Friday, September 30, 2011

00 Division # 12

Yet another Eurospy thriller starring an American character actor. SECRET AGENT SUPERDRAGON attained a type of immortality many years later when it was skewered by the popular MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. Ray Danton would later go on to portray Bond rival Derek Flint on television!

Clapton and Hendrix

Here we have two young gentlemen who were destined to be fondly remembered in future years, here just two friends out for dinner in 1966. Oh, the man on the right was already feeling the pressures of being labeled "God" in graffiti all over London. The other gentleman, not yet so well-known, was already carrying himself like the charismatic star he was about to become after his upcoming tour with the Monkees. Both men had ahead of them heroin and hard times--even death in the case of Jimi Hendrix. But Eric Clapton and Hendrix were and remain two of the most legendary, influential and respected blues and rock guitar players in music history. Just two friends...who became legends.

Lost In Space Robot Toy

The coolest robot ever. I traded my friend Terry some comic books for this a few years later. It's now going for hundreds of dollars on eBay. But are the comic books.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home Video Recording

The earliest attempts at marketing home video recorders were around 1963 believe it or not. Clunky, cost prohibitive and not particularly good from what I read, they were nonetheless a necessary step on the way to DVD's and Blu-Ray. Here's a 1967 model marketed in late 1966 that you can read all about here:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A major change of pace for actor Rock Hudson, known for his light comedies and he-man adventure roles. Unfortunately, the public wasn't ready for it and director John Frankenheimer's harrowing sci-fi drama quickly faded from view only to be rediscovered two decades later and become reevaluated as a cult classic.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Franco-American Spaghetti

In 1966, at age 7, this was my very favorite food and had been for a couple of years. My friend Jeff pronounced it "Busghetti." In retrospect, the product has little in common with what one thinks of when one thinks of actual spaghetti but what did I know then? It's orange, it's sweet and it's incredibly wet. It also hasn't changed a bit. Now called "Campbell's," I just had some for dinner. MMMM-MMMM GOOD!

Batstuff # 13

Seems like everyone put out a version of the BATMAN theme in 1966. The Who, Jan and Dean...everyone who was anyone. It was the thing to do. Seen here is the sleeve for the 45 I had. This was the official, legitimate one by the composer and arranger of the catchy theme, Neal Hefti.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Peter, Paul and Mary--Early Morning Rain

By 1966 Peter, Paul and Mary had risen above the folk music din of the first part of the decade to emerge as a genuine success story and not a flash in the pan or a another rider on Woody Guthrie's bandwagon. They had guested on Jack Benny's TV show and their version of Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind" introduced him to more Americans than his own. They had become mainstream and would continue on for reunions and special events for decades. Here they are with a memorable song during what was arguably their peak as a '66.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?

From the same people who brought you THE PINK PANTHER films and THE EXORCIST (!?), WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR. DADDY? was a minor contribution to the pop culture of '66, a war comedy starring the just-hitting-his stride James Coburn alongside perennial next big thing in comedy, Dick Shawn.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Love Petula Clark

Petula "Pet" Clark had been around for years as a child star in the UK before becoming an international success in the mid-sixties with multiple hits including DOWNTOWN, DON'T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY and this one, from February of '66, MY LOVE.

Bunny # 1

This first issue of BUNNY came out from CASPER and RICHIE RICH publisher Harvey Comics at the tail end of '66. It was not only the hippest of the ARCHIE rip-offs but continued to get hipper and trippier in tune with the sixties themselves over the next few years. By the time BUNNY ended in the early seventies, the comic read like a happy acid trip for tweens!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boris Vallejo Comics

Although the amazing and prolific fantasy artist Boris Vallejo has been doing covers, trading cards, posters, etc for various comic book projects for more than three decades, as far as I know his only actual comics work appeared as a back-up story in this 1966 issue of Tower Comics' FIGHT THE ENEMY.

