Musical Marginalia

Clubs that changed everything

Jazz greats passing through El Paso used to cross the bridge to the original Lobby Bar in Juárez for a drink and a chance to sit in with Max Schumake’s house trio. In the sixties regular patrons like Bobby Fuller watched blues guitarist Long John Hunter swing from the ceiling with one arm as he played with the other.

Don Robey opened the Bronze Peacock in Houston’s Fifth Ward in 1945 as an upscale supper club where folks could dine and dance to acts like Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker. As Robey’s ambitions grew, the club provided the name, the talent, and eventually, the site for his new label, Peacock.

Austin’s Continental Club has been open for so long—43 years—precisely because it’s a musician’s club. The venue has provided weekly stages to up-and-comers like Little Charlie Sexton and aged music veterans like Grey Ghost, Erbie Bowser, and T. D. Bell.

In the fifties the Tiffany Lounge in downtown San Antonio was headquarters to the city’s wild Tex-Mex R&B scene. Standing in the audience on many nights,

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