Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jim Flora magazine illustrations, 1965

These images ran in the October 5th, 1965 issue of Look Magazine.

Jim Flora's illustrations complemented 'The Big Zoning Battle', an article about the problems of rampant real estate development in America.

(click on images to ENLARGE in a new window)

In recent years it's been nice to see more of Flora's different styles of artwork gathered together for us all to appreciate, rather than having to rely on the hope of tracking down his mid-century album cover art in used record bins, or stumbling across the occasional book or magazine illustration.

This crop of images has its charm, but it pales in comparison to the flights of imagination and fluid style exhibited in so much of his other work.

If you don't know Flora, for starters be sure to check out Jim Flora.Com and the The Jim Flora Blog!

(click on images to ENLARGE in a new window)

(click on images to ENLARGE in a new window)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Allan Melvin (1923 - 2008)

The versatile voice is silent, the immediately recognizable face is gone - - but of course his work will be with us for a long time to come.

I just heard about the passing of voice/character actor Allan Melvin.
It occurred a couple of weeks back; he was 84.

For a long time Melvin was one of those great working actors who seemed to show up everywhere - - well, providing that 'everywhere' means on TV.

The sound of his voice in old Hanna-Barbera cartoons was varied but distinctive.
'Magilla Gorilla' was one of his few 'starring' voice roles - - more often than not his versatility made him perfect to cover any number of one-off incidental characters.

Flipping around the TV dial, he'd show up in regular 'second banana' or supporting roles, but it was always amusing to see him do return appearances on sitcoms as different characters.

He could be on Andy Griffith's show as an FBI man one week, be back a different week as a criminal, appear on The Dick Van Dyke show as an old army buddy, and then be hawking 'Liquid Plumr' in the TV ads you saw during the same shows in syndicated reruns.

- See Allan Melvin's credits at IMDb

Following a stretch in the US Navy during WWII, Allan Melvin worked in sound effects at NBC radio, had a nightclub act, and was a winning entrant on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio program.

His acting debut on Broadway was in the original stage production of 'Stalag 17', which began its run in 1951.

It was this appearance that won him his
co-starring role as Sgt. Bilko's crony, Cpl. Henshaw on 'The Phil Silvers Show' in 1955.

(Corporal Barbella, Bilko's other right-hand man, played by Harvey Lembeck, was also 'drafted' from the Broadway cast of 'Stalag 17'.)

Melvin remained busy on TV for many years after that (though he only had one film appearance in his entire career).

Many guest appearances on various shows in the 1960's and '70's followed, as well as the regular and semi-regular gigs...
Sgt. Carter's rival, Sgt. Hacker on 'Gomer Pyle'...

Sam the butcher on 'The Brady Bunch'...

Archie's drinking buddy Barney Hefner on both 'All In The Family' and it's wretched '80's
spin-off, 'Archie Bunker's Place'...

... and concurrent with much of the
on-camera appearances was his voice-over work, most notably with Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters.
(Melvin was the announcer's voice on
'The Banana Splits' show, as well as the voice of Drooper!)

By the mid-1980's he was doing voice work exclusively, and had retired from show business altogether by the mid-1990's.

See also:
- Allan Melvin's obituary from
The Los Angeles Times

- A rememberance posted at Mark Evanier's News From Me. (scroll down the page)

Below: From YouTube, a Bilko Show TV clip featuring Cpl. Henshaw displaying his talent for voice impressions. ⬇

I dug through some old kiddie records and found some cuts from an oddly repackaged box set of Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters telling children's stories.

I've posted a couple of tracks from that 1970's collection below, both of them featuring Allan Melvin performing nearly all of the vocal parts.

The original albums had appeared in the 1960's, with familiar characters telling slightly warped or updated versions of fairy tales and such. This '70's collection seems to have remixed and retooled some of those recordings in an occasionally awkward (or cheap) manner.

An interesting note is the role of Yogi Bear being played on the record by *Melvin*, rather than by the customary Daws Butler.

