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Apollo Theater

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 1986 | By DAVID HINCKLEY, New York Daily News
It's no big trick to convince anyone the Apollo Theater is to 20th-century American popular music what the MGM studio was to the 20th-century American movie musical. The trick, over the past 10 years, has been to make the Apollo into a living, breathing enterprise that can turn enough of a profit to stay open. Back in the '30s, '40s and '50s it was easy enough. You hired a comedian, a tap dancer and a couple of musicians, paid them almost nothing, had them do seven shows a day, and didn't spend a lot on stuff like sound systems and dressing rooms.
NEWS
April 1, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - The joint is jumping, but not necessarily in ways that originally made Ella Fitzgerald famous decades ago. Harlem's Apollo Theater remains a hub of African American musical culture - but the venue also strenuously adapts itself. There's digital foosball one week, with a giant playing table on the main floor - and then Opera Philadelphia arrives this Friday and Sunday for Charlie Parker's Yardbird , the Apollo's first foray into opera. "Experimentation and emerging artists are part of our DNA," says Mikki Shepard, executive producer.
NEWS
April 20, 1995 | By Rebecca Goldsmith, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Number 8 Tower Lane, a white ranch with yellow shutters, sports the mowed- grass, trimmed-shrubbery and car-in-driveway look it shares with most of its Willingboro neighbors. But the standard suburban appearance of the exterior quickly gives way when the clash of cymbals and the clap of drums beat from within. Inside, six musicians, age 10 to 17, jam away in their makeshift studio. A couch, bureau and piano have been pushed to the side of the dimly lit living room. The red carpeting has become the dance floor, the walls, a showcase for memorabilia, and the dining room, a storage place for props.
NEWS
October 28, 2002 | By Diane Mastrull INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Last night, in the Philadelphia Orchestra's grand, cello-shaped performance hall, a chamber of vaulted ceilings and rich woods designed to produce acoustical excellence, a belly-dancing grandmother, a baton twirler, and two stand-up comics - plus a cadre of amateur singers and dancers - vied for a shot at stardom. Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater brought its amateur-night show to the Kimmel Center, offering the winner a guaranteed appearance on national television and a chance to appear on the same stage in New York that launched the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Stevie Wonder.
NEWS
April 14, 1997 | By Catherine Quillman, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ray stood poised with his saxophone. He took the stance of a seasoned performer. After all, back home in Lionville, he had played before church groups and with two school bands. Wednesday night was a bit different, though. Ray was on stage in Harlem at the celebrated Apollo Theater, taking part in one of its amateur nights. On such nights, those who do not capture the audience's favor in a matter of seconds are doomed to meet "The Executioner," a sort of human hook who comes to sweep them away in a whirl of lights and the sounds of a fire drill.
NEWS
April 25, 1988 | By DAVE BITTAN, Daily News Staff Writer
Ella Fitzgerald, celebrating her 70th birthday today, is in semi- retirement. But there is a treasury of her work on record, starting with the happy sound of 1938's "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," to her scat singing of "How High the Moon" and the marvelous balladeering on her tributes to Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen. Through midnight, WRTI (FM/90) will play Fitzgerald's records to honor the performer who often is called "The First Lady of Jazz. " Born in Virginia, she came to New York in 1935 for an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2011
Who: Standout youngster on "Majors & Minors," an adorable, heart-swelling, no-elimination show featuring 12 amazing "minors," ages 10 and up, and their "major" celebrity mentors. Airs 7 p.m. Sundays on The Hub. Age: 14 From: Originally South Philly, now East Falls School: Meredith Elementary Memorable show moment: The first time he met Brandy, Michael performed a song he wrote - and reduced the R&B vet to happy tears. Back in town: Since the show wrapped, Michael's been a regular eighth-grader, taking the bus to school and singing in the adult and praise choirs at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.
NEWS
September 12, 2010
Carlton "King" Coleman, 78, a pioneer in American rhythm and blues, died Saturday from heart failure at a Miami hospice. Mr. Coleman was known for providing the lead vocals on the 1959 hit "(Do The) Mashed Potatoes," recorded with James Brown's band. According to a 2003 Miami New Times article, Brown had planned to do the vocals himself, but a dispute with his record label made that impossible. To avoid any lawsuits from Brown's label, a Miami producer had Mr. Coleman sing on the mostly instrumental track, while the group credited with the song was "Nat Kendrick and the Swans," named for Brown's drummer.
NEWS
February 18, 1992 | by Mark de la Vina, Daily News Staff Writer
To Jocko Henderson, the chime of a doorbell often turned out to be the sound of a hit record. At any given moment, a vocalist or a record promoter would drop by his Germantown home to ask the powerful disc jockey to give a listen to a freshly cut record or a just-penned tune. But early one day in 1957, some guy was pushing his luck with the accommodating radio personality. "The doorbell was ringing at 4 o'clock in the morning and I said to myself, what the hell is this?"
