I think Tiny Tim would have liked these guys.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Kojak series had a pretty good run - five years. The show went over big in Brazil. Savalas remained such a big star in Brazil, that the name "Kojak" became Brazilian slang for "Brave Man" through out the 70's and 80's.
Personally, I like to use the term John Wayne when I am referring to someone as being brave - such as - "That was so very John Wayne of you to come out of the closet like that Antwan!"
Kojak wasn't my favorite character of Telly's. I liked him in his sick-o role in movie The Dirty Dozen as well as his character in Battle Of The Bulge.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Lots of curves you bet - even more when you get to the junction
Petticoat Junction (1963-1970)
I used to like this show. It was about this widow, Kate Bradley, who ran a place called The Shady Rest Hotel down by the train tracks in Hooterville. The proprietor had three daughters - hence "the more (curves that is) when you get to the junction.
If you ever drove out to Hooterville - you'd see a lot of familiar faces you've seen on other television shows. Jed Clampett came from Bugtussle - a neighboring community of Hooterville. As you know Jed and his ken moved away from the area when he struck oil (Texas Tea) and moved to Beverly (Hills that is). Green Acres was in the same county as well. Mr. Sam Drucker owned a general store and was a postmaster that serviced both fictional TV communities. Mr. Haney, a traveling salesman of sorts, also showed up in both fictional communities.
By the way, I figured out why they called that town Hooterville - because of all those girls swimming in the water tank.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
An interesting tidbit of information I discovered at Wikipedia is that Lamar Hunt, founder of the American Football League, coined the term Super Bowl after watching his children playing with a Super Ball. I never knew that.
Like most popular toys produced by Wham-O, it's got it's dark side. So remember kids, if it doesn't say Wham-O, it might not kill you! You see, about the only way you can purchase a Super Ball these days is in those gumball machines. You know the ones I'm talking about. You put your change in and get a prize instead of candy. Well, Super Balls these days look a lot like gum balls and have been mistaken for gumballs. Most of them are about the same size and come in lots of pretty colors. Kids have been known to choke on this toy thinking it was candy.
Dangerous toy or not - the Super Ball ranks SUPER in my book (if I had a book).
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I remember going to birthday parties at the skating rink when I was a kid. If you were a birthday boy and invited a bunch of your friends over, you got a lot of the same things. You'd get Matchbox Cars, Slinky's, Super Balls, Silly Putty, or Frisbees. All of these toys were relatively new on the market and very much appreciated. It didn't matter if you got 4 Super Balls, and 6 eggs of Silly Putty, and 2 Match Box Cars - it was all Neat-O!
Most of you know that I liked guns, G.I. Joes, little green army men, and authentic army surplus. I did play with Matchbox Cars. I remember when Hot Wheels came out. Hot Wheels then became the desired gift for birthday boys. Hot Wheels had wheels that rolled better and the cars seemed flashier and racier. So do you remember when Match Box cars came in little cardboard boxes made to resemble matchboxes? It's kind of funny. If you are ever in a toy department at Walmart - check out the Hot Wheel and Matchbox section. You'll always find a couple of grown men checking them out. Sure, you're buying them for your kid....suuuure.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Ted Cassidy, yet another popular 1960's television personality milking TV fame for what's it's worth. Lurch, for those of you who might not know, was a character off THE ADDAMS FAMILY. The show was based off a popular cartoon panel of THE NEW YORKER, drawn by none other than Charles Addams. You can drop by www.charlesaddams.com and check out some of his work. The television show (and movies) are all based on the cartoons - his cartoon panels are just as brilliant as they are macbre. The Gadsden Public Library used to have a hard bound collection of Addams work. I remember Brook checking it out and introducing me to his work. I loved that creepy humor. The television show that followed was entertaining, more so than the other popular monster sitcom of that day - THE MUNSTERS. Both shows had their own unique appeal.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
When I was a kid, my favorite toy was the G.I. Joe 5 Star Combat Jeep. I wanted that thing so bad that I asked Santa 3 years straight for it before I actually got one. I would get everything else G.I. Joe from Christmas to Christmas - but no Jeep. I remember getting a G.I. Joe Space Capsule one Christmas. It was pretty cool but I couldn't really fight Nazi's with it...that is unless I pretended my G.I. Joes maneuvered themselves into The Twilight Zone. Capt. Roger Blastoff, NASA astronaut finds his ship being pulled into a strange black hole...only to exit and re-enter Earth's atmosphere during World War 2! Yes, I did that kind of imagineering. What I wanted and hoped for was a G.I. Joe 5 Star Freaking Combat Jeep! I preferred my pretend warfare to be a bit more realistic - this side of The Twilight Zone.