Was Daws not available that day? Some contractual thing? Who knows.
It's interesting how close Melvin comes in his mimicry, all in the midst of rattling off other characters.

Likewise, it sounds to me like the briefly heard voice of Ogee on the Magilla cut may perhaps be voiced by Janet Waldo ('Judy Jetson') rather than Jean Vander Pyl ('Wilma Flintstone'), as heard in the cartoons.

I can't quite identify the slightly disturbing rendition of Boo-Boo Bear heard here, but they get an 'A' for the effort of catching the qualities if not the sound.

It also sounds like whoever was assembling the stock underscore music cues and sound effects was either having a bit of fun or late for lunch. (I won't comment on Yogi's mention of a 'one-eyed giant'.)

From the LP set
'Fred Flintstone Presents All-Time Favorite Children's Stories and Songs'
(196?, reissued by Columbia Special Products, 1977),
Listen to Allan Melvin performing:

Magilla Gorilla tells the story of Alice In Wonderland

(click for audio)

Yogi Bear tells the story of Jack and the Beanstalk

(click for audio)

(It looks like soundfiles of the original '60's versions of both the Magilla and Yogi tracks may be available at the Children's Records & More blog, which is where I found the cover scans.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Riondo Rum print ad (1945)

Some of the detail in this evocative image by 'Kapra' reminds me quite a bit of Mexican artist
Miguel Covarrubias, who was working during the same period.

Can anyone out there share any information with us about Kapra?

- Follow this link for another of Kapra's Riondo ad images, from 1946.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Busted 78s fRom HeLL: Red Ingle - It Ain't Never Hurt Me None So Far (circa 1946)

A previous post shared some novelty 78s that Red Ingle had recorded in the 1930's as vocalist with the Ted Weems Orchestra, prior to his stint from 1943 - 1946 with Spike Jones as one of his 'City Slickers'.

Featured in this post is one recorded almost immediately following his departure from the Spike Jones band, but just prior to the formation of his own group and the beginning of his stellar string of records made for the Capitol label from 1947 into the early fifties.

Recorded in Hollywood during this interim, his one session with
Dick Peterson and The Vocal Yokels yielded this Ingle original. ➤

See also: Red Ingle bio page at AllMusic (click to link)

Listen to:
Red Ingle, with Dick Peterson and The Vocal Yokels -
It Ain't Never Hurt Me None So Far

(Enterprise 78, circa 1946)

(click for audio)

- sigh - Funny little story about the B-side...

The demise of this particular disc is one that illustrates what I love and respect about old 78 rpm records, and likewise what I love about working with software like ProTools and SoundSoap.

Getting set to record the A-side, I heard a loud and persistent surface popping as I was setting levels.

'Rats, maybe it's got a little crack in it', I thought. 'Better take a look...'

↖ As I picked the disc up from the turntable, a big triangular chunk fell right out of it. Eeek!!

78s are a marvel, and (in my opinion) they retain more of the special magic and wonder of the *concepts* of sound recording than any medium that's followed.

Yes, they can be brittle as hell, and can carry lots of surface noise, but I'm continually amazed by the fact
(in my experience) that they so rarely skip.

- - And unlike most recording mediums, you can put them back together and they'll still play. Sometimes.

I was very pleased with the performance of the A-side of this old and broken record.

I had to put a small piece of tape on the B-side to hold the broken chunk in place, because otherwise centrifugal force was sending it careening off the turntable.

I placed the disc back on the platter, gave it a good wet clean with my old discwasher brush to sort of 'lube up' the grooves, started recording, set down the needle, and - - bless its fragile shellac heart - - the record played straight through, persistent pop and all.

A little ProTools TLC turned the most jagged ridges and chasms in the first half of the soundfile back into some shallower waves, a run through SoundSoap softened some of the surface noise without sterilizing it, and voilà - -

- - for all practical purposes, the very last play this decidedly goofy old record will receive was the one that captured a reasonable facsimile of it for some folks to enjoy beyond its lifespan.
Mission accomplished.

