apollo theater

from ella fitzgerald, james brown posted in music


apollo theater
253 w. 125th street
new york, new york 10027

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posted by pete_nice #

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Built in 1913 at this location in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, this theater changed hands several times until it was purchased, refurbished, and renamed the Apollo Theater by Frank Schulman in 1934.

Since the neighborhood had benefited from a large influx of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance, Schulman wanted to make the theater exclusively black entertainment. He hired in-house producer Clarence Robinson, and the famous "audition night" was instituted.

In 1934, a seventeen-year-old Ella Fitzgerald won the $25 first prize for her vocal renditions of "Judy" (by Hoagy Carmichael) and "The Object of My Affection" (by Pinky Tomlin).

In 1962, James Brown recorded the album Live at the Apollo at the theater. The album was very popular (66 weeks on the Billboard charts), and led to 3 more James Brown live albums and a tv special at the Apollo.

photo: Joseph A.