Tuesday, June 30, 2009

blue jays

Justin Hayward and John Lodge (of Moody Blues) came out with 'Blue Jays' album back in 1975. It was wonderful ride and one of my favorite albums of that time. This album wasn't intended to be Jesus Music - but I listened to it as such. There was a local band at the time that I've mentioned from time to time, PSALM, that was a Christian group in the area (from Centre, AL). They had the same ethereal quality to their music. Barry Goss and Arnie Sanford mingled their voices like Justin Hayward and John Lodge. I wished that they had recorded.

'Blue Jays', like most of the Moody Blues music, was a rock band with a large sound - a vast orchestral sound scape. I used to put the head phones on as a teenager and simply fall into this album. When the last song played out - I would flip it back over to Side A and fall all over again.

This YouTube video is "Blue Guitar' which wasn't on the original 'Blue Jays' album - but added as a bonus track when the CD version was releases in 1987. Blue guitar....hmmmm. Maybe it was Jesus Music after all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

memories are made of this

Gale Storm (television's 'My Little Margie') passed away today. Nice voice.

old byrds

This is nice.

packaged in 1967 - still fresh!

'Nights in White Satin' is timeless. This Moody Blues song hasn't aged a bit since it was first sung. It possesses very full and ethereal sound. The footage is interesting to watch, because it's so dated, yet the song hasn't aged a bit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Top Secret

This one is for Jose' and Bobby.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dick Tracy "Tommy Burst"

This is another commercial for Mattel's Tommy Burst. Yes, this is Bill Mumy of 'Lost in Space' fame. Freckled faced Bill Mumy was a very familiar face to us baby-boomers growing up. He's in almost all of the old television shows. Do you remember the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Bang! You''re Dead" where little Bill takes a real gun outside to play? Mumy was also in a Twilight Zone episode - heck - he was in everything. He is though most remembered for his roll as Will Robinson.

beyond the pale blue ink

I've been taking a lot of tests lately. It made me think of all the mimeograph handouts we were given throughout my school years. I guess you can tell that it's been a very long time since I was last in a class. I remember our bulletins at church were also printed using a mimeograph machine. Thomas Edison's machine had a nice long run with that patent. This old form of wax-stencil printing was eventually phased out as photocopiers took over. I read where the mimeograph machine is still being used in third world countries. You don't have to plug the mimeograph machine into a wall socket since it's manually operated. Maybe we will all have to go back to Edison's hand cranked printer as Americans are forced to "go green".

The quality of the mimeo print wasn't very good, but very economic and functional. My mind goes back to of all those tests and worksheets printed out in that pale blue ink. Year after year of going to school and having to look at all those problems to solve in that pale blue ink.

If I were a teacher today - it would be cool to hand out an exam on mimeograph print outs. I'd just quietly circulate the test around the room and then sit at my desk and act as though nothing was out of the ordinary.

I can imagine a young female voice ask, "What's THIS Mr. Finlayson?"
From behind my comic book I'd reply, "It's a test, mortal...take it."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

hip car ad

Here's a very HIP - very NOW 1969 Firebird commercial. This commercial is so GROOVY BABY!

Friday, June 19, 2009

creepy crawlers

I posted about Mattel's Creepy Crawlers in an earlier post. I ran across this old commercial that I remember well. Having an endless supply of fake spiders and snakes came in real handy in my household. I had four sisters. Imagine selling a hot plate toy to kids. I had one of these babies and can't tell you how many times I got burned.

Cool toy.

The Creepy Crawler hot plate was a devise that you could use with other toys - like little green army men for instance. If perchance you captured a Nazi and needed him to talk - all you had to do was put him in the hot seat...I mean hot plate. I used the hot plate long after I ran out of Plasti-Goop.

I am sure that these things sure would come in handy at such wonderful information retrieving establishments like Abu ghraib.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

remembering NIGHT FLIGHT and a good LP

I was introduced to Michael Smotherman's music through USA Network's NIGHT FLIGHT. NIGHT FLIGHT preceded MTV by a few years, and was by far the better show. NF showed not only music videos but independent films / animation, music documentaries - long before MTV ever got the idea. NF aired late at night on Friday & Saturday's. The show would was four hours long and when it was over - it would start all over again. MTV had a more polished image and ran 24/7- 365. NIGHT FLIGHT, was unpolished and definitely not a slick production. I liked it because of it's great variety off off the wall entertainment. It showed some weird stuff and some pretty cool stuff. You just never knew what you were going to get in that box of chocolates. Night Flight showcased music videos as an art form and not a marketing tool for record companies. Yep, NIGHT FLIGHT was the better show.

