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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jekyll Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Dolphin Club Lounge

Historic St. Andrews Beach

 
 
The Dolphin Club Lounge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2018
1. The Dolphin Club Lounge Marker
Inscription.
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 musicians touring on the Chitlin Circuit, including B.B. King, Clarence Carter, Millie Jackson, and Percy Sledge.

Today, the former Dolphin Club site continues to serve up entertainment
Marker photo detail: B.B. King performed at the Dolphin Club Lounge in 1961 image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Michael Ochs Archives, 1961
2. Marker photo detail: B.B. King performed at the Dolphin Club Lounge in 1961
through its 4-H programs.

(sidebar)
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.
 
Location. 31° 1.04′ N, 81° 25.617′ W. Marker is in Jekyll Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker can be reached from South Beachview Drive 2.3 miles south of Jekyll Island Causeway (Georgia Route 520), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located inside the grounds of Camp Jekyll, near the
Marker photo detail: Dolphin Club Lounge and Restaurant, circa 1959 image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Jekyll Island Museum, 1959
3. Marker photo detail: Dolphin Club Lounge and Restaurant, circa 1959
entrance to the dining hall. Enter Camp Jekyll from South Beachview Drive, then proceed (on foot) a short distance on the walkway through the commons to the dining hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 South Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island GA 31527, United States of America.
 
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); What Was Here Before? (approx. 2.3 miles away); Jekyll Island Boat House Site, Shipshape for the Season (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Boat House Site (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, a kitchen, a dining room, a business office, and a lounge. The Dolphin Club lounge comprised of a dance floor with a horseshoe-shaped bar and a small stage in one corner of the room.
The Dolphin CLub Lounge Marker (<i>wide view; Camp Jekyll Dining Hall in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2018
4. The Dolphin CLub Lounge Marker (wide view; Camp Jekyll Dining Hall in background)
(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.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicCivil RightsEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. 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.
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