Archive for October, 2008

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The Next Generation

October 17, 2008
Sean Lennon & Dhani Harrison

Sean Lennon & Dhani Harrison – Potent DNA

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Rock ‘N Roll & The Mainstream Pt. 1

October 17, 2008
1966 - Sonny & Cher

1966 – Sonny & Cher

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The Cowsills’ Ohio Connection

October 14, 2008
The Cowsills

The Cowsills

You couldn’t turn on a television variety show or an AM radio without seeing or hearing The Cowsills during the latter part of the 1960’s and early 1960’s. We had a couple of their LP records in the house, and even though I became a hard rock/heavy metal fan I have to admit I have a soft spot for The Rain, The Park & Other Things and I loved Hair when it came out.

 

I remember watching the group and even though they were with their Mom, I always thought the ‘kids’ in the band, especially the older ones, were cool, hip & groovy in ‘real life’.  They came off, to me, as ‘real’ despite the cloak of entertainment facade of the time.

 

What I didn’t know all those years ago and until recently was The Cowsills lived down the road about 20 miles in Canton, OH for a period of time. Family patriarch Bud Cowsill was stationed in Canton as a Navy recruiter towards the latter part of the 1950’s. Reportedly they lived for a time on West End Avenue in Canton and also on Myers Lake until circa 1961. The kids attended St. Joseph’s school.

 

Once Bud & wife Barb gave sons Bill and Bob a guitar, they quickly learned how to play and sing and soon the Cowsill Brothers were performing at local functions. Sometime around 1960 they got a booking on the Gene Carroll Show on WEWS Channel 5 in Cleveland, OH. Soon after they moved to Newport, RI and then eventually California after Bud retired to manage the group (‘officially’ formed in 1965) that had grown to include almost all of the siblings (Susan and Paul) and of course, their mother, Barbara.

 

 

And the rest is history. If you have any interest in The Cowsills’ long and storied history and what they are doing these days, check out the Cowsills website, it’s very informative and entertaining. For more info on the Cowsills comic book shown below visit: http://bapresley.com/silverthreads/memorabilia/comicbook/ 

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Favorite Books Of My Youth Pt. 5

October 13, 2008

When word came out that this book, Ian Hunter’s Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star (titled Reflections Of A Rock And Roll Star here in the States), would be published in 1974 I literally haunted books stores, record stores and head shops for several months until I finally came across a copy either at (faulty memory here) Camelot Music in Akron or Arsenic & Old Lace in Akron. I read it several times over the ensuing months and next several years and it took a proud slot in my library at the time.

The book was originally published in 1974 and Ian Hunter chronicles Mott The Hoople’s November-December 1972 tour of the United States right after All The Young Dudes LP was released. It’s an inside look at touring and the rock ‘n roll lifestyle in 1972 and Hunter…ahem…rolls away the stone and leaves everything exposed that entails life on the rock ‘n roll road. It was critically acclaimed.

Unfortunately by the end of the decade it was gone, loaned to an acquaintance to never be seen again despite having loaned it to over a dozen people in the preceding years (Mott The Hoople were big time in Orrville, OH back then, especially from 1972-1975).

But one day in the winter of 1996 the wife and I stopped in Canton, OH at the Quonset Hut store and as I’m walking down an isle of CD’s there in a big display is a reissue (import) of Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star! I had no idea they reissued it but I immediately purchased it! Even today, it is among my other books and is still shrink wrapped! I haven’t even opened it in 12 years!

That is going to change in the next week or so, as soon as I find a spare evening I’m going to open it up and read it once again, for the first time in nearly 30 years. I think I was afraid to peel open the shrink-wrap and read it for fear it would be lost again. But I’m willing to chance it….!
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Gene Carroll Show Remembered

October 13, 2008
Akron's Chrissie Hynde appeared on the Gene Carroll Show in the early 70's with her band JACK RABBIT before heading back off to England to eventually form The Pretenders.

Akron’s Chrissie Hynde appeared on the Gene Carroll Show in the early 70’s with her Akron-Kent based band JACK RABBIT before heading back off to England to eventually form The Pretenders.

