Today’s top entertainment news story, judged to be so by a cranky old fart, is about a legend within a legend. I speak of Mr. Billy Mitchell. For those unfamiliar with such a well known person, Billy has hobnobbed with more stars that you can shake a stick at. And, every kind of star, from those so dimly lit the shine was hard to see, to stars absolutely brilliant. In fact, in the show business world, Billy’s the “Bubba” that everyone seems to know.
Billy Mitchell Is A Legend Within A Legend
It all started one fateful day in 1965 when his mom sent him to Harlem from the South Bronx. His purpose was simply to borrow some money from an aunt. Fatefully, his aunt happened to live across from the world-famous Apollo theater, an act of fate that would forever change his life. It was while running this errand Billy was approached by Frank Schiffman, a founder of the Apollo Theater (co-founded with Leo Brecher in 1935). Schiffman asked Billy, “Hey kid, you want to make some money?”
All He Had To Do Was Run Errands For A Man Named Berry Gordy
Well, having been born in Mount Vernon, New York, experiencing his share of hardships, including living in foster homes, Billy asked what the job was. Frank told him that all he had to do was run errands for a man named Berry Gordy, who was hosting a show called “Motown”, and Billy realized that the job didn’t sound too bad. So he said “sure”, never knowing that it would set him on the path to coming face-to-face with some of the biggest names in the comedy and music industries. And the rest, they say, is Apollo history.
Billy Became The Apollo’s Go-For
From his first day on the job, Billy Mitchell did a little bit of everything: handing out flyers, ushering, managing the gift shop, security, marketing, stagehand, group sales, producing, and creating the Apollo Theater tour in 1991. If it needed to be done, Billy was the man. And so, after several decades, it came as no surprise that he was designated the theater’s official historian. Today, 55 years after that fateful day, Mr. Apollo, as he’s affectionately known at the theater and across New York City, is still hanging around the Apollo, a legend within a legend.
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