THE COTTON CLUB DOWN SOUTH
CLAP HANDS HERE COMES CHARLIE
I can not remember the first time I went South. I can not begin to count the times I went South. Sometimes, I could not even remember I had been South.
It would begin innocently enough. You would be studying quietly in your dorm room. You had probably just returned from a wonderful wholesome (just like Mom cooked!) meal at the Cafeteria. Someone would come down the hall way, stick their head in your room and ask, "Wanna go South?" I never once said no.
Nine miles directly south of Murray you went through a small town called Hazel that dropped you into Tennessee. Home of the 18 year old legal drinking age. (We're talking the 1970's.)
Of the many bars directly over the border, The Cotton Club was the dive of choice. All the college kids went there. The regular house band was called, Clap hands Here Comes Charlie and was made up of music majors from MSU. They had a horn section and could rock that concrete joint like there was no tomorrow. They played a lot of Chicago, we danced like crazy, on the dance floor, on the table tops, we drank the cheap beer....mainly Busch beer...., we played the pin ball machines, we flirted, we danced some more, and then around 11pm the large bell would be rung announcing last call. We would load up in our cars, and head back up Route 641, praying that tonight would not be the night they would have a road block.
It was THE PLACE to be during the week! Murray was a "suitcase campus". The week end would roll around and the majority of the students would head home. Since I lived so far from Central KY, I rarely went home. The week ends were reserved for Fraternity functions.....the week days were for GOING SOUTH!