Abe's 506 Club

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Abe's 506 Club was a nightclub in the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood owned by Abe and Bob Pierce originally located at 506 West Belmont Street.

The club was a part of the famous Chitlin' Circuit of Southern music venues where black musicians could find gigs during segregation. Together with the Savoy Gardens ballroom, it was host to a list of artists that included Louis Armstrong, James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, Fats Domino and B.B. King. Blues musician Sam McClain became a regular performer at the club in 1963 and was "discovered" by DJ Papa Don Schroeder, and they made a popular recording of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams."

In 1965 the club moved to a larger space across the street, at 515 West Belmont. The walls of the club were decorated with enormous oyster shells that held telephones. Abe Pierce purchased the adjacent Savoy Ballroom in (date needed) and merged the two venues.

Like other businesses in Belmont-DeVilliers, however, the 506 Club was affected by the neighborhood's economic decline in the 1970s. After a final New Year's Eve dance in 1981, the club closed its doors for the last time. The historic ballroom section of the building was razed in 2000.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Christy Hurt. "Belmont & DeVilliers Nightlife." Timeless Voices: Oral Histories from Pensacola's African-American Past, UWF Public History, 2007.
  • "Pensacola's version of Harlem's Cotton Club is now a condemned landmark." Pensacola News Journal, June 24, 2000.