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Cotton Club Opened as Club DeLux on 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue by Jack Johnson in 1920. After the club failed, Johnson sold the club in 1923 to Owney Madden. Owney Madden called it The Cotton Club and only white people were allowed as guests. Very few blacks were allowed to attend as guests but all of the entertainers, performers and musicians were black.
Owney Madden, once public enemy No. 1 as a gang leader in New York's Hell's Kitchen (the "Westies"), leaves the district attorney's office in New York City after testifying before a grand jury. Madden, having retired to Hot Springs, Arkansas, returned to face the probe, which was trying to determine the reason for his being on a coal company's payroll at $50 a week. Photographed: July 20, 1934