Like any street smart kid would do, Billy Mitchell was about to run from a stranger who offered him a chance at making a fast buck in Harlem. But before he could make an escape, the offer was explained: shine shoes, get coffee and run errands for the people that worked inside the building Billy was leaning against.
One of 14 siblings in a struggling New York family, there wasn’t much for Billy to think about. Take the job, help the family, stay out of trouble, and along the way, become synonymous with one of the world’s most famous stages: The Apollo Theater.
Billy Mitchell is “Mr. Apollo.”
That sidewalk job interview happened in 1965, between Billy and The Apollo Theater’s operator, Frank Schiffman. At the time, The Apollo was booking a “who’s who” of acts, including James Brown, The Temptations and The Supremes. Big names with big demands. And Billy would become the man, waiting in the stage wings, who would tend to every whim. He made sure B.B. King’s band had hot meals waiting forRead More »from ‘Mr. Apollo’ Billy Mitchell Has Seen It All, From James Brown to Michael Jackson