NEWS
March 23, 2008 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Hortense Allen Jordan, 88, a dancer, choreographer, producer and costume designer in East Coast clubs and theaters for more than five decades, died March 15 of heart failure at Golden Living in Germantown. She was a longtime resident of North Philadelphia. LaVaughn Robinson, Philadelphia's master tap dancer, who died in January, often spoke of being transfixed by Mrs. Jordan when the curtains opened at the Earl Theatre in the late 1950s. She was dancing atop a drum. "She looked like a giant," he said.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2016 | By Howard Gensler
D RAKE AND Philly's own Meek Mill continue to act like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton . And we don't mean that they're behaving presidential. Before Drake mocked Meek's Philly cred at his Sunday night concert here at the Wells Fargo Center, E! News reports that Drake insulted Meek during his Washington, D.C. concert stop. Heightening the insult of his 2015 Meek diss track "Back to Back," Drake rapped, " I did another one, I did another one/That p---y still ain't did s--t about the other one . " For those of you who haven't been keeping up, E!
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - The place, the subject and the performers all buoyed Charlie Parker's Yardbird on its Friday opening at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem into the sort of event that allowed Opera Philadelphia's New York debut to be a respectable success - at least. Visiting Philadelphians crowded the seats of this grand, Old World-style, 1,500-seat theater. Much cheering greeted the conclusion. Yet the piece itself (in the company's 2015 world premiere production) felt more problematic than before.
NEWS
April 1, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - The joint is jumping, but not necessarily in ways that originally made Ella Fitzgerald famous decades ago. Harlem's Apollo Theater remains a hub of African American musical culture - but the venue also strenuously adapts itself. There's digital foosball one week, with a giant playing table on the main floor - and then Opera Philadelphia arrives this Friday and Sunday for Charlie Parker's Yardbird , the Apollo's first foray into opera. "Experimentation and emerging artists are part of our DNA," says Mikki Shepard, executive producer.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2015 | By Howard Gensler
ONE MORE THING Tattle loves about Taylor Swift : She seems to have 48 hours in her day. Between the music and the fashion and the star-studded vacationing and birthday partying, the talk shows, impromptu performances and parties for fans, Swift seems to find more time to meet with small children than perhaps any celebrity out there. Sure, other celebs do good deeds, but Swift sets the bar high. She's like a one-woman Make-a-Wish Foundation. The latest day she brightened was that of 4-year-old cancer patient Jalene Salinas , of San Antonio.
NEWS
July 26, 2013 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
SO YOU think you can sing - or dance, or perform spoken word? Are you bold enough to try out for the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night in New York? The producer of that world-famous talent show will be in Philadelphia tomorrow holding auditions at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, starting at 10 a.m. "We're not just relying on discovering that new superstar. We also want to maintain a great entertainment show," said Marion J. Caffey, the Apollo's Amateur Night producer.
NEWS
December 21, 2011 | By Jeff Hurvitz
When you drive along North Broad Street near Dauphin, under the din of the street traffic, you can almost hear the harmony emanating from a long-forgotten building. There stands the vacant Uptown Theater, its marquee showing a proud face that does its best to hide an empty soul. The recent news that a corporation has raised $3 million toward restoration of that landmark represents a glowing flashlight among the rows of empty seats. If the fund-raising continues, a viable Avenue of the Arts North will be closer to reality.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2011
Who: Standout youngster on "Majors & Minors," an adorable, heart-swelling, no-elimination show featuring 12 amazing "minors," ages 10 and up, and their "major" celebrity mentors. Airs 7 p.m. Sundays on The Hub. Age: 14 From: Originally South Philly, now East Falls School: Meredith Elementary Memorable show moment: The first time he met Brandy, Michael performed a song he wrote - and reduced the R&B vet to happy tears. Back in town: Since the show wrapped, Michael's been a regular eighth-grader, taking the bus to school and singing in the adult and praise choirs at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.
NEWS
September 12, 2010
Carlton "King" Coleman, 78, a pioneer in American rhythm and blues, died Saturday from heart failure at a Miami hospice. Mr. Coleman was known for providing the lead vocals on the 1959 hit "(Do The) Mashed Potatoes," recorded with James Brown's band. According to a 2003 Miami New Times article, Brown had planned to do the vocals himself, but a dispute with his record label made that impossible. To avoid any lawsuits from Brown's label, a Miami producer had Mr. Coleman sing on the mostly instrumental track, while the group credited with the song was "Nat Kendrick and the Swans," named for Brown's drummer.
NEWS
June 4, 2010 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
The tales of glorious old movie palaces that have been effectively buried alive are starting to form a distinctive genre of their own. Forsaken by their owners, these theaters are left to rot until - one day! - they are rediscovered by a band of pure-of-heart film buffs who recognize their true beauty beneath the dust and bad renovations. Epic struggles ensue. Money is sought. But much of the time, a happy ending remains beyond their grasp. This region's roster of long-running tearjerkers includes Center City's Boyd Theatre, North Philadelphia's Uptown, Haddon Township's Westmont, and the Lansdowne Theater.
NEWS
July 8, 2009 | By Traver Riggins and John Tampane, Inquirer Staff Writers
The boarded Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia was as much a place to remember Michael Jackson as it was a reminder of the good old days when the Jackson Five performed here 40 years ago. People began to gather outside the Uptown on North Broad Street for the 7 p.m. candlelight vigil more than an hour in advance. The moment of silence in the star's honor was brief. Instead, the crowd danced, cheered "We love Michael," and sang songs. More than 100 people, many of them baby boomers whose teen and young-adult years were fueled by Jackson's artistry, showed up last night to bid the star farewell.
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