Vintage Everyday posted this series of pictures from Life magazine in 1949 documenting the travelling show troupe of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. In this set of photos, Ms. Lee and her fellow entertainers were in my home town of Memphis, and a few local sites can be identified. In the photo above, the large building (background left) is the old Ellis Auditorium. In addition to other old Memphis buildings, the Harahan bridge over the Mississippi River is visible in some shots. I was not able to determine conclusively what brought Ms. Lee and Company to town, but considering the downtown location, the apparent warm weather, and the carnival-like background, we here at the SSS believe her act was part of the annual Cotton Carnival.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
I do not know anything about Sergeant Spook other than what I can infer from this 1947 edition posted on Four Color Shadows. Apparently, Sgt. Spook was a ghost policeman, visible only to his young friend Jerry, with whom he solved crimes. Looks like Jerry could end up getting all the credit.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Boing Boing posted this 1949 animated short, which at 10 minutes is actually just a little longer than most shorts of the era, made by Warner Bros. for the U.S. Federal Security Agency Public Health Service. Chuck Jones directed, and Carl Stalling did the music. It provides an interesting peek into the post-war era. While its message is very serious, and some of its numbers are sobering, the cartoon is still entertaining while obviously aimed at persuading the public to support public health services. Here is So Much For So Little.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
The National World War II Museum posted a nice item on the origin of "V-Discs," the U.S. government issued phonograph recordings made exclusively for the military. As the posted noted, V-Discs arose at a difficult time in the music industry.
The music industry was actually undergoing a war of its own during WWII. In 1942, two of the most prominent musician unions went on strike against all four recording companies in the U.S.. The strike then caused a shortage of music needed for troop morale. Yet, Lieutenant G. Robert Vincent had a solution to the problem. After approval of the U.S. government, he brokered a deal between the unions, recording companies, and the U.S. government. By agreeing to not distribute any records for commercial use, Vincent was able to get the recording companies to agree to record albums for the troops to listen to while at war. More amazingly, he also convinced top-name musicians in the business to record for the albums despite the strike they were involved in.Another by-product of this venture was that artists who were under contract with different record labels could record V-Discs together, resulting in collaborations that would not have been possible under their contracts.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
The 2017 Summer Movie Series at the Orpheum Theatre begins June 2 with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Most of the films are from the 1960's-80's this year, but there are still a few classics from the Swing Era: The Wizard of Oz, The Maltese Falcon and Gone with the Wind.
Friday, May 5, 2017
In this 1936 Van Beuren production, Felix the Cat uses the titular waterfowl to run a relief agency providing support to the needy, but Captain Kidd has his greedy eyes on the bird. From the Internet Archive, here is The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Three iconic aircraft from World War II will take to the skies again at the Memphis Air Show, May 13-14 at the Memphis-Millington Airport. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders will offer tours of the aircraft as well as a limited number of 25 minutes flights.
The North American P-51 Mustang Quick Silver will also give demonstration flights, as will the Vaught F4U Corsair, Korean War Hero.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017
Time for The Hollywood Revue's monthly preview of programming on Turner Classic Movies. The Star of the Month for May is Clark Gable, with his movies every Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning and afternoon. Yes, that is Gable above with Joan Crawford. What, did you think he always had the mustache? Also on deck are two nights of movies made in 1967, and a monster movie marathon every Thursday night.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
I've been meaning to post something about The Race of Gentlemen for some time, and I finally got around to it. TROG is a live action tribute to the hot rodders of the late 1940's, featuring races on the beach in period correct cars and motorcycles. It has become a popular event in the auto enthusiast crowd, popping up in Hemmings Motor News, Chasing Classic Cars and Fast & Loud. From the TROG website:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES…
Join us to experience the greatest race on earth! The Race of Gentlemen is an automotive carnival that celebrates American racing heritage. A true homage to automobile and motorcycle history, hosted by the Oilers CC/MC. Spectators and racers alike will experience a simplier time of when guys were gentlemen and cars were king! Stultz & Green Productions will exhibit their hand-selected group of gentlemen, who will showcase their pre-war machines at the water’s edge on the beach of Wildwood, New Jersey. Commonly referred to as TROG for short, the carefully curated event will give you a history lesson and an unforgettable weekend, all rolled into one.
