“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.
Berry’s semi-autobiographical “Johnny B. Goode” was released on March 31, 1958 — sixty years ago tomorrow, coincidentally — and was the very first “rock song about the glory of being a rock star.”
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.
Here’s Chuck playing the song live:
In 1977, the song was considered culturally significant enough to be included on Voyager spacecraft’s golden phonograph record. A few years later, it was featured in a key scene in the film Back to the Future (1985).
So how did the character in the song come to have the name Johnny B. Goode?
The first name came from pianist and longtime Berry collaborator Johnnie Johnson (“one of the unsung heroes of rock and roll”). The surname came from Chuck Berry’s childhood address (2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis).
The song “Johnny B. Goode” didn’t have an effect on the baby name Johnny, but then again it didn’t need to — the name was within the top 100 all the way from the early 1930s until the late 1970s.
So thank you to everyone who participated in the name-song tournament this year! If anyone has any fun ideas for a future name-related tournament (cartoon characters, weird place-names, etc.) please let me know.
Elvis has left the building! The one Elvis song in this tournament — “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” — didn’t not survive the Sweet 16 round. But a couple of lesser known songs have made it to the Elite 8: “Eddie My Love” by one-hit wonders The Teen Queens and “Ride on Josephine” by Bo Diddley. Will they be able to hang on?
Over the next three days, we’ll narrow it down to the 4 top contenders. Here are the match-ups: