The coming of age of the Blues; Soul & R & B scene in the early 50's & 60's was when the Flamingo club in the heart of London had one part Jazz venue and from midnight to Dawn one part a launching pad for new artists and new sounds.
A fixture since Jeffrey Kruger first opened its doors in September 1952, the club from its inception became the hot spot - the hottest spot for music fans of all ages and classes with visitors standing in line for the club to open coming from all over Britain and Europe to spend an evening at the Flamingo.
Some came to ogle the girls and the girls came looking for the boys but the majority came to dig the live music by the coolest of up and coming acts - including visiting American artists. Most came to just make the scene - as many as 600 a session in a club whose official capacity was 400 plus.
Into the 'sixties, the Flamingo club saw the birth of the whole "mod" teen cult and was a major factor in the R&B/Beat group explosion which soon led into rock music.
Wardour Street's Flamingo club was to London what the Cavern was to Liverpool and Birdland was to New York.
There were nights at the Flamingo club when in the audience or singing were such stellar names as Ella Fitzgerald; Billie Holiday; Adelaide Hall; Cissy Houston; The Modern Jazz Quartet; Woody Herman; Illinois Jacquet; Billy Eckstine; Frankie Laine; Billy Daniels; Mary Lou Williams; Thelma Carpenter; Garland Wilson; Dudley Moore; George Shearing; Alan Clare; Lord Spencer Churchill and his High Society friends were regulars.
Virtually every major name in the Jazz, R&B & Rock fields was to appear at the FLAMINGO - from BILLIE HOLIDAY to DIZZY GILLESPIE and ERROLL GARNER to JOHN LEE HOOKER, OTIS REDDING , WILSON PICKETT AND JIMI HENDRIX. All appeared at the club and it was home base for GEORGIE FAME AND THE BLUE FLAMES, GENO WASHINGTON and THE RAM JAM BAND, ZOOT MONEY'S BIG ROLL BAND (featuring ANDY SUMMERS, later of POLICE) and JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS (featuring ERIC CLAPTON).
THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO all dropped in to catch the shows and ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM, THE STONES' and MARIANNE FAITHFUL'S LEGENDARY EX-MANAGER, even worked at the Flamingo behind the bar!
At the time swinging London had an air of freedom music wise; opportunity and creation that woke up stuffy London - there were other great clubs full of the pop stars of the day; aristocrats and all the up and coming creative people.
And what a scene it was. It was the place to play` said Georgie Fame, leader of the first All Niter sessions house band and the first of a string of artists to gain fame at the venue. For many others it was the launching pad to future stardom.
Among the names Jeffrey Kruger introduced at the Club where it showcased the burgeoning Rock acts were groups like VAN MORRISON'S THEM, THE MOODY BLUES, DEEP PURPLE AND STATUS QUO - IRON MAIDEN - LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO; YES and countess others.
During this period groups like Led Zeppelin; Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames & Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds (who were almost the club's resident attractions)- Ronnie Jones and the Night Timers (with John Paul Jones on bass and Johnny McLaughlin on guitar); The Animals; Uriah Heep and The Moody Blues played the club regularly.
In February 1966 Peter Bardens formed Peter’s B's with Mick Fleetwood on drums an Instrumental group that was outstanding. Later this group became The Chenes when Pete Bardens left to play with 'THEM'- The Band led by Van Morrison which by this time also had Mick Fleetwood featured on drums. They also played often at the club.
Zoot Money had a very popular band with a large following and one night Peter Green was in the club as a guest and Zoot got Peter up to play and jam and from then he and Mick Fleetwood became friends and enjoyed a mutual musical respect relationship. In mid 1967 the Original Fleetwood Mac was formed by Peter Green on Guitar and Mick Fleetwood on drums
Another popular group at the club in 1966 was Shotgun Express which featured one of Britain's best loved blues singers, Beryl Marsden and featured in the band was Rod Stewart (who formerly worked regularly at the club with Long John Baldry) - The band formed by Peter Green group lasted a year and it broke up in February 1967. Rod had joined the group and when it folded Rod joined The Jeff Beck Group to sing the blues.
This was also the period of Manfred Mann; Spencer Davis Group; YES; Deep Purple; Jimi Hendrix who walked into the club one Saturday evening and asked Jeffrey Kruger if he could jam. Jeffrey recalls "I asked who he was and he said he had just arrived and was carrying the acetate of a record that had just been cut. I suggested he hung in until the all niter set started and introduced him to the night time manager, Rik Gunnell who arranged for him to play and electrify the place and so history was made yet again at the Flamingo".
Then Kruger had the Animals; Ike & Tina Turner; Little Richard; John Lee Hooker; Jerry Lee Lewis & Otis Redding yet again;
In the mid to late sixties the Flamingo & its Jazz & All Niter sessions went into limbo when disco started to take over the club scene and heavy Rock took over as 'the new sound' The Kruger's could not equate with these sounds but nevertheless were persuaded to revamp the club and it emerged after a design cleanup as 'The Pink Flamingo' or ‘The Flamingo At the Temple’ .
One of the first bands booked there was Cream who got paid ï¿½55 [$80]. Also playing there were Juicy Lucy, Savoy Brown, Mott the Hoople and Atomic Rooster. Iron Maiden; Genesis and then Pink Floyd with David Gilmour on Guitar & Vocals; Nick Mason on drums; Roger Waters on Bass & Vocals ( He left the group in 1985) & Rick Wright on keyboards & vocals. Thin Lizzy; Iron Maiden; Black Sabbath (who got a then record club fee of ï¿½100.00 or $ 150.00 for their appearance on the first occasion); The Who (Pete Townsend; Roger Daltry & John Entwhistle) - Uriah Heap; Lynard Skynard; Judas Priest and so the list grew.
Regular listeners and sometime jamming at the club were Mick Jagger; John Lennon; Rik Mayall; Desmond Dekker; and almost every known leading British blues and rock performers. It was a home from home and the music always outstanding. Real exciting days.
While all this live activity was going on, Jeffrey Kruger was also turning his interests to managing artists especially the Jazz stars that he featured at the Flamingo and to publishing their music and recording them initially for release on the major labels and then when R & B and Blue Beat [the fore runner to Reggae] & Soul came into being, Jeffrey Kruger launched his ember records label so as to have an outlet for the release of his musical tastes when the major companies were not interested in experimenting.
Working with leading American independent companies and other foreign companies the results were for English music fans the sounds of Desmond Dekker with his hit ‘Israelittes’ released on a British label; the first releases by such diverse talents as James Brown & his Famous Flames; Howling Wolf; John Lee Hooker; Etta James; B B King; George Jones; their were hits by the Harry Simeone Chorale and then John Barry joined the company and waved his magic talented wand and there were world wide hits by Chad & Jeremy & John himself as well as a hit comedy album starring Peter Sellars called ‘Fool Britannia’ and a major sound track album from the film ‘Zulu’.
It is basically from the audio catalogues of TKO and the Ember Records that the CD’s you are ordering from on the superSonic Boom web site originated.
The Ember story is the story of Jeffrey Kruger, the founder of the Flamingo Club and today some 45 years on, the Chairman of a publicly quoted company whose stock is quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board.
hab ich so von Robert Orbach übernommen...
If attending a teenage party, or in fact one of any other kind, I’d naturally wear my sharpest, coolest ensemble - possibly even my ivy-league outfit a GI got for me last year from his PX.
Young, good looking, crew cut, Ivy League, advertising exec type fruit holds the door back for me. I am evidently his idea of a character …
I wear ivy league jackets, white buckskin shoes// so many tickets down the scene honey....