10/2/2010

HALF  STOLF

item 1 >>> Following up on yesterday, other typically Fifties names for actresses & singers: the Dodie “sisters” Stevens and Goodman, Dardy Orlando, Dodo Davidson, Nani Darnell, Tippi Hedron, Chili Williams, Gogi Grant, Shari Lewis, Joi Lansing, Juli Reding, Jil Jarmyn, Joni James, Reddi Sloane, Freddi Robbins, Micki Flynn, and the infamous actress Evans Evans, not be confused with sound guy Glen Glenn, tho I could see how that might happen.

item 2 >>> I remember very well when Channel 38 went on the air, Oct. 12, 1964. It was owned by the Boston Catholic Television Center, and hence the call letter WIHS, which stood for “Iesous Hominum Salvator” or “Jesus, savior of man.” Going to Catholic school (“sister school”) at the time, all families were expected to buy UHF converters, and mind did. Programming was just a lot of old shows, I remember B&W private eye shows from the 50s, plus daily mass. in 1966, Storer  Broadcasting bought the station, giving it the calls WSBK, after it’s ticker symbol on the Stock Exchange. They jazzed up the programming somewhat, but it didn’t take off until 1967, when they landed the rights to the Bruins games, whereupon sales of converters shot thru the roof, big surprise.

item 3 >>> …BTW today WIHS is a Christian FM radio station in the Hartford area. And yes, there is a WBTW, a TV station in Florence, South Carolina. There is currently no WWTF or WTF…was there ever? Good question, I’ll put it on my list of stuff to look up.

item 4 >>> …and one of the reasons the TV connection was so strong at our school was we had a TV in every class-room…used to learn French with Channel 2’s Madame Slack (“écouter et répéter’’)…and we watched the live coverage of Alan Shepard’s first manned space flight. I remember everyone was on the edge of their seats for that one, boy.

item 5 >>> I notice they have newspaper games called Jingo, along the lines of Bingo, Wingo, and Zingo. I thought Jingo was extreme nationalism, as in jingoistic. Well, Jingo is also a town in Kansas, and a song by Nigerian drummer Olatunji, covered by Santana…plus By Jingo! was what I call a theonym, a.k.a. a minced oath…is that like desiccated oath bran?…never mind…

Item 6  >>>
I got into radio because by the time I was old enough, all the jobs I was interested in didn’t exist any more: ward healer, racetrack tout, slide-rule tester.

item 7 >>> But you know, in the early 70s at MIT, there were no calculators, we still used slide-rules…what the non-geeks called “slide-rulers”…yeah, but try measuring something with it! Plus I took exactly ONE computer course in 4 years, and that was with punch-cards. I still use the first calculator I ever owned, a Casio 803-MR, cost $37.40 in 1976. And never with batteries, I’ve always plugged it in. (You might be a hoarder if…you still have the instruction manuals for stuff you don’t have any more…yeah, I know, that’s the first thing you throw out…)

item 8 >>> The show with 3 names. It began as “You’ll Never Get Rich”…within 2 months of its debut in 1955, it was “The Phil Silvers Show,” but everybody called it “Sgt Bilko” and indeed it was called that in syndication, but even TV Guide called it  that in prime time listings. It was one of the few shows in the 50s to have black actors, albeit in a crowded platoon setting. I could have sworn I saw Nipsey Russel there once, but can find no confirmation. BTW, the original title came from the ditty “You’re in the Army now / you’re not behind a plow / you’ll never get rich, by digging a ditch…”

item 9 >>> The song “Corn Whiskey” by the New Christy Minstrels mentions a horse called a “Blueberry Roan”…Google strikes out on this one, returning just 2 sites. Fortunately, one had a picture, so here’s the deal: A roan is a horse whose color is an even mixture of white hairs and one other color, and the points (main, tail, and lower legs) are the solid color. Brown is Bay Roan, reddish is Chestnut Roan, light chestnut or sorrel is Strawberry Roan, and black is called a Blue Roan, since the overall effect has a bluish tinge. The one picture of a Blueberry Roan looks pretty much like a Blue Roan, or it might be a lighter color, what they call a dilution. Any horsey experts out there?

item 10 >>> As the Red Sox season winds down…there was some talk recently about Terry Francona as Manager of Year, in light of the crippling  inundation of injuries…or was that contingent on making the playoffs? Interesting Hot Stove League coming, I think. I know Reddick is some sort of heir apparent, but I sure liked Nava and Kalish coming out of nowhere. Is Papalbon gone? Is Tek finally finished? Did Big Papi dodge another bullet? Is Ellsbury really trade-bait? Then of course free agency knocks everything into a cocked hat…I miss the days when it was farm system, trade, or stick with the guys you had. And I have to say, I miss Van Every, always thought he was a gritty kid.


Wicked Ballsy


And there she is, smiling for the camera. For 20 minutes twice a week, Anne Slack encouraged us to “listen and repeat.” Her “Parlons Français’’ program was part of WGHB’s “21-Inch Classroom” series, and when not on the tube, she was a college professor. Born as Anne Benchimol in Algeria, died in February of this year in Ithaca, NY, age 94.

shameless pluggishness…
Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com
Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com  and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com
More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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