Monday, December 31, 2007

Joe, Curly and Davy Jones at the strips

Speaking of Davy Jones yesterday as it was his birthday, I came across some old comic strips on the net that are from the 1960's where the star was named Davy Jones. Now at first, since I had never seen them before, I thought the name was there way of cashing in on the Monkees fame.

However, in doing some research I found that the strip first started around 1918 and was called Joe's Car. No one named Davy Jones was in the strip then. It was just about a little man named Joe and the problems he had with his car. Later the strip changed it's focus to what Joe did for a living. He was a fight manager and the title became Joe Jinks. This was in 1928 and predated Joe Palooka by 2 years as a comic strip dedicated to boxing.

After awhile a popular second character took over the lead role. He was called Curly Kayoe. He was one of the boxers that Joe managed. With the new name came a new look. It seems that Curly Kayoe was now more of a melodrama then the previous cartoonish style it started out with as Joe's Car.

Curly took over the daily strip and Joe was moved to Sunday only where the focus was on his family life. At times Joe would come back as a secondary character in the daily strip.
In 1961 Curly was fading in popularity as a character but a secondary character, seaman Davy Jones, proved more popular and he took over the strip for the rest of the decade just as Curly did from Joe years before. Now we can see that there was no Monkees influence at the time he took over the strip. Not hard to see why they named a seaman Davy Jones but I am certain the Monkees connection helped a little bit a few years later.

As you can see the style also changed. The art and plots seemed far more dramatic. It looked more like a soap opera comic strip. To my surprise the art chores were handled by Wayne Boring who did the art on Superman for DC Comics for about 10 years. Take a look at Davey's friend Marco in the last panel. Doesn't he look like Superman in disguise?

You can find out more about these comic strips if you click here or here.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Monkees Day and a Happy Birthday to Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones of the Monkees

Today is Monkees Day here at On My Mind. Why you may ask. Because it is to wish a Happy Birthday to Mike Nesmith who is 65 today and Davy Jones who is 62. Mike you can officially retire today but Davy has to keep working for a few more years.

So before you celebrate the New Year starting tomorrow start a celebration today. Get out your Monkees T-shirts, records, CD's, hats, posters or anything of the Monkees. Celebrate Monkees Day every year.

Here is a video of the Yardly Black Label aftershave commercial they both did for their sit-com in the 60's.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Comics

Over at the site Hey Kids! Comics my friend Rob told a story of how his Dad would take him to work on weekends and buy him some tabloid treasury comics so he could read them while he worked. Well I have a similar story.

When I was a boy my Dad worked very hard. Not only did my Dad have a full time job but he also had 2 or 3 part time jobs. One of them, back in 1974, was working weekends as a janitor or cleaning carpets. It was his own business so he would at times take me with him so we could spend time together. I would at times vacuum, wash the windows or when cleaning shag carpet I would rake the carpet after it was shampooed to raise the fibers and make it look neat for the owners.

One Saturday night after I had washed the windows and vacuumed the carpet I had nothing to do. Dad was buffing and waxing the non-carpeted part of the floor. The carpeted part was not shag so I was pretty much done unless Dad needed help with something. Being bored I started doing something that any boy would do when left alone in an office. I started opening drawers. I had no intentions of taking anything I just wanted to see what was inside. Suddenly in the bottom drawer of the desk I saw to my surprise...comic books. These weren't funny animal books either. These were fairly current Marvel Comic books. The one I remember being on top was Ghost Rider #6. I immediately took it out, sat on the floor and started to read it. For some reason I felt like I was doing something wrong but I didn't know why. After all I was only reading a comic book and I was going to put it back as soon as I was done. I was near the end of the story when I heard my Dad calling. I ignored him as I was near the end and wanted to finish and I also was afraid Dad would scold me for reading when I was suppose to be working.

Suddenly my Dad came from around the corner of the desk and loomed over me. He started to smile and asked me where did I get the book. I told him where I found them and I wanted to finish the story. He continued to smile as he said "When you're done over here and help me move this piece of furniture." So when I was done I did what he told me to.

Now I loved being with my Dad but I hated cleaning up after other people. I especially hated washing the windows. However, this new discovery made it easier to go with him on those Saturday nights. When I was done with my part I went over to the desk and started to read whatever comic books were in the bottom drawer. Dad got a kick out of telling my Mom about how if he needed me he could always find me behind that desk reading a comic book.

Then one night I got a surprise. I opened the bottom drawer and there were no comic books. I opened a few more drawers and found them and started reading. It was in that drawer for a few more weeks till one day all the drawers in the desk were locked. My Saturday night supply was cut off. I thought it was an accident that they were moved a few weeks before but I guess the owner of the desk knew someone was reading them and didn't like it. Moving them didn't stop me so he locked it. In my young mind I didn't know why someone wouldn't want to share the pleasure of reading their comics. That is something I still don't quite understand today but that is another story.

Still how did he find out? I always put them back the way I found them and I never touched anything else. Only the comic books. Later my Dad told me that he also found some old girlie magazines in the mens room. Dad knew who the books belonged to as there was only one man in the office. Dad never did like those magazines as they were demeaning to both men and women and he offered to throw them out. Of course Dad used the excuse that they were old to have them thrown out. He said no as he wanted something to read during the slow times of the day. He probably told him that I found and I read his comic books and he didn't want me to find and read these. Since I don't recall seeing those girlie mags I bet the offices owner put them all in his desk and locked it up so I wouldn't see them.

I am proud that my Dad took a polite stand for his beliefs. But I wish the office owner would have left the books outside the desk on Saturday for me to read. Saturday nights at that office weren't as fun once the desk drawers were locked.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Spider-Man and Hostess in Legal Eagle

I have something else in mind that will only make sense if I post it on Saturday so here is this weeks Hostess ad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

This Just in From the Now I've Seen it All Department

Yes here it is for the classic music and TV fan who also like to flyfish. Hold on to your fisherman's hat it's the Monkees lure? I found this on this Monkees collection site while I was surfing the net. So now I have seen it all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Favorite Movie Santa Poll Results

Our small poll of your favorite movie Santa is over. Scroll down and you will see the winner.

