THE BIG APPLE as a name for New York City is said to have been coined in the 1920s by jazz musicians who picked it up “from horseracing people in New Orleans who considered NY races and NY gigs to be where the money was.” There are several other stories about the origin of the expression.
Singer and bandleader Cab Calloway used the term to mean “the big town, the main stem, Harlem” in a book published in 1938. There was also a Big Apple night club in Harlem on West 135th Street and 7th Avenue. A Big Apple jitterbug style dance originated in the South and became very popular at the Harlem club, the Savoy Ballroom.
In the 70's the term “Big Apple” was revived by the New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau and became part of its huge I LOVE NEW YORK promotional campaign. The logo with a red heart is featured on popular T-shirts and has been duplicated by cities and countries all over the world. I LOVE NEW YORK television commercials featured New York City locales with leading Broadway legends and stars singing the I LOVE NEW YORK theme song.
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