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 October 09, 2012
“Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress”

Liz Smith began a gossip column in the New York (NY) Daily News on February 16, 1976; she made frequent appearances on NBC’s Live at Five and other television shows, and she also worked at Newsday and the New York (NY) Post. Smith was so well known for gossip that she was called “The Grand Dame of Dish.”

Smith said in 1978:

“What is gossip but unsubstantiated rumor? People are universally interested in gossip. I think gossip is just news running ahead of itself in red satin dress.”

The saying defines gossip as news, but something more flashy that brings attention to itself before the story hits the news pages. Smith would use the saying on many occasions (frequently leaving out the word “just").


Wikipedia: Liz Smith (journalist)
Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Smith (born February 2, 1923) is an American gossip columnist. She is known as The Grand Dame of Dish.
(...)
Gossip column
On February 16, 1976, Smith began a self-titled gossip column for the New York Daily News. During a 1979 newspaper strike, her Daily News editors asked her to appear daily on WNBC-TV’s Live at Five, and she stayed with the program for eleven years. Her exposure on television made Smith a popular figure on the Manhattan social scene and provided fodder for her column which had, by then, been syndicated to nearly seventy newspapers. She won an Emmy for her reporting on the hot hit “Live at Five” for WNBC in 1985.
(...)
Quotes
On gossip: “Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress”

Google Books
What They Said in 1978:
The Yearbook of Spoken Opinion

Beverly Hills, CA: Monitor Book Co.
1979
Pg. 336:
Liz Smith
Newspaper columnist

What is gossip but unsubstantiated rumor? People are universally interested in gossip. I think gossip is just news running ahead of itself in red satin dress. As much as I detested Walter Winchell, there was some truth in his saying, “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s headline.” We certainly have seen that proved a lot—although I don’t believe where there is smoke there is necessarily fire.
Interview, Dallas/
The Dallas Times Herald, 8-3:(E)10.


Google Books
Working Woman
Volume 7, Issues 7-12
1982
Pg. 22:
“Gossip is not always bad or slanderous. I (Liz Smith—ed.) always say that gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.”

8 December 1985, Chicago (IL) Tribune, Sunday Magazine, pg. F6:
“Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.” Liz Smith

Google News Archive
14 December 1986, Gainesville (FL) Sun, “The gossip columnist: Another very old profession” by Paul Rosenfield (Los Angeles Times), pg. 15G, col. 1:
NEW YORK — “Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress,” says Liz Smith, the latest and loudest practitioner of the fixture of American journalism known as the gossip column.

Google Books
The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1993
Pg. 379:
Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.
LI2 SMITH (b. 1923). U.S. journalist, author. American Way, syndicated column (3 September 1985). “Most good gossip columnists,” Smith wrote in 1991, have a touch of Savanarola in them.”

Google Books
Natural Blonde:
A Memoir

By Liz Smith
New York, NY: Hyperion
2000
Pg. 327:
Time magazine now decided that gossip was news. Or, as I had put it, “Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.”

National Review Online
September 22, 2004 8:36 A.M.
Memory Lane
Baba Wawa’s soft touch.

By Myrna Blyth
(...)
Gossip columnist Liz Smith, one of Barbara’s greatest boosters, likes to say that gossip is news running ahead of history in a bright red dress. But on 20/20 the other night, even the most highly touted of Barbara Walters’s emotional, gossipy, big “gets” seemed, after the fact, timid and out-of-fashion and far less revealing or significant than they once appeared to be.

Google Books
Queen of Babble with Bonus Material
By Meg Cabot
New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
2012
Pg. ?:
Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.
Liz Smith (1923–), U.S. journalist and author.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (1) Comments • Tuesday, October 09, 2012 • Permalink


Gossip can really do a great deal of harm. It might just be ‘unsubstantiated rumour’ but such rumours can have a terrible impact on people and can cause them great shame. I always try not to gossip whenever I can, but as you mentioned, it’s a part of human nature...!

Posted by amberen  on  10/10  at  12:02 PM

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