Skip to main content

Lennie's on the Turnpike Collection

Identifier: M.3

Scope and Contents

The Lennie's on the Turnpike Collection documents the operation of the jazz club from 1962-1972 and later jazz concert bookings by club owner Leonard Sogoloff. It also contains a small amount of personal material about Leonard Sogoloff. The highlights of the collection are the photographs of the club and its performers, the documentation about the performers and finances, and the correspondence sent to Lennie by jazz artists. The collection is of interest to researchers interested in the operations of jazz clubs as well as any fan of jazz.


  • 1962 - 2010


Biographical / Historical

Leonard Sogoloff was born in 1923, the last of six children of Russian immigrants Samuel and Sadie Sandler Sogoloff. After graduating from Peabody High School in 1941, Lennie was drafted into the Army. After the war, Lennie enrolled at the School of Practical Art on Newbury Street in Boston. In 1946, he began working for his friend Penny Abell at The Paddock Club in West Peabody. He met Art Litka, a pianist from beverly, at the club and started to work for him as an independent record label distributor. Lennie Sogoloff and Penny Abell opened The Turnpike Club on Rt. 1 in Peabody in 1951; it had a jukebox and seating for 56 people. In 1954, Lennie took over as the sole owner of The Turnpike Club. He married Barbara Raby in 1956 and they had three children: Leanne, Karen, and Adam. Lennie and Barbara decided to present live music at the club in 1958. Joe Bucci, an accordianist from Malden, was the first full-time house musician. Lennie booked his first nationally known artist, Roy Eldridge, in 1963. In December 1964, Lennie moved the building back 150 feet from the Turnpike to accomodate more parking. The club expanded and could seat 200 people; it was often packed as Lennie's attracted more nationally known bands such as Duke Ellington and Stan Getz. Lennie's on the Turnpike was destroyed by fire on May 30, 1971. It reopened three months later at the Village Green, which was about two miles north of the original club. Lennie decided to close the club in 1972 in order to spend more time with his family. After the club closed, Lennie became the manager of Empire Clothing Co. in downtown Salem, where he worked for over 20 years. Lennie died on July 12, 2014.


5.95 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Archivist
352 Lafayette St.
Salem MA 01970 United States