For Halloween, I thought it appropriate to have an encore appearance of Casper the Friendly Ghost in the 1948 animated short, There's Good Boos Tonight, from the Internet Archive.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
This item seems appropriate for Halloween, even though the actual event occurred in January. Boing Boing pointed me to this example of how "LIFE" (both the magazine and the broader definition) in the 1940's could be full of unusual surprises. LIFE offers a narrative and photographic description of the interesting event below.
"On the wet windy evening of January 22, a youthful band of idealists went to a lonely cabin in the Maryland woods." Thus begins one of the odder stories LIFE magazine ever published -- a straightforward, tongue-nowhere-near-cheek account of a 1941 "hex party" convened with one aim in mind: "to kill Adolf Hitler by voodoo incantation." According to LIFE, the party featured "a dressmaker's dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum," and was inspired by a book by occultist and writer William Seabrook that was popular at the time: Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
In 1909, the Morgan Motor Company began building three wheel cycle-cars or "trikes" in the UK as a compromise hybrid. With only three wheels, the SuperSports (official name) were regulated as motorcycles, and therefore cheaper, but they could carry two people in relative comfort with impressive performance. They remained in production until 1952. I have always loved these vehicles. The Hemmings blog reports that Morgan recently licensed Liberty Motors in Seattle, Washington to produce a modern version of trike, known as the ACE Cyclecar, with state of the art materials powered by a Harley-Davidson V-Twin. Donations to the "buy Tim a trike" fund are now being accepted.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Film Noir Photos posted this publicity shot from the movie.
This morning's Sunrise Serenade had a decidedly exotic feel. It was "Istanbul" by Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. Click on the song title for a sample clip from emusic, or click here for the album page.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Fall is always a nice time to go for a drive in the country, where you may see sights like those featured in this 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon. Topical references include a horse doing an imitation of comedian/dancer/singer Eddie Cantor, and an owl using the slang catchphrase "Who's Yehoodi?" From the Internet Archive, here is Farm Frolics.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Dieselpunk, a blog devoted to images of art deco and streamlined . . . well, anything. One example is this photo of a 1937 Fiat 1500. Also featured in the blog are scans of old art deco advertisements as well as images of modern art deco/streamlined-inspired machinery and design. Very cool stuff.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In the past 10 years or so, the use of electric wheelchairs (a/k/a "hoverounds" or "scooters") by older or physically challeged people has increased substantially, probably due to improvements in technology, decreased cost, and the greater availability of assistance programs to pay for them. Despite the recent explosion in use, however, they are hardly a new idea. Modern Mechanix posted an article from a 1940 issue of Science and Mechanics about the new (and unfortunately named) "electric chairs."
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Peter Hyrka and the Gypsy Hombres return to Memphis and the Mid-South for not one, but three performances this weekend: Saturday, October 23 - River Arts Fest in Downtown Memphis at 1:40 p.m.; Otherlands Coffee Bar in Midtown at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, October 24 - Lyn Jones' Coffee In The Attic in Covington, Tennessee from 2:00-4:00 p.m. They are always a great show. Below is a sample from their last performance at Otherlands earlier this year.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
I always associated Batman with comic books rather than comic strips, but Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted a series of Batman comic strips from 1946 editions of the New York Sunday Mirror. The scan below features "Two Face" at a double feature drive in movie hold up!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
This 1943 short from Warner Bros. was a parable about the failed policy of appeasement before World War II, with a hungry cat symbolizing Hitler. Watch when the cat rubs the dirt off the window and looks through it, with the clean parts of the window becoming Hitler's trademark hair and mustache. I also like the nice four-part mouse harmony on "Blues in the Night." From the Internet Archive, here is Fifth Column Mouse.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Henrik Eriksson is a swing/jazz/blues dance DJ in Uppsala, Sweden, whose blog, Swing, Jazz and Blues, is "about music that makes you want to dance." He has a lot of modern swing on the site, and provides resources for music and dancing, CD and book reviews, and video clips. He just did a post on a movie (to be released in 2011) about Chick Webb entitled The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America, and he has three vingettes from the film on his site. The film includes interviews with the likes of Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and Gene Krupa.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This morning's Sunrise Serenade featured a combination of the artists from the past two days: "My Honey's Lovin' Arms" by Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers. Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
As noted by The People History, on October 12, 1931, Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller was chosen to play Tarzan in a number of films.
According to David Wallechinsky's Complete Book of the Olympics, while playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Cuba in 1958, Weissmuller's golf cart was suddenly captured by rebel soldiers. Weissmuller sized up the situation, got out of the cart and gave his trademark Tarzan yell. The shocked rebels soon began to jump up and down, calling "Tarzan! Welcome to Cuba!" Johnny and his companions were not only not kidnapped, but were given a rebel escort to the golf course.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Matinee at the Bijou posted a very interesting and enlightening item about the smaller, independent "Poverty Row" movie studios in Hollywood that cranked out hundreds of films in the 1920's-50's. Although many of these studios are often associated only with "B" movies or serials, several produced films with longstanding appeal, including several early John Wayne features.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Now here is one of those great old Warner Bros. cartoons that I liked, but did not fully understand as a kid because I did not know all the Hollywood characters from the 1940s. Now that I am more familiar with the stars of that era, it is even more enjoyable. From the Internet Archive, and directed by Tex Avery, here is Hollywood Steps Out.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I've been to the excellent National Clock & Watch Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania, and it featured many exhibits associated with the Hamilton watch company, which had a factory nearby. Boing Boing posted this 1949 film sponsored by Hamilton explaning How A Watch Works.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Armstrongs (n.) -- musical notes in the upper register, high trumpet notes.
Considering the date, I think we are safe to assume the origin of this term relates to Louis Armstrong, rather than any other Armstrongs, like Neil or Stretch.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Vintage Ads posted this somewhat incongruous combination, apparently connected only by their "perfect performance."
Today's Sunrise Serenade was "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, featuring Art Lund and Peggy Lee on vocals. Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.