New York City’s Royal Roost, nicknamed the “Metropolitan Bopera House,” was in many ways the real center of modern jazz in the late 1940’s. Immediately after the end of World War II, the young bebop players co-existed with their older, swing-minded brethren at the cluster of nightclubs that had sprung up along 52nd Street near Broadway. Places like The Onyx began to feature the new music as early as 1944, when they booked Dizzy Gillespie’s first bop group with Don Byas and Oscar Pettiford. Once the music caught on after the war, the Three Deuces began to feature it quite a bit, and finally, in 1947, Ralph Watkins converted the Royal Roost fried chicken joint on Broadway into a reasonably swanky jazz club booking bop groups exclusively. Coincidental with the poultry theme, the Royal Roost’s biggest attraction were the frequent appearances of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker (pictured at left playing at the Roost). Although the Roost was named for its earlier incarnation as a chicken restaurant, the later Birdland, a few blocks north, was in fact named for Parker. “Symphony Sid” Torin, one of the first New York disc jockeys to play the new music, broadcast frequently from the Roost, and there is ample live evidence by Parker, Tadd Dameron, Gillespie and many others still available as recordings.