The Mickey Mouse Club and Beach Blanket Bingo had one thing in common, Annette Funicello starred in both and in my opinion, made them what they were.
I grew up watching both, first the Mickey Mouse Club when I was in my youth and then the Beach Blanket Bingo series in my teens.
Rather than me rehash what’s already out there online, I’ve included links to some interesting sites about Annette:
This is a video from Annette Funicello’s website and is titled: “Annette’s Story: A Hollywood legend’s struggles with multiple sclerosis”. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.985726
I actually started this post about a week ago and I was just about ready to go public with it this past Monday, March 10, 2013, but just as I was putting the finishing touches on it, I lost the whole posting, so I had to start from scratch again. It could have been because I was trying to change the look of my blog (okay, it was directly related to my fiddling with the blog). Bummer! : |
During the 60′s through 80′s and probably 90′s too, I figure that I probably watched the majority of programming on television at one time or another, just because when using an aerial antenna on your roof, you don’t get a lot of channels, certainly not like the hundreds of channels that are available today on cable, satellite and fiber optic.
Anyway, it’s fun to look back on some of those old shows on reruns and compare what those actors, actresses and singers look like today. I must say, some of them have aged better than others.
Boy George – Singer / Songwriter – Karma Chameleon
Barbara Eden – Actress – I Dream of Jennie
Ron Howard – Actor – Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show
David McCallum – Actor – Man From U.N.C.L.E. & currently on N.C.I.S.
Diana Rigg – Actress – The Avengers
Audrey Hepburn – Actress – Breakfast at Tiffany’s – My Fair Lady
Julie Andrews – Actress – The Sound of Music
Olivia Newton John – Singer / Actress – Grease – Also past owner of Koala Blue a clothes store
James Taylor – Singer / Songwriter – Fire and Rain, You’ve Got a Friend
Joan Rivers – Comedian
Robert Wagner – Actor – It Takes a Thief
John Travolta – Actor – Welcome Back Kotter, Grease, Saturday Night Fever
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Body Builder, Actor, Governor – Terminator, Total Recall, True Lies
Sylvester Stallon – Actor – Rocky, Rambo, Cliff hanger
I was the proud owner of a first generation version of both the Creepy Crawler (Thingmaker) and Incredible Edible toys back in the ’60s. The Thingmaker was a very entertaining toy back in those days. It allowed me to make all kinds of different types of bugs and a multitude of other shapes, in an unlimited number of colors based on what color Plastigoop I used and/or mixed together.
I especially remember the strong smell of Plastigoop as it heated up and started to bubble in the metal molds. The fumes were probably toxic, but who cared about safety back then. I probably lost a mass of brain cells making Creepy Crawlers all day long. I’m sure my friends and family are saying to themselves–now that explains a lot.
Us kids were given all kinds of potentially dangerous toys back then, remember the chemistry set? Can you say chemical burn or BOOOM!!!
The Incredible Edible set was similar to the Creepy Crawler toy, in that it used molds to form different shapes and a heating element to cook it, but it used an edible liquid called Gobble De-Goop, that when heated, turned into what I can best describe as the consistency of a Gummy Bear. The taste was indescribable, not too bad, but not great either. If they had sold these at the candy store, they would definitely not have been my first choice.
I was amazed to see that they still make the Creepy Crawler toy. The toy has changed hands a few times since Mattel manufactured it in 1964, and it has become safer to use (that’s no fun). I also found out that they created a Saturday morning cartoon called, what else, Creepy Crawlers, that lasted two seasons.
You Asked For It was an American television show that aired from 1950-1959. Viewers were asked to mail in requests for things they wanted to see on the show. The program showed how things worked, a behind the scenes look at movie effects, curiosities, etc.
The one episode that I remember seeing, was how they made it look like an actor was riding on a moving horse (close-up shot). The horse or fake horse was actually stationary (but would rock back and forth) and the background scenery would move behind the horse creating the illusion that the horse was moving forward. I believe it was in this same episode that they show how they used red colored wax bullets, so when they shot someone in say, a western movie, it would appear as though the person was shot and bleeding.
You know how they say that “Everything old, is new again”. Well, there are a number of current day television shows that take you behind the scenes of how things are done, such as “How It’s Made”. This is a show on the Science Channel and they have a series of episodes that show how just about anything is made. This is somewhat similar, but not quite, because they only show how things are made (hence the title How It’s Made) and they don’t show how special effects are done or any of the other curiosities someone might request. Even good ol’ Mister Rogers on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” took you on field trips to show how things were made.
But the one show that comes the closest to the “You Asked For It” show, is a kids show called “Curiosity Quest”. Just like “You Asked For It”, they ask for viewers to send in requests for what they wanted to see. They’ve been to places like, the Vermont Teddy Bear factor showing how the bears are made, how bread, bikes, snowboards are made, to how they train fire fighters. A great show, even for adults that are curious about these things.
The disco era brought with it the finger point and hip gyrations from the likes of John Travolta in the movie Saturday Night Fever and those synchronized dance routines performed by a mass of people to music such as The Hustle by Van McCoy. The 70′s also brought with it the queen of disco–her name was Donna Summer, her music and voice were unmistakable. The disco era hit right around the mid 1970′s, which was about the time I graduated from high school, so I knew her music and others from that time, very well.
Unfortunately, on May 17, 2012, her battle with lung cancer had ended. She passed away in her Florida home at the age of 63.