It would have been nice if I'd been able to get the B-side ('I Tipped My Hat And Slowly Rode Away') to cooperate as well, but no such luck.
Oh well, I'm satisfied. I wound up with a tale to tell, and anyway, the A-side was better...

UPDATE, 4.13.09: Good news! One of twindowlicker's recent Choosday Choons posts features a MASSIVE trove of archived Red Ingle 78s, including the KIA flipside of this disc (via Pappy Stuckey's collection)! Hooray!

Click over to: Choosday Choons: The Capitol Cut-ups, part 4: Red Ingle!!
at Pet's playin' her old platters, come on in!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I tried dream analysis in my Maidenform bra (1953 print ad), plus Ida Rosenthal and The American Dream

So let's see.
You dreamed of being a fireman, and you slid down a long pole.

Other fireman (with their big hoses) were waiting far below, where they could look up your skirt as you went down.

- - Nope, I'm stumped!
I see no subtext here, sorry.

Maidenform's "I dreamed..." advertising campaign began in 1949, when it was viewed as daring and risqué.

The idea came from Kitty D'Alessio when she was a young copywriter at a Manhattan ad firm, many years before she became president of Chanel Inc.

The campaign ran with great success for more than twenty years, throwing scores of half-clad women into odd 'dream' situations.

- You can view images of several other maidenform ads at a vintage ad 'marketplace' page.

- A 2005 discussion of the ad campaign at Althouse includes a link to a New York Times article, 'Dreaming of Bras for the Modern Woman'.

- See also: The Maidenform Project

The invention of the modern brassiere is usually credited to
Ida Kaganovich Rosenthal (1886 - 1973), who founded the Maidenform company in the mid-1920's with her husband.

As a teenager, she'd emigrated to the U.S. from Tsarist Russia with her fiancé William Rosenthal around 1904.
They settled in Hoboken, New Jersey, and married in 1907.

By 1918, Ida's talent as a dressmaker had gained her a partnership in an exclusive Manhattan dress shop.

Bucking the fashion trend of the era that made women look 'boyish', she designed an undergarment that would enhance the natural womanly contours of their customer's bodies.

The profits from this innovation allowed Ida to leave the dress shop and begin building the Maidenform company together with William.

The Rosenthal's partnership was fruitful. William had a talent for design and technical innovation, Ida for mass marketing.

They engineered great advancements in the intimate apparel industry, creating new designs, standardized bra sizes, and adapting mass production methods for the manufacture of lingerie.

With Ida and William at the helm, over the next four decades Maidenform was the largest privately held intimate apparel business in the United States.

See also:
- An Ida Rosenthal bio page

- "l Dreamed I Was a Tycoon in My . . ." - - A 1960 article and interview from TIME magazine

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lord Flea and his Calypsonians - Swingin' Calypsos (1957)

In the 1950's, music from the Caribbean was gaining popularity as it continued a process of cross-pollination with other musical styles while its influence spread.

The essence of Jamaican Mento music began to blur while running the risk of disappearing under the umbrella of the Trinidadian Calypso craze, but one of its prime ambassadors in the U.S. was Norman Thomas, a.k.a. Lord Flea.

Lord Flea gained increasing popularity performing with his band at nightclubs in his native Kingston, Jamaica in the early '50's, and the success continued after a move to Miami, Florida.

He was at his peak by 1957, appearing on national TV programs and in films, and releasing this album. (Likely Capitol viewed Lord Flea as their answer to RCA's Harry Belafonte.)

Band lineup:

Lord Flea - leader, singer and guitarist
Porkchops - banjo
Count Spoon - drums and spoons
Prince Charles and Lord Largie - timbali and tumba percussion
Fish Ray - washtub base

Tragically, Lord Flea was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease a couple of years later.
He died far too young in 1959, at the age of 25.

