This is where you go when music is your livelihood. Whether you’re a superstar or play the accordion at weddings, if you’ve made music in L.A., you’ve passed through these doors.
The building was planned to be torn down, but a grass-roots coalition managed to get it approved as a cultural monument.
Side Note: The Local 47 union was the first musicians union in the country to desegregate, allowing non-white members to join in 1953.
Musician Union Hall Local 47
817 Vine St.
Los Angeles CA 90028
In the late 1960s, this was the first place I met the late great Johnny Otis.
I was told his office was upstairs ( he was then acting President of the Musicians Union )
As I was going up the stairwell, Mister Otis was coming down.
I greeted him, told him I used to watch him on channel 5 ( KTLA ) when I was younger.
He laughed and I ask him for his autograph. He knelt down on one knee, open his attaché case, pulled out an 8×10 and signed it.
I have treasured this photo over the years and remember this day very well.
Later, Tony ” Nite Owl ” Allen took me to Johnny’s home ( 1983 ) and he remembered me!
The same day I was at the Musicians Union, I also went to CHALLENGE Records ( also on Vine at the time ) and spoke with Joe Johnson who was running the label. He told me about Gene Autry’s former connection to CHALLENGE. ( The ” G.A. ” which remained on the imprint in later years )
Interestingly, it was Mister Autry who also used to own KTLA ( Golden West Broadcasting )
Small world indeed!