Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Month: August 1964


8/1 - Warner Brothers releases its final Looney Tunes cartoon.
8/2 - North Vietnam attacks US ships in Gulf of Tonkin.
8/11 - The Beatles begin recording their 4th album, 'Beatles For Sale'.
8/12 - Mickey Mantle hits a 502-foot home run.
8/16 - The Cardinals' Curt Flood gets 8 consecutive hits in a doubleheader.
8/18 - South Africa is banned from future Olympic Games due to apartheid.
8/27 - Lyndon Johnson is nominated for president at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City.
8/31 - Los Angeles Angels break ground for a new stadium in Anaheim, CA.

The Beatles' "A Hard Days Night" was the #1 single for the first 2 weeks of August.
It was knocked out of the top spot by Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody".
Weeks 4 & 5 saw the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go?" in the top spot.

8/11 - U.S. release of A Hard Day's Night
8/27 - Mary Poppins

8/4 - Baseball player B.J. Surhoff
8/4 - Football player Clyde Simmons
8/9 - Hockey player Brett Hull
8/13 - Baseball player Jay Buhner
8/15 - Actress Debi Mazar
8/25 - Actor Blair Underwood

8/12 - British novelist Ian Fleming (56)
8/27 - Actress/comedienne Gracie Allen (69)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Month: July 1964

The Beatles are back...

7/2 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
7/6 - Southern African nation of Malawi gains independence from the United Kingdom.
7/6 - The Beatles' film "A Hard Day's Night" premieres in London.
7/31 - US satellite Ranger 7 crashes on the moon after taking more than 4000 pictures.

On July 4th, the Beach Boys' single "I Get Around" hits #1 and stays there for 2 weeks.
The Four Seasons' "Rag Doll" is the #1 single for the last 2 weeks of July.
The "Hard Day's Night" LP reaches #1 on the 25th, and stayed there for 14 weeks.

7/6 - A Hard Days Night (The Beatles)
7/8 - The Moon-Spinners (Hayley Mills, Eli Wallach)
7/22 - Marnie (Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery)
7/22 - Bikini Beach (Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello)
7/22 - Good Neighbor Sam (Jack Lemmon)

7/2 - Baseball players Jose and Ozzie Canseco
7/3 - Actress Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson)
7/9 - Musician Courtney Love
7/22 - Actor and comedian David Spade
7/24 - Baseball player Barry Bonds
7/26 - Actress Sandra Bullock
7/30 - Actress Vivica A. Fox

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

RIP - Bob Hastings

Actor Bob Hastings, most noted for his role as Lt. Elroy Carpenter in the 1960s' TV series "McHale's Navy", passed away on June 30, 2014 at age 89 in Burbank, CA.

Hastings played Captain Binghamton's bumbling yes-man.

My favorite "Elroy Carpenter moment" was the episode where Binghamton finally discovers the Japanese POW that Commander McHale and his crew have stashed away as their own personal cook and concierge.  After the POW is arrested, McHale hatches a plan to free him by convincing everyone on the base that the war is over, using phony radio broadcasts with Ensign Parker (Tim Conway) imitating FDR's voice.

Later, the captain launches one of his condescending rants at Lt. Carpenter (Hastings) while they are on the dock waiting for McHale. Convinced that the war is over anyway, the fed-up Carpenter pushes Binghamton into the lagoon.

Hastings later appeared on the daytime soap General Hospital.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Month: June 1964

6/2 - Senator Barry Goldwater wins the Republican nomination for president.
6/6 - First American TV appearance for the Rolling Stones.
6/12 - Nelson Mandela sentenced to life in prison in South Africa.
6/19 - Senator Ted Kennedy injured in private plane crash.
6/21 - Phillies' pitcher Jim Bunning pitched the first National League perfect game since 1880.
6/21 - Three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan.

The Beatles take a 2-month hiatus from the top of the singles' charts beginning this month.  Benefiting from this are the Dixie Cups, whose "Chapel of Love" was #1 for 3 weeks. Peter & Gordon's "A World Without Love" (written by Paul McCartney) was #1 for the final week in June.

