News - The Apollo


The soundtrack for The Apollo has been released by Universal Music Group/Blue Note Records/Polygram Entertainment/UMe, just ahead of the new HBO documentary which premieres tomorrow evening... 

Press Release

Helmed by Oscar and Emmy-winning director Roger Ross Williams, THE APOLLO chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City's landmark Apollo Theater. The soundtrack's CD and 2LP vinyl editions, featuring liner notes written by Williams, will be released on December 20. Produced by the film's music supervisors, Grammy nominee Dondi Bastone and TunesMap founder G. Marq Roswell, executive produced by Williams and White Horse Pictures CEO Nigel Sinclair, and mastered by Ian Sefchick at Capitol Studios, THE APOLLO's 32-track soundtrack spotlights classic recordings by legendary artists who have graced the theater's stage. The soundtrack also exclusively debuts a new original song, "Don't Turn Back Now" by Robert Glasper with vocals by Ledisi, plus selections from Glasper's original score for the film.



THE APOLLO documentary film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances from an astonishing list of legendary talents that includes James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, and Richard Pryor; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Angela Bassett, Common, Jamie Foxx, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, and Pharrell Williams. Williams also examines the current state of race in America, following the 2018 multimedia adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates' bestselling book Between the World and Me as it comes together on the theater's grand stage. In the film, Williams explores not only the struggle of black lives in America, but the role that art plays in that struggle, and the essential part the Apollo continues to play in the cultural conversation. Directed by Roger Ross Williams ("Music By Prudence," "Life Animated"), THE APOLLO is produced by Lisa Cortes, p.g.a.; Jeanne Elfant Festa, p.g.a.; Cassidy Hartmann, p.g.a.; along with Williams. The film is a presentation of HBO, Impact Partners, The Apollo Theater Foundation, and is a White Horse Pictures production. Executive producers are Nigel Sinclair, Dan Cogan, Nicholas Ferrall, and Julie Goldman, among others.

THE APOLLO: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack brings together timeless music by many greats who have taken the stage at the Apollo with stories and memories from those who were there. The soundtrack provides an intimate audio experience, interspersing new and classic recordings – Charles Mingus' "Take the 'A' Train," Ella Fitzgerald's "How High The Moon," Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," and James Brown's "Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud" and "Lost Someone" (from his first Live at the Apollo album), to name a few – with interview excerpts from the film from those who made it happen show-after-show, as well as authors, artists, and community leaders who share their insights. Excerpted segments from the film include brief comments from President Barack Obama, Angela Bassett, Pharrell Williams, and more.

Throughout the soundtrack album, THE APOLLO's music composer, Emmy and five-time Grammy-winning Loma Vista Recordings artist Robert Glasper, takes listeners through several interviews with original score elements. The soundtrack also presents score pieces by composer Todd Griffin in this context, including an excerpt from the film spotlighting the stage adaptation of Coates' Between the World and Me.



Find out more about the documentary here.

THE APOLLO: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK [digital; CD]

