History's Dumpster Mobile Link

History's Dumpster for Smartphones, Tablets and Old/Slow Computers http://historysdumpster.blogspot.com/?m=1

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Caravelle Candy Bars

While many people today think the only products made by The Peter Paul Company (now a division of the Hershey company since 1988) are the famous Almond Joy and Mounds bars, that isn't true. They offered other kinds too, but a much smaller variety than competitors Hershey, M&M/Mars and Nestle. Being 4th ran against these giants made them that way.

Caravelle was introduced in the early '70s to compete with the similar Nestle's $100,000 bar (known the 100 Grand bar since the mid-'80s). But whereas the $100,000 bar tastes processed and is kind of rubbery, Caravelle was lighter and sweeter tasting.

They also had this famous TV commercial with an earworm jingle. I remember seeing this frequently when I was growing up in the '70s.

Caravelle was discontinued in 1988.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Scopitone and Cinebox

An American Scopitone 450 jukebox. Image: Scopitone Archive
The Scopitone and Cinebox (later renamed Colorama) were early 1960s "video jukeboxes". Introduced in America in 1964, they were popular for a few years, growing to a peak of Scopitones in 800 locations in 1966. Then they vanished by the end of the decade.

Although not the first of it's kind (there are mechanical and human assisted, silent and black and white examples of coin operated on-demand movie systems going back to the early 1900s, including the 1940s Panoram and the notorious "peep-show" private viewers), the Scopitone and Cinebox were different in that they were all electric, had sound and they were in colour.

They played 2-3 minute musical shorts on 16mm film reels. An early MTV of it's day. New titles came out at the rate of four per month.

Actress Joi Lansing made Scopitone's most famous (and cheesiest) film "The Web Of Love" in 1965.

One distinctive thing about Scopitone films were most of the musical numbers all had girls (and some guys) doing go-go dancing of some sort.

They were invented in Europe. First the Scopitone in France and it's similar rival, the Cinebox in Italy where they became wildly successful. The Cinebox came to America first in 1963 and was quickly followed by the Scopitone. However, the Scopitone instantly created a media buzz and a fad in countless cocktail lounges and public waiting areas in the mid 1960s.

One early investor in Scopitone's American division was actress Debbie Reynolds.

Restaurant and lounge owners quickly signed up after reading the salesman's brochure. It really looked like The Next Big Thing.

Scopitone promotional banner
For a quarter, you got to see some American stars (such as Bobby Vee and Neil Sedaka.) But also a lot of unknown British and European stars stateside. This would eventually become the Achilles heel of both systems. Scopitone first arrived with only French films. They scrambled to put together an American library of music. But sadly, there were no really BIG names, like The Beatles. 

(Warning: "Fiesta Hippie", although tame by today's standards may still be NSFW.)

Another is Scopitone was mentioned in a federal investigation into organized crime. Fearing a scandal that involves The Mob, many businesses canceled their Scopitone services and returned the machines.

Scopitone film was also on small reels that automatically loaded into the projector.....sometimes. They were notorious for malfunctioning and service was called. Often. A night of heavy use meant a call to the serviceman tomorrow. Many Scopitone machines were only known by patrons/customers as that weird thing in the corner with an Out of Order sign on it. 
A Scopitone can hold up to 36 reels of film
But perhaps more than anything else, it was the Scopitone's distributors who failed to tap into the rock 'n roll craze and youth culture of the '60s which could have ultimately saved it. Instead, it was coin-op entertainment for mostly middle of the road adults who really didn't need it.

Procol Harum's 1968 hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" was the only known rock song available on Scopitone. There was never a release for the Cinebox.

The Scopitone was largely gone by 1970 in America. However, there were still new Scopitone films made, albeit in France. The last known Scopitone film was made in 1978. The old Scopitone projectors were mostly junked, although some were converted into peep show systems for X rated adult film arcades. Only a handful were preserved and are now mostly in museums and private collections.

It's Italian rival, the Cinebox (later renamed Colorama) was actually introduced to America earlier than the Scopitone (1963). Like the Scopitone, it had a very limited American catalog, but LOTS of Italian musical acts.

