The Mars Club door
The Mars Club original painting by Al Jones
Were you a performer at the Mars Club of Paris in the 1950’s? Please leave news about where you are now and what you’ve been doing over the years since then.
I sang at the Mars Club while it was owned by Ben Benjamin. Art Simmons was the piano player and I am still in touch with him. He is in a rest home but walks miles every day. He is 87. I sang under the name of Chris Baker, I appeared at the Lido, and often with Peanuts Holland at the Metro Jazz. I made the rounds of many of the night clubs, spent some interesting times with Eartha Kitt, and many visitors to Sidney Bechet’s Club the Vieux Colombier. I have written a book called,”Chasing Rainbows” that will be published this year. It has many details of those early 50’s years. Aaron Bridgers was a friend, and Bonnie Dana that lived with Art was a close friend. She went on to open a club in Palma, Mallorca. She was the illegitimate daughter of Amy Sample McPherson, which most people didn’t know. Blossom Dearie and I were good friends in those days, she was an amazing entertainer that kept doing the same thing for nearly seventy years! I would love to meet the Butler’s and spend some time hearing about the years after I left. I was there for five years studying art, you can see my work on line.
There were also many interesting writers and characters that I have recalled in my book, it was a most facinating time. There is also some interesting facts about my early singing life with Debbie Reynolds, Barbara Ruick, John Williams, Burt Convey and others.
Dr. Title, Wonderful to hear from you and hear some of your stories. I will look for the book “Chasing Rainbows.”
The Butlers were not there at the same time as Ben Benjamin, of course, but they knew some of the same people you mentioned. Barney has passed away, but Barbara is still alive and doing well.
My name is Charles Miesner. I’m gathering information on Art Simmons so as to nominate him for the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. I met Art several years ago at one of the H of F induction ceremonies and I would be thrilled if we can get him inducted.
Charles, Hopefully this comment will reach the right eyes and you’ll hear from Art Simmons.
I was Barbara Butler’s sister. I thought you would like to know that she died yesterday morning
I heard the news from Dee, my cousin. I’m so sorry about Aunt Barbara. My sincere condolences. I loved her dearly. She will be missed.
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