I love those old Willis jeeps. I don't know why - maybe it's because I was weaned shows like Combat!, Gallant Men, and Twelve O'clock High. Anytime a war movie came on television, I was there in front of the screen with my surplus helmet on - ready for business.
Friday, February 20, 2009
These models were too cool for a little brother to just keep his grubby little mits off. I remember getting a little carried away with one of Brook's airplane models after seeing the movie 633 Squadron. I was humming the theme to the movie as the plane dropped it's bomb but couldn't pull out in time to miss our bedroom door frame. Brook wasn't too thrilled about the loss. I think I also took out a PT boat or two too.
To this day there is still a model that I'd like to put together. I noticed several months ago while at Hobby Lobby that there was a nice looking B-17 Flying Fortress kit there. I didn't get it at the time because I've got too much cool stuff already as it is. I think there is a big kid in me. I think there is still a big kid in most men - willing to spend a Saturday afternoon with a scale model kit.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Chuck Conners was most known for his show The Rifleman(1958-63). I remember watching Branded (1965-66) after Rifleman went off the air. Branded was about a U.S. Calvary captain who was quite literally drummed out of the military because he was falsely accused of cowardice. Chuck's character roamed out into the Old West donning his broken saber and defending his manhood. "...they said he ran away - not a word of it was true." Gee whiz, if only all those people trying to challenge him would have just listened to the theme song - they'd know he wasn't a coward!
Branded wasn't as good as The Rifleman, but I liked ol' Chuck. I remember the show being in black, but it was that time in the mid-sixties when television was changing into color. Everything was IN COLOR or IN LIVING COLOR!
I remember Chuck Conner's later playing a bad guy in a movie. I don't recall the movie, but it was so odd seeing him play an evil character.
Back when I was in elementary school - the boys had different words for the Branded theme song.
on the toilet bowl
what do you do when you're stranded
and you don't have a roll
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Back in 1986, Michael Mann produced a television series called Crime Story. Personally I thought it a better show than his Miami Vice. Crime Story was a precursor to the television show The Sopranos. If you liked the the movie Casino or Wiseguys you'd enjoy this old series. Mann resurrected Del Shannon's song RUNAWAY as the Crime Story theme song. I was at my apartment on Bufford Hwy in Atlanta at the time. I was passing the television as the song kicked in. The revised version of Shannon's song blew me away. Listening to it today - this version still pack a punch.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We also had a nice flat area where we played a lot of baseball. That's where you'd find dad out there playing with his children, as well as any kid passing by. Dad would sit on a stool and handle a bat with one arm. He'd hit some and let one of the little ones be his legs to run the bases. Thinking about it takes me back to one of those sunny Sunday afternoons. It's now a long time ago.
What ever happened to the neighborhood? Nobody knows one another like they used to. Not as many kids. Maybe most of them have been aborted or something. Where are all the children? If Katie wants to play outside - she goes outside and plays on her swing set. Katie and Kelsey often play with each other - but they don't have anyone in the neighborhood their own age to play. Then again, I don't like the idea of seeing my twelve year old walking down the block and turning the corner from my sight. It's not the same world today. I miss what we once had. I wish that my kids had what we had as kids.