It too had a short life in America and in spite of being the first video jukebox in America, arriving months before the Scopitone. It was eclipsed by Scopitone's promotional machine, rendering Cinebox as an also-ran to Scopitone. And when the ax fell at Scopitone over the alleged Mob associations, Cinebox also felt it. The public felt like these machines were just tools of the Mob in spite of Cinebox never being involved with that in any way. Besides, neither Scopitone or Cinebox were very profitable overall.

Cinebox also ended it's American distribution and folded completely in 1978.

More on The Scopitone and Cinebox:

Scopitone Archive (Has information on both the Scopitone and Cinebox as well as the Color-Sonic system.)


Scopitone (Wikipedia entry)

Cinebox (Wikipedia entry)

Kitschy Scopitone jukebox brought the jams before MTV

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kellogg's Kream Krunch Cereal

Ad copy above reads  "Now - Ice Cream in a nourishing cereal. Crisp chunks of real ice cream (freeze-dried) right in with the good grain. The kids won't believe it. (Maybe you won't either!) But thanks to freeze-drying, we've taken the cold out of ice cream, made it crisp and crunch, so it keeps without refrigeration right in a package of cereal. And what a cereal! A crisp, nourishing blend of hearty corn, wheat and oats that's a treat by itself. With the ice cream it's... well taste it see for yourself. At your grocer's now."

It really seemed like a good idea.

If anything gets the kids bugging their parents to the point of insanity in the cereal aisle, it's a cereal that contains something they really like. Raisins? Yuk. What kid really liked raisins in anything?

And all kids love ice cream. Especially that then-new freeze-dried space ice cream the astronauts get to eat that everyone on TV was talking about back then.

Soooooo, Kellogg's executives thought they had a winner in their new cereal, Kream Krunch. It was a Cheerios type cereal with bits of freeze dried ice cream in Strawberry, Vanilla and Orange flavours (though surprisingly, Kream Krunch didn't have a chocolate flavour.)

But ice cream for breakfast...Was America an awesome place in 1965 or what?

And it really did sound good.....But that's as far as Kream Krunch got. The flipside was the freeze-dried ice cream melted into a super gross, sticky goo after sitting in milk for a few minutes, so you had to eat it fast or without milk. (I eat my cereal dry with a glass of milk on the side to wash it down - That's how passionately I hate soggy cereal.)

Parents complained to Kellogg's, demanding refunds because when the freeze dried ice cream melted, kids would stop eating the cereal. And soon, they wouldn't touch the box at all and it would have to be thrown out. Kream Krunch was discontinued in 1966. And Kellogg's (or any other cereal company) never attempted another freeze-dried ice cream cereal.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends (Cotillion, 1970)

Images: Discogs
Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, a status it also held in Colin Larkin's book The Top 1000 Albums of All Time.

Is it really that bad?

You decide...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Kellogg's Just Right Cereal

Kellogg's Just Right cereal was introduced in the USA in 1985. My mom bought a box and I remember us trying this, only getting a few bites in until we had to dump the rest of our bowls into the trash. It was nasty.

My peers in high school had the same opinion and we called it Just Sucks. The cereal was basically a fruitcake in a box. It had bran flakes, corn flakes, dates, raisins, almond bits and oats and pretty much targeted at the yuppie bunch.

This cereal had a massive ubiquitous TV advertising campaign for it (perhaps the largest I had ever seen for a cereal) and discount offers that moms of that time couldn't resist. But everyone under the age of 30 hated this commercial as much as the cereal because it was guaranteed to pop up at least 4 times an hour during daytime TV, it was nearly as bad during prime time and late at night too in 1985. It was everywhere on every channel.

But unbeknownst to the rest of us, this commercial would ironically be the launch pad for the career of one of the biggest pop stars of the '90s.

(For years, I thought Tori Amos' 1994 hit "Cornflake Girl" was her way of venting her angst over this commercial and the disgusting taste of that cereal that never seemed to go away. An interpretive sort of thing. But that wasn't the case. The interpretive venting over this disgusting cereal was probably Y Kant Tori Read.) 

Just Right cereal was discontinued in America in the early '90s, but it's still sold in Australia.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Bonanza '88' Stores

Bonanza '88' Stores were a discount chain that dominated much of the Western half of the US from 1967 to 1987.

They began as an all 88¢ store. Everything in the store, 88¢. Or 2 for 88¢ (many cheap budget label record albums were offloaded this way.) Over time, they began offering a mix of higher and lower price items.

In the late 1980s, Bonanza '88' was renamed simply Bonanza and also offered a pharmacy. They were bought out by the Seattle based Bartell chain in the late '80s.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Go 'n Joy Stores

Outside of Vancouver, WA Go 'n Joy store, circa 1981. Image: WSU Libraries Digital Collection
From the outside of it, Go 'n Joy convenience stores looked like your typical early 1980s convenience store chain.
As well as the inside of it. They made fresh deli sandwiches, had a full selection of potato chips, beer, candy and soda. As well as various other quick must-buys like milk, bread and eggs. They had a cold soda/Icee fountain. There were a couple of arcade video games in the front of the store. Pretty average stuff for a convenience store chain in 1981.

Nothing really seemed out of the ordinary. Except that this chain literally went from idea to 17 locations that sprang up within a period of a few months in western Washington State in early 1981 (something even your most ambitious retail chain doesn't do.) They had further plans of expansion of up to 30 stores at this time.

What are these places?, people began to ask. And how did they get so big, so fast? It seemed pretty strange. But nothing to be concerned over really, just odd.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board wanted to know too, as they were licensing each store for beer and wine sales (Hard liquor was still sold in state-run liquor stores at that time.) Their concern was knowing who actually owned the chain.

But after wandering through a maze of various shell companies and people who seemed to change positions within the company on a dime, the investigations revealed one common link; the various operatives of Go 'n Joy, from distributors to several franchise operators revealed ties to Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church.

The Unification Church is a religion with a large worldwide membership (known as "Moonies"), but is still considered a cult by many. But this was a cult with a difference. While most cults were considered dirty Commie free-love hippies who are against capitalism by most people in post 1960s America, the Unification Church not only embraced capitalism, but made it front and center in it's various operations. They hated Communism. Members were clean and upstanding people.

One of my neighbours was a Moonie. He drove a nice car and owned a restaurant. At no time during my first two months of knowing him had I ever suspected he was a Moonie. But one day, religion snuck into our conversation and he casually mentioned he was a member of the Unification church. I wasn't upset or nervous about it. He didn't try to convert me. It was his thing, not mine.

But alternative religions were not looked upon kindly in 1981. We were a nation still in shock over the 1978 People's Temple mass suicide and anti-cult groups sprang up for families to "deprogram" other family members who were inducted into them.

The revelation of this chain being owned by the Moonies led to assorted accusations of the true intent of Go 'n Joy stores. Some parents believed the Unification Church was actively using the store chain as a front to lure young people into the religion.

While many young people (including myself at that time) occasionally stopped at a Go 'n Joy for a burrito and a soda, maybe played a video game, no one there ever gave me any leaflets. Nor do I remember seeing any. No one there ever asked me if I heard of Reverend Moon, that kind of thing. They wouldn't have lasted ten minutes if they did in that more religiously partisan time.

Unable to control the negative publicity, the Go 'n Joy chain was quietly sold. Some locations were sold to 7-Eleven, which used some locations as expansion outlets for their then recent acquired Hoagy's Corner chain of deli/convenience stores. Others to independent operators. In 1982, Rev. Moon was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

The Unification Church still owns lots of businesses. But today, the same outrage there was in 1981 doesn't exist now as people today are less concerned with the religion of a business operator and more eager for a good deal.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon passed away in 2012.

Monday, June 06, 2016

A Free Stimu From Dr. Hook (Free 1975 Promo 45)

A lost early sampler for Dr. Hook's 1975 LP Bankrupt. This was a free giveaway on record store counters to demonstrate the LP to potential buyers.

