A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 18, 2010
Big Red with the Long Green Stem (Seventh Avenue/Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard)

"Big Red with the Long Green Stem” was Seventh Avenue (now Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) in Harlem, between roughly 130th and 150th Streets. The term combined several slang terms:

Big Red—the Big (Red) Apple.
Green—money.
Long Green—a lot of money.
Stem—the main stem or main drag of a major thoroughfare.

The slang “Big Red with the Long Green Stem” was coined and/or popularized in the 1940s by Dan Burley (1907-1962) and is of historical interest today.


Wikipedia: Dan Burley
Dan Burley (November 7, 1907, Lexington, Kentucky - October 29, 1962, Chicago, Illinois) was an American pianist and journalist. He appeared on numerous network television and radio shows in the USA and had two radio shows of his own on WWRL Radio in New York.

He was editor of many African American publications such as the New York Age, the Amsterdam News, and the magazines Ebony and Jet. He also appeared in five films, performed with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Milton Hinton, Lionel Hampton, Leonard Feather, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and wrote music for Lionel Hampton and Cab Calloway.
(...)
He reputedly coined the word bebop and was the creator of The Harlem Handbook of Jive, which sold more than 100,000 copies It was published in 1941 and reprinted 1944. Burley’s handbook brought mentions from H.L. Mencken, Gertrude Stein, Danton Walker, Winchell and others. The Handbook of Jive was translated into French, Italian, Spanish and Norwegian.

Google Books
Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang
By Jonathon Green
Cassell
2006
Pg. 105:
Big Red with the long green stem n. [1940s-50s] (US Black)
Seventh Avenue, between 130th Street and 150th Street, the centre of Harlem nightlife. [BIG APPLE n. + LONG GREEN n. (1) + MAIN STEM, THE n. (2)]

16 September 1944, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Dan Burley’s Back Door Stuff,” pg. 12A:
DICTIONARY
(...)
Big Red with the Long Green Stem: New York City on 7th Ave.

16 December 1944, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Dan Burley’s Back Door Stuff,” pg. 16A:
Three Ex-Turlmen From The Big Red With Long Green Stem—PFC. Harold (Howie) Martin, 103rd St.; Pvt. Raleigh (Sonny) Taylor, 126th St.; and Pvt. Reoger (Foxie) Napier, 118th St.

20 January 1945, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Dan Burley’s Back Door Stuff,” pg. 14:
“Dear Dan, I and the squares of this outfit from the Big Red With The Long Green Stem have been trigging our wigs and we would like the fine green bananas to know we are still the Tower of Pisa of their kites and through your righteous column, we want their flaps to flip and say hello to them all, the fat, the skinny and the tall.”

17 February 1945, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Dan Burley’s Back Door Stuff,” pg. A14:
“HI DAN: (...) It gasses men to pick up on your column and dig what’s going down in the old Apple, and feast my glims on the frantic gum-action some cats put down. Me and my ‘Rock-happy’ jugs from the Big Red With the Long Green Stem and the Big Wind often cop-a-slash and cap each other about the goold old days spent n the big ‘un and the ill’ un and about the fine joy pads, siomp joints and lush dens we all used to play in.”

14 July 1945, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Dan Burley’s Back Door Stuff,” pg. A14:
I’m ready to come down from the clouds to the greatest place of ‘em all, the Big Red With the Long Green Stem, sometimes called the Big Apple, and oftimes, New Yawk City.

Google Books
The City in Slang:
New York Life and Popular Speech

By Irving Lewis Allen
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1993
Pg. 74:
Jazz musicians called Seventh Avenue the Big Red with the Long Green Stem, a phrase requiring decoding. Big Red is an elliptical form of the Big Red Apple, green is money, long green is much money, and stem, slang for a main street, also alludes to the elongated spatial feature of the strip. Compare this imagery to the Big Apple of white Broadway through Times Square, conceived as the fruit of a great tree of commercial success.

Google Books
Juba to Jive:
A dictionary of African-American slang

By Clarence Major
New York, NY: Viking
1994
Pg. 34:
Big Red with the Long Green Stem n. (1920s-1940s) Seventh Avenue in New York City. Phrase coined by jazz musicians. ("Big Red is an elliptical form of the Big Red Apple; green is money, long green is much money; and stem, a slang for a main street.")

Google Books
Dan Burley’s Jive
By Dan Burley
Edited by Thomas Aiello
DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press
2009
Pg. 208:
Big Red with the Long Green Stem: New York City on 7th Ave.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • (1) Comments • Sunday, April 18, 2010 • Permalink


Thank you for the write up on my father its great to see when he is remembered I am a radio talk show host on my own program look up D’Anne Burley I can be reached by calling 630 313 0545

Posted by danne burley  on  11/13  at  10:14 AM

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