Folk music and Yorkville Coffeehouses

Who Stomped the Penny?: The Cycle of Music at The Penny Farthing

American jazz singer and guitarist Lonnie Johnson was perhaps the most popular of the jazz offerings of the Penny Farthing in the early days before the popularity of late night jazz decreased and McHugh moved folk music to the centre stage. After hearing one of his performances, The Globe and Mail argued he deserved the keys to the city and credited him with bringing jazz to Yorkville. The house jazz band was jazz bassist Jim McHarg and his band, the Metro Stompers. They were also reviewed favorably, and it was written that their sound "created a tidal wave" in the swimming pool. Both of these artists recorded a now rare album together entitled "Stompin' the Penny". Legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson also played the Penny Farthing.
Joni Mitchell began playing the basement of the Penny Farthing (known as the Dungeon) but would later frequent the main stage as the venue switched to more folk offerings. This change brought The Stormy Clovers, a pop folk band that played more upbeat versions of Gordon Lightfoot songs as well as their own at the Penny Farthing. They were also notable for bringing Leonard Cohen into the limelight as they were the first to perform songs that he wrote such as "Suzanne" and Cohen would even sing duets with their lead singer - Susan Jains - who John McHugh speculated that he was in love with. Singer songwriter Bruce Cockburn also played the club as a solo artist, before and after he was in the aforementioned 3's a Crowd. Other notable musicians who played the venue include Puerto Rican singer songwriter Jose Feliciano and blues-man John Lee Hooker.

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