(Though some reports vary, his age has been confirmed by his daughter. See comments)

- You can read about Mento music and Lord Flea in very detailed pages at Mento Music.Com

From the 'Swingin' Calypsos' LP
(Capitol Records, 1957),
Listen to Lord Flea and his Calypsonians:

Shake Shake Sonora
Bachelor's Life
I Can't Cross Over
Out De Fire
Mister Give Me De Rent
Calypso Be Bop
Pretty Woman
Magic Composer
Naughty Little Flea

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 12 tracks in one 26.0 Mb zipfile.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 01/25/08

Speaking of things that came up this past week:

1. ⅔ of a 'Cloverfield' review...

⅔, as in how much of 'Cloverfield' I saw last Saturday night, before I was forced to stagger out of the theater with motion sickness.

I guess the 'puke factor' for this movie has become a little bit of a phenomenon, similar to reports from 'Blair Witch' crowds a few years back.

- - Don't get me wrong, I was enjoying myself just fine, although I could have done with more monster and mayhem (and perhaps explanations) and a lot less of the main characters. Such is often the case with these movies, though.

It was the motion of the handheld camerawork that drove me out.

About half-way through the flick I began feeling classic symptoms - - dizziness, nausea, clammy cold sweats.
I'd had a great dinner out before the movie (a dinner I didn't particularly care to see again), and after a further fifteen minutes or so I figured I'd better remove myself from the theater and its patrons. I wanted to try and make sure it wasn't food poisoning or some such.

Putting aside the pretty little party people and their petty problems from the beginning of the movie, I was REALLY enjoying the impressive special effects with the 'hand-held video', and the aspects of what was basically a higher-concept Godzilla movie from the ground-level perspective of a terrorized civilian. I also liked that (other than the monster) my favorite character was the cameraman you rarely see.

The most amusing part of the evening was as I came reeling out of the theater - - all pale, pit-stains, a little wobbly and trying to keep my breathing steady. There was a small group of teenagers standing together in the lobby eating popcorn. One saw me, pointed and laughed, and said "Here comes another one!"

I was already feeling better. I didn't lose dinner, but I headed to the men's room to throw some water on my face, only to discover a disaster area there. I saw the feet of three different guys sticking out from under stall doors as they were on their knees hurling, and the unfortunate evidence in several spots on the tile floor of those who hadn't made it that far.

Exiting through the multiplex lobby, I saw several unhappy ushers scurrying about with sweepers and containers and such, heading into the various rest rooms and back into the theater with flashlights. What an awful job.

Just wanted to share my own experience. Thanks for your time!
Maybe I'll be more ready for 'Cloverfield' on DVD and a small screen.

2. Suzanne Pleshette left us last week.

It was great to have her around as long as we did.

Great performer. Great timing. Great voice, and yes, VERY easy on the eyes.

Just a few photos ganked from around the web. (click on images to ENLARGE in a new window)

3. Under the twin headings of 'Everything You Know Is Wrong' and 'Giving The Artists Their Due' are the two following curious coincidences...

a) One of the ever-recurring long-traveling e-mail forwards to pop-up in my inbox this week bore the legend: "Entries for an art contest at the Hirshorn Modern Art Gallery in DC. The rule was that the artist could use only one sheet of paper."

Maybe you've seen something like the same e-mail?

Very cool! Inspirational!

It brings to mind all the wonderful results that can come from working around limitations and restrictions, and it's great to get a fresh view of the world and its possibilities through the eyes of an artist.

So looking at the e-mail, as often happens I thought 'Ooh, I'd like to post that to my blog - - where can I find more info about this stuff?'

A bit of googling revealed that this was never a contest at the 'Hirshorn' gallery, or at
the Smithsonian's *Hirshhorn* Museum and Sculpture Garden either, for that matter.

Likewise, as one would suspect, the e-mail images were all the work of one artist.

- Visit the 'A4 Papercut' gallery at Peter Callesen's website.

Take a good look around the site.
Danish artist Peter Callesen has worked in many mediums beyond paper, you'll see a variety of amazing and striking creations.