Shakey's Pizza

We had Shakey's Pizza Parlors around here when I was a kid but I never went to one. In fact, we only ever went to one pizza parlor (when's the last time you heard them referred to as "parlors" that sold "pizza pies?") and that was a local chain, Pasquale's.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top Ten Box Office Stars of 1966

  1. Julie Andrews--Julie had just debuted at # 4 the year before on the strength of MARY POPPINS and jumped right to # 1 after THE SOUND OF MUSIC. In '66 she did Hitchcock's TORN CURTAIN and HAWAII.
  2. Sean Connery--Connery was Bond, pure and simple. At this point no one took him seriously as anything else. THUNDERBALL was released at the end of '65 and kept making money all year. A FINE MADNESS came out in '66.
  3. Elizabeth Taylor--No doubt this high more to her continuing public notoriety than her most recent film, THE SANDPIPER. In '66 she scored with WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
  4. Jack Lemmon--A light comedy actor who would later prove a powerhouse dramatic lead, also, Lemmon had stolen THE GREAT RACE in '65 and first teamed with Walter Matthau in THE FORTUNE COOKIE in '66.
  5. Richard Burton--See "Elizabeth Taylor"
  6. Cary Grant--a longtime fixture of the list, Grant even made the list in years when he didn't make a film! His last, WALK, DON'T RUN, came out in '66 and this would be his final appearance on the list.
  7. John Wayne--On the list every single year between 1950 and 1970, the Duke's '66 movies were, CAST A LONG SHADOW and EL DORADO.
  8. Doris Day--Another fixture of the list--often at # 1--this would be Doris's last appearance also. Her '66 film was THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT.
  9. Paul Newman--He'd been around a while and yet somehow seemed to represent the new breed on the list. HARPER and TORN CURTAIN were his '66 hits.
  10. Elvis Presley--Critics hated his films but his fans, while complaining they were beneath his talent, flocked to see them--including '66's SPINOUT and FRANKIE & JOHNNY.
Via the Annual Quigley Poll

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


In October of '66, ABC television ran an updated TV version of the musical BRIGADOON starring singer/actor Robert Goulet, future COLUMBO star Peter Falk and Sally Anne Howes who would appeared on Broadway in the play a few years earlier and later would appear in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. Ultimately it would win six Emmy Awards. You can actually find an enhanced version of the soundtrack here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Julie London Sex '66

One of the most sensual singers of them all, Julie London, by this point the ex-wife of DRAGNET's Jack Webb would still never be allowed to get away with an album entitled SEX '66 in this country but, in Europe...

Marvel Super-Heroes

Far from the best animated cartoons fact they were barely animated at all! These Canadian-produced cheapies took actual comic book panels and added slight bits of mouth or arm movement and then with extensive camera tricks made it look like it was animated. Still, they had catchy themes, some good voice acting (including character actor John Vernon from NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE and THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES as both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner) and a bizarre charm all their own. The X-Men even made their TV debut as part of one of the Sub-Mariner episodes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Eddie Constantine was an American actor and singer who, in the 1950's, became a big star in French cinema via a series of films in which he played tough guy secret agent/private eye, Lemmy Caution. In 1966, French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard plopped the Lemmy character down into a future world with no explanation in ALPHAVILLE, a low-budeget sci-fi noir that still manages somehow to seem ahead of its time even today in some ways.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Quick One-the Who

In the US it was called HAPPY JACK but the Who's 1966 album, A QUICK ONE featured the seeds of Pete Townshend's concept of a rock opera in its suite of songs entitled A QUICK ONE WHILE HE'S AWAY.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dean Martin The Silencers

Not really the soundtrack of Dean Martin's first film as superspy Matt Helm, this is mainly an excuse to package a new collection of songs by Dean with a tie-in cover to take advantage of the film's success. And it WAS successful. To the point where it had not one but three sequels!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

S is for Space

S IS FOR SPACE is the title of a Ray Bradbury short story collection compiled and published in 1966. Although the author's stories were written for adults and often published in adult venues such as PLAYBOY, he became a favorite of teachers and students in the sixties and this was one of several volumes aimed specifically at the young adult market.

