Thursday, July 23, 2009

Guess who wore the boots in that family

Strangers in their tights
Exchanging pantses...

Now how burnt is that? How about uberburnt -- did I just coin a word?

I was at a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin for a short while, way back when. It was my first job out of college, and the flaky business manager at the paper was always changing the lyrics of classic songs to make them goofy. I believe he succeeded with "Strangers in the Night,'' a No. 1 song in 1966 for Frank Sinatra.

(Does it seem like we're stuck in the Sixties here? Maybe so. It's my class reunion this weekend, and even if I don't make it back to the Hub -- that's Whitehall, Wis. -- I'll be revisiting that special time in memories and songs. We might be old farts now, but it's just as cool today as it was back then to be from the class of '69. Yeah!)

SSS has also been tripping heavily on Sinatra, but what the hell. "Strangers'' was a fine song. It was Frankie's only No. 1 of the rock era until he teamed up with his sultry go-go dancin' daughter Nancy the following year for "Somethin' Stupid.'' "Strangers'' held the Billboard top spot just one week, sandwiched between the Beatles' "Paperback Writer'' and "Hanky Panky'' by Tommy James and the Shondells.

No wheels yet -- we were sophomores-to-be -- but it was a fabulous time to be commandeering a record player (they had needles, and the records went 'round and 'round and got all scratched up) or blasting the hits of the day on the radio.

Funny thing, though. I don't remember "Strangers'' like I recall other songs from that fabulous summer. I was at Badger Boys Basketball Camp, honing my dribble penetration skills for a big season on the Norsemen "B'' squad, and no doubt that was a distraction.

However, I vividly remember Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking'' -- which was No. 1 just 18 weeks earlier. Apparently so did the girls who began buying up those goofy boots. Go-go figure.

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