Thursday, October 31, 2013

Popeye On the Radio

Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Superman Came to Earth

In 1980, there was a series of children's books with the overall title, THE STORY OF SUPERMAN. Here's some lovely art by the great Ramona Fradon (with Dave Hunt) from the volume entitled, HOW SUPERMAN CAME TO EARTH.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chester Gould in 1944

Been reading a lot of DICK TRACY lately, old and new! Here's a shot of Tracy's pappy from LIFE in 1944.

Monday, October 28, 2013

My First Music

I first discovered Top 40 radio in early 1970 when I was 11 years old. I had just gotten my first record player that could play LPs the year before but only had a few non-children's records. But somehow or other, I came to the realization that the Patti Page, Perry Como and Dean Martin stations my mother listened to all the time on our AM radio weren't the only stations out there...and then somebody got me my own transistor radio!

MY station was Cincinnati's WSAI, 1360, with Jim Scott, Jack Clark, Bud Stagg and others I'v long forgotten. I saw this survey posted elsewhere online and this particular week happens to be very important to me. I had seen the movie LET IT BE at Covington's Madison Theatre a week earlier when it first opened. My favorite song had been "The Long and Winding Road." It became the second single release from the film this week, hitting the charts at # 4. That week, it also became the first Beatles record I ever bought...and the last one they put out before the breakup which occurred shortly thereafter.

I bought a lot of records after that. Here's a look at my memories of this particular week's hits.

                      WSAI RADIO 1360            
                   SURVEY FOR CINCINNATI
                    WEEK OF MAY 23, 1970      
    1. The Wonder Of You - Elvis Presley--I bought the 45, 1 of the the most overproduced records in history but my Mom loved it!                            
    2. Which Way You Goin' Billy - The Poppy Family-Bought it!                
    3. Gimme Dat Ding - The Pipkins-Creeped me out! I was reading the other day that this was the same folks who did the music for THE GROOVY GOOLIES.                                 
    4. The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles-1st Beatles record.                      
    5. Reflections Of My Life - The Marmalade-A huge group in England but this was pretty much their only US hit, an over-orchestrated ode to depression. One of my favorites as I became an angst teenager.                       
    6. My Baby Loves Lovin' - White Plains-I had never heard of sex so it never occurred to me this was a sex song!                          
    7. Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image-Loved it!                             
    8. Everything Is Beautiful - Ray Stevens-Bought the 45 at JC Penny. 79 cents! Te most I'd ever paid for a single to that point.                        
    9. Get Ready - Rare Earth--Not a favorite then but always nostalgic to hear nowadays.                                      
   10. Hitchin' A Ride - Vanity Fare-kinda creeped me out.                               
   11. Band Of Gold - Freda Payne-Loved it! Got to see her live about 8 years later.                                  
   12. Run Through The Jungle/Up Around The Bend - 
                                    Creedence Clearwater Revival-Liked these so  much I bought the album!   
   13. It's All In The Game - Four Tops-A favorite at the time.                            
   14. Brother Rapp - James Brown--Don't recall this one at all.                                  
   15. Cinnamon Girl - Gentrys Loved this. My first favorite Neil Young song about a year or two before I knew who Neil Young even was!                                    
   16. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney-Bought the album!                          
   17. The Letter - Joe Cocker-Liked it but liked the original better once I dissevered it.                                    
   18. Love On A Two Way Street - The Moments-Liked it.                      
   20. Spirit In The Dark - Aretha Franklin-No memory of this.                  21. Come Saturday Morning - The Sandpipers-Loved the song and the movie it came from--Bought the 45.                      
   22. Question - The Moody Blues-AM radio usually only played the short version of this but it was enough to make the Moody Blues all-time favorites. Eventually I got everything they ever did and saw them twice in concert.                                   
   23. Soolaimon - Neil Diamond-Loved this. My older cousin had given me a single of "Girl. You'll Be a Woman Soon" which I didn't like. I was oblivious to the fact that he had much BETTER stuff.                                    
   24. Viva Tirado - El Chicano-If I ever heard this it made zero impression.   25. Reach Out And Touch - Diana Ross-I had seen her on TV. Loved this song   26. Daughter Of Darkness - Tom Jones-Tom was also a TV favorite and this became a favorite song of his for me.                            
   27. Let It Be - The Beatles-I went back the following week and bought this one!                                     
   28. United We Stand - The Brotherhood Of Man-Liked it!                    
   29. Dangling On A String - Chairmen Of The Board-I sorta kinda remember a way.                
   30. Mama Told Me - Three Dog Night-Such a longtime favorite that I posted a clip of them singing it on Facebook just yesterday!                              

       PIC HIT 
       Hey Mr. Sun - Bobby Sherman-I had gotten into Bobby's records because my 6th grade girlfriend was into them so I bought this and all his records until she moved away.                 

