I mentioned the term “bobby soxers” last week.
A couple of comments got me to thinkin’.
Kids haven’t changed all that much when it comes to pop heroes, pop culture, and “fandom”.
One of my faithful readers, all the way from Down Under, claimed to be a bobby soxer – she likes Elvis and she likes Sinatra.
I’m guessin’ she’s way too young to be a bobby soxer.
But her attitude and comment go to show that some things never change.
Frank Sinatra was the first teen idol of the 20th Century.
He was pre Elvis, pre John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and he was pre Justins – Timberlake and Bieber.
Yes, I know it is morally wrong to put those two in the same sentence, since T can sing and B is a no talent little brat, but alas, they’re both teen idols, er were. JT left “Teentown” long ago.
So, “Why Peyton Place?”, you ask.
Well, Grace Metalious was a bobby soxer, maybe the first. She changed American Literature forever. Her book was considered so shocking that its importation was banned in Canada. Now, Canada finally got with it and gave us the Redneck Mommy, whom I might add, would put a smile on Grace’s face if she were around today.
The book opened the doors to the sexual revolution, discussed topics that had been avoided and ignored before, and changed the way America thought about poverty, sexual repression, bullies, and abortion.
Its most shocking topic was the sexuality of women.
And it paved the way for the bobby soxers.
It allowed girls to be “boy crazy”!
Grace Metalious died at the age of 39 of a chronic liver disease, and never saw the full impact of her work. It’s the best trashy book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read it more than once. A great story, terriffic writing – if you haven’t read it, do so!
Well, the bobby soxers loved Frank Sinatra. He was, as I mentioned UP above, the first American Teen Idol. Teen age girls everywhere screamed so loud when he sang no-one could hear him.
Now, Frank didn’t always look like this.
He started out pretty good looking.
A hard life, too much booze, and too many wives took its toll.
So, to all the readers who were crazy for Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Fabian, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Justin, and now Justin again, you’re not alone.
The socks may have changed, but the bobby soxer is here forever!
And you can thank Grace!