Tips On Tables

New York Herald Tribune - July 11, 1943

Name Bands Play in Hotels in Competition With Night Clubs

Ever since prohibition New York hotels have felt a growing competition from the nightclubs, and as a result they have instituted in one or more of their rooms, a policy of food and entertainment that would provide an equal attraction. In the case of West Side hotels, orchestras with a pre-New York name value have been engaged as the principal drawing cards.

Hotel Taft

Mrs. Kramer Is currently presenting Bobby Sherwood and his band-ex-Roseland-at the Hotel Lincoln Blue Room. At the Hotel Edison Green Room she offers Tiny Hill and his orchestra, an outfit that may go places. The Hotel Astor has always come to the fore with big bands in summer - engagements at the Astor Roof. This season is no exception. Harry James and his band, probably the hottest box-office band in the country, recently concluded a spring engagement there. And now the Astor is following With Benny Goodman, a hard choice to beat. Down at the New Yorker Terrace Room, Jerry Wald-ex-Roseland and Blue Room is fulfilling a long engagement with his band. The New Yorker also offers a stunning ice show, at luncheon, dinner and supper.

The Park Central Hotel, which for some months has concentrated on large floor shows backed by a medium-sized, orchestra, is changing its policy Thursday, by bringing Cab Calloway and his orchestra, one of the top Negro aggregations in the country.

The Hotel McAlpin has a different policy than most other hotels. When it has an orchestra in its Marine Grill that is liked, the orchestra continues, indefinitely. That is the lot now of Johnny Messner and his orchestra. The Taft is another hotel with a similar policy, but this hotel, has its orchestra play only for luncheon and dinner. The room is closed at supper. Vincent Lopez and his orchestra are the attraction. Al Trace and his corn musicians play at the Hotel Dixie Plantation Room.


East Side hotels go in more for shows, but that doesn’t mean that orchestras aren’t good. The Waldorf -Astoria features the music of Leo Reisman and his orchestra at the Starlight Roof and the singing of Morton Downey-supper only. The Plaza is keeping the Persian Room open, and is currently offering Larry Siry and his orchestra, Bob Hannon and Maurice and Cordoba.

The Savoy-Plaza Cafe Lounge which presented singing attractions during the winter, is offering this summer Joe. Marden and his orchestra and Clemente’s rumba band. The Pierre has Rasha and Mirko, the Barrys and, Stanley Melba’s orchestra at the Cotillion Room and the Andrinis and Ellen Mitchell at Cafe Pierre. The St. Regis Roof maintains its reputation of the most delightful rooms in town, with music by Larry Keyes and his orchestra and Theodora Brooks at the organ. Jules Lande and his orchestra play at the attractive Hotel Ambassador Garden.

Two handsome rooms In Central Park South are the Cafe de la Paix of the St. Moritz and the Casino-on-the-Park of Essex House. The former is quite continental, with music for dancing by Ron Perry’s orchestra and Frank Ramoni’s rumba band. The Essex House is presenting Barry Winton and his orchestra.
In East Fifty-eigth Street, at the Hotel Madison, is one of the most popular, cocktail spots in town, the Cafe Madison. Jimmy Bryant, who calls himself a reformed playboy, keeps friends pouring into the place. Russ Smith and his orchestra provide the music.

Lexington Avenue has a group of interesting hotel entertainment rooms. Outstanding is the Hawaiian Room of the Hotel Lexington, which has been a tremendous success since its opening several years ago. It has had many imitators, but none has lasted. Lani McIntire and his orchestra play,

A few blocks up is the Belmont Plaza, which is as popular for its Glass Hat, where a variety show is presented and music by Hal Saunders and his orchestra. Farther downtown is the Hotel Sheraton, which prides itself on its Skyline Roof. There is dancing to King Johnson’s orchestra and a fine view of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Down near Gramercy Park is the George Washington, which boasts the intimate “23” Room, with like entertainment.

The Hotel Biltmore Roof Is a beautiful dining place with an elaborate bill of entertainment. There is a colorful ice show and music by Ray Heatherton and his orchestra. City Lombardo and his orchestra continue their almost permanent stand at the Roosevelt Grill. The Commodore Century Room Is open only for dinner, with light orchestra music.