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Category Archives: classic television

“Over The Mountain, Across The Sea – Johnnie & Joe”

Johnnie & Joe were an American R&B vocal duo from The Bronx, who were best known for their 1957 hit “Over the Mountain; Across the Sea.”

Johnnie Louise Richardson (June 29, 1935, Montgomery, Alabama – October 25, 1988, New York City)[1] and Joe Rivers (March 20, 1937, Charleston, South Carolina[2]) began singing together in 1957 and released several singles on Chess Records,[3] which were leased from J & S Records, to whom the duo were under contract. Richardson was the daughter of the J&S label owner, Zelma “Zell” Sanders, who had been a touring member of The Hearts.[2]

Three of the songs hit the U.S. singles charts. “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea”, written by Rex Garvin, went to #3 on the R&B chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] and “I’ll Be Spinning”, written by Freddie Scott, went Top 10 R&B, both in 1957.[3][5] “My Baby’s Gone”, a #15 R&B hit, was their last,[3] although “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea” returned to the pop charts in 1960, peaking at #89 the second time around.[4]

Richardson and Rivers resumed their professional partnership later in the 1960s. During the 1970s and 80s they performed in oldies concerts, and made a critically acclaimed album, Kingdom of Love, in 1982.[6] Johnnie Richardson died of complications from a stroke in 1988.

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WILL AMERICA EMBRACE HER EARLIER TRADITIONS?

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“1960s COFFEE COMMERCIAL w/ MRS. OLSEN”

 
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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-13T09:00:56+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 13 Aug 2018 09:00:56 +0000 31, in classic film star, classic movies, classic television, culture, nostalgic, vintage tv shows

 

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“Fever – Peggy Lee”

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Peggy Lee (born Norma Deloris Egstrom; May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman’s big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.

Recording Career

In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place”,[10] followed by 1943’s “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (originally sung by Lil Green), which sold over a million copies and made her famous. She sang with Goodman’s orchestra in two 1943 films, Stage Door Canteen and The Powers Girl.

In March 1943 Lee married Dave Barbour, a guitarist in Goodman’s band.[5] Peggy said, “David joined Benny’s band and there was a ruling that no one should fraternize with the girl singer. But I fell in love with David the first time I heard him play, and so I married him. Benny then fired David, so I quit, too. Benny and I made up, although David didn’t play with him anymore. Benny stuck to his rule. I think that’s not too bad a rule, but you can’t help falling in love with somebody.”

When Lee and Barbour left the band, the idea was that he would work in the studios and she would keep house and raise their daughter, Nicki. But she drifted back to songwriting and occasional recording sessions for the fledgling Capitol Records in 1947, for whom she produced a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour, including “I Don’t Know Enough About You” (1946) and “It’s a Good Day” (1947). With the release of the US No. 1-selling record of 1948, “Mañana”, her “retirement” was over. In 1948, Lee’s work was part of Capitol’s library of electrical transcriptions for radio stations. An ad for Capitol Transcriptions in a trade magazine noted that the transcriptions included “special voice introductions by Peggy.”[11]

In 1948 Lee joined Perry Como and Jo Stafford as a rotating host of the NBC Radio musical program The Chesterfield Supper Club.[12][13] She was also a regular on NBC’s Jimmy Durante Show and appeared frequently on Bing Crosby’s radio shows throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s.

She left Capitol for Decca Records in 1952, but returned to Capitol in 1957.[14] She is most famous for her cover version of the Little Willie John hit “Fever” written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport,[15] to which she added her own, uncopyrighted lyrics (“Romeo loved Juliet,” “Captain Smith and Pocahontas”) and her rendition of Leiber and Stoller’s “Is That All There Is?”. Her relationship with the Capitol label spanned almost three decades, aside from her brief but artistically rich detour (1952–1956) at Decca Records, where in 1953 she recorded one of her most acclaimed albums, Black Coffee. While recording for Decca, Lee had hit singles with the songs “Lover” and “Mister Wonderful”.

In her 60-year-long career, Peggy was the recipient of three Grammy Awards (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), an Academy Award nomination, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award, the President’s Award, the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Living Legacy Award[16] from the Women’s International Center. In 1999 Lee was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[17]

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“OUR TOWN (FILM ADAPTION)-starring William Holden and Martha Scott

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Our Town is a 1940 American drama romance film adaptation of a play of the same name by Thornton Wilder starring Martha Scott as Emily Webb, and William Holden as George Gibbs. The cast also included Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Guy Kibbee and Frank Craven. It was adapted by Harry Chandlee, Craven and Wilder, and directed by Sam Wood.

The film was a faithful reproduction of the play except for two significant changes: the film used scenery, whereas the play had not; the events of the third act, which in the play revolve around the death of one of the main characters, were turned into a dream from which Emily awakens — she is then able to resume a normal life. Producer Sol Lesser worked with Wilder in creating these changes.