6/23 - A Shot in the Dark (Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer)
6/24 - Robin and the 7 Hoods (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Bing Crosby)
6/24 - The Masque of the Red Death (Vincent Price)
6/25 - Circus World (John Wayne, Claudia Cardinale)
6/25 - McHale's Navy (Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway)

In 1964 our family was taking a trip from Pennsylvania to New England.  We stopped at a motel in Wilbraham, Massachusetts that had a drive-in movie theater behind it.  The motel rooms were equipped with a large picture window and a speaker so the guests could watch the movie.  What did we see?  Robin and the 7 Hoods!

6/15 - Actress Courtney Cox
6/28 - Baseball player Mark Grace

Sunday, June 1, 2014

1965 War Bulletin Cards

With the 70th Anniversary of D-Day arriving later this week, I wanted to post some World War II related stuff.

Who among you collected these cards back in the day? In 1965, my brother and I collected these cards. They were made by the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Company (the same company that made NFL cards from 1964 to 1967). Although the set is officially titled "War Bulletin" cards, everyone I knew that collected them referred to them as "World War II" cards.

About the same time, we were also collecting Combat cards, a set based on the 1960s TV series starring Vic Morrow. (I'll save them for another post.)

There are 88 cards in the set, with about 90% of them horizontal. About a year or 2 ago, I dug these out of my "archives" (actually, boxes of stuff unseen for decades), and put them in a binder. I discovered that I had all but two cards, #79 (unknown), and #88 (the checklist).

The series is arranged in chronological order, with each card picturing an event, along with the date and location. Card #1 features the German Army on parade through Berlin, and card #87 shows the Japanese surrendering to General MacArthur on the Battleship USS Missouri. (Big Mo was also used in the 1st Gulf War.)

I remember as a kid thinking how cool the Flying Tigers airplanes looked.  On the "Bullseye" card, I thought it was odd that the bombs appeared to be drawn-in to the photo.

 Here's the Statue of Liberty, seemingly drawn-in to Times Square in New York City.

The card backs are formatted as a news release (hence the "War Bulletin"). Here are the backs of the"Day of Infamy" and "Surrender!" cards pictured at the top.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Month: May 1964

5/1 - BASIC computer programming language is invented.
5/12 - Twelve men publicly burn their draft cards in New York City - the first such demonstration in the Vietnam era.
5/19 - The State Department finds hidden microphones at the US Embassy in Moscow.
5/30 - The Rolling Stones release their first album in the US.

The Beatles start and end the month with the #1 song (Can't Buy Me Love, Love Me Do). In between, Hello Dolly (Louis Armstrong) and My Guy (Mary Wells) get the spotlight.

5/27 - From Russia With Love (starring Sean Connery as James Bond)
5/30 - Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley)

5/3 - Hockey goalie Ron Hextall
5/8 - Actress Melissa Gilbert
5/13 - TV star Stephen Colbert
5/26 - Musician Lenny Kravitz
5/30 - Singer Wynonna Judd

5/27 - Incumbent Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru (age 74).  He was also the father of Indira Gandhi.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Poll #1: Candy Bars We Have Known

Time for some audience participation! 

A few days ago, I was thinking back to the 1960s, when I would spend a lot of time stuffing my face with Hershey Bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Dots, and many other candies. We lived a few hundred feet from a Mom & Pop store, so there was a seemingly endless supply of candy, soda, popsicles, Tastykakes, and baseball cards, as long as our allowance held up.

I thought I would post a poll, to rank our favorite candy bars from back in the day. Vote for as many as you want (but don’t vote for all of them, otherwise the poll is moot). Let’s try to keep it around 10 items.

As a kid, I was particularly impressed with the TV commercials for Rolo and Sky Bar. On TV, the tops of the Rolo candies actually opened up (like the hatch on top of a submarine), so they could pour the filling inside! The Sky Bar featured 4 different candy bars in one! Neither of these two candy bars were usually available in my area, but I’m voting for the Sky Bar anyway, because on the rare occasion when I would have one, it was always a good day. If I chose an 11th candy bar, I think Rolo would make the cut, but I’m keeping it at 10.

This poll is for candy bars only. A future poll will tackle all the box/pack/roll/bag candy. Feel free to comment if you wish. If I forgot any candy bars, tell me that also. (Twix is a relatively new candy bar, and was intentionally left out.)

Not to influence the voting, but I needed something to appear as a thumbnail on others' sidebars: