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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
Audio slideshow: Backstage at the Apollo
Thanks to TV, talent shows are making a comeback. But none can hold a torch to the oldest, and most revered, of them all - amateur night at the New York Apollo.

This Wednesday evening, as on every Wednesday since 1934, a clutch of wannabe stars will step up to the stage of the Apollo theatre in Harlem. They are following in the wake of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Ben E King, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Luther Vandross, the Isley Brothers and one Michael Jackson. But not all performers will reach such dizzying heights. For many, amateur night ends when the siren wails and they are forced to quit the stage to boos and laughter.

So sit back, and enjoy amateur night at the Apollo.

Photographs and audio by Jennifer Warren. Slideshow produced by Phil Coomes, Emma Lynch and Tom Pearson.

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