Sunday, December 24, 2017

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS 2017 (and a girl in a Santa's Little Helper)

Yes, it has been a yearly tradition on this blog for me to post a photo of a woman wearing a "Santa's Little Helper" outfit, since they upset people in the Ozarks. This is from the 40s (You know, the good old days) and features future blonde, B-movie actress Peggy Castle and a Santa Claus cutout. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


I will not be doing a podcast for Christmas. I should do a podcast since I paid for a whole year of service and haven't use very much of it. Time and lack of my own equipment are major factors. There is another factor in this possible decision...I'm hearing more and more people say they hate Christmas music.

Now, before someone tries to give some talk radio/Fox News/alt-Right explanation, I have the answer. I'm biting the hand that feeds me by saying this, but the blame should go to radio.

You see, once upon a time, Christmas music didn't saturate the radio airwaves. As a matter of fact, I remember several 80s Christmas songs that we are now sick off, being played maybe once or not at all on local radio. I remember hearing the Bruce Springsteen "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" about twice. However, "Thank God It's Christmas," "Christmas Wrapping Paper," and "Last Christmas" were not heard. The only place you heard "Do They Know It's Christmas" could only be heard on the syndicated Rock Over London radio show. You only heard "Wonderful Christmas Time" on an American Top 10 Christmas Special.  John Lennon was assassinated in December of 1980, but no radio stations played "Happy Xmas (The War Is Over)" at all that Christmas. You might hear "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" once and wow be unto the kid, who made the mistake of calling the radio station to request that song (It was apparently okay for DJs to cuss out kids back then).

This wasn't just the 80s. A colleague of mine tells about a later, well-know media figure in Springfield, announcing he was going to doing "some special" on his radio show on Christmas eve. He played Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."

The only time you heard Christmas music on the radio when I was a kid was ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Usually, it was instrumental versions of Christmas songs or one of the those giveaway Christmas records.

The all Christmas programming came about after 9-11-2001. After that radio stations began changing to all Christmas even before Halloween. One year in Springfield, Missouri there were three radio stations doing all Christmas.

The problem is radio only uses the Christmas songs that "test well" or have high recognition, then they play those same few over and over in heavy rotation. We are beaten to death with the same songs for about two months.

Then there is the radio industries dirty little secret about the all Christmas hides the fact that the radio station is "downsizing" staff.

In recent years, I have become more of a fan of that older, easy listening, instrumental style of Christmas music, made famous on YouTube by the tape of Kmart's in-store Christmas music from 1974. I like to listen to Christmas music, but on my own terms.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


With the passing of actor-singer Jim Nabors this week, I found out that most of the media has forgotten one of Jim Nabors' TV series, The Lost Saucer.  The obituaries mention that Gomer debuted on The Andy Griffith Show, then went to the spin off Gomer Pyle USMC, and then, he hosted a variety show for two years after then end of Gomer Pyle. However, The Lost Saucer isn't mentioned in any of the articles or obits I read on line.

The Lost Saucer was a 1975 Sid & Marty Kroft Production made for the Saturday morning audience. Jim Nabors played an android name Fum. Ruth Buzzi played an android named Fie. Both come from the future to see what Earth was like in the past. The saucer malfunctions after they give a ride to a boy and his babysitter and they become lost in time. 

I remember watching this show as a child and enjoying it. Watching on YouTube, I still enjoyed it and I'm in my late 40s with two college degrees. Of course, there are people on YouTube and IMDB trashing the show. I guess that makes them feel more secure in their manhood or something.

On thing I forgot about was the way, Fum would start malfunctioning. Nabors would make goofy noises like a tape recorder messing up and Buzzi would whack him on the back to make him work properly again. And yes, ever so often Fum would say "GGOOOOLLLLLEEEE!!!," just like Gomer.

