Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cruisin Crashin Cars Celebrated In Songs (Pt I)

With the Singapore 2010 Formula 1 Night Race in the headlines, expensive COEs and second-hand vehicles selling like hot cakes, the subject of cars is on everyone's lips.

Although a hot topic in Singapore, cars have never been celebrated in song here as in the US. In fact certain models have been immortalised by American artistes in love with these machines. So how many of the following songs are you familiar with?

Mustang Sally:
Both music and car aficionados are familiar with Mustang Sally as the Mustang has been a symbol of speed among American motorists for many years, helped along by Steve McQueen’s car chase through the streets of San Francisco in a GT 390 Fastback in Bullitt (1968).

In 1966, Wilson Pickett scored a hit with this R&B rocker about a lady who was advised to slow down, because she was moving too fast. Written by Bonny Rice, it has since become known as a Pickett anthem. You’ve been riding all over town, ooh, guess you gotta put your flat feet on the ground. Ride, Sally, ride.

Little Deuce Coupe:
Drag racing, while illegal, is nonetheless an American tradition. The Beach Boys (image) paid tribute to it in this ode to a ’32 Ford with a big V8. Brian Wilson co-wrote this with a disc jockey named Roger Christian, who was heavily into cars. Also, there’s the suggestion the little deuce coupe can do 140 mph, an exaggeration really. The song reached No. 15 on the U.S. pop charts in 1963.

Hot Rod Lincoln:
Most people know the version by the country and rockabilly band Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, which was released early in 1972 and rose to No. 9 on the pop charts. One of the more famous lines goes like this: My pappy said, ‘Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’, if you don’t stop driving that Hot Rod Lincoln. There was an earlier version, written in 1955.
The Beach Boys recorded 409 (a Chevrolet) in 1962, and more than a dozen other songs about cars. 409 was released as the B-side of Surfin’ Safari. Most of the lyrics are fairly simple and repetitive, such as Giddy up 409 and She’s real fine my 409. The Beach Boys were infatuated with girls, cars and the beach, often in the same song.

Ronny and the Daytonas (image) came out of Nashville with dreams of mimicking the Beach Boys’ sound but had mixed success. G.T.O., penned by John Wilkin, was released shortly after the car itself and reached No. 4 on the charts in 1964.

Although they did not have staying power, they did hammer at the car theme and sold more than a million singles of this song as well as a half-million albums.
[Information, by Michael Ventre (19.3.2007), has been taken from the website below and edited for brevity.]


Nan @ Nan Tsab said...

awesome facts!!

Rock n Roll..we play fast and we drive fast!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Aye, Nan. Apa khabar?

You know the facts man! Play fast and drive fast! Thanks for visiting.