What inspired me to write this piece was the way my mom doesn't has much money but still...
Show full author's note »
The Cotton Club
I saw all the famous folks there. I saw Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, and mo’ folks. The only one that I was worried about was Duke Ellington and his band. That man ‘bout 28 and beens singing for longer than that. He is an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. I like his song called, Caravan. Walking up to him was Bessie Smith. Now that gal was bad to the bone. This girl is called “The Empress to the Blues.” She is an American blues singer. That girl can sing someone straight off their deathbed. And her song Downhearted Blues is good too. She was born to sing the blues. Behind the drums in Ellington’s band called “The Washingtonians” was Count Basie. This man was born in 1904 and can strike a drum like an angel. He is an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. That man is known as a “Holy Man.” I heard some man talking loud over by the bar. I recognized that voice anywhere. That was Fats Waller. He is a jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer. Some of his singles include Muscle Shoals Blues and Birmingham Blues. These are his first piano solos that were recorded when he was eighteen! That man has a true blessing from God. Over there talking to Louis Armstrong was James Fletcher Henderson. That man was the first black to lead the first successful African-American jazz band. Louis Armstrong was the trumpet player for the band for a year but then went on to seek bigger orchestras. Louis Armstrong’s masterpieces include Hotter than That and Struttin’ With Some Bar-be-que Sauce. Next to Louis Armstrong was young Josephine Baker, showing some of her moves to Zora Neale Hurston. Josephine Baker is American dancer, singer, and actress. She dropped out of school at age twelve and people started discovering her street dancing. Now Zora Neale Hurston is different from everybody here. Zora Neale Hurston is American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. I can read but I never read any of her books before. She has written books such as Spunk. I know because Sara Lee was reading that book once. She said it was good. I borrowed it and have not the slightest clue where it is. Walking up to Zora and kissing her on the cheek was her fiancé, Herbert Sheen. He is a jazz singer but not really recognized much. I went over to an empty table and sat down. Cab Calloway was gettin’ ready to perform and when he sangs, the world shuts up! He is an American jazz singer and bandleader. He was getting ready to perform with his orchestra. Taking their seats next to me was Ivie Anderson and Eubie Blake. Ivie Anderson is American jazz singer. She is known for sweet, clear singing voice. Eubie Blake is an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1912, Blake began playing in vaudeville with James Reese Europe's "Society Orchestra" which accompanied Vernon and Irene Castle's ballroom dance act. I took my pen and and paper and began to plan out who coming and who ain’t. I know Duke Ellington was going to come so his name was first. I also saw getting ready to go on stage next was Bill Robinson. He is a tap dancer and an American actor. He is best known for his dancing with Shirley Temple. Over by the stairs fixing her hair was Marian Anderson. She is an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Her voice is a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty. Having a drink with Earl Hines is Ethel Waters. Ethel Waters is an American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. I am in love with her song Stormy Weather. Finally, Earl Hines is one of the small number of pianists in the Harlem Renaissance. He is said to be so good that at the age of 17, and with his father's approval, Hines moved away from home to take a job playing piano with Lois Deppe & his 'Symphonian Serenaders' in the "Liederhaus", a Pittsburgh nightclub. I have finally got my list of people who are going to be at my Harlem Rent party. I got up out of my seat and went on stage. Nobody should care. We are all black folks. I just have to avoid the security mens. I took the mike off of the stand and it squeaked. Everybody looked around crazy. “Who are you? Get down from there. That is property of the Cotton Club and you are tresp….” A member of Duke Ellington’s band said. “Oh, shut ya mouth, boy. Look here. I am having a Harlem Rent Party at the Harlem Apartments in room #257. There will be food, drinks, gambling, and singing and dancing from each of you. Will ya please come? I owes my ole landlord about a thousand dollars in backrent.” Count Basie said, “We don’t have time for this foolishness. Get off the stage before I call security!” I then got on my knees, knowing that I wasn’t that desperate. Please. All you have to do is perform a song or selcection and you get free food and drink. You can stay all you want.” I started to cry but then Marian Anderson came on stage and said over the mike, “We’ll all come. We are always willing to help out our kind. Especially when they are in a ret.” I got off my knees and hugged her. “Thank you,” I said, wiping my tears, “be there around 6:30 p.m.” Fats Waller said, “You mean in an Hour.” I looked at the clock. It was 5:30 p.m.