Our Black History Month coverage continues with a revist of this obscure piece of midcentury pop culture, an African American doo-wop band from Pittsburgh singing about “goin’ Ivy League.” It originally posted on April 18, 2011.
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How cool was it to dress Ivy during the heyday? Cool enough for the El Capris, an African American doo-wop band from Pittsburgh, to cut a B-side called “Ivy League Clean” in 1958.
The song failed to chart, however, and the band became just another forgotten doo-wop band whose name starts with “El.”
That is until the days of YouTube and blogs. So let’s raise a glass (strawberry milkshake seems appropriate) and toast those long-gone days when pop artists would actually sing about wearing a buttondown collar, striped tie and Tyrolean hat. My favorite line is:
When I come to the gig
I’m sharp as a tack
With the tassels on the shoes
And a belt in the back
And make no mistake: Those who fail to dress clean-cut will be swiftly punished:
If you wear big shoes
And a wide open shirt
When you come around
You’re sure to get hurt
The funny part is that a hipster band singing the same lyrics today might actually be kinda cool.
What goes around comes around. One of the great laws of physics. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD