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Oni Lasana's Autobiography (submitted 5/16/06)
Rock 'n' Rollin' at The Uptown Theatre!
Listening to radio in the late 60s was an everyday thing. Georgie Woods, the "Guy with the goods," would invite me to "See your face in the place" at the Rock & Roll Shows in the Uptown Theatre!
Church came first on Sunday, then the "Motown Review" at the afternoon matinee.
For $2 me and my girlfriends saw the Jackson 5 (I told nine year old Michael I was gonna marry him!) Temptations! Supremes! Lil' Stevie Wonder! Miracles! James Brown! Drifters! the list went on.
The bus dropped us on the corner. We entered a world of glamour, popcorn and the best R & B music ever!
Sam Reed and his orchestra jammed under each act. We'd scream and dance to Stevie Wonder's Fingertips, cry when he missed his handclaps, throw kisses at Smokey, sing along with Diana, do the Funky Chicken with Rufus!
At intermission Georgie Woods would invite the kids onto the stage and we were the stars, showing off our wildest dance steps. Pops, a old loose-legged white man, would be dancing up a storm.
I was one of "Crazy Armond's Go Go Girls" that performed during the breaks. "There Was A Time" by James Brown was our featured number and we'd cut loose with every dance from Hot Pants to the Camel Walk.
The "Midnight Show" with Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and adult comedians was off-limits to anyone under 21...but not to those of us who would hide in the bathrooms and stand on the toilet seats so when the ushers came looking under the stalls we wouldn't be caught. Emerging after the lights went down to laughter, we'd sneak up to the balcony to laugh till we cried. I loved and miss the Uptown.