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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 03, 2019
“Gospel is about God; blues is about women”

the difference between gospel music and blues music is that “Gospel is about God; blues is about women.” The music saying has been cited in print since at least the 1970s and is of unknown authorship.


8 February 1970, The Sunday Star (Washington, DC), “The Rhythm, The Blues, The Roots” by Jerry Butler, Tuesday Magazine, pg. 10, col. 3:
It was also kind of off-limits, because to Mom and Dad there were only two kinds of music: good and bad. Good was the Gospel, which was talk about God and heaven. Bad was the blues, which talked about women and men and other worldly things that us kids should not know about.

Google Books
Jazz:
A Photo History

BY Joachim Ernst Berendt
New York, NY: Schirmer Books
1979
Pg. 62:
Gospel and blues are almost the same. The difference is only that one is about God, the other one about women.

20 April 1990, Montgomery (AL) Advertiser, “Blues musician (Spencer Bohren—ed.) makes it to the top in Europe” by Rick Harmon, pg. 2D, col. 1:
“Gospel is about God while blues is about women, but both have the same depth of emotion.

Twitter
Jerome Hemersbach
@CarrollMusician
The only difference between Gospel and the Blues is, One’s about God, and the other’s about women.
8:06 PM · May 23, 2010·Cloudhopper

Twitter
Ignacio Cifuentes
@heybarto
Replying to @__fc
@__fc like i read once… “blues is essentially gospel… but instead of singing about god, bluesmen sang about women”
3:36 PM · Sep 24, 2011·Silver Bird

Twitter
Derek Donald
@derek_donald
The only difference between gospel music and the blues is one’s about God and one’s about women.
9:09 PM · Oct 9, 2011·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Ali Sleeq
@AliSleeq
Gospel talks about God; the Blues talks about women.
12:07 PM · Mar 21, 2014·Twitter for iPhone

Slant Magazine
FILM Review: Say Amen, Somebody Is a Rich Fusion of Concert Doc and Character Study
Throughout, artists intermingle in scenes that have been rendered with an Altman-esque sense of personal panorama.

September 3, 2019
By Chuck Bowen
(...)
To revise an old joke, gospel’s about God while the blues is about women.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Tuesday, September 03, 2019 • Permalink