The dozen men interviewed by Ted Fox for In The Groove may not be household names, but without them the music industry would not exist as it does today, and many of its greatest stars may have kept their day jobs. These are the men behind everyone from Bob Dylan to Bob Marley, John Coltrane to Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin to Janis Joplin. In The Groove is more than an anthology – it is a personal history of the music business from the men who invented it and made it. This classic book is essential reading for anyone interested in the music industry.
“Fox has a knack for getting out of the way and letting the subject open up. What these guys have to say is priceless.” – (NY) Daily News
“A collection of anecdotes and articulate insights…a collection of interviews with producers that evolves into a mini-history of pop culture.” – New York Newsday
“A down-and-dirty beauty for pop and jazz fans.” – Kirkus
“Reading Ted Fox’s work can be a deceptively pleasurable experience. Like his earlier book – the classic Showtime at the Apollo – In The Groove gives the appearance of having been put together with the greatest of ease – and it undoubtedly was. But it is an ease born of a thorough familiarity with the subject and a deep devotion to its practitioners. It is no small achievement to get people to talk with the kind of insightful enthusiasm that appears on page after page of this book, but Ted Fox seems without fail to bring out the best in his subjects.” – Peter Guralnick, author of Sweet Soul Music, Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, and Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke
“You’ve got to read this book carefully. It’s a killer!”–Doc Pomus, legendary songwriter
Featuring Interviews With:
This newly updated eBook version of Ted Fox’s 1983 book Showtime at the Apollo is the definitive history of Harlem’s world-famous showplace. Home to nearly every great black star including: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Richard Pryor, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Redd Foxx, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn and “Bojangles” Robinson, – the theater still hosts contemporary luminaries like The Roots, Mary J. Blige, Chris Rock, Wynton Marsalis and Whoopi Goldberg. Numerous performers relate their own poignant, exciting and sometimes hilarious stories. Some 150 photographs – many never before published – are interspersed throughout.
For African-Americans, the Apollo was the greatest black theater, and a special place to come of age. For whites – including Elvis Presley and the Beatles – the Apollo was as close as they could come to the reality of the black experience.
Still thriving, the Apollo has exerted an unprecedented influence upon popular culture. Since 1934, the Apollo has been at the forefront of African-American music, dance and comedy. It’s legendary Amateur Night spawned countless stars. Renowned for having the world’s toughest and most appreciative audience, it is the place where, as Dionne Warwick says in the book, “Everyone gave their best performance”.
“The essential book, mandatory for the most casual student as well as the most ardent fan.” – David Hinckley, Daily News
“Ted Fox made the Apollo come alive for me again.”– Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records
“A wonderful book.” – Tavis Smiley, National Public Radio
“I could almost feel and taste the Apollo again.” – Doc Pomus, classic songwriter
“The definitive history of Harlem’s (and black America’s) essential theater.” – New York Magazine
“Showtime at the Apollo is not only a history of that wonderful theatre, but also a fascinating insider’s view of the Harlem music scene.” – John Hammond, legendary producer and talent scout
James Otis Smith is a multitalented artist whose work spans illustration, comics, motion graphics, and video. Formerly a member of the Act-i-vate Comics collective, he designed and illustrated the children’s book Madunia: Stories of the Ancient Lands with writer James McCammon, among other titles. Smith lives in Brooklyn, New York. Showtime at the Apollo is his debut graphic novel.
Ted Fox is the author of Showtime at the Apollo: The Story of Harlem’s World Famous Theater—the definitive and only full-scale history of Harlem’s legendary showplace and the source material for this graphic novel adaptation—and In the Groove, a collection of interviews with those who have shaped the music industry. He was also the longtime manager and producer for Grammy Award-winning artist Buckwheat Zydeco. He lives in upstate New York.
Since its inception as an African-American theater in 1934, the Apollo, and the thousands of entertainers who performed there, have led the way in the presentation of swing, bebop, rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, soul, funk and hip-hop—along with the latest in dance and comedy. The Apollo has nurtured and featured thousands of artists, many of whom have become legends. The beauty they have given the world—their art—transcends the hatred, ignorance, and intolerance that often made their lives difficult. Today, the Apollo enjoys an almost mythical status. With its breathtaking art, this graphic novel adaptation of Showtime at the Apollo brings to life the theater’s legendary significance in music history, African American history, and to the culture of New York City.