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That New Costume Smell

If you were a child in the 70s who dreamed of being Boss Hogg or an 80s baby desperate to be a Rubik’s Cube, your dream could come true for less than $5. For that was the Golden Age of Ben Cooper and Collegeville Costume. Relive their glory days by perusing some vintage catalogs. [more inside]
posted by jrossi4r on Oct 23, 2014 - 40 comments

Mad for Ads? Add Ads to Mad

Madison is a new Vintage Ad archive from the New York Times. "But the Times is inviting readers to do more than just view the ads. It's also asking readers to help shape the archive by sifting through the ads, identifying them and even transcribing their text." [more inside]
posted by FreezBoy on Oct 15, 2014 - 16 comments

If it ain't broke, break it: the unspoken motto of The Kinks

"HH [Henry Hauser]: Ryan and Nina are right on target. The Ray-Dave sibling rivalry sparked many of The Kinks' most spontaneous (and brilliant) musical moments. The Storyteller, Ray's riveting account of early life in the Davies household and his band’s rise to prominence, has him describing how he and Dave exchanged scornful looks while recording "You Really Got Me". The elder Davies swears that if you listen closely, you can actually hear Dave yelling "Fuckkkoffff" right before his guitar solo. Ray salvaged the track by covering up Dave's profane exclamation with his own unscripted outburst ("Owwwww noooooo!"), and the impromptu rock scream turned into one of the most memorable quirks in Kinks history. It perfectly captures the animalistic agony that accompanies hopeless infatuation. Without the Ray-Dave rivalry, it would never have happened."

Henry Hauser, Ryan Bray, Nina Corcoran, and Stevie Dunbar at Consequence of Sound hold a round-table discussion in "Dusting 'Em Off: The Kinks – The Kinks". [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 7, 2014 - 28 comments

"I once loved a girl..." - Suze and The Twerp

Tomorrow is a long time
Suze and The Twerp
Ballad In Plain D – Bob and Suze
We were both overly sensitive and needed shelter from the storm
Previously: I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 24, 2014 - 2 comments

"Older respondents reported hopping on railway cars and stealing gin"

The shortening leash on American children: We heard a lot about sneaking out, petty theft, amateur arson, drugs, and sexual experimentation from our older respondents. But as time passes, the picture of childhood looks a lot less wild and reckless and a lot more monitored. We asked parents how they would react if they caught their kids doing what they had done as kids. A typical response: "I'd probably freak out and turn my home into a prison."
posted by scody on Aug 6, 2014 - 165 comments

New York Girl Wins Kangaroo, Her First

Long before Mad Men, Forrest Gump, and coast-to-coast classic rock FM stations completed the transubstantiation of the 1960s from reality to legend, something stranger than fiction was burning the midnight oil in an old firehouse: The Socrates of San Francisco, Howard Luck Gossage, would change advertising--and the way we think about communication--forever. [more inside]
posted by HowardLuckGossage on Aug 5, 2014 - 8 comments

Cromagnon’s only album: a jumble of sounds, shouts, and one actual song

Depending on one's point of view, Orgasm (later reissued as Cave Rock) is either a ridiculously self-indulgent artifact of the '60s counterculture or an underground gem that was way ahead of its time -- and it's probably a little bit of both. The basic idea behind Cromagnon, an obscure East Coast group led by vocalists Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot, was psychedelic rock combined with the sticks and stones of prehistoric cavemen, as well as with traces of folk-rock; it's a bizarre concept, certainly, but at times, it works. You can hear the whole crazy album on YouTube, or stick with the most song-like track (featuring bagpipes, tribal beats and some sort of scream-singing), Caledonia, seen here with an unofficial video. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 26, 2014 - 6 comments

“We want to make the rules, the theory”

In 1968, Agnès Varda was living in Los Angeles with her husband, director Jacques Demy, who was there to begin filming his first Hollywood film, Model Shop (1969). Although initially hesitant about living in the United States, the couple quickly became caught up in the wave of dissent sweeping the country in the late 1960s. Indeed, amid the finger pointing in France about the perceived failure of the events of May ’68 to bring about revolution, many members of the French intelligentsia looked across the Atlantic for alternative models for political change. Varda became part of a growing contingent of French artists and intellectuals, including sociologists Edgar Morin and Jean-François Revel, and writer Jean Genet, who were attracted to the ways in which cultural revolt, social criticism and political contestation were intertwined in the United States. These French thinkers were attracted to the expansiveness and creativity of the American counterculture as opposed to the political deadlock that many believed was the undoing of the events surrounding May ’68. A revolt against American hegemony was taking place within the United States itself, and many leftist French thinkers were enthralled. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 13, 2014 - 5 comments

Where Have You Gone, Easily Recognized References?

