From The Past: Burma Shave Signs

Who is old enough to remember Burma Shave signs along American highways?

Nostalgia and Now

I can remember on our family vacations that we would see from time to time signs with funny sayings alongside the highway. Those signs were placed there by the Burma- Shave company. The company had been struggling before they used the signs to advertise Burma- Shave shaving cream.

These signs helped pass the time on long trips across the country and kept the passengers amused by the funny sayings on the signs. Wikipedia.com breaks down the signs into different time periods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave

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Album Review – Spotlight on Vic Damone – Vic Damone

Released 1995 on Capitol

Spotlight on Vic Damone is the kind of album, that might not seem that special at first. However, after really listening to it you can hear just how good of a singer Damone was and how great the song selections are on this album.

The album starts off with the Cole Porter classic In The Still Of The Night a song which was released in 1937. Damone effortlessly sings this classic and gets the album off to a rousing start. Laura is the kind of song you think of, when thinking about easy listening songs. I first think of Dick Haymes singing Laura on records from the 1940’s, but Damone in my book does an even better job 50 years later on this album.

Shangri-La from 1946 is an easy listening song, that is not recorded as much, as some songs from that era. However, Damone does such a great job on it, that you want to hear it again and again. Close Your Eyes was written 81 years ago in 1933.  You won’t even think of how long ago the song was written, when Damone sings it, since you won’t care how old it is, when you hear his smooth styling.

The next three songs Let’s Sit This One Out, Diane and After the Lights Go Out are not that well-known but Vic Damone’s voice make you like all three songs instantly. Ebb Tide was written in 1953 and Damone had one of the most popular versions of the song. It is a great song that will live on for years.

Is You Or Is You Ain’t (Ma’ Baby) is the most up tempo song on the album. It almost seems out-of-place, since it is so much faster than the other songs on the album. It is the one song on the album, that I wouldn’t have minded seen left off. When most of us think of There! I’ve Said It Again we think of the Bobby Vinton version, but Damone more than holds his own on his version. It was originally recorded by Vaughn Monroe in 1945.

The next four songs Little Girl, Poinciana (Song of the Tree), Change Partners and I Could Write A Book are not songs, that we think of often, but after listening to Damone’s interpretation of the songs we will have an appreciation for all four songs.

The next song is a personal favorite of mine in Ruby. Damone sings it as well, as I have ever heard it sung. The Hawaiian Wedding Song is a special song to me, since I lived in Hawaii for over two-and-a-half-years, so I have heard it sung a lot over the years and Damone’s version makes me feel like I am in Hawaii again.

Let’s Face The Music And Dance is an Irving Berlin classic which is a little up tempo, but Damone is up to the challenge. He ends the album with another slow song Make This A Sad Goodbye. It may be another of the lesser-known songs on the album, but Damone gives it the same attention, as the better-known songs on the album.

Summary: Spotlight on Vic Damone may not have all of his greatest hits, but it gives a sampling that reminds us, why we like Vic Damone so much. This album is a great example of why Frank Sinatra said once, that Vic Damone had the best pipes in the business. This album may not have this effect on other music fans, but for me it made me want to add to my collection of Vic Damone music.

For information purposes only, since I have no financial connection with Amazon: Spotlight on Vic Damone can be bought as an MP3 album for $11.49 for the 18 songs, or can be bought new for $129.89 from an Amazon partner or can be bought used for $1.59 plus $3.99 shipping from an Amazon partner. I bought my copy used and have had no problems.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=spotlight+on+vic+damone&tag=mh0b-20&index=popular&hvadid=2478069250&ref=pd_sl_2npqrfdrwu_ep

Classic Televison: Donna Reed Show

Donna Reed, Paul Petersen, Carl Betz and Shelly Fabares shown in a scene from the Donna Reed Show.

Donna Reed Show was one of the few family sitcoms, that featured the mother. The show debuted on September 24, 1958 and the last show aired on March 19, 1966.

Reed who was Donna Stone in the series was the wife of pediatrician Dr. Alex Stone played by Carl Betz. Paul Petersen who was Jeff Stone and Shelly Fabares portrayed Mary Stone in the series.

Donna Reed 1921-1986

Donna Reed

Donna Reed was born Donnabelle Mullenger on January 27, 1921 in Denison, Iowa. Her first movie role was in 1941, when she appeared in The Getaway. She would act in two other films that year.

1942 was a busy year for Reed, since she appeared in seven movies that year including The Courtship of Andy Hardy. She is remembered for co-starring with James Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life in 1947, which has become a Christmas classic.

Reed would also appear in From Here To Eternity in 1953. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the movie.

Her first television appearance was in an episode of Ford Television Theatre in 1954. Reed appeared in six more movies and made appearances in three television shows, before she took the role of Donna Stone in the Donna Reed Show.

After the show ran from 1958-1966 she wouldn’t appear on-screen again, till 1979 when she appeared in a TV movie, which was named The Best Place To Be. Reed was last seen as Ellie Ewing in Dallas, in 1984 and 1985 before her death in 1986.

