We’ve got one more post — for now — on pop music from the 1950s. I mentioned in the comment thread on the “Optimism And Prosperity” post about discovering my parents’ record collection, which included some 45 RPM records from the late ’50s, when my father was a teenager, and which he later converted to reel-to-reel tape. Among the collection was the hit “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Well now an Ivy Style reader has dug up an obscure single Ford released in 1957 called “Ivy League,” which can be added to our growing list of pop culture references and parodies of the popularity of the Ivy League Look during its heyday.
The discovery was made by a young man from Germany who posted the tune to Ivy’s Facebook group, writing:
The latest post about “Have You Got Any Castles” made me remember a song by Tennessee Ernie Ford, which should become the official Ivy Style anthem.
Released in 1957 and telling the tale of a man in search for a new set of threads, the song mentions many interesting styling details from the heyday. And the change of wardrobe from his old blue suede shoes and double-breasted suits to Ivy gear seems to appeal to him, with his new “narrow tie and narrow lapel” not only being “quite in style,” but also his “tighter pleatless trousers” earning him the approval of others.
However, besides the sartorial pleasure his new love for three-button coats and cordovan shoes gives him, it primarily leads him into financial trouble, when he buys a 1957 (based on the release year of the song) Ford Thunderbird to accompany his new wardrobe. Then again, who can blame him?
Great find, young man, and here’s the tune (which skips a few times in the beginning, something those who grew up on vinyl will remember all too well). — CC