Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Match your clothes to mood music

Every once in a while, an old film or an old song will evoke memories of what was cool to wear back in the day.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr., for example, reminds me of how cool it is to wear a double-breasted, glen plaid suit. Anything done by Frank Sinatra, for example, gets me in the mood to wear a fedora and dark suits. Fairbanks' films, like Sinatra's music (as well as his films), are timeless. Jazz musicians, in fact, had a keen, practical sartorial sensibility in which their clothing fit as generously as they played.

In this entry, I'll attempt to list some classic tunes in relation to a classic icon, from the 1920s to the '80s. (The last two decades are too soon to be considered "classic." Wish me luck as I navigate the '70s, which didn't have the greatest of clothes.) Here goes:

Style Icon: Louis Armstrong
Puttin on the hits:
  • Armstrong - West End Blues
  • Armstrong - Ain't Misbehavin'
  • Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue
  • Paul Robeson - Ol' Man River
  • Bix Beiderbecke - In a Mist

    Style Icon: Fred Astaire
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Duke Ellington - Mood Indigo
  • Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
  • Cole Porter - Night and Day
  • Sidney Bechet - Weary Blues
  • Count Basie - One O'Clock Jump

    Style Icon: Frank Sinatra
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Sinatra - I Got You Under My Skin
  • Ellington - Take the A Train
  • Sarah Vaughan - It's Magic
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Salt Peanuts
  • Hot House - Charlie Parker

    Style Icon: James Dean
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
  • The Isley Brothers - Shout
  • Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
  • Nat King Cole - Unforgettable
  • Bill Haley and His Comets - Rock Around The Clock

    Style Icon: Sean Connery
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart In San Francisco
  • Marvin Gaye - How Sweet It Is
  • Aretha Franklin - Respect
  • The Beatles - She Loves You
  • Sly and the Family Stone - Stand!

    Style Icon: Richard Roundtree
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
  • Eric Clapton - Layla
  • Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
  • Isaac Hayes - Shaft
  • Stevie Wonder - Superstition
  • Sugarloaf - Green Eyed Lady

    Style Icons: Pat Riley, Michael Douglas
    Puttin' on the hits:
  • Thriller (the entire album) - Michael Jackson
  • S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me
  • Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
  • Guy - Teddy's Jam
  • Whodini - One Love
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