Keep scrolling.

Your getting closer.

You better not shout!

You better not cry!

You better not pout!

I'm telling you why!

Edmund Gwenn is coming to town!

Yes Mr. Gwenn is still the favorite even though he has passed away and therefore not played the role since 1947. He has however been seen in the role for decades on TV and home video in Miracle on 34th Street.

Tying for second place was Tim Allen of the Santa Clause films and David Huddleston of Santa Claus the Movie. Thanks to all who voted and to all who read this blog MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Perry Como Christmas Medley

From a Christmas special in December of 1969 complete with some commercials, here is Perry Como singing a medley of Christmas songs and hymns. Merry Christmas to one and all from On My Mind.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tennessee Ernie Ford, Andy Williams and Bing Crosby

Yesterday I had a video of Sinatra. Here are three other singers that I often think of when Christmas specials use to air this time of year. Tennessee Ernie Ford, Andy Williams and Bing Crosby with guest appearance by David Bowie. Tomorrow I will have a video of Perry Como singing a Christmas medley.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'v Got My Love to Keep Me Warm by Frank Sinatra

In the 1950's old blue eyes had his own weekly variety series. This clip is from a Christmas episode singing I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. Since it is in black and white I guess it is old gray eyes who sings it. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This Day In Music History: The Chipmunks and David Seville

I have been trying to do the #1 songs on Billboard in order but for this Christmas I was looking for Christmas song that was #1 on the charts. While Christmas songs have charted well in the past this time of year nothing by Sinatra, Crosby or anyone ever had a #1 song on Billboard. However the #1 song on the charts for this day in music history, December 22, 1958, made me want to skip for the 2nd time in a month. The #1 song that day was "The Chipmunk Song" by the Chipmunks and David Seville.
David Seville was really Ross Bagdasarian the brains behind the Chipmunks who wrote and produced the song. It started its run at #1 today for 4 straight weeks. Ross had a #1 song earlier in 1958 with the Witch Doctor. The speeded up voices on Witch Doctor had no name or identity on the song. It was after it was a hit that Ross had the idea for the Chipmunks.
The names of the chipmunks came from the names of executives at Liberty Records where he was under contract. Alvin was for Al Bennett who was president of the company. Simon was named after Al's partner Si Waronker and Theodore was named after Ted Keep the recording engineer.
The personality for Alvin was based on Ross' son Adam. Adam was always asking if it was Christmas yet starting in September. He figured if he was then other children probably were too.
The song went through three versions before the family approved. At one time it was titled "In A Village Park." The third version was the charm. In three weeks the song sold over 2,500,000 copies. It was the fastest selling song of 1958 and won three Grammy awards. They were Best Recording for Children, Best Comedy Performance and Best Engineered Record.

Ross and the Chipmunks were on a roll. In 1959 their song "Alvin's Harmonica" peaked at #3. In the fall of 1961 their own TV show called "The Alvin Show" premiered on CBS.
It only ran for 1 season but the repeats ran for 3 years on Saturday morning when the started it in June of 1962. In 1964 they release an album called The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles after Ross saw them on the Ed Sullivan show. In 1967 Ross retired the Chipmunks. He wanted to be known as serious songwriter again and not known for his novelty material.
Saddly Ross died of a heart attack in 1972. This major set back didn't stop the return of the Chipmunks. In 1980 a radio DJ accidentally played the Blondie song "Call Me" in a faster speed. When the song ended he realized his mistake and joked that it was the Chipmunks version. People took him seriously and began requesting the Chipmunks version. Soon Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife Janice recorded a new Chipmunk album and called it Chipmunk Punk. Ross was the voice of Alvin, Simon and David Seville and Janice was Theodore. A follow up album was called Urban Chipmunk during the Urban Cowboy era of movies and music. The Chipmunks were on a role again with a series of live shows and a new Saturday morning show on NBC television in 1983.

Now they are trying for another comeback with a new movie that just came out with Jason Lee. Will a sequel a new album or cartoon series follow? Don't be surprised if all of them are released and meet with a lot of success.
Would Ross Sr. be happy with his creations continuing into the 21st century after he retired them in 1967? I think he would. I also think he would be just as happy to know that movie fans can see him play a serious musician in the Hitchcock film Rear Window. If you ever see the film you will notice one of Jimmy Stewart's neighbors is a musician and always playing the piano near his apartment window. That actor is Ross Bagdasarian Sr. As Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.

Thor and Hostess Meet the Ding-A-Ling Family

It looks like Thor took on Ma Barker and her boys. I can't think of a more stupid enemy. Especially for someone like Thor. This was even dumb for a Hostess Ad.

Friday, December 21, 2007

AAU Shoes Ad

I know some people hate this old ad but I loved it with the play on words. The bad guy is called Missile-Toe and he shoots the missiles from his boots. That is so cool, corny and funny at the same time. Since Christmas missile-toe is a holiday tradition I have posted this ad today along with some Christmas decorations in the four corners. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Battling Tops

Many toys of yesteryear have been with us for decades in one form or another. Others left the stage not long after the came on the scene and have not been heard from since. While other toys seem to be making a come back. Here is a commercial for Battling Tops that seems to be on the comeback route. I loved this when I was a kid and I see it selling out on the internet and selling in some stores for a lower price then the internet sites. Ok Yes I did ask my wife to try and get it for me for Christmas. Here is the Clio award winning commercial.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Favorite Movie Santa Poll

Vote to tell who is your favorite movie Santa Claus. While I have liked all of them and they have all played the part well, one was even an Oscar winner in the role, the best one to me is David Huddleston. I am casting my vote for him.

Favorite Movie Santa Claus?

Who is your favorite movie Santa Claus?

