The Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. Please Please Me, Mr. Dynamite, i.e., James Brown, performed at Ontario’s fabled Royal Tahitian nightclub in 1967, down at Whispering Lakes golf course in the dairyland. This show was mentioned in a 2010 column and blog post of mine about the nightclub at the point when the building was due to be torn down. My blog had the above image, from a Royal Tahitian poster. The club, which opened in 1960, closed later in 1967 due to losses.
Recently, reading the booklet for the deluxe edition of James Brown’s “Live at the Apollo Vol. II” (yes, I’m a fan), I spotted the image below, a full itinerary for his 1967 tour, which includes the Ontario show. He played San Diego and Oakland before hitting Ontario for six or more shows — the tour info has him there through July 19, whereas the Tahitian schedule had him leaving July 16 — and then leaving for Las Vegas.
Reader Wendy Wrider left this comment on my original post:
“I was 17 in 1967 when I came down with a group of teenagers from Big Bear Lake to see James Brown. He did all the classic moves, down on his knees, all the capes put on him by the Flame members.”
Imagine seeing James Brown in Ontario, in a 1,000-seat nightclub, six shows daily, each with, as the ad put it, a “cast of 30”!