One of the treats of being sick as a kid was staying home from school and being able to watch The Dick Cavett Show. He was a talk show host unlike any other, with a gentle, intelligent demeanor free of snark, smugness, or sarcasm. Josh Jones of Open Culture wrote a nice piece about Cavett, and include links to selected episodes of his show.
Born in Nebraska in 1937, “the only persona [Cavett] bothered to, or needed to, develop for working on camera was of a boy from Nebraska dazzled by the bright lights of New York,” as Clive James writes in an appreciation of the TV host. As he interviewed the biggest stars of late sixties, seventies, and eighties on the long-running Dick Cavett Show, Cavett’s easygoing Midwestern demeanor disarmed both his guests and audiences. He kept them engaged with his erudition, quick wit, and breadth of cultural knowledge.
Watch Cavett handle a cagey, combative Marlon Brando in 1973, making him open up a bit:
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Beep. From Uncommon Ephemera:
The second filmstrip in Sunburst Communications' "How You Get VD" series focuses on syphilis. Reusing a few frames from the previous title, but focusing on a hand-drawn style instead of photography, "How to Get Syphilis" focuses on Mary Jane, who is a tad irresponsible with her sex life.
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In the 1970s, the great R&B singer and actor Lou Rawls urged everyone to take their high blood pressure medication. With soul. "Do it for them." A public service announcement from the Ad Council.
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In 1970, JBL introduced the L-100 home hi-fi speakers based on the company's popular 4310 Pro Studio monitors. With their fantastic sound quality for the price, particularly for rock music, and their killer Quadrex foam grilles available in black, blue, or orange, the L-100 speakers became the best-selling loudspeaker of the era. And now JBL has revived them in modern form, the JBL L100 Classic. They're $4,000 a pair.
I'd be curious to hear an A/B test of the JBL L100 Classics against a pair of restored originals that can be had for a fourth of that price. If you have that opportunity, please roll a number, cue up David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name" on the turntable, and let us know what you heard.
Retro design with iconic JBL styling and vintage Quadrex foam grille in a choice of three colors: black, orange or blue
Genuine satin walnut wood veneer enclosure with black painted front and rear panels
12-inch white cone, pure pulp woofer with cast frame
5-inch pure pulp cone midrange
1-inch titanium dome tweeter
Bass-reflex design with front-firing port
High-frequency and mid-frequency L-pad attenuators
(Thanks, David Hyman!)
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Future Punk created retro logos and motion graphics for today's Internet companies if they existed decades ago. The artist was "inspired by great work of Sullivan & Marks, Robert Abel & Associates, Computer Image Corporation and various other early CG/Scanimate companies."
And if you're not hip to Scanimate:
Scanimate is the name for an analog computer animation (video synthesizer) system developed from the late 1960s to the 1980s by Computer Image Corporation of Denver, Colorado.
The 8 Scanimate systems were used to produce much of the video-based animation seen on television between most of the 1970s and early 1980s in commercials, promotions, and show openings. One of the major advantages the Scanimate system had over film-based animation and computer animation was the ability to create animations in real time. The speed with which animation could be produced on the system because of this, as well as its range of possible effects, helped it to supersede film-based animation techniques for television graphics. By the mid-1980s, it was superseded by digital computer animation, which produced sharper images and more sophisticated 3D imagery. (Wikipedia)
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The Hollywood studio that crushed Lance Bass' dream of buying the Brady Bunch house has been revealed. It's HGTV. But the amount they paid has not yet been disclosed.
'N Sync singer Lance Bass ... was “heartbroken” when his deal fell through after the bidding deadline. In an Instagram post, he wrote that an undisclosed corporate buyer wanted the house "at any cost."
Bass doesn't seem to have any hard feelings, though. In a tweet published Tuesday, the singer explained, "How can you be mad at HGTV? My television is stuck on that channel." He added, "Kudos, HGTV. I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."
Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced the sale Tuesday morning:
“One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those Brady Bunch fans on the call... You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can. More detail to come over the next few months but we’ll bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history.”
Buy, buy, buy.
Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house
For Sale: The real-life Brady Bunch house
(The Wrap) Read the rest
The Damned are responsible for a number of ear worms that routinely refuse to leave me alone. Formed the same year as I was born, they were raw, angry and too much fun. New Rose has been on constant rotation in my head, both as part of my internal soundtrack and while playing on my headphones for close to three decades. So, you can imagine my delight to find that The Guardian recently took a deep dive into how The Damned got together, wrote and recorded New Rose.
It's a longer read, but a good one. Read the rest
The wonderful Rufus Thomas and friends do the "Funky Robot" on Black Omnibus, a short-lived 1973 TV interview/performance show hosted by James Earl Jones and featuring African-American artists and cultural figures.
(via Weird Universe)
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In 1978, Random House recalled the Woman's Day Crockery Cuisine cookbook because one of the recipes could apparently "cause a serious explosion." According to a statement from Random House, "If the recipe (for Silky Caramel Slices) is followed, the condensed milk can could explode and shatter the lid and liner of the crockery cooker." (Please, no Boston Marathon bomb jokes.) From a May 1978 article in the Chicago Tribune:
Because of an unfortunately elusive line that should have instructed folks to fill the pot with water, following the recipe appears to have resulted in some unintentional pop-top cans and badly damaged crockpots...
