"...I am originally from Louisville, the West End. I graduated from Shawnee High School in 1967.
I knew Joe Hammond through my best friend's parents. They were really good friends. Charles and Irene Lowry were their names. So we always got VIP treatment when we went to Joes. And he always made sure that no one bothered us if we didn't want to be bothered. He was a nice man, a very nice man.
Oh wow, when I think of Joe's Palm Room, it reminds me of something that you might see in a movie. You would get dressed up to go. He didn't want us sitting at any tables so he would allow us to sit at the bar, because we were actually too young, and he wanted to keep an eye on us. And we didn't have much money so one time we went with rolls of pennies lol. But we knew Mr. Joe would take care of us.
You didn't find any commotion, cussing, or fussing. It was just very smooth, and relaxing. And, Ed Chestnut, I think it was his name, it was his trio there then. They really had nice sound, just smooth jazz! Laid back! You sat and listen to the jazz, sipped on your wine, and had good conversation. And it was the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Globetrotters came through one time and that was a big to do. Because they all kinda crammed in. Everybody knew who they were. They had a VIP table, champaign buckets, and so forth. It was a to do for us to see that. Tanita Gaines used to come through and sing a lot. I'm taking you way back, to about 68. Bill Paul, and the Delphonics stopped through.
In 1969, I met a guy who was the President of Armidial. He introduced himself and we talked. He was talking about how much he would come in to Louisville for business and this was his place to stop. He said I feel like I am at home when I come to Joe's Palm Room. And, that kinda stuck with me.
I was there probably every Friday night. I had Uncles that would come through that knew Joe Hammond. My Uncle Odell and he was close close. So they frequented Joe's Friday and Saturday night also. Joe's had a really good reputation. They don't make'em like Joe Hammond anymore. He was one of a kind. Let's keep him alive..."