While everyone is remembering Jim Nabors as the folksy, country boy turned Marine Gomer Pyle, I choose to also remember Jim Nabors as the friendly, but slightly clumsy android from the future named Fum. Maybe some of the media writers, thought this was a generational hoax like Sinbad in a movie about a genie named Shazam, or as Gomer would say "SSSHHHHAAAAZZZAAAAMMMM!!!"



Sunday, October 29, 2017


I found several photos from Halloween parties of the past on Tumblr. Enjoy!

Okay, I know the last one isn't real, but I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


I apologize for not post enough for the Countdown to Halloween. I'll just say I had some minor surgery about two weeks ago and I have been required to dress the incision. Add to that a jump drive that had some Halloween stuff on it was left at my parents house. Since I didn't do a post about the passing of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, how about a photo of him with horror movie TV hostess Elvira.

Thursday, October 5, 2017



Another vintage Halloween greeting card from Tumblr. This one is actually kind of cool because of the ghost and witch. Not sure who the guy behind the ghost is. he kind of looks like the guy from the Pringles can.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017



Tumblr has a wealth of vintage Halloween post cards. I like this one because it is slightly creepy.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017



"Somewhere, somehow somebody Must have kicked you around some.
 Who knows, maybe you were kidnapped, Tied up, taken away and held for ransom.
 It don't really matter to me Everybody's had to fight to be free.
 You see you don't have to live like a refugee.
 I said you don't have to live like a refugee."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I wanted to let everyone who reads this blog to know that I plan to continue blogging. My time this spring and summer has been taken up by several activities.

INTERNET PROVIDER:  I also found out recently that I would have to switch Internet providers. I have had the same Internet provider since the 20th century (1999), but I was told they could no longer provide service to my area.

HEALTH: There have also been some problems with my health, namely as bad back and hip. I was taking physical therapy two times a day for most of the spring and early summer. Add to that some other problems (which are of a TMI nature), I have spent most of the summer in doctor's waiting rooms.

SCUMMY CLICKBAIT SITES STEALING FROM ME: It has come to my attention that some scummy clickbait sites are swiping some of my post, sometimes word for word, for their nasty little websites. I've tried to contact these website, but to no avail. Most click bait is sleezy as a used condom.

THE POLITICIZING OF "RETRO" & "NOSTALGIA": This bothers me more than anything. I switched from being a blog that talked about news & politics to a retro pop culture blog, because the writing a news & politics blog was leading to death threats and causing problems with my job. I was mocked on the Internet when I mentioned the threats of violence. It is why I have tried not to "reveal my true identity." This has been a controversy in the Springfield and Ozarks area, but I now have proof that it was a good idea.  Randy Turner, whose blogger I had a link to on the old blog, was attacked earlier this week by some who didn't like what he had posted.

I was seeing the nature of discussing politics becoming volatile and dangerous, so I became a retro blogger. Now, I'm seeing the discussion of retro pop culture becoming to political too. I recently saw an article on the ME-TV website about Highlights Magazine and most of the comments were from idiots bashing gays, African Americans and Millennials. These comments had nothing to do with Highlights Magazine. ME-TV should remove them, but I've said the same thing about the disgusting stuff people post on videos on YouTube of old TV shows and music. I'm tired of seeing comments like, "This was back in the good old days when there were a bunch of n***ers and qu**rs on TV" or "This is what the J**s use to brainwash our children."

My reason for creating a retro blog was to give younger people information on music, movies and TV of the past. When I was younger, information on this stuff was hard to come by or in expensive books. Other adults were useless, because they wanted to get on a soapbox and lecture me about how I shouldn't be interested in pop culture. That is why I don't bash young people or Millennials. I've found, thanks to Tumblr, that Millennials are VERY interested in the older pop culture and how it connects to the current pop culture.

Now for some good news:

I'M ON TUMBLR: Tumblr is my new addiction. What I do over there is not earthshaking, I basically reblog pictures and add funny captions. If you like my sarcastic humor, then follow me on Tumblr.