       Which Way You Goin' Billy - The Poppy Family--Susan Jacks was the lead singer on this dirge of a song...which I did buy. Her brother Terry Jacks, also in the group, went on to solo fame with his version of the depressing song "Seasons in the Sun."                 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

R.I.P. Lou Reed

I first heard the Velvet Underground on an anthology album called DO IT NOW from the early seventies. It was the song ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES, sung by Nico. Around that same time, though, I heard Lou Reed's WALK ON THE WILD SIDE on FM radio and was fascinated by just how different it was from just about anything I'd heard on the air to that point. Over the years I always enjoyed seeing and reading about Lou, perhaps most of all in his wonderfully amusing cameos in the movie GET CRAZY where he plays a Dylan-like singer named Auden. He gets the final song in the film as well and it's lovely.

Rest in Peace, Lou.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Revised Rarities

For those of you who order from our DVD site, please note that the original site is either gone or going away soon. The reason for this is that we have a spiffy brand NEW site that went up earlier this week. 

If you haven't yet ordered from us, we ask that you give us a look. BOOKSTEVE RARITIES is a branch site offering a mix of some of the rarest items you will find available anywhere, all at the best quality available!

Our specialty is B Westerns and we offer many volumes of complete collections starring the likes of Johnny Mack Brown, Buster Crabbe, Tim McCoy, Buck Jones and many more.

We also have just about every movie serial ever made, even silent ones!

Plus movies and TV series that have never had any kind of commercial releases.

And we offer the books of Martin Grams, Jr! Martin is a prolific and obsessive author of TV and radio-related volumes including critically acclaimed books on The Shadow, The Green Hornet and The Time Tunnel! Up next is DUFFY'S TAVERN coming in December but available for order now!

Ordering from us is a way to support the Booksteve Blogs and get something cool back for yourself at the same time. We thank all of you who have done so in the past and can't wait to hear what you think of the new site and all the new items we've added!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Congrats to Craig Yoe!

A big special shout out to my friend and sometimes employer Craig Yoe who is not only deservedly nominated for Best Editor in this weekend's Shel Dorf Awards at Detroit Fanfare but also is set to receive the 4th Annual Jerry Bails Award For Excellence in Fandom! Way to go, Craig!

Reminder also to visit our Four Color Shadows blog for info on how to win FIVE of Craig's classic reprint volumes!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Burger Chef

As a teenager in the seventies, it was rare that I ever found myself eating at a McDonalds. The main reason for that was that we had a Burger Chef just down at the opposite end of the alley from the apartment house from where I lived. Literally, if I were running (as I often was in those days) I could have gotten there in less than 30 seconds unless there was traffic on the street I had to cross at the end of the alley. They were cheap, they were tasty and, as a teenage boy, I enjoyed the fact that they employed a number of teenage girls. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lucy in Wildcat

WILDCAT, Lucille Ball's only Broadway performance, seems in retrospect to have been ill-starred from the beginning. A miscast Lucy was ill at the time as well as being stressed by the end of her marriage and her long-running TV series. Reviews weren't great and there were various other issues and problems throughout its 1960 run.

That said, many years later, I purchased the soundtrack mainly for one of my favorite songs of that period, which became a staple of television variety shows when I was a kid. That song was the delightful, upbeat anthem, "Hey, Look Me Over."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Holy Miley Cyrus!

It was either this or Fibber McGee dancing with Molly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Day of the Doctor- 50th Trailer

The Invisble Man Record

For those who have long wondered how the classics records with the amazingly cool Wally Wood covers sound, someone has posted them on YouTube! Better than I remembered, actually.

R.I.P. Lou Scheimer-JLA Cartoon

Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer passed this week. It's easy to complain that his cartoons sometimes barely moved at all but man, they sure were entertaining, starting with his DC cartoons of the mid-sixties!

Dramatic Harpo-Silent Panic

From 1960, here's Harpo Marx in his one and only completely dramatic role. He's quite good as an illiterate deaf-mute man who witnesses a murder but has no way to tell the police about it…while the killers zero in on him.

David Gilmour-Don't

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour singing a lovely version of Elvis Presley's ballad-written by Lieber and Stoller--DON'T.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chilling Archives Giveaway Contest!

You have four chances to win a complete set of Yoe Books' CHILLING ARCHIVES OF HORROR series, all in hardcover and full-color! Check our companion blog, FOUR-COLOR SHADOWS,  starting later this evening for info on how to win!

Additional sets will be available via THE HORRORS OF IT ALL and THE FABULOUS FIFTIES comics blogs as well as via the YOE BOOKS Facebook page! Enter at all four locations to increase your chances of winning! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: Superheroes on PBS

We no longer have cable but we can still access PBS so last evening, I watched SUPERHEROES: A NEVER ENDING BATTLE, the 3 part documentary. While it wasn't exactly the long-hoped-for Ken Burns version of the story of the American comic book, it was nonetheless quite a good, if flawed and narrowly focused, introduction.

