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Baltimore, Hammerjacks and New Releases

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Located in South Baltimore in the northern corner of Riverside Park, 1603 Covington Street served as the business offices of DC star from 1977 well into the ‘90’s. While I was downtown last month I went by the old place for a little taste of nostalgia. Memories …

The band’s manager David Sherbow lived in the upstairs apartment in back while the front bedroom, when not used as the flop room for wandering band members, was occupied part time by the band’s NY promotional director Ed Doyle. The first floor served as a meeting place for band members and business associates. There were 2 full time office managers on staff, the most loyal and longest serving being Karen Soule Davidson and Robin Bloomfield.

The band was still living in southern Maryland at the time but I was going to Baltimore frequently to work on material with Ray Mc Crory. Sometimes Kenny Taylor would come along and the three of us would hang out at the original Hammerjacks nightclub which was located at 1000 South Charles St. It was a good 15 blocks away from the office as the crow flies but after nights of heavy drinking and partying, many times the band members would find their way back to Covington Street to crash out until the sun came up a few hours later.

After moving from Charles Street to the location at 1101 S. Howard Street in 1982, Hammerjacks became one of the most iconic night clubs in rock history. But when the Ravens football team made the commitment to build their stadium nearby, Hammerjacks property was taken by eminent domain and leveled in 1997 to make way for the Ravens parking lot.

Entrepreneur Kevin Butler purchased the Hammerjacks name and logo intending to reopen a new bar and concert hall @ 1300 Russell St. After submitting ambitious blueprints and beginning construction, plans were made for film maker Stephen Nerangis to produce a documentary film entitled “Hammerjacks – The Rocumentary”. Shortly after the filming began we were blindsided by Covid-19 and all construction and filming came to a screeching halt.

Fast forward to today; after years of inactivity Hammerjacks construction is back underway and the documentary film is going through final edits and copyright work. Stephen tells me that the film is slated for release in the fall and everyone is so excited about it! I ran into Steve at the M3 Festival recently and he gave me the ok to air a short clip of my interview. He deserves tons of credit for the remarkable work he has done. I hope you like the clip!

After DC Star folded full time operations David Sherbow relocated to Light Street and the 1603 Covington street property was sold some 20 years ago. While helping to clean out filing cabinets full of fan mail and memorabilia in the basement I found a couple boxes of old DC Star reel-to-reel master tapes and miscellaneous cassettes of demos, outtakes, and radio commercials. It was from some of these sources that began the spark of converting the old analog music into new files mastered for internet distribution.

It was the beginning of a digital rebirth for DC Star, one that I hoped would lead to more band reunions. Unfortunately, Kenny’s health was declining and never improved enough to tour again. So today, 11 years after Ken’s passing, I have finalized 3 additional DC Star albums to complement “The Best of DC Star Records” which replaced several previous digital albums. The first one “Unfinished Business” is slated for release July 1st 2022.

News Flash!: Associate producer in Eric Dalton just headlined his first major concert at the Chance theater in Poughkeepsie New York! The three opening groups on the bill were other bands whose releases Eric also produced in his studio. Eric fronts his show with a drummer and bassist, sometimes playing guitar and switching to singing along with guitar tracks that he recorded. The 3-piece concept highlights his true talents nicely.

He follows up debut video “Firefly” with the top tracks from his new release “Oblivion” and “X-My Heart”. Here are some pictures of Eric’s show and links to his great stuff!

When you check out Eric's videos, be sure and give them a like and comment on the YouTube page! I'm sure he'd appreciate it very much!

I’ll get back to ya’ shortly! – David Simmons

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