CONSIDERING A DIFFERENT FORMAT TO THE PODCAST: I'm considering creating a podcast that is a discussion with a colleague/family member. We just need to right equipment.

GETTING READY FOR COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN: My favorite time of the year. There have been several times I have had ideas for a post and then thought, "No, I'll save that for Countdown To Halloween."

Trust me, I have tons of stuff, I've been wanting to post, but haven't had the time. Hopefully, I can share some of the fun stuff from the past that is cluttering up my apartment right now.


Sunday, August 13, 2017


Southwestern Bell had an ad campaign featuring celebrities from each state they served. A parent or relative would say they called the celebrity long distance. Glen Campbell and his parents represented Arkansas (BTW: As a monster kid, I still think it is cool that Missouri was represented by Vincent Price and his niece).

It is amazing that I haven't seen this commercial in years, yet remember it word for word. NOTE: This cuts off abruptly.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Let's face it, most cover songs sound pretty close to the original. The Beatles version of "Twist and Shout" sounds like the Isley Brothers version, Smash Mouth's version of "I'm a Believer" sounds almost identical to The Monkees version, and even the Jeff Beck Group's version of "Love Is Blue" sounds like Paul Mauriat's "Love is Blue." These are called "faithful" cover versions.

However, there artist that take things in a totally different direction. This blog post (and podcast) will celebrate those great cover versions that "changed it up a bit."

Since I'm using the podcast for illustration, I won't go into very much detail. However, I will point out the inspiration for this post. The Bluebelles' 1984 British hit "Young At Heart" was the subject of a lawsuit by former Fabulous Poodles' fiddle player Bobby Valentino, who played on the record. He said that he should get a credit and some compensation, because his fiddle playing contributed to the success of The Bluebelles recording. It was originally recorded by Bananarama the previous year with a typical bouncy, synthesizer pop song that Bananarama was known for. The judge agreed that his country pop fiddle made the remake a big hit.

I got to thinking about other cover songs that seem to be unrecognizable from the original. Vanilla Fudge's headbanging psychedelic version of The Supremes hit "You Keep Me Hanging On" came to mind, along with Peggy Lee's smoldering, beatnikish version of Little Willie John's bumpin blues "Fever."

I once heard an interview where Screaming Jay Hawkins said he liked Nina Simone's version of "I Put a Spell On You" better than his. On the other hand, I had a co-worker in radio, who would become visibly angry at the very mention of James Taylor's version of the Jimmy Jones hit "Handy Man." Personally, I never cared for Donna Summer's version of "MacArthur Park" and I like most of Donna Summer's hits.

Everyone has covered "Do You Want To Dance?" and "Money," but Bette Midler and the Flying Lizards did those songs different than any other act.

Many of theses are either, rocker becomes ballad, soft rock becomes heavy metal or disco, even a psychedelic pop song turned into a bluegrass song and a bluegrass song from a 60's rural sitcom turned into a Celtic dirge. Even a British rock band doing a goofy Perry Como song about mannequin lust. So lets take a listen.

NOTE: I realize the sound is bad on this. I'm using "borrowed" equipment, so I don't have control of the sound quality. My apologies. I also used a "guest announcer" for this podcast.

"Young At Heart" The Bluebelles 1984 (Original recording by Bananarama 1983)
"For Once In My Life" Stevie Wonder 1968 (Original hit Tony Bennett in 1967)
"Summertime Blues" Blue Cheer 1967 (Original hit by Eddie Cochran 1958)
"Do You Want To Dance?" Bette Midler 1972 (Original hit by Bobby Freeman 1958)
"Love Buzz" Nirvana 1989 (Original recording by Shocking Blue 1969)

