Sunday, December 30, 2007

Flash!!! Ahhhhh-AAHHHHH!! Part 1: Radio Daze

Flash Gordon (1980) has been an obsession of mine since first seeing it at the drive-in a the tender age of six.

This obsession led to a great love for the character, a creation of cartoonist Alex Raymond in 1934, and an insane interest in anything connected to it, be the cliffhanger serials of the 1930s, the various comic book and animated adaptations, on back to Raymond's amazing original Sunday strips.

For the first installment of my on-going tribute to Flash, here's the first 26 episodes of the original radio show from 1935.....

The Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon (1935)
26 episodes

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Spider-Man: The Mark of The Man-Wolf (Power Records, PR-8146, 1974)

I was a Spider-Man fan as a child, cutting my teeth on the double whammy of the (then-current) introduction of the original Hobgoblin storyline and the (then-current, again) monthly reprints of the entire Lee/Ditko run of the book via the reprint title Marvel Tales, circa the early 1980s.

But, after a downhill slide of over a decade in incredibly terrible storylines, Marvel Comics has finally provided the straw that has broken the Web-Headed camel's back in the form of "One More Day".....

From Wikipedia:

One More Day is a 4-part, 2007 comic book crossover storyline, connecting all of the Spider-Man comic book series. It will conclude the storyline of the fallout of Spider-Man's actions during the Civil War. It starts in Amazing Spider-Man #544, continues in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24 and The Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 2) #41, and concludes in Amazing Spider-Man #545.

The last issue has been delayed until late December, according to Newsarama.[1]

Writer J. Michael Straczynski wrote this: "there's a lot that I don't agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially Joe Quesada... there was a point where I made the decision, and told Joe, that I was going to take my name off the last two issues of the OMD arc." Eventually Joe talked me out of that decision because at the end of the day, I don't want to sabotage Joe or Marvel, and I have a lot of respect for both of those." [1]

The story has been quite controversial and has been heavily criticised by areas of the fandom under the assumption the story will undo Spider-Man's marriage. [2] The story itself is still ongoing.

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!! The following is (for anyone who cares) the revelation in store for those reading "One More Day"

Just prior to the One More Day storyline, Peter publicly confronts the government's Scarlet Spiders who each wear redesigned "Iron Spider" armor; their appearance in battle against and alongside Peter raised public doubt

over whether Parker is the original and/or only Spider-Man, despite his previous public reveal.

Peter's attempts to save Aunt May by contacting such diverse characters as Mister Fantastic or the High Evolutionary fail, prompting the demon Mephisto to appear to him with a bargain; he will save May's life, so long as Peter and Mary Jane agree to have all memory of their marriage wiped from all but a small part of their souls, thus allowing Mephisto to enjoy listening to that part scream for all eternity. Peter and Mary Jane agree to the deal and the continuity for the past 20 years is wiped out. Peter and Mary Jane are no longer married, Aunt May is no longer shot, Peter's unmasking

has never occurred, and Harry Osborn is alive (with everybody celebrating at a party for him). Fan reaction is almost completely negative to these changes.

IMO, if Joe Q. likes stories that focus on deals with the Devil, then he can burn in Hell. I wash my hands completely of any and all Marvel titles

. My reasoning? The Pete and MJ marriage is one of the better things to come about within the last 20 years in the book, and Marvel decides to chuck it. For what? A poor excuse for cop-out and poor writing? Screw Marvel. I'll never buy another one of their books again.

Anyways....onward to happier times. Here's another Power Records Marvel Comics post.

Track Listing:

01- Spider-Man: The Mark Of The Man-Wolf

02- The Incredible Hulk: At Bay

03-Captain America And The Falcon: And A Phoenix Shall Arise

04-The Fantastic Four: The Way It Began

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Ground Zero!!!

Lon Chaney Jr.- "Monster's Holiday" (Tower Records, 1964)

This delightful little .45 single is actually fairly hard to come by, but it's charming little tale of monsters hi-jacking Santa's sleigh is too heart-warming not to share...

