"Splendid a richly anecdotal picture...The essential book, mandatory for the most casual student as well as the most ardent fan." -- David Hinckley, (NY) Daily News 1/26/04
"The definitive history of Harlems (and black Americas) essential theater." -- New York Magazine
From the Publisher
While the Apollo is now re-inventing itself and once again burnishing the legend it nearly died in the 1970s and was forced to close its doors. As the civil rights movement began to alter the nations consciousness, other areas of opportunity became available at last to black performers. The system the Apollo was forced to work within for so many years began to collapse. The general acceptance of black culture into American popular culture was the beginning of something brand new, but it was also the beginning of the end for the Apollo Theatre. For it is the final irony that the ultimate casualty of this revolution was the Apollo itself.
Today, the Apollo Theatre remains at the heart of the African-American community the place that legends still call home as its been since 1934 James Brown, Smokey Robinson and George Clinton come back Top black pop stars including Mary J. Blige and P.Diddy, trod the Apollo stage, following in the footsteps of Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and Dionne Warwick Hip-hop group, The Roots, bring the sounds of the street into the theatre like the Orioles in their day The Apollos "Latin Nites" series continues the vibrant tradition of Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria Wynton Marsalis carries the jazz standard of Dizzy Gillespie On his 1999 HBO special, Chris Rock shocked and slayed the Apollo crowd summoning memories of Redd Foxx Debuting her first tour in a decade at the theatre, Whoopi Goldberg, after enjoying mass stardom, paid homage to the Apollo much as Bill Cosby once did Anxious neophytes continue flocking to Amateur Night in hopes of making it big by touching The Tree of Hope Through good times and bad, changes in time, taste and technologies it will always be Showtime at the Apollo.