(Thanks to MC Alumnateer)

b) Another day, another compelling if unknowingly fraudulent forwarded e-mail.

This time it was Los Angeles artist
Erika Rothenberg's 1990 aluminum signboard piece 'America's Joyous Future' ➤
making the cyberspace rounds presented as something actually sighted in front of a church.

A little delving found several slightly varying images of it floating out there with different stories behind it, as well as a few more 'factual' accounts, like this article that mentions it on display at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.

Golly, but isn't the internet interesting?

Additional to the mountains of normal spam, I've grown accustomed to the 'spanner in the works' e-mails that forward around the globe warning us about some new conspiracy or governmental hijinx, asking us to sign a bogus petition. That and the cottage industry that Nigeria and other locales seem to have going in financial scams...

But the hows and whys of the details behind these artist's work morphing over time - - ?
What an odd puzzle.

I guess the 'joyous future' one is understandable, but as to the papercut stuff - - ? To what end?

Regardless, it doesn't diminish the cool-tasticness of the work!

4. Speaking of cool-tastic:

The other night I found the link to
Feed the Head and sent it to a friend's
eighth-grader who has a new e-mail account to break in.

I figured that the decepitively simple but completely addictive web toy would be a great way for him to waste his energy when he should probably be finding more constructive uses for his time.

If you've not seen it, check it out.

Click your cursor around and start exploring the head. One thing leads to another and then another, and the whimsy continues with seemingly no end.

You've been warned.

This time there, I explored the links to the equally compelling 'Acrobots' and 'Vectorpark'.

Good clean trippy fun.

There's also a link to the origin of all the sounds on those pages:

5. The Freesound Project.

What a great resource!
It's "...a collaborative database of
Creative Commons licensed sounds".

"The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps..." - - a million household uses!

Part source for scientific research, part sound effects library, and part field recording archive of ambient sound from around the world.

A most pleasant discovery to tumble onto, I aim to indulge in further investigation soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hollywood agents, Yul, Danny, and The Loved One (1964)

No great pearls of information to impart here, and not much connection between the two images - - just a couple of photos I liked from an old magazine article...

'The Men Who Rule The Stars' told of the power and influence of the top Hollywood talent agents.

The piece ran in the October 24th, 1964 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

I would have found it hard to imagine a completely casual moment passing between Danny Kaye and Yul Brynner.

Even in this shot, ⬅ with their agent Ted Ashley, it seems like hanging out with those guys might be a little tense.

Probably I'm mistaken...

Below, ⬇ even if it's an unremarkable photo, I was very pleased to see this image of a quiet moment behind the scenes on the set of one of my favorite films, 'The Loved One'.

Agent George Chasin and movie producer Martin Ransohoff look to be sitting around at
Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills as it's somewhere in the process of being dressed for a scene in the film.

If you've never seen it, 'The Loved One' from 1965 was a terribly cynical and dark comedy that followed on the heels of 'Dr. Strangelove' - - Director Tony Richardson attempting to do for the funeral business what Stanley Kubrick had previously done for the Cold War.

Billed as 'The motion picture with something to offend everyone!', screenwriters Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood adapted and expanded upon Evelyn Waugh's quiet and sly novel, turning it into "an all-out attack on Hollywood, consumerism and the hypocrisies surrounding man's fear of death".

A stellar, high-sixties cast, and achingly beautiful black & white cinematography from Haskell Wexler.

Perhaps it's not for everyone, but I think it still needs to be seen.

Stick the DVD in your queue!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Sing Along Without The Jaynetts - Instrumental Background To 'Sally, Go 'Round the Roses'" (1963)

The vocal A-side to this old 45 single reached #2 in the US record charts in 1963.

The origins of girl-group The Jaynetts goes back about ten years prior, with many changes in personnel (and the number of credited members) occurring during their recording history.