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Golden Records SLP170, 1964)

Sadly, my scanner crapped out on me, so I couldn't include the scans of the actual comic, but here's the album...

Download Link (Hosted by LIX.IN)

Merry Christmas, everyone....hopefully Droppo Claus visits each and every one of you all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Words & The Music of Frankenstein (Hip-O Records, 1999)

God Bless Rob Zombie. Released in 1999 on his Spookshow International label, in conjunction with Universal Music Group's Hip-O label. Hip-O is basically UMG's answer to Rhino Records, re-issuing and re-releasing a ton of stuff from defunct labels that now fall under the UMG library (such as Decca), as well as special compilation projects like this.

Probably one of the best anthology/compilations of score music and sound bites from the first three films of Universal's Frankenstein franchise.

Track Listing:

1. Word of Friendly Waning
2. Toast
3. Grand Appassionato
4. Bride of Frankenstein
5. Prologue
6. I'm Glad to See the Monster Roasted
7. He Hated Fritz
8. Search Every Ravine
9. Bring Him To The Village
10. A Toast
11. Grand Appassionato
12. The Bride Of Frankenstein Main Title
13. Prologue
14. I'm Glad To See The Monster Roasted
15. Monster Entrance
16. The Monster! It's Alive!
17. Processional March
18. Forget? If Only I Could Forget
19. A Strange Apparition / Pretorius' Entrance
20. You'll Need A Coat
21. Pastorale
22. Chase Music / Crucifixion / Monster Breaks Out
23. We Better Get Away From These Parts
24. The Hermit's Fiddle (Ave Maria)
25. Alone - Bad, Friend - Good
26. The Music Of Friends (Ave Maria)
27. This Is The Fiend
28. The Fire In The Hut / Graveyard
29. Dance Macabre / Female Monster Music
30. Monster Enters / Monster Theme
31. In The Tower Pt. 1
32. In The Tower Pt. 2
33. Creation Pt. 1
34. Creation Pt. 1 / Female Monster Music
35. Creation Pt. 2
36. She Hate Me . . . Like Others
37. Explosion Pt. 1
38. Explosion Pt. 2
39. The Son of Frankenstein Main Title
40. It Wasn't My Father's Fault
41. The Message
42. The Discovery
43. The Examination
44. Has He Asked You To Rob Any Graves?
45. The Result Of The Examination
46. The Giant / Looking For A Monster
47. The Evil Flute
48. I Scare Him To Death
49. The Evil Flute
50. Don't Touch Him, Frankenstein!
51. The Death of Ygor
52. There's a Monster Afoot
53. The Monster Appears
54. The Monster's Lament
55. Monster On A Rampage / The Menace Destroyed
56. Herewith I Deed To You

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The World Of Junior Samples (CLP-1005, 1967)

My grandparents absolutely adored this man. Possibly because he reminded them of the common, earthy folks that filled their day-to-day lives in rural Ohio.

And, with the passing of time, I find him to be be funnier and funnier with each passing year....I like to blame my parents and their insane need to watch HEE HAW every time they had a chance.

About a year back, I actually lucked into scoring Samples' complete discography on Chart Records (The World of Junior Samples, which I'm sharing here now, Bull Sessions at Bull's Gap (1968), That's a Hee Haw (1969), and The Best of Junior Samples (1970), on vinyl.

From the liner notes of this album:

"I don’t know whether people read liner notes on the back of albums before or after they play the record that’s inside, but in any case the recording that’s inside this album jacket is the result of one of the most amazing stories I’ve encountered in my sixteen years of covering stories about show business and it’s people. Junior Samples is a North Georgia backwoodsman who backed into show business through an amazing set of circumstances that seem more like a fairy tale than that legendary lady, Cinderella.

