Joaquin Garay's Copa, San Francisco, 1950s
Joaquin Garay was a well known orchestra leader and radio personality in the 30s and 40s. He opened the glamorous Copacabana night club in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf in September 1941 and it soon became a popular hang out for celebrities of the era. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall frequented it often during their honeymoon and John Wayne was a big fan. Joaquin released an album "A Night At Joaquin Garay's Copacabana" in the mid-1940s and the sleeve notes read as follows: "Joaquin came to San Francisco from native Mexico at the age of eleven months. His life has been filled with music and excitement. Motion pictures, the stage, vaudeville and radio have been his respective oyster. As owner of COPACABANA, he presides over the floor show functions and dominates the scene with a personality so vibrant, so heartwarming, that many of his patrons average three nights weekly in the Copa. They seem never to capture quite enough of his enthusiasm and down-to-earth showmanship." In 1945 he was the voice of Panchito in Walt Disney's "The Three Caballeros" and later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a rather short-lived movie career.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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