Tim Allen of the Santa Clause series
Edmund Gwenn of Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Richard Attenborough of Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
David Huddleston of Santa Claus the Movie
Paul Giamatti of Fred Claus

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monkees Biography December 19th

I just got this from Peter Tork's My Space Site. If you get the Biography Channel you may be interested.
Be sure the check out the Biography Channel 12/19 @ 10 pm for "The Biography of The Monkees". So check your local listings and make sure you watch, and if you can't watch make sure you have your TIVO/DVR set up to record for ya. You won't want to miss this!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rest in Peace Dan Fogelberg

I just heard the news that Dan Fogelberg has passed away after his battle with cancer on December 16th. Until now I had believed that Mr. Fogelberg was from my home state of Kentucky. Partly because someone told me this years ago and the rest was based on his song "Run For the Roses" which was about the Kentucky Derby. Now I have found out that he was born August 13 1951 in Peoria, Illinois. In an interview that I just read on line he said that he was hired by the Kentucky Derby to write the song "Run For the Roses." No matter where he was from I liked his music.
I always associate the music of Dan Fogelberg with my days in college. It was in late 1979 or early 1980 when I first heard of him. Two songs of his were bigs hits from his Phoenix album. They were "Longer", which is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, and "Heart Hotel." I remember hearing the song "Heart Hotel" on the radio all the time. There was a phrase that I never quite understood in the song. It was while listening to it on the radio as I was driving home from my part-time job that I decided to make up my own lyric that, to me, sounded like what he was singing. The line as I sang it was "echoes of promises kept." Later, I was talking to my cousin Steve on the phone. He liked the song as much as I did and I asked him what he was saying at that part. He told me the real lyric was "Nobody living inside." When I told him I heard it as "echoes of promises kept" he liked it and asked if he might use the phrase sometime in something he wrote. I of course said it was ok with me.
For four years I kept hearing the songs of Dan Fogelberg coming from my radio. Like the "Power of Gold" from his album Twin Sons of Different Mothers with Tim Weisberg which was the only hit off of that album. That song came out around the time that John Stewart had a hit with "Gold" and I wondered if they had planned it as an answer to each others song. It is around this time of year that radio stations play his hit "Same Old Lang Syne." It will be even more sad to hear it this year with his passing. I once read that the song was based on a true story of his accidental meeting with an old girlfriend. "Leader Of The Band" is a song that he wrote about his Father. From what I have read his Father got a lot of attention and interviews from the media about this and Dan was a little surprise that the song became a hit. Two more hits of his that I loved to hear were "Make Love Stay" and "Part of the Plan." With all of this success in music it is sad to note that he never had a #1 hit on the Billboard charts. Why that is I don't know. I can't even tell you why the only album I ever bought was his greatest hits album. I had hopes for a second volume but that never came to pass. While he and his music will be missed, I don't think the industry ever fully appreciated his music or his talent. He was one of the few who successfully blended folk, country, pop and jazz to have a long career in music. I have heard that in his battle with cancer his strength, dignity and grace inspired all who knew him. Rest in Peace Dan Fogelberg.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Monkees Riu,Chiu

Here are the Monkees at the end of their Christmas show singing a song called Riu,Chiu I believe it is in Spanish. It tells the story of Christ. Here is the english translation.
River, roaring river, guard our homes in safety,
God has kept the black wolf from our lamb, our lady.
God has kept the black wolf from our lamb, our lady.

Raging mad to bite her, there the wolf did steal,
But our God almighty defended her with zeal.
Pure he wished to keep her so she could never sin,
That first sin of man never touched the virgin sainted.

River, roaring river...

He who's now begotten is our mighty monarch,
Christ, our holy father, in human flesh embodied.
He has brought atonement by being born so humble,
Though he is immortal, as mortal was created.

River, roaring river...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sheldon Moldoff signed original art Batman Hawkman 1 Day Auction

This is an original painting by Sheldon Moldoff one of the greats of the golden and silver age of comics. It is for sale on e-bay and I am the seller so click here to bid on it. I met Mr. Moldoff in the 1990's when he was at the Mid-Ohio convention. He is a very nice man and loved talking about his grandson. Make a comic book fans Christmas and get them this original watercolor painting by one of the greats in the business.

