The Ritz Brothers, Charles Atlas Did it For Me (1942)

Part of the 1942 movie ‘Behind the Eight Ball’, the above song is not strictly about health and fitness. Sung by the Ritz Brothers, Al, Jimmy and Harry, ‘Charles Atlas did it for Me’ is a funny and interesting incidence of how physical culture was viewed in wartime America.

Eulogising the system of Charles Atlas, the song goes through stereotypical strongman exercises like ripping phone books in two, bending iron bars and sitting on a bed of nails. Is the song insinuating something about the type of men likely to use these courses? I’ll leave that up to you!

As always…Happy Lifting!

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