Episode Air Date: August 17, 2016
Artist: Dexter Gordon
Alright, excuse us for a bit of poetic license. The swimsuit had more to do with atomic bombs than rockets.
The Bikini Atoll is a small island chain in the South Pacific. In July of 1946 it served as an atomic test site, and the symbol of a dawning age. The awesome and terrifying display of power had been implanted in the social consciousness…extending even to the fashion world. That summer, two different two-pieces hit French beaches. Jacques Heim named his the “Atome”, (French word for atom, the smallest-known particle of matter) He proclaimed it “the smallest bathing suit in the world.” But only weeks later, Louis Reard introduced his own, billing it “smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world.” And since he had “split the Atome”, he went with the catchy-sounding “Bikini”. You’ve been listening to Dexter Gordon with “Bikini Blues”. There’s a great story behind the song’s name…find out more at soundbeat.org