Monday, February 16, 2009
The photo below is a picture taken years later from across the street (Pinewood). That looks like Irene and I guess that's me walking away from the camera. I see my Aunt Jennie Llew Guyton's stationwagon parked in the drive. So I am sure Pat's little house was full of Finlaysons - H.W. Finlayson family, Rutha Dyal, Murdock Finlayson, Florrence Finlayson, Jennie Llew and of course Pat. I can assure you that no one had a bed to themselves during that visit!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Most of you know that both Ozzy and Harriet got their start in show business via the music business. Ozzy used to conduct a swing band and his wife Harriet fronted the orchestra with her vocals. Ozzy and Harriet went from stage, to radio, to television, eventually bringing their kids into the act. I liked the show because it had a relaxed realness to the characters. They were after all a real family in front of the camera - even if they were acting from a script - each of their performance was laid-back and natural.
Ricky Nelson took a plunge into music that his Dad offered as much encouragement and support. Unlike a lot of television to music crossover attempts - Ricky Nelson had a real talent for not only singing but writing top hits. Ozzy encouraged his son to place his crooning ballads on the front side of his 45 releases and then the faster rock-n-roll numbers on back. Many times Ricky's A & B sides were hit the top 100.
Rick died on New Years Eve, 1985 in DeKalb, TX.. after a gig just in Guntersville, AL due to electrical problems. The pilot tried to land the plane in a field but the cabin was filled with smoke. One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits ever was when Rick Nelson hosted back in the late seventies. It was a faux Twilight Zone episode where Ricky Nelson (playing himself) trying to get back home. He'd always find himself in other television homes of that day (Father's Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, etc.) It was funny stuff. Again, I like a guy that doesn't mind poking fun at himself.
Rick Nelson was a great talent - and I'll never get enough of him. I know if he were still around - he'd still be writing and singing.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
There were a lot of television personalities back in the sixties that tried to cross over into music stardom. Burt Ward who played Robin in the old BATMAN television series was one of those weak attempts. Frank Zappa scored the music to this terrible song. Frank Zappa pieced together actual fan mail to Ward to write the lyrics for BOY WONDER I LOVE YOU. The only problem is that this Robin couldn't sing. Not a chirp! That's why this song is narrated rather than sung. This song is just as bad as Leonard Nemoy's BILBO BAGGINS that I posted last year.
Did you know that Burt Ward had a black belt in Karate? That being the case, it seems that he should have brought a little more realism to all those fight scenes. Poor Burt was injured countless times while shooting BATMAN. Adam West's costume concealed enough of the Batman that he could have a stunt man during the action sequences. Burt Ward on the other hand, couldn't use a stunt man because so much of his face was recognizable. He had to do most of his own stunts.
Burt passed up the role that was later given to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. He opted to sign back on to another season of Batman. He wasn't paid that much for doing the show and found himself financially hard up not long after the show ended. So hard up - I guess is why he ended up taking on roles in soft porn in the years to follow.
By the way, you don't have to suffer through the entire song. I wouldn't expect that from you.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I remember loving this show when I was in elementary school. I remember mom buying me the coloring book based on the television show. I not only colored the pages but learned to draw the Batman character by referencing the coloring book - not the comic book. Funny thing is I don't recall ever purchasing a Batman comic book as a kid. I spent my hard earned money on war comics.
Batman is campy-campy-campy. I once had an 8 x 10 glossy photograph of the Batmobile. I wish that I still had it. My dad used to do the layouts for Green Valley Raceway (Glencoe) when Dr. Charles Jordan had it. The Batmobile as well as the Green Hornet car, and the dragsters from The Munsters made and appearance at Green Valley through out the sixties. I had photographs of all of them. I gave most of them away to kids in my class room. What a generous idiot I am.
The great thing about the old show is that it had great actors playing the roles of the villains. Cesar Romero / The Joker, Burgess Meredith / The Penguin, Frank Gorshin / The Riddler, Vincent Price / Egghead, Mr. Freeze was played by three actors during it's short three season run. George Sanders, Otto Preminger, and Eli Wallach.