Donna Reed died of pancreatic  cancer on January 14, 1986 at the age of 64 in Beverly Hills, California.

Carl Betz 1921-1978

Carl Betz

Carl Lawrence Betz was born on March 9, 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Betz portrayed Collie Jordan on the Love of Life soap opera in 1951 in his first television role. Betz would appear in his first credited movie The President’s Lady in 1953.

He then appeared in five more movies in 1953, then wouldn’t appear in another movie till 1966, when he appeared with Elvis Presley in Spinout. He had barely finished his last episode of the Donna Reed Show, when he was in the cast of Judd For The Defense from 1967-1969. He appeared in 50 episodes of the series as Clinton Judd. Betz appeared mostly in various television series till the end of 1977.

Betz also died of cancer on January 18, 1978 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 56.

Paul Petersen

Paul Petersen

Paul Petersen was born as William Paul Petersen on September 23, 1945, in Glendale, California. Petersen recorded a song She Can’t Find Her Keys during the time he was on the Donna Reed Show. Petersen made his first television appearance at the age of 11 on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in 1956 in the Along the Oregon Trail episode.

He would appear in all 275 episodes of the Donna Reed Show and was the only one besides Donna Reed to appear in all the episodes filmed. He appeared in 83 more episodes than Shelley Fabares, who played his sister Mary.

Peterson appeared in numerous television series, after the show ended its run in 1966.

He will be seen in The Executive which is currently filming and Kathy Garver, who portrayed Cissy on Family Affair will also be in the cast.

The role of Jeff Stone later would cause Petersen much anguish, because he wasn’t being taken seriously, when looking for more mature roles. He had been an original Mousketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club at the age of 8 in 1955.

Petersen would start an organization named A Minor Consideration, which was a child actor support group.

When he couldn’t find work as an actor Mickey Rooney talked him into attending college.

This quote from Petersen explains why he became a child actor:

“I became a child actor because my mom was bigger than I was.”

Petersen was not happy when actor Bill Bixby took his wife: [on losing wife Brenda Benet to Bill Bixby] I was so angry I couldn’t see straight, and what doubled this pain was that Bill was really visible. You know, he was going great guns and I was going in the toilet.

He has reached out to many former child stars, who needed emotional support from someone like him, who had been under the same stress as they were experiencing.

It is hard to believe that the teenage Jeff Stone will be 70 next year.

Shelley Fabares

Shelley Fabares

Shelly Fabares was born as Michele Marie Fabares on January 19, 1944 in Santa Monica, California.

Fabares has 90 acting credits in her acting resume and continued to receive many acting roles, after Donna Reed Show had left the air.

She was in her first movie The Girl Rush in 1955 and also acted in three television series that year.

Her first major role was when she appeared in 15 episodes of Walt Disney Presents: Annette in 1958. That same year would see her appear in her first episode of the Donna Reed Show. She went straight from making her last appearance on the show in 1965 to appearing in three Elvis Presley movies. She appeared with Elvis in  Girl Happy in 1965, Spinout in 1966, and was also in his 1967 movie Clambake.

Then she appeared in 47 episodes of the Brian Keith Show which aired from 1974-1976. Fabares would appear in 27 episodes of The Practice 1976-1977. She would appear in One Day At A Time 1978-1984 in 23 episodes.

Coach would be her next big show, in which she appeared in all 198 episodes from 1989-1997.

Since then Fabares has acted very infrequently with mostly voice roles since then. Her only acting job since 1997 was Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth Movie (TV Movie) which was shown in 1998, so she has not been seen on a television or movie screen in the last 16 years.

She was married to record producer Lou Adler from 1964-1980, then married Mike Farrell of M

She is the niece of actress/comedienne Nanette Fabray who is now 93 years old.

Fabares would have a #1 Billboard hit with Johnny Angel.

One of her major movie roles was in Brian’s Song 1971 when she appeared as the wife of Brian Piccolo.

Carl Betz portrayed her father on both the Donna Reed Show and in the movie Spinout.

Eddie Albert: Hero at Tarawa Beach In WWII

I am reblogging this post since someone who actually saw Eddie Albert at Tarawa Beach during World War II added a comment yesterday, which is after the article. This was originally posted in December of 2009.

Nostalgia and Now

Eddie Albert: War hero at Tarawa Beach

Edward Albert Heimberger (better known as Eddie Albert)

Born: April 22, 1906 at Rock Island, Illinois

Died: May 26,2005 at Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

 

Eddie Albert and his family moved from Rock Island, Illinois to Minneapolis Minnesota at the age of one and by six he was selling newspapers.

One of his classmates was Harriet Lake who would become actress Ann Sothern who played the mother in one of the worst television series in history in My Mother the Car.

