Robert “Bob” Edmund Haynes, a jazz club owner who popularized the Saturday afternoon jazz sets in Baltimore, died Nov. 12. He was 81.

Haynes was the original owner of the popular Sportsman’s Lounge and Lamp Post venues, which dominated the Baltimore night scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“Every musician played there,” said Valerie Fraling, who frequented Haynes’ clubs every Saturday. “His clubs were the premiere jazz places. It was where everyone spent their Saturday…politicians, sports figures, you name it.”

She said local and national musicians performed at the jazz spots including Oscar Brown Jr., Carlos Johnson, Thomas Hurly and Danny Brown. “The list goes on and on,” she said.

Haynes was born July 12, 1929, in Clarksburg, W.V. He and his nine brothers and sisters settled in Baltimore when he was a child. His father was a United Methodist minister.

“He was a very giving, family person,” Haynes sister Erla McKennon said of her younger brother. “That’s what he will be remembered for.” He would always tell his three grandchildren about a family legacy surrounding education. “You will be the fourth generation to go to college,” she said he would tell them.

After earning a degree from Morgan State University, Haynes enlisted in the Korean War. He went in as a lieutenant and left as a captain. Upon his return to Baltimore, he opened a jazz bar in East Baltimore called Lamp Post. The club quickly became a hotspot for jazz musicians and he later founded the Sportsman’s Lounge, which remains open on Gwynn Oak Ave. in West Baltimore. Unfortunately, due to his increasing health problems in recent years, Haynes was forced to sell the nightclub.

Close friends and fans of his businesses say that he will always be remembered and admired for his exciting nightclubs.

A viewing was held for Haynes on Nov. 16 at Brown’s Funeral Home. Longtime family friends, jazz musicians and many of the waitresses and club staff from his nightlife days came to pay their respects, McKennon said. He was cremated on Nov. 17 and his family will hold a memorial in January.

Haynes is survived by his wife, Marion Haynes; two daughters; a son; three grandchildren and two living siblings.


Shernay Williams

Special to the AFRO