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Top Slang Words of the 1950s

Sunday, February 17, 2013

1. Made in the Shade – This 1950’s slang term was used to describe something or someone that was guaranteed to be or is a success. I.e. “Did you hear that Danny got into Yale? He’s got is made in the shade, man.”
2. Peepers – A slang word used to describe glasses in the 1950’s. I.e. “Hey, take a look at that nerd with those massive peepers on his face!”
3. Split – This 50’s slang word was used in reference to leaving a place, often very quickly. I.e. “I’m bored, let’s split!”
4. Threads – This is a descriptive slang word used in reference to a person’s clothing. I.e. “Those are some cool threads you’ve got on, man.”
5. Burn Rubber – The 50’s slang term was used when talking about accelerating a car hard and fast, often used in relation to “hot rodders” of the time. I.e “Let’s burn rubber and show them what this hot rod can really do!”
6. Hot Rod – Used to as a descriptive term for typically American made muscle cars that were modified with large engines for linear speed with usually a very flashy exterior. I.e. “Did you see that new hot rod, Johnny brought to the dance? It was unreal!”
7. Get Bent! – This 1950’s slang term was used when someone wanted to tell someone off or to go away. I.e. “Johnny, get bent! I’m over you!”
8. No Sweat – Slang term used to explain that something was no problem or easy. I.e. “I fixed that leaky faucet for you, it was no sweat.”
9. Nosebleed – The 50’s slang word was used to address or reference someone in a disparaging way, usually a nerd, geek, etc. “Hey nosebleed, watch where you’re going next time, huh?”
10. Pad – Used to reference a person’s home. I.e. “This is a nice pad you’ve got here, Johnny.”
11. Righto – This slang word was used when someone wanted to agreed with another person. I.e. “You want to take out the trash? Righto, mom.”
12. Greaser – Originally used to describe a guy with tons of hair product in his hair, but within a few years it was used to describe a certain group of 1950’s youth. I.e. “John Travolta in Grease was the ultimate greaser, don’t you think?”
13. Heat – The 50’s slang word was used to describe police, usually by the younger crowd or the less savory subset of society. I.e. “I think that’s the heat, man, let’s split!”
14. Kook/Kookie – This was a slang word used to describe someone who was odd, weird, nuts, crazy, etc. I.e. “Did you see that guy wearing the tin foil hat, he’s such as kook!”
15. Ankle-biter – This term was used to describe a young child who was often found crawling around on the floor at around ankle height. I.e. “That little ankle-biter of yours is really cute.”

Bing Crosby - I Found Million Dollar Baby (In A Five and Ten Cent Store) 1931

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Squadronairs - Tangerine

Friday, February 8, 2013


Top Slang in the 1940s

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top Slang of the 1940s

ADAM AND EVE ON A RAFT--resturant slang for bacon and eggs with toast.
ADAM AND EVE ON A RAFT AND WRECK UM--same as above but with scrambled eggs.
All Wet - Describes an erroneous idea or individual, as in, "he's all wet."
Applesauce - an explative; same as horsefeathers, As in "Ah applesauce!"
Big Cheese - The most important or influential person; boss. Same as big shot.
Bluenose - An excessively puritanical person, a prude, Creator of "the Blue Nozzle Curse."
Broad- Woman, Dame
Bump Off - To murder, To kill.
Carry a Torch - To have a crush on someone.
Cat's Meow - Something splendid or stylish; The best or greatest, wonderful.
Darb - An excellent person or thing (as in "the Darb" - a person with money who can be relied on to pay the check).
Dame- A Woman
Drugstore Cowboy - a guy that hangs around on a street corner trying to pick up girls.
Dumb Dora - a stupid female.
Fall Guy - Victim of a frame.
Flat Tire - A dull witted, insipid, disappointing date. Same as pill, pickle, drag, rag, oilcan.
Frame - To give false evidence, to set up someone.
Hard Boiled - a tough, strong guy.
Heebie-Jeebies - The jitters.
High-Hat - To snub.
Hoofer - Dancer.
Horsefeathers - an explative; same usage as applesauce.
Hotsy-Totsy - Pleasing.
Jalopy - Old car.
Keen - Attractive or appealing.
Kisser - Mouth.
Line - Insincere flattery.
Lounge Lizard - a horny dog.
Moll - A gangster's girl.
Pinch - To arrest.
Pushover - A person easily convinced or seduced.
Ritzy - Elegant (from the hotel).
Scram - Ask someone to leave immediately.
Soitently- Sure!
Spiffy - An elegant appearance.
Spread Out!- Get out of the way! Give me some room! Stop crowding me!
Stuck On - Having a crush on.
Swanky - Ritzy.
Swell- Wonderful.
Wise guy- A Smart Aleck
Whoopee - To have a good time.
GAMS-a woman's legs
PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ--to get fancy with your dress or demeanor
STOOL PIGEON--a person who tattles on his friends
STOOLIE--same as a stool pigeon

Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five--Is You Is Or Is You Ain't

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is You Is or Is you Ain't my Baby

from the Movie Follow The Boys--1944

"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" is a 1944 Louis Jordan song, released as the B-side of single with "G.I. Jive". "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" reached #1 on the US folk/country charts.[1] The Louis Jordan recording also peaked at number two for three weeks on the pop chart and peaked at number three on the R&B charts.[2]
It was co-written by Jordan and Billy Austin. Austin (March 6, 1896 - July 24, 1964) was a songwriter and author, born in Denver, Colorado. The phrase "Is you is or is you ain't" is dialect, apparently first recorded in a 1921 story by Octavus Roy Cohen, a Jewish writer from South Carolina who wrote humorous black dialect fiction. Glenn Miller recorded this song on a radio broadcast from Europe during World War II.
Wikipedia Source

Nat King Cole - Straighten Up & Fly Right

"Straighten Up and Fly Right" is a 1943 song written by Nat King Cole and Irving Mills and performed by The King Cole Trio. The single became the trio's most popular single reaching number one on the Harlem Hit Parade for ten non consecutive weeks. The single also peaked at number nine on the pop charts.[1] "Straighten Up and Fly Right" also reached number one for six non consecutive weeks on the Most Played Jukebox Hillbilly Records. [2]
The song was based on a black folk tale that Cole's father had used as a theme for one of his sermons. A buzzard takes different animals for a joy ride. When he gets hungry, he throws them off on a dive and eats them for dinner. A monkey who had observed this trick goes for a ride; he wraps his tail around the buzzard's neck and gives the buzzard a big surprise by nearly choking him to death.
The song was a part of the score of the 1943 film, "Here Comes Elmer"[3]
Wikipedia Source

Rosemary Clooney - I'll Be Seeing You

Before the rock & roll revolution, Rosemary Clooney was one of the most popular female singers in America, rising to superstardom during the golden age of adult pop. Like many of her peers in the so-called "girl singer" movement - Doris Day, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, et al. - Clooney's style was grounded in jazz, particularly big-band swing. She wasn't an improviser or a technical virtuoso, and lacked the training to stand on an equal footing with the greatest true jazz singers. However, she sang with an effortless, spirited swing, and was everything else a great pop singer of her era should have been. Her phrasing and diction were flawless, and her voice was warm, smooth, and relaxed; moreover, she was a sensitive and emotionally committed interpreter of lyrics. Some of her biggest hits were dialect-filled novelty songs, like her star-making breakthrough "Come On-a My House" from 1951, but she generally preferred to tackle more sophisticated fare, and recorded with numerous duet partners, jazz orchestras, and top-tier arrangers. Changing tastes and various personal problems conspired to stall her career in the '60s.- Source

Vintage TV Commercials from the 1940's & 50's

Band Aid
Gillette Blue Blades
Reach for the Remington - Electric Shaver
Gillette Super Speed Razor
Mum deodorant, now with M-3
Pepsodent tooth paste - You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
Dodge cars - Proud in Service, Swift and Mighty in Action

I've Got Rhythm: Tribute to William Robinson

Ella Fitzgerald sings I've Got Rhythm.