Some of Donna’s most well known hits:
- She Works Hard For The Money
- Dim All The Lights
- On The Radio
- Love to Love You Baby
- Last Dance
- Hot Stuff
- Bad Girls
- I Love You
- McArthur Park
- Heaven Knows
The following YouTube video was the last time I saw her perform on television. It was on a David Foster special called, “Hitman Returns”, which was performed back in October 2010 at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and was first aired on March 2011.
Damn Yankees started life as a book then a Broadway musical on May 5, 1955. And in 1958, it was made into a film which eventually made it to my television set (I’m guessing this happened around the late 1960′s), where I saw it for the first time. Come to think of it, this was probably my first exposure to a musical too.
The movie starred Tab Hunter as Joe Hardy, Gwen Verdon as Lola, Ray Walston as Mr Applegate (both Lola & Applegate portrayed devils in the movie) and Robert Shafer as Joe Boyd. I remember Ray Walston for his television role as Uncle Martin on the sitcom, “My Favorite Martian”, where he played the martian who befriends Tim O’Hara, played by Bill Bixby. Damn Yankees also starred Jean Stapleton who later appeared on “All In The Family” as Edith Bunker with Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker.
In October of 2007, a friend sent out an email to see if a group of us wanted to go see the play Damn Yankees at UCLA (a university in Los Angeles, California). I said sure, and so did several others. November 24th rolls around and it was the night of the play. We all met at UCLA and gathered in the lobby of Freud Playhouse where the play was being held. It was time for the play to start, so we lined up to go into the theater and an usher told our group to line up along the wall, instead of lining up at the main doors like everybody else. He then escorted us outside the theater and around the back of the building. We then went into the rear entrance and we found ourselves backstage. We climbed some stairs and were told to sit in these seats which were right on the stage.
The photo below is not from the UCLA play, but the Damn Yankees play in Modesto in 2004. It shows a similar elevated bleacher setup like the one we were seated in that night.
Apparently, we were part of the play and it was supposed to look like we were spectators sitting up in the bleachers watching the baseball game. On one hand, it was neat to be a part of the play, but on the other hand, we saw everything from a different perspective than the main audience. I guess we should have looked more closely at the tickets, because instead of having the typical seat numbers, it said “Stage”, DOH!
Despite being seated on the stage, it was a good play, although we may think twice before letting our friend purchase tickets for us in the future. : D
If you get a chance, you should rent the movie, I think you will enjoy it! You gotta figure, if they are still creating plays and commercials based on the film, I can’t be that far off the mark.
Following are some YouTube videos of songs from the movie:
The song, “Whatever Lola Wants”, Sung By Gwen Verdon In The 1958 Movie:
“Whatever Lola Wants” Has Been Revived In This 2012 (54 years later) Pepsi Commercial:
The roar of 43 stock cars was heard loud and clear, in and around the Daytona International Speedway throughout the week in Daytona, Florida. The race was won by Matt Kenseth in the number 17 Best Buy car, but before Matt could to put the pedal to the metal for his celebratory burnout on the track, he and his fellow racers would have to endure one of the most unusual races in Daytona 500 history.
Matt Kenseth celebrating his win at the Daytona 500 race with a burnout
This was a race plagued with problems from the start. For instance, this was the first race in its 51 year history (under the Daytona 500 name) that was postponed due to rain and run during a weekday. The race was scheduled for Sunday, February 26, 2012, but the rain never let up in Florida, so the race was rescheduled for Monday evening, and at times it was touch and go with the weather again, but the weather cooperated and the race started and ended with no further delays due to rain. But rain was not the only thing that delayed this race–read on!
On top of the day and a half of rain delays, it seemed as if you were watching a demolition derby, rather than an oval track race because of all the bumping, skidding and crashes in this race, it was unbelievable. The first crash came just 2 laps into the race.
Then under the yellow caution flag, Juan Pablo Montoya in the number 42 car, was traveling along the low side of the track when something on his car broke and it caused his car to slide sideways and right up into one of two jet dryers that was circling and drying or blowing debris off the track. The jet dryer exploded on impact flooding the track with 200 gallons of jet fuel and sending flames high into the air and down to the in-field. The race was red flagged, stopping all of the cars on the track, away from the incident. It took 2 hours to put out fire, check the track for damage, clean the track, dry the track and prep the surface so the race could continue. Both Juan Pablo Montoya and the driver of the Jet Dryer truck are fine.
During this 2 hour period, the drivers began to exit their cars and start chatting amongst themselves. At one point, a group of racers started walking up the track towards where the fire broke out, but a track official stopped them and asked them to return to their cars.
One of the drivers, Brad Keselowski (seen in the blue Miller Lite jumpsuit above), just happened to have his phone with him and started tweeting during the 2 hour delay. At the beginning of the race, he had roughly 65,000 followers, but during this 2 hour period, he tripled that number to nearly 200,000 followers.
Here’s a picture that he tweeted from inside his car–his car was stopped of course.
This was one unusual race for sure!
Compilation video of the multitude of crashes during the race:
Juan Pablo Montoya Crashes into jet track dryer:
Danica Patrick Crashes Hard During Daytona Qualifier Race
“Don Cornelius, the producer and television host who created the dance show “Soul Train,” was found shot dead in his Los Angeles home early Wednesday morning in what appears to be a suicide, the Los Angeles Police Department and the county coroner’s office said. He was 75 years old.”
I use to watch this show all the time when I was in high school. They had so many, now famous bands and singers on the show. You knew they were lip syncing, but it didn’t really matter, it was still entertaining.