Harlem Globetrotters at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
On the south side of Chicago in the 1920’s the beginnings of the Globetrotters took place. All of the original players grew up there and most attended Wendell Phillips High School. Popular legend says that the Globetrotters were organized as the Savoy Big Five in 1926 for the Savoy Ballroom which opened in 1927. The team was organized to play exhibition games before dances. Either way it was Chicago not New York where the genesis of the Globetrotters began.
In 1929, although the team was touring Illinois and Iowa, the promoter at the time decided to change the name of the team to the New York Harlem Globe Trotters since Harlem was considered to be the centre of African-American culture at the time and an out-of town team name would give the team more cache.
The Globetrotters played their first “home” game in Harlem in 1968.
Basketball was invented in 1891 at the Springfield Massachusetts YMCA. it quickly spread to high schools and colleges, especially popular in the American North-East.
The game’s rules evolved and changes and the Harlem Globetrotters evolved with the game. The Harlem Globetrotters gradually worked more and more comic routines into their act until they became more known for entertainment than for sport. Their skills are unbelievable, some of the best shooters, dribblers and passers have over the years, graced the team. Some of the players who have been Globetrotters are Wilt Chamberlain, Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal.
The Harlem Globetrotters are the winningest team in basketball. At one stretch, they lost only two of 12,596 games in 38 years.
Their theme song – Sweet Georgia Brown is a jazz standard written in 1925 by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard (music) and Kenneth Casey (lyrics).
The tune was first recorded on March 19, 1925 by bandleader Ben Bernie, resulting in a five-week No. 1 for Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra.
Where: The Kitchener Aud
When: April 12, 2012
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