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (May 25, 1878 -- November 25, 1949) was an American tap dancer and actor of stage and film. Audiences enjoyed his understated style, which eschewed the frenetic manner of the jitterbug in favor of cool and reserve; rarely did he use his upper body, relying instead on busy, inventive feet and an expressive face.

A figure in both the black and white entertainment worlds of his era, he is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s.

At the age of six, Robinson began dancing for a living, appearing as a "hoofer" or busker in local beer gardens. He soon dropped out of school to pursue dancing as a career. In 1886, he joined Mayme Remington's troupe in Washington, DC, and toured with them. In 1891, at the age of 12, he joined a traveling company in The South Before the War, and in 1905 worked with George Cooper as a vaudeville team. He gained great success as a nightclub and musical comedy performer, and during the next 25 years became one of the toasts of Broadway. Not until he was 50 did he dance for white audiences, having devoted his early career exclusively to appearances on the black theater circuit.

In 1908, in Chicago, he met Marty Forkins, who became his lifelong manager. Under Forkins' tutelage, Robinson matured and began working as a solo act in nightclubs, increasing his earnings to an estimated $3,500 per week. In 1928, he starred with Adelaide Hall on Broadway in the hugely successful musical revue Blackbirds of 1928 written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, in which he performed his famous stair dance. In 1930, he returned to Broadway to star with Adelaide Hall in Brown Buddies.

The publicity that gradually came to surround him included the creation of his famous "stair dance" (which he claimed to have invented on the spur of the moment when he was receiving an honor from the King of England, who was standing at the top of a flight of stairs -- Bojangles' feet just danced up to be honored); his successful gambling exploits; his bow ties of multiple colors; his prodigious charity; his ability to run backward extremely fast; his argot, most notably the neologism copacetic; and such stunts as dancing down Broadway in 1939 from Columbus Circle to 44th St. in celebration of his 61st birthday.

Little is known of his first marriage to Fannie S. Clay in Chicago shortly after World War I, his divorce in 1943, or his marriage to Elaine Plaines on January 27, 1944, in Columbus, Ohio.

Robinson served as a rifleman in World War I with New York's 15th Infantry Regiment, National Guard. The Regiment was renamed the 369th Infantry while serving under France's Fourth Army and earned the nickname the "Harlem Hellfighters". Along with serving in the trenches in World War I, Robinson was also the 369th "Hellfighters Band" drum major and led the regimental band up Fifth Avenue on the 369th's return from overseas.

Toward the end of the vaudeville era, a white impresario, Lew Leslie, produced Blackbirds of 1928, a black revue for white audiences featuring Robinson and other black stars. From then on, his public role was that of a dapper, smiling, plaid-suited ambassador to the white world, maintaining a tenuous connection with the black show-business circles through his continuing patronage of the Hoofers Club, an entertainer's haven in Harlem. - Youtube Source.

Fred Astaire - Crazy Feet (1930)

"Crazy Feet"
Words and Music - Sidney Mitchell, Con Conrad and Archie Gottler
Sung by Fred Astaire
Recorded March 26, 1930, London

Fred Astaire - One for My Baby

Fred Astaire dancing and singing to "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)". Song written for him to perform in the movie "The Sky's the Limit" (1943). Words by Johnny Mercer and music by Harold Arlen, dance by Fred Astaire. Song has been recorded multiple times by Frank Sinatra.

Elmer's Tune - Peggy Lee And The Benny Goodman Orchestra

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Boswell Sisters - Cheek To Cheek (1930)

The Boswell Sisters were a close harmony singing group that attained national prominence in the USA in the 1930s.

Sisters Martha Boswell (June 9, 1905 - July 2, 1958), Connee Boswell (December 3, 1907 - October 11, 1976), and Helvetia "Vet" Boswell (May 20, 1911 - November 12, 1988) were raised by a middle-class family on Camp Street in uptown New Orleans, Louisiana. Martha and Connee were born in Kansas City, Missouri. Helvetia was born in Birmingham, Alabama.

