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 July 16, 2011
“I can get it for you wholesale”

I Can Get It for You Wholesale is the title of a 1937 novel by Jerome Weidman (1913-1998) about New York City’s garment industry. The book was loosely adapted into a 1951 film starring Susan Hayward; the 1962 Broadway musical is largely known for having introduced Barbra Streisand.

The phrase “I can get it for you wholesale” (meaning that we’re friends/relatives, and I can get it for you as cheaply as possible) is older than the 1937 novel. George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) wrote in a short story in the 1922 Saturday Evening Post, “What’s the use of your going and spending a lot of money for furniture when I can get it for you wholesale for practically nothing?” A 1929 song, with lyrics by Jack Ellis and music by Charles Tobias, was titled “I Can Get It for You Wholesale.”


Wikipedia: I Can Get It for You Wholesale
I Can Get It for You Wholesale is a musical with music and lyrics by Harold Rome and a book by Jerome Weidman based on his 1937 novel of the same title. It marked the Broadway debut of 19-year-old Barbra Streisand, who was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. The story is set in the New York City garment district in 1937, during the Great Depression, and the songs utilize traditional Jewish harmonies evocative of the setting and the period of the show.
(...)
Productions
The musical premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on March 22, 1962. Directed by Arthur Laurents and choreographed by Herbert Ross, it starred Elliot Gould as Harry Bogen.
(...)
The 1951 film with the same title is based very loosely on the original novel.

Plot
Harry Bogen is an ambitious, unscrupulous young businessman in the 1930s New York City garment industry. He will stop at nothing to get to the top: he lies to his mother and girlfriend, Ruthie Rivkin, who try to help him become a better person, but he embezzles company funds from Apex Modes and betrays his friends and partners. Harry leaves Ruthie to take up with Martha Mills, a dancer in Club Rio Rhumba, but when he loses his friends and goes bankrupt, his mother and Ruthie stand by him.

Wikipedia: We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
“We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” is a novelette by Philip K. Dick first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in April 1966. It features a classic meshing of reality, false memory and real memory. The title is an allusion to the 1962 Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

10 September 1922, Duluth (MN) News-Tribune, pg. 7 ad:
“IT HAPPENS IN DULUTH”
By George S. Kaufman
In The Saturday Evening Post.
“I’ve a friend in the business.”
- - -
“LISTEN!” said Blumenfeld. “Don’t be a sucker! What’s the use of your going and spending a lot of money for furniture when I can get it for you wholesale for practically nothing? What’s life for if we can’t do something for our friends once in a while? Why should you go and pay big prices for furniture—“
(Bayha & Company—ed.)

dbopm (the database of popular music)
Song title: I Can Get It For You Wholesale
Copyright year: 1929
Country of origin: United States
Words: Charles Tobias/Jack Ellis
Music: Charles Tobias/Jack Ellis

OCLC WorldCat record
I can get it for you wholesale.
Author: Jack Ellis
Publisher: ©1929.
Edition/Format:  Musical score : English

11 August 1929, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Neighborhood Film Notes,” Amusement and Radio Section, pg. 4, col. 5: 
“Moonlight Sidelights,” featuring the tune, “I Can Get It for You Wholesale.”

Google News Archive
15 August 1929, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “If You Tune In,” pg. 19, col. 7:
I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
Vocal duet. Marcella Shields and Helene Handin.

Google Books
Hardware Age
Volume 133, Issues 1-7
1934
Pg. 72:
Much interest centered about the address of Mr. Rau, who branded as “fakes” merchants who say, “I can get it for you wholesale,” to the customer.

OCLC WorldCat record
I can get it for you wholesale.
Author: Jerome Weidman
Publisher: New York, 1937.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

University of New Hampshire—Library
One Response to “Alvah Sulloway Sheet Music and Theater Program Collection”
Judith Blumenthal Says:
February 8th, 2011 at 10:54 am
Jack Ellis and Charles Tobias wrote “I Can Get It For You Wholesale” in the twenties. Jack Ellis was my uncle, the lyricist. I Can Get It For You Wholesale was performed at every Ellis family gathering, with my uncles playing mandolin and singing. Over the years they added more lyrics which I only have on a cassette of a family party. I do have a Xeroxed copy of the sheet music taken from the original. It’s great to see the song listed here.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Saturday, July 16, 2011 • Permalink