14th 2009
“Get Yourself a College Girl,” 1964

Posted under: American history, art, fluff, students

Who knew that “The Girl from Ipanema” was on the soundtrack of the 1964 movie, “Get Yourself a College Girl?”  I sure didn’t–it was wayyyyyyy before my time, but check out this selection from the movie, which features a load of mid-century modern details:

Get_Yourself_A_College_Girl_(1964)(H/t to Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft for putting me in mind of this song.)  The singer is Astrud Gilberto, and I never would have guessed she was such a sweet, young thing. (What’s with the dork quartet backing her up, though?  I know it’s Stan Getz, but geez. . . ) Dig the “Rec Room” paneling and flagstone walls in what looks like a dorm lounge setting–apparently, trousers or skirts are purely optional at home for these college girls!  Be sure not to miss the deer heads nailed to the left and right walls that frame the windows behind the band.  You can see Nancy Sinatra in this movie, too.

The only thing missing is a chandelier that looks like a giant atom.  Far out!



23 Responses to ““Get Yourself a College Girl,” 1964”

  1. Bing on 14 Oct 2009 at 7:20 am #

    If I may completely miss the point, I love the visual design of the clip. Can you have nostalgia for an era you did not personally experience?


  2. ER Doc on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:00 am #

    Well, you missed those days, but the “dork quartet” looks just like all the cool guys did then. Have you ever seen pictures of Buddy Holly or Roy Orbison? If you wore glasses, those were the glasses… I haven’t ever seen that clip before, though; thanks for finding it! It wasn’t my era; it was my (hero) older brother’s time. I still have his complete set of Kingston Trio albums. He was a college freshman in 1964. The Beatles are about to break out, and “long hair” is about to become fashionable for guys. I was nine…

  3. Clio Bluestocking on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:41 am #

    That chandelier looks like Sputnik.

  4. squadratomagico on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Pretty sure those are Russell Wright chairs at the tables, and piled on top of them. YUM!
    And where can you see Nancy Sinatra? Is she wearing boots?

  5. squadratomagico on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:44 am #

    Oh wait… she must be the one in blue, right? No boots….. ;(

  6. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Sq.–I don’t know if she’s in this clip, but she’s in the movie. I wonder if this movie is on Netflix–I don’t know any other way to get obscure titles. If you click on the link to imdb.com above and read through the hillarious comments (most to the effect of, “this is a wonderful bad movie, so bad it’s hillarious” they have more to say about Sinatra.)

    Bing: there’s no point, really. I too am nostalgic for the design and material culture of the 1950s and 60s, although I missed out on them almost entirely. (For perhaps obvious reasons, this feminist is happy to have missed them otherwise.)

  7. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Oh, and p.s. to ER Doc: they’re still dorks! Who would have thought a Samba band could be so Four Freshmen-esque. (Or Kingston Trio-esque, as you note.)

  8. Sweet Sue on 14 Oct 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Why are the college girls dancing in their come hither underwear?
    I just missed the last gasp of the Mad Men era-thank God-it was pretty awful.

  9. GayProf on 14 Oct 2009 at 9:46 am #

    Why, oh why, didn’t my college have students burst into song in the student lounges? Or fabulous beehive hairdos?

    Though Astrud Gilberto looks a bit confused as to why she is in this film.

  10. Susan on 14 Oct 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Actually, I got all caught up in the sound aesthetic. Her voice is so quiet, it was lovely. The other thing that came with the Beatles was the huge stadium concert. So now that voice would never make it.

  11. bob on 14 Oct 2009 at 9:59 am #

    I have the Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto Verve LP from 1963, Austrud was married to Joao at the time. Her voice is amazing on this recording.

  12. Indyanna on 14 Oct 2009 at 11:30 am #

    I always liked the song but my allowance was too small for too many movies, so I never knew of this context.
    This is a nice piece of filmic archaeology. 1964 was definitely the year that the Beatles and the subsequent “British Invasion” swept aside a lot of weak American “pop” music and opened a (small) space for things like Brazillian-themed musicianship. The film itslef looks like a lagging indicator, though. Of the “guest stars” listed on the cover, the Dave Clark Five was a good if short-lived Brit. Invasion group, heavy on drums. The Animals and Standells, I think, were American adaptations to the same. The Stan Getz type of bands were among the victims of the sea change.

