George Hendricks was born in Bessemer, Alabama, in 1942 and moved to Cleveland at age 6. His first major performing band was called the Sahib's, which opened for many Motown artists, recorded on the Tri Phi label, and played regularly at Gleason's. Hendricks describes the rhythm and blues music scene in Cleveland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was drafted into the Army and served in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. He describes the shift of the epicenter of black entertainment from the East 55th-Woodland area to the Euclid-East 105th area by the late 1960s. He also tells stories about navigating the color line on the West Side of Cleveland in the 1960s. Throughout his interview, he makes apt comparisons between the Cleveland scene and that in other places, especially Harlem and Las Vegas. He expresses fondness and nostalgia for a time when musical acts and club owners held to high professional standards and finds much modern music wanting. Hendricks also describes the transition from club-booked music acts to professional bookers like Alan Freed. Hendricks performs in an R&B group called the Hesitations.


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Hendricks, George (Interviewee)


Sarrouh, Adonees (Interviewer)


History 311



Document Type

Oral History


80 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
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