A radio adaptation of the film on Lux Radio Theater on May 6, 1940, used the altered film ending.

The U.S. copyright of the film was not renewed after its first term expired in 1968. However, because it is a derivative work from a play that is still under U.S. copyright, it is not deemed to be in the public domain.[citation needed]

Our Town was first performed at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 1938.[1] It later went on to success on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It remains popular today and revivals are frequent.

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Synopsis-
Act I: Daily Life
The Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901. Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, and the Webb and Gibbs households send their children (Emily and George, respectively) off to school on this beautifully simple morning.

Act II: Love and Marriage
Three years have passed, and George and Emily prepare to wed. The day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George’s baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit to his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George’s junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, and over an ice cream soda, they discuss the future and their love for each other. George resolves not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and eventually take over his uncle’s farm. In the present, George and Emily say that they are not ready to marry—George to his mother, Emily to her father—but they both calm down and happily go through with the wedding.

Act III: Death and Dying
Nine years have passed. The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, bringing the audience’s attention to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who have died since the wedding, including Mrs. Gibbs (pneumonia, while traveling), Wally Webb (burst appendix, while camping), Mrs. Soames, and Simon Stimson (suicide by hanging). Town undertaker Joe Stoddard is introduced, as is a young man named Sam Craig who has returned to Grover’s Corners for his cousin’s funeral. That cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to her and George’s second child. Once the funeral ends, Emily emerges to join the dead; Mrs. Gibbs urges her to forget her life, but she refuses. Ignoring the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, and Mrs. Gibbs, Emily returns to Earth to relive one day, her 12th birthday. The memory proves too painful for her, and she realizes that every moment of life should be treasured. When she asks the Stage Manager if anyone truly understands the value of life while they live it, he responds, “No. The saints and poets, maybe—they do some.” Emily returns to her grave next to Mrs. Gibbs and watches impassively as George kneels weeping over her. The Stage Manager concludes the play and wishes the audience a good night.

Characters
Stage Manager – a narrator, commentator, and guide through Grover’s Corners. He joins in the action of the play periodically, as the minister at the wedding, the soda shop owner, a local townsmen, etc., and speaks directly to Emily after her death.
Emily Webb – one of the main characters; we follow her from a precocious young girl through her wedding to George Gibbs and her early death.
George Gibbs – the other main character; the boy next door, a kind but irresponsible teenager who matures over time and becomes a responsible husband, father and farmer.
Frank Gibbs – George’s father, the town doctor
Julia (Hersey) Gibbs – George’s mother. She dreams of going to Paris, but doesn’t get there. She saved $350 for the trip from the sale of an antique furniture piece, but ultimately willed it to George and Emily. Dies while visiting her daughter in Ohio.
Charles Webb – Emily’s father, editor of the Grover’s Corners Sentinel
Myrtle Webb – Emily’s mother

Secondary characters
Joe and Si Crowell – local paperboys. Joe’s intelligence earns him a full scholarship to MIT where he graduates at the top of his class. His promise will be cut short on the fields of France during World War I, according to the Stage Manager. Both he and his brother Si hold marriage in high disdain.
Simon Stimson – the choir director and church organist. We never learn the specific cause of his alcoholism and suicide, although Dr. Gibbs observes that “He’s seen a pick of troubles.” He remains bitter and cynical even beyond the grave.
Howie Newsome – the milkman, a fixture of Grover’s Corners.
Rebecca Gibbs – George’s younger sister. Later elopes with a traveling salesman and settles in Ohio.
Wally Webb – Emily’s younger brother. Dies of a burst appendix on a Boy Scout camping trip.
Professor Willard – a rather long-winded lecturer
Woman in Auditorium – concerned with temperance
Man in Auditorium – concerned with social justice
Another Woman in Auditorium – concerned with culture and beauty
Mrs. Louella Soames – a gossipy townswoman and member of the choir
Constable Bill Warren – the policeman
Two Baseball Players – who mock George at the wedding
Joe Stoddard – the undertaker
Sam Craig – a nephew of Mrs Gibbs who left town to seek his fortune. He came back after 12 years in Buffalo for Emily’s funeral.
Dead Man
Dead Woman
Mr. Carter
Farmer McCarty
Bessie – Howie Newsome’s horse (visible to the characters, but not the audience)

Composition
Wilder wrote the play while in his 30s. In June 1937, he lived in the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, one of the many locations where he worked on the play. It is believed he drafted the entire third act during a visit to Zürich in September 1937, in one day after a long evening walk in the rain with a friend, author Samuel Morris Steward.[2]

Setting
The play is set in the actual theatre where the play is being performed, but the year is always 1938. The Stage Manager of the 1938 production introduces the play-within-the-play which is set in the fictional community of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. The Stage Manager gives the coordinates of Grover’s Corners as 42°40′ north latitude and 70°37′ west longitude (those coordinates are actually in Massachusetts, about a thousand feet off the coast of Rockport).