Bring On the Bad Boy

I remember this story as happening in 1975 but every where I look on the publishing date of the book, Bring on the Bad Guys by Stan Lee, I see the year 1976. Perhaps I am off by a year or maybe it came out in late 1975 but is date 1976. Either way this story did happen to me in November and December of one of those two years.
I have liked reading comic books for most of my life. At this year I was at the height of my comic book interest. I was in my early teens and not of driving age yet. That I do remember quite well. It was November 26th. The day after Thanksgiving that year. My Dad had to go to work and I had the day off from school. It was also garbage day. We lived on the top of a hill and the night before I dragged down a heavy metal garbage can full of the holiday leftovers and other various items that we threw away earlier that week to the bottom of the hill for the garbage man to get. My Dad left instructions for me to get the empty garbage can and bring it back up before he got home that day. Having every intention of following my Dad's orders I assured him I would.
That whole day I spent most of it playing and reading in my room. No friends were playing across the street in the park and I got no calls from anyone to meet them anywhere. It was cold outside and I wanted to stay warm so there was no reason to venture out of the house. Well I did have to get the garbage can. But that wouldn't take long and I could get it anytime that day. The old saying says that time flies when you are having fun and this day it proved true. As I was enjoying myself time got away from me. I heard my Dad's car coming up the drive way. At first I just thought something like "Oh good Dad's home." That quickly changed to "OH NO! DAD'S HOME! I HAVEN'T BROUGHT IN THE GARBAGE CAN YET!" Before I could hardly move Dad came in the house and down to my room. He looked right at me and said "I brought the garbage can in myself. No comic books for a month." (Back then if Dad saw the garbage can still not taken in he would grab one of the handles and hold it outside the driver side window of the car as he drove up the hill. The can banged on the side of the car all the way up. The memory of that makes me smile to this day.) What didn't make me smile was no comic books for a month. A week I could have taken but a month seemed like torture. But Dad was right and he was just in giving me my punishment. I had been a bad boy for not following through on what he told me to do.
The month went by quicker then I had thought. It wasn't easy seeing my favorite books for sale and I couldn't buy them. Still I obeyed my Dad and I survived the month.
Then came December 25th. Christmas Day. The next to last day of the month long punishment that my Dad gave me. Now I was no longer a child. I was a teen and I knew the true story of Santa Claus but I did my best to keep the magic alive for years. I would wake up every Christmas morning and see my gifts under the tree. I was up before my parents this year and I saw one thing that I had asked for Christmas that tested me more then any comic book that month. It was the brand new book by Stan Lee Bring On The Bad Guys. I wanted this more then anything that year and here it was staring me right in the face and I could not read it till tomorrow.
Now I could have told my parents it wasn't really a comic book as it was a paperback book. But to my Mom and Dad if comics were inside it then it was a comic book and I understand that and I actually agree with that. I was torn between reading the book and being a good son and obeying my punishment. Of course if I had obeyed Dad a month earlier I wouldn't be in this dilemma. I suddenly thought in those early morning hours that I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to read just one story in the book. One of the reasons I wanted the book was it had a reprint of the Dr. Doom origin story and I loved this story when it was on the old Fantastic Four Saturday morning cartoon series. I had never read it in the comic books before so all alone in the dimly lit room I opened the book and read the Dr. Doom story. Later, I was feeling a little ashamed after my Mom and Dad got up and we opened more gifts. Mom saw me holding the book and she came over and whispered to me "Since it's Christmas your Dad and I agreed to take you off of your punishment so you can read that book today and not wait till tomorrow." I looked at her and told her the truth. "Good cause I already started reading it." Mom laughed and went back to celebrating Christmas. I still feel a little guilty about it but at least Mom and Dad were forgiving about it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I saw this post on News From ME and it got me to thinking. If they did ever do a remake who would they get to be in it. First I thought they would have to hire most comedic actors from TV who want to make a name for themselves in the movies. So here is my cast if they ever do a remake of it in the USA. Some I am not sure which part they would play but others I know exactly the part they should play.
1. Michael J. Fox (he would be perfect in the Micky Rooney role if he was in good health)
2. Tim Allen (Hey! You need one who already made his name in movies.)
3. Kelsey Grammer
4. Robin Williams (Again Hey! you will need at least one who already made his name in the movies.)
5. Harry Anderson (Of course what part should he play? The Phil Silvers role of course.)
6. Larry the cable Guy (the role played by Jonathan Winters)
7. Kevin James
8. Drew Carey
9. Julia Louis Dreyfus
10. Harrison Ford (You need a serious actor who can handle comedy to play the Spenser Tracy part.)
11. Patricia Heaton
12. Patricia Richardson
13. Rowan Atkinson (the Terry Thomas role
14. Estelle Harris (in the Ethel Merman part)

So it wouldn't be too hard to do a remake in my mind. You would just have to beef up some of the roles more. Mostly the womens parts. The only part that would be hard these days would be the cost as the cast would send the price sky high.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This Day In Music History: The Monkees and Daydream Believer

I can't believe that this anniversary slipped past me. It was actually #1 on the Billboard charts starting December 2, 1967. I thought it started its run around a week later. Since "Daydream Believer" was #1 on the charts for 4 weeks I can safely say that it was still #1 on this day in music history. So this month is the 40th anniversary of the last #1 hit that the Monkees had. They did have another top 10 hit a few months later with "Valleri" but this was their last time at the top of the charts.
Also, a few months later it would see the end of their situation comedy show. They had slowly tried to morph the show into a variety series as that type of series was popular then. It would allow them to play a wider variety of music and guest stars if this had come to be. However, NBC wanted only another year of their sit-com. So the series ended with59 episodes.
Everyone is aware that the Monkees fought for creative control of their music and they won that battle. However, after their album Headquaters they found it difficult to maintain that control and still act on their TV show. Therefore, things reverted back to them only going into the studio to record while the producers set up the musicians. This was at least were their presence was still felt as their musical producer was their hand picked choice of Chip Douglas. "Daydream Believer" was produced by him and Davy Jones is the only Monkee on the record.
The Monkees were still popular but that popularity was starting to wind down. The did the movie Head and later the TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. They had hoped that either one of them would have been successful enough to continue their work in movies and television. However, both failed to capture the attention of the public. Peter Tork quit the group after they did the TV special. The others continued as a trio for another year. Then Mike Nesmith also bought out his contract with the Monkees. He had already written a hit song with "Different Drum" for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys. Dot Records released his big band album of songs that he previously had written and recorded with the Monkees. It was called The Wichita Train Whistle Sings.
Micky and Davy were still under contract and with their show going into syndication were told they were still being held to the contract for one more album. This enabled the shows production company to put the new songs on the syndicated episodes. The record company I am sure had hopes it would boost sales so they could still sell albums. This was not to be as the writing was on the wall that it was the end of the Monkees. There was even a joke making the rounds that one of the remaining two would quit and the other would try to milk the Monkee machine even more by calling himself The Monkee.
The move for the show into syndication was smart as it kept them in the eye of their key audience. As a result there were attempts at reunions over the years. The most successful was in 1986 when Peter, Micky and Davy reunited for a world tour. Destiny also played into how successful the reunion was as MTV, unknown to the Monkees, had started playing their TV show and Arista was about to release a new Monkees Greatest Hits album. The TV show gave them an even younger audience and the tour became a family event. Arista asked them to record new songs for the album. Micky and Peter got together for three new songs on the album. One was released as a single and "That Was Then, This is Now" became the last top 20 hit for the Monkees when it peaked at #20 on the Billboard charts in August of 1986.
Click on the player below to hear Davy, Micky and Peter preform the song live in 1986.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

