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 November 18, 2019
“Happy new year!” (new year’s shout)

"Happy new year!” is a traditional greeting said on January 1st. A popular way to say it is “HAP-py new year!”

American stage and film actor Charles J. Winninger (1884-1969) played the character Captain Andy Hawks in the Broadway musical Show Boat, and again in the movie musical Show Boat (1936). His ‘HAP-py new year!” was so popular that he also used it in the Mae West film Every Day’s a Holiday (1937).

“‘Cap’n Andy’s’ ‘Happy New Year’ has become a colloguial slogan connotating ‘Whoopee’” was printed in the Pittsburgh (PA) Press on February 18, 1930. “HAP-py new year!” is still said today, but almost no one realizes that it was first popularized in Show Boat by Charles Winninger.


Wikipedia: Show Boat
Show Boat is a musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on Edna Ferber’s best-selling novel of the same name. The musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over 40 years from 1887 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as “Ol’ Man River”, “Make Believe”, and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”.

The musical was first produced in 1927 by Florenz Ziegfeld. The premiere of Show Boat on Broadway was an important event in the history of American musical theatre.

Wikipedia: Charles Winninger
Charles J. Winninger (May 26, 1884 – January 27, 1969) was an American stage and film actor, most often cast in comedies or musicals.

Biography
Winninger began as a vaudeville actor. His most famous stage role was as Cap’n Andy Hawks in the original production of Show Boat, the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II musical classic, in 1927. He played the role in the 1932 stage revival and the 1936 film version of the show. He became so identified with the role and with his “persona” as a riverboat captain that he played several variations of the role, notably on the radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, which was clearly inspired by the Broadway musical.

Newspapers.com
28 April 1929, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “When the Curtain Falls,” pg. 2E, col. 7:
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hunter, the originals of the “Show Boat” story came here and saw the production for themselves.

Jerome Kern’s delightful score was but recently released for the radio.

“Cap’n Andy’s” “Happy New Year” has become a colloguial slogan connotating “Whoopee.”

Newspapers.com
18 February 1930, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Show Boat” review by Karl B. Krug, pg. 10, col. 1:
Mr. Winninger, of course, still carries a generous amount of the “Show Boat” cargo on his broad shoulders, and his introduction of the “Happy New Year” greeting is a screaming laugh triumph from start to finish.

Newspapers.com
7 August 1932, Muncie (IN) Sunday Star, “Tinkle of the Dawn Patrol” by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 18, col. 4:
Tag-lines of famous players:
(...)
Charles Winninger—“Hap-pee New Year!”

Newspapers.com
2 January 1936, The Enquirer and Evening News (Battle Creek, MI), “New York—Day by Day” as observed by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 4, col. 4:
Remembered cries: Charles Winninger’s “Happee New Year!,” ...

Newspapers.com
15 May 1936, Daily News (New York, NY), “A Lavish ‘Show Boat’ Sails into Music Hall” by Kate Cameron,
Charles Winninger is the Captain Andy Hawks, whose hilarious “Hap-py New Year” greeting is an unforgettable memory and whose description of the various parts of a melodrama, as he acts out each role, is still one of the funniest scenes in the play.

Newspapers.com
23 January 1938, The Capital Times (Madison, WI), “Drama in Madison” by Sterling Sorenson, pg. 9, col. 1:
CHARLES WINNINGER is in his element as the drinking millionaire. The authors have obligingly written in for him an adaptation of the New Year’s scene from “Show Boat,” and this permits him to whoop “HAP-py new YEAR"to his heart’s content.
(The film Every Day’s a Holiday.—ed.)

Newspapers.com
27 January 1938, Daily News (New York, NY), “Every Day’s a Holiday” film review by Kate Cameron, pg. 42, col. 3:
Charles Winninger repeats the “Hap-py New Year” stunt which he did with such hilarious effect in “Show Boat,” ...

Newspapers.com
28 February 1942, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Film Notes” by Donald Kirkley, sec. 1, pg. 7, col. 1:
Mr. Winninger, whose glad, intoxicated cry of ‘Happy New Year” in “Show Boat,” will linger long in the memory of those who heard it, ...

Newspapers.com
20 June 1951, The Capital Times (Madison, WI), “‘Show Boat’ Docks” by Sterling Sorenson, pg. 9, col. 2:
CHARLES WINNINGER, of the famed Wisconsin family of actors, created the role of Capt. Hawks, and widely imitated has been his booming projection of “Hap-py New Year” in the cabaret sequence of “Show Boat.”

14 July 1957 Sunday News (New York, NY), “Curtain Going Up!” by John Chapman, pg. 12, col. 3:
Andy Devine, who is at least as good as Charles Winninger, the original Captain Andy, whoops his “Happy New Year!” from the middle of the island.

YouTube
Show Boat New Year
Mar 22, 2018
Patrick Brown

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Monday, November 18, 2019 • Permalink