Style
Wilder was dissatisfied with the theatre of his time: “I felt that something had gone wrong….I began to feel that the theatre was not only inadequate, it was evasive.”[3] His response was to use a metatheatrical style. Our Town’s narrator, the Stage Manager, is completely aware of his relationship with the audience, leaving him free to break the fourth wall and address them directly. According to the script, the play is to be performed with little scenery, no set and minimal props. The characters mime the objects with which they interact. Their surroundings are created only with chairs, tables, staircases, and ladders. For example, the scene in which Emily helps George with his evening homework, conversing through upstairs windows, is performed with the two actors standing atop separate ladders to represent their neighboring houses. Wilder once said: “Our claim, our hope, our despair are in the mind—not in things, not in ‘scenery.’ “[4]

Wilder called Our Town his favorite out of all his works, but complained that it was rarely done right, insisting that it “should be performed without sentimentality or ponderousness–simply, dryly, and sincerely.”[citation needed]

Production history
Our Town was first performed at McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey on January 22, 1938. It next opened at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts on January 25, 1938. Its New York City debut was on February 4, 1938 at Henry Miller’s Theatre, and later moved to the Morosco Theatre; this production was produced and directed by Jed Harris.[5] Wilder received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938 for the work.[6]

In 1946, the Soviet Union prevented a production of Our Town in the Russian sector of occupied Berlin “on the grounds that the drama is too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave.”[7]

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Awards
1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival
1989 Tony Award for Best Revival

 
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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-06T08:19:12+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 06 Aug 2018 08:19:12 +0000 31, in classic film star, classic movies, classic television, nostalgic

 

“Folgers Coffee 1960’s Vintage Ad”

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The precursor of the Folger Coffee Company was founded in 1850 in San Francisco, California, U.S., as the Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. William H. Bovee, the owner of the Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills, saw an opportunity to produce roasted and ground coffee ready for brewing. Before that, Californians had to purchase green coffee beans and roast and grind them on their own. To help build his mill, Bovee hired James A. Folger[1] as a carpenter. James had arrived from Nantucket Island at the age of 15 with his two older brothers during the California Gold Rush. In the 1850s, kerosene began to offer a cheaper alternative to whale oil, which had been Nantucket’s life-blood, resulting in the re-purposing of many of its ships to bring coffee from South America to San Francisco.[2] After working at Bovee’s mill for nearly a year, James had saved enough money to stake a claim in the company and headed out to mine for gold. He agreed to carry along samples of coffee and spices, taking orders from grocery stores along the way. Upon his return to San Francisco in 1865, James became a full partner of The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. In 1872, he bought out the other partners and renamed the company to J.A. Folger & Co.

In 1861, James married, and he and his wife had four children. Two of the children worked for the family business. In 1889, James died, and his oldest son, James A. Folger II, stepped into the role of president of J.A. Folger & Co at the age of 26.

In the 1900s, the company began to grow dramatically due primarily to a salesman named Frank P. Atha. Atha sold coffee in the California area, but proposed to James Folger II that he open and manage a Folgers Coffee plant in Texas. The company grew exponentially after Atha opened the Texas plant.

Under the mid-20th century leadership of Peter Folger, the brand became one of the principal coffee concerns in the world’s largest coffee market: North America. Procter & Gamble (P&G) acquired Folger’s in 1963[3] and removed the apostrophe from its name.[citation needed] During P&G’s ownership, Folgers became the number-one coffee brand in America.

P&G announced in January 2008 Folgers would be spun off into a separate Cincinnati-based company.[4] In June 2008, P&G reversed itself and announced Folgers would be acquired by the end of 2008 by The J.M. Smucker Company.[5][6] Utilizing a rare financial technique called a Reverse Morris Trust, Smucker purchased Folgers in November 2008 and made it a subsidiary.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-06T08:14:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 06 Aug 2018 08:14:00 +0000 31, in 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, classic television, nostalgic, vintage tv commercials

 

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“Amos ‘n’ Andy Season 1 Full Episode 37 – The Society Party” 

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Hired by CBS as producers of the television show, Gosden and Correll were ready to try bringing the show to television as early as 1946; the search for cast members went on for four years before filming began. According to a 1950 newspaper story, Gosden and Correll had initial aspirations of voicing the characters Amos, Andy and Kingfish for television, while the actors hired for these roles performed and apparently were to lip-sync the story lines.  A year later, both spoke about how they realized they were visually unsuited to play the television roles, citing difficulties with making the Check and Double-Check film. No further mention was made about Gosden and Correll continuing to voice the key male roles in the television series. Corell and Gosden did record the lines of the main male characters to serve as a guideline for the television show dialogue at one point. In 1951, the men targeted 1953 for their retirement from broadcasting; there was speculation that their radio roles might be turned over to black actors at that time.

