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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 27, 2004
“Fame” (1980)
"Fame" was written by Michael Gore (music) and Dean Pitchford (lyrics) and performed by Irene Cara for the movie Fame (1980). The movie was about New York's High School of Performing Arts (now called the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts). The movie won Academy Awards for Best Song and Best Original Score (Michael Gore). Fame later became a popular television series.

The "famous" chorus is:

Fame - I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly - highI feel it coming together
People will see me and die - Fame
I'm gonna make it to Heaven
Light up the sky like a flame - Fame
I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name
Remember, remember, remember

A Brief History of LaGuardia Arts
A Tradition of Excellence in Arts Education
(The "Fame" School)

In 1936, New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia founded the High School of Music & Art in order to provide a facility where the most gifted and talented public school students of New York City could pursue their talents in art or music, while also completing a full academic program of instruction. In 1948, the School of Performing Arts was created to provide training in performance skills to students who wished to prepare for professional careers in dance, music or drama.

The two schools became one organization in 1961, in anticipation of a move to a single building at Lincoln Center designed to meet the specialized needs of those gifted and talented youngsters chosen to attend.

In 1969, the Board of Education honored Mayor LaGuardia by naming the new building at Lincoln Center after him and in September 1984, after more than 20 years of waiting, Music & Art and Performing Arts came together in their new and magnificent facility, complete with a state-of-the-art concert hall and theater.

Currently, LaGuardia Arts is one of the four specialized high schools in New York City, as established by the New York State Legislature in 1972. The Hecht Calandra Act provides for the "establishment and maintenance" of this specialized school of the arts, as well as the three sciences schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. This act also defines the admissions criteria for LaGuardia Arts. Students are admitted on the basis of potential and achievement, as demonstrated in a demanding and competitive audition, and a review of their academic records.

It is important to note that LaGuardia Arts was the first school in the nation to provide a free, publicly funded program for students with unique talents in the arts. This model has been replicated in most major cities throughout the country.

Over the years, the school has earned an international reputation for excellence, the accomplishments of our graduates serving as the most vivid proof of the value and worth of our specialized programs of instruction. Our alumni have distinguished themselves in virtually every field of endeavor, including the arts and sciences as well as public service and other professions.

23 October 1979, Mew York Times, pg. C7:
8 Kids having a Crack
At the American Dream
The British director (Alan Parker - ed.) was on his way to finish a scene of "Fame," which follows an octet of students through their four years at New York's well-known High School of Performing Arts.

"Fame" is being shot entirely in New York - except at the High School of Performing Arts. Last spring, the Board of Education declared the school on West 46th Street off limits - in part because the board was denied script approval, in part because that unapproved script allows that today's adolescents sometimes employ profanity, partake of such controlled substances as marijuana and engage in premarital sex.
"Fame" was conceived by David De Silva, a 39-year-old native New Yorker who is now a talent agent. "Growing up in the city," Mr. De Silva said, "I was always aware of Performing Arts. It's where people like Liza Minnelli and Al Pacino went. I also know Jerry Eskow, who's head of the drama department at 'P.A.' About a year and a half ago, I thought of taking eight kids from different parts of New York, from different backgrounds - rich and poor, black and white - and following them from auditions for 'P.A.' through four years of high school."

Posted by Barry Popik
Music/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Saturday, November 27, 2004 • Permalink

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