Soho’s Club Americana: where the GIs danced all night long
London’s ‘Club Americana’, a Saturday night jazz club open from midnight until 7 a.m.
The ‘colour bar’ was still legal and enforced at many British dance halls. Mecca’s Locarno Ballroom in Bradford refused admission to a black man in November 1961. After the Musicians’ Union told its members not to play there until the situation changed, Mecca executive, and originator of Miss World, Eric Morley responded by saying, ‘Why doesn’t the MU mind its own business?’ The MU’s position on the ‘colour bar’ can be applauded, but their arcane rules about American musicians performing in Britain were still being enforced.
Waiting for the first Tube ride home:
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