Throwback Thursday

Halloween? My thoughts on the so-called holiday have been expressed before.


On this day in 1959 a song that had been originally composed in 1928 was the Number One song on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mack the Knife” as recorded by Walden Robert Cassoto, better known as Bobby Darin, reached the top position on the charts in early October and stayed there for a total of nine weeks.


See the source image


From MusicStack a picture of the “Mack the Knife” recording. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I had quite a collection of 45s. “Mack the Knife” was not part of that collection. It did, however, sell more than two million copies and was awarded the Grammy as “Record Of The Year.”

Supposedly, Darin did not want the song released as a single. Darin, sadly, had a short life. Having been afflicted with rheumatic fever as a child he had a severely weakened heart and died in 1973 at age 37. Darin had success not only as a singer, but also as an actor and was even nominated for an Academy Award in 1963.

“Mack the Knife” was actually composed for a musical drama called “The Threepenny Opera.” The song’s lyrics were originally in German, but somehow the song became a favorite for American pop and jazz singers to record. For example, Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars released a version that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956.


Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer.

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill


No rule says that the Throwback Thursday car has to be from the same year as any other subject of the post. As I do from time to time, here is a chart:


Top Ten Selling US Makes, 1950
Chevrolet 1,498,590
Ford 1,208,912
Plymouth 610,954
Buick 588,439
Pontiac 446,429
Oldsmobile 408,060
Dodge 341,797
Studebaker 320,884
Mercury 293,658
Chrysler 179,299


Note Studebaker’s position as the only non Big-Three make in the Top Ten. Also note that Studebaker is one of five companies that no longer exists. Although not shown here, the #11, #12, and #13 positions were also held by now-defunct makes. (Nash, DeSoto and Hudson)


See the source image


From a picture of the best-selling vehicle for the best-selling make in 1950. This is a Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe four-door sedan. By the way, I think the word “Styleline” is awkward to pronounce, but what do I know?

Chevrolet produced more than 316,000 of these in 1950. Note that number would have ranked in the top ten among makes in 1950. Chevrolet produced 14 different offerings across four model lines in 1950. At $1,529 the Styleline DeLuxe four-door was in the middle of the Chevrolet price range.

Chevy offered only two engines in all of those cars: a 216 cubic-inch inline six with an output of 92 HP/176 LB-FT of torque for cars equipped with a manual transmission and a 235 cubic-inch inline six with 105 HP/193 LB-FT for cars equipped with the Powerglide automatic.

This car doesn’t really do anything for me, but for much of the automobile era four-door sedans were the bread and butter for American car companies. Those days are over, probably for good, as SUVs and pickup trucks have become the most popular vehicles.











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2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday

  1. Given how you follow the various makes, Studebaker included, you likely know that 320,000 number for Studebaker was a number they had never previously seen nor would they ever see again. That ’50 “bullet nose” Studebaker is certainly one of the most iconic designs of the era.

    I had no idea “Mack the Knife” went back to 1928 or that it had been composed for “Three Penny Opera”. I learned something by visiting here today! 😊


    1. Yes, of course. I was remiss in not mentioning Studebaker’s high-water mark for production.

      Some have postulated that the all-time record for Studebaker sales was reached despite the bullet-nose styling and not because of it. At this distance in time and space it is impossible to know.


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