Bankrupt was Dr. Hook's first LP on Capitol Records. With their name shortened to simply "Dr. Hook" from the clunkier "Doctor Hook & The Medicine Show". The album contained their hits "Only Sixteen" (a cover of the Sam Cooke classic ) and "I Got Stoned And I Missed It."

Album & single images: Discogs

Friday, June 03, 2016

Black Rose: Cher's Lost Rock Album

Black Rose was a rock group Cher sang lead vocals for. Most people and many of Cher's own fans aren't even aware of this album because it's never listed amongst most Cher discographies. And for collectors, it's a holy grail to find the original 1980 Casablanca vinyl release with record, jacket and sleeve in pristine condition. Only 400,000 copies were sold worldwide.

In 1980, Cher was romantically involved with rock guitarist Les Dudek and this led to the musical collaboration that became Black Rose. Cher had just released two disco records for Casablanca in 1979, Take Me Home and Prisoner. But Black Rose was different. It wasn't disco, it was actually something closer to a mainstream rock album for that time.

On the album, Cher sang vocals, but only appeared in a group photo on the back of the LP.

She was not even mentioned on the cover. Cher and Dudek were conscientiously trying to avoid the spotlight on Cher and make Black Rose a group effort rather than just another solo Cher album.

In spite of Cher's incredible network of connections in Hollywood that could have INSTANTLY made them nationally famous stars, Black Rose took the high road, playing gigs at smaller LA nightclubs. Everything the hard way.

Well, almost everything. They got an A-list team of songwriters, such as David Foster, Valarie Carter, Bernie Taupin, Mike Chapman, Carole Bayer-Sager, Vinnie Poncia and Allee Willis. As well as a deal with the one of the biggest record labels in the world at that time. The other members in Black Rose were seasoned LA session musicians. With side help from members of Toto (who would also appear on Cher's later '80s albums.)

The music was very well produced for it's time, as you could imagine. In fact, it was overproduced really. No catchy hooks. Everything really sounds forced to it's limits.

And comically beyond, as Cher's vocals on "Never Should've Started" painfully prove. It was the first single from the album and it was largely ignored by the radio.


But the new sound was alienating to her '60s and '70s pop fans as well as her disco era fans. Some critics thought they were trying to clone Blondie. And that Cher's voice was unsuited to the material she was singing. She went an a small tour to promote the album as The Black Rose Show.
It was darn nigh impossible for women in rock in the 70s. There wasn't a mold if you were a woman and you were in the entertainment in the 70s. You were probably a disco diva or a folk singer, or simply ornamental. Radio would play only one woman per hour.
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/903004
It was darn nigh impossible for women in rock in the 70s. There wasn't a mold if you were a woman and you were in the entertainment in the 70s. You were probably a disco diva or a folk singer, or simply ornamental. Radio would play only one woman per hour.
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/903004
It was darn nigh impossible for women in rock in the '70s. There wasn't a mold if you were a woman and you were in the entertainment in the '70s. You were probably a disco diva or a folk singer, or simply ornamental. Radio would play only one woman per hour.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/annwilson412555.html
It was darn nigh impossible for women in rock in the '70s. There wasn't a mold if you were a woman and you were in the entertainment in the '70s. You were probably a disco diva or a folk singer, or simply ornamental. Radio would play only one woman per hour.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/ann_wilson.html
It was darn nigh impossible for women in rock in the '70s. There wasn't a mold if you were a woman and you were in the entertainment in the '70s. You were probably a disco diva or a folk singer, or simply ornamental. Radio would play only one woman per hour.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/ann_wilson.html

But sales of Black Rose were still very low and copies of the LP could be found in the cut-out budget bins at your local record store nine months after it's release for $1.99.

Cher ended Black Rose in 1981.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

"You Are Everything" Judas Priest (Unreleased 1988 Demo Snippets)

If there was one set of producers, one band and one song you would have absolutely never made any connection with whatsoever in 1988, it's Stock, Aitken & Waterman, Judas Priest and The Stylistics 1971 hit "You Are Everything".

