Jekyll Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Dolphin Club Lounge
Historic St. Andrews Beach
From 1959 to 1966, the Dolphin Club Lounge provided lively entertainment for visitors to the historically black St. Andrews Beach.
Juke joints like this one once stretched across the southeastern United States. On remote Jekyll Island, the Dolphin Club Lounge provided African Americans with their own community gathering place to eat, drink, and socialize during segregation.
This cozy little nightclub offered dining and entertainment options for beach-goers. It featured a lobby, kitchen, public and private dining rooms, dance floor, small stage, bar, and rooftop patio. Remembered by local patrons as a classy nightclub, it showcased many top black entertainers of the era.
A big draw for the popular nightspot was its music. Doo-wop, rhythm & blues, soul, and rock & roll all found a home here, aided by concert promoter Charlie Cross. Crowds packed the lounge to join in the excitement, dancing, and live entertainment.
From the beginning, the Dolphin Club Lounge offered performances by local house bands, like the Swinging Turbans and the Doves. The lounge also attracted an impressive array of famous
Today, the former Dolphin Club site continues to serve up entertainment through its 4-H programs.
On the Chitlin Circuit
The Dolphin Club Lounge is largely remembered for the popular music it drew to Jekyll Island, as part of the Chitlin Circuit.
The Chitlin Circuit was a string of black owned nightclubs that flourished primarily in the South, during the time of segregation. These clubs provided safe places for traveling black entertainers to perform for black audiences.
The traveling circuit attracted many legendary musical pioneers, whose performances gave rise to the sounds of rhythm and blues, soul, and rock and roll.
While it lasted, the Chitlin Circuit offered a platform for hundreds of black musicians to play and earn a living.
In its time, the Chitlin Circuit formed an important part of black culture and left behind a tremendous legacy of splendid music for all.
Erected 2016 by Jekyll Island Authority.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Civil Rights • Entertainment.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 South Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island GA 31527, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Dolphin Motor Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Andrews Beach (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Beach Pavilion (about 300 feet away); Separate But Equal? (about 400 feet away); Beach Access (about 400 feet away); Wanderer Memory Trail (approx. half a mile away); What Was Here Before? (approx. 2.3 miles away); Jekyll Island Boat House Site, Shipshape for the Season (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jekyll Island.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Historic St. Andrews Beach
Also see . . .
1. The Segregation Years of Jekyll Island.
The Dolphin Club lounge and restaurant, located in front of the Dolphin Motor Hotel, included a lobby with restrooms, (Submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Chitlin Circuit.
The "Chitlin' Circuit," like "Tin Pan Alley" and "Motown" and other legendary music locations, is both a real and symbolic term for the on-and-off-again venues--shoebox-sized bars, clubs, cafes and increasingly in the 21st century, casinos-- that support traditional rhythm and blues in a tenuous but tenacious thread through America's mostly rural (or low-profile urban) Bible Belt. (Submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
I was one of the original employees of the Dolphin Club Lounge on Jekyll. The board that managed and operated the Lounge hired college students. My position was Cashier in the dining room. I met my husband who who was the Head waiter. There is history to share about the lounge that may never be published. I have seen a book about the history of Jekyll Island and there was nothing in it about the The Dolphin. On weekends the motel was booked to capacity. Lots of patron drove in just for the day starting on Friday thru Sunday. Our largest days were Saturday and Sunday. People came from far and near to enjoy what the The Dolphin had to offer. We were located on the South end of the island. We could not travel on the North end where the the rich and famous had mansions. The Rockefellers had a home there.
— Submitted September 21, 2019, by LaVances Frankie Givens of College Park, Georgia.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 327 times since then and 167 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.