By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds lined up for a shot at stardom as the world famous New York Apollo Theater tryouts came to Philadelphia.

“The Apollo has rolled in here to take a look-see at all the amazing musicians and singers and dancers hiding in the streets of Philadelphia, and bring some of them to New York,” said Amateur Night Producer Marion Caffey.

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Caffey says many people got their start on the Apollo stage.

“Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight, James Brown. Lauryn Hill, who got booed off the Apollo stage. So did James Brown.”

(No kidding?)

“Yeah, so did Ella Fitzgerald,” said Caffey.

Apollo Amateur Night Producer Marion Caffey. (credit: Lauren Lipton)

Apollo Amateur Night Producer Marion Caffey.
(credit: Lauren Lipton)

Obviously, that didn’t stop them from going on to stardom, and hundreds of area hopefuls waited at the Kimmel Center hoping to follow in their footsteps.

“The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night is the longest running talent competition in America. We were long before Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, which is one of the most noted, and Star Search, and now of course, they have America’s Got Talent and The Voice and all of that, but Amateur Night is the great-great-grandfather of all and still running strong and still relevant in today’s music world,” said Caffey.

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And Caffey invited everyone to the Apollo.

“It’s probably the least expensive, most affordable fun you can have in New York City. Wednesday nights you can come in for under thirty dollars, and have the time of your life,” he said.

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Just think, someone from this area might be the next big winner.


And for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

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