Anyone who lived in northeast Ohio during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s is more than likely well aware of the Gene Carroll Show, a local variety/talent show that aired from April 1948 until sometime in 1979. First known as the Giant Tiger Amateur Hour, Carroll (April 1897 – March 1972) quickly morphed it into the Gene Carroll Show that aired every Sunday at noon and featured, well, ‘talent’. Some good, a lot of them bad and some of them very, very bad. I can imagine the line of pushy wanna-be stage mothers hauling their next superstars to Cleveland for their big break.

 

I didn’t watch it too often, too many accordion players for my tastes, too many baton-twirling majorettes and too many five-year-old tap dancers trying to become the next Shirley Temple, but the show had its moments as it occasionally presented local and regional rock bands. Think of the Gene Carroll Show, which was a big hit on WEWS TV 5, as a forerunner of American Idol.

 

The show is noted, however, for the first ever television performance of the Cowsill brothers in 1960, a few years prior to the family becoming ‘The Cowsills’.  Other notables who appeared included The Womack Brothers (Bobby Womack), U.S. Male, Jill Colucci who is a well-known songwriter, Candice Francisco, Canada’s The Crew Cuts and Jack Rabbit, an Akron-Kent area rock band featuring Chrissie Hynde prior to her return to England and eventual formation of The Pretenders.

 

Andrea Carroll (no relation to the host), who appeared semi-regularly on the show for about a decade, is now known as Andrea Hill, Ph.D., MFT. But during the 60’s, after a local release, she eventually landed recording contracts with labels like RCA, Epic and United Artists and toured with the likes of Stevie Wonder. She had several hits, especially locally, including Why Am I So Shy? That was recorded at age 16 with The Chiffons providing backing vocals.

 

I can vaguely remember one or two area bands from the Wayne County and Ashland County, Ohio appearing in the late 60’s and early 70’s but for the life of me I can’t remember the band names. I am almost positive one from Wooster appeared (Me & The Guys, maybe?).
Gene Carroll died in 1972 but WEWS standby star Don Webster, late of the popular Upbeat TV Show, took over as host and it stayed on the air until 1979.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Gene Carroll Show mainstay Andrea Carroll's Big Top Records release in the early 60's.

Gene Carroll Show mainstay Andrea Carroll’s Big Top Records release in the early 60’s.

 

 

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Spare Change, Man?

October 13, 2008
C’mon, admit it! If you were somewhere around 18 years old in the late 60’s and met these two, you KNOW you would have wanted to party with them!

C’mon, admit it! If you were somewhere around 18 years old in the late 60’s and met these two, you KNOW you would have wanted to party with them!

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Favorite Females Of The 60’s Pt. 4

October 12, 2008
Julie Newmar is a Living Doll!

Julie Newmar is a Living Doll!

I knew Julie Newmar was something special and it didn’t take the Batman television series to convince me. My first exposure to the classy Julie Newmar was on the old My Living Doll television show starring Bob Cummings that ran from September 27, 1964 to September 8, 1965. My Mom watched anything Bob Cummings was in so we watched My Living Doll and Ms. Newmar captured my imagination way back then. It’s one of the first times I remember looking at an actress on TV and thinking: ‘Wow, she’s absolutely beautiful!’

 

Ms. Newmar was born Julie Chalene Newmeyer in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Helen Jesmer, was a Ziegfeld Follies dancer and her father, Donald Newmeyer, was a former pro football tackle for the Los Angeles Buccaneers.

 

She has appeared in numerous films and on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for Marriage Go-Round.

 

 

Julie Newmar & Burt Ward

Julie Newmar & Burt Ward

 

 

Among her many TV appearances over the years include such shows as Star Trek, in the ‘Friday’s Child’ episode. Other appearances included It Takes A Thief, Get Smart, The Monkees, Beverly Hillbillies, F-Troop, Twilight Zone, Route 66, The Defenders, Person To Person, Phil Silvers, Bionic Woman, Bewitched, Love American Style, McMillan & Wife and dozens of others.

