Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oakland in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Music They Played on 7th Street

Oakland Walk of Fame

 

—“The Harlem of the West Coast” —

 
The Music They Played on 7th Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 27, 2016
1. The Music They Played on 7th Street Marker
Inscription.
Honoring the rich musical heritage of the Blues, Jazz and Gospel artists who played on 7th Street
Come explore and learn about a glorious brea in Oakland's musical history! The music they played on 7th Street, Oakland Walk of Game pays tribute to the great musicians, club owners, record companies and related independent businesses that put 7th Street on the map as a top entertainment destination. This installation is dedicated to those who created, produced, presented and played America's indigenous musical art forms - Blues, Jazz and Gospel.
West Oakland's 7th Street gained notoriety beginning in 1918 with the opening of Sid Derring's Creole Cafe, a famous venue for New Orlean-style Jazz and Big Band dance. Over the next 40 years, a plethora of A-list performers graced the famed entertainment district, including Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Etta James, Ike & Tina Turner, Sammy Davis Jr., Lowell Fulson, Count Basie, King Oliver, and Kid Ory, among others.
Special recognition must be given to the legendary 7th Street club owners, Mr. Harold "Slim" Jenkins and Ms. Esther Mabry. Jenkins opened Slim Jenkins Supper Club on the day Prohibition ended in 1933 and the venue quickly became the place to "See and be Seen" until it closed in the early 1970's. Along
The Music They Played on 7th Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 27, 2016
2. The Music They Played on 7th Street Marker
with her husband William, Esther Mabry - the Grand Dame of 7th Street - opened Esther's Orbit Room for 40 years Mabry's club evolved from a soul food breakfast locale into a popular cocktail bar and restaurant showcasing live music and became the longest running club of 7th Street until it eventually closed in 2009. These two remarkable venues were the heart and soul of a vibrant 7th Street commercial district and favorite gathering spot for members of the military and local shipyard and railroad workers in West Oakland. Into the 1970's 7th Street continued to shine, affectionately referred to as "The Harlem of the West Coast." where world class entertainers preformed nightly in the lively clubs, bars and dance halls that once lined the thoroughfare.
The Oakland Walk of Fame is a collaboration between the Bay Area Blues Society and the City of Oakland.


(88 plaques in 22 groups of 4 honor those who made 7th Street. Their names are present here east to west. )
Slim Jenkins • Bob Geddins • Ester & William Mabry, Ester's Orbit Room • Raincoat Jones • Little Esther Phillips • Dinah Washington • Billie Holiday • Eartha Kitt • Big Mama Thorton • The Pointer Sisters • Etta James • Aretha Franklin • Lowell Fulson • Saunders Samuel King • B.B. King • Jimmy McCracklin • Terrible Tom Bowden • Teddy Blues Master Watson • Wylie Trass • Carl Green • Sugar
The Oakland Walk of Fame image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 27, 2016
3. The Oakland Walk of Fame
Pie DeSanto • Joe Simon • Louis Jordan • Lenny Williams • Jay Payton Henry Delton Williams • Perry Phillips • Phil Elwood • L.C. Good Rockin Robinson • Johnny Talbert • Geneo Landry • John A. Burton • Lee Ashford • James Moore • The Lockett Brothers • The Fuller Brothers • The Green Brothers •The Hartfield Brothers • Johnny Otis • K.C. Douglas Adolph Jacobs • Bobby Blue Bland • Booby Forte • Big John Evans • Cool Papa Sadler • Lafayette The Thing Thomas • Faye Carol • Dorothy Morrison • Maxine Howard • Trudy Johnson • John Turk • Joel Dorham • Billy Pigrum • Pee Wee Crayton • Ed Kelly • John Handy • The Ballads • The Natural Four • The Edwin Hawkins Singers • Dell & Tippie • Freddie Hughes • Larry Graham • The Right Kind • Big Bob Deance • Jess Fuller • Johnny Fuller • John Lee Hooker • Charles Brown • Ray Charles • T-Bone Waker • Dalhart Johnson • Eugene Blacknell • Finney Mo • Eddie Foster • Charles Sullivan • Jimmy Wilson • Ivory Joe Hunter • Roy Hawkins • Stan Wilson • Nat King Cole • Sammy Davis Jr. & The Nicholas Brothers • Ike & Tina Turner.
 
Erected by Bay Area Blues Society and the City of Oakland.
 
Location. 37° 48.317′ N, 122° 17.714′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on 7th Street near Chester Street, on the left
Example of the plaque layout image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 27, 2016
4. Example of the plaque layout
when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1451 7th Street, Oakland CA 94607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Seventh Street (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Liberty Hall (about 500 feet away); Food & Ships (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Pardee House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Jefferson Square Park (approx. one mile away); First Unitarian Church of Oakland (approx. one mile away); Lafayette Square Timeline (approx. one mile away); Chabot Observatory (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Oakland.
 
More about this marker. The Oakland Walk of Fame is located in front of the BART station. Currently, only one-half of the Oakland Walk of Fame has been built, another section is planned further down 7th Street.
 
Also see . . .  The Harlem Renaissance in the American West - Black Past. Book review: The first five essays explore the Harlem Renaissance in five major western cities: Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area. The first four had the largest urban African American populations during the period of the Harlem Renaissance in the West, while the Bay
Ester's Orbit Room during its heyday image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
5. Ester's Orbit Room during its heyday
Area, with a smaller black population, had a particularly vibrant artistic community.
(Submitted on February 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Additional keywords. Harlem Renaissance
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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