Thursday, November 14, 2013


Club Hangover was the place to be in San Francisco for Dixieland and New Orleans jazz in the 1950s. In that pre-bebop era that's all jazz meant: swing, dixieland and the earliest notions of what we now call traditional jazz. The club opened around 1948 and over the next decade it was home to an unparallelled list of jazz greats: Kid Ory, Cozy Cole, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Rushing, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Meade Lux Lewis, Muggsy Spanier, Pee Wee Russell, Jack Teagarden and Turk Murphy. Starting in 1955 Hines began a 5 yer stint as the house band for almost 5 years.  The 1958 edition of the Leonard Feather Encyclopedia of Jazz described the venue with the following blurb:
"CLUB HANGOVER, 729 Bush St; GA 1-0743 Open six days a week, closed Sundays. No cover or minimum. Doc Dougherty, manager."

The venue was run by bandleader Charles Alonzo "Doc" Dougherty. Most articles describe him as a bandleader. Jazz was alive on the San Francisco dial in those days. 1400 KRE-AM was airing an all-request jazz program on weekday afternoons. Around 1955 KCBS-AM  began featuring the program "Dixieland Is My Beat" on Saturday nights, plus starting in 1953 they aired a live show from the The Hangover Club each week. The Hangover broadcasts on KCBS were MC'd by Jimmy Lyons. Yes that's the same Lyons that founded the Monterey Jazz Festival. Host Bob Goerner interviewed the musicians from the studio on a dedicated phone line. More here.

So many of these  performances were taped at the hangover Club that most Louis Armstrong Discographies note "probably broadcast" next to tapes known to have come from that venue. KCBS preserved the tapes and DJ Dave Radlauer has cared for a number of these that date to it's heyday from 1954-58. The original host Goerner had been taping them as had Doughtery. But some of those tapes have gone on to have a second life. Goerner began loaning them out for small record labels pressings.

But then in the 1990s Goerner allowed DJ Dave Radlauer to rebroadcast many of them on KALW-FM. After Goerner died his tapes were acquired by the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation and they are now safely in the possession of the Stanford University Braun Music archive.The small club at 729 Bush Street still stands but it's now a gay bar. More here and here