This video "Freedom's Legacy" by Michael Smotherman is a very good song. The video itself however has not withstood the test of time. It looks like Michael is getting ready to fight The Great Laser Tag War of 2034. The music is quite captivating and yet the visuals give me a good chuckle.

I don't mean to single out this video as bad. The bad music videos far out number the good videos. I just think the song itself still has merit and is actually dragged down by the video. Then again, if this music video had never been made of the song - I never would have heard the song.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

no jive jesus is alive

The No Jive Jesus Is Alive Falls Festival 1977 was Christian Brothers Association's first music festival endeavor. The first festival wasn't held where the stage is today, but rather on a stage that was deeper into Noccalula Park - just beyond the Pioneer Village and the Botanical Gardens. It was my favorite spot for the festival - better than the newer stage we were moved to by 1979. We had John Michael and Terry Talbot here for that event - but the local talent was just as good. That's what I liked about our old festivals - we offered a spotlight on the local guys too. New Wine, Christian Brothers Band, Melody, Little Children, Rick Shirley, Psalm and Mark & Smiley. It was a great celebration that was held on August 19th & 20th. It was the year I graduated high school and the nineteenth was my birthday. I had plenty of reason to celebrate that busy weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

drawn to my hero

I ran across this illustration I rendered of John Wayne at the time The Cowboys (1972) was being being made. I remember I was sitting at a school desk at General Forrest Junior High School reading a LIFE magazine article that was chock full of photos of the movie.

I was a big John Wayne fan through out my childhood - and still am today. I drew this picture from a photo taken from that magazine. I remember really working hard at this image - wanting with all my heart that the picture actually looked like The Duke when it was finished.

At the time there was a contest in which the winner could be one of the young cowboys in this movie. Man, I wanted to be one of those kids who rode along with John Wayne.
Finding this picture today brings back the anticipation I felt waiting for that movie to be released - the hopes of actually being in a John Wayne movie. I remember being very proud of this picture - having drawn something that turned out pretty darn good for a thirteen years old.

The Cowboys is the first time I remember seeing Bruce Dern. I not only noticed him - but took note never to turn my back on that dirty rotten back shoot'n scoundrel.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

favorite album as a kid

Michael Bynum's (aka: Mr. 1950's) post today regarding old console stereo units reminded me of my most favorite album in the who wide world when I was a kid. It was called Stories & Songs of the Civil War, from the RCA Victor's Bluebird Children's Recording Catalog. It was narrated by Ralph Bellamy and chock full of authentic songs of the North & South. My favorite song on the album was Goober Peas. I loved the cover art of this album. It would be great to have a copy of this album today. I don't know what ever happened to our copy. The Finlayson clan probably wore the thing out. I'd love to have it if not just for the album cover art.

peas peas peas peas
eat'n goober peas
goodness how delicious
eat'n goober peas!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Uncle Pat's visit

I posted the top photo at the Boomerville, USA facebook a while back. Jose' said it looked like that day in Dallas. Actually this is that day in Gadsden. The arrival of my dad's younger brother Uncle Pat from Macon, Georgia was always a highly anticipated event. I actually remember this particular visit. Pat would usually drive up in a new car. This is one of my favorite cars that Pat ever owned. As I got older, he'd pay me to wash his car and after passing inspection, would pay me a handsome some and usually treat me to a movie. After I learned how to drive, he'd hand me the keys (of his Audi, Volvo, or whatever he owned at the time) and let me tool around town with him. Uncle Pat enjoyed tooling around.

In the top photo, Pat is standing outside of the car instructing a very mini-me to look at the camera. Jennie and Irene are sharing the backseat with me. Dad is up front looking like he's ready to cruise.