"The Joe DiMaggio line was written right away in the beginning. And I don't know why or where it came from. It seems so strange, like it didn't belong in that song and then, I don't know, it was so interesting to us that we just kept it. So it's one of the most well-known lines that I've ever written." An analysis of Simon and Garfunkel's 1968 hit, "Mrs. Robinson". [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 12, 2014 - 69 comments

■ ■ ■ ■

The History of the Cubicle [SLYT] [Previously]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 8, 2014 - 14 comments

By hook or by crook, we will.

A man wearing a dark blazer with white braiding steps out from behind what looks to be a giant white balloon. A penny-farthing sits in the foreground. Cheerily, he addresses the camera: "Hi, I'm Scott Apel, video critic for the San Jose Mercury News, and I'm here to welcome you again to The Prisoner, one of the most intriguing and most talked about television series ever made..." (YT) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

Eichler, Cliff May and the invention of the California Ranch Style home

The post-war boom gave rise to new concepts of modernity in domestic architecture and, of course, massive suburban development. One such concept was the California ranch-style home, pioneered by Cliff May (1909-1989). Another contemporary architect, Joseph Eichler (1900-1974), had his own vision of modernity in America's new suburbs, but both styles used similar language. At the time, these new designs for living were seen as modern and at the cutting edge of sophistication, but sophistication within reach of the average professional, middle-class family. They were designed to have a practical as well as an aesthetic value. Welcome to mid-century modern. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 4, 2014 - 29 comments

‘And This Is Free’ (1964)

A 50 minute documentary about Maxwell Street Market and musicians in Chicago (I interpret the title with an implicit accusatory question mark.) Mike Shea—previously a photographer for Life, Look and Time—directed this exquisitely composed, Frederick Wiseman-esque documentary that lurches between the wiles and complaints of street vendors to some astoundingly well-recorded street side blues performances—recorded by Gordon Quinn. Most notably numerous songs by Robert Nighthawk and one electrifying performance by Carrie Robinson. There's also one seriously awesome-looking house party. [more inside]
posted by zbsachs on May 14, 2014 - 10 comments

Eat your K rations and like it

Hundreds of newsreel and publicity films from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s -- the golden era of instructional, scientific, government, and industry films -- are now available on YouTube via users like Ella's Archive (focusing on transport and technology), Val73TV4 (British Council portraits of English towns & more), NuclearVault (war and diplomacy) and others.

How about starting with The Big Delivery Wagon (1951) a Heinz-sponsored spot about nationwide food distribution? Or ‪Native Foods: Commandments For Health (1945)‬, a U.S. Navy animated training film featuring Private McGillicuddy, who neither likes Vienna sausage nor seems to know that local foods are full of "poison more treacherous than a Jap warlord." Maybe Choosing For Happiness (1950) has some choice dating tips for even today's women? Or show your kid Defense Against Invasion (1943) in which a doctor explains to a fearful child exactly why he ought to get immunized.
posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 15, 2014 - 5 comments

La-La Land

Vintage Los Angeles is Alison Martino's YouTube channel featuring a look back at Los Angeles during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's an accompanying blog and a facebook page, too.
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 5, 2014 - 10 comments

Hey Señorita, I'm hot as hell

About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Vintage audio equipment blog

AUDIOKLASSIKS | HIFI VINTAGE OF THE 60's & 70's [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Jan 13, 2014 - 31 comments

"I wasn't afraid because I was too angry to be afraid."

Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four, has died. McCain was a freshman at North Carolina A&T College when he, along with fellow students Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. (later Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond (who died in 1990), walked into their local Woolworth's on February 1, 1960, and sat down at a whites-only lunch counter. This spontaneous act of civil disobedience (previously) sparked what would come to be known as the sit-in movement to dismantle Jim Crow.
posted by scody on Jan 10, 2014 - 33 comments

Hippies in the Boardroom

How Silicon Valley Became The Man The Harvard Business Review's Justin Fox interviews Stanford historian Fred Turner about how the New Communalists molded the Valley in their image.
posted by Diablevert on Jan 10, 2014 - 29 comments

Richard Pryor: that clown can really sing the blues

Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2014 - 14 comments

...and then "some clown invented the printed circuit."

During the 1950's, Wernher von Braun served as technical adviser for three space-related television films produced by Disney: Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 24, 2013 - 40 comments

Would you believe...

What do you need to be an international CONTROL super spy fighting the forces of KAOS? A Shoe-Phone. A Cone of Silence. A Bulletproof Invisible Wall and a Laser Blazer. Then, and only then, can you Get Smart. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 16, 2013 - 52 comments

"Caje, take the point"

TV's longest-running World War II drama, Combat! aired on ABC between 1962 and 1967. "It was really a collection of complex 50-minute movies. Salted with battle sequences, they follow [US Army King Company's travails during the invasion of France, starting with the landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day. It's] a gritty, ground-eye view of infantrymen trying to salvage their humanity and survive." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Background Music

The Seeburg 1000 was a phonograph designed and built by the Seeburg Corporation to play background music in offices, restaurants, retail businesses, factories and similar locations, cycling through a stack of non-standard 16-2/3 RPM vinyl records provided by Seeburg in one of three different libraries of music: Basic, Mood and Industrial*.
And now, it has its own Internet Radio Station!
*in the 1960s, that meant "medium-fast tempo music of a lively nature, to induce workers to be more productive."
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 7, 2013 - 51 comments

Hey, let's go see that movie soon as we get off the plane!

Swinging Sixties Film Posters from Japan - Bootleg Film Posters from Ghana - Retro Film Posters from Thailand
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 2, 2013 - 8 comments

artists in their own words

Painters on Painting - 1972 documentary on the New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio. It spans American art movements from abstract expressionism to pop art via conversations with artists in their studios. Including Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell and others. (via Bibliokept) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 2, 2013 - 8 comments

Wine Is Elegance

Vincent Price, on entertaining.
posted by timsteil on Jul 2, 2013 - 15 comments

The Cars-in-a-barn Urban Legend that is Real

For years, there have been rumors among car people about a bunch of unbelievably low-mileage 50's and 60's cars in a barn or warehouse in the upper Midwest. It's true, and they'll be auctioned off this fall. Not Safe for people with a propensity to drool over old metal. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Jun 30, 2013 - 74 comments

Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to life

Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to life. The "Multi-Unit Space Transport and Recovery Device" (MUSTARD), the "Jumping Jeep", and the "Intercity Vertical-Lift Aircraft". "British arms company BAE has recently been through its archives and publicised some of the projects dreamed up in the glory days of the 1960s, when designers' imaginations were allowed to run riot with little consideration of practicality or budget." From The Economist magazine, which has period sketches of the designs.
posted by alasdair on Jun 22, 2013 - 10 comments

Peter Sellers documentary 1969

Will The Real Mr Sellers Please Stand Up - a rare ~50min film narrated by Spike Milligan and made during the filming of 'The Magic Christian'*via Cinephilia and Beyond. [NSFW - some nudity] [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jun 11, 2013 - 12 comments

Answering Harvard’s question about my personal life, 52 years later

"In 1961, Phyllis Richman applied to graduate school at Harvard. She received a letter asking how she would balance a career in city planning with her 'responsibilities' to her husband and possible future family. Fifty-two years later, she responds." [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri on Jun 8, 2013 - 54 comments

Paul Williams, RIP

Paul Williams, the founder of Crawdaddy! Magazine, has died. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 29, 2013 - 14 comments

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by item on Mar 18, 2013 - 66 comments

Afghanistan in the 1960s

Remembering Afghanistan in the 1960s
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Feb 2, 2013 - 26 comments

Vietnam: An Antiwar Comic Book

A comic written by Julian Bond and published in 1967, after he was expelled from the Georgia House of Representatives for opposing the war in Viet Nam. [Warning: n-word is used once as an example of hate speech] [more inside]
posted by laconic skeuomorph on Jan 9, 2013 - 17 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Don't wonder where the sisters are now.

