Saturday, October 28, 2017

Vintage 1950s Parties

Halloween Parties
 Halloween is an old custom and one we enjoy celebrating. And it's not just for children. In the 1950s, adults loved getting together for a party, especially dressing up. The party games were all the rage during the 50s and Halloween was no exception.

          A Halloween Party refreshments were platters of Pigs in a blanket, red punch (any flavor as long as it was red), donuts, black olives, Carrot straws, Orange sherbet and Chocolate cupcakes. And how about candy apples?

          Keep in mind the fun was the costumes and the games. Remember, bobbing for apples?

          Popular candies were:  Goeltiz Candy Corn, Brach's Harvest Jelly Beans, Hershey's Kisses, Fleers Double Bubble Gum, Jordan Almonds, Goetze's Caramel Creams, Reed's Butterscotch Squares, Midgee Tootsie Rolls, Starlight Kisses, Roasted Peanuts in the shell, and Chocolate Nonpareils just to name a few

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vintage1950s Music

Rock Around the Clock

          The number 2 hit on Billboard in 1955 was Rock Around the Clock, a rock and roll song in the 12-bar blues format written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers in 1952. The best-known and most successful rendition was recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1954 for American Decca. It was a number one single on both the US and UK charts and also re-entered the UK Singles Chart in the 1960s and 1970s.
          It was not the first rock and roll record, nor was it the first successful record of the genre (Bill Haley had American chart success with Crazy Man, Crazy  in 1953, and in 1954, Shake, Rattle and Roll sung by Big Joe Turner reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Haley's recording became an anthem for the 1950s youth and is widely considered to be the song that brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world. The song is ranked No. 158 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

          Although first recorded by Italian-American band Sonny Dae and His Knights on March 20, 1954, the more famous version by Bill Haley & His Comets is not a cover version. Myers claimed the song had been written specifically for Haley but, for unknown reasons, Haley was unable to record it until April 12, 1954.
          The original full title of the song was We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!. This was later shortened to (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock, though this form is generally only used on releases of the 1954 Bill Haley Decca Records recording; most other recordings of this song by Haley and others (including Sonny Dae) shorten this title further to
Rock Around the Clock.
          Rock Around the Clock is often cited as the biggest-selling vinyl rock and roll single of all time. The exact number of copies sold has never been audited; however, a figure of at least 25 million was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records in its category Phonograph records: Biggest Sellers.
          The song was used in the opening of the Happy Days (1974 to 1984) tv show.
Take a walk down memory lane! Here is a link to the song:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vintage 1950s Food

Peas Juliette

I loved this as a kid, begged my mother for it every week. I tried modernizing and making it healthier by used frozen peas and omitted the cornstarch. It was very good.

1 1-lb. can Del Monte Brand Early Garden Peas
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 6 1/2-oz. can chunk style tuna, drained and flaked
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Drain peas, reserving liquid. Sauté onion in butter or margarine until tender. Add cornstarch dissolved in liquid from peas. Cook, stirring constantly, till thickened. Add peas and pimiento; heat. Combine hot rice, tuna, and cheese. Season to taste. Pack into 1-qt. ring or another simple mold; turn out on hot serving dish. Serve with hot peas mixture, as shown.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Vintage 1950s Scandals

          David Begelman, was a Hollywood producer who was involved in studio embezzlement scandals starting in the 1950s.
          He worked at the Music Corporation of America (MCA) in the 1950s, eventually becoming vice president. He left to co-found the talent agency Creative Management Associates (CMA) with Freddie Fields.  Their clients included Judy GarlandBarbra StreisandLiza MinnelliWoody AllenGregory PeckPaul NewmanSteve McQueenJackie Gleason and Fred Astaire. At CMA, Fields and Begelman pioneered the movie "package" where the talent agency put their stars, directors and writers together on a single project.
          Begelman left CMA to oversee the Columbia Pictures producing such hits as ShampooFunny Lady and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Begelman was among the first Hollywood agents to cross over and rise to the top of the studio system.

          Scandals started when actor Cliff Robertson received a 1099 indicating he had received $10,000 from Columbia Pictures. He had never received the money and discovered that his signature on the cashed check had been forged, starting a criminal investigation. The LAPD and the FBI verified that the $10,000 check was a forgery, and it was tracked to Begelman. Possible embezzlement with Judy Garland was suspected.

          Columbia Pictures discovered that Begelman had embezzled an additional $65,000 through other forged checks. The scandal led to a rift between Columbia executives. He was reinstated for a brief time but was fired quietly.
          Despite the pressure to remain quiet, Robertson and his wife Dina Merrill spoke to the press. David McClintick broke the story in The Wall Street Journal in 1978, later turning it into the best-selling 1982 book Indecent Exposure. Robertson later claimed he had been blacklisted during the 1980s for coming forward about the Begelman affair and had few roles during this period.
 Begelman claimed his alma mater was Yale University. Yale responded that Begelman had never attended that university.
          In 1980, Begelman returned to become CEO and president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. With the exception of Poltergeist, he was unable to repeat his success at Columbia. His apparent slump led to his departure from MGM before his four-year contract expired. After leaving MGM, Begelman was offered a position to run a production company, Sherwood Productions, backed by Bruce McNall. Under Sherwood, Begelman backed War Games , Mr. MomThe Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and Blame It on Rio where he continued in fraud.
          When investor Nelson Bunker Hunt pulled out of Sherwood in 1984, Begelman took the slack and founded Gladden Entertainment with the remaining assets and repartnering. There, with McNall, he produced MannequinWeekend at Bernie'sThe Fabulous Baker BoysShort Time and Mannequin 2: On the Move.
          Hollywood's three major talent guilds filed a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles to liquidate the Gladden for failure to pay actors, directors and writers residuals amounting to $4.1 million. Begelman left Gladden Entertainment to found Gladden Productions. However, he was not able to get funding for the new production company.
          Begelman became depressed over the bankruptcy and lack of funding for Gladden Productions. Begelman shot himself in a room at the Los Angeles Century Plaza Hotel on August 7, 1995 at the age of 73.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Vintage 1950s Men's Fashion

Men's Shorts

          Men’s shorts in the 1950s were not a new invention but they certainly gained mass market appeal starting in 1949. Shorts for beach and sports playing was the prime reason men wore shorts prior to the 1950s. The most popular style of short was the almost knee length walk (walking) shorts also known as Bermuda shorts. They fit like men’s slacks, without pleats at the waistband and hung straight down to an inch or two above the kneecap. They came in plain colors as well as plaid, seersucker and stripes in cotton, linen, madras and even flannel. Some had back belts and most were worn with a contrasting fabric belt.

          Shorts were hardly ever worn without a pair of knee high socks usually in bold patterns such as the classic argyle. Plain colors were OK too. Paired with a slip-on pair of penny loafers or moccasins, a man was set for a round of golf, a walk to the park, a day at the shore or gardening in his own backyard. Some fashionable men wore flannel shorts to dinner paired with a sports coat, shirts and ties, especially in seaside resort towns.

          Shorts lengths changed little for most of the decade but some specifically designed for athletic wear were even shorter (short shorts). They hit about mid-thigh, worn without a belt and made of a sturdier cotton twill. They provided maximum freedom to move and breath while playing games of baseball, tennis, or soccer.