With a Song in My Heart

"Look, you can stop me…you can close the show, but you can’t stop Rock & Roll, don’t you know that??”

          • Alan Freed (Tim McIntire) blasting the Feds, AMERICAN HOT WAX, 1978

STYX guitarist JY Young in Shirley’s pit, Indy 1981.

Butter and jelly, thunder and lightning, Lucy and Dezi…and racing and music: things that just GO together! (Kibbles and Bits could not be reached for comment.) Truly a marriage made in Heaven, so this month lets kick around some great moments where the two united. For us racing aficionados, you could say the courtship began in 1950 with the recording of HOT ROD RACE, by Arkie Shibley & The Mountain Dew Boys. (I will confess to using “sage advice” from 'Senor Tierra' on that one, because Google truly IS your friend!)

But the movement gained true mainstream momentum with the inclusion (in 1955) of Bill Haleys ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, originally done in 1954, in the classic film, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. Some theaters even refused to played the opening credits to the film, (the song both opened AND closed the film) fearing violence from the teenage viewers. (Apparently, post-show mayhem was acceptable back then.)

And with that, the dam burst, check that, it was BLOWN UP, and Hollywood began cranking out movies with kids, music and cars as fast as they could, much like (cue up crappy trumpet fanfare for my usual SHAMELESS self-promotion) this gem, with which my career here at DRO began with, THE GHOST OF DRAGSTRIP HOLLOW, where “TV” Tommy Ivo gave a truly Oscar-worthy performance, capturing the spirit of the character he portrayed, that being…Tommy Ivo! Read the review

[And a sidebar: Ivo also has an uncredited role in ‘Jungle’, I believe he’s listed as “fourth guy from the left, reacting to Sgt. Saunders acting like a bad-ass”.]