Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the launch/enforcement of Prohibition in the United States.
Of course in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t really do much to stop the country from drinking. It certainly didn’t stop the Sinatra family, who ran Marty O’Brien’s bar at 333 Jefferson Street in Hoboken.
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Who runs a bar during Prohibition? Dolly & Martin Sinatra, that’s who! In commemoration of the centennial of the first day of Prohibition (1/17/1920), we dug this photo out of the Hoboken Museum archives of “MOB’s” or Marty O’Brien’s bar “M.O.B. Assn. of All Nations” at 333 Jefferson St. (Did you know that Frank Sinatra’s dad chose to fight under an Irish name because most training gyms did not welcome Italians?) #prohibition #sinatra #hobokenmakeshistory
Whatever impact Prohibition had on drinking is debatable—but the way it shaped society remains readily apparent. The growth of cocktail culture—as a way to maximize short supplies of liquor (of varying qualities)—and the speakeasy-type venues that served these magical elixirs remain well-woven into the American fabric.
From those dark and crowded rooms came performers like Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, and Frank Sinatra (Frank sang at Marty O’Brien’s)—finding their voice and capturing an audience that would follow them long after the “noble experiment” of Prohibition came to an end in 1933.
“You Go To My Head” was written in 1938, about five years after the repeal, but the song by J. Fred Coots with lyrics by Haven Gillespie evokes the intoxicating sensations of the speakeasy…
“You go to my head and you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning ’round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne
You go to my head like a sip of sparkling Burgundy brew
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two…”
Just don’t let it go to your head…