The Celebrity Club: The Story of New England’s First Integrated Nightclub

Discover the story of Providence’s legendary Celebrity Club, New England’s first integrated nightclub, with Tom Shaker, co-author of A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz & Swing Musicians.


Find out about the famous jazz and R&B musicians who played there, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Fats Domino, and hear tales from local musicians and club-goers who saw remarkable shows and became part of the story.


(33 min)


Dr. Tom Shaker is a college professor, a radio DJ, a documentary filmmaker, and an expert on Rhode Island jazz.


His radio show The Soul Serenade, featuring classic soul music from the 1960s and 1970s, airs on WICN on Mondays at 7 p.m.


His award-winning film with Norm Grant Do It, Man! The Story of The Celebrity Club tells the story of the legendary Celebrity Club, the integrated 1950s nightclub in Providence’s Randall Square neighborhood.


His book with Dennis Pratt A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz & Swing Musicians is a biographical collection of jazz and swing musicians who have played in Rhode Island and a sequel to Who's Who in Rhode Island Jazz: c. 1925-1988 by Rhode Island musicians and historians Lloyd Kaplan and Robert Petteruti.

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