Cotton Club (Portland)
The Cotton Club was a nightclub located in North Portland, Oregon. Located at 2125 N. Vancouver Avenue (and N. Tillamook Street), the club gained regional (and a bit of national) fame in the 1960s as the "only nightclub on the West Coast with wall-to-wall soul." Celebrities such as Cab Calloway, Sammy Davis, Jr., Cass Elliot, the Kingston Trio, Joe Louis, and Archie Moore would visit the nightclub when they were in town.
Paul Knauls moved to Portland, Oregon in 1963 in order to purchase the club. It was located in a neighborhood where African-Americans settled after Vanport was destroyed by flooding in 1948 and Interstate 5 and the Memorial Coliseum uprooted a number of black-owned business. By the 1960s, it was part of a thriving area that include the Blue Ribbon Barbecue, Lew’s Men’s Shop, and the House of Fortune Cafe.
- Boise Voices Oral History Project Stories of the Cotton Club as told by Paul Knauls
- Albina stop has a storied history, an April 2004 article from the Portland Tribune
- Mel Brown has delighted audiences from the Rose City to Motown and back again, a 2004 article about Mel Brown, who got his start at the Cotton Club
- N.E.'s hometown barber, a March 2001 article from the Portland Business Journal
- Paul Knauls biography, from a website for a business he and his wife own, via the Internet Archive
- Angler Draws Strength from the Willamette, a December 19, 2000 article from The Oregonian, via a personal website
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