I suppose it all started when one of Junior’s young sons found the head of a big fish on the shores of Lake Laneer near his home in Cummings, Ga. He took it to a race track to show his dad, our hero, who had taken a few drinks, and, needless to say, was feeling pretty good. Junior paraded the fish among the racing fans and claimed that he had caught a big bass. A radio announcer covering the races also heard Junior’s story and proceeded to broadcast it to his audience. Thus the story of the big fish spread, and soon came to the attention of the Georgia Game and Fish Commission who, in turn, dispatched Jim Morrison to the home of Junior Samples with a tape recorder to get Junior’s own account of how he caught the big fish.

Today Junior says, “this is one of my stories that got out of hand. I told Mr. Morrison to forget it, but when he kept insisting that he had to get a story, I took a drink and told him one!”

In the Spring of 1966, the original ‘Big Whopper’ interview was broadcasted all over the state of Georgia through the regular Game and Fish Commission program. It was so funny that stations were asked by their listeners to repeat it.

Junior was then forgotten for a while until Spring of 1967, when the program was repeated and the reaction again was fantastic. Slim Williamson, President of Chart Records, was contacted, and he immediately signed Junior to a recording contract and gained the rights to release the interview as a record. The two guitars were dubbed in to provide background music and the interview was shortened to conform with the time of most of today’s records.

The results have been fantastic. Junior, after appearing on my night radio program and on my television show, as well as others, was immediately taken into the hearts of all who heard him. He was asked to, and did, appear before the Legislature at the Tennessee State Capital. Johnny Cash was so favorably impressed with Junior that he asked him to join his radio show this fall. He was written up in newspapers all over the South, and is now being acclaimed as the comedy find of 1967.

I personally think that Junior’s greatest appeal is in his honest approach to any subject, as I’m sure you will be able to tell by listening to this, his first album."

Ralph Emery
WSM Radio and Television

Track Listing:

01- World's Biggest Whopper
(with Jim Morrison)*
02- Truth About the Fish (with Jim Morrison)*

03- The Hunter (with Tommy Dee)
04- The Bird Mule (with Jim Morrison)*
05- Moonshining (with Ralph Emery)
06- It Happened to Junior (with Jim Morrison)*
07- The Disorderly House (with Tommy Dee)
08- Bitten By The Love Bug (with Bob Jennings)
09- The Cook (with Ralph Emery)
10- On Television (with Eddie Hill)
11- Keep On Keeping On (with Bill Powell)

* (note- a Georgia game warden, not who you're thinking of)


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Lum n' Abner Christmas 1940 Broadcast (12/25/40)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love "hillbilly" movies and such, and one of my favorite things of this type of thing being the classic radio comedy, Lum n' Abner. The radio comedy spawned 7 films during the 1940s, all of which are available in some shape or form on cheap-ass DVDs from various manufacturers.

From Wikipedia:

Lum and Abner, an American radio comedy which aired as a network program from 1932 to 1954, became an American institution in its low-keyed, arch rural wit. One of a series of 15-minute serial comedies that dotted American radio at its height as America's number one home entertainment—others included Amos 'n' Andy, Easy Aces, The Goldbergs, and Vic and Sade—Lum and Abner included various elements of each but yielded something as singular as the others and became somewhat more of an institution.

The creation of co-stars Chester Lauck (who played Columbus "Lum" Edwards) and Norris Goff (Abner Peabody), Lum and Abner was as low-keyed as Easy Aces, as cheerfully absurdist as Vic and Sade, and raised The Goldbergs ethnic focus by amplifying the protagonists' regional identities. As the co-owners of the Jot 'em Down Store in the then-fictional town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas, they were always stumbling upon moneymaking ideas only to get themselves fleeced by nemesis Squire Skimp, before finding one or another way to redeem themselves, Lum and Abner played the hillbilly theme with deceptive cleverness: The hillbillies just knew the slickers were going to get theirs, sooner or later, and either didn't mind or knew more than they let on that the slickers getting theirs was a matter of fortunate circumstance.