This Day in Music History: Guy Mitchell and Singing the Blues

On this day in music history, December 8, 1956, Guy Mitchell had the #1 song on the Billboard charts with Singing the Blues. It was written by Melvin Endsley and produced by Mitch Miller. Melvin was a victim of polio when he was three years old. He was confined to a wheelchair. This was his first successful that he wrote.
Marty Robbins was the first to record the song for Columbia Records. It was the same label that Guy Mitchell recorded for and Mitch Miller was one of their producers/executives.
Before he became Guy Mitchell he was Al Cernick from Detroit, Mich where he was born Feb. 27, 1927. His parents moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 years old. It was during the train ride west that Little Al was heard singing on the train. An Agent heard him and told his Mom her son had a beautiful voice. He gave her his card and told her to call him when they got to LA. She did and the agent got Al signed to a contract with Warner Brothers where they planned to groom him to be a child star. He was given acting, singing, dancing and diction lessons. He was heard singing on radion station KFWB. Then his parents moved to San Francisco and that ended his career as a child star.
He still continued singing and in 1947 he became the vocalist for the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra. It was with them that he made his first recordings. It was with Decca Records and they were called "I Go in When the Moon Comes Out" and "Ah But It Happens."
His biggest break came years later when Frank Sinatra refused to record two songs for Mitch Miller. The studio was already booked and the band was waiting. Mitch had to find a replacement fast. He remembered hearing a demo for Al Cernick. Two hours later, after making some calls, Mitch had Al in the studio. He recorded "My Heart Cries For You" and the flip side "The Roving Kind." Both made the top 5 on the charts.
Mitch Miller didn't like his name. So he had him change his name. Mitch gave him the name Mitchell and Guy came from Mr. Miller saying that Al was a nice guy. Hence the name Guy Mitchell.
Later Mitchell heard Marty Robbins version of "Singing the Blues" and wanted to record it. He asked Mich Miller if he could record the song. He was given the go ahead. Both versions entered the charts on November 3, 1956. However, Robbins version stalled at #17 while Guy Mitchell's version went to #1 for 9 weeks.

Thor and Hostess in Good Overcomes Evil!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Speed Racer:The Movie

Here he comes
Here comes Speed Racer
He's a demon on wheels.

Warner Brothers also hopes he will be a demon at the box office also. The movie comes out in May of 2008 and will star Emile Hirsch as Speed. Matthew Fox is Racer X. Other in the cast are Kick Gurry, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon,Paulie Lit and Christina Ricci as Trixie.
While I have never been a fan of Speed Racer I can't wait to see this movie. The trailer below can make anybody want to see it if they are looking to see a good popcorn movie.
While Speed Racer is from Japan he has become a pop icon in America. Baby boomers and NASCAR fans should make this movie a must see for the summer. As I said before Emile Hirsch is the star in the role that I heard rumored before that Johnny Depp was asked to play. Emile is not familiar to me but if you have seen Into the Wild, Alpha Dog, The Girl Next Door then you have seen some of his work. Most of the others in the film are already pop icons themselves.
The film was done by Andy and Larry Wachowski who created the Matrix. The Matrix was too avant garde for me. However, that type of film making is just what this movie needs. An askewed view of the family/racing dynamics of the film.
Speed Racer is so much a part of popular culture that just when you think he is gone he pops up again. Not long ago he surfaced in a Geico insurance commercial. According to USA Today that was Christina Ricci's first time to ever see Speed Racer.
I have a humorous story that has a slight mention of Speed Racer that I may share with you soon. Till then look at and enjoy the trailer. Coming in May next year I will see you at the movies.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Skit from Bob Hope Christmas Special from 1970's

Keeping in the vein of Christmas and Star Wars here is a skit from a Bob Hope Christmas Special.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Star Wars Christmas Special

Here is a video of the Star Wars 1978 Christmas special with the first appearance of Boba Fett in Star Wars history. I had always heard that it was held back from any other showings or release on video as they didn't like the looks of it. For the most part it isn't as bad as I thought but some of the facial expressions don't look too good in this video. Still it was a kick to see it for the first time for me to see it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chipmunk song

After seeing This post at Booksteve's I looked for this video on You Tube. This was the Chipmunks I grew up with. It's good to know that Hollywood hasn't forgotten them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Publishing Contract

Keep an eye out for my name at your local bookstore. I just signed a contract with a small publisher called Morning Sun Publishing to publish a children's book that I wrote. They want to get it out in time for Christmas this year as it is a Christmas story. I hope they do but I think it will be closer to next Christmas but I'll take it whenever it comes out. I had a short story published once but this will be the first time I will have written a book.

The story use to be on this site but I have taken it off since then. Long time readers of this site may take the above photo as a hint to the title. I don't want to say much more till I know when it will definitely be coming out.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

All Fun Must Come To An End Sometime

The year was 1982. I had been a comic collector for years but had been to very few comic book conventions at that time. A small con was being held not far from my home in Ky at the Drawbridge Inn. I went with my friends Chuck and Mike. While there we ran into my cousin Steve. Now it was fun to be attending such a thing with 3 men who I was very close to. But amongst all of the fun I learned something that day.

You see it was close to my birthday. Chuck and I had become fans of the Pacific Comics publication called Starslayer. It was created by Mike Grell who wrote and drew the stories. For those of you who don't know the story it is about a time-displaced Celtic warrior named Torin MacQuillon. He was taken seconds before he may have died. I say may have as in the first issue it was said that according to history he just disappeared. Now he was traveling through space in the far future. It was near impossible to take him back as it may change the time line. Anyway, I didn't catch on till halfway through the first 6 issues. So I was always looking for the first 3. By this time I had 5 of the 6. However, I was missing the first issue.

Later that day Chuck came up to me and gave me the first issue of Starslayer and told me Happy Birthday. He found it at the convention and bought it as a gift. I was very happy and quickly read it when I got home. However, since the series was originally conceived as a mini-series it now meant that I had the entire series. My happiness turned to sadness when I suddenly realized that my fun was now over. I was enjoying the hunt for this series. Each time I found an issue I felt like I had discovered buried treasure. I treasure this memory and thank my friend Chuck again for getting it for me if he is reading this site. However, I will always remember the lesson that half the fun of collecting anything is the search.

