Milestone for the Apollo – 75 Years (repost)

the_apollo_theater__www_tcnj_edu_
My father (Auntie Carrie’s nephew) wrote this wonderful post in his blog, “Review”, about the Apollo Theater’s anniversary. I decided to steal it and re-post it. It’s fascinating and I doubt he minds. Here you go:

“Everyone played the Apollo. I remember leaving school early on Wednesdays and standing on line to get in to see James Brown, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry or the Moonglows. In those days you could sit through and catch a second show which we did often.

A lot of our neighborhood friends performed at the Apollo. with groups like the The Chantels (”Maybe”, “Will you Love Me Tomorrow” and our favorite “The Plea”), the Limelighters, the Cadillacs and others. Sometimes the singing groups would gather outside one of the side doors to see if they could get on stage that day and do their thing.

Our Dad introduced us to the Apollo, where he once played. (Jazz big band that won “Amateur Night” ) It was our Broadway and sometimes Sinatra or Bennett would travel north to sit in with one of the bands.

One of the greatest shows I ever saw, was the Arthur Prysock Singing with Red Prysock’s band, followed by Machito. This was followed by an outrageous jam session with the two bands joined together playing Dizzy Gillespie’s Caravan, like I had never heard it before.

I can recall going out on a first date to see Bill Cosby and embarrassingly crying with laughter and following up the next week to see the complete Motown Review, all for less money then it takes to fill a gas tank.

The Apollo turns 75 and it’s been a miracle that it is still alive.”

Post script – I found this beautiful photograph from the site, BlackPast.org.

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~ by Cybel Martin on March 7, 2009.

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