Lauck and Goff had known each other since childhood and attended the University of Arkansas together (joining the Sigma Chi Fraternity together while there). They performed locally and established a blackface act which led to an audition at radio station KTHS in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Prior to the audition, the two men decided to change their act and portray two hillbillies, since there were already an overabundance of blackface acts at the time. After only a few shows in Hot Springs, they were picked up nationally by NBC, and Lum and Abner, sponsored by Quaker Oats, ran until 1932. Lauck and Goff performed several different characters, modeling many of them after real-life residents of Waters, Arkansas.

After the Quaker contract expired, Lauck and Goff continued to broadcast over two Texas stations, WBAP (Fort Worth) and WFAA (Dallas). In 1933, Ford Motor Company became their sponsor for approximately a year. Horlick's Malted Milk, the 1934-37 sponsor, offered a number of promotional premium items, including almanacs and fictional Pine Ridge newspapers. During this period, the show originated from Chicago's WGN, one of the founding members of the Mutual Broadcasting System. In 1936, the city council of Waters changed the town's name to Pine Ridge.[1] Postum cereal sponsored Lum and Abner in 1938-39, before Alka-Seltzer picked up the duo for eight years. Over the course of its life, Lum and Abner appeared on all of the major radio networks, CBS and ABC (formerly NBC Blue), in addition to NBC and Mutual.

One of my favorite episodes of the series has always been the annual Christmas episode that was traditionally broadcast during the holidays. For download this go-around of the 2007 Christmas Countdown, I've posted the 1940 broadcast of it, and I hope that you find it as touching and fun as I have for years.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Merry Marvel Marching Society Membership Kit (1965/67)

Face Front, True Believers! Going through some old crap I had laying around after being inspired by a viewing of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I came across my copies of Voices of Marvel (1965) and Scream Along With Marvel (1967), two promo vinyls given away to those lucky enough to have been around to join Marvel's officially sanctioned in-house fan club, The Merry Marvel Marching Society (or, M.M.M.S., for short).

Thanks to a former employer who used to own the comic book shop in which I worked during my college days of the early 1990s, I was lucky enough to score a vintage Marching Society membership kit, as well as the above mentioned vinyls.

Remember when Marvel Comics were fun? The current state of the publisher has led me to boycott their output, but at least we have stuff like this to remember the Marvel Age of Comics...

Track Listing:

Voices of Marvel (1965)
01- The Bullpen, 1965

Scream Along With Marvel (1967)
01- The Mighty Marvel March

Included with the music are scans of the contents of my kit, as well as some later promo stuff mailed to kids during the 1966 holidays.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Evel Knievel Tribute

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel, Jr. (October 17, 1938November 30, 2007) was a childhood idol of mine, which I can blame several stupid things on I attempted as a child (like riding my bike off the top of my parents' garage into a mattress, amongst other things). Sadly, my copy of the Evel Knievel Speaks to The Kids (1974) album is stored away somewhere in the limbo that I now call my home, so instead of sharing that (hopefully I can get around to doing that in the near future), all I can do is share a few samples of it, and a few other Evel Knievel related tunes, as well as the above pic of the autographed Sports Illustrated I scored from eBay a few years back (curse you, eBay!!!). Here' to the last of the great daredevils, folks...

Track Listing:
1-Evel Knievel-Why
2-John Culliton Mahoney-Ballad Of Evel Knievel
3-Hub Reynolds-Ballad Of Evel Knievel
4-Mike Lunsford-Snake River Canyon

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: More Martian Hijinx and Bobby Helms, "Captain Santa Claus", DECCA label # 9-30513 (1957)

For today's installment of the 2007 Christmas Countdown, here's another cover of Milton DeLugg's "Hooray For Santa Claus", which was the theme to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), this time by one of my favorite punk bands, Sloppy Seconds. This is taken from their 2004 EP, Lonely Christmas. And, for the "B-Side" of this installment is one of my favorite Christmas themed B-Sides, "(Here Comes) Captain Santa Claus and His Reindeer Space Patrol", from the original 1957 Decca .45 release of "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

ED WOOD-A-RAMA Part 2: "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Performance Records Original Soundtrack

For our second installment of ED WOOD-A-RAMA, we have this wonderful little disc released by Performance Records in 1996.

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