Since the documentary, by design, looked at superheroes and not at the comics themselves, it came across--inevitably I suppose--as largely a commercial for DC and Marvel. 

Oh, Quality was mentioned briefly, as was Fox. Fawcett's Captain Marvel got what amounted to little more than a nice shout out in spite of the character's once-immense popularity. But what about all the other companies that had their own superheroes throughout the history of the medium? And what of other mediums? We saw highlight's of the Big Two's movie and TV hits but what about a nod to all the other examples?

It's easy to quibble about what wasn't there but what was, as they say, was choice. Actor Liev Schreiber was excellent as the announcer/host and some cutesy semi-animated layouts kept the whole thing from being too stagey. Talking heads included many of the best in the business including now already deceased stalwarts Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Joe Simon and Jerry Robinson. In the continuing controversy over who created The Joker, Jerry was here given the nod with Bob Kane's version being left untold. As far as Robin, "the creators" created him. 

Others to appear included artists Irwin Hasen, Ramona Fradon, Neal Adams, who struck a chord with a number of us by pronouncing the name of DC's magician character as "ZATT-ruh" Jim Steranko, Gerard Jones and Jules Feiffer, all creators themselves but also historians, provided some good insight.

Overall no less than eight of my Facebook friends or online acquaintances appeared on camera. When my wife posted on Facebook that it was odd to see me saying, "I know him, I know him…Hey, there's Trina!," historian/cartoonist Trina Robbins responded back that she was sitting at home watching and doing the same thing!

The first episode was about the Golden Age, the second the Silver Age and the third more modern days and the popularity in other media. 

A couple of more problems I had with it: Jack Kirby is highlighted and given some level of importance, emphasized by both Mark Evanier and Joe Simon…but then he's forgotten and not mentioned any more. When discussing the Marvel Age, Stan Lee is given all the credit. Now, I've never been one to diss Stan's contributions but seriously, how can one discuss the Marvel heroes and NOT mention Kirby? Ditko doesn't get much better treatment.

Similarly, the revival of the superheroes that marked the Silver Age beginnings, fails to mention at all Julius Schwartz, the architect of said revival. Julie only gets brought up later on when briefly discussing the Green Lantern/Green Arrow teaming.

A highlight is Adam West, reading off-camera from Batman's original origin story and then later on from Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.

Overall, it can be said that what's there is good and, side-stepping ongoing controversies, about as accurate as one of these things can be. I just wish they had been able to provide a fuller picture by adding more about many of the people and things that WEREN'T really there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Booksteve Rarities

Another way you can help us out while we're affected by the shutdown is to order some DVDs. We've got THE best selection of B Westerns ever but a ton of other cool and ultra-rare stuff as well. And no matter how much you order in the US, it's only $6.00 postage!

Check us out:

Monday, October 14, 2013

R.I.P. Naura Hayden

When I was a kid, one of the coolest movies to ever run on Channel 19's CREATURE FEATURES was THE ANGRY RED PLANET, a science-fiction film made the year I was born and produced by Norman Maurer, a man I would learn was a comic book artist and later the guiding light for the revival of the Three Stooges' career. I would even interview his widow, Moe's daughter!  

In between, though, Naura Hayden, who co-starred in THE ANGRY RED PLANET as "Nora" Hayden, became one of the first celebrities--minor though she may have been--that I ever met.

I met her in 1983 as she came through Cincinnati promoting her then-newest book, HOW TO SATISFY A WOMAN EVERY TIME (AND HAVE HER BEG FOR MORE). As her film career had dried up, she had reinvented herself as  self-help guru, first with vitamin and health and astrology books, then with sex manuals. 

She seemed to have taken a liking to the Manager of the first Waldenbooks where I had worked as we had several signings with her during the year I was at that downtown location and she even stopped in at least once on her own when she was in the area, just to see how things were selling.

She once whispered to me that the real way to satisfy a woman every time was to give her your credit card! Seriously. 

She still had many celebrity friends and in the late eighties called on many of them to appear in a vanity film starring herself. It was entitled THE PERILS OF P.K. and third-string celebs such as Louise Lasser, Sheila MacRae, Jackie Mason, Prof. Irwin Corey, Larry Storch, Dick Shawn, and Mr. and Mrs. Sammy Davis, Jr. The film is hard to come by but the paperback novelization is easier and it's terrible!

Film historian Laura Wagner reports on good authority that Naura Hayden passed without fanfare in August. 
Rest in Peace.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Doctor # 2 Found

If you haven't heard, go here to find out all the details about the newly recovered episodes from Patrick Troughton's DOCTOR WHO era, already available on ITunes!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Silver Age DC House Ads

Seriously, did any comics company ever do house ads as cool as these, mostly hand-lettered by Ira Schnapp?