 

Appeared in First RCA Victor Telecast

He changed his last name from Heimberger to Albert because it was being pronounced Hamburger so often. He was on the first television broadcast made by RCA Victor in 1936. He made the movie Brother Rat for Warner Brothers Studio before being terminated for reportedly having an affair with the wife of the studio…

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Rusty Hamer: Child Star Tragedy

Was watching Make Room For Daddy today and it reminded me of the tragic death of Rusty Hamer:

Bill Gaither Homecoming Shows Rejuvenated, Started Careers

This post will be interesting to southern gospel fans, since it includes a list of many of the singers and pianists from the Gaither videos who have passed on.

Nostalgia and Now

Bill and Gloria Gaither who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, will also have birthdays next month with Gloria having her 70th birthday on March 4 and Bill observing his 76th birthday on March 28. They were part of the Bill Gaither Trio and they collaborated on writing many well-known songs, in both the contemporary and southern gospel genres including He Touched Me, Because He Lives, The King is Coming and too many other songs to mention them all. Bill and 17 other singers have sung with the Gaither Vocal Band over the years. It was after a Gaither Vocal Band recording session in 1991 that some of the southern gospel greats, who had been recording an album got together to sing as a group and  it was recorded on a video camera.

Videos Released Yearly Since 1991 It would be the first of many homecoming videos, with some being homecoming reunions and…

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Classic Television: Still Being Seen Many Years Later

One of the attractions of Netflix is that you can watch classic television shows on your tablet, computer and digital television.

Netflix includes classic television, among their many television shows of the past and present, being presented on their service. My favorite shows to watch on Netflix are Columbo, The Rockford Files, Adam 12, Leave It To Beaver, Twilight Zone, Andy Griffith and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The best aspect of watching the shows on Netflix is that you don’t have to watch any commercials.

Classic Television Networks

There are some classic television networks on cable television, but satellite providers don’t seem, to be interested in including the networks on their systems. TV Land which is seen on most satellite systems used to feature more classic television shows, than they do now, since they are starting to create their own programming on TV Land.

Antenna Classic Television Services

Last weekend we moved our antenna, to another position and picked up Me TV and Cozi TV, which both feature classic television shows.

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis – September 29, 1959 – June 5, 1963.

Me TV

Me TV has one of the best lineups of classic television shows I have seen. Me TV has been on the air since December 15, 2010 and shows some of the harder to find programs, that are featured on their network, like Dobie Gillis, The Untouchables, the original Hawaii Five O and Ironside, which to me are far better than the current versions seen on network television today.

Route 66 and My Three Sons fans will be glad to know they can still watch these shows today.

This is the complete list of classic television shows on Me TV today:

http://metvnetwork.com/programs.php

Robert Young, Elena Verdugo and James Brolin stars of Marcus Welby MD – September 23, 1969 – July 29, 1976

Cozi TV

Cozi TV features classic television shows like Charlie’s Angels, Lassie, Run For Your Life, Marcus Welby, MD and The Bionic Woman. Cozi TV was launched nationally on January 1, 2013.

This is a three-day listing of shows being shown on Cozi TV:

http://www.titantv.com/programming/channel.aspx/callsign/CoziTV/channel/12/major/12/minor/3/cid/14618/sid/90657/network/COZITV/pt/2/hd/1/lid/6c352f1f-8039-447d-90fc-aa6bade01186/date/20131125/

Burns and Allen Show
October 12, 1950 – September 22, 1958

Antenna TV

I still remember coming home from summer school and watching the Burns and Allen show, during the noon hour, on our local television station KALB -TV, which was located in Alexandria, Louisiana. The show starred the comedy team of George Allen and Gracie Allen. It was fun watching Gracie come up with such great lines, in the comedy scenes. It is great to know the shows can still be watched 63 years later in 2013. This may be one of the oldest shows still being seen today. Antenna TV was launched nationally on January 1, 2011.

To see a list of classic television shows on Antenna TV:

http://antennatv.tv/shows/

 

The Real McCoys – October 3, 1957 – June 23, 1963

Retro TV

Retro TV features show like The Real McCoys, which starred Walter Brennan, as the cantankerous Grandpa Amos McCoy and his grandson Luke who was portrayed, by Richard Crenna who had appeared as Walter Denton in the TV version of Our Miss Brooks.

Other shows featured on Retro TV include Circus Boy, which featured a young Mickey Dolenz, who would later gain fame as a member of the Monkees. Highway to Heaven, Soupy Sales, Mr. Magoo, Naked City and Route 66 also can be seen today on Retro TV. Retro TV was launched nationally in 2005.

Shows that can be seen on Retro TV:

http://www.myretrotv.com/shows.html

 

If you live sort of close to a bigger city, then you can probably pick up one or more of these channels on an outside antenna, or maybe even a stronger inside antenna.

Watching these shows from my childhood in the 50’s and 60’s brings back memories, of a  simpler time when you could watch television, without all the double entendres and violence found on network television today.  So if you are longing for the good old days of classic television, then a simple turn of your antenna may bring back the shows of your youth.