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Encore District History

In 1930, Central Avenue became a full-fledged business district hosting restaurants and grills such as the Cozy Corner, Cotton Club, Apollo Theatre, and Little Savoy. Music icons such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, and James Brown performed at many clubs on Central Avenue. In 1950, Central Park Village was built and baseball great, Jackie Robinson stayed in a boarding house on Central Avenue. Ray Charles recorded his very first song "I Found My Baby There" while living on Short Emory Street, now a part of the Encore. "The Twist" was born on Central Avenue, and Ella Fitzgerald wrote the song, "A-Tisket-A-Tasket."

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