Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Beatles--1966 Christmas Record

I can't believe we forgot this last week. Every year while they were together, the Beatles released a special limited edition record during the year-end holidays through their Fan Club. The early ones were just the Fabs thanking their fans but as time went on the Christmas records paralleled the Beatles career in that they became more elaborate and,, in the end, more individualistic. This was the one in between--still a  group effort but with a lot more creativity than just a few thank you's.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

R.I.P. Sean Bonniwell of The Music Machine, 2011 : Talk, Talk ('66)

00 Division # 19

By request--DIMENSION 5, another cool sci-fi spy flick from '66, this one starring Jeffrey Hunter, the man who MIGHT have Captained the USS Enterprise rather than making this movie had the original pilot for that series sold the year before.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

00 Division # 18

AGENT FOR H.A.R.M. is a sci-fi spy thriller starring Peter Mark Richman (as Mark Richmond), a wonderful actor who never really made it big but who has worked steadily in films and on television for decades and is STILL performing in 2011! This film was a staple on television in the early seventies.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You're a Big Boy Now

YOU'RE A BIG BOY NOW was the first major studio release from Francis Ford Coppola. Notable mainly for its wonderful title song and score by The Lovin' Spoonful as well as an early appearance by Karen Black, the film stars Peter Kastner. Kastner was a Richard Dreyfuss type before there was Richard Dreyfuss. He went from this to starring in a TV series entitled THE UGLIEST GIRL IN TOWN (about a man who cross-dresses and accidentally becomes a top model--seriously). It flopped. Coppola next did Fred Astaire's less than successful musical, FINIAN'S RAINBOW but soon enough would be working on THE GODFATHER and APOCALYPSE NOW.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mandrake the Magician

Although he was the prototype for a number of top-hatted comic book magicians, Mandrake the Magician's best success came from his long-running newspaper strip. He never really caught on in comic books--at least in the US market. In 1966, however, his syndicate, King Features, started a short-lived run at publishing their own comic books. The first three issues of MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN came out in '66 and are seen here. 

The series would feature other King properties such as Rip Kirby and Brick Bradford as back-up stories.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Sounds of Silence-Simon and Garfunkel

Although they had recorded quite a few rock and roll records in the late fifties as TOM & JERRY, none were really very successful. Reinventing themselves as a folk group in the early sixties didn't really work either. Then in '66, producer Roy Hallee added an electric guitar behind their already released recording of THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE (later retitled in the singular). The next thing you know, Paul's poetic lyrics and Artie's angelic voice became a combination that defined the sixties.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lawrence Welk's Christmas '66

A staple of a surprisingly large number of American homes in the sixties (as well as the fifties and the seventies), THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW probably received as much or more coverage in show business mags as the Beatles by the end of the decade....seriously!

Here, over at the great CLASSIC TELEVISION SHOWBIZ site, is Welk's champagne music holiday special from '66 in all its now-kitschy, old-fashioned entirety.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Born Free

One of the best-remembered movies of the sixties, real-life married actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna portray real-life naturalists George Adamson and his wife Joy, on whose book the story was based. The film tells the mostly true tale of how they raised lion cub Elsa.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trailer-Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD

This is the second DOCTOR WHO theatrical film starring Peter Cushing. The oddest part is that the character he plays is never mentioned whatsoever! Nor, in fact, are the Daleks mentioned by name! Even when the narrator mentions the title of the film, he skips that part!

As a point of trivia, though, the most interesting thing about this film, based closely on an early BBC William Hartnell serial of the Doctor, is the appearance of Bernard Cribbens who, four decades later, returned to the franchise as Donna Noble's grandfather!

Double Dare Adventures--R.I.P. Joe Simon

Here's a comic I bought in my first year of collecting. Bought it at Woolworth's in Covington, Kentucky. Legendary comics creator Joe Simon, who died on Wednesday of this week, edited this and a number of other adventure, superhero and sci-fi books for Harvey Comics during this period.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

R.I.P. Walt Disney--1966

Definitely one of the pop culture negatives in '66 was the loss of Walt Disney on this date.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jack and Jill and the Grinch

 From the 1966 holiday issue of the kids' magazine JACK & JILL, one of only two issues I hung onto, here's the mag's coverage of the then brand-new this week HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. The scans are from this site where you can read more of the '66 issue of JACK & JILL as well as a ton of rare Disney ephemera!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't

When I was a kid, THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN'T was an annual affair for several years, generally playing only at the dreaded kiddie matinees where every seat was filled--or should have been--with running, jumping, screaming, throwing kicking, hair-pulling 9 year olds. Thus one would often have to sit through the picture twice in order to have an idea what it was all about. And this was one we wanted to get as much of as we could. It's a marvelous, enjoyable and almost original Christmas tale from the unlikely combination of Director/Star Rosanno Brazzi (SOUTH PACIFIC) and TV's Mr. I. Magination, Paul Tripp, who wrote it and co-stars. The memorable theme song was sung by former Limeliters lead singer Glenn Yarbrough. Brazzi plays a Grinchy character named Prune who tries to stop Christmas from coming. Ironically, 28 years later the actor himself died on Christmas Eve. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cereal Commercials from '66

The Navy Vs The Night Monsters

 This is one of those movies that used to turn up often on TV when I was a kid and every time I tuned in from the great title, expecting something more than I ever got. A dull, bad film but a cult movie because of Mamie Van Doren!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bernard Prince

Also premiering in '66 was the now-classic Dutch adventure comic strip, BERNARD PRINCE, by Hermann and Greg. This is the cover of the album collecting that strip's earliest continuity. Even if one can't read Dutch, the BERNARD PRINCE albums are beautifully drawn and easy to keep up with!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

00 Division # 17

UPPERSEVEN aka THE SPY WITH TEN FACES starred the man considered to be the world's first Swiss movie star--Paul Hubschmid.