Vancouver Was Awesome: Moon Glow Cabaret, 1966


A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.

The Moon Glow was already closed for a few years when this photo was taken, but in the late 1950s and early 60s, it was an R&B club. Tommy Chong talks about playing there with The Shades, his band from those days:

The Moon Glow was owned by Daddy Clark, a railway porter who loved The Shades and wanted to see us back together. Railway porters played a big part in our development as blues musicians because they were the ones who brought records up from the States, turning us on to Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, who did tunes like “Sexy Ways,” “Annie Had a Baby,” and “The Twist.” They brought us the latest records from Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and a host of other blues artists who were otherwise unobtainable. We would learn these great tunes and then play them for a grateful audience, who would be hearing them for the first time, since they were never played on the radio.

Tommy Chong became well known in the local live music scene and had a brush with fame when his band, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, signed with Motown. After that effort fizzled, Chong turned his brother’s topless bar at Main and Pender, the Shanghai Junk, into a comedy club where he paired up with Cheech Marin to form Cheech and Chong.

Source: City of Vancouver Archives #780-335