Barney Gordon’s Saloon

Barney Gordon’s was located in South Philly at Kater and 13th Streets. In her autobiography, Philadelphia Walk of Famer Ethel Waters wrote:

Barney hired me, and after I’d sung two nights at his place he offered me a steady job at fifteen dollars a week. I sang there six nights a week and on Thursday afternoons. Servant girls and houseworkers had that afternoon off, and they’d come to Barney Gordon’s to drink and relax. We called them “the Thursday girls.”

[…]

Barney Gordon’s saloon was on the ground floor. We entertained, though, in a big room upstairs where the customers sat at tables. There was only a two-piece band. Toots Moore, the drummer, and a piano player who could play only in two keys.

Ethel Waters’ autobiography, His Eye is on the Sparrow, is available at Amazon.com.

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