item 1 >>> There was a Pict-o-Quiz on my other blog yesterday, stolf.wordpress.com (Yes, I’m starting to get them mix up!) It was Francis X. Bushman, whose first movie appearance was in 1911. His last was “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” in 1966, altho the also appeared in episodes of “Batman” and “Voyage to See What’s on the Bottom” on TV that year. “Ghost” was the last of American International Pictures’ Beach Party series, and also featured cameos by Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone. It was originally titled “The Girl in the Glass Bikini,” and was promo’d that way at the end of the AIP teen spy spoof “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.” I know, the picture looks a tad like Buster Keaton, but he was in “Beach Blanket Bingo.”
item 2 >>> Speaking of the Beach Party movies, the second one, “Muscle Beach Party,” contains a number of familiar faces. One is that of Don Rickles as Jack Fanny, owner of a body-building gym, altho he does do his insult shtick at a beach club. But why that name? It was a pun, as everyone knew back then, on Vic Tanny, who ran a chain of health clubs, actually pioneering the modern idea they were for more than just muscle-men. He was also spoofed in the song “Sick Manny’s Gym” by Leo DeLyon and the Musclemen. Leo was a voice-over artist who did Spook and the Brain in the cartoon “Top Cat.”
item 3 >>> Another familiar face you’ll see in “Muscle Beach Party” is Peter Lupus, aka Willie Armitage of “Mission: Impossible” fame. In the movie, he’s billed as Rock Stevens, and his character is named Flex Martin, Mr. Galaxy. See today’s Wicked Ballsy for more…
item 4 >>> Yeah, the old question, who’s hotter, Wilma or Betty. Why, Betty of course. What were their maiden names? Well, as with most series that have long runs, and the Flintstone franchise has had a long run, inconsistencies creep in. Early on, Wilma’s maiden name was Pebble, of all things. Betty’s was Bricker. Later, when baby Pebbles came along, Wilma became a Slaghoople, and Mrs. Slaghoople joined the crew as Fred’s mother-in-law. That’s also her name on the “Flintstone Kids” series in the late 80s, but Betty was now Betty Jean McBricker. And in the live-action movie “Viva Rock Vegas,” she’s Betty O’Shale. So there’s no right right answer.
item 5 >>> But you can play the name game with absolute confidence on these, for which there really is only one right right answer: Mr. Magoo’s first name is Quincy. On “Green Acres,” it’s Eustace Haney. Mickey Mouse’s original name was to be Mortimer Mouse, his wife talked Walt out of that one. Rick Nelson’s first name was Eric, Ted Kennedy’s was Edward, Butch Hobson’s was Clell, and Mookie Wilson’s was William, which was just as well, since there was of course already a Willie Wilson.
item 6 >>> …not to be confused with Nehames “Pookie” Bernstine, an outfielder with the Indians organization in the 80s, never made it to the big time…or Travis “Gookie” Dawkins, who for all I know is still bouncing around the minors. Then were was Oogie Pringle, started out as a DJ in Erie PA, then made the big-time in the Big Apple in 1974. I remember listening to him at night on WNBC. Very likely that wasn’t his real name, since Osgood “Oogie” Pringle was a character on “A Date with Judy,” first on radio, then a movie, then TV. All I can find out about the Oog is that, sadly, he committed suicide in LA in 1978.
item 7 >>> The other day I was mentioning the “Robinson Brothers,” and I got to thinking about real brothers in baseball. Most of the time, it seemed the older brother was the star. But in a few cases, the younger brother was…Joe Torre for example, younger that Frank, and George Brett, younger than Ken. One interesting case was Dick/Richie Allen. His brother Hank Allen was older, but Hank made it to the Majors 3 years after Dick. An even younger brother Ron Allen played briefly in 1972.
item 8 >>> Oh, here’s a great one…”Bridge Over the River Kwai,” the Col. Bogey March? Great tune to whistle, and it’s just as well, because it was written in 1939 as a British propaganda song, and their armed forces sang it with a variety of obscene lyrics, one of which, just to give you an idea, starts out: “Hitler…has only got one ball…”
item 9 >>> You know, as I get deeper into the history of North Shore and Boston area towns, it becomes clear that what exactly constituted an officially installed municipality can get somewhat hazy. The latest example is a Druggists’ Directory from 1910 (doncha just love the internet!) and it lists numerous businesses in various towns. Well, not all are or were actual towns, altho they still exist today as “neighborhoods” or “sections.” They had West Gloucester, East Saugus, and South Easton. Other villages included Saxonville (Framingham), Southville (Southboro), Highlandville (Haverhill), Florence (Northampton), and Indian Orchard (Springfield). Then there was the Cambridgeport section of Cambridge, to the west…apparently some of the dorms at MIT were in that area, altho I don’t ever remember the name being mentioned. Then again, I wasn’t a realtor…
item 10 >>> You might be a Baby-Go-Boomer if…it just isn’t Christmas without styrofoam. Balls to festive doo-dad stick things into, Santas and reindeer to cut out, and you always broke a piece of…well, that’s a Dow Chemical Christmas for you!
A couple versions of the 1964 soundtrack LP…hey Pete, don’t drop her!
shameless el plugos…
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi