*Well here’s one for those of us living fully in the year 2014.
A blues band at a bar in Beverly, IL claims their gig was cut short one night because there were “too many black people” in the audience.
This, according to the man who actually booked the group.
Singer and musician Brandon Bailey is the only black member of the Reprieve Blues Band, (he must be a new member too, because there are few, if any, photos shown of him with the group); but on Saturday night, he told CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley it was clear his black friends and supporters weren’t welcome at McNally’s Pub in Beverly.
“It was all about the music and to find out that it became about race was very disappointing,” said Bailey.
Following the second set, Mike Cummings, who had booked the band for McNally’s, is said to have told band leader, Glenn Osvarek, that they were done for the night.
Then Osvarek said,
“I asked him why. He clearly stated there were too many black people in his place.”
CBS2 asked the band’s only black member “how many” black people is too many, and Bailey responded.
“I would argue that shouldn’t even have been a question, but there were at least 25 or 30 people of color in the building that came to support myself and the band.”
When the band leader objected, Cummings repeated his rationale.
“He reiterated again, that we were cut off. We’re done playing and that there’s too many black people,” said Osvarek.
“I was surprised it was this blatant,” said Bailey.
The band obliged. They got paid, packed up and left.
But Bailey couldn’t let this bad behavior go, and blasted the incident on his blog; which caused the Chicago Police department to investigate Cummings, who is reportedly a Chicago cop.
“We’re accountable for our behavior on or off duty. We’re going to investigate it and if it is in fact true, then appropriate actions will be taken,” said police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
CBS 2 attempted to contact Mike Cummings for reaction but has been unsuccessful reaching him. Chicago Police are strictly prohibited from owning a bar or holding a liquor license.
The owner of record for McNally’s is Erin Cullom, who couldn’t be reached for comment either.
Glenn Osvarek, the band leader to whom these racially-charged comments were directed, is a Chicago Police officer who’s currently on medical leave.
Derrick Blakely’s news report is below.