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 July 29, 2016
“Oldie but goodie”

"Oldie but goodie” is a term used in radio and television to refer to an old song or a repeat television program, but one that people still enjoy. New York-born gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) used “oldies but goodies” in a February 1934 newspaper column to describe popular sayings.

“Oldies but goodies” was used in a record review in Life (a New York City magazine) in July 1934.

Similar terms include “blast from the past” and “golden oldie.”


(Oxford English Dictionary)
oldie, n.
Something old or familiar, esp. an old song, tune, or film which is still popular; also in oldie-but-goodie. Also: a well-known or hackneyed idea or joke; a cliché.
1938 Cat’s Meow May 12/1 We wonder why Joe Marsala..does not make a recording of ‘I Want a Little Girl’—his arrangement of this oldie is the tops.
1949 Tap & Tavern 5 Dec. 17/3 ‘Mary had a little lamb, what’ll you have?’ and other oldies.
1959 ‘O. Mills’ Stairway to Murder xv. 157 ‘But fiddling with the clock-face—what an oldie!’.. ‘I don’t think anyone’d still have the nerve to pull it.’
1961 P. Politi & N. Curinga Those Oldies but Goodies (remind me of You) (song) 1 Those oldies but goodies remind me of you. The songs of the past bring memories of you.
1968 Blues Unlimited Dec. 26 The artists here are ‘oldies, but goodies’.

14 February 1934, Evansville (IN) Courier, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 6, col. 4:
That other oldies but goodies include: The only way to have a friend is to be one—and—it is chance that makes brothers—but hearts make friends.

July 1934, Life magazine, “Records,” pg. 45, col. 1:
Dallas and Limehouse Blues, in which the Casa Loma band further displays its musical virility in this revival of two oldies but goodies.

26 April 1938, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Your Radio Today,” pg. 18, col. 1:
KMTR—News, 11; Oldies But Goodies, 11:15; ...

14 January 1941, The News and The Herald (Klamath Falls, OR), “Highlanders to Play at Malin,” pg. 8, col. 7:
MALIN—“Oldie but goodie” is the way that Billy MacDonald and his Royal Highlanders term the popular old numbers which still have a tug at the heartstrings of patrons of the famous 14-piece dance band which is being featured next Saturday night, January 18, by Vaclav Kalina, manager of the Broadway dance hall.

OCLC WorldCat record
Dixieland beat : “oldies but goodies” ; playable with as few as four or as many as eight performers ; arranged by Zep Meissner.
Author: Zep Meissner
Publisher: [S.l.]. : Mills Music, cop.1952.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

4 October 1958, San Diego (CA) Union, pg. A&, col. 6 ad:
“Oldie But Goodie” Nite
(Big bands at San Diego Arena.—ed.)

2 March 1960, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 22, col. 1 photo caption:
An Oldie But a Goodie
Gary Cooper and Joan Leslie will team in “Sergeant York,” the story of the World War I hero, which will be shown in two parts on the 7 p.m. movie Wednesday on Channel 5. The film was released originally in 1941.

OCLC WorldCat record
Those oldies but goodies (remind me of you)
Author: Paul Politi; Nick Curinga
Publisher: Melbourne : D. Davis & Co., ©1961.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Bob Ralston featuring oldies but goodies : from the Lawrence Welk TV shows,
Author: Bob Ralston
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : Harry Von Tilzer Music Pub. Co., ©1966.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRadio/Television • Friday, July 29, 2016 • Permalink