Ginchier than thou

As the 1950s faded into the 1960s, Warner Bros. was messing around with the concept of synergy: they’d hired actress Connie Stevens for their TV series Hawaiian Eye, but they figured they could get even more mileage out of her at their nascent record company. Accordingly, they paired her up with then-cult hero Edd “Kookie” Byrnes from WB’s 77 Sunset Strip, with the following results:

Never was quite sure what Kookie meant by “You’re the ginchiest,” but surely Connie had no shortage of ginch:

Connie Stevens in what may be fake fur

The next year, Stevens got a solo hit — #3 in Billboard, one notch higher than the Kookie track — with the teen-dream ballad “Sixteen Reasons.”

Connie Stevens ages well

She would continue to score low-charting items through 1965, but her best record might have been “Keep Growing Strong,” which failed to catch fire in 1970:

Producer/cowriter Thom Bell, however, knew this song could be a hit, and a couple of years later it would be, with an established soul group and a new title.

3 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    10 November 2015 · 7:15 am

    Someone once claimed to me that “ginchy” was a back-formation using one syllable taken from a common anatomical term for part of the female reproductive anatomy, but I wonder now if they were lying to me, seeing as Kookie was apparently able to get it past the censors.

    (Also I have never been able to definitively verify the claim I have heard about the origin of “dork.”)

  2. Roger Green »

    10 November 2015 · 10:09 am

    by golly, WOW!

  3. McGehee »

    10 November 2015 · 10:16 am

    When I was a kid, “dork” meant what “nerd” had meant the decade before, and what “dweeb” and “denier” have meant since.

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