Adam West who played Batman is still pretty active. He is currently doing the voice for a character in the animated television show The Family Guy. He's actually doing the voice of himself as Mayor of Quahog - Adam West. It's nice to see an actor not taking himself too serious.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Mike Myers's Austin Powers has nothing on James Coburn's OUR MAN FLINT. If you ever get to see a Flint movie - you'll know where Myer's got the idea for his groovy-baby spy spoof flicks. The advent of Ian Flemming's James Bond franchise in the early sixties brought on a wave of spy movies and spy television shows. Flint wasn't as good as Bond - but I don't think that was the original intent. I believe Flint was meant to be an hip, funny, with plenty of action. Watching the movies for the first time in the seventies, I remember how mod and campy they were even by that time.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I am a late night person. Do you want to know why I am a late night person? I am a late night person because somewhere inside my brain - I don't want to miss out on anything. I can remember the exact evening it all happened. I was in grade school and it was a week night. I had to be in bed and couldn't get up to see what was going on across the hall. I tried to beg but was told to stay in bed while Dad, Mom, and Brooky were in the other room laughing their heads off at the movie Dr. StrangeLove. "Please let me see what you are all laughing at - please let me watch too!" The laughter continued and roared as Slim Pickens made his grand exit. YAAAAH-HOOOOOO!
If you haven't watched the movie yet, you better stop this YouTube video before it spoils the ending for you.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray starred in MEN IN WAR. Both men gave a moving performance. Vic Morrow of COMBAT! played a young soldier in this movie. MEN IN WAR always reminded me of the television show COMBAT!, not because of Morrow’s presence, but because it was about a platoon behind enemy lines - the relationships between soldiers. Then again, there were a lot of movies made about a platoon behind enemy lines. MEN IN WAR is among the best of them. It has more depth than most war movies, it got under the skin and in the skull of a soldier. The film offered more than a movie about war - in was about men in war.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I remember buying the big red wax lips but never ate them. As a kid, I bought them for looks. Women today should buy these instead of having to keep applying lipstick though out the day. Their lips would look red, shiny and plump all the time. Wax lips are cheaper than buying lipstick. The big bonus for the guy is that women would have to keep their mouths shut to in order to maintain that sexy look they would have going on. I say it's a winner all around. It sure would beat lip injections. Warning: Do not try to put these in your pocket to enjoy later. Wax candies have a tendency to take on all the lint in your trouser pockets and do not retain it's shape in there. Do not leave them in your trouser pockets when it's wash day. The dryer does strange things to wax candies in a pocket. No big lose - because I didn't like the flavor of wax candies. I'd just as soon eat a candle.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Funny thing, I wasn't a fan of elvis until the mid-eighties. I had heard Elvis' music and seen all of his movies through out my childhood. I just didn't think much of him. I guess I just couldn't get past the teens swooning, and the formulaic movies, and those crazy costumes through out the seventies.
One night I was working at Eckerd drugs and MTV was playing Elvis' 68 Comeback Special. My mouth dropped. I had never seen the special - never heard of it's existence. It was the first time I had ever seen and heard Elvis like this. I became a late fan of his. Before the Comeback Special, Elvis Presley was just a strange character - but that night I saw his energy and talent shine. This is Elvis at his best.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Candy cigarettes come to mind. I don't recall mom or dad having a problem with any of their kids enjoying a pack of candy cigarettes. There were the bubble gum variety that you'd have to unroll from the paper wrapping to get to the gum. The ones I remember the most were semi-sweet and chalky. These cigarettes I remember were packaged with real cigarette names. My preferred brand was LUCKY STRIKE. They weren't the best tasting candy, but I like most kids, thought I looked grown-up and cool. If I really wanted to look cool, I'd roll the cigarette box up in my t-shirt sleeve. Sometimes after playing army - it would be good to calm shattered nerves with a good smoke.
It was a different time, wasn't it? Kids pretend smoking like the grown-ups they saw on television. If cigarettes were good enough for John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Clark Gable, they were good enough for me. Parents didn't seem to mind, not about the faux fags, let alone the second hand candy cigarette smoke.