12Freddie Arrington is best known as the legendary Master of Ceremonies and Maitre D of Leo’s Casino, a Cleveland institution of years past. Freddie was born in Cleveland Ohio and attended Cleveland Central High School (now know as Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy). After high school Freddie served in the Marines. After leaving the Marines Freddie became a successful Golden Gloves boxer, Freddie was a patron of Leo’s in the 1950’s when it was a neighborhood bar located at 49th and Central. He became friends with Leo Frank, the owner. Since Leo liked jazz, he put in a stage, knocked out some walls and brought in jazz acts from around the country Freddie helped book these and other African American acts and soon started seating customers in the revamped Leo’s. Freddie was also the fill in Master of Ceremonies when Bob Montgomery, comedian and MC was on the road.

to purchase music click album cover

to purchase music click album cover

 

 

In 1962 Leo’s burned down and Freddie went to work as a driver for Budweiser. He was recruited as a
43sales and district manager for Seagram’s gin where he supervised the distribution throughout eight states. When Leo’s Casino was reopened, Freddie became the MC between 1963 and 1972. The who’s who of musical acts performed at Leo’s Casino, such as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, the Supremes, the Temptations and the Four Tops,. Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. Some of these artist and many others gave their first performances at the club. Many patronss remember Otis Redding who made his last stage appearance at the club prior to his fatal plane crash in 1967. The club also provided a springboard for numerous comedians, such as Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson and Redd Foxx. Freddie, as the Maitre D’ and MC was there making history along with all the greats.


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