Saturday, December 31, 2022

Station Break


Friday, December 16, 2022

Felix the Cat Meets Ann Pennington

Ann Pennington was a well-known Ziegfeld Follies dancer back in the day (way back in the day!) and here she is demonstrating some of her dance moves with a very animated co-star, the one and only Felix the cat!



Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Hip Showbiz Veterans in the '60s


Buster Keaton

Don't judge. The '60s were a weird time for everyone, especially older show business veterans just trying desperately to fit in. 

Jack Benny

Basil Rathbone

Milton Berle

Peter Lawford/Jimmy Durante

Phyllis Diller/Bob Hope

Danny Thomas with Angela Cartwright

Howard Duff

Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball

Monday, December 05, 2022

Never a Dull Moment-1968

For many years I remembered a specific, atmospheric scene I saw in a movie back in the late 1960s that I thought had starred Dick Van Dyke. I couldn't recall much about the scene other than the fact that it was set in an alley. I couldn't recall anything else about the picture, either. Eventually, as I became a better researcher and cable TV and the Internet offered many more sources, I was able to pinpoint the forgotten film as 1968's NEVER A DULL MOMENT, a Disney flick starring Mr. Van Dyke.

Someone once said that when you don't have faith in a movie, you entitle it NEVER A DULL MOMENT and, sure enough, there have been several fairly forgettable films with that name...this once included. It did have some memorable posters, though. LOTS of them!




Friday, December 02, 2022

Marty's Dream of Coffee


This is my friend, Martin Grams, Jr.  I first met him at the Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention way back when. I bought a book he had written about one of my favorite radio series, THE ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE. When I met him, he looked all of 16 years old. 

Since that time, Martin has written and published dozens of books on various aspects of American pop culture--radio, television, movies, etc.  It has been my pleasure and privilege to be involved behind the scenes of a number of them, notably the ones seen here, doing research, proofreading, editing, or even writing segments on occasion. 


 Along with writing, Martin has for many years been a successful collectibles dealer, published various mags and newsletters, and created and runs what must surely be the smoothest nostalgia convention in the country--the annual Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Expo.


 Martin Grams, Jr. is my hero. For much of my life my dream was to be as successful as Martin doing the very things Martin does. But here's the deal! In the tradition of the grass being greener, Martins dream is something very different. Martin wants to run the best coffee shop ever!

The Screaming Bean is coming in 2023 to Martin's native Maryland and right now he's in the waning days of a Kickstarter campaign to allow him access to the best possible equipment. Here's what Martin himself has to say about The Screaming Bean: 

From the outside, The Screaming Bean may appear to be just another coffee shop but once inside you will be greeted by upbeat employees who prove that coffee and friends make the perfect blend. Our mission statement is "Where Community Happens." This is where the business deals are made, first dates occur, and The Screaming Bean will be a beacon for local fund raisers and charities. This will be a coffee shop representing Main Street, not Wall Street. And if recent events have reminded us how important it is to support local businesses, supporting a new one is equally important

 The Screaming Bean will be located at the community crossroads of easy-access convenience, on Churchville Road, right off I-95, literally sight distance from Ripken Stadium. This has been five years in the planning stages, including traveling across the country to work in the trenches to understand every aspect of the craft. We know the difference between drip coffee vs. hand crafted coffee. With the contracts signed, we are almost there but we could use that extra nudge and assistance.We partnered with a local coffee roaster who has been in business for decades, who mastered the art of yielding an even roast with no "tipping" of the bean (the charcoal color on the tips of some roasted coffee). We brought on board consultants who own and operate their own local coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, (highly regarded as the home of craft coffee), and they polished the menu ala chef style with farm fresh produce. It took years for them to figure out what worked best in their shop, and on their menu, and they are carrying that over to The Screaming Bean. Summed up, when we open the doors in April, we will not learning through trial and error like many new start-ups... we will be opening with the advantage of decades of experience.


Martin has always been praised for his research skills and he has literally spent years researching coffee. Just listening to him discuss and write about the subject, I have learned more about coffee than I ever knew...AND I DON'T EVEN DRINK COFFEE!!

Wait, what? So why am I pushing for Martin's coffee shop to be a big success? I turn 64 next month. While I have become somewhat successful as a writer in the past decade or so, I am resigned to the fact that the moment has passed for my dream of actually being able to survive and thrive on writing books. But Marty is still young and he's long since proven himself at everything he's ever set out to do. His life has been my dream, but HIS dream is not mine. HIS dream is the Screaming Bean...and I ask you to consider a contribution to his Kickstarter to prove to him, to me, to all of you, too...that dreams can still come true!


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Milton Berle in The Day the Clown Cried


A lot of folks are familiar with THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED, the legendary unfinished and unseen Jerry Lewis film that started shooting in 1971. BUT...did you know there was an earlier 1966 attempt--also unfinished (if any actual footage was ever even shot)-- which would have starred Milton Berle, Veronica Lake, and Karl Malden? There was even talk that Berle might get the Oscar!


And yet, after all the above from 1966, this bit from early 1967 has Uncle Miltie saying he's still negotiating to do the project. 


Saturday, November 19, 2022

"Record Buster" Crabbe

It isn't on his Wikipedia page nor do I see it online anywhere else so this may be a bit of info that got lost to history. Buster Crabbe is best remembered as Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Tarzan, Billy the Kid, Captain Gallant, and an Olympic swimming champion. He was born Clarence Crabbe but in Hollywood he was renamed Larry. Sometimes he was billed as Larry "Buster" Crabbe, "Buster" Crabbe, and eventually just Buster Crabbe. But even his Wiki page doesn't address the "Buster" origins. Well, it turns out, as seen in the two newspaper clippings here, that he set so many new records in his swimming career that he became known as CLARENCE "RECORD BUSTER" CRABBE! Over the years, that part seems just to have been forgotten!