with the bold text in the example below: The Skychi Travel Guide : Sammy Davis Jr. at Roberts Show Club

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sammy Davis Jr. at Roberts Show Club

Roberts Show Club 6222 South King Drive Photo Credit: Herman Roberts
Roberts Show Club 6222 South King Drive Photo Credit: Herman Roberts
"Roberts Show Club" from An Autobiography of Black Jazz by Dempsey J. Travis
"In August, 1959, Dick Gregory called Roberts Show Club the biggest Negro-owned nightclub in America. All the top Negro acts played Roberts: Sarah Vaughan,  Count Basie, Sammy Davis, Jr., Billy Eckstine,  Nipsey Russell and Dinah Washington.  Red Saunders directed the house band. There was an eight-girl chorus line and more than one thousand seats for people who liked to be entertained in this spacious, well-appointed club. Gregory said, "When I stood on that electrically - powered stage and introduced the acts and gave the coming attractions,  I felt like a top Negro act too."
The power behind Roberts Show Club was Herman Roberts, an energetic entrepreneur who found that owning fifty-five taxicabs did not occupy enough of his time. He opened the Lucky Spot, a small nightclub on 605 East 71st Street. Later when he decided to sponsor a seven-girl social club he changed the name of the Lucky Spot to The Roberettes. The members of the club brought their friends there on Friday and Saturday nights, and business thrived. Herman Roberts owned a garage at 6222 South Parkway which was too small for his fleet of cabs, so he moved the cabs to a larger garage at 610 East 61st Street and remodeled the South Parkway garage into a dance hall. People had so much fun there they wanted to come every night. Roberts responded by improving the interior and naming the place Roberts Lounge and Liquor. He told me at the time he never intended to own a nightclub. He had intended only to provide a place for the members of the Roberettes Social Club to bring their friends to drink, dance, and listen to a small band. Then out of the clear blue sky people began providing their own entertainment. One person would get up and sing with the band and another would do a tap solo and it became obvious to Roberts that there was a need for low budget entertainment for young middle-class South Siders."

"In 1959 Herman Roberts booked his friend Sammy Davis Jr. into the club for five nights at three thousand dollars a night, and additional charges for the large band that traveled with Davis. Sammy attracted  a predominantly white audience every evening for the first show. All seats down front were occupied by white people. Herman Roberts told me on the second evening one of his regular customers came up to him and said, "Hey, man I thought you said Sammy was coming out here to work for his people?"
Roberts retorted, "Have you forgotten that Sammy turned Jewish a few years ago?"
Sammy Davis Jr. drew large crowds because he was the number one entertainer in America and his religious persuasion was irrelevant. "

New Beginnings Church Chicago is currently at the location of 6220 South King Drive.

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