Club Harlem was a nightclub at 32 Kentucky Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Founded in 1935 by Leroy "Pop" Williams, it was the city's premier club for black jazz performers. Like its Harlem counterpart, the Cotton Club, many of Club Harlem's guests were white, wealthy and eager to experience a night of African-American entertainment.
An elaborate all-black revue called Smart Affairs, produced by Larry Steele and headquartered at the club from 1946 to 1971, featured 40 to 50 acts and was on a par with Broadway productions. Performers at the club included Sammy Davis Jr. (who would also invite the white members of the Rat Pack), Dick Gregory, Dinah Washington, Bootsie Barnes, Gladys Knight, Teddy Pendegrass, Hot Lips Page, and Wild Bill Davis. Drummer Crazy Chris Columbo conducted the club orchestra for 34 years. Club Harlem was outfitted with seven bars, two lounges and a main showroom seating over 900. A cocktail lounge had room for 400 guests with continuous entertainment available.
Club Harlem was the site of the 1972 Easter morning shootout of a Black Mafia operative by three rival operatives, leaving five dead and 20 wounded, in full view of a show audience estimated at about 600 people. The club closed in 1986 and was demolished in 1992. Mementos salvaged from the club are part of a traveling exhibition which has appeared in Atlantic City and other locales since 2010.
Also was the home to a lot of early Hip Hop acts such as'LL Cool J, KRS 1,Rakim, Salt & Pepa, Heavy D, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante, New Edition, DJ Red ALERT, D-Nice,The Juice Crew, Cutmaster DC, Silver Fox, UTFO, Bizmarkie, Divine Sounds, Spider & Sparky D as well as local acts Donny D & Jay Fresh, Rasul Flyguy, MC Rick T, Molay, Samad Ali, MikeBlack, The Beyah's(Tariq &Abdul) LG, And last but not least Big Maurice of Crowns Records for putting all that on for us #HISTORY @silverfox125 @imroxanneshante @officialrakimallah @bizmarkie @mcshan1 @saltnpepaofficial @mixmasterice @teacha_krsone @djdnice @dj_redalert_official
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