Tin Pan Alley (3 May 1903); NYC Sign Language

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 28 20:01:00 UTC 2003


   Seen at the local AU BON PAIN, 875 Third Avenue, at 53rd Street.  There are seats outside with "AU BON PAIN" umbrellas over them.  Many of these places seat "Customers Only," but AU BON PAIN seats NON-customers only!  Oh, those French:

All seating is available
to the public
without the
purchase of food.


   I received another request for my "Tin Pan Alley" citation, so here it is.  I'll put my "Great White Way" and "hot diggety dog" citations up here when I clean out the "Popik archives" soon.
   Don't forget to check the NEW YORK TIMES and BROOKLYN EAGLE databases for the similar and earlier "Ten Pin Alley."
   The WORLD is available locally at the NYPL, at NYU Bobst ("One of the world's better libraries"), and at Columbia's Butler Library.

   3 May 1903, THE WORLD (NY), pg. 4M (Metropolitan section on Sunday):

_A Visit to "Tin Pan Alley," Where the Popular Songs Come From._

_"Tin Pan Alley?"--It's Twenty-eighth Street Between Broadway_
   _and Sixth Avenue, the Centre of the Song Publishing Busi-_
   _ness in This Country, and it Gets Its Name from the Jangling of_
   _Pianos That Are Banged and Rattled There Day and Night as_
   _New Songs Are Being "Tried On."_

_Every Day You'll See Noted People in the Musical Comedy World_
   _Hunting in the "Alley_ for Songs That Will Add to Their_
   _Fame--Paula Edwardes, Marie Cahill, Blanche Ring, Dan_
   _Daly, Marie Dressler and Lew Dockstader Active in the_

   STRANGE are the ways of Tin Pan Alley.  Great is the influence of Tin Pan Alley upon our country's songs.  For here they are conceived, originated, brought forth and spread broadcast.
   Tin Pan Alley is that part of Twenty-eighth street that lies between Broadway and Sixth avenue.  Here centre the song-publishing houses of New York.
   It gets its name from the tin-panny sounds of pianos that are banged and rattled there by night and day as new songs and old are played over and over into the ears of singing comedians, comic-opera prima dinnas and single soubrettes and "sister teams" from vaudeville.
   Now, "Tin Pan Alley" is considered a term of reproach by the Tin Pan Alleyites.  They prefer to designate it as "Melody Lane."  But that is a poetic fancy that those who go down that way to hear the "new, big, screaming hits" do not indulge in.
   Tin Pan Alley contains all the music publishing houses of note save four--Joseph W. Stern & Co., in East Twenty-first street; Whitmark & Sons, on Twenty-ninth street, off Broadway; Howley, Haviland & Dresser, on Broadway at Thirty-first street, and Sol Bloom, in the New Zealand Building, a little higher up.  These act as outposts for Tin Pan Alley.  (...)

(I'd check my HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN SLANG, but it stops at "O."  Safire reports that the next volume stops at "S"?  Maybe one day... --ed.)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list