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Cafe Society By Barney Josephson

Cafe Society

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The story of the night club impresario whose wildly successful interracial club, Cafe Society, changed the American artistic landscape forever

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Cafe Society Summary

Cafe Society: The wrong place for the Right people by Barney Josephson

Set against the drama of the Great Depression, the conflict of American race relations, and the inquisitions of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Cafe Society tells the personal history of Barney Josephson, proprietor of the legendary interracial New York City night clubs Cafe Society Downtown and Cafe Society Uptown and their successor, The Cookery. Famously known as \u0022the wrong place for the Right people,\u0022 Cafe Society featured the cream of jazz and blues performers--among whom were Billie Holiday, boogie-woogie pianists, Big Joe Turner, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Big Sid Catlett, and Mary Lou Williams--as well as comedy stars Imogene Coca, Zero Mostel, and Jack Gilford, and also gospel and folk singers. A trailblazer in many ways, Josephson welcomed black and white artists alike to perform for mixed audiences in a venue whose walls were festooned with artistic and satiric murals lampooning what was then called \u0022high society.\u0022Featuring scores of photographs that illustrate the vibrant cast of characters in Josephson's life, this exceptional book speaks richly about Cafe Society's revolutionary innovations and creativity, inspired by the vision of one remarkable man.

Customer Reviews - Cafe Society

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Cafe Society Reviews

"Cafe Society is a valuable document in the long, complex tale of America's popular culture. Barney Josephson played his part in that tale, and played it with honor. And he certainly had a long run."--The Wall Street Journal

"Packed with insights and new facts and anecdotes, and assiduously researched, Cafe Society brings Josephson and his achievements vividly to life, doing its subject, and jazz in general, proud."

"An epic ode to personal integrity, creative vision and entrepreneurial tenacity, shedding timely light on the germination of the civil-rights movement."--Kirkus Reviews

"Josephson was a great raconteur with a love for music, artistic people, and progressive politics. Photographs of the performers, as well as photos of the colorful and cartoonish murals that graced the walls, add to the evocation of a freewheeling ambience in a Depression-era cabaret."--Booklist
"The lineup of talent [Josephson] discovered and presented (Billie Holiday, Jack Gilford, Hazel Scott, Lena Horne, Zero Mostel and Josh White, among others) is so astonishingly hot that it makes you want to rush into the street and flag down a time-traveling taxi to take you to either the venue in Greenwich Village or its larger satellite Cafe Society Uptown."--Shelf Awareness
"Fascinating story of the founder of New York's Cafe Society nightclub. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

About Barney Josephson

Barney Josephson (1902-88) was a night club impresario and producer in New York City. Terry Trilling-Josephson is associate professor emerita of communications and performing arts in one of the twenty-three colleges of The City University of New York.

Additional information

Cafe Society: The wrong place for the Right people by Barney Josephson
Barney Josephson
Music in American Life
Used - Very Good
University of Illinois Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.