"Hooked On a Feeling" Blue Suede 1974 (Original hit by B.J Thomas)
"I Put a Spell On You" Nina Simone 1965 (Original hit by Screaming Jay Hawkins 1955)
"There Is a Time" Solas 2008 (Original recording by The Dillards with Maggie Peterson 1964)
"Fever" Peggy Lee 1958 (Original recording by Little Willie John 1956)
"Diamonds & Rust" Judas Priest 1977  (Original hit by Joan Baez 1975)
"Careless Whispers" Seether 2009 (Original hit by Wham 1984)
"Handy Man" James Taylor 1978 (Original hit by Jimmy Jones 1960)
"The Locomotion" Grand Funk Railroad 1974 (Original hit by Little Eva 1962)
"Bette Davis Eyes" Kim Carnes 1981 (Original recording by Jackie DeShannon 1975)
"Money" The Flying Lizards 1980 (Barrett Strong 1959)
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)" Marilyn Manson 1994 (Original hit for The Eurythmics 1983)
"Satisfaction" Devo 1980 (Original hit for The Rolling Stones 1965)
"Fox On the Run" Tom T. Hall 1976 (Original hit by Manfred Mann 1969)
"Summertime" Billy Stewart 1966 (Written in 1937, first rock era version by Sam Cooke 1957)
"Never Gonna Say Goodbye" Gloria Gaynor 1974 (Original hit by the Jackson Five 1972)
"You Keep Me Hanging On" Vanilla Fudge 1968 (Original hit by The Supremes 1966)
"MacArthur Park" Donna Summer 1980 (Original hit by Richard Harris 1968)
"Woodstock" Mathews Southern Comfort fall 1970 (Original hit by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young March 1970)
"With a Little Help From My Friends" Joe Cocker 1968 (Originally recorded by The Beatles in 1967)
"Walk On By" The Stranglers 1980 (Original hit for Dionne Warwick 1962)
"Proud Mary" Ike & Tina Turner 1971 (Original hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969)
"Light My Fire" Jose Feliciano 1968 (Original hit by The Doors 1967)
"Knock On Wood" Amii Stewart 1979  (Original hit by Eddie Floyd 1966)
"I'm a Man" The Yardbirds 1965 (Original hit by Bo Diddley 1955)
"House of the Rising Sun"  Frygid Pink 1970 (Original hit by The Animals 1964)
"Hey Joe"  Jimi Hendrix 1967 (Original hit by The Leaves 1965)
"Glendora" The Downliners Sect 1966 (Original hit by Perry Como 1956)
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Diana Ross 1970 (Original hit for Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell 1967)

And last but not least:

"Blinded By The Light," "For You" and "Spirits In the Night" Manfred Mann's Earth Band 1976-1980 (Original recordings by Bruce Springsteen 1973).

P. S: Before you say "You left off The Cowboy Junkies version of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane." It is different than the version of the Loaded LP." True, but the Cowboy Junkies version is identical to the version The Velvet Underground performs on the Live 1969 LP. So it doesn't count.

Friday, June 16, 2017


If you are on social media (or anywhere on the Internet), you know that people are usually complaining about how bad they think modern pop music is and that none of today's musical stars have any talent. Allegedly. People brag up "the good old days" and how wonderful everything was in the past. Quite a few of these people think that music was better before the advent of rock and roll. Think again.

You see, the people who hated Elvis, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, then turned their vitriol toward the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan, then hated Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Sex Pistols and disco, they  had the government go after Prince, Ozzy Osbourne and Madonna, and now (if they are still living) complain about Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kanye West, as well as hip hop/rap in general, liked one of the dumbest songs of the twentieth century (I'm saying the twentieth century, because honestly believe "Red Solo Cup" by Toby Keith will be considered the dumbest song of the twenty-first century).

Not only did they like this song, but they gave it the Academy Award for Best Song. Even harder to fathom is the fact it was written by two of America's greatest song writers. Some of the greatest pop singers of all-time have recorded it and singers are still recording it. What is this song?

My vote for dumbest song of the twentieth century is "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" written by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael. Mercer wrote such great songs "Moon River, "Glow Worm," "Hooray for Hollywood," "And the Angels Sing," and "That Old Black Magic." Carmichael wrote "Ole Buttermilk Sky," "Heart and Soul," "Up a Lazy River," "Georgia On My Mind" and "Stardust."  Together, Mercer and Carmichael wrote the song "Skylark," which is truly beautiful. All of those are great songs, but this one, in my opinion isn't one of the great ones.

This song was recorded by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. More recently Bette Midler and Crystal Gale have recorded this annoying, stinker of a song.  

My problem is the lyrics don't go together. It jumps around with this part early in the song:

"I like a barbecue, I like to boil a ham
And I vote for bouillabaisse stew (What's that?)
I like a weenie bake, steak and a layer cake
And you'll get a tummy ache too."

Then later in the song we get these lyrical gems:

"Whee!" said the bumblebee
"Let's have a jubilee!"
"When?" said the prairie hen, "Soon?"
"Sure!" said the dinosaur.
"Where?" said the grizzly bear,
"Under the light of the moon?"
"How 'bout ya, brother jackass?"
Ev'ryone gaily cried,
"Are you comin' to the fracas?"
Over his specs he sighed,
In the cool, cool, cool of the evenin'
Tell 'em I'll be there.
In the cool, cool, cool of the evenin'
Slickum on my hair."

I'm sure some dork out there will say, "Ah, they don't write songs like that any more." To that, I say "Good!"  This song is proof that there were bad songs in the pre-rock era. As a matter of fact, you could probably say that "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" is our parent's and grandparent's equivalent "We Built This City."


Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Anyone who has read this blog and the original blog knows that one of my all time favorite TV shows is the 1960's BATMAN TV show. Here is a great clip of Adam West in both the role of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Followed by is voice as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy.


Did this little old lady know something about Roger Moore's future?

Sunday, April 30, 2017


It's spring and time to party on the water or this could be music for your boat in the flooding here in Missouri.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I realize I have poked fun of some of the nonsense on the Internet where people talk about fears of clowns, department store Santa Clauses and department store Easter Bunnies. Now, I am going to confess to having been frightened by something that is frequently referred to a "beloved children's favorite." It is the children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and first published in 1922.

I never read the book or had it read to me, but I saw an animated TV version. I tried to look for the one I watched on YouTube and couldn't find it. I had a hard time looking up information on this story or looking for the video because I get shaky and nauseated just think about the story (Go ahead, you jerks, and call me "snowflake").

So what scared me about this story that it STILL bothers me in my 40s?  Near the end of story, the little boy contracts a serious illness and a doctor tells the parents that they have to burn his toys because they are contaminated.

This probably wouldn't frighten any other kid, but since I was two years old, I have had multiple illnesses. I nearly spent several months of my early childhood in a oxygen tent at the hospital in Lebanon, Missouri, because of severe asthma. I was never able to really play outside like other kids, because what triggered my asthma was pollen and other allergens, which include trees and grass. I was confined to the indoors, so toys, books and records were my only source of fun. Imagine the terror if that was taken away and burned.

Maybe this didn't frighten other kids, because they didn't have illness in there lives or they had different circumstances in their lives. As for me, it created an anxiety that still won't go away.

At least I didn't say I'm afraid of clowns.


Sunday, April 9, 2017


I had been wanting to find this and, of course, Youtube came through.  This is from the TV version of the popular radio anthology, Family Theater. The radio series adapted several classic children's books, while the TV series focused on mainly stories from the Bible (It was produced by a Catholic group - the radio show usually began with prayer).

I learned about this in an extra on the DVD of Rebel Without Cause. James Dean's first appearance on film was playing John the Apostle in a 1951 episode of Family Theater. The episode is called "Hill Number One."  It features a wrap around story of a platoon of men fighting in Korea. A chaplain brings the men coffee on Easter Sunday and begins telling them the story of the Resurrection.

Like the radio series, the TV show attracted some major actors. In this episode alone, you will see such well-known actors as Roddy McDowell (Planet of the Apes), William Schallert (Patty Duke Show), Leif Erickson (High Chaparral), Frank Wilcox (The Untouchables & Beverly Hillbillies), and Michael Anasara (Broken Arrow, Law of the Plainsman, Star Trek & I Dream of Jeanie).

When this first aired, James Dean wasn't THE JAMES DEAN. This was just the beginning of his legend.

Feel free to post this on Facebook with a overbearing, guilt trip statement like "I bet you won't share this." Maybe I'll get more hits that way.


Saturday, April 1, 2017


This is the 60th anniversary of the greatest April Fool's Day joke ever by, of all people, the BBC News division. We studied this incident in my media and journalism courses at Missouri State University, back when it was Southwest Missouri State University. None of our professors had a copy of it. They assumed it was lost (kind of like early Doctor Who episodes). We can see it, thanks to YouTube.

On April 1st, 1957, the BBC news program, Panorama, ran a 3 minute story about the abundant harvest this spring on spaghetti trees in Switzerland.  It was narrated by the shows, usually serious host Richard Dimbleby. At the time, spaghetti and pasta were not foods that the British ate. The only way to get spaghetti, in the 1950s, in Great Britain was pre-cooked in a can with tomato sauce. People began calling the BBC to find out if they could grow it in their back yard.

Here is the full report. The only thing missing from this is Richard Dimbleby's tag at the end, saying into the camera, "And that is our program for today, April 1st, 1957."

Runners up on great April Fool's Day jokes would be when a reporter for an NBC affiliate in Missouri (John Pertzborn, I think), in the early 90s, profiled a couple that was receiving "left over" TV transmissions from the 1950s. I became suspect when it seemed everything they were watching was off at Goodtimes or Video Steve compilation tape. Another April Fool's joke in the Missouri media world was in the late 80s, when the then top rated Top 40 radio station in Springfield, Missouri, KWTO-FM Rock 99, announced it was going country and the DJs quit on-air. Also a few years ago, Northern Bath Tissue announced their "Rustic Weave Artisan Toilet Paper" in an online commercial (I love the look on that woman's face when she sits down). Also, comic fans used to laugh about the time Comic Shop News announced that D.C Comics had bought out Marvel Comics. This was before Warner Brothers bought out D.C and Marvel was bought out by Disney.

Happy April Fool's Day!    

Sunday, March 19, 2017


A few years ago, I was writing a novel about a boy, named George Marter, growing up in Missouri in the 50s. At one point, a teacher tells him that he needs to know about David Rice Atchison, because he was the 'greatest man to ever come from Missouri.'  George Marter replies to the teacher, "As far as I'm concerned the greatest man to come from Missouri is Chuck Berry."

Needless to say, I haven't finished it and may never (I may go into the details on why in another post). During the writing of that novel, I listened to the music of the era and some of the best music of that era came from CHUCK BERRY.

I had been a fan of his music since I heard it as a child during the 50s nostalgia craze of the 70s. It also was a staple on those quickly disappearing things known as Oldies radio stations. Listening to his music again, via two greatest hits CDs, and mixed with some of the other stuff from that era (see my previous post on annoying music) you realize why Chuck Berry was important to the development of rock and roll. He took the blues, played it fast and wrote it for a younger teenage audience. His songs were about school, racing cars, dating and being a rock and roll fan. He also invented the guitar riff and the guitar solo.

Here are a list of my favorite Chuck Berry songs:

1. "Johnny B. Goode"
2. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"
3. "Roll Over Beethoven"
4. "Sweet Little Sixteen"
5. "Nadine"
6. "Maybellene"
7. "Thirty Days"
8. "Come On"
9. "You Never Can Tell"
10. "School Days"
11. "Rock & Roll Music"
12. "Run Run Rudolph"
13. "No Particular Place To Go"
14. "Back In the U.S.A"
15. "Promise Land"

Hail Hail Rock & Roll!

R. I. P BERNIE WRIGHTSON 1948 - 2017


He not only created the Swamp Thing, but he created nightmares.
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