oldest and grandest nightclub, it opened in 1907 after the 1906 earthquake.
At that time it was called Blanco's. The restaurant/bordello offered
fine food, gambling, and fast women right up until the dark days of
the Great Depression in 1933. In 1936 local favorite Sally
Rand took it over and named it"The Music Box". Sally
Rand was the world`s most famous fan dancer.
It lasted almost 10 years then Blanco's reopened in 1948 as a jazz
club. In the 1950's, the premises were taken over by members of the
Moose Lodge. Eventually it was deemed condemned by the city inspectors
and they were all set to demolish it when in came Robert Charles who
took over the building and opened a fancy French restaurant. Then
in 1972, The Great American Music Hall opened. Duke Ellington, Sarah
Vaughan, and Count Basie to Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, and Bobby
McFerrin and more recently Johnny Cash, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic,
Etta James, Crash Test Dummies, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ottmar Liebert,
John Zorn have played there. I particularly remember seeing Carmen
McRae, Bill Evans,and Big Mama Thorton at this most beautiful
Music Hall. It is truly a landmark and treasure for our city.
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