When the Andean exotica singer Yma Sumac
became famous in the United States for her supposed Inca heritage and five-octave voice, her fellow Peruvians called her a sellout. UC Davis professor Zoila Mendoza, however, knew Yma Sumac as her mother’s childhood friend
Khrushchev Tours America
- His shoe banging incident
at the UN and the the Kitchen Debates with Nixon
are well known but less attention has been given to the time Nikita Khrushchev went to Hollywood
. He met Marilyn Monroe and other film luminaries but he was denied a trip to Disneyland (previously)
. [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
has posted several stunning examples of his grandfather's
Kodachrome 40 8mm home movies.
Previously with less, but now with more!! [more inside]
"A Movie Marked Danger"
- a Vanity Fair article on Sweet Smell of Success
by Alexander Mackendrick, screenplay
by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, cinematography
by James Wong Howe, soundtrack
by Elmer Bernstein. (previously) [more inside]
Fender Factory Tour 1959
- Leo Fender in the second shot. Freddie Tavares
at 7:26. A day when "everything was done by hand... It is amazing to realize that every guitar made that year is now worth a small fortune
." The 1959-63 era Stratocaster is called one of the 50 guitars to play before you die
. (via the q-ster
Well, bust my britches, here it is January 8, Elvis Presley's birthday! Now, a mere 20 days after the young rock crooner had celebrated his 21st, back in 1956, he stepped onto the stage at CBS Studio in New York City and made his US national television debut
, on the Dorsey Brothers show. Seems he was hot property from the get-go, cause he was back on that stage, straightaway, for five more appearances, on February 4th
, then again on March 17th
. And, yeah, heck, he was pretty good.
To meet this need for high speed data processing, the scientists and technicians of the Eckert-Mauchly division of Remington Rand have created a miracle of electronic development: UNIVAC! [more inside]
Images of a People's Movement
- more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections
of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans
. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
Home Kinks, part 1
and part 2
- for years, Popular Mechanics Press published a series of tips, many from readers, in a special edition format they called "Household Kinks." Scanning Around With Gene
has posted a collection from 1940s and '50s editions.
, swinging London of 1960s and SOHO bohemian Coffee Bars of London, 1959
. These are a few of the 500+ vintage documentary shorts called "Look at Life" that ran at the Odeon and Gaumont cinemas during the 50s and 60s. (via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
The Jazz Loft Project
- From 1957 to 1965, celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith made 4,000 hours of surreptitious recordings and took 40,000 photographs in a loft in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where Roland Kirk, Thelonius Monk, Hall Overton, Charles Mingus and other jazz greats jammed until dawn. Archived in the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the project is now accessible via a book, a traveling exhibit, a 10-part Jazz Loft series
on WNYC, NPR's Jazz Loft Project Sights & Sounds
, and an interview with JLP author Sam Stephenson
, which includes some images from the book. Via a Grain Edit post
, which also has some great images. [more inside]
Frank Soltesz was a master of fascinating cutaway illustrations depicting "modern businesses" in the '40s and '50s - from hotels
, grocery stores
, and more
. (via Telstar Logistics Blog) [more inside]
Keep watching the skies
- The New York Times looks back at 50s Sci Fi films in anticipation of Alien Trespass
, the new film from X-Files veteran R.K. Goodwin
. One or two of those classics haven't even been remade yet!
- cute collection of comic book images and language conveying sound and motion. Also see anastasiav's prior post: Ka-BOOM
, the Dictionary of Comic Book Words on Historical Principles. (via oink!) [more inside]
If you can make it through the glacially paced intro and can put up with the typically clunky, often laughable and jingoistic fifties-style narration, this 1958 film from Chevrolet, The American Look
is worth viewing. Chock full of futuristic telephones, toasters, blenders, office machines, architecture and more, it's a mid-century design lover's dream. The film is visually striking and elegant, and presented in widescreen format. Here's part 2
and part 3
. Or see it here in its entirety
. [more inside]
Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiar riff
, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect
rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!
", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane
's Drag On
. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane
: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of.
Through a Lens Darkly
- on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her
. Dramatic news footage
. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls
the first day of school. [more inside]
For many kids, the space age
made its TV debut years before Sputnik with 1950's TV space serials.
1950 - Space Patrol - The Hidden Treasure of Mars
. (Part two
1954 - Rocky Jones' Space, Space Ranger - Rocky's Odyssey
. (Chapters two
1954 - Flash Gordon - Deadline at Noon
and Akim the Terrible
. [more inside]
Mars and Beyond
- 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2
Stand By For Crime!
Archive.org presents the astonishing adventures of Chuck Morgan, intrepid radio muckracker and crimefighter, as he battles The Communist Menace, investigates The Wetback Murders, and solves The Marijuana Mystery. Circa 1953; twenty-six half-hour episodes in mp3 format, each approximately 9 MB.
Extracts from the journals of Susan Sontag
dating from the 1950s and 1960s were published in this morning's Guardian G2.
Still romanticizin' the beat generation?
Lovely shots from the Venice West Picture Essay - a photo chronicle of the beat generation in venice west, california circa 1958….from the out-of-print "the holy barbarians" by lawrence lipton
Cutting-Edge Critique of TV or Just a Lot of Guys with No Shirt On?
Exhaustive website of TV shows from the 1950s to the present with discussion of overt gay
content. Also a lot of coverage of hidden homoerotic content that could be viewed as a parody of academic interpretive overreaching. On the other hand, that didn't stop Jerry Falwell from denouncing Tinky Winky's alleged sexual orientation
Have you got your boots on, Jack?
Do you collar this jive? Listen all you righteous cats and canaries
, it's copacetic. Don't be a hincty Jeff. Put on your cogs, get in there and focus on how to speak hip
so you can dig what I am laying my racket about.