The conditions that have made this underground recipe successful and therefore popular, especially with children, are water and temperature. By being heated in boiling water, the temperature of the can and milk do not exceed the boiling point. After a few hours of this, the sugared milk turns to a caramel pudding. In the Crockpot, however, especially without water, the temperature can build up rather like a pressure cooker. That was the most immediate cause of the problem.
"The Exploding Recipe" (Weird Universe) Read the rest
Paradise Gardens, a huge nudist resort that's been open in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1970 is closing its gates. The owners sold to a developer who will build five new homes on the 34 acre property. The resort has raised the ire of neighbors for decades. Just a few years ago, residents complained about the resort's plan to build a nudist adventure park complete with zip lines. Interestingly, the resort's peak time was in the 1990s.
"We've been for sale for 10 years," (Paradise Resort Inc. president Ron) Coleman told Cincinnati.com. "We just couldn't get a deal done until now.
"It's a completely different economy now than it used to be back in the 70s and 80s when both parents weren't always working,'' he said. "Now, it's hard for families to schedule a time to utilize the place, which has limited new members."
(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
There have been many scenarios post the fall of the second temple for a young Jewish boy to try and get out of studying for his Bar Mitzvah, but in his debut book, my friend Lou Cove tells a story that seems almost as big of a fiction as the bible itself. The book is called Man of the Year, and it's a memoir about 12-year-old Louis’ swapping Hebrew study to spend time on a campaign to help his father’s friend become Playgirl’s playmate of the year in 1979, all while living in provincial Salem, Mass. And what is more, the candidate, Howie Gordon, not only wins but goes on to become one of the great male adult film stars during the golden age of pornography.
Lou went on to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations, using this experience as a formative guidepost.
For those of you unfamiliar with Playgirl, think about Playboy magazine, but for women and filled with photos of guys showing their junk. When Howie Gordon posed for the magazine, he was the first to break the erection-barrier…posing fully-masted in his Mr. November 1978 pictorial. By the time he and his wife came to Salem, he already had bigger (harder?) ambitions of winning the competition for Playgirl Man of the Year. All he needed was a campaign manager.
And while Howie’s story is so very compelling, Man Of The Year is definitely Lou’s story. He shares his experience of moving with his family from exciting New York to a seemingly more-boring Salem, how his father’s friend Howie and new bride Carly moved in with them and shared with the family (at the Thanksgiving table) Howie’s Playmate ambitions, Lou’s excitement of having Howie take on the role as XXX Mary Poppins (with his more modern take on spoonfuls of sugar), hand watching his parent’s marriage collapse as he hit the campaign trail to help Howie. Read the rest
Jerry Foster came back from Vietnam with extensive experience piloting choppers. How he turned that into one of the pioneering careers in aerial coverage of local news is a terrific longread brimming with 1970s nostalgia. Read the rest
Cars: New York City, 1974–1976 collects over 100 of Langdon Clay's creepy shots of cars parked overnight on the streets of New York at its lowest ebb. The scenes evoke Taxi Driver, The Warriors, even a little Snake Plisken. Read the rest
This crazy, groovy flick from the US Army was made in 1970 and features a Army Captain giving great fashion advice to a young soldier.
Army Captain: Say, that's a beautiful dress. Where did you get it?
Soldier: Where did I? Oh... I, uh, bought it at Lorman's last Thursday.
Army Captain: You know, I wish I could wear one of those. They're really cute, but... well, I guess they're a little young for me.
Soldier: But I thought, that, well, you didn't dig -- oh, excuse me ma'am, that you didn't like miniskirts and clothes like that.
Army Captain: No, now that's not exactly right. We do have certain ideas about how you should look in your uniform... and I guess sometimes we do express these feelings rather strongly. How you dress in your off-duty hours is another matter… Now we do expect a girl to show good taste… but that shouldn't keep you from expressing your own individuality… take miniskirts, I think they're great, and you look good in them…
If you aren't in the mood to watch all 20 minutes, here's the 3 minute highlights reel:
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I played this video to watch Buddy Rich say mean things about country music (at 9:46 in) ("Anybody could play it on one string"), but his drum solo was a lot more fun.
Incidentally, here's Buddy Rich's classic dressing down of his band. Obviously the inspiration for the abusive band teacher in Whiplash. Read the rest
I'd not heard of Elektor magazine until today, when I came across this photo of the cover from a 1974 edition. I assumed it was fake. Everything about it seemed like it was created this year - the typeface, the names of the projects, the tagline ("up-to-date electronics for lab and leisure"). Someone has uploaded the issue in PDF format.
Such a groovy magazine!
Joint smoking transistors:
Elektor is still around, but the design is vastly different:
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Elektor is a monthly magazine about all aspects of electronics, first published as Elektuur in the Netherlands in 1960, and now published worldwide in many languages including English, German, Dutch, French, Greek, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian) and Italian with distribution in over 50 countries. The English language edition of Elektor was launched in 1975 and is read worldwide.
Elektor publishes a vast range of electronic projects, background articles and designs aimed at engineers, enthusiasts, students and professionals. To help readers build featured projects, Elektor also offer PCBs (printed circuit boards) of many of their designs, as well as kits and modules. If the project employs a microcontroller and/or PC software, as is now often the case, Elektor normally supply the source code and files free of charge via their website. Most PCB artwork is also available from their website.