|By dvdmike (220.127.116.11) on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 08:02 pm:|
The New Regal Theatre in Chicago is about to shut it's doors - again. The theatre which opened at it's present location at 79th Street just east of Stony Island Avenue in 1987 will be closed and padlocked at the end of this month. Citing lack of interest from the city as well as other problems i.e. bad location, panhandlers, etc., present owner Ed Gardner of Soft Sheen Products made the announcement yesterday. The New Regal, formerly the Avalon Theatre was christened by the late Mayor Harold Washington with a black tie gala was host to many events including many stage plays, most recently The Black Ensemble Theatre's "My Heart Is Crying: The Jackie Wilson Story" and Michael Baisden's "The Maintenance Man". The original location on 47th & King Drive (formerly South Parkway) opened in 1928 and closed in 1968. The owner at that time, S.B. Fuller of the Fuller Brush Co. was not able to meet the financial demands and was forced to close down, remaining abandoned for 5 years before being bulldozed and replaced by a parking lot. Today, it's the location of the ill-fated Lou Rawls Cultural Center, but the project was handled so haphazardly that Rawls had his name disassociated with it. I'm not sure what is happening with the structure which has remained unfinished for the last several years. I don't have all of the facts as to why the current Regal is done, but if anyone had more information, please tally it here.
|By R&B (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 11:28 am:|
HEY DVDMIKE,I'M SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT THE REGAL,WHENEVER SOUL MUSIC IS MENTIONED THE REGAL IS THOUGHT OF,IT'S SAD THAT MOST OF THE OLD VENUES ARE FALLING BY THE WAYSIDE FOR URBAN RENEWAL,YOU WOULD THINK THAT SOME OF THESE OLD FAVORITES WOULD BE CITY LANDMARKS TO BE MAINTAINED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS BUT THESE BIG MONEY CORP.DON'T CARE ABOUT SUCH THINGS,THE HOWARD IN D.C.HAS BEEN ABANDONED FOR YEARS AND THERE IS TALK OF IT BEING TORN DOWN,WHICH IS A SHAME BECAUSE IT WAS THE FIRST OF WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE CHITLIN CIRCUIT FOR BLACK ENTERTAINMENT AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY,VERY SAD INDEED.
|By Eli (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 12:41 pm:|
I had some of my best times at the Regal.
I played there three times with the Vibrations and on one occasion the Jackson Five(and Johnny) as they were then known were on the bill as opening act and Bobby Taylor of the Vancouvers said to me one day up in his dressing room "hey Eli man, I gotta tell Berry about these kids"!!
Well, the rest is history!!
The Regal, and Chicago will always be dear to my heart.
|By KevGo (126.96.36.199) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 01:57 pm:|
Sad to read about the demise of the New Regal Theatre...
Although I had never been there or even to the original, having relatives who lived in Chicago their memories of the Regal(s) were soooo vivid, I felt like I was there.
Here's hope that Chicago can find a new home for live music...
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Kenderella (188.8.131.52) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 04:41 pm:|
I am very saddened to hear that The Regal Theater is closing it's doors. I grew up in Chicago and an absolute blasts at those shows. I have great memories of the Regal Theater.
BTW, here is a great website on The Regal Theater.
|By David Meikle (184.108.40.206) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 04:57 pm:|
Anyone know the precise address for the original Regal at 47th & King.
|By Kenderella (220.127.116.11) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 05:10 pm:|
I believe the address was:
4721 S. South Parkway
I remember that Terry's Department Store was on the corner of 47th and South Park and the Regal was a few doors south.
|By David Meikle (18.104.22.168) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 05:33 pm:|
Did you hang around South Michigan Avenue in those days?
|By dvdmike (22.214.171.124) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 06:27 pm:|
The department store directly around the corner from the old Regal was originally called the South Center Department Store. My grandmother ran the elevator there in the early '60's. It was later renamed Terry's. On the northeast corner of 47th & South Parkway was a Walgreen's where we would go and eat either before or after shows. Lou Rawls mentioned it in his song, "World Of Trouble." Down the street from Walgreen's was the Palm Tavern, a club owned and operated by Gerri Oliver from the late 1940s until it was padlocked by the city last year. On the southwest corner was a record shop owned by the legendary Bill Chavers who opened the shop in the 1930s. A few doors down from the northwest corner was the Met Theater which closed around the early '80's. In the thirties and forties, 47th Street was really jumping. The area that housed the Regal, the Met, Morris' Perfect Eat Shop, Corpus Christi School, the Savoy Ballroom, the Pekin Theatre and the shop owned by Scotty Piper, the tailor, who made graduation suits for Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole is known as Bronzeville.
|By Soul Sister (126.96.36.199) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 06:34 pm:|
Thanks much for giving us that great history. Iam sad to learn the last of the chitlin'circuit theaters is being closed down. That was the only theater I never got to visit but have heard many great stories about it in its hey-day, some from Jimmy.
|By dvdmike (188.8.131.52) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 06:50 pm:|
The Regal was Chicago's equivalent to the Apollo and was one of the four theaters on the "chitlin circuit that the top Black artists of the day performed. The other two being the Uptown in Philly and the Howard in D.C. As far as South Michigan Avenue, when I was a little kid in the early sixties, my mother would take me downtown shopping on the #1 Drexel/Hyde Park bus which travelled northbound on South Michigan Avenue on it's way to the Loop. I was too young to appreciate what it all meant, but having an inqusitive nature, I always read the signs on the building and I remember seeing One-Der-Ful/Mar-V-Lus Records and studio, Chess Studios, Ernie Leaner's United Distributers and later Gardner's One-Stop which was owned by Walter Gardner, brother of studio trumpeter Burgess Gardner (also my high school band teacher) and Vee-Jay Records which later became Brunswick. King Records also had an office on that stretch on South Michigan Avenue between 12th Street (Roosevelt Road) and 23rd Street (Cermak Road) which became known as Record Row in the fifties.
