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CHRIS COLUMBO - "CLUB HARLEM" - Atlantic City

 During the late 1950s thru early 1970s gave me the opportunity to spend time in Atlantic City working various clubs in the area. While there, I had the opportunity of meeting friends also musicians that traveled with other bands from other cities to perform at major venues in Atlantic City such as The Famous Steel Pier, The Hialeah Club, Le Bistro Restaurant, Club Harlem and the famed 500 Club. 

It was during the Early 1960s while I was working with “Frank Virtue & the Virtues” at the Hialeah Club on Atlantic Avenue – and sitting-in Jam Sessions with Johnny Saint and “The Joyriders” at Fort Pitt located on New York Avenue a few blocks away from CLUB HARLEM. Our sets would end at 3:00am – since Club Harlem was open until the early morning hours past 6:00am . . . it was an after-hour gathering place to visit for many celebrities and fellow musicians to enjoy.  
I had the opportunity to meet Chris Columbo and shared many conversations about music and mutual friends.  
Chris played his first professional job with Fletcher Henderson in 1921. He led his own band from the 1930s into the late 1940s, holding a residency at the Savoy Ballroom in New York and played with Louis Jordan & his Tympani 5, Wild Bill Davis, recorded with Duke Ellington and many other Jazz artists. 
In addition, he also served as the vice president of Atlantic City’s Musician union Local 661-708.  His trio\quartet was a featured attraction in the lounge at Bally’s Park Place Casino. Thereafter, Colombo’s band went on to perform at practically every Atlantic City casino hotel. He performed at the Showboat Casino with the Showboat Dixieland Band until he suffered a stroke in 1993 and died in 2002 at the age of 100 Years old.
It has been written in many press interviews; Chris Columbo, the renowned musician at the Club Harlem: "In my early days in Atlantic City it was just a whole lot of fun, because we had a city that you didn’t have to have a key to the front door. No one ever locked their doors."

 

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    CHRIS COLUMBO - "CLUB HARLEM" - Atlantic City - DANNY'S BLOG - Danny Luciano

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