Joe's De Luxe

Title

Joe's De Luxe

Subject

6323 S. King Dr.

Description

Legendary queer of color cabaret run by proprietor Joe Hughes and his wife Velma Morris and managed, at least for a time, by Edgar L. Harris. Valda Gray (Harold Baker) was key producer of the venue's entertainment, and female impersonator Petite Swanson was one of the best-known entertainers who performed there. Other performers included Carroll Lee, Nina Mae McKinney, Ivy Caldonia Anderson, Dixie Lee, Mary Reed, and Robert Montgomery. Marceline Reed was a "26 Girl," who ran the venue's dice games and bartenders included "Rex" Edwards, Mack Harper, William Marshall, Robert Johnson, and Rose Hall. According to a profile on the club from the March 1948 issue of Ebony Magazine, made available through the online JD Doyle Archive, Hughes had a strict code of conduct for his performers. They had to be good at their craft, and they couldn't appear dressed in women's clothing outside the club. If they left the stage to fraternize at a patron's table, "real" women were required to be present. Performers could earn $50 a week all year round if they were good at their work and provided their own wardrobe. Monday nights featured blues artists and were dubbed "Celebrity Night" as they catered to visiting artists from out of town.

Creator

Micah Salkind

Source

Ebony Staff. “Female Impersonators: Unique Chicago Night Club Features Make-Believe Ladies as Entertainers.” Ebony Magazine, March 1948.
Doyle, JD. “Petite Swanson.” Archive. Queer Music Heritage. Accessed February 1, 2021. https://www.queermusicheritage.com/drag-swanson.html.

Date

1940/1950

Relation

Joe's DeLuxe Club
Cabin Inn

Type

Jazz
Blues

Identifier

Joe's De Luxe

Coverage

Social Culture

Location

Ballrooms and Cabarets
Taverns, Lounges and Lofts

Files

CBSCM_Your Image.jpg

Tags

Citation

Micah Salkind, “Joe's De Luxe,” Chicago Black Social Culture Map, accessed June 20, 2024, https://cbscmap.omeka.net/items/show/134.

Output Formats

Geolocation