By Hal Smith
Ralph Edward 'Doc' Daugherty opened Club Hangover in 1949.
Doc Daugherty played clarinet and sax, led a hot dance band and later a swing orchestra, and co-composed the hit popular song “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You).” After retiring, he opened Club Hangover at 729 Bush Street in San Francisco in 1949.
Trombonist Jack Sheedy’s Jazz Band was the first group to perform regularly at Club Hangover.
Turk Murphy Sunday Night Jam Sessions
Next, Turk Murphy was hired to lead a Sunday night jam session at the club. Turk’s own Hot Six debuted at the Hangover shortly afterward.
Muggsy Spanier Joins the Club
They were followed by Pete Daily’s Chicagoans from Los Angeles and New Orleans clarinetist Albert Nicholas led a small combo on Sunday nights.
In 1950, Daugherty reached out to the Midwest for a featured band, Muggsy Spanier’s.
With the help of live broadcasts on KNBC, Club Hangover became the hot spot to hear Traditional, New Orleans and Dixieland jazz.
Spanier returned many times in succeeding years.
Bush Street Above Powell - All Stars
Dougherty also continued to present local groups, such as Marty Marsala’s Club Hangover All-Stars. Shown here on stage, Marty Masala’s Sextet at Club Hangover.
Joe Sullivan, piano
Albert Nicholas, clarinet
Smokey Stover, drums
Marty Marsala, trumpet
Julian Laine, trombone
Dave Lario, bass
In January, 1951, Club Hangover was the setting for a huge concert to benefit ailing clarinetist Pee Wee Russell. Marsala’s band participated, as did Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars, Earl Hines, Mary Ann McCall and others.
Unknown pianist (possibly Johnny Wittwer or Jerry Stanton on piano)
Sidney Bechet, soprano sax
Unknown bassist (possibly Norman Bates or Pat Patton on bass)
Cuz Cosineau, drums (hidden)
Marty Marsala, trumpet
Skip Morr, trombone
Kid Ory - A Smash Hit 1953
In 1953, Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band was engaged to perform at Club Hangover. Ory already had fans in the Bay Area from previous engagements, dating back ten years to the Geary Theater concert with Bunk Johnson. Ory’s group was a smashing success during their first run at the Hangover. They became one of the most popular bands in the club’s stable of talent. Another New Orleanian, Lee Collins, led a band at the club in 1953.
Iconic Pianists Featured at Club Hangover
Doc Daugherty certainly appreciated pianists. Earlier, Joe Sullivan had played both as an intermission and band pianist. Don Ewell and Ralph Sutton also filled both roles. Other pianists who performed intermissions included Lil Hardin Armstrong, Meade Lux Lewis, Walter 'Fats' Pichon, Lionel Reason, and Tiny Crump.
Earl Hines - The 'Fatha' of Them All - 1954
Earl 'Fatha' Hines, one of the greatest of all jazz pianists, was engaged to perform at Club Hangover in 1954. At first, he headed up a mainstream swing band, but Daugherty encouraged him to work with a more traditional group. Darnell Howard, Pops Foster, Earl Watkins, Jimmy Archey, and a number of cornetists including Muggsy Spanier comprised this tightly swinging band. Hines’ new combination was enthusiastically received, and they were featured at the club for several years.
KCBS Live Radio Broadcasts From the Club
During the 1950s, bands led by Jack Teagarden, George Lewis, Red Nichols, Teddy Buckner, Ralph Sutton, Jimmy Rushing, Wingy Manone, and Wild Bill Davison performed at Club Hangover, as did the Firehouse Five Plus Two. Starting in 1954, live performances were broadcast over KCBS, with announcer Bob Goerner providing commentary while encouraging listeners to come to the club and listen in person. Quite a few of the broadcasts have been transcribed, and released on CD, mainly in Europe.
The End of the Show - 1961
Club Hangover was a successful operation until Doc Daugherty decided to cut back on the musicians’ pay. Earl Hines’ band was the first to walk away from the new pay scale, and others followed in rapid succession. The club closed permanently in 1961.
All Star Bands at Club Hangover
Louis Armstrong’s All Stars
Teddy Buckner’s Jazz Band
Club Hangover All-Stars (Marty Marsala, Julian Laine, Albert Nicholas, Joe Sullivan, Tom Lario, Smokey Stover)
Club Hangover House Band (Bob Scobey, Turk Murphy, Hotz O’Casey, Paul Lingle, Billy Newman, Gordon Edwards)
Lee Collins’ Jazz Band (Burt Johnson, Pud Brown/Bob McCracken, Ralph Sutton/Don Ewell, Dale Jones, Smokey Stover)
Wild Bill Davison
Firehouse Five Plus Two
Earl Hines’ Esquire All-Stars
Earl Hines’ Dixieland All-Stars (resident)
George Lewis’ Jazz Band
Wingy Manone Band (Turk Murphy, Bunky Colman, Burt Bales, Tom Marks, Stan Ward)
Marty Marsala’s Chicagoans (Tut Soper, Pat Patton)
Red Nichols’ Five Pennies
Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band (frequently)
Muggsy Spanier’s Jazz Band (frequently)
Ralph Sutton (Edmond Hall, Walter Page, Charlie Lodice)
Jesse 'Tiny' Crump
Meade Lux Lewis
Walter 'Fats' Pichon
Carr, Peter: Jimmy Archey: The Little Giant Of The Trombone. New Orleans, 1999. Jazzology Press
Clute, Peter; Goggin, Jim: The Great Jazz Revival. San Rafael, CA., 1994. Donna Ewald Publishing.Dance, Stanley: The World Of Earl Hines. New York, 1977. Charles Scribner’s Sons
Darensbourg, Joe and Vacher, Peter: Jazz Odyssey: The Autobiography of Joe Darensbourg. Baton Rouge, 1988. Louisiana State University Press
Foster, George 'Pops' and Stoddard, Tom: The Autobiography Of Pops Foster, New Orleans Jazzman. Berkeley, 1971. University Of California Press
Whyatt, Bert: Muggsy Spanier: The Lonesome Road; A Biography and Discography. New Orleans, 1995. Jazzology Press
Willard, Hal: The Wildest One: The Life Of Wild Bill Davison. Monkton, MD, 1996. The Avondale Press
Bush Over Powell Visits San Quentin
Reprinted by Permission of Larry Quilligan.