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Category Archives: 1960s

WHIRLYBIRDS TV SERIES (1957 THRU 1960)

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Whirlybirds (sometimes called The Whirlybirds or Copter Patrol) is a syndicated American drama/adventure television series, which aired for 111 episodes — broadcast from February 4, 1957, through January 18, 1960.[1] It was produced by Desilu Studios.

Synopsis

The program features the exploits of Chuck Martin and Pete “P. T.” Moore (Kenneth Tobey and Craig Hill, respectively), owners of a fictitious helicopter chartering company, Whirlybirds, Inc., in the American West. Martin and Moore sell their services to various clients at the fictional airport, Longwood Field.

The Whirlybirds series was, like I Love Lucy, a product of Desilu Studios. One particular episode of I Love Lucy, Number 140, became pivotal to the Bell 47’s public image as the definitive light helicopter of the 1950s. In No. 140, entitled “Bon Voyage” and first aired on CBS on January 16, 1956, Lucy Ricardo misses the sailing of her trans-Atlantic oceanliner and commandeers a friendly Bell 47G to fly her to the ship; Jack Albertson guest stars in this episode. Down she goes on the hoist, in a studio sequence carefully staged using a 47G cabin mockup. Desilu Studios, intrigued by the Bell 47 and its manufacturer, began discussions with Bell Aircraft about how the entertainment potential of the Bell 47 might be further developed for a TV audience. The result of this collaboration became The Whirlybirds.

Tobey and Hill did not fly the helicopters on the show. That task was handled by expert copter pilots Ed Fuderich, Bob Gilbreath, and Harry Hauss of National Helicopter Service, Inc.

After production of the series ended, Kenneth Tobey reprised his role as Chuck Martin in episode #223 of the long-running TV series, Lassie. Entitled “The Rescue”, the Lassie episode was broadcast on October 2, 1960. Chuck Martin uses a Bell 47G to rescue a trapped Timmy Martin (Jon Provost).

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Posted by on July 31, 2017 in 1950s, 1960s, vintage tv shows

 

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“IKE AND TINA TURNER -I THINK IT’S GONNA WORK OUT FINE” 

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Ike & Tina Turner

was an American, musical duo composed of the husband-and-wife team of Ike Turner and Tina Turner. The duo was once considered “one of the hottest, most durable, and potentially most explosive of all R&B ensembles”.[1]

Their early works, including “A Fool in Love”,

“It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”

, “I Idolize You” and “River Deep – Mountain High”, became high points in the development of soul music, while their later works were noted for wildly interpretive re-arrangements of rock songs such as “I Want to Take You Higher” and “Proud Mary”, the latter song for which they won a Grammy Award. They were also known for their often-ribald live performances, which were only matched by that of James Brown and the Famous Flames in terms of musical spectacle.[1]

The duo was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.[2]

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Sue Thompson Sings – “Norman”

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Sue Thompson

(born Eva Sue McKee; July 19, 1925) is an American pop and country music singer. She is best known for the million selling hits “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” and “Norman”, both pop hits in the 1960s.

Early life

Recording career

Within only a year, she had divorced Martin to marry Hank Penny, a comedian and singer. Penny and Thompson hosted a TV show in Los Angeles together before eventually moving to Las Vegas. Thompson recorded separately and also with her husband for Decca Records. However, none of their songs ever gained any real success. In 1960, Thompson signed on with Hickory Records. In 1961, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” became a No. 5 hit on the pop charts, and she followed this up successfully with ”

Norman

,” which reached No. 3. Both of these hit singles were written by songwriter John D. Loudermilk. They both sold over one million copies, and were awarded with gold discs.[2]

In 1962, “Have a Good Time” was a Top 40 hit and in 1963, “Willie Can” was a minor hit. Her early 1960s’ hits made Thompson, then in her mid-thirties, a favorite among the teenage crowd and briefly a rival to the much younger Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. Two additional hits, also written by Loudermilk, were “James (Hold the Ladder Steady)” and “Paper Tiger.”

