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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“If you can’t stand watching it be produced, you shouldn’t be eating it” (9/26)
“Medicine is not health care. Food is health care. Medicine is sick care” (9/25)
“Medicine is not healthcare. Food is healthcare. Medicine is sickcare” (9/25)
“We always go the extra mile because we missed the last exit” (9/25)
“I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit” (9/25)
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Entry from August 05, 2019
“How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb?” (joke)

A popular riddle about bluegrass musicians is:

Q: How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to put it in, and one to complain that it’s electrified.


“How many bluegrass players does it take to screw in a light bulb?"/"Six—one to put it in and five to complain because it’s electric” was printed in the Greenwood (MS) Commonwealth (and other newspapers) on August 1, 1982.


Wikipedia: Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English, Irish, and Scottish ballads and dance tunes, and by traditional African-American blues and jazz. The Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer’s and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.”

1 August 1982, Greenwood (MS) Commonwealth, “Bill Monroe goes underground,” Showtime sec., pg. 12, col. 1:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Traditional bluegrass musicians, who abhor electric instruments, are telling a joke these days:

How many bluegrass players does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Six—one to put it in and five to complain because it’s electric.

12 October 1982, Kansas City (MO) Star, “Red Knuckles’ boys are legends before their time” by D. P. Breckenridge, pg. 3B, col. 4:
Serious bluegrass fans have the reputation of being grim purists.As an old joke puts it, how many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb? Five—one to change the bulb and four to sit around and complain about it being electric.

3 July 1983, The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), “Bluegrass truce warms up festival,” pg. 1-I, col. 1:
How many bluegrass musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Five—one to screw it in, and four to complain because it’s electric.

Google Books
Jokes:
Outrageous Bits, Atrocious Puns, and Ridiculous Routines for Those Who Love Jests

By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Delacorte Press
1984
Pg. 131:
Q. How many bluegrass musicians...
A. One to screw it in and one to complain that it’s electrified.

Google Groups: net.jokes
Light Bulb Jokes for Folkies
Tom Kelly
7/16/84
Heard at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Barrie, Ontario this past weekend (and a fine festival it was!)

How many folk musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They won’t do it, it’s electric.

How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Five.  One to change the bulb and four to argue about how Bill Monroe would have done it.

1 February 1986, Washington (DC) Post, “Splendor in the Bluegrass: A Comprehensive and Rich Account of the Music’s History” book review by Joseph Sasfy, pg. C9, col. 4:
The bluegrass joke asks how many bluegrass musicians it takes to replace a light bulb. The answer is five—one to screw in the bulb and four to complain about going electric.

Google Groups: eunet.jokes
Ok.. You asked for it. LIGHTBULB JOKES GALORE !!
Computer Society
2/28/90
(...)
How many bluegrass musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two.  One to screw it in and one to complain that it’s electrified.

Google Books
Readin’ Country Music:
Steel Guitars, Opry Stars, and Honky Tonk Bars

By Cecelia Tichi
Durham, NC: Duke University Press
1995
Pg. 105:
A common joke among bluegrass folks answers the question “How many bluegrass fans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” with “Three: one to screw it in, and two to complain about how it was better the old way.”

Google Books
Bluegrass:
A History

By Neil V. Rosenberg
Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press
2005
Pg. 6:
That this is usually the first characteristic which bluegrass followers mention in defining the genre can be seen from a joke told by Ricky Skaggs, a young Grand Ole Opry county star whose early training was in bluegrass: “How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb? One, and three to complain because it’s electric!”

Google Books
The Best Musicians’ Jokes
By Bruno Kassel and Carlo May
Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
2005
Pg. 96:
How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Five. One to change it and the other four to complain that it’s electric.

Twitter
Judith Ann
@prissy121
How many bluegrass musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two. One to screw it in and one to complain that it’s “electrified.”
11:15 AM · Sep 6, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Kevin Casini
@KCEsq
Q: How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to put it in, and one to complain that it’s electrified.
8:12 AM · Jan 10, 2018·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Mike Hayes - Online Guitar Lessons
@mikehayesguitar
Q: How many bluegrass players does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. They won’t touch anything electric.
11:03 AM · May 25, 2019·Twitter Web Client

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Monday, August 05, 2019 • Permalink