They came to be well known in New Orleans while still in their early teens, making appearances in local theaters and radio. They made their first recordings for Victor Records in 1925. However, the Boswell Sisters did not attain national attention until they moved to New York City in 1930 and started making national radio broadcasts.

After a few recordings with Okeh Records in 1930, they made numerous recordings for Brunswick Records from 1931-1935. These Brunswick records are widely regarded as milestone recordings of vocal jazz. Connee's ingenious reworkings of the melodies and rhythms of popular songs, together with Glenn Miller's hot arrangements, and first rate New York jazz musicians (including The Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Fulton McGrath, Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt, Eddie Lang, Joe Tarto, Manny Klein, Dick McDonough, and Carl Kress), made these recordings unlike any others. Melodies were rearranged and slowed down, major keys were changed to minor keys (sometimes in mid-song) and rhythmic changes were par for the course. (Interestingly, the Boswell Sisters were among the very few performers allowed to make these changes to current popular tunes as during this era, music publishers and record companies pressured performers not to alter current popular song arrangements). Connee also recorded a series of more conventional solo records for Brunswick during the same period.

In 1936, the group signed to Decca and after just 3 records, broke up (the last recording was February 12, 1936). Connee Boswell continued to have a successful solo career as a singer for Decca. She had changed the spelling of her name from Connie to Connee, reputedly because it made it easier to sign autographs. (It's interesting to note that Connee sang from a wheelchair - or seated position - during her entire career, due to an accident she suffered as a young child. Amazingly, when she tried to get involved with the U.S.O. during World War II, she was not given permission to travel overseas due to her disability.) - Source


Friday, February 1, 2013

Presents... A Feature Film


Released in 1939. Starring Stuart Erwin, Jimmy Durante, and William Cagney.

Palooka is a 1934 comedy film based on the comic strip by Ham Fisher. Joe Palooka (Stuart Erwin) is a naive young man whose father Pete (Robert Armstrong) was a champion boxer, but his lifestyle caused Joe's mother Mayme (Marjorie Rambeau) to leave him and to take young Joe to the country to raise him. But when a shady boxing manager (Jimmy Durante) discovers Joe's natural boxing talent, Joe decides to follow him to the big city, where he becomes a champion and begins to follow his father's path of debauchery, much of it including the glamorous cabaret singer Nina Madero (Lupe Velez). The film also stars William Cagney, the younger brother of actor James Cagney. Written by garykmcd

1936 Tommy Dorsey - No Regrets

LP audio, originally issued on 78rpm: Victor 25349 - No Regrets (Tobias-Ingraham) by Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra, vocal by Jack Leonard, recorded June 9, 1936

Pin Up Girl for February

Gil Elvgren

Best Love Songs of the 1950s

Full Songlist-

Someone To Watch Over Me (Ella Fitzgerald)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

Too Young (Nat King Cole)
Be My Love (Mario Lanza)

You Belong To Me (Jo Stafford)
Here In My Heart (Al Martino)

That's Amore (Dean Martin)

Earth Angel (The Penguins)

Pledging My Love (Johnny Ace)
Only You (The Platters)
Stranger In Paradise (Tony Bennett)
A Fool For You (Ray Charles)

When I Fall In Love (Nat King Cole)
Tonight You Belong To Me (Patience and Prudence)
Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley)
In The Still Of The Night (The Five Satins)

You Send Me (Sam Cooke)
Chances Are (Johnny Mathis)
Young Love (Sonny James)
Stardust (Nat King Cole)
Love Letters In The Sand (Pat Boone)

All I Have To Do Is Dream (The Everly Brothers)
To Know Hime Is To Love Him (The Tedd Bears)
Put Your Head On My Shoulder (Paul Anka)
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (The Platters)
Twilight Time (The Platters)
For Your Precious Love (Jerry Butler and the Impressions)

Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
Misty (Johnny Mathis)
I Only Have Eyes For You (The Flamingos)
The Wonder Of You (Ray Peterson)
Beyond The Sea (Bobby Darin)
Ne Me Quitte Pas (Jacques Brel)

Youtube Channel: King689