Elder Jordan, a local African American entrepreneur in St. Petersburg, built the 12,000-square-foot, two-story Manhattan Casino, a dance hall that opened in 1931.
During segregation, it was the hotspot for socializing and entertainment, and a regular stop on the “Chitlin’ Circuit.” Hundreds of jazz, blues, swing and rock ‘n’ roll musicians played there from the post-Depression era to its closure in 1968: B.B. King, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Etta James, Otis Redding, Little Richard, Dinah Washington and the list continues.
Louis Armstrong appeared at the venue in 1957 to a sold-out audience of 500 Black and white fans.
– Eve Lederman, The 100 Companies