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Blues/Blue Note Club


chicagoPaul wrote at 2006-09-17 23:33:54
Sweet Jesus. Has everyone gone to their final reward that might have known the answer. The Blue Note in Chicago was at Clark and Madison, main entrance was a wide mirrored stairway to the second floor, where the lounge was. It has been gone since about 1960. It still smelled like cigarette smoke two months after it closed. I know well of it, the firm my father worked for auctioned off its assets when it went down. I used to help him prepare places for auction, after I got out of school in the afternoon. Big mirrors, up the sidewalk from Clark Street. Hope this is helpful.

Geoff Johnson wrote at 2006-10-12 15:08:26
It's two years since your query, John, but if you're still interested, the Blue Note (per an ad from the period) was at 56 W. Madison, in the heart of Chicago's Loop.  

Loved Classic Jazz of 50's wrote at 2008-08-19 20:27:47
I just found an old matchbox cover from the Blue Note in Chicago from 1957.   I went there and heard Stan Kenton.   The front cover has a circle blue on white with a "Handwriten" Blue plus graphic note and and "handwriten" Note inside and at the top it has printed, also in blue, Frank Holzfeind's.  The phone number was DE 2-2247 and on the back it said "Superb music played by America's Greatest Jazz Artists" Excellent Food CLARK AND MADISON STS CHICAGO  Ill.  I have a cocktail napkin too and on the back are printed the names of the many jazz greats that played there.

Haz wrote at 2009-12-06 21:21:03
The Blue Note had two locations.  The first was on the north side of Madison just east of the corner at Madison. In was in the basement there.

In 1954 the club moved around the corner of Madison and Clark and was up a flight of stairs.  

It was run by a legend, Frank Holzfeind.  (My spelling may be a little off.)  He was a Damon Runyon character and a valuable citizen in that Jazz Age.

Check the Chicago Historical Society and the Chicago Jazz Society.

It was, I promise you, one of the great jazz clubs ever.

Roger Cooper wrote at 2013-06-12 03:55:59
I grew up in Chicago during the 1940's and 50's.  During that time our family sometimes had dinner Downtown at Forum's Cafeteria on Randolph Street. The Blue Note was one or two doors east of Forum's on the same side of Randolph close to Dearborn, the nearest cross street.

I can distinctly recall walking past the Blue Note at night  whenever we ate at Forum's and hearing the sound of jazz emanating from the bottom of a long flight of red carpeted stairs that began at the entrance. From the top of the stairs, one couldn't see anything else, including the musicians and their instruments.  To find the exact address of where the Blue Note used to be, I'd suggest that you consult with either the Newbury library or the Chicago Historical Museum.


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John Moyer


I have a degree in musicology and 25 years experience in playing the blues (I play bass) in and around Austin, Texas. I can answer questions about the structure or history of the blues.


25 years performing and a degree in folk music-jazz-blues.

Lost Austin Band.

BS in music history and literature.

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