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October 02, 2013

Club 747's 30th Reunion Dance Party on October 12

From the OttawaStart Community News feed

Club 747 will be holding its 30th Anniversary Reunion Dance Party Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, October 12th, 2013, starting at 10:00 PM in Ottawa's unique city of Vanier at 333 Montreal Road (Concorde Motel). 
At this final, 30th anniversary reunion of Club 747, expect the evening to be a mix of your favourites from 70's, 80's and 90's which produced some of the greatest hits in Funk, Soul, Motown, Philly, Rhythm and Blues music. Two inductees into the Roger's Stylus DJ Hall of Fame, Dr. Soul ( Len) himself and Butcher T ( Tony), will be performing at this celebration along with Dj Virgo and Ben Jammin. 
Dress code in full effect and price of admission is $10.00. 
Club 747 was founded by Ottawa's own Dr. Soul and Mr. Ebony, Len Puckerin, in 1983. Long after the closign of the physical "Club 747", people continued to flock every year to reminisce and enjoy the talented 'vinyl' DJ.  (Read the full press release...)

I hadn't heard of Club 747 before so I looked it up on Google and found this page that provides a fascinating glimpse into a piece of Ottawa's cultural life in the 1980s. The club hosted musicians like Ice T and Rob Base, and was an epicenter of funk, soul, R&B and Caribbean music. Here's an excerpt:
Ice T, Dr. Soul and friends at Club 747

In 1982, all DJ’s were told that they had to start cutting down of the percentage of R&B, Soul, funk, calypso and other “Black” music that were played in the clubs. Len felt the growing need and the demands of the patrons to play more of this kind of music, so this gave rise to Music in the Park and the establishing of Club 747 that opened up its doors in Agostinos Restaurant (on Du Portage on the former Strip, in Hull)...

Under the umbrella of Agostinos, Club 747, doors opened in June 1983 with only the first floor. On the second year, Club 747 opened up the second level. Funk, R&B, Soul and Jazz were played on the first level, while Soca, Calypso, Reggae was on the second level – all for the same entry fee. More importantly, Len was able to play as much music, and the genres of music that he sought for years before. Yes, the music of “black” artists were finally played and gaining the proper recognition that this music deserved in the clubs.
Rob Base and DJ Papa Richi at Club 747

In 1986 Club 747 had to move from its location, because the tightening of the laws to make the Strip more business oriented rather than a party town... For only 1 year, Club 747 took over a club named the Fame (now the Lone Star in the ByWard Market). Due to the owner’s discrepancies in 1987, Len decided to move Club 747 to the Butler Motel – now known as the Comfort Inn in Vanier.For the Funk/Soul and R&B side, the Funky Fresh Crew – now known as DJ Rude Boy played on the first level, while DJ Papa Ritchie & the Gemini Posse played all the Caribbean music on the second level, while Len was meticulous in the entire smoothness of the operation of his nightclub.  Read the full article... 

Do you remember Club 747?  Any stories to share?  Please post in the comments below.

See also: Ottawa Entertainment Guide

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