I know the series was continued eventually at First Comics. While it ran for over 30 issues and even had a successful spin-off with Grimjack, it wasn't as much fun anymore so I only bought the first 6 issues. Part of the reason it wasn't fun anymore is I could easily keep up with it each month. The thrill of the hunt was gone.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thor and Hostess Meet A Glutton For Gold

Another Saturday morning and I ain't got no Twinkies but Thor does. Let's see how he beats this weeks villain.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Beowulf in 3-D

I had the day off work today and wanted to see a movie. There were only two movies that seemed appealing to me. To help get more into the Christmas spirit I thought of seeing Fred Claus. However, I saw that Beowulf was showing in 3-D. I decided on that one as what are the chances I will see a 3-D movie again. I remembered when I was in college and going with my friends and cousins to see 3-D movies when the craze came back around then. Instead of seeing the 12:30pm show of Fred Claus I left my house at 1pm to run a quick errand and then stop at the theater to see the 1:30pm showing of Beowulf in 3-D.
At 1:25pm I entered the theater. I asked to purchase one ticket to Beowulf. I was instantly shocked when the man behind the counter said the price was $9. 45 as he rang up his sale and slid the 3-D glasses to me. I knew the price of movies had gone up but when I saw Mr. Bean's Holiday it was only $6.25. I told the man I only asked for 1 ticket. He said yes but it is in 3-D so they charged more for it and that was the price for Beowulf. I slid the glasses back to him. I told him I know it is in 3-D but I won't pay that much for a movie. He seemed shocked by this. I looked to see when the next showing of Fred Claus was playing. Not until 4pm. So I left the theater. I drove to another movie theater but they didn't have it in 3-D and to me it isn't worth seeing unless it is in 3-D. The person at that theater said it would cost extra if it was in 3-D to pay for the glasses. So I went home.
Now I know that I sound like some old guy just ranting. However, I didn't see any ad that said it was going to cost around $3 more. Since my memory of seeing the older movies in 3-D was that the glasses were free I didn't expect to pay more for the film. Besides when is it that you could use those glasses again? They aren't coming out with 3-D movies that often. If they were they would probably design them in such a way that you had to buy the glasses every time you went to the movies.
Had I seen an ad telling of the extra price I would have been prepared or not wasted my time driving to the theater. To be honest the only ad I saw for the 3-D movie is when it was on the theater marquee as I drove past it yesterday.
Anyway if you plan to see it this weekend in 3-D be aware that it may cost you $3 more.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wonderful Christmas Time

I don't know who made this but it has to be one of the best homemade Christmas music videos I have ever seen. Children visiting Santa set to the Paul McCartney and Wings song Wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Submarine to Adventure

How many of us saw this half page ad in our comic books while growing up? I use to dream of getting this two man sub and going with one of my cousins Randy, Rachel, Jeff or Steve and using it to travel to someplace like England. If for some reason we couldn't go that far then we could at least explore the bottom of the lake that was across the street from where I lived back then. None of that ever happened as I never got the sub.
As I got older I saw this ad in some old comics and realized how naive I was. It was probably a cardboard box made to look like a sub and your imagination would take you across the sea or to the bottom of your local lake. I am glad I never asked my parents to buy it as I would have been very disappointed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Day in Pop Culture History: Magical Mystery Tour

On this day in pop culture history,Nov. 27 1967, The Beatles released their album Magical Mystery Tour in the US. Today is its 40th anniversary. It was also the name of a TV special that aired first in England. It aired in black and white so that didn't help with how the special was perceived. It also had a terrible plot. It was just the Beatles on a bus tour and the rest of the story was made up as they went along.
The reaction to the special was so bad in England that ABC canceled plans to show it in America.
The movie wasn't shown in the USA till 1976 when it showed up in art house theaters at midnight showings and on college campuses. The music was great. The songs from the soundtrack are still heard on radio today but it is hard to find a place where you can see the movie. If you want a taste of what the movie was like you can view the opening to it below.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Day in Pop Culture History: Casablanca

The romantic movie that even guys like. Casablanca, opened on Nov. 26, 1942 at the Hollywood Theater in New York. Every guy since then has taken or rented this movie for their dates to show they have a sensitive side. Below is the movie trailer to this wonderful film.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Monkees-Valleri

Here is a good video from their show. It was done with the guys playing their own music on the show. Notice the huge amps in the back. Davy's singing must have been picked up by the boom mike. Also, a little known fact on this video is there is a cool pull away shot with Davy. He remains the size while the other 3 get smaller. This was done by having Davy sit on a chair that was connected to the camera. Usually the camera man or on movie sets the director sit in this chair but this time it was the actor so they could get this special effect.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok here is one of my favorite strips from Bloom County. I know it says Christmas in the first panel but I with the Turkey dinner I always felt it better fit Thanksgiving. Hope you get a laugh from it and Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mid-Ohio Con is not on for me

Well it's not looking too good that I will go to Mid-Ohio con this weekend. Time and finances, mostly finances, aren't working together for me. Which is too bad as there are two men there whom I would like to meet. Herb Trimpe and Gene Colan. There are others of course but When I was a kid the main reason I read the comic books of Hulk and Daredevil is because I loved the look their art gave them. To meet them in person would have been great. If I can ever arrange my finances to save for next year I will do so. But even that is a dream at this time.
If anyone out there knows how to set up conventions and wants to do so for Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky area next year it would also help. If I knew how I would do it myself. For those of you who do go I hope you have fun.

