I was 17 and life was definitely good. The cars were cool and the music rocked. Ford actually sold more '57 model Fords than GM sold Chevys during that year. My friend Wynne's father got a new powder blue '57 Fairlane 4 door. Straight shift, 245 hp T Bird V8. It would go.
I had a cash flow problem until I found work that summer at a dry cleaners as their curb boy. I kept that job all through my senior year, '57-'58. It seemed to me that Ford was doing okay, because at work, I was surrounded by Fomoco owners. One of the woman clerks had a '55 Ford and the other curb guy had a '54 Ford convertible. The boss's son, the manager, had a '57 Country Sedan.
But the boss guy himself, who smoked big stogies right down to the nub, drove a massive blue '57 Olds 88 4 door hardtop.
Another friend's dad (Wayman) bought what would become most everyone's idea of a '50s classic car, a black '57 Chevy convertible with the fuel injected 283. I can remember the night he picked me up and gave me a ride in it, and my memory of one part of the ride, for some reason is as clear as if it happened yesterday. I remember we crossed Gallatin Pike at the red light on McGavock. Wayman was just easing it across, and cars on both sides of the Pike were stopped for the red light, the people inside checking out that sleek black beauty. The street lights and the neon were shining off of that thing something fierce. I was sitting in the vinyl red/silver passenger seat. The dash board was gleaming. It was a moment. One of those moments. And, even though I didn't own the car, I was a part of the scene. A conscious part of the beauty. I wouldn't trade that for a thousand American Graffitis. It's a good movie and all, but I think you know what I'm talking about.
Here's a Chevy commercial I may have seen one night while watching the old 17" b and w Motorola console.
And here are three songs I definitely remember from 1957. If you're one of my regular commenters, these are all going to be too old for you. But, trust me, they are all good. First, "Little Darling" by the Diamonds. I can hear this now, coming out of the radio in somebody's white '57 Fury as it rumbled slowly around the Krystal.
This one got a lot of airplay back in '57: the Everly Brothers first hit with Cadence records, "Bye Bye Love." Very influential harmony. This video is from 1964.
And finally, the Dell Vikings' "Come and Go With Me." I know some of you remember hearing this one. Hope you enjoyed this little trip back to 1957.