    Some good phenomena in American music were among the collateral damagees, including the budding sub-genre of “Girl Groups.” How might that have evolved if not for the Brit tsunami? For a nice and more recent cover of “Girl from Ipanema,” see a God Street Wine clip on YouTube, shot in Telluride, Co, I think in c. 1993. The lead singer/guitarist more recently abandoned pop life for the higher-paying prospects of an American history dissertator.

  13. Fratguy on 14 Oct 2009 at 12:08 pm #


    I think Douglas Coupland had some sort of definition for “nostalgia that was never experienced” in the side notes of “Generation X”. There was definitely reference to “instant nostalgia” as in “last week was so much cooler than now”

  14. Mother of ALL on 14 Oct 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    The part of this video which is what I relate to is the sleeveless dresses in the dead of winter. I can’s tell you the number of sleeveless wool dresses I owned in the late 50′s and early 60′s. Seems ridiculous now, but the height of fashion then.

  15. HistoryMaven on 14 Oct 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Why in the world is this scene choreographed so that she walks to and sings behind the mike, all the while singing?

    And what’s the deal with Astrud sitting at a table with one coed knitting and another in belted leotard (with hose)? What would Betty Friedan say?

    Oh, why do I try to make sense of it all? Hers is a lovely voice.

    Nor sure those are Wright-designed chairs, but they are cool.

    Jazz musicians tended to be/look older in these movies. The sort of beatnik jazz look (goatees, longer hair, etc.) start appearing about this time.

  16. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Mother of ALL: sleeveless is back, big-time, as are short and shorter-sleeved sweaters.

    HistoryMaven wrote: Oh, why do I try to make sense of it all?

    Exactly! Just relax and have fun. Maybe Mother of ALL can confirm whether or not women sat around in their underwear knitting in 1964? (Maybe they were knitting bottoms for themselves? The outdoors in that movie look too wintry to make extended underwear-sitting-around-in look too much like work.

  17. CanadaGoose on 14 Oct 2009 at 2:00 pm #

    Did you notice? The song “Get Yopurself a College Girl” is sung by Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America 1959.

  18. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    CanadaGoose–I think she’s the star of the movie!

    Where do I know her name? Was she on Love Boat a lot in the late 1970s or something?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  19. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I can answer my own question: She was on some Love Boats, but more often on Fantasy Island (which would have been my second guess), and also was a regular guest for a while on Diff’rent Strokes.

  20. Marya on 14 Oct 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t quite tell where all these women are supposed to be hanging out en masse, but the way they are enjoying themselves–with a little knitting and a little music and in mild semi-undress–seems in keeping with a longish art history tradition of the way women in harems and other all-female gatherings have been represented. The male viewer is supposed to imagine they all choose to look a bit sexy when relaxing.

  21. Mother of ALL on 14 Oct 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    I can’t recall any semi-clad knitting klatches in my day. That really looks uncomfortable!

  22. Historiann on 14 Oct 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    What? Knitting in a bathing suit in December doesn’t sound totally awesome to the rest of you? (Especially wearing nylons and shoes too, beauty-pageant style?) I’m wearing a stunning maillot with boots–it’s my typical lounge wear.

    (And, believe it or not, I’ve got the rec room panelling with dead animal heads too–for realz.)

  23. rootlesscosmo on 14 Oct 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    That chandelier looks like Sputnik.

    @ClioBluestocking: there’s a nice book about this version of postwar Modernism caled “Populuxe” (the author’s invented name for it.) Kidney-shaped swimming pools and coffee tables–for a while the coffee tables had holes in them, à la Henry Moore, except you tended to spill your drink through them which seldom happened with big bronze outdoor sculptures. There was a permanently unresolved tension between the lure of jazz-Bohemia (read: Black people) and the safety (read: no Black people) of tract home suburbia; it can be seen, in not very difficult cipher, in shows like “The Adventures of Dobie Gillis.”

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