Club Three 666
Andrew Sneed’s Club Three 666 (or Club 666 or “Three Sixes”) opened in January 1942 (The Billboard) on 666 East Adams Ave., between Hastings and St. Antoine. The name of the club was originally “Dance Paradise” and was only open on weekends. Sneed applied for a beer-and-wine license, opened the establishment for seven days a week, and his manager Richard L. King, who had just finished working at the YMCA, suggested the new name after their address (Moon, 162).
Before Club Three 666 was sold to a syndicate in 1949, its aluminum walls, glass-brick bar, and beautifully-lit stage (Moon, 165) was host to figures such as conductor Claude Trenier (The Pittsburgh Courier) and pantomimist Johnny Hudgins (Baltimore Afro-American), with an eight-girl chorus led by Betty Taylor (Moon, 164). It could hold upwards of 750 people (Moon, 164) and once catered to the Tuskegee Airmen for a show (Moon, 167).
There was a sense of community between the Paradise Valley Clubs. After Club Three-Six’s chorus girl Willa Mae Lane was blinded by an unidentified woman throwing lye, the club organized a benefit show headed by Paradise Valley Mayor Chester Rentie, along with clubs such as the Paradise Theater, Cozy Corner, and Club Zombie (New York Amsterdam Star News). King himself recalled in interviews how, during the ‘43 riots, the closing of clubs was taken in stride by the residents and no business was lost (Moon, 167).
“Bowling ‘Em Over at Detroit’s 666.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Mar. 24, 1945.
“Claude Trenier At Detroit’s 666 Club.” The Pittsburgh Courier. Mar. 28, 1942, p. 20.
King, Richard L., as told by Elaine Latzman Moon, ed. “Richard L. King” in Untold Tales, Unsung Heroes: An Oral History of Detroit's African American Community, 1918-1967. Wayne State University Press, 1993, pp. 161-167.
“Night Clubs--Vaudeville: Detroit Club Expands Shows.” The Billboard. March 21, 1942, p. 12.
“Sponsor Benefit for Willa Mae Lane.” New York Amsterdam Star-News. Oct. 17, 1942, p. 10.