In My Living Doll she appeared as AF709, or, Rhoda The Robot. She was an android who was left in the care of one Dr. Bob McDonald, played by Cummings who was to complete her education and programming and, in a sense, instruct her to become the ‘perfect woman’.

Of course, she is probably best known to us Boomers as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman on the 60’s Batman TV show. She appeared 13 times on the series. She opted out of the ‘66 Batman film to take another role being replaced by Lee Meriwether. In the Batman series Eartha Kitt portrayed Catwoman in the last season. Since that time Michelle Pfieffer and Halley Berry have played the character but no one will ever replace Ms. Newmar, not even Angelina Jolie, who Ms. Newmar has publicly suggested appear in the next Batman film as Catwoman.

 

 

As Adam West likely surmised, Ms. Newmar looks good at any angle.

As Adam West likely surmised, Ms. Newmar looks good at any angle.

 

 

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More Presidential Rock ‘N Roll

October 10, 2008

 

President Jimmy Carter meets the Allman Brothers (again) in the late 70's. Obviously this scene didn't take place in the Oval Office!

President Jimmy Carter meets the Allman Brothers (again) in the late 70’s. Obviously this scene didn’t take place in the Oval Office!

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Presidential Rock ‘N Roll

October 9, 2008
Richard Nixon & Elvis Presley December 1970.

Richard Nixon & Elvis Presley December 1970. A day that has lived in infamy.

President Gerald Ford, his son Jack Ford, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. Billy Preston was there too. 1974.

President Gerald Ford, his son Jack Ford, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. Billy Preston was there too. 1974.

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Happy Birthday

October 9, 2008

John (Winston) Ono Lennon
October 9, 1940
Liverpool Maternity Hospital
Oxford Street
Liverpool

“He played his guitar like he was ringing a bell….”

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I Have The Coolest Grandkids #2

October 8, 2008

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Four Color Beatles

October 8, 2008

Here is a random sampling of some Beatles related comic books that I had in my comic book collection back in the 1960’s. Marvel Comics did a Beatles bio comic book sometime in the 1970’s that I missed. Marvel also did the infamous KISS comic book where they mixed some band members blood with the ink prior to printing the KISS comic book. During the height of Beatlemania you could hardly pick up any comic books (especially the teen comics) or magazines without a Beatle tie-in somewhere.

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Albums My Mom Bought For Me

October 7, 2008

In less than 10 days it will be one year ago that I lost my Mom, so naturally she’s been on my mind a lot here lately. One memory that came back recently was when, after I became a teenager and she saw my growing record collection (and my sister’s and my brother’s), she would ask each Christmas for a list of three or four album titles, in case they were sold out of one or two selections. She would always make it a point to tell me to only expect o-n-e album, if any at all, yet invariably each year there would be two or three albums under the tree (it was that or another bottle of Hai Karate cologne!). Shown here is just a small random sampling of some of the albums my Mom bought me over the years.  Looking back she was younger than I am now when she bought these for me (she was in her early 40’s). God bless you Mom. You were always hip!

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Favorite Females Of The 60’s Pt. 3

October 5, 2008

Yvonne Craig has became something of a 60’s icon given her numerous television and film roles (she made two movies with Elvis, ya know!). Of her many TV appearances, including such shows as Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Land of the Giants, Wild Wild West, My Three Sons, McHale’s Navy, The Big Valley, Wagon Train, Death Valley Days, Mod Squad, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Jim Backus Show, Man From UNCLE and many, many others, she is most remembered and noted for two TV appearances, her one-year role as Batgirl on ABC’s Batman television show and an appearance on Star Trek (‘Whom Gods Destroy) as the Orion slave girl, Marta.

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Favorite Books Of My Youth Pt. 4

October 5, 2008

I ordered this book from Scholastic Books through my school (Apple Creek Elementary School in Apple Creek, Ohio) in May 1969. I ordered it two weeks before school was out for the summer along with a half dozen other books. It arrived at home about a month later and I read this book the day it arrived. I forget what the others books I ordered were!

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