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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in 1960s, female vocalists, nostalgic

 

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“Sixteen Candles”

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The Crests

were an American doo-wop group, formed by bass vocalist J. T. Carter in the mid-1950s. Their most popular song, ”

16 Candles

“, rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959, selling over one million copies, earning a gold disc.[1] The interracial group had three African American members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian American.

Career

Founded by J.T. Carter, the group included Talmadge Gough, Harold Torres and Patricia Vandross (sister of R&B singer Luther Vandross). Carter selected vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (shortened to Johnny Mastro and later to Johnny Maestro) as lead vocalist. Maestro’s vocal style became instantly recognizable, and a jukebox favorite of national teen audiences. His quality vocals, great song selections and recordings, with dance-easy beats, made for charted hits. The group had several Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s on Coed Records, including the #2 hit, “16 Candles”, “Six Nights a Week”, “The Angels Listened In”, “A Year Ago Tonight”, “Step By Step” and “Trouble in Paradise.” They also charted with “Sweetest One” (Joyce Records) in 1957. In the late 1950s the group performed on several national teen dance television shows, including American Bandstand and The Dick Clark Show.

After recording two singles for Joyce Records, Vandross left The Crests in 1958. Maestro left for a solo career in 1961. He recorded with other backup singers under the name Johnny Maestro & The Crests, producing a single for United Artists in 1962, two singles for Cameo Records in 1963-64, a single for APT Records in 1965, a single for Scepter Records in 1965 and three singles for the Parkway label in 1966. He later joined The Del Satins as their lead singer. They merged with The Rhythm Method in March 1968 to become Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge. In 1969 they had a #3 hit with “The Worst That Could Happen”. The Crests recorded a new single, “Little Miracles”, with Tony Middleton singing lead. It was the first single not to chart in the Top 100. James Ancrum then took over the lead, recording “Guilty” (Selma Records) and several other songs. Gough quit the group after the single, and was replaced by Gary Lewis (not to be confused with Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis & the Playboys fame). Subsequently, the group failed to find success throughout the decade.[2]

By the late 1960s Torres was gone. The group continued until 1978 as a trio of Carter, Ancrum and Lewis, when the group split. Carter went on to sing with Charlie Thomas’ Drifters.

Carter reformed the group in 1980, auditioning over 200 singers, finally settling on lead Bill Damon, Greg Sereck, Dennis Ray and New York drummer Jon Ihle. The group continued well into the 1990s. Carter sold the trademark to The Crests’ name to Tommy Mara in the late 1990s. Mara was Carter’s lead vocalist at the time, and now continues the group without Carter.

Carter has had a new level of recognition in recent times. On November 12, 2013, he was recognized on the Pennsylvania State House Floor by Speaker of the House, The Honorable Sam Smith and State Representative Rosemary M. Brown for a lifetime in music and as the first African American to form an interracial vocal group in the United States.[3] In 2013 Carter also appeared on the 1st Annual Palisades Park Reunion concert with Cousin Brucie aka Bruce Morrow,[4] broadcast live on SiriusXM satellite radio. Other performers included Neil Sedaka, Lesley Gore, Bobby Lewis and Ronnie Spector. In January 2014 Carter interviewed Joe Franklin on the Bloomberg Radio network. Carter is still performing throughout the US and Canada, at age 74. As of 2012, publicist Erik A. Kroll,[5] is accredited with Carter’s recent popularity and the music of The Crests reborn.[3][6][7][8][9] In 2014, Carter began production on American Classics, The Stars, Music and Cars, a TV show featuring the music and cars of the 1950s and 1960s, produced by Emmy Awards winner Ashley Russo.[10] In March of 2015 Carter was accepted as a member in The Recording Academy aka the Grammys.

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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in 1960s, guy groups, nostalgic

 

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“Shep & the Limelites – Daddy’s Home”

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Shep and the Limelites was an American doo-wop group of the early 1960s,[1] composed of James “Shep” Sheppard (September 24, 1935 – January 24, 1970), Clarence Bassett (March 13, 1936 – January 25, 2005) and Charles Baskerville (July 6, 1936 – January 18, 1995). They are best known for their 1961 hit recording, “Daddy’s Home”, co-written by Sheppard.

