My song today is ‘High Heel Sneakers’ (often also spelled "Hi-Heel Sneakers"). This is a blues song that was written and recorded by Tommy Tucker in 1963. Tommy Tucker's original recording reached Number 1 on the ‘Cash Box R&B Locations Chart’ and Number 11 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. In 2017, the song was inducted into the Blues Foundation ‘Blues Hall of Fame as a ‘classic of blues recording’.
Numerous musicians have recorded ‘High Heel Sneakers’ such as Johnny Rivers: Elvis Presley: Chuck Berry: Jerry Lee Lewis and Davis Cassidy to name but a few.
As a female fashion item, the popularity of stiletto heels changed radically between the 1960-80s. After an initial wave of popularity in the 1950s, they reached their most refined shape in the early 1960s, when the toes of the shoes which bore them became as slender and elongated as the stiletto heels themselves. It would be the 1980s however before the height of some stiletto heels could graduate to a pointed base six inches away from the shoe’s under-sole. For the women wearing them, it must have seemed like high-wire-walking on a pair of daggers! God only knows how any woman could walk in comfort and safety, and not topple, fall down and break a leg in the process.
The one sure thing that can be said about high-heeled stilettos is that women did not wear them for comfort or safety, but instead, they used this footwear of female fashion as a means of male enticement, to enhance the visual excitement and sexual pleasure of men, as well as carrying a legal form of a deadly weapon, in the event of needing protection. The discomfort that some women were prepared to go to in order to attract the male eye.
I worked as a Probation Officer between 1971 and 1995. During that time, I came across many women who had seriously maimed a man or another woman by various means. In some instances, the women concerned had been pushed too far and had snapped in violent response, but many were women who could not control their excess aggression and who lashed out at a man or a woman during an argument on a night out. Such physical assaults were usually the result of an insulting comment, even a side-ways look between two women, or jealousy. Most physical assaults were committed under the influence of alcohol. Some assaults are too gory to describe, and the instruments of assault varied from a glass, a knife, a chair, a hair spray, etc. However, during the 1980s, the most common form of female weapon chosen to inflict physical bodily harm upon another (especially on alcohol-fuelled Saturday nights) was the heel of a stiletto shoe. In all instances, it was potentially deadly, especially if stuck in the head of another!
Love and peace