The Brooklyn Paramount (“America’s First Theater Built For Sound”) helped bring jazz to Brooklyn with artists like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis playing the theater. In 1943 singer Leo Fuld introduced Yiddish music on the stage, and in the 1950s Alan Freed’s legendary rock‘n’roll shows kicked off with acts including Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly. Others that graced the stage: Ray Charles, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee, Johnny Burnett, Dion, Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker, the Drifters, Coasters, and Little Anthony & The Imperials! The final live rock'n'roll stage show was with Jackie Wilson and an all-star cast but sadly the theatre was shuttered shortly afterwards and now stands as part of Long Island University.
"When I was very young, I admired hardened criminals locked behind prison doors; I visited inns and taverns they frequented; with their eyes, I saw the blue sky and the blossoming work of the fields; I tracked their scent through cities. They were more powerful than saints, more prudent than explorers — and they, they alone, were witnesses to glory and reason!"