Career

Sheppard and Bassett, both from Queens County, New York, and Baskerville, originally from Virginia, organized a group in Queens in 1960. This was billed initially as Shane Sheppard And The Limelites, but quickly became Shep and the Limelites. All three had previous experience in other groups: Shep with The Heartbeats (notable for “A Thousand Miles Away”); Bassett with The Five Sharps and then, with Baskerville, in The Videos.[1]

Shep & The Limelites’ recording sessions for Hull Records started in August 1960. They recorded the original version of “Daddy’s Home” on February 1, 1961. “Daddy’s Home” reached no. 2 on the Billboard popular music chart in May,[1] and was covered by P J Proby (1970) Jermaine Jackson (1972), Toots and the Maytals (Funky Kingston 1973), Junior English, and Cliff Richard (1981). Later songs were not as successful as “Daddy’s Home”, but still sold well; among these were “What Did Daddy Do”, “Ready For Your Love” and “Our Anniversary”.[2]

Kahl Music, publisher of “A Thousand Miles Away”, an earlier song written by Sheppard, sued Keel Music, publisher of “Daddy’s Home”, for copyright violation. Keel eventually lost, and this resulted in the end of the Limelites and Hull Records in 1966. Bassett joined The Flamingos and Baskerville joined The Players and then The Drifters.[1] Sheppard re-formed the Limelites in the late 1960s, but was murdered on January 24, 1970.[1] He died in his car on the Long Island Expressway as a result of injuries sustained in a robbery.[2][3] Baskerville died, at age 58 on January 18, 1995 in New York.[4] Bassett died on January 25, 2005, at age 68 from the complications of emphysema, at his home in Richmond, Virginia.[5]

James Sheppard’s legacy includes the composing of rock ‘n’ roll’s first song cycle. Writing songs for both the Heartbeats and Shep and the Limelites, he tells the story of going home to his girl, with twists along the way, getting married, and celebrating their anniversary. The songs that told this story were “A Thousand Miles Away”, “500 Miles to Go”, both with the Heartbeats; and then “Daddy’s Home”, “Three Steps from the Altar,” “Our Anniversary”, and “What Did Daddy Do?” for Shep and the Limelites.[6]

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MADAM X (trailer) 1966 – starring Lana Turner and John Forsythe

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Directed by David Lowell Rich
Produced by Ross Hunter
Written by Alexandre Bisson (play)
Jean Holloway
Starring Lana Turner
John Forsythe
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Milton Carruth
Release dates
November 8, 1966
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Madame X is a 1966 American drama film directed by David Lowell Rich and starring Lana Turner. It is based on the 1908 play Madame X by French playwright Alexandre Bisson.

Plot

A lower class woman, Holly Parker (Turner), marries into the rich Anderson family. Her husband’s mother (Constance Bennett) looks down on her and keeps a watchful eye on her activities. Due to her husband’s frequent and long trips abroad, Holly forms a relationship with a well-known playboy (Ricardo Montalbán). When her lover accidentally dies, and only her mother-in-law knows she is innocent, the latter blackmails her into disappearing into the night during a planned boat trip, leaving her husband (John Forsythe) and young son (Teddy Quinn) thinking she has died.

She then slowly sinks into depravity all over the world, only to be brought back to America under false assumptions by a “friend” (Burgess Meredith) who plans on blackmailing her family. When she realizes that the man intends to reveal who she is to her son, she shoots the man to stop him. The police arrest her and, refusing to reveal her identity, she signs a confession with the letter “X.” As fate would have it, the court assigns a defense attorney who happens to be her long-lost son (Keir Dullea).

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“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

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Sunset Boulevard (stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American black comedy/drama film noir[3] directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California.

The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her devoted servant. Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson.

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

Plot
At a Sunset Boulevard mansion, the body of Joe Gillis floats in the swimming pool. In a flashback, Joe relates the events leading to his death.

