The Archives’ Blog



Frank Sinatra and the Bobby Soxers: The 1940s, Sexuality, and Song
March 4th, 2015 12:59 pm

      They were called bobby-soxers, his young fans, named after the rolled-down hosiery that peeped above their saddle shoes. Their fanatical behavior is familiar to us now, ensconced as we are within an intense celebrity culture. But in October 1944, outsiders did not understand why girls were in line outside of the Paramount Theatre at 3:00 am, hours and hours before the box office opened, in defiance of New York City’s juvenile curfew, to hear a common-looking balladeer sing a commonplace love song like “All or Nothing at All.” Theater ushers were not trained to handle the girls who swooned inside or outside the theater—some from anticipation and excitement, and some from among the cohort of fans who were mentally prepared to sit through all six of the day’s scheduled performances, but who had neglected to pack their lunches. The city police force couldn’t predict that a crowd of 30,000 outside of the theater would overwhelm its hundreds of police officers, when, after the day’s first show, all but 250 of the 3,600 ticketholders refused to leave their seats—as was their privilege, according to theater’s custom—causing those waiting in line to riot in frustration. Who could have predicted that a throng of girls would smash windows, trample passersby, and even, according to one report, overturn a car?

Amy Greene and a fellow Bobby Soxer were both at Sinatra's Famed Paramount Theater Show.

Sitting with Nancy Sinatra, Amy tells a gentleman that she is one of the few Bobby Soxers left.
     In the highly restrictive prevailing sexual mores of the 1940s, girls’ options for exploring their sexuality were severely limited. Through movies, radio shows, and popular novels, girls were taught that sexual intercourse was for marriage only. Their own magazine,Seventeen, instructed girls to be extraordinarily careful about the liberties they allowed their dates to take; the magazine advised against necking and petting—and anything further down the line was definitely out of the question. Discouraged from loving in private, teenage girls did love in public—they loved their Frankie, fiercely, unashamedly, loudly. They made a spectacle out of themselves, they made a star out of Frank Sinatra, and they made a social space into which generations of girls following would continue to scream and faint.
Milton's Birthday Sale
March 3rd, 2015 1:35 pm

On March 14th, Milton H. Greene would have been 93 years old. In honor of Milton's Birthday, from March 2nd - 15th, The Archives are offering all prints from our "Portraits of an Era" collection for 30% off. In addition, everyone who purchases a "Portraits of an Era" print will also receive "Coney Island Boardwalk" Art Print from Milton's Personal collection. Taken in 1938 when Milton was 16 years old, the black and white photo features a foggy, ethereal image of a boardwalk in Coney Island.

Paris Fashion Week Story: Nelly Nyad
March 2nd, 2015 3:09 pm
French Model Nelly Nyad taken in New York City, 1952 by Milton H. Greene

Paris Fashion Week starts Wednesday, March 4th. In honor of Fashion Week, below is an excerpt about French model Nelly Nyad's relationship with Milton H. Greene from But That's Another Story by Amy & Joshua Greene. 

"The Paris Collections was the topic of conversations everywhere I went in New York. Milt did this. David did that. Joey is crazy. Sally can't keep them under lock and key. Milton had fallen madly in love with a French model, Nelly Nyad. Her lover, a very rich and powerful duke, however, was threatening to shoot Milton and not with a camera. So the entire operation was moved From Paris to Madrid under the cloak of darkness. The pictures were beautiful. Milton was the King of his world.

Destiny, though threw a curve. The House of Balenciaga and the House of Givenchy were all in one mansion. Milton was using the back stairs to get from one floor to the other. He was going up and Nelly Nyad was coming down. They bumped into each other, their eyes met, and they were instantly attracted. Milton tracked her down, asked her to dinner. She said yes and the love affair began. 

Nelly Nyad came to New York to visit. Milton put her up in a suite at the old Savoy Plaza Hotel, which is now the General Motors Building. The lovers were united just like in the romance novels and everything was swell."

          Excerpted from But That's Another Story, by Amy & Joshua Greene. Published by powerHouse Books.

Paris Fashion Week Sale
March 2nd, 2015 1:59 pm

It's time for Paris Fashion Week! From March 4th - 11th, fashion's power players will gather at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris for the seasons most influential fashion show. Milton H. Greene helped revolutionize fashion photography and The Archives are celebrating by offering 50% off of all Fashion Classic Art Prints. Now through March 15th, all Fashion Classic Art Prints are on sale for $24.97.



Vote for your favorite 3x14 Contest Entry!
March 1st, 2015 5:57 pm
Vote for your favorite video here. The contest ends on March 14th!