For those not aware of Stock, Aitken & Waterman, they were the legendary '80s producers of similar sounding UK pop hits-by-numbers. Including Bananarama, Kim WildeRick Astley, Kylie Minogue and Sonia

You couldn't get any more polar opposite musically if you tried. To say nothing of a heavy metal cover version of a '70s soul masterpiece.

But although these are fragments of an unreleased demo, this is actually pretty damn good. Judas Priest did it right. Faithful to the Stylistics original (you don't want to screw with a classic.) But carefully arranged for a metal power ballad. 

SA&W kept the drum machines and synthesizers in check. They knew what song this was and what band they were dealing with. The band also recorded some also as yet unreleased original songs from this session. But the band says it's unlikely the whole songs will surface 

Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton also recorded guitar solos for a Stock, Aitken & Waterman produced artist, Samantha Fox, and was credited on her 1991 track "Spirit of America".

Read more about it in the Blabbermouth article here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Shadow President

I love simulation video games. Especially the "civilization building" types like Sim City.

But there's one game in particular I have a special fondness for that has never been updated or given a modern makeover and it's still every bit as challenging (although graphically challenged itself) as it was when it came out in 1993.

It's called Shadow President.

In this game, you are the Commander In-Chief. Yes, you. You have the ultimate power to create world peace, a roaring economy and make the quality of life in the world a global benchmark. Or you can send us all back to the stone age. You can be a wise peacemaker and a statesperson. Or a brutal tyrant hell bent on world domination. You can force regime changes. Or live and let live. You can test your deepest held ideology. Or define yours through a series of surprisingly accurate situations and how you would handle each of them. Any way you go, there are benefits and ramifications to every decision you make. Just like what a real president has to deal with.

The game starts in June of 1990. If you remember that time (and it seems like yesterday to me), The Berlin Wall had come down, the Soviet Union hadn't become Russia again (and it wouldn't until 1991, but the change was already afoot in the Kremlin.) And most of all, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was getting it's dander up with Kuwait and would eventually invade it. This would be your first major test of how you would deal with a major world crisis in the Oval Office.

Like I said, this game isn't big on graphics. And it's not a high action game. It can be pretty tedious at times with all the seemingly mundane things going on. But each situation, no matter how trivial they may appear has some indirect benefit or consequence to your leadership effectiveness, popularity and world standing.  It's one of those games that really belong in a classroom. But if you love a good game of mental chess rather than 3-D explosions and insane graphics, this is for you.

You can also balance the budget, increase or decrease spending in the Military, Social spending, Investment in the country and Foreign Aid. You can raise or lower Personal, Corporate and Sales taxes and well as Tariffs. You can consult with your advisors on which route to take that would ultimately shape your presidency. This means encountering a lot of things you weren't even prepared for. You may be forced to make decisions that fly in the face of your own ideals (like all presidents are forced to do sometimes.) But then again, being President means inheriting a nation and world left behind by the previous President and what you make of it will determine your legacy.

When you select a country (just move the mouse cursor to a country on the map and click on it until it lights up. Another way is to press the ? key and use the up/down arrows to find the specific country you're looking for), move your mouse cursor the the extreme left on the map, the options menu will appear. Click on SOC/ECO/CIA/MIL or NUC for each option menu and decide what you will do to the selected country.
You can decide what to do with each country. You can send them humanitarian, economic, intelligence, military and nuclear aid. You can declare war on them or defend them. Arrange for surgical strikes, issue peace delegations, give them Most Favoured economic status or block trade. Set up coup d'etats  Or blow them up in a nuclear holocaust. But remember, your every move is going to either have success or catastrophic ramifications.

Your popularity level is what ultimately determines if you get elected to another term. A popularity level of 50% or higher can mean you get another term. But anything lower could jeopardize that. A popularity rating of less than 30% can set you up for serious trouble and less than 20% could put you at risk for impeachment or even assassination. It's very very hard to build your popularity, but much easier to screw it all up. You're walking on eggshells - just like a real president.  

The Game:

Shadow President is a DOS game (it's 23 years old.) And while DOS is pretty much the Latin of the computer languages these days, it's not entirely defunct (you'd be surprised at what our own government computers still use in 2016.) But regardless of your computer operating system, you can still play it on DOSBox. Download DOSBox here and install it on your computer (there's versions for Windows, Mac and Linux and others as well as an Android version for your smartphone or tablet.)

