The Legendary Una Mae Carlisle Owner Of Gee-Haw Stables Jazz Club In 1940’s Harlem

August 5, 2020

Una Mae Carlisle, co-owner of Gee-Haw Stables (aka Mercedes’ Gee-Haw Riding Academy) was a Harlem jazz club at 160 West 132nd Street.

The Stables was located between 7th (Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Boulevard) and Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Boulevard) in Harlem, NY.

The club flourished from June 1940 to about 1945.


Gee-Haw Stables, named because a sculpted horse’s head graced the entrance, it was a tiny after-hours club where the action started around 7 pm in the evening and would often go until noon.

In 1941, the club was owned and operated by Johnny Bradford, born in 1911, who, that same year, married Una Mae Carlisle. At the time of their marriage, Bradford lived at 35 West 110th Street, and Carlisle lived at the Hotel Theresa, at 2082-96 Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Boulevard between West 124th and 125th Streets in Harlem, NY.

In 1964 the Gee-Haw location was a Gulf Gas Station on 125th Street in West Harlem.

Other clubs managed by Bradford

Jimmy’s Famous Chicken Shack, 763 St. Nicholas Avenue (between 148th and 149th Streets), Manhattan (Sugar Hill neighborhood), opened in 1937 as Jimmy Brown’s Chicken Shack at 763 St. Nicholas Avenue, NY.

Bradford became the host of Jimmie’s in 1949, when it was owned by Jimmy Bacon (né James Bacon; born 1915 Georgia); the lower level of 763 St. Nicholas Avenue, once called a parlor level.

Jimmie’s is currently a small Senegalese restaurant, “Tsion Cafe & Bakery”; 763 St. Nicholas, in the 1920s and 1930s was a funeral parlor “Charles M. Jerolomon Parlors.” The Barnyard (1953).

Read more information on our Harlem History Facebook page.

Photo credit: Una Mae Carlisle.Via source.

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