By Don Lehnhoff, baltimorejam.org
The Club Venus opened in May of 1966 in the Perring Plaza Shopping Center. It was much anticipated and very popular. Club Venus represented the evolution of Mihalos’ success in presenting name entertainment to Baltimore audiences at his previous night club, Hollywood Park. Where HP was funky and low-rent, Club Venus was just the opposite … total class all the way.
The talent presented at HP was always first class, but it was something akin to today’s Tribal casino circuit — great up and coming acts (like the Temptations), and established career acts with great history and recognition (like the Platters and the Rhonettes). These shows were backed up and supported by some of the best and most popular bands of the time (like Tommy Vann, the Echoes, the Elegants, the Admirals and others). But at Club Venus, they upped the ante.
Club Venus continued the tradition of featuring the very best Baltimore bands, but the name acts started to include some of the headliners of the day, like the Four Seasons, broader musical acts like the Buffalo Bills (a hugely popular barbershop quartet at that time, thanks to their role in Broadway’s “Music Man”) and non-musical acts like comedians Sid Ceasar, Rodney Dangerfield, Frankie Fontaine and Totie Fields.
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Club Venus Memories – Mark Mihalos has produced a wonderful montage of Club Venus photographs, autographs and advertising from her personal collection.