From 1967-1968, Dr. Bill Podlich took a leave of absence from Arizona State University to join UNESCO, teaching in the Higher Teachers College of Kabul, Afghanistan. He took many photographs.
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 19, 2012 - 14 comments

Les chausettes vertes, elles sont très, très lourdes

Jean Genet meets the Black Panthers In an excerpt from Edmund White's biography of Jean Genet, the French writer visits the US and encounters Black Panthers, Jane Fonda, Ken Kesey on acid, and Jessica Mitford.
posted by larrybob on Sep 7, 2012 - 10 comments

Spoiler alert: there is a red shirt.

Jeff Altman has posted several stunning examples of his grandfather's Kodachrome 40 8mm home movies.

Previously with less, but now with more!! [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Aug 28, 2012 - 14 comments

I'm your toy, I'm your old boy

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel - An excellent 90 minute BBC documentary, the story of the legendary country rock pioneer as told by contemporary musicians, family, and friends. It includes rare performance footage. (Via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

And in his way, Mr. K will challenge the world!

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite PABLO FANQUE'S CIRCUS ROYAL TOWN-MEADOWS, ROCHDALE Grandest Night of the Season! AND POSITIVELY THE LAST NIGHT BUT THREE! BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR.KITE, (LATE OF WELLS'S CIRCUS) AND MR. J. HENDERSON, THE CELEBRATED SOMERSET THROWER! WIRE DANCER, VAULTER, RIDER, etc. On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Aug 25, 2012 - 11 comments

The (real) Dude

From director Jeff Feuerzeig, The Dude is a documentary short that follows Jeff Dowd to a Tampa Lebowski Fest. Dowd was a friend of the Coen Brothers and the real-life inspiration for the iconic film character in the Big Lebowski. (Previously: Jeff Dowd of the Seattle Seven is the model for The Dude in The Big Lebowski)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Look to the skies. The flying saucers will always be there.

In the mid-1950s, Dickie Goodman was a struggling song writer working with song publisher Bill Buchanan, when the two men came up with the idea of a fake radio program interrupted by a UFO attack (similar to the hoax Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds), except in this case, the aliens spoke the language of rock 'n' roll. The result was Flying Saucer, Parts 1 and 2 on Luniverse Records, the first novelty break-in record and a forerunner to the modern mashup. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Aug 18, 2012 - 14 comments

Whatever Happened to Adam Diment?

Adam Diment was once considered the heir to Ian Fleming with his wildly successful series of novels (The Dolly Dolly Spy, The Great Spy Race, The Bang Bang Birds, Think, Inc.) about the spy Philip McAlpine. Diment, writing in the swinging ‘60s and ‘70s, was known for his debonair lifestyle and casual flirtation with drugs. He had it all: success, wealth, sex. Then he disappeared. [more inside]
posted by librarylis on Aug 3, 2012 - 10 comments

Not A Crime

Montreal Cops Chase Skateboarders [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Aug 2, 2012 - 20 comments

It doesn't bark, it roars.

Kensington Secretary Angela McWilliams takes her pet leopard, Michael, on a stroll through 1960s London. (SYTL)
posted by hot soup girl on Jun 25, 2012 - 23 comments

The Big Train

"The Big Train" and other classic 1950s and 60s publicity reels from the New York Central Railroad. Lots of footage of trains, railroad infrastructure, well-dressed office minions, teletypes, punchcard machines, men in white lab coats, bubbling beakers, and even an "atomic signal light." [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jun 19, 2012 - 10 comments

The themes of "The Marvel Super Heroes"

When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor. Stronger than a whale, he can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 17, 2012 - 61 comments

Thousands of ads, thousands of brochures, thousands of photos

x-ray delta one's flickr stream is filled with thousands of scans assembled by a one-man library named James Vaughan. The collected ephemera contains brochures, ads, and magazines from the world of air travel, cars, trains, and lots of other things. No matter where you dive in, there are always treasures.
posted by mathowie on May 10, 2012 - 10 comments

Only good for conversation

An acclaimed new documentary, Searching for Sugarman, goes hunting for the lost Dylan, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 1, 2012 - 10 comments

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