Monday, February 01, 2010

There will be blood!

In celebration of Black History Month, I have uploaded a long out-of-print and ultra-rare recording of an early 1950s Amateur Night at  Harlem's Apollo Theatre. The recording was originally issued with liner notes by Langston Hughes. The show was hosted by Leonard Reed, who plays a big part in my forthcoming book, HotfromHarlem.     Historical disputations aside, Reed---for my money---was the early 1930s originator of this fabled, longrunning affair.

Check out: Pearl Jones, gospel singer;  Danny Rogers, pop singer; Doreen Vaughan (blues singer); and the returning champs, doo-wop group, the Heartbreakers. Of the Amateur Night tradition, Hughes wrote: "Sometimes an Apollo amateur hour can be almost as moving and exciting as a Spanish bull fight---except that in a bull fight not always does a matador get killed. But every amateur night at the Apollo, some one or more of the participants  are 'done away with' in plain sight, 'killed'---literally shot---but fortunately with a blank cartridge." Here is  Apollo part 1 . Stay tuned tomorrow for part two.
Singer Jane Harvey's Sings Sondheim CD is now available at for the lowLowLOW price of only $19.99. How can they afford to do it? Why, because of volumeVolumeVOLUME, of course!

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