Before We Was Fab looks at some of the best songs of the pre-Beatles era, in search of great singles that have largely been forgotten. If you've heard of Benny Spellman at all, chances are it's because of his association with groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The O'Jays, or The Hollies -- all of whom covered his songs. As it happens, I was listening to the iconic Who album Live at Leeds and paid particular attention to their live rendition of "Fortune Teller." The Who, as with many English rock bands of the time, had a deep love and appreciation for popular and obscure R&B, and that's where "Fortune Teller" comes in. The song was written by the great Allen Toussaint under the pseudonym Naomi Neville, and was first recorded by Spellman as the B-side of his only hit si
Courtesy this vintage car dealership postcard comes this fun image of the 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible. It's the best bargain under the big top!
One of the greatest television specials of all time, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year! Let's take a moment to recognize this essential piece of our childhoods and to pay homage to the man behind it all, Charles M. Schulz. The now-yearly tradition began on October 27, 1966, when CBS debuted the half-hour animated special -- the third such Peanuts show -- as part of its Thursday evening lineup. Here are a few newspaper ads from that day. Now as far as I can tell, the first reference to the Great Pumpkin appeared in the Peanuts comic strip almost exactly 7 years before the show, in October 1959. Here is that strip:
These days preserving memories of Halloween parties and trick or treating is as simple as clicking an icon on your phone. Back in the day it not only meant fumbling with a camera and film, but also finding a way to preserve all those spooky and cute memories. To remind us all of simpler Halloween times, here is a gallery of 13 vintage slides (some Kodachrome) depicting kids (and kids at heart) getting into the Halloween spirit with costumes, jack-o-lanterns, parades, and of course trick or treating for candy!
The Dodge Polara was an automobile introduced in the United States for the 1960 model year as Dodge's top-of-the-line full-size car; after the introduction of the Dodge Custom 880 in 1962, the Polara nameplate designated a step below the full sized, best trimmed Dodge model. In its various forms, the Polara name was used by Dodge until 1973, when its position in Dodge's line-up was replaced by the Dodge Monaco. The name Polara is a reference to the Polaris star, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race during the early 1960s. The Polara was a competitor to the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Chevrolet Impala.
This lovely brochure comes from Pacific Telephone, and advertises their line of extension colorphones. There's no date on this one, but I think 1960s is a reasonable guess. The front of the brochure features a delightful mid-century color palette that definitely predates the earth tones of the '70s. Perhaps someone more versed in commercial artwork of the period can figure out a more precise date range? Pacific's full name at the time of this brochure was The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, by which they were known until 1983. That's the year they moved from their parent company, AT&T, to one of the many new Baby Bells formed in the wake of the former company's breakup, Pacific Telesis. Today, the company once known as Pacific Telephone operates as the Pac
In Billboard Time Capsule, we journey through an old issue of Billboard to see what the most popular and advertised albums of the day were. Not through charts, but rather through advertisements. In each capsule you'll see ads for classic songs and albums, both promoting new recordings and trumpeting ones that had already gained traction. Enjoy! For those who dig Spotify playlists, here is one that contains about half of these songs. I suspect the rest are either not permitted or may have just been lost to the mists of time...
From 1959 through 1962, Kool-Aid (and its parent company, General Foods) ran a print ad campaign to showcase its various flavors. Each ad had the same setup -- a family member (usually mom) had to leave the house for a while, wrote a note for those left behind, and mixed a pitcher of delicious Kool-Aid. Visually, it was a very attractive campaign. And judging by the fact that it lasted for several years I'm guessing it was pretty successful too. Now of course I'm joking about the absentee mom thing, but it does seem odd that several of these ads feature notes from a missing parent. As a latchkey kid myself, I know all about that. Anyway, enjoy the ads! There are 17 of them in case you're counting. For more great slideshows, click here.