Take the A Train

When I was a child, “Harlem” was a scary, far-away place that I knew little about, except for its unsavory reputation. When I first hear the song Take the A Train, I couldn’t see why anyone would “really want to go to Harlem” (I was a kid; I didn’t know from bigotry). What I didn’t understand is that when the song was written, Harlem was a destination. During the Harlem Renaissance, everyone who was anyone gathered in Harlem to inhale the sights and sounds of a thriving community, and enjoy the very edge of entertainment. The Kennedy Center’s Drop Me Off in Harlem beautifully explores this bit of history that has been mostly forgotten by white America. We know some of the names–Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson–but many more are undeservedly lost to obscurity.

I’ve had a blast wandering through this site, rediscovering a great period of American entertainment history.

1 Responses to Take the A Train

  1. Kim says:

    I felt that way about Harlem as a kid, too. When my older brother played in a jazz fusion band that played out in Harlem a few times – once, memorably, at the legendary Apollo Theater Amateur Night – I started to see how beautiful much of Harlem really is. I was just there a couple of weeks ago to visit a client, actually, and was struck all over again by the beauty of so many of the buildings and the culture-rich atmosphere.