The Performers

Up Chris Barber George Brunis Sid Dawson Salty Dogs Franz Jackson George Lewis Santo Pecora Bob Scobey Chicago Stompers

There were a multitude of bands that played at the Red Arrow over the years.  The names at the left are just a sampling of them and anyone left out wasn't omitted on purpose, just as a result of my memory or a lack of a photograph or backup documentation.

The longest run of any performer was Franz Jackson and the Original Jass All-Stars.  Franz and his group played for us from 1955 to 1962, and then played for the subsequent owners for a while.  According to Franz, he claims to have been responsible "for turning the key in the lock" when the Arrow finally closed.  In addition to a very long run, he also recorded a live album titled "A NIGHT AT THE RED ARROW". 

Second longest run was by either George Brunis, Sid Dawson, Lil Hardin-Armstrong, Mike Wallbridge's Chicago Stompers, Johnny Lane or a combination of the above.  Seemed like Otto Sr. was always playing mix and match with the performers, creating and trying new sounds.  

Many visiting bands played there as well.  Among them, George Lewis, Bob Scobey, Santo Pecora, Chris Barber from the UK and others.  All bands also had "headliners" that added to the bands and names like Clancy Hays, Barrett Deems, Jack Teagarden, Nappy Lamar, Little Brother Montgomery also graced the stage.

Regardless of whomever played, I got to sit "ringside" at my private table and soak in the jazz and cokes, or visit with all the musicians during their breaks, until my curfew arrived.  I would then be hustled upstairs to our apartment and to bed, which just happened to be directly over the bandstand.  After several years of enduring the muffled announcements and repartee with the crowd, I talked my parents into allowing a speaker hookup to the P.A. to improve the audio quality, as well as my sleep.   It worked.