Buddy Rich Big Band
Isy Walters - Owner of Isy's Supper Club in 1965 - Image courtesy of Larry Warcup
Isy and Richard built Isy's Supper Club in December 1959 and had that club until Isy died in the 1970's.
Richard (Ricthie) Walters, August 2007
I played with Bobby Hales' house band at Isy's in the late 60s and early 70s. During that time I recall Stevie Wonder, Frankie Avalon, and Little Richard as the names that stand out in my memory as well as Buddy Rich and the others you've mentioned. Bobby Herriot used to come over and sit in with the band on the late shows after he'd finished a gig at the Queen E or some such!
Dallas Hinton, September 2008
Earl Grant performed there for many summers, usually in July. He also attended the infamous garden parties thrown by my Grandmother, Vie Moore, of Vie’s Restaurant on Union St.
Ian Alexander, May 2010
Dusty Springfield and Leslie Randall - Image courtesy of Rob Frith, Neptoon Records
Employess Bidding Isy Farewell - 1971
By the time it closed in 1976, Isy’s Supper Club was one of the last clubs associated with a bygone glamour.
Rock and roll had overtaken it, but Isy’s had become a symbol of a kind of Rat Pack snazz, a fast American style, a holdout for entertainment no longer deemed cool.
Along with another holdout, The Cave, Isy’s contributed to Vancouver's status as a swinging city.
At least that was the aura. Isy Walters had built the club's reputation from 1959 on a history that mixed sophistication with adventurism.
It had house bands led by the top local jazz musicians, such as Fraser MacPherson and Bobby Hales, and stood apart from the seedier, certainly earthier, East End clubs. It was more high end, classier.
It imported the stars of the day with a Las Vegas slant and floor show appeal.
Also known as Isy’s Strip City, the club regularly featured strip tease acts and, by 1972, the girls not only were topless but bottomless, with Vancouver a pioneer in this regard north of San Francisco.
When it re-opened, the location at 1125 West Georgia was called Outlaws. It was a rock club but, beneath the surface, still was Isy’s.
Larry Warcup, February 2013
F.O.G., End of the Line, The Stoways
I just clicked on this site and it bought back so many memories. I worked there as PR for four years and met the majority of acts you have listed.
I am in touch with Richie's daughters and ex wife. Ritchie has been running state fairs for a very long time but is now retired.
Jackie Begley, December 2013
I started working as a waitress at Isy's in 1968 when Isy had just sold the club (for a brief time) to Joe Akitt. Isy was there at the time, getting Joe familiarized with the club. Very shortly thereafter, Joe could not keep the club going so Isy took it back. I then became Isy's secretary and promo representative until Isy sold the club to Danny Baceda. I became Danny's secretary and then became overseeing Manager of Old Can's, the Cave and Isy's while Danny and Frank Hook owned it.
Danny lost Isy's and the Cave back to Isy and Ken Stauffer, and then the Receiver General closed Oil Can's. Because Isy had his club back and Oil Can's was closed I stayed with Isy until he passed away in the club on a Saturday afternoon. Jack Card and I continued to run Isy's and the exotic dancers while Isy's estate was being settled, which took almost two years. Jack Card bought Isy's and Jack and I became partners in the agency that booked the dancers. And the history continued....
There are hundreds of stories that I could share, but not sure if anyone is interested any more. What I can say is that those were the best years of my life and I am honored to have been a part of the lives of so many people in the entertainment history of Vancouver.
Jeannie Runnalls, April 2015
I knew Isy very well, and was a guest in his home many times, and in many respects considered him to be a 2nd father to me. I have fond memories of people who worked there, including Jack Card, Jeannie, Cyrca (spelling?) and her husband who tended bar, and my memory fails me on other names. The maitre'd and his wife who worked the coatroom, the lady who played piano in the upstairs bar, and so on. Great times and great memories.
Gordon Sharpe, March 2016