Phil Ziegler Remembers The Fifties

     Updated January 24, 2010 URL is

Rock and Roll Reminiscing

Memories by Phil Ziegler

The 2010 James Dean Birthday Party is February 5, 6 and 7

in Gas City (Payne’s) and Fairmount (the Galleryand Lenny’s Rebel, Rebel store)

 and dinner somewhere, (maybe Marion.)

Contact David Loehr for details

Los Angelenos: Ask Kip Brown!

Each February in Fairmount, Indiana, Dean archivist David Loehr presents a James Dean Birthday party. The wonderful Phil Ziegler read his original poem to welcome us in 1997. We made him read it again each year. It is now a tradition. If you couldn’t be there with us, here is his clever look back. You may recognize some places he mentions from Pennsylvania.

Rock and Roll Reminiscing

Gather ’round you cats and chicks

We’ll reminisce and get some kicks.

No fancy stuff, let’s make it plain,

We’ll rock and roll down mem’ry lane.

First off, let’s see who made the scene,

Bill Haley’s Comets and of course James Dean,

The Platters, it matters, ’cause it’s "Only You"

And "The Great Pretender" to name a few,

Gloria Mann with "Teenage Prayer"

And those R&B groups, Oh! man they’re rare.

And the hillbilly cat who could render,

I’m talkin’ ’bout Elvis and "Love Me Tender."

Gene Vincent, Jesse Belvin and Sonny Knight

The Quintones and Harptones just make it right

And don’t forget Fats and "Blueberry Hill"

Are you with me boppers? Yeah! what a thrill.

Frankie Lyman, The Danleers, The Dubs and Channels,

Conway Twitty, Buddy Knox, Richie Valens and Spaniels

Buddy Holly, Gogi Grant, Drifters and Big Bopper

Connie Francis, Cathy Carr, all were show stoppers.

Let’s see, where’d we go, can you remember

Lots of cokes for sure, in June or December.

East end, West end, North or South,

Rock and Roll had its clout.

Gee there was Emmy’s, Cherrytop and the Dell,

Panther Pit, Penn-Hart and the Varsity Grill.

Some had to sneak, as kids will do.

We just had to be there with the rest of the crew.

Ponytails, crewcuts, they all needed attention,

Show up with a D.A. and get detention.

A car was the thing for a drive-in movie

And a chick in your arms, now that was groovy.

Sock hops were great with dances at school,

And some of the steps Oh! man they were cool,

Bop, Slop, The Stroll, you name it,

Jitterbug, Cha Cha, Twist, we gamed it.

Those times were good and mem’ries linger,

We all liked Ike and that other Zinger.

I hope you enjoyed it, I hope it was plain

That Rock and Roll spin down memory lane.

Copyright ©1984 Phil Ziegler all rights reserved

Links Out

How about a look at Tell-Mama, our music magazine?

Here’s the section with 50’s nostalgia

Here’s an index of the James Dean pages

Here’s the cover of Our Tentative Times

Please send email to Sandra Weinhardt (Tell Mama) at