NYC. The Cotton Club was a famous night club in New York City that operated during Prohibition. While the club featured many of the greatest African American entertainers of the era, such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, The Nicholas Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Ethel Waters, it generally denied admission to blacks. During its heyday, it served as a chic meeting spot in the heart of Harlem.
Margot Webb, a Cotton Club dancer (circa 1934) who gained even more notoriety as a ballroom dancer with her partner Harold Norton. They performed as “Norton and Margot” in the 1930s and 1940s. Brenda Dixon Gottschild (Amel Larrieux’s mother) has a wonderful book, Waltzing in the Dark: African American Vaudeville and Race Politics in the Swing Era, with a wealth of information on their career
The Savoy Ballroon was located in Harlem New York and open from 1926 to 1958. It was one of the most famous dance halls of the swing era and home to legendary dancers like Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Leon James and Al Minns. The Savoy was an integrated ballroom unlike many of it’s contemporary ballrooms like the Cotton Club.