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The Harold P. Abrams Collection

Date: 1929-1965 and undated
Collection Number: H007

Extent: 0.5 cubic feet (166 photographs)

Repository: Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library, 1 North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 345-2269.

Preferred Citation: Harold P. Abrams Collection, Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library.

Creator:
The owner of several nightclubs in Atlantic City, Harold "Hal" Paul Abrams was intimately involved in the Atlantic City entertainment industry. He owned Paradise Club, Harolds Club, and Basin Street, and was general manager of the 500 Club.

On one occasion, Abrams saved Count Basie, the leader of a swing band performing at the Paradise Club, from drowning when Basie fell out of their fishing boat.

Abrams donated the collection of photographs to the Atlantic City Free Public Library in 1995. Abrams died in 1999.

Sources:
"Abrams, Harold Paul." The Press, Atlantic City, NJ. 15 November 1999.

Scope and Content:
The material in this collection primarily consists of photographs of club entertainers. Most of these photographs are "head shots" and publicity photographs. Some are autographed.

Also included in the collection are a few business papers, such as a contract, telegram, and biographical notes on a few performers. There is also a copy of a program for Atlantic City Follies of 1946.

Photographs were identified by Abrams and often dated with the years of performances at the various clubs.

System of Arrangement:
Materials are arranged by the club in which the entertainers performed. An index of performers is included below.

Series 1: Basin Street Club, 1963-1964
5 photographs
Photographs of entertainers at the Basin Street Club. This series also includes several photographs of the outside of the Club.

Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier, 1964-1965 and undated
27 photographs
Photographs of entertainers at the 500 Club and Steel Pier. Also includes photograph from New Years Eve party at the 500 Club.

Series 3: Paradise Club, 1929-1963 and undated
134 photographs
Photographs of entertainers at the Paradise Club. Also includes program from Atlantic City Follies of 1946.

OTHER INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION

Related Materials: The Heston Collection has many resources related to the Atlantic City entertainment and nightclub industry. These include books, vertical files and biographical clippings, and archival collections.

Books related to this topic include The Last Good Time: Skinny DAmato, the notorious 500 Club, and the rise and fall of Atlantic City and Chance of a Lifetime : Nucky Johnson, Skinny DAmato, and how Atlantic City became the naughty queen of resorts.

Vertical subject files and biographical files related to this topic are:
Night Clubs - Paradise Club
Night Clubs - 500 Club
Steel Pier
Piers - Steel Pier
Harold Paul Abrams

Other archival collections in the Heston Collection related to this topic include the Alma Fay Horn Photograph Collection (H008) and the Atlantic City Free Public Library Collection of Atlantic City Photographs (H009).

Access Points:
Basie, Count (1904-1984)
Count Basie Orchestra
Orelia, Princess
Lewis, Sabby
Stump and Stumpy
Nightclubs - Atlantic City (N.J.)
Entertainers - Atlantic City (N.J.)
Paradise Club
Basin Street Club
500 Club
Steel Pier

Processing Note: Finding aid written by Heather Halpin, archivist, October 2006. Updated March 2011.

Copyright Notice: While the Atlantic City Free Public Library owns the collection, the Library does not own the copy rights for all of the photographs. Researchers wishing to reproduce the photographs are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.

