Oct 18, 2022
In 1963, Duane Abbajay—the 15th child of Syrian immigrants—took over ownership of a bar in Toledo, Ohio. And with the backing of the Detroit mafia, he would make it one of the legendary homes of music—first for rock artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker and others in the 1960s; and then for a who’s who of country music legends in the 1970s.
We recently welcomed our authors Stephanie Abbajay and Dominic Vaiana whose book “A Bar in Toledo” tells the true story of a man, the mob, and a #1 song—Kenny Roger’s “Lucille,” which was written about the bar.
“A Bar In Toledo” is a cautionary tale about the American dream, told through the eyes of an infamous music club owner; it’s a story about the rise, fall and resurrection of a local business celebrity in Toledo, along with the scars that the hidden aspects of his life left on a family that adored him; as well as an intimate portrait of the power of organized crime in the Rust Belt, rock-and-roll—all told by an adoring daughter who didn’t know her father as well as she thought.