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  • 13. Famous Door

    Famous Door


    In 1934, "Hyp" Guinle proposed the low offer of fifty dollars for the property at 339 Bourbon Street. The current owner at the time was so shocked that Hyp had the gall to make such a low offer that he accepted. With only forty-five cents in his pocket and a few favors called in, he opened the Famous Door, which is the oldest continuously operating Dixieland jazz club in the world. The sound of trumpets and bass rhythms playing would lure those passing by into the entertaining yet intimate atmosphere with only 100 seats, none of which were more than two rows away from the stage. Serving as a launching pad for many artists such as Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, and Louis Prima, the club was a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. Shows lasted forty-five minutes and took place each hour with audience members invited on stage to dance each second line performance. The music kept on all night long with Washboard Leo taking the stage during the other musicians' breaks with his homemade washboard, Nadine. Alton Purnell, Sharkey Bonano, and Santo Pecora were among some of the club's featured performers. Hyp ran the club until his death in 1965. Celebrities who have visited the club can be seen etched into a door outside of the club.