1/21/2011

item 1 >>> Now Playing…  I’m a nut Leroy Pullins wrote and recorded this Roger Miller soundalike in 1966…his only hit…nuts.

item 2 >>> LQQK @ †h∆†! just like a yo yo The Osmonds kicking it old school…great tune, great  moves, great Zorro costumes…yup, I’m an Osmond fan and not ashamed to admit it…life’s too short…  [ better video 2/5/2011…this is the same performance, better video…I left the original one up because it has Flip Wilson at the beginning. And not for nothing, but try comparing this routine to the DeFranco Family for example…they’re like wooden Indians. Take the simple side-step at :38…bet the DeFrancos would practice that for 3 weeks then give up…]

item 3 >>> You Might Be a Baby-Go-Boomer If…you wonder how that comic book company ended up making computers. Well, it’s a different Dell, of course…and there’s even another one, see next item! Growing up, my folks encouraged reading, but comic books were for the most part out…we had a few around, but certainly not the proverbial stacks. And even then, it was mostly Dell Comics…Are Good Comics, nez pah? They began publishing in 1929, and folded in 1973, some titles continuing as Gold Key. But the premiere offering was the grab-bag Four Color series, which included anything and everything under the sun…a virtual snap-shot of what has hot in pop culture…even if for just a few months…all thru the 1950s and early 60s. By the mid-60s, Dell was feeling the pressure form Marvel and DC, and starting to spaz out, as demonstrated by this trio of 1964 monsters-turned-superhero. Notice that even then, comic books were considered “collectable.” Which is why the big money is in comics from the 1940s and to some degree the 50s…because by the mid-60s, people were socking them away as a potential investment. Worth $10 today, sure…but not $100 or $1000.

item 4 >>> I Stand Before You, Duncanless…If you would have asked me if I had a Duncan yo-yo as a kid, I would have said: Naturally! In fact 2 of them…and I’d get the old shoe-box out of the closet and dig them out to show you. That’s when I would have been in for quite a shock…they weren’t Duncans! Well, doesn’t “Big D” stand for Duncan? Nope, that’s the Dell Plastics Company of Brooklyn. Heck it says “Dell” right on it, can’t you read? Apparently not…who read their yo-yo? Always in the shadow of Duncan, they still made an extensive line…I had a half red/half white Tournament model, and this “clear” olive green Sleeper King…other models included the Astronaut, Flying Star, Returner, Super Star, Trickster, and Fireball. Apparently Duncan had the patent for yo-yos, threatened to sue, and Dell got out of the business. See today’s Stolf’s Blog for another view…

item 5 >>> The Really Lost Color of the Fifties…I mentioned the other day Cream…but if you’re willing to risk the black-is-not-a-color-and-neither-is-white argument, then how about “Clear”? Anything that was made of plastic could be “colored” clear…either completely colorless like a pane of glass, or “colored” clear…red, blue, green…I remember an amber hue that was quite striking. In fact to this day I have a bunch of “colored wax” 45’s decorating one wall of my living room…always looking for colors I don’t have…anybody got pink, blue-green or smokey gray? But no solid colors, it’s got to be clear…the way I figure it, if they can make a tooth-brush in that clear color, somebody must have made a 45 or LP in that color too. Remember what Steven Wright said: Our school colors were Clear…we’d say: I’m not naked, I’m with the band!

item 6 >>> Ding-a-Lings…Here are 2 examples of clear phones from the 50s…this is the ubiquitous Model 500, introduced in 1949 and made by Bell Telephone’s subsidiary Western Electric thru 1986. Other manufactures licensed the design well into the 2000’s, and rotary dial replicas are still available today, altho their inner workings are updated…despite the dial, they generate a tone signal. The model 1500 Touch-Tone was introduced in 1963…it had only 10 buttons, and was replaced by the  Model 2500 in 1968 with 12 buttons. And recall, up until the the breakup of Ma Bell in 1983, the phone company owned your phone, not you…altho they offered to sell it to you starting then. My main land-line phone is still a slim-line knock-off…and it’s clear, a relic of the clear revival of the 1990s…check these beauties…BTW, my clear phone isn’t a day-glo Brights like this one…

item 7 >>> If 1 is good, what’s 3?…That cassette player…after everyone bought one, they introduced the double-cassette version. And did you know there were even triples?

item 8 >>>  Perpetual Calendar, Perpetually Useful…I had to go back and correct something on my Clarabellapalooza…I said Puppet Playhouse, the forerunner of The Howdy Doody Show, started on Sundays, before moving to weekdays. I should have said Saturdays…just got it wrong in my mind…but did you know it’s easy to check? The date was Dec. 27, 1947…and consulting a perpetual calendar confirms that was indeed a Saturday. How many different 12-month calendars can there be? Well, January 1 can fall on any day of the week, resulting in 7 different arrangements…then throw in a Feb. 29 leap-day to each of those, that’s another 7, for a total of 14 different calendars. A Perpetual Calendar simply contains all 14, and has a chart matching calendars to years. You can print one out on-line…the one I use is from the World Almanac…and they’re invaluable in researching Baby Boomer pop culture. The first appearance of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan? Check that the date was in fact a Sunday, and you’re golden…

item 9 >>> Always thought it was cool…that 2 American Indian ballplayers came up the same year, our Jacoby Ellsbury and their Joba Chamberlain. Honestly, I thought both would be traded over the Winter, but I see both have signed new contracts and are staying put…for now, anyway. And what’s with the Tigers giving Armando “Perfecto” Galarraga a new deal, then designating him for assignment? Probably to trade him? Games the front office plays…

item 10 >>> Not for Junk Food Junkies…Learn something new every day…did you know that Bulgur Wheat is not a kind or species of wheat? It’s made most commonly from Durum Wheat, and it’s a wheat product…whole-grained, partially de-branned  and ground into small particles, available in various sizes. It’s similar to Cracked Wheat, but with one big difference…Bulgur is pre-cooked…parboiled in fact.

Wicked Ballsy

Here’s a leftover from yesterday’s Howdy Doody special. Billy Oltmann of Patchogue, NY won the National Howdy Doody Look-Alike Contest in 1950…his picture was easy to find, it was in LIFE magazine, that’s him on the left. It was harder to find pictures of the 1st and 2nd runners-up, but I got ’em for ya…I believe the lad in the middle also got the Miss Congeniality award…

shameless rust plugs…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Another Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com (Stolf’s Blog)

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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