The Bodega, Cross Street, Manchester

The Bodega Jazz Club was at 15 Cross Street off Corporation Street, Deansgate, Manchester 2 and was opened in 1956.

It was a basement club opposite the Royal Exchange with an upstairs bar, The Red Barn. It was licensed and used to be a Jazz venue before becoming more main stream.

Don Richards (b. Donald Roberts) was director and manager of the club (ca. 1958 - 1964).

The groups that played here included The Zenith Six (Jazz Band), The Merseysippi Jazz Band, The Dutch Swinging College Band, The Mayfair Jazz Band from Gorton and Reddish and Pete Haslam's Collegians who had a residency every Wednesday. Also, George Melly (1926 - 2007), Mick Mulligan (1928 - 2006), Alex Walsh, Kenny Ball (1930 - 2013), Acker Bilk (1929 - 2014), Chris Barber (b. 1928), Humphrey Lyttelton (1921 - 2008), Lonnie Donegan (1931 - 2002), Karl Denver (1931 - 1998) and Kenny Ball (1930 - 2013). 

In the early 60's the weekend residency was held by Paul Beattie and the Beats. They played here most nights.

It was here in 1962 that John Mayall (b. 1933) met Alexis Korner (1928 - 1984) when his band Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated played at the Club. Mayall's band The Blues Syndicate (John Mayall's Blues Syndicate) was supporting him.

On Monday, September 17, 1962 saw the opening night of The Monday Big Beat at The Bodega Jazz Club.

They also had a DJ here in Dave Lee Travis (b. David Patrick Griffin, Friday, May 25, 1945, Buxton, Derbyshire, England). He was also known as Dave (The Rave) Lee Travis.

The Bodega Jazz Club later became Top of the Town, The Sounds and then The Granby Bar.


Info courtesy John H. Warburg  January 2023
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