Present for the 'Sally' recording session were likely vocalists Johnnie Louise Richardson, Ethel Davis, Mary Sue Wells, Yvonne Bushnell, and Ada Ray.

A teenage Buddy Miles was the drummer.

Producer Abner Spector's odd arrangement for the song included some
proto-psyche flourishes that were unconventional for the era.

Those qualities combined with the 'jump-rope' rhymes of the lyrics to leave the song open for various interpretations, and the song has remained steeped in a curious mystique ever since.

Some of that mystique may or may not be evident on the 'gimmick' B-side instrumental version.

It's not quite a true instrumental, as you can hear some bleed-through of the vocal track in the background.
Sort of like some old
Lee 'Scratch' Perry dub remix...

I think the surface noise clinging to the slightly off-pitch grooves of this seasoned 45 only enhances the vibe, don't you?

Sure it does...

Listen to:
The Jaynetts - Sally Go 'Round the Roses (instrumental)
(Tuff Records 45, 1963)
(click for audio)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sooper Hippie, Fruitman, and Bunny's Back Pages (Harvey Comics, 1968 - '70)

- - This is Part Two of my previous post:
"She's Bunny, 'The Queen of The In Crowd!'" - 1960's 'Teen' comics from Harvey - -

Follow the link ⬆ to dig the nitty of the gritty on Bunny and her zoovy pals!

MEANWHILE, while Bunny's band of low-rent fashion followers were cavorting through their adventures in the main portion of the funnybooks, the back-up features in 'Bunny' comics were just a bit more off the beaten track.

- First up is Stanley Humbert, a.k.a. Sooper Hippie ⬇ - - A reading experience sorta kinda maybe almost like a blend of Austin Powers and Wonder Warthog, still within Harvey Comics' 'cheap knockoff' framework...

(click on links to open pages in a new window ⬇⬇)

⬅ Sooper Hippie in
'Flower People',
from issue #5 (1968)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(page 8)
(page 9)

⬅ Sooper Hippie in
'Love Beads',
from issue #7 (1969)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(page 8)
(page 9)
(page 10)
(page 11)

- Bunny's "afro-tastic" special friends The Soular System ⬇ (Marcy, Gideon, Bomby and Randolph) are a happening band that appear to be filling a musical niche somewhere between The Fifth Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone.

(See 'Bunny Orbits With The Soular System' in part one of this post.)

⬅ The Soular System in
'The New Look',
from issue #13 (1970)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(page 8)
(page 9)
(page 10)

- And then there's Fruitman... (sigh) ⬇
Proving that it's not necessarily the powers, it's the commitment - - fruit vendor Percival Pineapple fights evil-doers everywhere with his unique ability to turn into various pieces of fruit (and rattle off bad puns).

⬅ Fruitman in
'The Cruise',
from issue #16 (1970)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(page 8)

- - And finally,
the pièce de résistance:
Not a dream, not a hoax, prepare yourself for...

⬅ 'Fruitman in Israel',
from issue #13 (1970)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(page 8)
(page 9)

See also:
- Click over to The Comics Bin 'Fruitman's Vacation', a story from Bunny Comics #6.

- ADDENDUM, 2.02.09: Found another one!
Follow link to read The first appearance of Fruitman, from Bunny Comics #3.

Monday, January 21, 2008

John Stewart's passed

Musician John Stewart passed away in San Diego this past weekend, at age 68.

Before his long solo career and a string of albums, Stewart had been part of the folk music revival of the late 1950's.
From 1961 - 1967 he was a member of The Kingston Trio, replacing original member Dave Guard.

From growing up in Mill Valley, California, I have many memories of John Stewart.

I went to elementary school with his kids, and the Stewarts lived right around the corner from my family for several years.
I'll guess that it was after the divorce that Mrs. Stewart and the children moved across town.
I saw less of them afterwards.

Jeremy Stewart and I used to play together sometimes prior to that; we were in the same grade.

I remember his Dad came in to our classroom to visit and perform for us a couple of times in first or second grade.

