It’s hard not to look up to somebody who spends their whole life up on a stage. Putting the literal meaning of that statement aside, let’s talk about
the men who give us a framework for how to be men ourselves in terms of style, appearance, and personality.
It’s no secret that entertainers are quite possibly the cornerstone of American pop culture. Those who live their lives in the limelight form archetypes in our minds in their own image. After all, when a person makes entertainment their trade, it means that they specialize in creating our most impressionable moments. You might not remember your first teacher’s name or your current best friend’s favorite color 10 years from now, but you’ll never forget the people who help you escape to a different world that your own.
Few mediums provide this kind of escape and catharsis better than song. Films give us a story to dive into, and actors provide a character to relate to or despise, but a great song can make you transcend yourself, and a great singer can look like a saint or an angel when standing behind a microphone.
It’s funny how an art form that’s primarily focused on sound can produce such visually iconic styles, looks, and characters. Let’s talk about a few.
The King earned his royal title for a reason. After luring listeners in with his achingly soulful voice, he’d keep their attention with his ever-so-scandalous gyrating hips and smoldering stare. While his early look might be considered restrained by the modern standards, Elvis broke out onto the national scene as an unabashed heartthrob who appealed to the flourishing hormones of millions of American teenagers. His signature pompadour has an obvious influence on modern looks like the undercut and now even the “Mr Robot.”
Even his style later in life, with the over-the-top sequins, tight pants, and flared sleeves, is highly imitated to this day. It may not exactly be a “timeless” look like his youthfully wild hair and humble garments from the early days, but Elvis’ second incarnation is securely fastened into the heart of Americana.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Part of the famous (or infamous) “Rat Pack,” Sammy Davis Jr. was the consummate professional entertainer. He could sing, he could act, and his footwork as a dancer made him a triple threat. If you’ve never seen footage of Sammy Davis Jr. on stage, doing his thing, be grateful that the internet age provides a record of the man’s brilliance. He and the other singers, actors, and dancers who made up the Rat Pack are a documented symbol of the exact cultural phenomenon that Crewners seeks to emulate. Sammy and his friends were, and still are, visual representations of masculinity in refined, welcomingly entertaining fashion. There’s just something about the suits, the walk, and the overall image of Sammy Davis Jr. that screams of humble elegance and kind familiarity.
His smile was truly epic. Seeming to flex every last muscle in his face, Sammy’s lips would spread, revealing two bright rows of teeth that lit up a room and reflected off of the performer’s glistening eyes. Even though styles have changed, and dancing singers entertain in a different way, the influence of Sammy’s bold voice, impeccable taps, and unending charm on today’s entertainers is undeniable.
In many ways, Tom Waits represents the epitomizing look of Rock n’ Roll and Americana. The whiskey-drinking, smoke-blowing singer and songwriter is known for his hard-as-rock, gravelly voice and outlandish appearances on late night television. While his singing style is a bit of an acquired taste (calling him a crooner is more than a bit of a stretch), he’s admired in the United States and abroad for his poetry, lyricism, and rogue identity.
Waits was never exactly a fashion trendsetter, but instead more of a quintessential folk icon. He doesn’t exactly get a lot of style points for his hairstyle, but he does make up for it with the casual way that he expertly rocks a fedora. Millions of awkward young men with acoustic guitars owe their entire look to him. Seriously, google “White guy acoustic guitar fedora.” Yeah, there’s a picture of Tom Waits in there.
This is just a teeny tiny sampling of the iconic images men have created for themselves in the music business. Are you an Elvis, a Sammy, or a Tom? Or, are you none of the above? Do you have a style that’s all your own? Chances are, no matter how original your style is, that you’re taking influence from somewhere.
Crewners is dedicated to giving you a look that will influence others. Whether you want to take style elements from a pop icon or come up with something entirely unique, we have the professional barbers and expertise to get it done right. Schedule an appointment online with us or stop by for top-of-the-line hair and shaving products. Thirty minutes with Crewners means a half hour to yourself, immersed in the vintage-influenced, recently renovated and relaxing atmosphere of our downtown San Jose shop. Come in to become an icon in your own world.