INDEX OF PERFORMERS

Name, Date
Extent (number of items) Series
Bardu Ali and Ravida, 1941 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Jimmy Anderson, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Apus and Estrellita, 1940-1941 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Bill Bailey, 1938, 1940-1941 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Bob Bailey featured with Count Basie and his Orchestra, undated 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Eura Bailey, 1964 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Pearl Bailey, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Ann Baker featured with Count Basie and his Orchestra, 1945 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Laverne Baker, 1963 3 photos Series 1: Basin Street Club
Count Basie and his Orchestra, 1945-1947 7 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Count Basie, Jerry Colonna, 1945 1 photo (3 copies) Series 3: Paradise Club
Count Basie, Gene Krupa at Paradise, 1946 3 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Count Basie and Dinah Shore at Command Performance, undated 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Basin Street Marquees, 1963 6 photos Series 1: Basin Street Club
Spizzy Canfield & Willie Lewis, 1944-1945 2 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, [1945-1946] 4 photos: 1 autographed; 1 flier, 1 biography Series 3: Paradise Club
Eddie Bracken and Count Basie, 1946 1 photo (2 copies) Series 3: Paradise Club
Delores Brown, featured vocalist with Erskine Hawkins and his Orchestra, 1943 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
[Rose Brown, A.C. Paradise Club, 1944] 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
[Marie Bryant, Mrs. Nat King Cole, Paradise Club, 1944] 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Buck and Bubbles, 1946 2 photos: 1 autographed; 1 obituary Series 3: Paradise Club
Judy Carol, 1944 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Thelma Carpenter, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Betty Carter, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
The Cats and the Fiddle, 1944 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Savannah Churchill, 1942 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Buck Clayton, 1946 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
"Honey" Coles, 1941-1942 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Conway and Parks, 1945 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
D'Amato Family and Friends, New Year's Eve, circa 1965 1 photo Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier
Billy [Billie] Daniels, 1946 1 photo (2 copies); 1 contract Series 3: Paradise Club
Edwards Sisters, 1939 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Tommy Edwards, [1963] 1 photo (2 copies): 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Billy Eckstine, 1946 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, 1944, 1946 2 photos (4 copies): autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
The Fashions, 1964 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Fayja and Teena, 1943 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Eddie Fisher, 1964 1 photo: autographed Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier
Ella Fitzgerald, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Five Kings, 1943 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Flash and Dash, 1938 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Steve Gibson with his Original Red Caps, 1940 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Paul Gonsalves featured with Count Basie, 1946 2 photos: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Dick Gregory, 1964 3 photos: 2 autographed; 1 telegraph Series 1: Basin Street Club
Edna Mae [May] Harris, 1940 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Al Hibbler, 1963-1964 3 photos Series 1: Basin Street Club
Earl Hines and his Orchestra, 1945 1 drawing: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Lena Horne, undated 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Zeita Ingold, 1939 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Etta James, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Joe "Ziggy" Johnson, 1944-1946 1 photo (3 copies): autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Terry Johnson & The Modern Flamingos, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Isham Jones, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier
Jo Jones [with Count Basie Orchestra], 1945 2 photos: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Louis Jordan and his Orchestra, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Billy Kenny, 1945 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
King Cole Trio, undated 1 photo (2 copies): autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Lambert, Hendricks, & Bavan, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Sabby Lewis, 1944, 1946 4 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Lopez & LaSalle, 1938, 1935 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, 1940 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Sarah McLawler & Richard Otto Trio, 1963 1 photo Series 1: Basin Street Club
Claudia McNeal, 1945 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Carmen McRae, 1963 2 photos: 1 autographed; obituary Series 1: Basin Street Club
Butterfly McQueen, 1938 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Velma Middleton, 1939 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Sonia Milbourne, 1939, 1941, 1943 4 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Norma Miller and the Del Ray Trio, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Louis Mills, 1939 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Billy Mitchell, 1941 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Moke and Poke, 1942 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Dick Montgomery, 1944 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Kitty Murray, 1939 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Nicholas Brothers, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Pete Nugent, 1939 2 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
"Hot Lips" Page, 1946, 1948, 1949 4 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Tony Pastor and his Orchestra, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier
Princess Orelia and Pete, 1938, 1940 3 photos: 2 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Rae and Rae International Dancing Act, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Maurice Rocco, undated 2 photos: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
James Rushing featured with Count Basie and his Orchestra, undated 2 photos: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Ruth Pine Sextuplets, 1936, 1944 3 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Gertrude Scott, 1939 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Hazel Scott, [1942, 1944] 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Dakota Staton, 1963 2 photos: 1 autographed Series 1: Basin Street Club
Bessie Smith, [1929-1930] 1 flier Series 3: Paradise Club
Son & Sonny, 1943 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Peckin Joe Steele, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
"Slam" Stewart, undated 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Stump and Stumpy, 1946 3 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Tampa Boys, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Tondelayo and the Calypso Boys, 1944 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Sarah Vaughan, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Vicki Vigal, 1945 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Earl Warren featured with Count Basie and his Orchestra, 1946 1 photo: autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
[Ethel Waters at the Paradise Club, 1921] 1 photo (2 copies) Series 3: Paradise Club
Margaret Watkins, 1938, 1940, 1941 4 photos: 1 autographed Series 3: Paradise Club
Doc Wheeler and the Sunset Orchestra, 1940, 1943 2 photos Series 3: Paradise Club
Betty White with Sabby Lewis Band, [1944] 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Evelyn White with Sabby Lewis, [1944] 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, undated 1 photo: autographed Series 2: 500 Club and Steel Pier
Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, 1938 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Joe Williams [Count Basie Band at Paradise Club A.C., 1945] 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Derby Wilson and Frenchie, 1944 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club
Iron Jaw Wilson, 1940 1 photo Series 3: Paradise Club