Great American Music Hall

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Great American Music Hall
Great American Music Hall (April 1976).jpg
The Great American Music Hall, 1976.
Former namesBlanco's (1907 - 1935, 1948)
Music Box (1936 - 1945)
Location859 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, California
United States
Coordinates37°47′06″N 122°25′08″W / 37.785048°N 122.418835°W / 37.785048; -122.418835Coordinates: 37°47′06″N 122°25′08″W / 37.785048°N 122.418835°W / 37.785048; -122.418835
OwnerSlim's Presents
Opened1907 (1907)

The Great American Music Hall is a concert hall in San Francisco, California. It is located on O'Farrell Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood on the same block as the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre. It is known for its decorative balconies, columns, and frescoes and for its history of unique entertainment, which has included burlesque dancing as well as jazz, folk music, and rock and roll concerts. The capacity of the hall is 470 people.[1]


Blanco's and Music Box[edit]

The hall was established in 1907 during the period of rebuilding that followed the 1906 earthquake. Its interior was designed by a French architect. It was originally called Blanco's, after a notorious Barbary Coast house of prostitution.[2]

In 1936, Sally Rand, known for her fan dance and bubble dance acts, acquired the property and branded it the Music Box. It closed with the end of World War II, reopened in 1948 as a jazz club that reused the name Blanco's, and in the 1950s the building was used by members of the Loyal Order of the Moose.[3] The venue went into a long decline that nearly resulted in the demolition of the building.[4]

Great American Music Hall[edit]

In 1972 the venue was purchased by Tom Bradshaw. Newly refurbished and painted, the building was renamed the Great American Music Hall. In 1973-1974 the Stuart Little Band became the GAMH house band and performed as opening act for many GAMH headliners: Cal Tjader, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Marcel Marceau, Stan Getz, Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Bill Evans, Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, Joe Pass, Cleo Laine, Herbie Mann, Buddy Rich, The Tubes, etc. In 1974, the new line-up of Journey debuted there, also Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead debuted and recorded a live album with Legion of Mary, his jazz influenced rock band in 1974, and again later with the Jerry Garcia Band as well as The Grateful Dead's album One from the Vault. In 1982, Robin Williams filmed his HBO special, "An Evening with Robin Williams". In the early '90s, radio station KKSF 103.7FM hosted several large "Music Without Borders Listener Appreciation Concerts", with performances by Opafire as well as other Contemporary Jazz groups. In May 2000, during the dot-com boom, the venue was acquired for a reportedly seven-figure sum by music website, and went to Diablo Management Group when ceased operations in December 2000.[5] In 2013, the Great American Music Hall was named the sixth-best rock club in America in a Rolling Stone poll of artists and managers.[1]



  1. ^ a b "The Best Clubs in America". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Great American Music Hall". SF Weekly. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Great American Music Hall". Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  4. ^ Conquest, Evan. "Historic Venue - Great American Music Hall". Wolfgang's Vault. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ Chonin, Neva (December 12, 2000). "Riffage Puts Music Hall Up for Sale". San Francisco Chronicle.
  6. ^ All Blues/Forest Rain, Herbie Mann (Herbie Mann Music HMM1, 1980)
  7. ^ "Web of Mimicry catalog". Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  8. ^ Jonathan Coulton Album Promotion
  9. ^ " » Fantômas 'The Director's Cut' Live DVD and Album on the Way"
  10. ^ Dream Attic credits & notes @
  11. ^ Nonesuch Records Journal 2013-09-10

External links[edit]