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 February 14, 2013
Harlem Shuffle

Shuffling in Harlem was popularized by the very successful African American musical revue Shuffle Along (1921). The revue starred Josephine Baker (1906-1975), who was described by a newspaper in 1939 as a “one-time Harlem shuffle dancer.” A song called “Harlem Shuffle” was copyrighted in 1929, but it didn’t become a hit.

The R&B song Harlem Shuffle (1963), by Bob & Earl (Robert Relf and Earl Nelson), has had many cover version, including one by the Rolling Stones in 1986. The Harlem shuffle dance was explained in 1964:

“It’s a pretty simple dance, you circle to the right with your right foot and to the left with your left. Then jump or kick and do the whole thing over again.”

The Harlem Shuffle shouldn’t be confused with the Harlem Shake (2001 dance) and the Harlem Shake (2013 videos).


Wikipedia: Shuffle Along
Shuffle Along is an African American musical revue with music and lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, and a connecting plot about a mayoral race, written by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles. The piece premiered on Broadway in 1921, running for 504 performances, which was an unusually long run during that decade, launching the careers of Josephine Baker, Adelaide Hall and Paul Robeson, and becoming such a hit that it caused “curtain time traffic jams” on 63rd Street.

Wikipedia: Harlem Shuffle
“Harlem Shuffle” is an R&B song written and originally recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963. The tune has been covered by; Booker T and the MG’s, The Boogie Kings on their self-titled album on the Montel Michelle label (1965), The Fabulous Flippers, a regional band out of Kansas (1966), The Traits, Roy Head’s band (Treat her Right), (1967), by John Fred and his Playboy Band on their album Vigon (1967), by The Righteous Brothers on their album Sayin’ Somethin (1967), by Johnny and Edgar Winter on their album Together (1976), and by The Belle Stars on their 1983 self-titled album. More recently, it was covered by The Rolling Stones on their album Dirty Work (1986), and by the 5.6.7.8’s in 2002 on their Teenage Mojo Workout album. Pete Townshend also performed the song with his short-lived band Deep End.
(...)
“You move it to the left and you go for yourself
You move it to the right yeah if it takes all night
Now take it kinda slow with a whole lot of soul.”


Google Books
Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions, Part 3
By the Library of Congress, Copyright Office
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
1929
Pg. 765:
Harlem shuffle : melody by Kenneth Roane. © 1 c. July 10, 1928; E 095322 ; R. S. Peer, New York. 14508
Harlem twist : melody by Chauncy Moorehouse and Fud Livingston. © 1 c. June 27, 1928; E 694953; Rob- bins music corp., New York.

4 September 1933, Canton (OH) Repository, pg. 5, col. 5 ad:
HOT FROM HARLEM
“SHUFFLE
ALONG”

2 February 1939, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Seeks Divorce,” pg. 2, col. 4:
PARIS, Feb. 1.—(U.P.)—Dusky Josephine Baker, one-time Harlem shuffle dancer who became the toast of Paris with the Follies Bergere, was reported tonight to be preparing to shuffle into a divorce court and rid herself of her second white husband, Roger Jean Lion, 29.

OCLC WorldCat record
Harlem shuffle
Author: Robert Relf; Earl Nelson
Publisher: Miami, FL : Columbia Pictures, ©1963.
Series: Original sheet music ed.
Edition/Format: Musical score : Popular music : English

OCLC WorldCat record
I don’t want to cry ; Harlem shuffle
Author: Fabulous Flippers (Musical group)
Publisher: [S.l.] : Cameo, ©1963.
Edition/Format: Music : 45 rpm : Popular music : English

9 July 1964, Rockford (IL) Register-Republic, ‘Teens Talk: ‘Twist’ Passe These Days” by Gerrie Smith, pg. 12A, col. 8:
The Harlem Shuffle can be done to “almost any kind of music,” Judi said. “It’s a pretty simple dance, you circle to the right with your right foot and to the left with your left. Then jump or kick and do the whole thing over again.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Sayin’ somethin’
Author: Righteous Brothers.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Verve Records, [1967]
Edition/Format: Music LP : Popular music : English
Contents:
Harlem shuffle

OCLC WorldCat record
Dirty work
Author: Rolling Stones.; CBS (Europe); CBS disques SA (France); CBS (Pays-Bas)
Publisher: [S.l.] : CBS (Europe) ; [S.l.] : Distrib. CBS disques SA (France), 1986 (DL)
Edition/Format: Musical cassette : Cassette recording : English

YouTube
Bob & Earl - Harlem Shuffle
dalkey130388
Uploaded on Apr 22, 2008
Something a bit different that I’m throwing into the mix.
“Harlem Shuffle” is an R&B song originally written and recorded by the duo Bob & Earl (Bobby Relf and Earl Nelson) in 1963 and it retains a cult following to this day.
The duo recorded several singles for different labels, before recording this. The song was written by Relf and Nelson, arranged by Barry White, and produced by Fred Smith. It was based on a number called “Slauson Shuffletime” by another Los Angeles singer, Round Robin. When released on the Marc label, “Harlem Shuffle” became a modest hit on the R&B chart. Its vocal interplay directly influenced later duos such as Sam and Dave. However, its main success came as late as 1969, when it was re-released in the UK and became a Top Ten hit there

YouTube
Harlem Shuffle - dance
Tengobaila1
Uploaded on Jan 27, 2012

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Thursday, February 14, 2013 • Permalink