The Date Line – Facts and Fancies for the Girl in School (Oct, 1955)

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The Date Line

by Jan Landon

Facts and Fancies for the Girl in School

“Frosh girls register here” is an official-looking sign that appears every September above little stands on the Cornell campus . . . unsuspecting girls don’t know it’s the upperclassmen’s way of getting a new date list.

Your own coffee van full of “Hobo Hash” is a cook-out-party special in Denver—it’s a huge hamburger covered with lots of vegetables cooked and served in the metal container.

One way to quiet a chronic complainer is to ask, “Do you want a martyr pill?”

Steadies separated by school or military service let each other know that they’re counting the days ’til they meet again by noting the actual number on every letter…….Writing letters serial style on unnumbered post cards—sometimes 15 to a letter—is a West Coast fad……”Deany,” meaning the movie star, of course, is a Minnesota word for “dandy”!

Sweater girls are switching to V necks—in boys’ style pullovers worn overblouse fashion and classic short-sleeved ones with new neckline detail . . . The do-it-yourself fans have already found ways to restyle last-year’s round necklines into trim V or scoop necks.

Boys pay a penny a minute to keep coeds out after hours on a special money-raising night at Nebraska U. . . . the limit is 60c, and profits go for scholarships for foreign students.

To describe a day when nothing seems to go right, call it “raggedgy . . . otherwise, call it “unraggedy.”

A wide-awake club at Sidney Lanier High in Montgomery, Alabama is selling illustrated calendars especially designed for the school . . . the blocks for the days have important Lanier events, Lanier football schedules, etc. already printed on them—and each one is big enough to accommodate write-in reminders of dates, tests, and term-paper deadlines.

The man on the mind of more and more girls is Jeff Chandler, despite the fact that he hasn’t yet made an Academy Award movie or sung a Hit Parade song. They are hoping, however, after seeing Foxfire and Female on the Beach, that he’ll stop making movies that star “older women.”

TV youth panels that give easy answers to hard problems are called “brain washings” by some cynical viewers.

…..Halloween party planners are picking up “Voodoo Suite,” a strange-sounding LP by Perez Prado and Shorty Rogers……

Texas teen-agers weren’t hit by “The Yellow Rose of Texas” craze—they’ve sung it for years.

The nickname fad that started with calling Cokes “Eddie Fishers” continues . . . now they’ve renamed napoleons, the French pastries, “Marlon Brandos”……”Cayuga’s Waiters” is the wonderful name of a Cornell singing group.

At a post-game party a Boston girl served foot-ball-shaped hamburgers.

To publicize pinnings, Valparaiso U.’s Lambda Chi men salute girls newly pinned to members of their fraternity by lighting flares in the pattern of their Greek initials on the lawn of the sorority house involved…… It’s a fad for a boy to tie his steady’s scarf to the aerial of his car, in the fashion of knights of chivalry . . . the more frayed it is, the longer she’s been his!…… The most mysterious thing about the To Catch a Thief movie is why no one noticed before the remarkable resemblance between Cary Grant and band-leader Ray Anthony.

Moviegoers, males especially, were struck by Jeanne Crain’s transformation from subdeb to siren in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes……

Girls wear black to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Undertaker’s Ball at Louisiana State… they come to the party alone and have to look for their dates under a row of sheets!

An Oklahoma girl has a theory that you can tell where a girl comes from by the way she wears bobby socks . . . double cuffs at the ankle say she’s from the Southwest, no cuffs at all indicate the East, colored socks that match her sweater usually mean the Far West . . . and if her socks are rolled down to just above the ankle bone, she’s almost certainly from Iowa!

On “Joe-Nite” Saturdays Purdue U. coeds can wear slacks and scarf-covered pin curls to dormitory dinners……Everyone, including professors, has to wear tartan patterns during a fall “Plaid Week” at the University of Wisconsin……

“Button Bags” are a Boston fad, designed primarily as conversation pieces… The idea is to cover a cloth handbag with as many buttons as you can find and give that shy boy something to talk about.

The girl who gets a football hero at Capuchino High in California wears felt miniatures of his number all over her gametime outfit……

Even mood-music addicts like the way Sammy Davis, Jr., handles the lyrics to torch songs in his “Just for Lovers” album……It happened last summer in Fayette, Alabama: So many of the boys were swept by a craze to dye their hair black that some annoyed girls took revenge by bleaching theirs blond!

  1. FredR says: April 15, 20114:01 pm

    Oh, dear lord. The Fifies had to have been one of the most boring times to be alive in the history of the planet.

  2. John says: April 15, 20115:26 pm

    FredR: Oh yeah, between the Korean War, the Suez Crisis, The Cuban Revolution, Sputnik, the first hydrogen bomb, Elvis Presley, the polio epidemic, it was a real snooze fest.

    Maybe you mean 1955. Like March 2nd when 15 year old Claudette Colvin, a Black girl refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama to a White woman and she’s carried of the bus kicking and screaming. How boring.

