Harlem’s most famous stage, the Apollo Theater, turns 80 this year! The iconic venue is world-renowned for its concerts and for launching the careers of some of the world’s biggest musicians.
The neo-classical theater first opened its doors in 1914 and is now classified as a state and city landmark. From 1935 to 1975, the Apollo was arguably one of the most influential venues in the world.
Numerous music greats have performed at the Apollo including: Louis Armstrong, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday, and of course James Brown, who recorded the famed album ‘Live at the Apollo’ in 1962.
Last year alone, more than 60,000 people attended the Apollo’s famous Amateur Nights, where the audience is always diverse. Amateur Night is celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary this year and is said to have been the inspiration and model for Star Search, American Idol and other singing shows that capture television audiences around the world today. On Amateur Nights the audience is known to boo or cheer for acts and a panel of judges determine whether the act will move on to compete in a final, a final that Jimi Hendrix once won!
Amateur Night has been a launching pad for many entertainers including:
• Stevie Wonder
• James Brown
• Lauryn Hill
• Ella Fitzgerald
• Jimi Hendrix
• Diana Ross and the Supremes
• Dionne Warwick
• The Jackson 5
• Marvin Gaye
• Luther Vandross
• Aretha Franklin
• Mariah Carey
• Patti LaBelle
• Wilson Pickett
Guests of New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania can take part in the tradition of Amateur Night every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. In addition to launching the careers of some of our most loved musicians such as Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, the Apollo has also served as a venue for established comedians including; Aziz Ansari and Tracy Morgan. Often voted as one of the city’s top attractions, this is an experience truly unlike any other, so don’t miss out!
For more information about Amateur Nights and other shows, visit apollotheater.org.