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August 21, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: The Blackest Sheep

The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris & Chicago’s Club Alabam.

When my extended Harris family, including my grandmother Minnie Garland Harris, left Buckingham County, Virginia to settle in a small town in southern Iowa called Leon, my great-grandfather, Clay Harris, married again. His son, Eugene Alexander “Gene” Harris, my grandmother’s half-brother, became the first in my very long line of Harrises to be born outside of Virginia.  As the 20th century unfolded, Gene led an exciting life far from his bucolic Buckingham County roots.

I’m delighted to announce that my newest book was inspired by my great uncle’s career operating the popular Chicago nightclub, Club Alabam. The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam goes on sale September 3 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers. You can pre-order now.

This history of Chicago after dark was great fun to research and write. The book covers six decades of the city’s history, introduces a kaleidoscope of fascinating characters, and is laced with scandalous tidbits about nightlife in Chicago before, during, and after Prohibition.

If you love local history, especially the world of entertainment, please consider following my blog about the research and writing of the book at or on the Facebook page: The Blackest Sheep.


Leave a Comment
  1. Errol S. / Aug 21 2019 2:16 pm

    Sounds like must reading. Looking forward to the September release date.

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 21 2019 5:52 pm

      We appreciate your enthusiasm! Anyone interested in the underbelly of showbiz will enjoy THE BLACKEST SHEEP!

  2. Nancy Baldwin / Aug 21 2019 9:41 am

    How exciting and congratulations, Joanne!!!

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 21 2019 10:15 am

      Thanks, Nancy. I trust it is as fun to read as it was to write!

  3. kellvnp / Aug 21 2019 9:22 am

    Hi Joanne, The Blackest Sheep sounds like a fun one! Coincidentally, my grandmother was named Minnie too.

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 21 2019 10:17 am

      Minnie was a popular name! If you enjoy the history of show business, THE BLACKEST SHEEP is revealing (and entertaining) microhistory.

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