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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 17, 2022
Ragtime Rialto (West 28th Street)

"Ragtime Rialto” was another name for what is now called “Tin Pan Alley,” where the song publishers assembled on West 28th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The “Ragtime Rialto” term was used in The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY) in 1902 and 1903. “Rialto” (from the Rialto area of Venice, Italy) was a 19th century name for New York City’s theater district, then located around 14th Street before it moved to 42nd Street and Broadway.

“The Ragtime Rialto is in tatters. Twenty-eighth street is in tears” was printed in The Sunday Telegraph on January 12, 1902. “TIMELY MUSIC NOTES FROM RAGTIME RIALTO” was printed in The Sunday Telegraph on January 4, 1903. “CURRENT MUSIC NOTES FROM ALONG THE RAGTIME RIALTO” was printed in The Morning Telegraph on June 14, 1903.

Ragtime Rialto/Tin Pan Alley moved from West 28th Street by the 1920s. Although “Tin Pan Alley” is still used, the name “Ragtime Rialto” is mostly of historical interest today. “Harmony Row” and “Melody Lane” are other historical names for the area.


Wikipedia: Tin Pan Alley
Tin Pan Alley was a collection of music publishers and songwriters in New York City which dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It originally referred to a specific place: West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in the Flower District of Manhattan; a plaque (see below) on the sidewalk on 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth commemorates it. In 2019, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission took up the question of preserving five buildings on the north side of the street as a Tin Pan Alley Historic District. The agency designated five buildings (47–55 West 28th Street) individual landmarks on December 10, 2019, after a concerted effort by the “Save Tin Pan Alley” initiative of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association.

Wikipedia: Rialto
The Rialto is a central area of Venice, Italy, in the sestiere of San Polo. It is, and has been for many centuries, the financial and commercial heart of the city.
(...)
The Rialto is mentioned in works of literature, notably in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, where Salanio asks “What news on the Rialto?” at the opening of Act III, Scene I.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
12 January 1902, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), “Troubles of Fourteenth Street Troubadour When He Sells Songs” by La Touche Hancock, pt. 2, pg. 2, col. 4:
The Ragtime Rialto is in tatters. Twenty-eighth street is in tears.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
27 April 1902, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), “Exotic Youths with Flashy Waistcoats Posing on Broadway as Musicians” by Monroe H. Rosenfeld, pt. 2, pg. 7, col. 1:
On the ragtime Rialto is daily to be seen a specimen, or, rather, specimens, of a Beau Brummel and Adonis rolled into one.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
1 June 1902, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), “Mount Pelee Eruption is Echoed in the Local Ragtime Conservatoires” by Monroe H. Rosenfeld, pt. 2, pg. 2, col. 1:
Jerome, Schwartz, Sterling and George Lotten Smith were seen rushing to the various music publishers on the ragtime Rialto, filling these worthies with whispered confidences.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
24 August 1902, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 2, pg. 2, col. 1:
What Will Succeed Ragtime?
A MEETING of music lovers was held last week on the Ragtime Rialto, in Twenty-eighth street.

19 October 1902, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 3, pg. 8, col. 4:
Along the Ragtime Rialto: Some Current Chit-Chat About Songs and Their Versatile Makers

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
4 January 1903, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 2, pg. 3, col. 4:
TIMELY MUSIC NOTES
FROM RAGTIME RIALTO

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
25 January 1903, The Sunday Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 2, pg. 3, col. 4:
TIMELY MUSIC NOTES
FROM RAGTIME RIALTO

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
12 February 1903, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), “Among the Players,” pg. 7, col. 3:
Bill, as he is known along the “Ragtime Rialto,” yesterday visited a number of the Twenty-eight street musical publishers, who are always anxious to put out his comic songs.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
29 March 1903, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 2, pg. 9, col. 1:
Current Music Notes from Along
the Busy Rialto of Popular Song

THERE has been nothing stirring on the Ragtime Rialto this week.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
27 April 1903, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), “Song Writing? Why, It’s Easy,” pg. 12, col. 2:
... and if their hopes are fulfilled there will be a new musical firm established within the year on the “Ragtime Rialto.”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
14 June 1903, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), pt. 2, pg. 5, col. 3:
CURRENT MUSIC NOTES FROM
ALONG THE RAGTIME RIALTO

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Thursday, February 17, 2022 • Permalink