NEW YORK – Harlem's Apollo Theater is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its "Amateur Night" a starting stage for some of the biggest stars in entertainment, including Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and the late James Brown.
The first 75 tickets to Wednesday night's show are going for $7.50, with rapper Ron Browz as the featured performer.
The theater, built in 1914 in the heart of Harlem, was originally called Hurtig and Seamon's New Burlesque Theatre. Blacks were not allowed in the audience then.
In 1934, Ralph Cooper Sr. launched a live version of his radio show, "Amateur Nite Hour" at the Apollo. Fitzgerald was among the first winners of the show, which allows young performers to test their talent, with a tough live audience booing bad acts off the stage.