Ivy Jukebox: White Bucks and Saddle Shoes

We’ve previously written on how the Ivy League Look was the perfect garb to gain approval from a girl’s father. Even though a boy had wolfish intentions, in white bucks and a crew cut he might convince her parents to let her stay out past 10.

Now here’s a tune that makes the same case: You’re not ready to go steady until you’re decked out in Ivy garb.

Of course, singer Bobby Pedrick, Jr. was only 12 years old at the time, so what would he know about snipping locker loops or getting a girl to wear your ring around her neck?

Pedrick’s 1958 dollop of bubble-gum pop extols the virtues of button-down shirts, crewneck sweaters, chinos and “Ivy League… in the north and the south and the east and the west.”

Although he got an early start, success came much later for Pedrick. After changing his name to Robert John, he had a hit in 1972 with a remake of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” But it wasn’t until 1979 that he finally reached the top of the charts with the soft-rock mega-hit “Sad Eyes.”

My aversion to saddle shoes is well known, and here’s further reasoning why they should be banished from the male wardrobe: In the lyrics, the boy wears the bucks, and the girl wears the saddles. — CC

White bucks and saddle shoes
That’s what the kids all choose
Chinos and slacks of course
Oh, yes, they sure look boss

Getting ready to go steady
Are white bucks and saddle shoes

Button-down shirt and a crewneck sweater
Lets all the kids look so much better
Crew cut and a ponytail
Do the crawl just like a snail

Getting ready to go steady
Are white bucks and saddle shoes

Two straws and a bottle of pop
Winning first prize doing the bop
Ten kids piled into daddy’s car
Everybody’s chewing a candy bar

Well, their white bucks
And saddle shoes
That’s the style
That’s makin’ the news

Ivy league at all our best
In the north and the south
And the east and the west

Getting ready to go steady
Are Joe’s white bucks
And Mary’s saddle shoes

8 Comments on "Ivy Jukebox: White Bucks and Saddle Shoes"

  1. I prefer “I’m the Face,” the B-side to the Who’s first single in 1964, when they were known as the High Numbers

    “I wear ivy league jackets, white buckskin shoes,
    I wear ivy league jackets, white buckskin shoes,
    So many tickets down the scene honey,
    They’re like to blow a fuse.”

  2. English Ivy! There oughtta be a website for that…

  3. There’s a subject for an article: The connection between mod style (the mid-60’s English version that the Who refer to, and later revivals) and prep style. So many shared loves: button downs, loafers, brogues, Levi’s… I would have to describe my own style as mod preppie – Influenced equally by William F. Buckley and Paul Weller.

  4. mod preppie — that’s my ideal as well. if only i could find some sta-prest trousers.

  5. ‘White Bucks and Saddle Shoes’ was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman, a couple of late 1950’s New York hipsters also responsible for many hits of the period for The Drifters, Elvis and Dion & The Belmonts to name but three.

  6. Old School Tie | November 12, 2019 at 6:19 am |

    Sta-prest and tonic trousers are available, of course, on eBay. The question of Mod fashion and its relationship with Ivy is very interesting, especially given RL’s propensity for the diametric opposite of the Mod……the Rocker. Uncle Ralph showing his supreme business acumen again as the man who could dress both sides of any bank holiday fracas in 1960s Brighton….

  7. Les Langworth | November 12, 2019 at 9:05 am |

    “tonic trousers”:
    two-tone trousers made from shiny mohair fabric

  8. I remember as a kid my sister would let me wear her black and white saddle shoes to school. I think I was the only boy that was wearing saddle shoes back then as they seemed to be more popular with the girls in my class. I recently came across a pair of saddle shoe oxfords and couldn’t resist buying them as they fit perfectly and were like new condition. I do get compliments from people that remember saddle shoes from their past.

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