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Adapted to television, The Amos ‘n Andy Show was produced from June 1951 to April 1953 with 78 filmed episodes, sponsored by the Blatz Brewing Company.[35] The television series used black actors in the main roles, although the actors were instructed to keep their voices and speech patterns close to those of Gosden and Correll.[49] Produced at the Hal Roach Studios for CBS, the show was among the first television series to be filmed with a multicamera setup, four months before I Love Lucy used the technique. The series’ theme song was based on radio show’s “The Perfect Song” but became Gaetano Braga’s “Angel’s Serenade”, performed by The Jeff Alexander Chorus. The program debuted on June 28, 1951.

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The main roles in the television series were played by the following black actors:

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Amos Jones – Alvin Childress

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Andrew Hogg Brown (Andy) – Spencer Williams

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George “Kingfish” Stevens – Tim Moore

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Sapphire Stevens – Ernestine Wade

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Ramona Smith (Sapphire’s Mama) – Amanda Randolph

other casting included:
Madame Queen – Lillian Randolph
Algonquin J. Calhoun – Johnny Lee[53]
Lightnin’ – Nick Stewart (billed as “Nick O’Demus”)
Ruby Jones – Jane Adams

This time, the NAACP mounted a formal protest almost as soon as the television version began,[35] and that pressure was considered a primary factor in the show’s cancellation, even though it finished at #13 in the 1951-1952 season in the Nielsen ratings and at #25 in 1952-1953 (the sponsor, Blatz Beer, was targeted as well, finally discontinuing their advertising support in June 1953). It has been suggested that CBS erred in premiering the show at the same time as the 1951 NAACP national convention, perhaps increasing the objections to it. The show was widely repeated in syndicated reruns until 1966 when, in an unprecedented action for network television at that time, CBS finally gave in to pressure from the NAACP and the growing civil rights movement and withdrew the program, being also pulled from Australian network ABC, which had been broadcasting it for almost a decade. The series would not be seen on American television regularly for 46 more years.The television show has been available in bootleg VHS and DVD sets, which generally include 72 of the 78 known TV episodes.

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When the show was cancelled, 65 episodes had been produced. An additional 13 episodes were produced to be added to the syndicated rerun package. These episodes were focused on Kingfish, with little participation from Amos ‘n’ Andy.

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This is because these episodes were to be titled The Adventures of Kingfish, but they premiered under the Amos ‘n’ Andy title instead.[59] The additional episodes first aired on CBS on January 4, 1955.[60] Plans were made for a vaudeville act of the television program in August 1953, with Tim Moore, Alvin Childress and Spencer Williams playing the same roles. It is not known whether there were any performances.[61] Still eager for television success, Gosden, Correll and CBS made initial efforts to give the series another try. The plan was to begin televising Amos ‘n’ Andy in the fall of 1956, with both of its creators appearing on television in a split screen with the proposed black cast.[62]

A group of cast members began a “TV Stars of Amos ‘n’ Andy” cross-country tour in 1956, which was halted by CBS; the network considered it an infringement of their exclusive rights to the show and its characters.[49] Following the threatened legal action that brought the 1956 tour to an end, Moore, Childress, Williams and Lee were able to perform in character for at least one night in 1957 in Windsor, Ontario.[63]

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 “Amos n Andy 54 The Eyeglasses”

“Amos n Andy 31 Insurance Policy” 

 
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“P.S. I LOVE YOU – 1963”

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The Classics were an American vocal group formed in 1958 in Brooklyn.

The Classics first sang together in high school; two of them had previously sung in a group called The Del-Rays. In 1959, under the auspices of manager Jim Gribble, they recorded their first single, “Cinderella”; the record Bubbled Under the US Hot 100 in early 1960. The follow-up, “Angel Angela”, also narrowly missed the national charts, and the 1961 single “Life Is But a Dream” hit the lower regions of the Black Singles chart when Mercury Records picked it up for national distribution, but it wasn’t until they released the single “Blue Moon” with Herb Lance on lead vocals that they charted a hit. The song peaked at #50.

The group signed with Musicnote Records in 1963 and released “Till Then”, which became their biggest hit, peaking at #20 on the pop charts and #7 AC.

The group was best remembered for its ballads, and frequently sang versions of pop standards from the 1920s and 1930s. They frequently changed labels over the course of their career, and parted ways about 1966. Member Emil Stucchio revived the name to tour in the 1970s and again in the 1990s and 2000s.In the 1990s, the group was Stuccio, former Mystic Al Contrera, Scott LaChance, and Michael Paquette.Later it was Stuccio, Contrera, LaChance, and Teresa McClean. LaChance later left the group.

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