dance spots because I have event planning friends that tell me about them and send me information about their going ons..But I haven't checked any of them out yet....But, I did go by Therapy which was a cool bar when I went to a sports game down there....If nothing else, you have to love the name of the bar which I don't think is around anymore, since we all know that when we go to a bar we are going for "Therapy"...

And the downtown that I love dearly, Durham, has some great dance spots and some that are no longer...You can still get your groove on at Motorco and Pinhook, but some here also remember the Power Company and Ringside, both Gay clubs but they catered to the entire community for their dance parties.....And some would argue, that to some degree, the Lesbian Bar, The Bar, is carrying out that tradition.....

And in Raleigh, there are all kinds of cool dance spots like King's, Solas, and Architect and other places where you can get your dance on...You might even be able to get your Charleston and Jazz dance on at C-Grace which can best be described as a modern day Speakeasy...

These are but a few reflections on a few Juke Joints...Do you have any favorites in your hometowns..

What Is Your Favorite Nightclub

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    • bluesradio profile image

      Marc Lee 2 years ago from Durham, NC

      Yes i work with one of Ernie Barnes' daughters and for years have bwen involved qith the Bull Durham Blues Festival. Big time fan of Elvin Bishop,Rod Piazza and other West Coast acts.

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      Catherine Tally 2 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Marc,

      Although I didn't frequent clubs for drinking and dancing, I loved live music in small venues. When I was a teenager in the mid-late 60s, we always hung out at a place call the Hullaballoo. It had a revolving stage, so many acts came out playing as the other finished a set. Even though it wasn't smack in the middle of the action like Gazzarri's , Pandora's Box, and the Whiskey a go-go on the Sunset Strip, it showcased the local talent like Buffalo Springfield, Neil Diamond, Music Machine, Love, The Byrds, and the Doors among others. There were also coffee houses that featured solo acts and folk singers who kind of started the folk-rock sound, incl. David Crosby, Cass Elliott, Joni Mitchell, etc. In the 70s, the Roxy on Sunset Strip was a hot spot, but you had to have tickets and there wasn't a dance floor, only tables. It was an intimate place for me to see acts like Eddie Kendricks, Elvin Bishop, Paul Butterfield Blue's Band, and the Average White Band. Some of the best places were random clubs in seedy parts of downtown that had unknown guys playing really mean R&B. You bring back memories by posting Ernie Barnes picture called "Sugar Shack." :)

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      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      When I lived in Southern California in the early 1980s, I used to go to a club in Newport Beach called Deja Vu. Back then, the drinking age varied from state to state; the drinking age in California was 21. They let women in at age 18, giving them a special hand stamp if they were underage, but the men had to be 21 (discrimination!!!). A band would play rock music, and between sets they would play disco records, so there was something for everyone. The club was always packed. Oh, the memories...