From Wikipedia, here are the stories included in S IS FOR SPACE:


A science fiction story in which three men anxiously watch their fellow-scientist as he is encased in a mysterious green chrysalis. They eventually come to believe he is undergoing metamorphosis inside the chrysalis.
"Pillar of Fire"
A science fiction/horror short novel. Set in the year 2349, it depicts a Utopian society in which all corpses are incinerated for hygienic reasons. All horror literature has also been burned to produce a healthier mindset. When his grave is disturbed, a vampire infiltrates the utopia and launches a vendetta to restore fear.
"Zero Hour"
A science fiction story, involving a world-wide befriending of children by sinister aliens.
"The Man"
A compelling science fiction parable. A rocket ship lands on an isolated planet, expecting an astounded welcome. However, they find they have been preceded by a much more important Visitor...
"Time in Thy Flight"
A science fiction story. A high-school teacher takes three children on a field-trip in a time machine.
"The Pedestrian"
A science fiction story about a society addicted to television.
"Hail and Farewell"
A fantasy story concerning a middle-aged man who never physically aged past his pre-adolescence.
"Invisible Boy"
A comical story about an old woman who convinces a boy she has turned him invisible.
"Come into My Cellar"
A science fiction story about mushrooms and alien invasions.
"The Million-Year Picnic"
A science fiction story in which a family travels to an unsullied Mars to escape a ravaged Earth.
"The Screaming Woman"
A mystery/suspense story, describing a young girl who tries to procure help in digging up a woman buried in an empty lot.
"The Smile"
A science fiction story describing a world devastated by nuclear war, whose inhabitants systematically destroy artifacts of the past. The story touches on one boy who is enchanted by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
"Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed"
An atomic war on Earth drives prompts a family to flee to a human colony Mars.
"The Trolley"
An idyllic story about the last trolley-ride in a small town.
"The Flying Machine"
A story set in ancient China, whose Emperor discovers a peasant has invented a flying-machine.
"Icarus Montgolfier Wright"
A story concerning the first man to fly a rocket ship.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Senor Wences

He wasn't the best ventriloquist ever and his act, while unique, was a bit repetitive. 70 years old in '66, Senor Wences introduced the popular catchphrase, "S'awriiiight" and appeared many times on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW making him as much a fixture of the decade as many of the rock groups! He lived to age 103 and was still performing not long before his death in 1999.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Burt Reynolds-Navajo Joe

As westerns faded on television in the early sixties, the thing to do for many cowboy actors seemed to be to visit Italy and become an international star. Worked for Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef and, on a lesser scale, quite a few others. Thus actor Burt Reynolds, after finishing his stint on GUNSMOKE, ended up in the lead role of DJANGO director Sergio Corbucci's NAVAJO JOE.
Soon enough, though, Burt was back in Hollywood starring in a short-lived cop show called HAWK. He worked regularly and often gave good, earnest performances on TV and in films but it wasn't until he showed his sense of humor by posing for a nude centerfold in COSMOPOLITAN in the early seventies that the general public really noticed him. With a combination of witty talk show appearances and good-ol' boy action comedies, he rose to become the most popular star of the late seventies and early eighties.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Justice League of America

In 1966, DC's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA title was only a few years old and not yet the classic it came to be. Thus, it was only published 8 times a year.

Note, though, how Batman progressively took center stage on the covers after the success of the TV series.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

See the New Superheroes--Saturday Mornings on CBS

The Herculoids, Space Ghost, Frankenstein, Jr., The Impossibles, Dino Boy and even old favorites like Superman and the Lone Ranger all hit the CBS TV screen in September of 1966 with some of the most nostalgia producing cartoon series of them all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rock Posters

Note that the British groups were still getting rather old-fashioned posters while the US West Coast groups were already enjoying the benefits of the psychedelic rock poster reign that would finish out the decade!