On Broadway

In 1963, The Drifters recorded a Top Ten Hit called “On Broadway.” The lyrics were written by written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in collaboration with the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song begins:

“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway (on Broadway)
They say there’s always magic in the air (on Broadway)
But when you’re walkin’ down that street
And you ain’t had enough to eat
The glitter rubs right off and you’re nowhere (on Broadway)”

Although the song was written about New York’s Broadway, it could also have been about Chicago’s in the 1970s. This shot was taken between Wilson and Lawrence, just south of two dazzling theaters, The Uptown and The Riviera. Back in the 1920s, Uptown was the premier entertainment district in Chicago. By the 1970s, the neighborhood was full of hungry people.

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