You can tell by these photos that the Pat's shiny new pink convertible was the center of attention. The bottom photo is of Finlayson and neighborhood kids. I guess the word spread around the neighborhood of the legend of Uncle Pat and some kids dropped by to see what the hubbub was all about. I will try to identify as many as I can in this photo from left to right. David (me), Irene, Brooky, Jennie, ?, Ed Murphy?, Wesley Ellis. If any of my siblings can identify their childhood friends in this photo - I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


David Carradine died. Younger folk will remember David Carradine as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill I and II. Upon reading the news of his death - my mind immediately drifted back his character Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu in the early to mid seventies. Kung Fu was the first time I ever saw David Carradine. You knew though that in end of the episode, the peace loving Shaolin priest Kwai Chang, was going to have to kick some dudes butt. Previous to Kung Fu, I had known only of David Carradine's father John from countless old movies. I just didn't know that John had raised a posse of his own. Another favorite role that David played was that of Cole Younger in The Long Riders (1980). David was joined by his real life brothers Robert and Kieth Carradine to play brothers Cole, Jim & Bob. Jesse and Frank James were played by brothers Stacy and James Keech. Randy and Dennis Quade were Ed & Clell Miller. Christopher and Nicolas Guest played played Charlie and Bob Ford. Ry Cooder did the soundtrack for this film. It was well written, well acted, and well...it's a great movie.

It was sad to hear of David Carradine's death. Before Gina and I were married, she went to LasVegas with her brother Terry and his family back around 1988. While there they happened to meet David Carradine in an elevator. Terry took some video of David hamming it up with some Kung Fu moves for the camera. He kidded around with a very young Josh (Gina's nephew). I know very little about the guy and yet sad to hear of his passing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

digger's chigger

Brook's nickname as a young man was "Digger". The little red bug that he is proudly standing along side is "Digger's Chigger". This photograph is imprinted with March 1970. This little car brings back a flood of memories. Brook would drop me off and pick me up from Boy Scout meetings in his little chigger. School mornings, Brook would load his sibs in the car and drop them off at the appropriate school. Mother, after riding with Brook, exclaimed that Brooky was gravitated toward all mud puddles. I believe Brook had driven mother down Hinds Road (a bumpy ride). Mother once told me that Brook "aimed at every puddle on the road". I remember the time Brook spun tight doughnuts in the Noccalula Nik Nak gravel parking lot (where the Noccalula Jack's Hamburger's is located now). Brook was caught by a red light while making his exit when Sherrif Felton Yates appeared from nowhere and had a brief talking to us. He said that he and his wife were enjoying an ice cream cone with their windows rolled down. Sheriff Yates was really nice about it. He had every right to make a bigger deal out of it. Brook had stirred up a good bit of dust.

This picture as a whole takes me back home. This is the backyard of our old house on 2624 Scenic Hwy. There were two mimosas in - one can be seen in the background with it's branches pared back. Those trees were perfect for little boys to climb on. I can also see part of our old plywood table-tennis table standing in the yard. It was a homemade table held up by two sawhorses. During that time Dad was heading up Gadsden Table Tennis Association (GTTA). Ping-pong was the favorite sport around our house. I remember Mother won a bunch of championships. If you run a search at History of U.S. Table Tennis Volume IV you'll find Westbrook "Wes" Finlayson mentioned.

But I digress. We had a great big yard front and back in which to play. There were oodles of pine trees in the front yard and a game of hide-and-go-seek which made for a long hunt.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

mini me

Mother brought this page of photos to the office yesterday. I had started a scrapbook in which I only filled in one page. It had taken me six years to fill in just one scrapbook page. I don't know where the 2nd - 2nd grade picture is. I was held back (FAILED) in second as a kid. It was a traumatic experience for me back then. All my classmates moved ahead and there I was sitting in a classroom of strangers. Even though my 2nd-2nd grade photo is missing from this page - the glue blotch on this page some how seems appropriate.

Brook always said that I reminded him of Eddie Munster. Looking at these photographs I must agree - especially the first grade shot. I had a real nice widow's peak going for me. As you can see I have a uni-brow. Though I keep it cut back these days - I still draw it in when doing cartoon self portraits.

I like the fifth grade photo. Me wearing an ascot! I had become quite the playboy by that time. Well...when I say playboy...I was a boy and I liked to play. I'd much rather play that go to school.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Captain Action!

Back in 1966 Ideal toys tried to best Hasbro's G.I. Joe with their very own action figure - Captain Action. Action was a quirky kind of toy with big ambitions. Captain Action was a guy that could apparently acquire super powers of Super Man, AquaMan, Batman, The Phantom merely by putting on their costumes. I kid you not. All a kid had to do was get mom and dad to keep buying the super hero costumes so Captain Action could keep morphing into all his different childhood heroes. There was a Steve Canyon outfit, The Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers and even a Sgt. Fury mask and outfit. I never owned this action figure but remember it being on the market. Frankly I think the poor captain had an identity problem. I guess if I had a tacky outfit like his Captain Action outfit - I'd want a change of clothes too.

Captain Action by Ideal