The Door To Yesterday. Volume 4 Number 17. Alan Warner. 2020

 

 

 

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 Music in general and rock ‘n’ roll in particular evolved hand in hand with the world of fashion. 

Today’s hip-hop world is just as connected and in his zillion-selling OLD TOWN ROAD

Lil Nas X even namechecks a ‘Cowboy hat from Gucci’


For this blog, I’ve collected together a small group of the many vintage songs which either 

mention clothing in their titles or make conspicuous references to it in their lyrics.

 

For instance, here’s a YouTube link to WHO DO YOU LOVE 

written and performed by the indispensable rock singer/songwriter/guitarist 

Bo Diddley back in 1956.

https://youtu.be/1iimWe37jE0 

Check out the stunningly descriptive line 

I use a cobra-snake for a necktie’!


Another striking lyrical reference to an eye-catching outfit came in Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s

1974 smash BENNIE AND THE JETS in which Elton sings 

She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit’. 

Here’s the audio link: 

https://youtu.be/AaAyZaXbQbc


Eons before rock ‘n’ roll, styles of clothing were omnipresent in popular song titles such as 

SAM YOU MADE THE PANTS TOO LONG, PUT ON YOUR OLD GRAY BONNET and

 BUTTON UP YOUR OVERCOAT.


 If one composition conjured up sophistication, style and grace of a byone era, it was 

Irving Berlin’s TOP HAT, WHITE TIE AND TAILS (Irving Berlin) 

introduced by Fred Astaire in RKO’s 1935 box-office hit “Top Hat”.

 Fred first recorded the song that year on Brunswick 

and here’s a link to the disc on which he’s accompanied by pianist

 Johnny Green & His Orchestra.

 Listen as young Mr. Astaire sings the song 

and also tap dances before your very ears: 

https://youtu.be/gqSJN6fEPhQ  


Following are further examples of songs highlighting the way folks dress…


BLACK DENIM TROUSERS AND MOTORCYCLE BOOTS 

(Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

by The Cheers w/Les Baxter’s Orchestra & Chorus 

(Capitol: 1955)

 https://youtu.be/qTdVaU5O9x8

Song also recorded by Edith Piaf!

 

 

 

Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones. The Door To yesterday. Alan Warner. 2020

 BLACK SLACKS 

(Joe Bennett/Irving Denton)

by Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones 

(ABC-Paramount: 1957) 

  https://youtu.be/ZQKxketbUDg  


BLUE SUEDE SHOES

 (Carl Perkins)

By Carl Perkins

Pro: Sam Phillips 

(Sun: 1956)

  https://youtu.be/rdTH536ZLmM

Milestone rockabilly song 

famously covered by Elvis Presley.

Gene Vincent blue Jean Bop. The Door To Yesterday. alan Warner. 2020

BLUEJEAN BOP 

(Gene Vincent/Hal Levy)

by Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps 

(Capitol: 1956)

 https://youtu.be/vodgcqPckD0 

It’s the bop that’s done in a dungaree’.


BOOGIE SHOES

 (Harry Casey/Richard Finch)

by KC & The Sunshine Band

Pro: H.W. Casey & Richard Finch 

(T.K.: 1978) 

https://youtu.be/sMq8qxLGgQc


CHANTILLY LACE 

(J.P. Richardson)

by The Big Bopper 

(Mercury: 1958) ‘Chantilly lace and a pretty face 

and a pony tail hangin’ down 

https://youtu.be/lGXFVOc5I8Q


DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION

 (Ray Davies)

by The Kinks

A Shel Talmy Production 

(Reprise: 1966) ‘One week he’s in polka-dots, 

the next week he is in stripes’ 

https://youtu.be/XLhpkGVKxZE


DEVIL WITH THE BLUE DRESS ON

 (Frederick Long/William Stevenson) 

by Shorty Long

Pro: William Stevenson 

(Soul: 1964)

  https://youtu.be/jaZ3pxgvfhY

Song later slightly retitled as 

DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS ON 

and recorded in a successful medley in ’66 with 

GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY 

by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. 

