Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A to Z 1950s/60s Nostalgia: U

U Smell:
Underarms - Although roll-on deodorants have been around for well over 100 years, it wasn't usual for men to wear deodorant in the 50s and so I give you my U smell! Gasp!

U Memories:
Uncle Mac's Children's Favourites - Every week we'd sit by the radio and listen to Uncle Mac saying, "Hello, children everywhere." I've so many favourite songs from that programme that I'm having trouble listing them all out. So I've selected my favourite top ten:
  1. I’m a Pink Toothbrush, you’re a Blue Toothbrush [we met by the bathroom door...]
  2. The Ugly Duckling [with feathers all stubby and brown...]
  3. Me and my Teddy Bear [got no worries got no cares...]
  4. I tawt I saw a puddy tat [a creepin up on me...]
  5. The Runaway Train [and she blew, wee-ooo...]
  6. Nellie the Elephant [packed her trunk and said, “goodbye!” to the circus...]
  7. The Three Billy Goats Gruff [I’m a troll, foll-de-roll...]
  8. The King’s New Clothes [look at the King, the King, the King, oh...]
  9. Bimbo [Bimbo where you gonna go-e-o...]
  10. Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer [Katzellen Bogen by the sea-ee-ee-ee...]
...and now I recommend that [after you've finished reading my post and adding some memories of your own, of course] you go over to the Children's Favourites site. You can hear the original introduction music and read the lyrics of the many, many songs that were played by Uncle Mac.

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire
wearing the infamous T-shirt... phwah!
Underwear - There are so many differences between 50s/60s underwear and the under-garments we wear today, a result of fashion, fabric technology and changing views on modesty.

Corsets and Stockings: Women wore corsets that not only held their stomachs in firmly but also provided the suspenders to hold up their stockings. When I was about 11 Mum bought me a tiny suspender belt and it was the most uncomfortable piece of underwear I’ve ever worn.

Panties: Most ladies pants before the 2nd world war were large and white and no one expected to see them in public. After the war, panties became more colourful. In 1955 an Italian tennis player, Lea Pericol, caused a sensation at Wimbledon when spectators saw her lacy panties.

Vests: Pre-1950 T-shirts were an item of men’s underwear. In 1951 Marlon Brando wore a T-shirt in A Streetcar Named Desire and began a fashion trend... but only for men!

U Programmes:
On TV:
Robert Vaughn and David McCallum in The Man from UNCLE
Man from UNCLE
Up Pompeii

On Radio:
Under Milk Wood

U Names:
Peter Ustinov
Union Gap
Gary U.S. Bonds who provides the...

U Music:
Gary U.S. Bonds singing Quarter to Three and just look at that 'groovy' dancing!

Another tough letter. Do you have any more Us?

If you're enjoying these memories then you should go and visit 
Anne Mackle's blog at Is Anyone There? Her A to Z Challenge is about memories of the 1960s and 70s.


  1. University Challenge with Bamber Gascoigne?
    I loved The Man From UNCLE - especially David McCallum. ~Miriam

  2. I'm still singing those children's songs as I write this!

    What amazes me, as a child of the 70s, is how many of your memories I'm aware of. And some of it is so cool - I'm not surprised men everywhere started copying Marlon Brando!

  3. Hi, Ros
    Heartily approve of your Top Ten!
    As for the smell, well, I thought you might have a different unpleasant one: Urine. Hmm, there were a lot of Public Conveniences around in those days and even in the nicest areas it was not nice walking past them.
    Here are a few more memories:
    Songs/Singers: The Drifters - Up on the Roof, Curtis Lee- “Under the Moon of Love”, Jimmy Young -“Unchained Melody”,
    The Undertakers, Unit Four Plus Two

    Remember the man who used funny words? Stanley Unwin “Once a poly-tie-toe”

    Umbrellas were a big fashion accessory in the 60s - long point on the end and a fancy handle

    Utility Furniture (the scheme lasted until 1952)

    Jobs: The Knocker-Up – they still had them in the 50s in Industrial areas

    Phew, U was a toughie

  4. Morning Sis, A few more U's.........
    In 1955 Jimmy Young recorded "Unchained Melody" - its first time round the music scene.
    Showing my age but..........."Underneath the Arches" - don't laugh.
    "Usherettes'" in the cinema who also sold the ice-cream in the intervals - from a container hanging round her neck - wow health and safety!!
    The "Urchin Cut" was in fashion in the 60's thanks to Twiggy and Mia Farrow - who wore it I think the first time in the film Rosemary's Baby - scarieee...... that is the film not Mia!!
    Film: "Up the Junction" - stirred us all and very much of its time - the late 60's.
    "Up a Lazy River" by Bobby Darin.
    Ros, I have "Underwear" on my U list too: corsets - what hell they were to wear!!! and "Uplift bras" came into fashion too. I seem to remember something about "Lift and Separate" - help.......

  5. Pat - I think we must have pressed the button at almost the same time again - wow. Doubled up on Jimmy Young - wasn't he wonderful.....

    Ros - just on my way to the Children's Favourite's Site - back later - what fun.....

  6. This takes me back to my childhood Uncle Mac.I can remember all the tunes and the tv shows and people.
    This runs paralell to my own theme as I am doing songs from my teenage years 1950s/1960s. Where have the time gone?


  7. I don't remember Uncle Mac but I know all the songs.I sing Nellie the elephant to my granddaughter. Pat, if you want to hear Under the Moon Of Love Sowaddywaddy sang one of the same title and it's on my blog today.

  8. Hey, Rifka's comments reminded me of those conical sweater bras. You had to put a bent matchstick in the point of each cup so you didn't get a dint!

    Oh...happy days!
    It's the same song I think, Cassam, Shawaddywaddy recorded it a good few years later and had quite a hit with it.

  9. Wow I'm so glad underwear has changed! I would hate wearing a corset and stockings with suspenders!

  10. One more for the TV, had to check this though on goggle as wasn't sure about dates but yes there it was the "Untouchables" TV programme ran from 1959 to 1963. Staring the brilliant Robert Stack as Elliott Ness.
    Talking about children's favourites - the other day I started singing "Sparkie..... this is your piano" and couldn't get it out of my head - that would be one of my top ten. Followed closely by 'Teddy Bears Pic-nic' and 'Me and My Teddy Bear'. 'I'm a Pink Toothbrush'....is a real family favourite and last but not least "Oh my Papa (to me he was so wonderful)"........... by Eddie Fisher.

  11. Marlon Brando sure changed over the years. I hardly remember him looking this good. It just goes to show, a person's outlook on life affects their features. I thought of ugly.


  12. Hi Miriam, I still say Bamber Gascoigne in my head when they introduce University Challenge. It’s present by Paxman now.

    Hi Lynda, your parents have good taste. I loved it too.

    Hi Annalisa, I think things changed more slowly in those days. The last 20 years our lives have been transformed by computers etc.

    Hi Pat, I do remember Stanley Unwin, yes, and I’m still laughing over your bent over matchsticks to stop your bra from inverting. I had one of those bras and was forever trying to pop it out again. I could have done with that matchstick idea!

    Hi Rifka, hope you enjoyed the Children’s Favourites site. I spent quite a while there yesterday. I remember the urchin cut too. Lovely. We agree on most of the top ten tunes but not sure about Oh My Papa. It was a bit too serious for my child-self

    Hi Yvonne, don’t start me on that old chestnut! Where has the time gone indeed!

    Hi Anne, by the time you were listening it was probably that DJ who kept playing the “Hello darlin” catchphrase… oh yes, Ed Stewart.

    Hi Kathy, I’m glad it’s changed too.

    Hi Francene, I’m not sure that your theory always works. There are some nasty characters around who are infuriatingly handsome.

  13. Underarms - blech!

    Marlon Brando looked pretty good, though. :D

  14. Some great memories here, thanks for the smile. Stopping by from the A-Z challenge, nice to meet you.

  15. I used to have a crush on the Man from Uncle! David McCallum that is...
    Another nostalgic post, well done.

  16. I wondered what smell you would choose! Glad deodorant is always in vogue nowadays :)

  17. Oh, Marlon Brando was yummy:) What a fun post..
    I too am so glad underwear has changed over the years although some of it today can still be uncomfortable!

  18. mentioned your blog on mine today and subscribed!

  19. Loved this post -- Mum used to sing "Bimbo" to me all the time when I was small.

    I subscribed to your blog back when I discovered it through the challenge, and wondered where it had gone -- a whole stack of my challenge subscriptions showed up in my feed for the first time today, so I have some catch-up reading to do. This is going to be such fun!

    Beth Stilborn

  20. Stopping by to say hello! Underarm smells - plugging my nose. LOL.

  21. Hi Ros .. you've got a good memory! Underarms and underwear - frustrating subjects!! University Challenge and Man from Uncle .. as has been mentioned ..

    Great memories .. cheers Hilary

  22. Wonderful memories, Ros. I'm still word-perfect on all those children's songs. I loved them.

    Adored the Man from Uncle too. I had a huge crush on David McCallum. :)


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