1. Kenneth J. Thompson, Apollo Greeter
2. T. Griffin - Opening, The Apollo Theater
Featuring interview excerpts from Lana Turner, Harlem Resident; Pharrell Williams, Recording Artist, Songwriter, Record Producer; Herb Boyd, Journalist and Activist
3. Charles Mingus - Take The 'A' Train
4. Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra - Memphis Blues
5. Marion J. Caffey – Interview Excerpt / Amateur Night Producer, The Apollo
6. Ella Fitzgerald - How High The Moon
7. Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra - Old Man Blues
8. Pearl Bailey - She's Something Spanish
9. Count Basie & His Orchestra - Jive At Five
10. Ted Fox – Interview Excerpt / Author, Showtime At The Apollo
11. Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
12. Mikki Shepard – Interview Excerpt / Former Executive Producer, The Apollo
13. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
14. Kamilah Forbes – Interview Excerpt / Executive Producer, The Apollo
15. James Brown - Say It Loud—I'm Black And I'm Proud
16. Ta-Nehisi Coates – Interview Excerpt / Author, Between The World and Me
17. Robert Glasper - Apollo As Home
Featuring interview excerpt from Ted Fox, author, Showtime At The Apollo
18. Gladys Knight & The Pips - Home Is Where The Heart Is
19. Robert Glasper - Mission Statement
Featuring interview excerpts from Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, New York Amsterdam News; Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, The Apollo
20. Johnny Hodges - Come Sunday
21. James Brown - Lost Someone (Live at the Apollo)
22. Robert Glasper - Schiffman Cards
Featuring interview excerpt from Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, New York Amsterdam News
23. Jimmy Smith - T'aint No Use
24. Robert Glasper - Obama Returns To The Apollo
Featuring interview excerpts from Lana Turner, Harlem Resident; Angela Bassett, Actress and Activist
25. Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady
26. Kenny Burrell & Grover Washington Jr. - Asphalt Canyon Blues
27. Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me
28. Robert Glasper - Harlem Riots
29. Dizzy Gillespie Octet - Duke's Last Soliloquy
30. Ta-Nehisi Coates and T. Griffin
From the staged reading of his book Between The World and Me, Apollo Theater, April 2018. Featuring score by T. Griffin - Opening, The Apollo Theater
31. Robert Glasper w/Ledisi - Don't Turn Back Now
32. President Barack Obama at the Apollo Theater, January 19, 2012

THE APOLLO: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK [2LP vinyl]

Side 1
1. Kenneth J. Thompson, Apollo Greeter
2. T. Griffin - Opening, The Apollo Theater
Featuring interview excerpts from Lana Turner, Harlem Resident; Pharrell Williams, Recording Artist, Songwriter, Record Producer; Herb Boyd, Journalist and Activist
3. Charles Mingus - Take The 'A' Train
4. Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra - Memphis Blues
5. Marion J. Caffey – Interview Excerpt / Amateur Night Producer, The Apollo
6. Ella Fitzgerald - How High The Moon
7. Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra - Old Man Blues
8. Pearl Bailey - She's Something Spanish
9. Count Basie & His Orchestra - Jive At Five

Side 2
1. Ted Fox – Interview Excerpt / Author, Showtime At The Apollo
2. Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
3. Mikki Shepard – Interview Excerpt / Former Executive Producer, The Apollo
4. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
5. Kamilah Forbes – Interview Excerpt / Executive Producer, The Apollo
6. James Brown - Say It Loud—I'm Black And I'm Proud
7. Ta-Nehisi Coates – Interview Excerpt / Author, Between the World and Me
8. Robert Glasper - Apollo As Home / Featuring interview excerpt from Ted Fox, author, Showtime At The Apollo
9. Gladys Knight & The Pips - Home Is Where The Heart Is

Side 3
1. Robert Glasper - Mission Statement
Featuring interview excerpts from Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, New York Amsterdam News, and Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, The Apollo
2. Johnny Hodges - Come Sunday
3. James Brown - Lost Someone (Live at the Apollo)
4. Robert Glasper - Schiffman Cards
Featuring interview excerpt from Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, New York Amsterdam News
5. Jimmy Smith - T'aint No Use
6. Robert Glasper - Obama Returns To The Apollo
Featuring interview excerpts from Lana Turner, Harlem Resident, and Angela Bassett, Actress and Activist
7. Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady

Side 4
1. Kenny Burrell & Grover Washington Jr. - Asphalt Canyon Blues
2. Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me
3. Robert Glasper - Harlem Riots
4. Dizzy Gillespie Octet - Duke's Last Soliloquy
5. Ta-Nehisi Coates and T. Griffin
From the staged reading of his book Between the World and Me, Apollo Theater, April 2018
Featuring score by T. Griffin - Opening, The Apollo Theater
6. Robert Glasper w/Ledisi - Don't Turn Back Now
7. President Barack Obama at the Apollo Theater, January 19, 2012

Image/info - Universal Music Group/Blue Note Records/Polygram Entertainment/UMe