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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 06, 2019
“They asked if I could sing tenor—ten or twelve miles away”

“Tenor” sounds like “ten or.” A joke was told on the comedy television series The Muppet Show on September 17, 1977:
   
Statler : Can you sing tenor?
Waldorf : What?
Statler : Can you sing tenor, as in ten or eleven miles away from here?

   
“They asked if I could sing solo—so low they can’t hear me” is a similar joke.
 
     
Wikipedia: Tenor
A tenor (from Latin tenor - holder, or tenere - hold) is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range or section is higher than baritone and lower than countertenor. A person, instrument, or group that performs in that range or the tenor clef is also called a tenor
     
IMDb   
The Muppet Show (TV Series)
George Burns (September 17, 1977)
Richard Hunt: Scooter, Statler, Janice, Pig, Luncheon Counter Monster, Whatnot
Quotes  
 
Statler : Can you sing tenor?
Waldorf : What?
Statler : Can you sing tenor, as in ten or eleven miles away from here?
     
3 April 1982, Indianapolis (IN) News, “I.U.‘s Waiting For Oak Ridge Boys” by Skip Hess, Free Time sec., pg. 3, col. 1:
There’s a bubble gum wrapper joke that goes something like this:
 
First man (annoyed by and speaking to another man singing flat and off key)—“Can you sing tenor?”
Second man—“Why, yes, I certainly can.”
First man—“Good. Do me a favor and sing ten or 20 miles away.

 
OK, nobody said bubble gum wrapper jokes were funny or good.
 
7 September 1983, Fort Lauderdale (FL) News, “The birth of the ‘bruise’ brothers’ singing career” by Michael Romano, pg. 11B, col. 1:
A self-avowed “shower singer,” Glenn noted that his wife, upon the mere hint that he will begin to croon, “always asks me to sing ‘tenor’—ten or fifteen miles away.”
 
2 December 1990, The Journal-News (Nyack, NY), “Just for Laughs,” Pennywhistle Press, pg. 3, col. 2:
Tom: I wish you’d sing solo.
Laura: Solo?
Tom: So low I couldn’t hear you!
Laura: Not funny! Have you ever heard yourself sing? You should sing tenor.
Tom: Tenor?
Laura: Tenor twelve miles away!
Loren Williams Age 8
Jessica Williams Age 10
Satellite Beach, Florida

 
Google Books
Gospel Music:
Vocal Cords & Related Issues

By Eustace A Dixon
Mantua, NJ: Eureka Publications
1992
Pg. 174:
He replied that he tried, but people asked him to sing “tenor”, “ten or” twelve miles away. Singing is not his calling.
 
Google Groups: rec.humor
musician jokes  
Blaise Goodpaster
8/11/95
(...)
Can you sing tenor?—Ten or twelve miles away.
 
Twitter
Kathee Austin
@evliving
Some soloists are so bad they should sing tenor twelve miles away.
3:15 AM · Apr 30, 2009·Twitter Web Client
 
Twitter
DarkeManne
@TheDarkeManne
“We’d like to hear you sing solo; solo we can’t hear you.  Can you sing tenor?  Tenor 15 miles away from here?”  —-The Muppet Show
9:01 PM · Aug 11, 2009·Twitter Web Client
       
Google Books
Silly Animal Jokes & Riddles
By Seymour Simon
Illustrated by Dennis Kendrick
Great Neck, NY: Seymour Science
2012
Pg. ?:
“That cat should sing tenor…”
“Tenor?”
“Yeah, ten or eleven miles away.”
 
Reddit—Dadjokes 
Posted by u/DazBlintze June 19, 2014
Can you sing tenor?
Then sing ten-or twelve miles away.
A classic put-down of my singing from my Dad. R.I.P.
 
Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/MichaelRM May 4, 2017
My dad said of my singing voice, “wow, you should sing Tenor!!”
... Tenor miles away. Zing.
 
Twitter
Curley Q. Link 🌊⚖️🗽🇺🇸✌🏻 #BLM #SaveDemocracy
@curly_woowoowoo
Nice!!!!!!!  Not too bad a voice!
But, can you sing Tenor?
Ten or twelve miles away! (JK)
Or
Solo?
So low we can’t hear you?
🤣😂👊🏻✌🏻
Really, not bad! 👏🏻👏🏻🤷‍♂️🎼
Quote Tweet
Howard
@HowardA_Esq
· Jun 2
I didn’t want to do it, really, but with his incessant whining I had no choice. So yes, I cannot sing, but enjoy and laugh at his and my expense.
0:45
5:13 AM · Jun 3, 2019·Twitter for iPad
 
Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/SpaghettiSquawk August 5, 2019
You know, I’m such a good singer, people always ask me to sing solo
......solo they can’t hear me.
Coincidentally, they also ask me to sing tenor.
.....tenor twelve miles away.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Tuesday, August 06, 2019 • Permalink


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