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"Rhythm and Blues Night" At The Ealing Club Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Eric Clapton and Keith Richards
Evening Standard / Chris Ware, Getty Images

All the news in recent weeks about the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones – including an upcoming documentary, a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall and a book – has led us to research the origins of that legendary band. While perusing the web with our old vinyl copies of ‘England’s Newest Hit Makers’ and ’12 x 5,’ we came across an anniversary that not only relates to the Stones, but to much of rock history.

On March 17, 1962, Blues Incorporated, led by guitarist Alexis Korner and harmonica player Cyril Davies, began “Rhythm and Blues Night” at the Ealing Club in London. Three weeks later, on April 7, pals Mick Jagger and Keith Richards saw Brian Jones (calling himself “Elmo Lewis”) playing Elmore James’ ‘Dust My Broom’ with the group in the Ealing Club. A friendship was formed, which led to the birth of the Rolling Stones.

The club became the focal point for British musicians who had fallen in love with American R&B, and among the musicians who played the Ealing Club in the next few years – either on their own or with Blues Incorporated –  include the Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton), Jack Bruce, Rod Stewart, John Mayall, Manfred Mann and Ginger Baker.

To commemorate the anniversary, a blue plaque, used by English to denote a noteworthy location in English history, was unveiled at the club’s location, 42 A The Broadway, Ealing W5. The downstairs club remains in use today as the Red Room.

With so many legendary names who got their start on that stage, rock history as we know it would have been entirely different without the Ealing Club.

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