HI-HEEL SNEAKERS

 (Robert Higgenbotham) 

by Tommy Tucker

Pro: Herb Abramson 

(Checker: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/8bmbSC9c2ys 

Put on your red dress, baby’.

james Brown.the door to yesterday. alan warner 2020.

HOT PANTS (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants) Pt.1 

(James Brown)

by James Brown

Pro: James Brown 

(People: 1971) 

https://youtu.be/W-DiYCe-GiU


JEANS ON 

(David Dundas/Roger Greenaway)

by David Dundas

An Air Records Production 

(Chrysalis: 1976)

 https://youtu.be/vwGlhKcEBjY


MAKE-UP AND FADED BLUE JEANS

 (Merle Haggard)

by Merle Haggard

Pro: Jimmy Bowen 

(MCA: 1985) 

https://youtu.be/SiPIXW-7JyI


MOHAIR SAM 

(Dallas Frazier)

by Charlie Rich

Pro: Jerry Kennedy 

(Smash: 1965)

 https://youtu.be/SzRBzXZC0rA


OOGUM BOOGUM SONG 

(Alfred Smith)

by Brenton Wood

Pro: Hooven-Winn 

(Double Shot: 1967)

  https://youtu.be/LuWC0T3izDs

 When you wear your high heeled boots with your hip hugger suit’


PENNY LOAFERS AND BOBBY SOCKS 

(Joe Bennett)

by Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones

 (ABC Paramount: 1957)

 https://youtu.be/A5hAihFUNK4


PINK PEDAL PUSHERS 

(Carl Perkins)

by Carl Perkins

Pro: Sam Phillips 

(Sun: 1958)

 https://youtu.be/jH-uXSqrqrI

 

The Psychelic Furs. The Door to Yesterday. 2020. alan Warner.

 PRETTY IN PINK 

(The Psychedelic Furs)

by The Psychedelic Fur

Pro: Chris Kimsey 

(A&M: 1986)

https://youtu.be/8-A3gvw_iTY 

 ‘She hands you this coat/She gives you her clothes’.


SHOPPIN’ FOR CLOTHES 

(Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Kent Harris)

by The Coasters

Pro: Leiber & Stoller 

(Atco: 1960) 

https://youtu.be/XetJMlt3-l4  

That’s a suit I’d like to own’.


SHORT SHORTS 

(Tom Austin/Bob Gaudio/Bill Crandall/Bill Dalton)

by The Royal Teens 

(ABC-Paramount: 1957)

 https://youtu.be/UcvjXAtzaMU


THESE SHOES 

(Larry Lee/John Goin)

by The Everly Brothers

Pro: Dave Edmunds 

(Mercury: 1986) 

https://youtu.be/5iPOrlg4GHI


TRICKLE, TRICKLE 

(Videos/Henderson)

by The Videos 

(Casino: 1958) 

You dig my clothes here boy 

https://youtu.be/iZ0BWbk4UV0


VENUS IN BLUE JEANS 

(Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield)

by Jimmy Clanton 

(Ace: 1962) 

https://youtu.be/ZWOFOdrdNis


WEAR MY RING AROUND YOUR NECK

 (Bert Carroll/Russell Moody)

by Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires

 (RCA Victor: 1958) 

https://youtu.be/xkbJhn7rXJs


A WHITE SPORT COAT (And A Pink Carnation) 

(Marty Robbins)

by Marty Robbins with Ray Conniff

 (Columbia: 1957) 

https://youtu.be/6dh4ObZKluw


To close out, here’s one of the great Monty Python songs…

THE LUMBERJACK SONG 

(Michael Palin/Terry Jones/Fred Tomlinson) 

by Monty Python

Pro: George Harrison 

(Charisma: 1975)

 ‘I cut down trees, I wear high heels, suspendies and a bra’. 

 

Rock on.


Alan Warner


As in all my postings, the songs and recordings listed above are personal choices 

and are in no way intended as a definitive collection of the genre.


Please send any comments or suggestions to 

thedoortoyesterday@gmail.com


© Alan Warner, 2020. 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission 

from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, 

provided that full and clear credit is given to Alan Warner with appropriate 

and specific direction to the original content.