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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Red All Over: 1942

Red All Over: 1942

Chicago, April 1942. "Dancing to the music of Red Saunders and his band at the Club DeLisa." Photographer Jack Delano swaps the train pictures for a taste of cafe society. Med. format negative, Office of War Information. View full size.


Not unheard of, but

I suspect that a racially mixed clientele, even in Chicago, even in a jazz club, even under more relaxed wartime observance of social customs, was more the exception than the rule.

The original Club DeLisa

opened in 1934 and burned down before this photo was taken, so this has to be the New Club deLisa, as it was called. Red Saunders led the band in residence. His name was for many years practically synonymous with local Chicago jazz. Nineteen years after this photo was taken, I produced a session on which he played. I did several albums on that trip and recorded many veteran musicians, most of whom had played in a Saunders band at one time or another.

I hope we get to see more shots from that evening—they are available online, but not with that magic Shorpy (sharpy?) touch.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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