Next, download the game here (it's free abandonware as there are no current versions of this game.) Unzip and place the SHADOW folder in your Games folder. When you want to play, just click on the SHADOW.exe file in the SHADOW folder. DOSBox should handle it from there.

And don't forget the manual. You can download the PDF file here. Keep it in the SHADOW folder for safekeeping (it won't affect the performance of the game.) You will need this as there is a primitive security system of quotes in which you must answer with who said them and the answers are in the manual. If you do not answer them correctly, the game goes on a 30 day trial and that's not 30 actual days in real life, but 30 days in the game itself (on average speed, the clock goes at one hour per second.) The manual also goes into explaining the game in deeper detail.

To stop the clock during the game, press the 0 (zero) key. This helps when you need to make a lot of changes. To start back up/ change game speed, press 1 for 1 hour per second, 2 for 2 hours per second, 3 for 4 hours per second, 4 for 8 hours per second or 5 for one day per second. Beware that faster speeds can make interaction very difficult. You'll have to experiment to find the one that's right for you or adjust as you play. (Click on images to enlarge.)

 In the System Menu, there's even an Auto-Pilot feature where the game plays itself for you. But be aware that the game can often make decisions you may not want or even screw it up for you. 

After going through the "security clearance", you will be treated to the opening scenario and a tutorial overview. This allows you to get a feel for the controls of the game options and there's a button on screen for saving the game. Use it - a lot. Because you may want to play for certain periods of time and pick up where you left off. Or try different strategies. Other options include running the game without elections (oh yes, there are elections.), With/without audio (the sounds are also pretty primitive by today's standards.) Or different scenarios, such as a Super Iraq, Virtual Earth, US Economic Decline and others.

 The game also includes the 1990 CIA Factbook, which is useful in determining the history of a certain country as well as calculating potential strategies of each. But bear in mind as you play, you change the course of world history and the entries can become meaningless beyond that if say, you take over or change the regimes of North Korea. Or Iraq. Or even go full Benedict Arnold and actually support our enemies. (Yes, you can even do that. But there could be some pretty big consequences. Just like in real life.)

 The only problem is the game does not have one very important aspect to the real life workings of the President; Congress. In a real life presidency, you have to work with Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate.) And that more than anything else determines your leadership effectiveness. If you can't get anything past them, you're what's called a "lame duck". But since this game does not have a Congress to deal with, you're pretty much a dictator in spite of being an elected President. So for the purposes of simplicity and hypothesis, you're in control of everything. A Congress feature would magnify how difficult the presidency actually is, but it would have also resulted in a game perhaps too big and advanced for the old computers of 1993.

My preferred personal strategy to this game has always been the Peacemaker/Good Guy because it's super hard. I follow a sort of Bernie Sanders-like strategy of keeping military conflicts at the barest minimum while keeping a close watch over the economy and spending on Social programs and Investment high. Cut or raise taxes according to what affects common people more than corporations and the 1%. And it works amazingly well. (Click on images to enlarge)

June 1990
November 1992
The changes are pretty dramatic, but they were made very gradually. Just a little bit month by month, but it's given me a landslide election victory the day before in the 1992 screenshot. With massively increased social spending and investment, homelessness is a thing of the past. Everyone has free college, Cannabis is legal. Life is pretty laid back. And it shows.

On the right side of the screenshot you'll see some lines with TEAQ under them. They stand for:

Total Influence
Quality of Life

In the 1992 screenshot, the Total Influence is down because I'm not trying to be world cop and focusing on matters at home. The Economy is roaring, Ambition is very low because we're not picking fights or invading other countries (the legal weed helps too) and Quality of Life is crazy good. And 76% popularity is not too shabby.

On the other hand, you could try other things that are less challenging and more fun, like invading Canada. But I love a hard strategic puzzle.

It's a fun game for the intellectual sort, maybe not so much for the raging gamer. But it's always worth a shot....If you dare.