The Equalizer season one on DVD

When you need help. When there is no one else to turn to, who do you call upon? Call the Equalizer. Edward Woodward played the Equalizer a man who was a former government agent who was targeted to be killed because he knew too much. A friend in the agency had his file down graded so he was not killed but kept a close eye on by the government.
He used his time off to take out an ad telling he could help the helpless. Those who called him sometimes needed his help as what had to be done ran opposed to some government operations. With agents already watching him it made things a but difficult for him to help people with his detective work. But it was fun to watch. The DVD set is a bit pricey at $49.99 but you can save some money if you pre-order at Amazon as they have it for $37.95.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monkees Memorabilia Auction

Brad Waddell of the Monkees Home Page has said that there is a major showbiz auction that also features Monkees Memorabilia. It is from the collection of producer David Gest. You can see the collection if you Click Here. On the left hand side you can then click on David Gest collection put in the lot # of what you see below to look at his Monkees collection.

What is up for sale is:

394 - Monkees memorabilia, comprising a copy of
the album 'More Of The Monkees' signed in black
markers by the band; and two toy guitars by
Mattell, Inc., both in original boxes

395 - Four 'Monkee-Mobile' toys

396 - A "wax box" of Monkees 'Flip Movies' booklets, with twenty-four wax packs

397 - Six items of Monkees memorabilia,
comprising; a board game, unused; a hat; three
bracelets and a necklace (three on original card)

398 - Four items of Monkees memorabilia,
comprising; a binder and 'Record Tote' case, both
Raybert Productions Inc., a jigsaw puzzle and a
'Swingin' Numbered Oil Paint Set'

399 - An RIAA 'Gold' award for the single "Last
Train To Clarksville" by The Monkees, , named to " The Monkees"

400 - An RIAA 'Gold' award for the single "I'm A
Believer" by The Monkees, named to "The Monkees",

401 - An RIAA 'Gold' award for the single
"Pleasant Valley Sunday" by The Monkees, named to "The Monkees",

402 - An RIAA 'Gold' award for the single
"Daydream Believer" by The Monkees, named to "The Monkees",

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hostess and Captain Marvel vs. Professor Sneer

Sorry about missing the Saturday version of my Hostess team up ads yesterday. My mind was on other things. I hope today I will make up for it with Hostess and Captain Marvel as they defeat Professor Sneer with the power of Twinkies.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A batch of Osmond videos

Ending Osmonds video week are a batch of Osmond videos from Jimmy to Donny and Marie.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Osmonds on the Andy Williams Christmas Show

Here is a video from You Tube with the Osmond Brothers singing and skating on an Andy Williams Christmas episode.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Man From U.N.C.L.E. on DVD

Just a reminder that if you have someone who is fan of the Man From UNCLE then you can get the complete series on DVD at Time Life. It is 41 DVDs and if you enter their special code you can get free standard shipping. It comes in a collectible case shaped to look like an attache' case. Click on the link below to go to their site to order it and have it in time for Christmas.
Time Life (logo):  Not Sold in Stores

The Osmonds at the 1972 Ohio State Fair

Yes according to what I read this is the Osmonds at the 72 Ohio State Fair. Wish I could have gone to see it. Jay Osmond takes center stage as he plays drums and sings one of his favorite songs. Many people said that the Osmonds were like the Monkees in that they couldn't play their own instruments. Well this proves them wrong and the Osmonds really do rock.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Osmonds Hawaiian Punch Commercial

Here is a commercial from around 1979 or 1980. There is some funny interplay between Donny and Marie at the end. This may have been around the time they did a movie called "Goin' Coconuts" I never saw the movie but I heard it wasn't very good. If I could find it sometime I would like to see it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Osmonds on Saturday Morning Television

I have to admit that I watch the TV show Dancing with the Stars. While it is sad to hear that Mr. Osmond has passed on I am happy that his daughter Marie is doing so well on the show. No matter what the results are tonight I am making the rest of this week Osmond week by showing videos that star them.
Today is the opening of an episode of from the Osmond Brothers cartoon series. Yes in 1972 they were so popular they had their own Saturday morning cartoon series. It was produced by Rankin/Bass who did the Christmas specials back then. Their opening theme song as you can hear was their hit song "One Bad Apple".

Monday, November 12, 2007

Batman 80 pg. Giant

I loved these 80 page giant books from the 1960's. Some times Mom and Dad would buy one for me or I would look at one when I was at my cousin Steve's home. Now Steve was older then me so he could read but I couldn't. I just looked at the pictures. One of my favorites was this one that you see above. The reason was the story of the Rainbow Batman. Like I said I couldn't read but i loved seeing Batman in that bright rainbow colored uniform. I can't tell you anything about the story but my young eyes loved those bright colors. The other story in this book that made an impression was the story of Batman Jr. and Robin Sr. As I got older I re-read the story at some point and remember its plot a little better. As I recall Dick Grayson had gotten older but never took on the name of Batman. Bruce got married and had a son. He asked Dick to train him to take over as Batman. That is how I remember it. I may be wrong and mixing it up with another story.
I have fond memories of reading these 80 page giants in the car as Mom and Dad had to go somewhere. They kept trying to get me to stop reading in the car as they were afraid it would make me sick. It never did then but now that I am older it is another story. Other fond memories are of being at Steve's and sitting on his bed reading them and looking with awe at his impressive collection. It's been awhile since I was at his home but the last time I was I still had that same feeling when I viewed his collection.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

War of the Worlds Seaon One

Well I just got this so I haven't had time to view it but I wanted to let anyone know that War of the Worlds the TV series has season one available on DVD. Until a few weeks ago I didn't know that this was available. This series was on first run syndication in 1988. Just like this DVD set I didn't know about it till I ran across it on television. It centered around Dr. Harrison Blackwood and his group. The aliens who were captured in the George Pal movie in the 1950's were now accidentally freed by terrorist. Until this this time the threat of the aliens conquering Earth had been forgotten. Dr. Blackwood and his group are a human resistance group fighting them. My favorite character in the series was the US government liaison Colonel Ironhorse. Normally the military officer in shows like this tend to get in the way of the other heroes. However, the actor playing the part, Richard Chaves, and the writers were able to elevate this role and created a great character. He almost overshadowed the others and threatened to be come the lead in the series.
The show only lasted about two seasons. Season one was the best. New producers were brought in wanted to take the show in a new direction. The character of Colonel Ironhorse and Norton Drake, played by Philip Akin, were not considered important to that direction. So the actors were thanked for helping make the series successful and let go.
When the show came back for the 1989-1990 season their characters were killed off. That season the new direction looked at the war from the point of view of the aliens. With this it took on a darker tone. I tried to like this new direction but I could not get use to it. Perhaps of Ironhorse and Norton Drake were kept with the series I would have enjoyed it more but after only a few episodes I stopped watching. I must not have been the only one. The series was not renewed for the 1990-1991 season. While the series ended with the war being over it had alot of loose ends from what others have said. I can only believe that these loose ends were to be tied up next season.
So I recommend that you buy this if you see it for sale. You'll have to make up your own mind when season two comes out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hostess and Daredevil vs. Johnny Punk!

It's Saturday Morning and time for the adventures of Hostess. In today's episode Hostess fruit pies team up with Daredevil as they take on Johnny Punk.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Showcase Presents World's Finest Volume One

Ok I am a little bit behind on this. It came out a few weeks ago but I didn't see it till today. DC has finally put out Showcase Presents World's Finest Volume one. I can't understand why it took them this long to put it out. I do understand that a few volumes of Batman and Superman in their solo adventures have to be put out first so these stories make sense. I don't understand why we needed volumes of other books when this one containing the two heavy hitters in the DC line up was waiting in the wings. Any way it is out now and you can buy it at your local comic book store or click on the link to and this site will get a percentage of the sale.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jimmy Olsen

Booksteve has an old comic book ad for Jimmy Olsen's first issue. As you can see above I am a Jimmy Olsen fan so I had to link to it. I didn't want to put the ad here so you will have to follow the link above to see it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ultra Brite commercial

For those of you who like to see old commercials or what stars did before they became stars here is a commercial for Ultra Brite toothpaste with Farrah Fawcett.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Man for Attorney General

I voted on my way in to work today and I got a surprise. I only had only kept up with the news on the race for my states Governor and then I saw a name that I had seen for many years. Stan Lee for Attorney General. Now once I saw that I did remember seeing one of his signs and hearing a little bit about him. So I was not completely uninformed about this race but I have not heard anything about his opponent. As you can imagine I voted for Stan the man Lee. After all if you can't trust the man who created Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four and other Marvel heroes then who can you trust. Of course I know it isn't the same Stan Lee but it made me smile this morning.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Giving Thanks

I have something on my mind that has been bugging me. I won’t name names as I don’t want to upset any one or falsely accuse any one. Also, I may have accidentally been at fault with this myself from time to time without knowing it.

What I am talking about is when blogging Someone puts something on their site and someone else puts nearly the same thing but goes more in depth with it then the first person. Suddenly it is a hit and has the internet buzzing. The second person gets all the attention. Neither before nor after the fact does he or she thank the first person whose site they saw it on in the first place. I am sure that many times it is just coincidence but there are other times that it is not. I believe this has happened to me two times before with the same person. I can’t prove it was on purpose but once I can believe but two times I find hard to believe it was a happy accident. Anyway that is off my chest for now. Tomorrow I will be back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Paul McCartney and Wings: Magneto and Titanium Man

Ending this video series of comic book characters mentioned in song here is one of my favorites.
The song is set to clips from Marvel Comics cartoon series and it is pretty good. See for yourself.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Spin Doctors and Jimmy Olsen's Blues

Here is a video of the Spin Doctors song Jimmy Olsen's Blues. A very jealous Jimmy forces Superman to leave town.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

This Day in Music History: Elvis and Love Me Tender

On this day in music history, November 3rd 1956, Elvis Presley had the #1 hit on the Billboard charts with Love Me Tender. It remained there for 5 weeks.
Before recording Heartbreak Hotel Elvis was flown to Hollywood for a screen test. He read a scene with actor Fran Faylen for producer Hal Wallis. Wallis signed him to a three picture deal.
His first movie was to be The Rainmaker with Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. This was to have been a major dramatic role for Elvis and could have given his movie career a different direction. This was not the direction that Col. Tom Parker wanted Elvis to take. Instead he got Elvis signed on to a movie called The Reno Brothers. Later it was called Love Me Tender. This set the standard for what Elvis' movies became known for. A simple plot with a lot of pretty girls and a few songs.
The song Love Me Tender is credited as being written by Elvis and Vera Watson. However, I have heard that it was really written by Vera Watson's husband Ken Darby. He just gave them the credit. Darby refused to work with the musicians that Elvis always worked with. He felt they couldn't do justice to his music so he used his own Ken Darby Trio. Mr. Darby scored all the music for the film.
David Weisbart produced Love Me Tender and also Rebel Without a Cause. During filming Elvis talked to him about starring in a film biography of the late James Dean that Weisbart was considering.
The story of the film Love Me Tender, which also starred Richard Egan, Debra Paget and Neville Brand, centers on three brothers who are Confederate Soliders in the Civil War. The war is over but none of them know it yet. Elvis is Cliff Reno and he has married his dead brothers wife. He is thought to have been killed in the war but it turns out that he is still alive. So sets the love triangle for the film. Elvis' character is killed before the end of the film but he gets to sing 4 songs before he dies. The ending seemed like a downer with Elvis the teen idol being killed so they re shot the ending and showed a spirit like Elvis singing the title song in the background. It made you feel like Cliff Reno was in Heaven and still singing.
RCA didn't want to release the song till the movie came out in mid November. However, after Elvis sang it on the Ed Sullivan Show the demand was so great they were forced to release it the first week of November.
In 1978 at WCBM a DJ name Ray Quinn edited Elvis' version and Linda Ronstadt's version of Love Me Tender together. The result was a duet that received a lot of radio play in the area but due to legal reasons over contracts it was never released to the record buying public.