Six months earlier, down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe tries selling Paramount Pictures producer Sheldrake on a story he submitted. Script reader Betty Schaefer harshly critiques it in Joe’s presence, unaware that he is the author. Later, while fleeing from repossession men seeking his car, Joe turns into the driveway of a seemingly deserted mansion. After concealing the car, he hears a woman calling him, apparently mistaking him for someone else. Ushered in by Max, her butler, Joe recognizes the woman as long-forgotten silent film star Norma Desmond. Learning he is a writer, she asks his opinion of a script she has written for a film about Salome. She plans to play the role herself in a comeback. Joe finds her script abysmal, but flatters her into hiring him as a script doctor.

Moved into Norma’s mansion at her insistence, Joe resents but gradually accepts his dependent situation. He sees that Norma refuses to face the fact that her fame has evaporated and learns the fan letters she still receives are secretly written by Max, who tells him Norma is subject to depression and has made suicide attempts.

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Norma lavishes attention on Joe and buys him expensive clothes. At her New Year’s Eve party, he discovers he is the only guest and realizes she has fallen in love with him. He tries to let her down gently, but she slaps him and retreats to her room.

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Joe visits his friend Artie Green to ask about staying at his place. At Artie’s party, he again meets Betty, who he learns is Artie’s girl. Betty thinks a scene in one of Joe’s scripts has potential, but Joe is uninterested. When Joe phones Max to have him pack his things, Max tells him Norma cut her wrists with his razor. Joe returns to Norma.

Norma has Max deliver the edited Salome script to her former director, Cecil B. DeMille, at Paramount. She starts getting calls from Paramount executive Gordon Cole, but petulantly refuses to speak to anyone except DeMille. Eventually, she has Max drive her and Joe to Paramount in her 1929 Isotta Fraschini.[4] The older studio employees warmly greet her. DeMille receives her affectionately and treats her with great respect, tactfully evading her questions about Salome. Meanwhile, Max learns that Cole merely wants to rent her unusual car for a film.

Preparing for her imagined comeback, Norma undergoes rigorous beauty treatments. Joe secretly works nights at Betty’s Paramount office, collaborating on an original screenplay. His moonlighting is found out by Max, who reveals that he was once a respected film director. He discovered Norma as a teenage girl, made her a star and was her first husband. After she divorced him, he found life without her unbearable and abandoned his career to become her servant.

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Although Betty is engaged to Artie, she and Joe fall in love. Norma discovers a manuscript with Joe’s and Betty’s names on it. She phones Betty and insinuates what sort of man Joe really is. Joe, overhearing, invites Betty to come see for herself. When she arrives, he pretends he is satisfied being a kept man, but after she tearfully leaves, he packs to return to his old Ohio newspaper job. He disregards Norma’s threat to kill herself and the gun she shows him to back it up. He bluntly tells her the public has forgotten her, there will be no comeback, and the fan letters are from Max. As Joe walks away, Norma shoots him three times. He falls into the pool.

The flashback ends. The house is filled with police and reporters. Norma, having lost touch with reality, believes the newsreel cameras are there to film Salome. Max and the police play along. Max sets up a scene for her and calls “Action!” As the cameras roll, Norma dramatically descends her grand staircase. She pauses and makes an impromptu speech about how happy she is to be making a film again, ending with: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”[5]

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Cast
William Holden as Joseph C. “Joe” Gillis
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim as Maximillian “Max” von Mayerling
Nancy Olson as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark as Sheldrake, Paramount Producer
Lloyd Gough as Morino, Joe’s agent
Jack Webb as Arthur “Artie” Green
Franklyn Farnum as Undertaker
Larry J. Blake as Finance man #1
Charles Dayton as Finance man #2
As Themselves:

Cecil B. DeMille
Hedda Hopper
Buster Keaton (Bridge player)
Anna Q. Nilsson (Bridge player)
H. B. Warner (Bridge Player)
Ray Evans (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Jay Livingston (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Henry Wilcoxon as Actor (uncredited)

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