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 April 11, 2011
“Money doesn’t talk, it screams”

"Money talks” (meaning that money has influence) is an old financial saying, cited in print in various forms to before 1700. “Money doesn’t talk, it screams” (cited in print since at least 1935 and 1951) means that money not only has influence, but that it has a great (loud screaming/shouting/hollering) influence.

Bob Dylan used “Money doesn’t talk, it swears” in the lyric of the song “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” (1964). The “screams” version is often confused with the “swears” version.

Civil rights leader Clara Luper has been credited for “money doesn’t talk, it screams,” but there are no known citations in the 1950s or 1960s that confirm her usage.


Google Books
September 1935, Esquire magazine, pg. 109, col. 1: 
The older horses I’ll get at a fair price: for money doesn’t talk, it shouts on the track when a season ends; and it soon ends this year.

Google News Archive
20 July 1946, Warsaw (IN) Daily Union, pg. 4, col. 6 ad:
At Sears money doesn’t talk...it SHOUTS!

Google Books
Ladies’ Home Journal
Volume 68
1951
Pg. 287:
In politics, money doesn’t talk. It screams!

19 May 1957, Fort Pierce (FL) News-Tribune, “Sports Whirl” by Bob Enns, pg. 13, col. 1:
Money doesn’t talk, it stands up and hollers.

29 January 1960, Los Angeles (CA) Tribune, pg. 12, col. 3:
MONEY DOESN’T TALK—IT SCREAMS
Some folks say money won’t solve any problems, but I’ve never seen a tax problem that money wouldn’t cure.

2 October 1964, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. D11 classified ad:
MONEY DOESN’T TALK, IT SCREAMS.

Google News Archive
30 April 1967, Toledo (OH) Blade, “Local NAACP Told Funds Needed For Work In South,” pg. A11, col. 2:
The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Kivie Kaplan, of Boston, told life members of the Toledo branch yesterday that they must “give sacrificially” to help relieve the suffering in the South.
(...)
Money “Screams”
“Money doesn’t talk, it screams,” Mr. Kapalan said. “All of us must work around the clock to gather greenbacks for freedom. We owe it to our brothers and sisters on the front firing line in the South.”

Google Books
Three-Fifths of a Man
By: Floyd B. McKissick
New York, NY: Macmillan
1969
Pg. 43:
Power expresses wealth; in America money doesn’t talk — it screams.

Google Books
Think and Grow Rich:
A Black Choice

By Dennis Paul Kimbro and Napoleon Hill
New York, NY: Fawcett Crest
1992
Pg. 255:
“Money doesn’t talk, it screams!” —Clara Luper

Google Books
Comfort Zone Investing:
Build Wealth and Sleep Well at Night

By Ted Allrich
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2007
Pg. 37:
On Wall Street, money doesn’t talk. It screams.

Google Books
Iron Sharpens Iron:
Wisdom of the Ages

By Errick A. Ford
Tate Pub & Enterprises Llc
2010
Pg. 62:
“Money doesn’t talk, it screams” (Clara Luper).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, April 11, 2011 • Permalink