Saturday, September 26, 2009

That Was The Year That Was




Sunday, September 27th is the one-year anniversary of this blog.  Over the past 12 months I’ve produced more than 90 essays, with links to hundreds of radio broadcasts, TV shows, and movies that are available for free viewing or downloading from the Internet.


The first show I wrote about was Your Hit Parade, in a piece called  'Twas Rock & Roll That Killed Your Hit Parade.  In short order, I was contacted by Andrew Fielding, whose mother had appeared on Your Hit Parade often during the early 1950’s.  


He sent me his book, which I reviewed here, and we’ve stayed in contact via email since then.  His blog, The Lucky Strike Papers, is featured in my sidebar.


Just two days later, we learned of the passing of Paul Newman, which prompted me to write a blog entitled Paul Newman's Early TV Appearances,  with links to his first TV appearance on  Tales of Tomorrow which aired on August 8th, 1952.  


Next came 4 episodes of Rocky King, Detective from the Dumont network, then an in depth look at the surprising radio and TV career of Jack Webb, in You Really Don't Know Jack.  


October brought us an homage to Dr. Frank Baxter, an icon to those of us who went to school during the 1960s and remember the Bell Laboratories science films of that age.  A Tribute to Mendel Berlinger (aka Milton Berle), and a look at some of our best scary movies in The Horror Of It All!, along with several other essays.


November started out with all things Horatio Hornblower in I Knew Him, Horatio, followed by the BBC Classic miniseries Quatermass And The Pit, and then a series of Christmas show entries, including Cinnamon Bear - A 71 Year-Old Christmas Tradition.


But it wasn’t all holiday fare, as evidenced by Memories Of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and my tribute to The Bickersons in Not Exactly Ozzie And Harriet.  I encouraged my readers to Spend `An Evening With Groucho Marx' closed out November with 4 takes on a famous short story, called Four Variations On A Theme.


December opened with a 2-part essay on Victor Borge The Great Dane Pt 1 and The Great Dane Pt II, followed by a half dozen Christmas stocking stuffer posts, with everything from Bob Hope to Dragnet Christmas specials.


2009 opened with John Newland Going `One Step Beyond', which was followed by The Colgate Comedy Hour With Abbott & Costello. and then The Two Richard Diamonds (radio and TV). Next came Things Go Better With Eddie Fisher and then a fond look back at Jackie Gleason in The Great One.


Before the month was out, I presented More Tales Of Tomorrow, featuring some very recognizable TV and movie stars long before they became household names.


In February we recalled the life of Ralph Edwards in This Was His Life, and laughed once more at CAR 54, Where are you?  in Gunter and Francis Together Again. Lee Liberace was featured in Mr. Showmanship, followed by 4 essays on Sherlock Holmes.


Holmes Sweet Holmes Pt. 1
Sherlock Holmes On The Big Screen
Three Decades of Holmes On The Radio
Sherlock Holmes On The Small Screen


March brought a look at old TV commercials, in And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, Martin Kane, Private Eye, and a look at Lucille Ball’s early career in Before We Loved Lucy.


I also presented the first of several collections of blooper reels from Warner Brothers in Warner Brothers Breakdowns of the 1930’s.  Followed by a fond look back at Sky King in  From Out Of The Clear Blue Of The Western Sky Comes . . ., and topped off with a contortionist act you have to see to believe in Solid Potato Salad.


April brought, among other things, the first realistic medical show for TV A Boone For TV Medical Shows, Borrah Minevitch And His Harmonica Rascals, and Joan Davis The OTHER Wacky Housewife Of The 1950’s.  Another red head, by the name of Skelton, closed out the month in Seeing Red.


May brought us Lloyd Bridges Adventures Above and Beneath The Sea, Swing music, old radio show openings in Themes Like Old Times and classic comic books of the 1950s in Warning: A Graphic Post.


In June we were able to Meet Boston Blackie, remember All About Eve Arden, and learn music appreciation from The Musical Marx Brothers. Mr & Mrs. North proved that Finding A New Murder Every Week was good for ratings, and I presented the star studded 1957 special Hardly An Edsel Of A Show.  Last, but hardly least, an homage to Judy in Shout Hallelujah.


July opened with What It Was, Was A Young Andy Griffith, followed by Matt Dodson . . . err, Make That Tom Corbett, Space Cadet!.  We said goodbye to Gale Storm (1922-2009), watched some more classic commercials in And Now, Another Word From Our Sponsor . . ., and watched Soundies . . . Music Videos Of The Past.


August started out with some Classic Film Noir, and then some rare Big Band Remotes.  We explored one of the earliest, and most outrageous sc-fi/singing cowboy serials ever made in The Phantom Empire Strikes Back, and then took to the scenic highways of the 1950s in The Roads To Romance travelogues.


Before the month was out, we’d remembered why There Is Nothing Wrong With Your Television Set . ., and took the pulse of mid-60s with Hollywood Palace 1965.


This month (September) we enjoyed some Bob Cummings Attractions, and spent some quality time with My Man (Arthur) Godfrey and A Little More Godfrey.


I skipped some, of course.  To give my new readers a reason to browse back through the archives. 

While I don’t know what I’ll write about next (I never do), I do know there remains much unexplored territory in the world of online radio, TV, and movies.   


Much of my time is devoted to my other blog – Avian Flu Diary – but I fully expect to produce 4 to 6 essays a month in the coming year.


My hope is you will enjoy them as much as I will.

No comments: