Written by
Bob Stumpel

May 18

The Schiffman Index Cards On Ray Charles At The Apollo, 1957 – 1971

Off topic

The Schiffmans, owners of the Apollo Theater, kept concise and hugely interesting notes on all acts he booked and re-booked. Each index card tracked the acts through the years, listing the dates of the opening nights (many gigs were for one week), the amounts paid out, and – above all – the Schiffman family’s brutally honest comments on the act’s quality and cash box success.

Up till now the notes were only known from the Frank Schiffman Apollo Theatre Collection in the Archives Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, but recently a few additional cards on the Apollo’s top artists (Ray Charles, but e.g. also James Brown and Aretha Franklin) have popped up on Ebay.


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