A Night at the Silver Slipper

A rare view of the interior of the Silver Slipper nightclub.



The Silver Slipper in 1946

Photo courtesy Debra McBride

I’ve written before about the Silver Slipper. Located on Macon Road just outside the city limits, the nightclub opened by man-about-town Bob Berryman was quite simply THE place to go in the 1940s, 1950s, and even later. The food was good, the music even better, but mainly you went because everybody you knew went there too.

For such a popular place, it’s always been disappointing (to me, I mean) that I’ve never been able to locate any decent photos of the club — inside or out. It was just one of those places that nobody thought to document at the time with a camera, which just makes my job harder. How inconsiderate can people be?

But my pal Debbie McBride, who describes herself as “descended from centuries of Tipton County residents but now an unfortunate resident of the Minnesota tundra,” has shared a really nice photo of the Slipper, taken in 1946. It shows her parents, along with their friends, enjoying a night out on the town at the Silver Slipper. What makes the picture particularly shocking, says Debbie (“Scandal!” she wrote), is that this was taken at midnight, on a Sunday night. That was indeed pretty wild for Memphis.

Do they know (or even care) where their children are?

From left to right: Euton and Mary Jane Anderson, Mildred and Sanford Blankenship, Debbie’s parents Edwin and Virginia McBride, and Anita and Billy Anderson. All of them were living in Covington, Tennessee, at the time, so that just shows the appeal of the Silver Slipper. It was worth a two-hour drive. (Okay, one hour if you drive really, really fast.)

You still can’t see too much of the interior, but the decorative wallpaper suggests how fancy the Slipper was. They didn’t call it “Silver” for nothing.

Thanks for sharing the photograph, Debbie.

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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