Race fans, hold onto your seats while vintage motorcycles and automobiles battle it out on the shore against the rising tides for your viewing pleasure. Indian, Harley Davidson, Excelcior, Ford, Dodge Brothers and more! An extraordinary display of why America’s love for vintage automotive will never fade. Do not miss your chance to see these fine men flog their jaw dropping machines on the sand, just like in days gone by. Come one, come all to watch in awe as they roar at the shore!They are series about being period correct. Competition cars must have a body that is 1934 or older, and American made. The engine must be 1948 or older, and run only on gas (no alcohol or nitro). Transmissions can be up to 1953, but modern disc brakes, alternators, etc. One of these days, I hope to visit one of these events, and in my wildest dreams, build and race a car there.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The Hemmings blog has been finding some interesting items for its "Find of the Day" recently. Yesterday, for example, the featured car was the above 1941 Graham Hollywood. I've always found the Hollywood interesting, because it was the second partial resurrection of the 1936 Cord 810 sedan (below).
So in 1941, Graham produced the Hollywood. Like the Cord, the Hollywood had a high horsepower, supercharged engine. Unlike the Cord, the Hollywood was a traditional front engine/rear wheel drive layout; as opposed to the Cord's advanced, front wheel drive design. Neither the Skylark nor the Hollywood featured the Cord's distinctive "coffin" nose or retractable headlamps, but the exterior design was otherwise the same. This repeated resurrection of the original design demonstrates why the Cord, and its subsequent iterations, are considered classics.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017
Only about a dozen of these "behind the scenes" shots from the filming of Casablanca, posted on Vintage Everyday, are actually "behind the scenes;" i.e. - showing filming or the cast and crew on the set. The remainder are either studio publicity shots or frames from the film. Nevertheless, they are a great collection of images from one of the best movies of all time.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
As noted by the National World War II Museum, seventy-five years ago yesterday, Lt. Col. James Doolittle led a flight of 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers off the flight deck of the USS Hornet in the western Pacific. Their destination? Tokyo. This mission was the first aerial bombing attack on Japanese territory after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It was also the first attempt to launch medium bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier. Of the 16 planes on the mission, one landed in Russia, and the others crash landed or the crews bailed out over China. Although the attack did little physical damage, the impact on both the American and Japanese morale was significant. Three days after the mission launched, President Roosevelt responded to a reporter's question that the raiders were launched from a secret base in "Shangri-La," a fictional Tibetan monastery featured in the book and movie Lost Horizon.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
As seen on the Hemmings blog, for a mere $1.1 million, you too can now own what is essentially a brand new, original 1948 Tucker Model 48, a/k/a the Tucker "Torpedo." Tucker only produced 51 of these vehicles before stopping production, and only 47 are known to exist. This 48th vehicle was assembled from authentic Tucker components and a drive train that were either salvaged from other Tuckers or never used.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Since tax time is upon us, Donald Duck returns with his annual income tax message. Walt Disney made this animated short for the U.S. Government to encourage people to save their money so they could pay their income taxes and support the war effort. From the Internet Archive, here is the 1943 animated short, The Spirit Of '43.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
WEVL (home of the SSS) is in the middle of its 2017 Spring Pledge Drive, and tonight's SSS Pledge Drive Special is "Blue Skies!" I'll be playing music designed to "Accentuate the Positive," and cheer you up whether you need it or not! Tune in and make your pledge of support for WEVL, and pick up one of our 2017 T-shirts (design above) with pledge of $75 or more!
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
With the help of Betty Boop, Grampy wins a "landslide" victory to become mayor. Before he can even sit in the mayor's chair, however, citizens begin complaining about various things, and threatening to oust him if he does not fix them. Donning his thinking cap, Grampy invents solutions to all the town's problems, including a novel method of urban renewal. From the Internet Archive, here is the 1937 animated short, The Candid Candidate.