Danny Brown's Scrapbook

Jewel Box Club, Tampa

History is a little sketchy regarding the night clubs run by Danny Brown and Doc Benner.
The earliest mention of the Jewel Box Club in Tampa I can find is from the Fall of 1942,
with an ad in a football game program. Regarding the Miami club, I could find news articles
telling of it operating from 1946 until the end of 1950. Also, regarding the Miami location,
according to the book "An Evening in the Garden of Allah: A Gay Cabaret in Seattle,"
Danny Brown was a "darling of women, and a New York madam set them up in their
Miami club, with their touring show running mostly in the summers. The book said that Doc
was several years older than Danny and sang in the show, while Danny took emcee duties.
See a Club Jewel Box, Miami, program by Clicking Here.

I think it's important to note that the Jewel Box Club, at least the one in Tampa, was for the
most part NOT a female impersonation club. The scrapbooks covered roughly 1935 through 1944
(with a few later clippings filed in the books but not pasted in). From the Jewel Box Club ads I
found only one for a female impersonator (Jackie Maye, from 1945). Also, I think oddly, I've found
very few ads for the Miami club, but those I have did not mention female impersonators, so I
believe the same type of "straight" entertainment was featured there.

A couple possible explanations would be that they figured that full-time impersonators clubs
were not a viable business, and another thought is that they may have been using all the
impersonator talent for the touring company, to keep the quality high and that reputation
intact. To contradict this reasoning is the program above, telling of their having "three units
on tour." If that is correct, I do not know why I have not (yet) found any Jewel Box Revue ads
at all for the period 1946-1950, when the Miami club ran. Actually I've found no JBR ads prior
to 1950. Now, in all their programs they talk of the revue starting in 1939; I don't mind this
generalization as they did have other early touring companies. And I do recognize that actual
history may not always correlate with what a business puts out in their advertizing….history
versus hype.

1942-1944, Part 1

Note on all of the above ads, it's "Danny & Don's"....not sure what that was about, but from this point it became "Danny & Doc's"

On to Jewel Box Club, 1942-1944, Part 2

Back to Danny Brown Intro

Back to QMH Home Page