This futuristic image was on the menu cover of one of New York City’s famous jazz clubs.
Bop City opened in 1949 on the second floor of the Brill Building at Broadway and 49th Street, with clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw and ‘First Lady of Song’ Ella Fitzgerald the headliners.
The club was managed by Ralph Watkins, who had formerly run another legendary jazz venue called the Royal Roost, and had room for 1,000 spectators. Male staff dressed in ‘bop fashion,’ wearing bow ties, berets and goatees (you can see this on the illustrations on the interior menu.)
Previous nightclubs at the same location were Club (Café) Zanzibar and The Hurricane.
Nightlife establishments come and go in big cities and Bop City was around for only a couple of years but what a couple of years it must have been. Other musicians who played here included Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan.
It closed in 1951 and was supplanted by the Avalon Ballroom which closed in the mid-60s.
Bebop or ‘bop’ jazz music originated in Harlem in the 1940s and was characterized by fast tempos, complex harmonies and rhythms. Noteworthy beboppers included Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.
The Brill Building was built in 1930 and became synonymous with American music. Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey were among the first music publishers to have offices there in the 1940s. In the 1950s, tenants included the celebrated songwriting duo Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke. In the 1960s, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as well as Neil Sedaka, Marvin Hamlisch and Phil Spector were just some of the musical geniuses who worked there.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.