Black History Month Spotlight: APOLLO SATURDAY NIGHT
As we did last Wednesday, we come to you today in order to place another album under the Black History Month Spotlight, and while this one isn’t quite as iconic as that massive Stax-Volt singles collection, it’s certainly no less historic.
The Apollo Theater in Harlem is one of New York City’s most famous concert venues, and the title of the album APOLLO SATURDAY NIGHT is not a case of false advertising: it does indeed contain live performances which were recorded at the Apollo Theater on Saturday, November 13, 1963. The stars of the show: The Coasters, The Falcons, Ben E. King, Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, and Doris Troy. (If you aren’t familiar with The Falcons, you’ll be familiar with a couple of the gentlemen who were serving as members of the group at the time: Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd.)
The material performed on the album is occasionally familiar, with the two most notable occasions being King’s “Stand by Me” and Thomas’s “Walking the Dog,” but the artists tend for the most part to perform songs that most fans would describe as “deep cuts.” The Redding performances on the album is particularly historic, as it took place more than a year and a half before he first found his way into the top 40, but you’ll find plenty of critics who’ll back up our position that there really isn’t a bad number in the mix.
Fans of ‘60s R&B who’ve never experienced the bliss that accompanies a spin of APOLLO SATURDAY NIGHT should fix that situation right away. This is music history, plain and simple.