Story: Nightclubs

Club band, 1960s (2nd of 3)

Club band, 1960s

Live music was an essential part of many clubs. These three musicians (from left, drummer Billy Brown, pianist Dean Wilkins and bassist Jim Wilson) are at the Sorrento club in Wellington in the 1960s. In its heyday, the Sorrento attracted a stylish crowd, as described by one commentator in Chris Bourke's book Blue smoke (2010): 'The hipsters wore Italian bum-freezer suits with very slim cuffless trousers, winkle-picker shoes, and very thin ties. It was very, very stylish and very slick. The women had bouffant hairdos. The musicians would be doing sessions round the various clubs and afterward they would come down to the Sorrento for jam sessions.' Like many clubs, the Sorrento also had a sleazy side, and was described as attracting 'no-hopers, hookers and the like'.

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How to cite this page:

Redmer Yska, 'Nightclubs - Loosening up, 1950s and 1960s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Redmer Yska, published 5 Sep 2013