Page 26. " he always picked out some song that's hard to whistle even if you're a good whistler, like 'Song of India' or 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.' "

"The Song of the Indian Guest" (from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Sadko), was popularized as "Song of India" by Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra.  

Listen on Spotify:

The Song of the Indian Guest by Rimsky-Korsakov

Song of India by Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra



"Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" is a ballet within a musical comedy, Richard Rodgers' On Your Toes.  Choreographed by George Ballanchine, the ballet describes the story of a dancer who falls for a dance hall girl, only to see her shot and killed by her jealous boyfriend, who he in turn shoots and kills.  This rendition by James Last & his Orchestra is 70s psychedelic. The suits, the hair, my god.


Listen on Spotify: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Page 28. " It's the opening night of the Ziegfeld Follies "
Ziegfeld Girl
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeZiegfeld Girl - Credit: adamgn

Music and comedy revues developed by Florenz Ziegfeld, featuring lots and lots of beautiful women wearing very little.  Amidst the comedy and the singing.  

This article notes how Ziegfeld ruthlessly exploited women, but at least he wasn't a racist.  Thank god for that!

Page 30. " Old Stradlater was putting Vitalis on his hair. "

Vitalis.  Men's hair care product. "Life for hair."  Still going strong.  "Our exclusive 360 degree Surround Technology  surrounds and strengthens every strand for lasting benefits."  Bring on the babes!

Page 43. " Stradlater kept taking these shadow punches down at my shoulder. "

Shadow boxing is a training method for combat sports, mainly boxing, where one person throws punches to practice timing and form.  Often used by brothers to annoy sisters, with the punches falling just short of contact.  

Shadow box
GNU Free Documentation LicenseShadow box - Credit: Alain Delmas
Page 48. " He was a Canasta fiend. "

Extremely popular card game in the U.S. in the 1950s, rivaling Bridge.  Originated in Uruguay in 1939. 

Give it a try.