August 7, 1944: Hines Plays It Cool at the Tic Toc
The Tic Toc Club, opposite the Metropolitan Theater (Wang Center) at 245 Tremont Street, had as its tagline, “always a famous band,” and from 1941 through 1944, it was the name-band nightclub in Boston.
This was the first, and most important, of three Tic Toc Clubs. The second was at 235 Tremont across from the Wilbur Theatre, from about 1949 to 1952, and the third was on the other side of Stuart Street, at 225 Tremont. It featured good mainstream jazz in the early 1960s.
Ben and Jack Ford took over the Tic Toc sometime in 1941. They also owned the Ford Theatrical Agency, which they started in 1936 and built into a major East Coast booking agency. They handled bookings for Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, and others in the jazz world, and they always scheduled their bands into the Tic Toc when booking tours. Others playing the club more than once included Roy Eldridge, Erskine Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson (with and without Art Blakey), Joe Venuti, Fats Waller, and Cootie Williams.
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