    In 1955 the teen birth rate for girls 15-19 was 90.3 per 1000 teen girls. I don’t know, maybe they were bored.

    Lots of people base their image of the Fifties on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best and the like.

  3. tom says: April 16, 20117:46 am

    It seems that there was more physical and mental exercise. You couldn’t depend on a video screen or a cell phone stuck to your ear for entertainment. The teens then were creative in a positive way. Now if you have the right shoes and electronic device you’re “cool”. Cool might be an oudated term too!

  4. John says: April 16, 20118:38 am

    tom: Oh please! Back then in the “Good Old Days” you’re referring to, people were sagely nodding their heads about the terrible influence of rock n roll music and comic books.

  5. Repack Rider says: April 16, 20117:43 pm

    Teenagers outside of Texas probably didn’t know that “yellow rose” was slang for a girl of mixed race.

  6. Michael, N5RLR says: April 16, 20117:55 pm

    “Do you want a martyr pill?” sounds as if it came from today’s Internet. 😀

  7. John says: April 16, 20117:58 pm

    Repack Rider: That’s because in 1955 Mitch Miller changed a few lines in the original song.

  8. Charlene says: April 16, 20118:27 pm

    Mitch Miller was the worst thing to happen to music since the invention of the bagpipe. He didn’t just make bad music, he knowingly and willfully made bad music.

  9. Charlie says: April 16, 201111:42 pm

    John: Not to mention communist pornography. (part 2)

  10. Repack Rider says: April 17, 20119:19 am

    Comments here were better than the post/

    John, great link. I guess I’ll have to surf for those elusive original lyrics.

    Charlie (my name too), awesome link! Deserving of more, um, exposure, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

  11. John says: April 17, 201110:00 am

    Repack Rider: Glad you liked it. Let me save you a search:
    Yellow Rose of Texas Original Lyrics(c.1836): Spelling intact
    From the handwritten transcript, stored in the archives at the
    University of Texas, Austin:

    There’s a yellow rose in Texas, that I am going to see,
    No other darky [sic] knows her, no darky only me
    She cryed [sic] so when I left her it like to broke my heart,
    And if I ever find her, we nevermore will part.

    [Chorus] She’s the sweetest rose of color this darky ever knew,
    Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
    You may talk about your Dearest May, and sing of Rosa Lee,
    But the Yellow Rose of Texas beats the belles of Tennessee.

    When the Rio Grande is flowing, the starry skies are bright,
    She walks along the river in the quite [sic] summer night:
    She thinks if I remember, when we parted long ago,
    I promised to come back again, and not to leave her so. [Chorus]

    Oh now I’m going to find her, for my heart is full of woe,
    And we’ll sing the songs togeather [sic], that we sung so long ago
    We’ll play the bango gaily, and we’ll sing the songs of yore,
    And the Yellow Rose of Texas shall be mine forevermore. [Chorus]
    Gee, Charlene how can you say that about Mitch Miller in a universe that saw the Age of Disco, Tiny Tim & Flava Flav?

  12. Charlene says: April 17, 201111:22 pm

    Oh, I can say that with both confidence and authority. People assume that his main contribution to music were those silly bouncing ball albums, but that was only a sideline of his: Miller was once American music’s most powerful A&R executive. Will Friedwald, one of America’s premier music critics, had this to say about him:

    “Miller exemplified the worst in American pop. He first aroused the ire of intelligent listeners by trying to turn — and darn near succeeding in turning — great artists like Sinatra, Clooney, and Tony Bennett into hacks. Miller chose the worst songs and put together the worst backings imaginable — not with the hit-or-miss attitude that bad musicians traditionally used, but with insight, forethought, careful planning, and perverted brilliance.”

    For more, see this brilliant obituary by J.D. Baldwin.

  13. John says: April 18, 20118:57 am

    Charlene: Friedwald also went on to say “Miller established the primacy of the producer, proving that even more than the artist, the accompaniment, or the material, it was the responsibility of the man in the recording booth whether a record flew or flopped. Miller also conceived of the idea of the pop record “sound” per se: not so much an arrangement or a tune, but an aural texture (usually replete with extramusical gimmicks) that could be created in the studio and then replicated in live performance, instead of the other way around. Miller was hardly a rock ‘n’ roller, yet without these ideas there could never have been rock ‘n’ roll. “Mule Train”, Miller’s first major hit (for Frankie Laine) and the foundation of his career, set the pattern for virtually the entire first decade of rock. The similarities between it and, say, “Leader of the Pack”, need hardly be outlined here.”

    As to Frank Sinatra, I would just point out that Mitch Miller didn’t make him record “Bein’ Green”, an act which pissed off my Dad to no end. Like William Shatner doing Rocket Man, that was all on Frank.

  14. Charlene says: April 18, 20111:06 pm

    Oh, agreed. Frank was famously mercurial and needed a good producer who had his best interests at heart. Mitch wasn’t it, but neither was Frank himself.

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