Thanks to Steve Kiviat for passing along some sad news: Chick Hall Sr., longtime owner of P.G. County roadhouse Chick Hall’s Surf Club, died Tuesday. The release from the Washington Area Music Association:
On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, Chick Hall Sr. passed away. He was a musician of enormous talent and a humble man.
Chick Hall Sr. was a country-jazz guitar virtuoso who made Armed Forces Radio records with Glenn Miller. Around 1953, he began playing with his own band, the Chick Hall Trio. After playing for a few years at the Surf Club, on Bladensburg Road in Colmar Manor, Chick decided that he’d like to make the club his musical home, and so he bought the place in 1955 and began playing there 6 nights a week.
The Surf Club transitioned from Jazz to Country Music, and many of the country greats visited, including Jim Reeves and Lefty Frizzell. Patsy Cline sang her heart out at the Surf Club. Jimmy Dean, Roy Clark, Charlie Daniels, dropped by to jam. It was around this time that the Colmar Manor/Cottage City area was in it’s heyday, with numerous clubs such as the Crossroads, Rusty Cabins (which turned into Burt Motley’s), the Dixie Pig, Angelo’s, the Wheel, and Basin Street, mostly all offering live music 7 days a week. There was always a party going on.
Things change gradually. Chick got married early on and had two sons – Chick, Jr. and Chris. In 1975, a developer made a good offer on the Surf Club, so Chick sold the club property, and built another one up the street at 4711 Kenilworth Ave (at the corner of Kenilworth Ave and Crittendon Street), He is survived by his wife of 67 or so years, and his kids Chick and Chris.