Named after Crispus Attucks, the first patriot to die in the Boston Massacre, the Attucks Hotel was popular with Black entertainers and athletes who were not allowed to stay at Philadelphia hotels that catered to whites. Guests included Hank Aaron, Roy Campanella, Ella Fitzgerald, Redd Foxx, Satchel Paige, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Billie Holiday.
John Timpane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote:
The year 1947 was a year of betrayal for [Billie] Holiday. She was at the peak of her career, earning upward of $60,000 a year, but hooked on heroin and opium. After a show at the Earle, her room at the Attucks Hotel was raided, and she was arrested on charges of narcotics possession.
From Monrovia Sound Studio:
Jelly Roll Morton and members of his orchestra would have had just a short drive of about 5 miles from the Attucks Hotel … to the R.C.A. studios in Camden, N.J. to carry out a contracted recording assignment. The route would have taken them across the Delaware River via the Delaware River Bridge (formally the Benjamin Franklin Bridge).
The Attucks Hotel is now home to Universal Institute Charter School.The school is part of Universal Companies, founded and chaired by legendary producer and songwriter, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble.