So I have a YouTube channel. There’s not much there – a few DashboardCam™ videos from my road trips and several vintage TV clips I, um, appropriated from around the Internet. By far the most popular video on my channel, with more than 80,000 views, is this commercial for the 1959 Chevrolet starring singer Dinah Shore.
Readers north of a certain age will remember that Dinah was synonymous with Chevy in the 1950s. Chevy sponsored all of her various variety shows on NBC during those years, and the song “See the USA in Your Chevrolet” became Dinah’s signature piece. (See her sing it in grand style here.)
What a grand portrait of American living this video paints! And the key to achieving this joyful lifestyle is, of course, the gullwinged 1959 Chevrolet.
This video has attracted a ton of comments over the years. They’ve taken on a life of their own! It’s been amusing to see them fall into three general categories:
- “Cars of the 1950s were great! I wish I had a ’59 Chevy!” I didn’t have the heart to point them to this crash-test video of a 1959 Chevy crashing into a 2009 Chevy. The dummy in the ’59 would have died instantly. The dummy in the ’09 would have suffered only a broken foot. (One commenter finally pointed it out for me.)
- Ongoing arguments over whether or not the 1950s were America’s golden age. Those affirming the resolution seemed mostly to be lost in nostalgia. Those negating the resolution tended to bring up one or two examples of Not Good things from the era and extrapolated wildly to claim the whole era was bad. I tried to suggest that there were as many problems then as today, and promptly got clobbered for it.
- Disturbing rants, often racist or homophobic, which I promptly deleted. Sheesh.
I keep thinking I should tell them all to just listen to Dinah. She could sing.