Special Programming: Music on 10/20/12
Showtime at the Apollo Theatre!
... the Apollo probably exerted a greater influence upon popular culture than any other entertainment venue in the world. For blacks it was the most important cultural institution—not just the greatest black theatre, but a special place to come of age emotionally, professionally, socially, and politically.
— Ted Fox, “Showtime at the Apollo”
The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the oldest and most famous music halls in the United States, and the most famous club associated almost exclusively with African-American performers. It was the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a nationally syndicated television variety show consisting of new talent.
The theater is located at 253 W. 125th Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, specifically in Harlem, one of the United States' most historically significant traditionally African-American neighborhoods. (from Wikipedia)
Performers who made their names at the Apollo include Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughn, Ruth Brown, the Esquires, Dionne Warwick, Joe Tex, James Brown, King Curtis, Ronnie Spector, Billy Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, and Charlie and Inez Foxx.
Performers who performed at the Apollo include just about any African-American performer performing since the 1930's. Dancers included Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Bill Bailey. Comedians include Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Nipsey Russell, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, and Bill Cosby. Musical entertainers include Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, the Count Basie Orchestra, Lionel Hampton's 16-piece band, Dinah Washington, the Johnny Otis Rhythm and Blues Caravan featuring 13-year old Little Esther Phillips, Sammy Davis, Jr., Josephine Baker, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria and the Mambo Aces, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Shirley Caesar, Alex Bradford, Swan Silvertones, the Staple Singers, Clara Ward, the Soul Stirrers, Sarah Vaughn, “Big” Joe Turner, Herb Jeffries, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Nancy Wilson, The Miracles featuring Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, the Shirelles, Chuck Jackson, Tommy Hunt, Maxine Brown, the Isley Brothers, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Commodores, “Little” Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, T-Bone Walker, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Witherspoon, Odetta, the Delfonics, the O’Jay’s, the Stylistics, the Spinners, the Three Degrees, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Ralph McDonald, War, the T-Connection and Sister Sledge, Bob Marley, and Parliament Funkadelic.