April 1, 1961–The Easter Parade of Stars with Clay Cole and Murray the K, Brooklyn Paramount: Dion, Chubby Checker, Ben E. King, the Shirelles, Bobby Rydell, Carla Thomas, Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Jimmy Clanton, Maxine Brown, Freddy Cannon, the Marcels, Rosie, Del Shannon, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Capris, the Isley Brothers, the Olympics, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Frank Gari, Andy Rose, Johnny Tillotson, Johnny Mathis, Chuck Jackson, the Landon Sisters, Bobby Bongard
Yes, it was possible to see – in one show – the Isley Brothers and Carla Thomas and Little Anthony AND Maurice Williams and Johnny Mathis AND Maxine Brown AND Chuck Jackson AND the Shirelles, the Marcels, the Olympics … and Chubby Checker, Ben E. King + all those white kids.
My high school reunion is still on my mind – someone from the past has written to me – and so I retreated to my memory for when I used to take the train into the city (sometimes cutting school for the day), sometimes ending up at the Paramount theater in Brooklyn for rock and roll shows where we’d scream and swoon for a group known as The Imperials whose lead singer was “Little Anthony” (Jerome Gourdine). Wasn’t Little Anthony just one of the cutest guys?
The shows were usually during school vacations (such as Christmas and as here, Easter). When I thought back to those days, I tried to remember just when I did that sort of thing, who else might have been on the bill and what day that might have been. After four clicks I had it: the list of performers from one of the shows I saw.
The audiences at the Paramount were a lot more integrated than the audience in Pittsburgh for the PBS special.