I still remember one of those times in the classroom, being fascinated by the leather fringe on his coat and his voice that reminded me of Johnny Cash. I also remember it feeling strange that I had just seen him on TV the night before on the Smothers Brothers show (or some such).

Over the many years following you'd spot him occasionally around Mill Valley. Kinda silver-haired, maybe sporting a big 'ol cowboy hat. Just another townie. Sometimes he'd perform at The Sweetwater, the local nightclub.

I've always liked his earlier solo albums, especially the song 'Never Goin' Back', off of the
'California Bloodlines' LP from '69.

He'd pretty much fallen off my radar by the time of his small resurgence of popularity in the '80's, but in recent years it'd been nice to see him attain something of a 'venerable' status in his career.

See also:
- John Stewart's obituary from the New York Times.

- ChillyWinds.Com - The official John Stewart homepage

- From YouTube - - John Stewart with The Kingston Trio performing 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?' and 'The Early Morning Rain' on TV in 1966.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jeffries Tube - I Am A Spock (1996)

Set to the tune of
Simon & Garfunkel's 1965 hit,
'I Am A Rock', this Star Trek novelty tune got some airplay on college radio stations and elsewhere, beginning in 1996.

Recorded in the SF bay area, the disc's insert notes identify Jeffries Tube as being Phil Brotherton and Todd Lookinland (former child actor - - and yes, brother of Mike 'Bobby Brady' Lookinland).

Some googling reveals that both of them have worked in film as model makers and visual effects artists.

It looks as though possibly they may have met when they were both working on Tim Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'.

Listen to:
Jeffries Tube - I Am A Spock
(Frenchy The Record cd-single, 1996)
(click for audio)

See also: Filk music

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter at his record changer in 1964

Yes, the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's path from boxer to prison convict to advocate for the Wrongly Convicted is a fascinating saga, but uh, really I just liked this old photo of him spinning tunes.

This photo ran in the October 24th, 1964 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, in an article about the upcoming championship boxing match in which Carter was the contender for Joey Giardello's middleweight title.

Carter lost the match that December. It was just a couple of years later that he received the first of his two convictions for three 1966 murders. Those convictions were finally overturned in 1985, after Carter had spent almost twenty years in prison.

Friday, January 18, 2008

78s fRom HeLL: Raymond Scott and his Orchestra on MGM in 1947 & 1948

Bandleader, composer and inventor Raymond Scott had risen to prominence and acclaim by the late 1930's, and remained busy for decades.

Following World War II he left radio and toured the US with a new line-up in his orchestra.

In the course of just the next few years he would compose scores for films and Broadway shows, establish Manhattan Research, his electronics corporation, and patent a couple of 'electro-mechanical music inventions'.

By 1947, when the first of these 78s was released, Scott had a new nationally broadcast radio show, and had embarked on another tour with yet another new orchestra line-up.

Listen to:
Raymond Scott and his Orchestra -
Tired Teddy Bear

(MGM 78, 1947)

(click for audio)

This MGM recording of 'Huckleberry Duck' was a new version of one he'd done with his
'New Orchestra' on Columbia back in 1940.
The melody was among the Scott repertoire that had been adapted for inclusion in various Warner Bros. cartoons.

Listen to:
Raymond Scott and his Orchestra - Huckleberry Duck
(MGM 78, 1947)

(click for audio)

Listen to:
Raymond Scott and his Orchestra -

(MGM 78, 1948)

(click for audio)

1948 and '49 would find Scott composing more scores and inventing more 'gadgets', including his first electronic music synthesizer.
He also established his own label,
Master Records, and formed his 3rd incarnation of the Raymond Scott Quintette.

By the end of '49, he became the bandleader on CBS' 'Your Hit Parade' program, a position which would soon take him from radio to television heading into the 1950's.

(Bio information via the Scott 'timeline' at The Official Raymond Scott Website.)

- See also: This and all my previous Raymond Scott posts gathered together on one page.

Freshly-stirred links