It seems like today everything retro is back in fashion. Hence, a book on Montreal nightclubs from 1925 to ’55 could not have been published at a better time. Stepping Out, the Golden Age of Montreal Night Clubs by Nancy Marrelli, the Director of Archives at Concordia University, briefly documents the city’s nightclub scene during those glamour years.
The author writes in her introduction, “In this pre-television era people of all ages ‘stepped out’ at night for fun and entertainment. They went to clubs and theatres to socialize, to see their favourite performers, and to hear the latest music.”
The book carries this tone of nostalgia and longing for a glorified past era from beginning to end.
I cannot really blame her for doing so. Between the mid 1920s and 1950s Montreal was the “it” place to be, not only in Canada, but in the entire continent. As the book explains, Montreal was an important spot on an entertainment circuit that included North America and some parts of Europe.
Also, depending on your jazz or golden era knowledge, famous names will catch your eyes every second page, like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Herb Johnson, Oscar Peterson, Mel Torm