History's Dumpster Mobile Link

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sony Music Pops Cassettes

1985 was the year cassette players got colourful. The Sharp QT-50 was a hot item, neon and pastel colours got a comeback.

So as Warner/Reprise dumped the old staid white or beige cassette shell for the sleek clear shells of their then-new commercially released cassette tapes and Teac unveiled their reel to reel look, Sony gave us the Music Pops cassettes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Seattle Bubbleator

This was the Seattle Center Bubbleator. A hydraulically driven clear glass "bubble" that illustrated in 1962 how elevators would be driven in "the future".

And having personally rode the "Bubbleator" several times from the 1970s and early '80s, for the LEAST, I can say I was disappointed when this legendary ride of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair ended up as a greenhouse in some rich yuppie's yard.

It was heartbreaking really. You just DON'T throw away HISTORY like THIS. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Coon Chicken Inn: The WORST Restaurant Chain In History

Uh-oh, we now see the shameful side of Seattle's otherwise awesome culinary history.

It's hard to believe a place with a name like The Coon Chicken Inn would ever have existed in polite, politically correct Seattle. But in the pre-Civil Rights era, such things were not uncommon anywhere. Including Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT, when The Coon Chicken Inn had other locations.

And this place made Sambo's look modest.

They opened in 1925 and within a few years, drew the wrath of the Seattle NAACP, who threatened to sue for defamation and libel. It's mascot was a grotesque, ugly caricature of a black porter (and perhaps the first ever mascot used by a restaurant chain, paving the way for Ronald McDonald four decades later.) And like Ronald McDonald at McDonalds, the porter mascot was everywhere at this place.

They actually made hand fans for kids (with menus on the back) in derogatory caricatures of African-Americans.

The porter caricature appeared on everything inside and out of the place. Including matchbooks, the dinnerware, silverware and even soap bars. They even made spare tire covers with the caricature on them.

Coast to Coast?....Er, no. They wish. But this chain never grew beyond a few locations in the Western half of the US.
From "AW HELL NO!!" to "W.....T......F???!!!" This was their actual Seattle location, circa 1939...

Image: BlackPast.org
Now look behind the labour union protesters (another problem with The Coon Chicken Inn.), behind that car to the caricature's mouth. Yes, this was the actual entryway. Every location had a similar entryway.

The Seattle and Portland locations closed in 1949, due to changing tastes and a shrinking customer base (one should hope so!) The Salt Lake City location carried on until 1957.

More on this place:
University of Washington

Sunday, September 21, 2014

If The Bomb Falls: A Recorded Guide to Survival (Tops/PRI, 1961)

If a nuclear holocaust were to happen in 1961, you will need two albums. The Sam Sacks album I mentioned yesterday and this one.

Just kidding about the Sam Sacks album (or AM I?) This album was a cash-in from budget record label Tops (a subsidiary of geiger counter manufacturer Precision Radiation Instruments Inc.) for a nervous nation. But it covered all the basics. 

Audio at the bottom of the post.

It also included several government printed brochures and pamphlets.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sing It Again, Sam!: The Inimitable Song Stylings of Sam Sacks - Sam Sacks (Arliss, 1961)

Sam Sacks was unquestionably an underrated musical genius. While Florence Foster Jenkins and Nina Hagen could sing a few notes on key once in a while. Sam Sacks' gift was he utterly could not. Even accidentally.

 Inimitable he was. You just don't run into this utter lack of talent everyday.

Listen as he barnstorms through "Secret Love", "Diana", "That Old Black Magic" and many other 1940s and '50s pop standards. And I do mean barnstorm. You can't even get the first thought of an opinion together (due to your shock in hearing this) before he whips into another tune (imagine the feelings of the musicians trying to keep up with him!)

I'm not sure, but this sounds like it was recorded in one big harried take (you can hear him argue with the engineer - even retake "Secret Love".)

No producer is credited. And you can hear why.

Sinatra has nothing on Sam Sacks.

Enjoy.....If you can.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bernie Sanders' Lost Folk Album

You know Bernie Sanders as America's Senator, the lovable underdog determined to take on the Koch brothers, corporate greed mongers and corrupt government policy.

But did you know he has a musical side?

Bernie released this cassette album in 1987, Side One is a mix of traditional folk covers, Side Two is a recorded conversation with Bernie.


More details + Audio here

"Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo" Sophia Loren (1961)

Listen here

Usually, actors make lousy singers. And singers usually make lousy actors. And often, what's beautiful visually needs a LOT of studio gimmickery to pass for acceptable aurally.

There are exceptions.

Sophia Loren looked gorgeous AND could carry a tune, as she did in this 1961 classic.


Monday, September 08, 2014

"Shake Baby Shake" Sodsai Chaengkij (1968)

Listen here

Sodsai Chaengkij was one of the biggest stars of the 1960s....in Thailand. She was also one of the few Asian pop stars who recorded pop songs with the original English lyrics, as she covered this 1958 Jesse Lee Turner classic... 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"Bras On 45" Ivor Biggun & The D-Kups (Dead Badger, 1981)

Listen here

In 1981, a Dutch group called Stars On 45 made a horrifying disco-fied medley of Beatles songs that actually was a worldwide smash hit in June of that year (don't laugh, it actually went to #1 in the US.)

This is still the longest song title ever for a 45 RPM single at 41 words....

Bear in mind, these weren't the original Beatles recordings stringed together (EMI would NEVER have allowed that), but the Stars On 45s were pretty good imitators (or at least significantly better than anything you hear at the karaoke bar down the street) and they did fool quite a few people.

The success of Stars On 45 made them ripe for parody, which UK TV personality Ivor Biggun   did with "Bras on 45". Ivor Biggun's parody on reached #50 in the UK and never charted in the US, but it was widely played on The Dr. Demento Show.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

"Is That All There Is?" Cristina (Ze/Island, 1980)

Listen Here

My favourite version of the Peggy Lee classic. Cristina Monet's twisted remake was also featured on the first KROQ Rodney on The Roq compilation (which I believe was the only release of this song in the US.) It was a "mystery" track, final cut on Side 2 and credited to "New York" with the track title "Surprise!"