A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“How many ska kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” (joke) (6/29)
“How many ska bands does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” (Joke) (6/29)
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Entry in progress—BP (6/29)
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Entry from December 22, 2004
“Welcome Back” (Theme to “Welcome Back, Kotter") (1975)
"Welcome Back, Kotter" was an ABC sitcom that ran from September 9, 1975 - August 10, 1979. It featured comedian Gabriel Kaplan as Gabe Kotter and, oh yes, some actor named John Travolta as a student. Kotter, a former "sweathog," came back to teach history at his Brooklyn high school.

The popular theme song, "Welcome Back," was by John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful. In the 1980s, a "Welcome Back to Brooklyn" festival began, titled from this show and song.

9 September 1975, New York Times, pg. 76:
ABC'S "Kotter" Depicts
Brooklyn High School
The show, as they say in Brooklyn, stinks.
(The show survived this unfavorable review - ed.)

13 June 1976, New York Times, pg. 90:
The most successful of all, however, is John Sebastian's "Welcome Back," the theme song of ABC-TV's "Welcome Back, Kotter" and Sebastian's biggest hit in nine years.

How did Sebastian come to write the tune? "I was invited to and I immediately accepted," explained the amiable composer whose sunny composing, singing, and guitar and harp playing were important assets of the now-defunct, mid-1960's, folk-flavored pop-rock band, the Lovin' Spoonful. "I was given a short summary of the show and came up with two minutes of mood music," continued Sebastian. When people started to agree with me that 'Welcome Back' was a hit, I went into the recording studio and lengthened the tune by a minutes so that it could be a single. Three weeks later, it was a major hit."

5 June 1994, New York Times, pg. 621:
The Borough Struts Its Stuff

MUSIC, dance, games, celebrities: the 12th annual Welcome Back to Brooklyn festival will fill Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Museum next Sunday. Devised to be the borough's big tourist attraction of the year, the festival was attended by 300,000 people last year, the organizers said.
Neil Sedaka will be crowned King of Brooklyn at a ceremony under the arch of the Grand Army Plaza and he will reciprocate with some songs.

In another ceremony, other former Brooklynites, the actors Marisa Tomei and Jack Scalia and basketball star Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns will be honored when their names are added to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Celebrity Path, dedicated to famous Brooklyn natives.

Posted by Barry Popik
Music/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • (0) Comments • Wednesday, December 22, 2004 • Permalink