|By Soul Sister (184.108.40.206) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 06:58 pm:|
The Royal Theater in Maryland was another one, in it's day.
|By dvdmike (220.127.116.11) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 08:36 pm:|
How about the Back Bay Theater in Boston?
|By Scratcher (18.104.22.168) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 08:39 pm:|
Was any of the other theaters really like the Apollo? The Apollo offered multiple shows each day for many days while the others (correct me If I'm wrong) would have one or two shows for maybe one or two days; usually one day with both shows in the evening.
|By Kenderella (22.214.171.124) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 10:15 pm:|
David, no I didn't do very much hanging on South Michigan, was too young. My Dad used to drive us down to The Regal and him or someone else would pick us up in the wee hours of the morning. When I did start hanging it was probably at The Guys and Gals on 69th and Ashland or The Green Bunny on 79th.
Scratcher, I recall there being shows for 7 days at a time at The Regal. They had a matinee and two evening shows during the week. On weekends, they had a matinee at noon and shows til midnight. I never wanted to get up the next morning to go to school. My Dad said we should have thought about that when we were trying to close The Regal down the night before.
dvdmike, I remember riding the #1 bus downtown too, passing Record Row. Burgess Gardener is also a friend of the family. I believe he is a retired principal. I know you had fun in class with him! He always has such a pleasant attitude. His son, Derrick was following in his footsteps. A few years back, he was touring with The Count Basie Band. I believe he has moved on, but I don't know who he's playing with now.
|By Scratcher (126.96.36.199) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 10:27 pm:|
Thanks Kenderella, not being from Chicago I didn't know that. We had nothing like the Regal or the Apollo in my neck of the woods. The shows would come but only for one night, if ticket sales were good there would be a second show, if not there wasn't.
|By dvdmike (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 09:00 am:|
Burgess just did a show here last week, but I missed it. He was the band/music teacher at Kenwood High for one year, my senior year of 1973. He was a good guy to me, he gave me straight A's. But he could be pretty gruff at times, too. He moved to Northern California for a while and came back to Chicago in the eighties. He and Tom Tom 84 go way back.
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 11:43 am:|
dvdmike, Kenderella & Scratcher:
I have spoken with the great Burgess Gardner off & on over the years. I know you folks are aware of the classic recordings he co-produced with Monk Higgins on Eddie Thomas' label. Mr. Gardner is a verrrry busy man (judging by the number of messages I used to leave on his voice mail!) but when we did talk he was always pleasant and kind.
My favorite Burgess Gardner production is Jamo Thomas' "I Spy (For The FBI)" as well as the Monk Higgins singles on the St. Lawrence label.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Scratcher (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 11:47 am:|
I still have my 45 of "I Spy..." by Jamo Thomas; I didn't know of the original by Luther Ingram until decades later. I tried to collect all the St. Lawrence singles I could, which aren't many, the records weren't played much in the Canton-Akron-Cleveland area; only a few by the Vontastics and a couple of others.
|By MEL&THENSOME (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 12:16 pm:|
boy does that name crop up a lot on my sounds.
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:08 pm:|
When did Luther Ingram record "I Spy" and on what label?
You're right about collecting St. Lawrence singles. Even my boss who has collected records for 40 years has had a tough time finding 45s from this label.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By MEL&THEN SOME (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:25 pm:|
Luther Ingram and the G Men
(I Spy)for the FBI
on Smash Records(no.2019)
|By Scratcher (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:28 pm:|
Kev, you would never know it was Luther Ingram singing the song. He sounds completely different than he later sounded at Stax/KoKo Records.
|By MEL&THEN SOME9 (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:32 pm:|
have you got Butch Baker
it came out as Working at the go-go/Fatman at the go-go
but I had the rarer White Demo
Batman at the go-go/Robin at the go-go
the working and fatman at the go-go were on
with the rarer white demo on
working at the go0go was an absolute monster dance record in 1972 on the rare uk all-nighter scene.
A brilliant inst(andthensome)
Under Butchs name it says 12 yr old wonder.
or genius something like that.
I still have a few St Lawrence 45s
such as Johnny Sayles Demo
I Cant get enough etc.
and others a great label.
|By Scratcher (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:47 pm:|
No Mel, unfortunately I only have a few disks from St. Lawrence. Records weren't distributed as widely or aired as often as some may think. Most rare soul recordings were strictly local, some regional, and many got spot play...a city here...a city there. Records with no money behind them didn't get much exposure.
|By MEL&THEN SOME (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 02:51 pm:|
my apologies for just steamrolling in on your conversation there,
but when I see a record etc that I have or whatever then I forget myself.
Sorry Guys for being pig-ignorant there.
thanks for replying Scratcher
|By R&B (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 03:57 pm:|
HEY SCARTCHER,REGARDING THE CHITLIN CIRCUIT IT WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS,SHOWS CONSISTING OF SEVERAL ACTS[SOMETIMES AS MANY AS SIX]WOULD APPEAR FOR ONE WEEK AT A TIME[IN SOME CITIES 10 DAYS]FOR FOUR SHOWS A DAY STARTING AT NOON,YOU COULD STAY FOR THE FIRST THREE SHOWS,BUT THE CLEARED THE THEATRE FOR THE MIDNIGHT SHOW.