|Photo from KiwiThing at Flickr|
“This neighborhood was all about jobs,” says McKeehan, who lived in Chicago between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. “My dad went through World War II, came back and wasn’t going to work in a coal mine. He had seen other things. He was going to get a factory job. The ’billies came to Chicago. The reason they ended up in Uptown is how they split up big old houses and apartment buildings into smaller apartments. Guys would share an apartment and send the money home like Latin American immigrants do now. Uptown got a reputation for being an Appalachian-friendly neighborhood.
“It was all about getting out of coal mines, getting out of poverty.”
The ’billies flexed their hardworking muscle at dozens of Uptown honky-tonks.
Sharon’s Hillbilly Heaven was across the street from the Aragon Ballroom, and its wall paneling featured embedded depictions of pine trees, deers and pheasants. Bartenders wore gym whistles to keep law and order. The Lakeview Lounge was at 5110 N. Broadway, a dimly lit outpost for the hillbilly migration that had settled on Argyle Street.
These places are gone.
And Carol’s plays on.
Here's a link to the whole article. A fun read, particularly if you're interested in Uptown's more recent history.