Friday, August 31, 2012

Liza Minnelli-There is a Time

To many, it seemed like Liza Minnelli emerged fully formed in her career-defining role in 1972's CABARET but she did exist earlier, first as Judy Garland's daughter and then as an ingratiating young ingenue. She did, however, release several quite good albums prior to CABARET, including this 1966 one, THERE IS A TIME.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sad Sack Button

Spotted on Facebook, this 1966 SAD SACK button. Buttons were big in '66 and SAD SACK comics were everywhere in '66! In fact, all through the early seventies!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Super Teen

Back in '66 being super was "in" so even the Riverdale residents took their turns. Here's sweet, innocent Betty as Super Teen!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gemini 8

In 1966, John Glenn's triumphant space flight still resonated with kids and adults alike and all eyes turned to space exploration. Neil Armstrong and David Scott were the crew of the Gemini 8 mission which demonstrated the first successful space docking but also had the first potential space tragedy. NASA got the crew back to Earth as you can see in this video and Neil Armstrong went on to command the first lunar mission three years later.

                                       R.I.P. Neil Armstrong (r)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whipped Cream Lady

Although released in 1965, one of the biggest albums of '66 and beyond was Herb Alpert's WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS. The album's legendary and oft-parodied cover featured a seemingly naked model covered in (supposedly) whipped cream. Here's an update on that model today at age 76.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Double Image-Helen MacInnes

THE DOUBLE IMAGE was the year's book from prolific female spy author Helen MacInnes whose husband had more or less been an actual spy many years earlier. She won the Columbia Prize for Literature in '66.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Mindbenders-Groovy Kind of Love

The Mindbenders had been the backing group of Wayne Fontana in the early British Invasion but on their own had one of the biggest hits of '66 with the mellow, "Groovy Kind of Love."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dennis the Other Menace

A UK comics fixture for decades, here's DENNIS THE a 1966 annual or special.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Joe Kubert's Tales of the Green Beret

The late Joe Kubert turned out some amazing work on this syndicated newspaper strip in '66 all the while maintaining the high quality of his SGT. ROCK stories and covers for DC Comics!
R.I.P. Joe Kubert

Saturday, August 11, 2012

00 Division # 24

OUR MAN IN CASABLANCA aka THE KILLER HAS NO FACE starring Lang Jeffries. The Canadian/American Jeffries had been married to actress Rhonda Fleming before heading off to find some success in Eurospy thrillers. He also played spaceman Perry Rhodan in MISSION STARDUST!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Ballad of the Green Berets

Here's the very first "grown-up" record I ever owned (at age 7). As you can see by my early attempt at writing my name, this is my original copy! It was one of 1966's biggest chart hits, THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS by SSgt Barry Sadler. Sadler was a stoic figure. He was put forth as the best this country's military had to offer. He hit all the TV variety shows in full uniform and never seemed to crack a smile. In reality a wounded veteran himself, he recorded a whole album of Vietnam-related songs that didn't go anywhere near the success of the single.

The song itself is reasonably catchy albeit extremely right-wing sounding today. Sadler's bland delivery of it does not hold up at all, however. When it came out, the anti-war sentiment was just building. I was seven. All I knew was it was a good and patriotic thing to support your country and its military. Eventually, I came to understand that that was true but not to do so blindly!

For his part, Sadler failed at a follow-up and then failed again as an actor. He seemed to find a niche when he created CASCA, the popular series of violent pulp novels about an "eternal warrior" who fights in every war throughout history. The series seeemed to go on forever. Again, though, in reality, Sadler had only written the first few before the publisher began having them hacked out under his name.

He ended up in South America, allegedly running guns to the Contras. There was some talk of drugs, also. He was found shot in a cab in a still-mysterious incident and ended up in a coma for nearly a year before passing.

Still, no one can ever take away 1966, where, for one brief moment, between Beatles songs, the country's patriotism swelled proudly to the strains of THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS.

Edited from BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY, November, 2008

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strange Adventures--Strange Heroes


In 1966, even the long-running DC sci-fi mag, STRANGE ADVENTURES began adding super-heroes to their mix of OUTER LIMITS-style tales. Animal Man, Immortal Man and The Enchantress! Animal Man would end up the most successful but not for another few decades until Grant Morrison made him an existential favorite.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer in the City-The Lovin' Spoonful

Although they had initially hit the charts in 1965, it was in this month in '66 that The Lovin' Spoonful had their biggest--and only--# 1 chart topper, "Summer in the City."