Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Great American Music Hall

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Owner  Slim's Presents
Opened  1907
Phone  +1 415-885-0750
Type  Nightclub
Capacity  600
Renovated  1972
Great American Music Hall
Former names  Blanco's (1907 - 1935, 1948) Music Box (1936 - 1945)
Location  859 O'Farrell Street San Francisco, California United States
Address  859 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Similar  Slim's, The Fill, Bottom of the Hill, The Warfield, The Independent

The Great American Music Hall is a concert hall in San Francisco, California. It is located on O'Farrell Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood on the same block as the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre. It is known for its decorative balconies, columns, and frescoes and for its history of unique entertainment, which has included burlesque dancing as well as jazz, folk music, and rock and roll concerts. The capacity of the hall is 600 people.


Blanco's and Music Box

The hall was established in 1907 during the period of rebuilding that followed the 1906 earthquake. Its interior was designed by a French architect. It was originally called Blanco's, after a notorious Barbary Coast house of prostitution.

In 1936, Sally Rand, known for her fan dance and bubble dance acts, acquired the property and branded it the Music Box. It closed with the end of World War II, reopened in 1948 as a jazz club that reused the name Blanco's, and in the 1950s the building was used by members of the Loyal Order of the Moose. The venue went into a long decline that nearly resulted in the demolition of the building.

Great American Music Hall

In 1972, newly refurbished and painted, the building was renamed the Great American Music Hall. In 1974, the new line-up of Journey debuted there, also Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead debuted and recorded a live album with Legion of Mary, his jazz influenced rock band in 1974, and again later with the Jerry Garcia Band as well as The Grateful Dead's album One from the Vault. In 1982, Robin Williams filmed his HBO special, "An Evening with Robin Williams". In the early '90s, radio station KKSF 103.7FM hosted several large "Music Without Borders Listener Appreciation Concerts", with performances by Opafire as well as other Contemporary Jazz groups. In May 2000, during the dot-com boom, the venue was acquired for a reportedly seven-figure sum by music website, and went to Diablo Management Group when ceased operations in December 2000. Traditional burlesque was brought back to the Great American Music Hall when the Velvet Hammer Burlesque troupe performed in 2003 and 2004. In 2013, the Great American Music Hall was named the sixth-best rock club in America in a Rolling Stone poll of artists and managers.


  • The Grateful Dead's album One from the Vault, the first of its "From the Vault" series, was recorded at the Great American Music Hall in August 1975.
  • David Bromberg recorded portions of How Late'll Ya Play 'Til? at the Great American Music Hall in June 1976.
  • McCoy Tyner recorded The Greeting on March 17 & 18, 1978.
  • Sonny Rollins recorded Don't Stop the Carnival on April 13, 14 & 15, 1978.
  • Doc and Merle Watson recorded "Live and Pickin' " on October 11-13, 1978. At the Grammy Awards of 1980 "Big Sandy/Leather Britches" won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.
  • Betty Carter recorded her live vocal jazz album The Audience with Betty Carter at the Great American Music Hall in 1979.
  • Herbie Mann made a direct-to-disc recording, All Blues/Forest Rain, in 1980.
  • Carla Bley recorded Live! on August 19–21, 1981.
  • Robin Williams filmed his 1982 HBO special, "An Evening with Robin Williams" at the Great American Music Hall.
  • The Radiators (American band) Live at the "Great American Music Hall" in 1998.
  • Boz Scaggs recorded his CD/DVD Greatest Hits Live in 2004
  • The Secret Chiefs 3 recorded their DVD Live at the Great American Music Hall in 2007.
  • Jonathan Coulton recorded his album Best. Concert. Ever. in February 2008.
  • Ry Cooder recorded his 2011 concert with Corridos Famosos at the Great American Music Hall
  • References

    Great American Music Hall Wikipedia