Fashion in Song – Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy (1950)

The Chatanooga Shoe Shine Boy by Red Foley was at the top of charts in 1950, and was later covered by other artists, including Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, and Bing Crosby.

Have you ever passed the corner of Fourth and Grand
Where a little ball of rhythm has a shoeshine stand?
People gather ’round and they clap their hands,
He’s a great big bundle of joy–
He pops a boogie woogie rag,
The Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.

He charges you a nickel just to shine one shoe.
He makes the oldest kind of leather look like new.
You feel as tho’ you want to dance when he gets thru.
He’s a great big bundle of joy–
He pops a boogie woogie rag,
The Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.

It’s a wonder that the rag don’t tear the way he makes it pop
You ought to see him fan the air, with his hoppity hippity hippity hoppity hoppity hippity hop.

He opens up for bus’ness when the clock strikes nine,
He likes to get ’em early when they’re feelin’ fine.
Ev’rybody gets a little rise and shine
With the great big bundle of joy.
He pops a boogie woogie rag,
The Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy…
The Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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