Looking Back 1959

Looking Back
or
Willowdale, Ontario, Canada
in
The Rear-View Mirror

Gary:”Well this year,  for a teenager turning 19, would be one of my biggest years of change:

  • I would purchase my first car a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop, V8!
  • I would finish high school and decide to go out in the work force (Texaco Canada).
  • I would find out that I would eventually  go back to night school over the next 5 years.  I really should have paid more attention in school; it cost me some serious “Social Time”.
  • The biggest Rock and Roll tragedy would take place near Clear Lake Iowa, February 3, 1959, the day the music died.
  • The dances that we created for the Willow Y Club, would continue to be extremely popular, but we would move on.
  • I would not have a “steady” girl friend again for a few years, then I would get engaged, twice.  I would date and meet some really nice women.
  • My love for the music I present to you in this blog would continue and transfer to the “live” type when Yonge Street in Toronto came alive.  The live music experiences  I was exposed to in the early 60’s would stay with me  forever.  Yes, Russ was there playing, but I still did not know who he was.
  • I had a new dance partner “Carol Phillips” and we would continue to win.  I also had a back up partner, Marion Tucker a.k.a. “Tink”.

Things that I remember from that year that were news worthy:

  • Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba 
  • Ingemar Johansson beats Floyd Patterson
  • The St Lawrence Seaway opened
I was really into cars now, but in my opinion 1959 was not the greatest year for design.  My dad bought a new 59 Chevy but not much appealed to me. 
I did not really like the Chrysler line-up, but the 59 Chrysler was cool.
.
  • 1959 Ford Fairlane,I liked this one,

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  • 1959 Cadillac Eldorado

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  • 59 Chevy Impala

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  • 59 Corvette

Sports in 1959:

  • L.A. Dodgers win World Series over the Chicago White Sox
  • Baltimore Colts beat the NY Giants
  • Montreal Canadiens beat  my team The Toronto Maple Leafs for the Stanley Cup.

Movies in 1959:

  • Best Actor / Charlton Heston / Ben Hur 
  • Best Actress / Simone Signoret / Room at the Top 
  • Best Picture / Ben Hur 
Movies that I enjoyed in 1959:
  • Some Like it Hot /
  • North by Northwest/ 
  • Rio Bravo /
  • The Young Philadelphians / 

New on TV in 1959

  • Father know best
  • Bonanza / 
  • The Twilight Zone / 
  • The Red Skelton Show 
  • Wanted Dead or Alive would introduce us to Steve McQueen 

Music:

  • For the first time a Rock and Roll Artist (Bobby Darin) would win a Grammy for Best New Artist and Mack the Knife would win for Record of the year.
  • Chuck Berry was convicted of the Mann Act, and actually serves Prison Time.
  • The Payola scandals start and Alan Freed and Dick Clark are the targets.
I guess I have to deal with February 3, 1959.  Rather than go through it all again, just click on our link and you will find what happened on “The Day the Music Died” https://strathdee.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/buddy-holly-2/

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New Aritists that I enjoyed in 1959:

  • Freddie (Boom Boom) Cannon / 
  • Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans) / 
  • The Fireballs (my favourite) / 
  • Jan & Dean / 
  • Cliff Richard / 
  • Sandy Nelson / 
  • Bobby Rydell / 
  • The Bell Notes /
  • Santo & Johnny / 
  • Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks / 
  • Johnny & the Hurricanes / 

.

Other artists that would debut in 1959, that I enjoyed.

Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Bill Black’s Combo, The Browns, Dave “Baby” Cortez, The Fleetwoods, The Isley Brothers, Marv Johnson, The Skyliners, Rod Bernard, Bobby Comstock, The Falcons, The Fiestas, The Fireflies, Frankie Ford, John Fred & his Playboy Band, Jerry Fuller, Wilbert Harrison, The Hot-Toddys , The Impalas, The Intruders, The Mystics, Phil Phillips, Johnny Preston, The Rock-a-Teens, Ray Sharpe, Skip & Flip, Dodie Stevens and many more.

Now for the music I enjoyed and danced too in 1959.

The All American Boy / Bill Parsons (Bobby Bare)
 
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Dion & the Belmonts / Teenager in Love
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Connie Francis / Lipstick on your Collar /
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Stagger Lee & Personality / Lloyd Price
.
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I’ve Had It / The Bell Notes
.
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Charlie Brown / Poison Ivy / The Coasters
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Dream Lover / Mack the Knife / Bobby Darin
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Tragedy / Thomas Wayne /
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Since I Don’t Have You / The Skyliners
.
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The Happy Organ / Dave “Baby” Cortez
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Never Be Anyone Else But You (my favourite) / It’s Late / Ricky Nelson

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Sea Cruise / Frankie Ford


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Kansas City / Wilbert Harrison
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So Fine / The Fiestas
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Sorry I Ran All The Way Home / The Impalas
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Red River Rock / Johnny & the Hurricanes
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Hushabye / The Mystics
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Tallahassee Lassie / Way Down Yonder in New Orleans / Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon
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Tall Cool One / The Wailers /
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You’re So Fine / The Falcons /
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Forty Miles of Bad Road / Duane Eddy
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Forty Days / Mary Lou / Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks
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I’m Ready / I want to walk you home / Fats Domino
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Lonely Boy / Paul Anka  /
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Here comes Summer / Jerry Keller
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Sea of Love / Phil Phillips & the Twilights
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Baby Talk / Jan & Dean /
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Sleep Walk / Santo & Johnny
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Somethin’ Else / Eddie Cochran
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Woo-Hoo / The Rock-A-Teens /
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Come Softly to Me / The Fleetwoods
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You’ve Got What it Takes / Marv Johnson
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Believe Me / The Royal Teens
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Linda Lu / Ray Sharpe /
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Smokie Pt 2 / Bill Black’s Combo /

.Teen Beat / Sandy Nelson /
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Torquay / The Fireballs
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3 responses to “Looking Back 1959

  1. Ah, my favorite year of the Rock ‘N’ Roll era. I have a lot of fond memories from 1959. Even though the music had been tamed down, still, lots of memorable songs and instrumentals continued to be released.
    One Saturday afternoon, my parents sent us to a movie at the Westwood Theater in Etobicoke. They thought we would be watching some Tarzan movie; instead we saw “A Hole In The Head” with Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges, which was classified Adult Entertainment! My parents weren’t too happy about that!
    – Andy.

  2. Oh I do remember the day the music died…….Ron Mclean remembered it in song…..such a tragedy…..unfortunately that is what life is made of…….. memories mean much……..Bob Thompson was head usher at the Willow Theatre (we must have crossed paths many times)…Gary

    • Laila: I remember Bob Thompson, but Bill Robinson was the Head Usher when I was there. The song you are thinking about is by Don McLean and is called “American Pie”. I was working at the Post Office but on that fateful night, I was also working at the Willow, because they were short handed.
      Gary

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