Sep 18

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The Fabulous ’50’s: The Years 1956 – 1957

By Genie Feminella
When 1956 showed up, it brought with it Cavalcade of Sports that included women competing in roller derby.
Playhouse 90 became famous for showing Rod Serling’s Requiem for a Heavyweight. In the Still of the Night by the five Satins played over the airwaves and has always been voted an all time favorite. Elvis had
two hits with Love me Tender and Don’t be Cruel during this year. The Teen Queens pleaded with Eddit My
Love, Fats Domino was on Blueberry Hill and the Platters invoked My prayer. During the next couple of
years, our memories remind us of William Lundigan’s hosting of Climax, Richard Boone as Dr Konrad Styner
in Medic and the afternoon day in Court. John Russell was a Soldier of Fortune before becoming the Law-
man. Sea Hunt kept Lloyd Bridges in the swim as Mike Nelson. Of course, the kids weren’t overlooked either.
They viewed Capt Gallant of the Foreign Legion with Buster Crabbe and his son, Cuffy, with interest. Jon
Hall was Ramar of the Jungle and Irish McCalla was ahead of her time as an independent woman in Sheena Queen of the Jungle. George Nader took on the Man and the Challenge and David Brian was Mr. District Attorney. Rawhide gave Clint Eastwood his first outing. Art Linkletter proved People are Funny and Mike Stokey put on Masquerade Party. The Teenage girl of these years wore barettes and combs int heir hair and headbands. Some had ponytails tied back with pom-poms of scarves. Around their necks were either neckerchiefs, leather or fur collars, log rope or chains or their boyfriends rings on chains around their
necks. Jingling charm bracelets, ankle and identification bracelets adorned them, too. They dressed in furry angora sweaters, slipovers, cardigans worn with the buttons in the back and crinolines under their poodle felt or quilt skirts. All this put together with elastic cinch belts. Depending on the age of the girl, she’s wear ankle socks, 3/4 length socks or nylons with seams. Penny loafers, Indian moccasins and saddle shoes abounded. So did pedal pushers and toreador pants. She favored pink lipstick, white frosted nail polish and black eye liner. A fast passing fad was to wear a thin plastic dog collar on your ankle on top of your socks. One side meant you were going steady and the other side meant you were free to look around. A typical teenage boy was to be seen wearing pants with pleats and cuffs or black motorcycle jackets. His hair varied from crewcuts to greasy pompadours and D.A.’s “See you Later, Alligator” could be heard when passing in school halls.

During 1957, the Tonight Show was taken over by Jack Paar. James Garner rode across the screen as Maver-
ick and Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke was still going strong. Jack Benny was still making us laugh as was
Kindly advice. How many of you know that Name That Tune had a contestant, John Glenn teamed up with a freckle-faced child star Eddie Hodges? Together they won $25,000. This was also the year Walter O’Malley cast a pall over New York by spiriting the Bklyn Dodgers and the NY Giants to California. Fans considered him a traitor. So the last game played at the Polo Grounds was between the Giants and the Pirates.

The last hurrah at famous Ebbets Field saw the Dodgers against the Cincinnati Reds. Musically, the record charts showed Silhouettes by the Rays to be popular. Paul Anka sang plaintively to Diana and Buddy Holly rode high on the charts with That’ll be the Day. The Dell Vikings pleaded Come Go With Me and Elvis
shook it up with Jailhouse Rock. Even Little Richard sung about his Lucille long before Kenny Rogers in-
toned his lament. These later years brought Michael Ansara to the screen in Broken Arrow. John Newlands
gave us a peek into the supernatural on One Step Beyond. The TV audience met Craig Stevens as Peter Gunn and Dave Garroway on the Today Show. On Donna Reed’s show, Shelley Fabares, Nanette Fabray’s niece was introduced to the public.

Editor’s note: it would only be fitting to mention the passing of the great rock and roll pioneer, Dick Clark. Long live American Bandstand

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