Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Beatles vs. Scarecrow

It's been said that over 73 million people watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. As most people alive then know, it was their first of 4 appearances on that show.

Unfortunately, I was among the 1% of the population that did not tune in to the Beatles that night. Oh, I was aware of the Beatles back then, having collected Beatle cards and was even a Beatle for Halloween that year, complete with wig and gray collarless suit that my mother made.

(Hmm... in hindsight, maybe I WASN'T aware of the Beatles leading up to their first US appearance, only afterwards.) The main reasons were that I didn't listen to rock & roll radio until December 1966, and that our family never watched the Ed Sullivan Show back then.

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was on another network on the same night, and THAT was always must-see TV at our house.

A few years ago, I read where the Disney episode that night in February 1964 was a segment of "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh", sort of a "Robin Hood meets Zorro", starring Patrick McGoohan. He was a mild-mannered vicar by day, and a rebellious anti-government do-gooder by night, doing for late-1700s' England what Zorro did for 1800s' Los Angeles.

I remember seeing that show back in day, so THAT is where I must have been while many other boys were watching the Beatles and plotting their future rock & roll careers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Olivia de Havilland

So this isn't 1960s per se, but I think that may have been when I first saw "Gone With the Wind".

Olivia de Havilland just turned 102 on July 1st. I think she may be the oldest living Hollywood celebrity, followed by Kirk Douglas at age 101, then Carol Channing (97) and Betty White (96).

I don't think I have seen any of her movies other than GWTW, but what a performance!

Happy 102nd Birthday!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

RIP - Dennis Edwards

Dennis Edwards, (essentially) the first "replacement" member of The Temptations, passed away on February 1, 2018 at age 74.

Edwards replaced the smooth-sounding David Ruffin in the late-1960s, bringing more grit to the lead vocals on hits such as "Cloud 9", "Ball of Confusion", and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone".

Prior to joining the Tempts, he was a menber of another Motown group The Contours, who had the hit song "Do You Love Me?".

He sang with the Temptations off-and-on from 1968 through 1989. In recent years, he was the lead singer in a Temptations splinter group.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Farewell, Batman!

Adam West (only the best Batman ever) passed away on Friday June 9, 2017 at age 88.

I watched Batman religiously in the 1960s, and when I saw the first Michael Keaton Batman movie in the 1980s, I was actually quite surprised at the big difference in the tone of the movie.

In recent years I have watched the Batman episodes sporadically on vintage TV channels, but some are so ridiculous as to be unwatchable (the "Shame" episodes come to mind immediately).

Anyway, it was great fun following Adam West in recent years, from his various Batman specials to his hosting of "Batman" re-runs to his appearances on King of Queens and Family Guy.

I recently watched an episode of 77 Sunset Strip where he played a ne'er-do-well. That was so out of character for "Bruce Wayne"!

Thanks for the memories, Adam West!

Hollywood Reporter


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.