Archive for December, 2012

Herb Alpert – Going Places! [1965]

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If you know just one Herb Alpert song, it’s probably Tijuana Taxi.

And if you know two, the other is one you probably don’t know the name for but have heard it on countless occasions: Spanish Flea.  Now if you were to buy just one Herb Alpert album to take in the Latin flavor of his trumpet, Going Places! would be a safe bet.  Not only does it have the two aforementioned songs, but it also has a Go-Go cover of The Ventures’ hit Walk Don’t Run.

Bottom line: this album is a 60s classic that should be revered and plated until it is grey!

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Happy Hubba Hubba Holidays! [1962]

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Wouldn’t you rather be at a warm beach for the Holidays?

Meriam De Shazo and Kenna Morris sure did in this Florida promo from 1962!  Here they decorate a Christmas Tree on a Pensacola beach in Florida in this photo by Jim Stokes.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians [1964]

It has been called “one of the worst films ever.”

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians tells the story of Martian children who have been watching “Earth TV” and are now pining for Santa Claus to visit their planet with toys and happiness.  The tale is told through the magic of hardware-store sets and Halloween-quality makeup.  I first saw this film on a cold December Saturday in 197, when I was a mere ten years old – in glorious black and white.  Even as a kid I remember thinking to myself, “What the hell am I watching?” It insulted my senses, and just seemed to be a horrible spectacle done in cardboard.

In the 1990s it was given the MST Treatment on Mystery Science Theater 3000, with the program’s signature humor commentary added to the movie.

Of course Santa wins out with his kindness and the bad Martians are defeated for the betterment of the entire Red Planet.  Goofy Dropo (Bill McCutcheon), the Jar Jar Binks character in the movie, becomes the new Martian Santa Claus after he takes a somewhat-awkward liking to the Big Man’s red suit, trying it on in secret.  Then all the kids sing “Hooray for Santee Claus” and the world spins normally once more.

Now thanks to a recent rights release into the Public Domain, you can watch the movie in its entirety above for free, courtesy of Hulu!  The film’s makers did not renew the rights (wonder why), so it is ready for us all to…umm…enjoy.

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What Martian would be legit without tubes coming out of their helmets?

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Voldar (Vincent Beck, on left), has the best mustache in the movie.  As one of the Martian children, the film also stars a very young Pia Zadora, who now entertains audiences from the stages of Las Vegas.

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Hoo-Ray for Santee Claus!

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Self Portrait [1985]

Portrait on The Floating Bridge - 1985

I love before & after shots.

There’s something inherently cool about being able to duplicate a photograph from the past, to see what the differences are between the old and the new.  I did exactly that a couple of years ago, when I came across a 1985 photo I took of myself on the Lacy V. Murrow Bridge across Lake Washington (aka “The Floating Bridge”).  The shot I took back in the day couldn’t be redone, because there is no longer a sidewalk along the south side of the span.  But still, it was fun to see how much things have changed.

And even since the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad took the 2010 photo, I’ve lost 50 pounds, so change keeps coming.

For more about this self portrait, read my write-up on Intersect – https://intersect.com/stories/0lscWHDfYGw9

Christmas Party [1952]

Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

Straight from the City of Seattle file cabinets comes this gem of vintage holiday goodness!

The bare tree in the background says it all: It’s Christmas in the Public Sector. Look at the executives in suits, men in working linemen attire and “the office girl” in her stylish skirt and blouse; they’re just having a good time over coffee and cookies.  No doubt there’s ashtrays on those tables, filled with stubbed-out Pall Malls.

Hard to believe this picture is sixty years old! For more vintage public awesomeness, check out their photostream on Flickr.

14 December 1969 – The Jackson 5 Performs for the First Time on the Ed Sullivan Show

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In many ways they changed the face of popular music, and on this day in 1969 the Jackson 5 also wowed the TV audiences of America when they played the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Jackson 5 started playing in 1964; their debut album “Diana Ross Presents…” was released in December 1069 and coincided with their performance on network television.  They would go on to rule much of pop radio in the 1970s.  The band became famous by focusing on a blend of soul, R&B, tight musicianship, and swift dance moves.  Well-crafted songs written by “The Corporation” at Motown also helped.   My sister absolutely loved the Jackson 5, and hearing any song they did between 1969 and 1975 makes me think of her.

Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon still perform today as The Jacksons.

Can’t Get the Bewitched Theme Song Out Of My Head!

Bewitched

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There could be worse things looping on my internal 8-Track, so having the theme from Bewitched stuck in my head isn’t such a bad gig.  And what a show, for those who remember all the noteworthy characters like Endora, Uncle Arthur, the nosey Mrs. Kravitz, and even the sleazy Larry Tate.  And let’s be honest: Elizabeth Montgomery was beautiful, and lost to us far too early.

So here’s to all those days after elementary school when I would come home and watch Bewitched over a bowl of hot Spaghetti-Os!

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