Every so often while working the Ivy beat, I come across an historical document so utterly anathema to the world of today that it feels like it’s from another universe.
Case in point, this advertisement just dug up by assistant editor Chris Sharp. It ran in a May, 1961 edition of the Brown University school newspaper, and is interesting for a number of reasons.
First, the otherworldliness. The ad (which, once again, ran in a college newspaper), argues that before students head home for summer vacation, they should get themselves not Bermuda shorts and madras shirts — and certainly not flip-flops — but a “frothy” new Dacron-blend suit! The selling point seems to be that they’ll be greeted by their home town as a young man whose future success is already assured, even if he’s still not old enough to drink. (Continue)
Now that April’s Jazz Appreciation Month is over, Ivy Style would like to declare the merry month of May Squaresville Appreciation Month.
Throughout the month Ivy Style will cater to philistines, dullards and middlebrows with series of posts devoted to repressed WASPs, conservative politicians, the accounting and insurance industries, Internet trads, and the buttoned-down mind of Bob Newhart. (Continue)
On our recent post in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, someone left a comment saying he was at college in the ’50s and that jazz was only for beatniks. Sure beatniks dug jazz, but so did the guys above, and they’re goatee and sandal-free.
The photo is from the 1960 yearbook of Lehigh University, and the album the students are listening to is this:
Of course some would say Brubeck ain’t jazz, but that’s another story.
You can see the rest of the yearbook here. I scoured the pages hoping to see a dapper young Bruce Boyer, but no luck. — CC
Last night on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” there was a jazz category. The contestants left it for last and then failed to answer a single question. America’s classical music, indeed.
On New Year’s Eve I made a resolution to work on my jazz piano chops. It’s the only resolution I’ve kept through March. My girlfriend made the same resolution, so I’ve been rewatching Ken Burns’ documentary with her. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
Now I’m not suggesting you need to be like me and Bruce, Richard, Charlie and Alan and get hep to the jive. But really, why be an ickaroo any longer? — CC
Last night I was sitting around with the girlfriend pulling up videos on YouTube and trying to explain the difference between swing, jump blues and rockabilly. I went looking for a band I knew from San Francisco and stumbled across a blast from my past: Two recently uploaded clips about an independent movie called “Swing” I worked on over a decade ago.
It was my 15 minutes of Hollywood fame, minus the fame. (Continue)