BACK IN THE DAY: BROOKLYN MUSIC MILESTONES – APRIL 2016
April 2, 1975: The re-formed Manhattan Transfer, with the vocals of Brooklyn’s Janis Siegel now prominently featured, release their eponymous debut album. On April 28, the group and album are showcased at The Bottom Line.
April 7, 2015: Long Island University issues a press release detailing plans by Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark to renovate of downtown Brooklyn’s historic Brooklyn Paramount Theatre and make it a performance venue once again. Ratner and Yormark are the developer and CEO, respectively, of the Barclays Center. The project is estimated to take two years and cost $50 million. The last live shows at the Paramount — Clay Cole’s Easter Parade of Stars — took place in April of 1961.
April 8, 1985: It’s a big day for one of Flatbush’s own as “Leader of the Pack: The Songs of Ellie Greenwich” opens on Broadway. The cast of 19 includes Greenwich and another Brooklynite, Annie Golden, as well as Darlene Love and Patrick Cassidy.
April 17, 1999: East Flatbush native Busta Rhymes’ “What’s It Gonna Be?” peaks at number three among Billboard’s Hot 100 singles. The song, which features Janet Jackson, also becomes both the top Rap and R&B song in the country, making it his most successful single, chart-wise.
April 19, 1994: Crown Heights-born rapper Nas releases his debut album, Illmatic. The production team includes one of Brooklyn’s busiest producers, DJ Premier.
April 20, 2013: Five days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Neil Diamond makes an uplifting surprise appearance at Fenway Park where he performs “Sweet Caroline” during the Red Sox game. The song has long been the team’s eighth-inning sing-along.
April 28, 1965: Barbra Streisand’s first television special, “My Name Is Barbra,” airs on CBS.
April 28, 1969: With Brooklyn’s Robert Lamm writing half the material and performing most of the vocals, Columbia Records releases the double album, Chicago Transit Authority.