Showing posts with label 1950's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1950's. Show all posts

Monday, 6 March 2017

Hey! Haven't I Heard This Before? Blue Suede Shoes

Or ... Grammy Done Shook Her Moneymaker To Thissun!

There are songs a-plenty from my favoured musical era, which every one will know, but the chances are, many people will know the cover version better than the original.

Take the extraordinarily well know Blue Suede Shoes. Who do you know that recorded this? Elvis Presley I'm betting in most cases. Did you know though, that Elvis didn't record it until March of 1956, Carl Perkins released it three months earlier  on January 1st 1956.

Johnny Cash gave the idea to Carl in the autumn of 1955 while they and other Louisiana Hayride acts toured throughout the Southern states of America. He told him the story of a black airman, who he had met when serving in the military in Germany, who had referred to his military regulation airmen's shoes as "blue suede shoes." He suggested to Carl that he write a song about those shoes. Carl replied, "I don't know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?"

However, when Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, he heard a stern, forceful voice say, "Uh-uh, don't step on my suedes!" Looking down, Carl noted that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. "Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes", thought Carl.

That night he began working on a song based on the incident at the dance. His first thought was to frame it with a nursery rhyme and he considered, but quickly discarded "Little Jack Horner..." and "See a spider going up the wall...", before settling on "One for the money..."

Leaving his bed and working with his Les Paul guitar, he started with an A chord.  "Well, it's one for the money... Two for the show... Three to get ready... Now go, man, go!" he broke into a boogie rhythm. He quickly wrote the song down, writing the title out as "Blue Swade"; "S-W-A-D-E – I couldn't even spell it right," he later said*!

According to Carl, "On December 17, 1955, I wrote 'Blue Suede Shoes'. I recorded it on December 19.**"

Sun Records released the second take of the song with Sun producer Sam Phillips, suggesting that the lyric "go cat go" be changed to "go man go", but the suggestion was not taken.

In Jackson, where Perkins lived, and in Memphis, radio stations were playing the flip side of the record, "Honey Don't." However, in Cleveland, Ohio, disc jockey Bill Randle was featuring "Blue Suede Shoes" prominently on his nightly show, and before January was over, the Cleveland distributor of the record asked Phillips for an additional 25,000 copies of the record.

Blue Suede Shoes became the side of choice throughout the South and Southwest. On February 11 it was the number 2 single on Memphis charts; it was number one the next week and remained there for the next three months.

Carl made four appearances on the radio program Big D Jamboree on station KRLD in Dallas, where he played the song every Saturday night and was booked on a string of one-nighters in the Southwest. The Jamboree was broadcast from the Dallas Sportatorium, with about four thousand seats, and it sold out for each of Perkins' performances. Music shops in Dallas ordered a huge number of copies of the record, and at one point it was selling at a rate of 20,000 copies per day.

On March 17, Carl became the first country artist to reach the number three spot on the rhythm & blues charts. That night, he and his band first performed "Blue Suede Shoes" on television, on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee.

He was booked to appear on The Perry Como Show on NBC-TV on March 24th, but on March 22nd he and his band were in a serious car crash on the way to New York City, resulting in the death of a truck driver and the hospitalization of both Carl and his brother. While he recuperated from his injuries, "Blue Suede Shoes" rose to number one on most pop, R&B, and country regional charts. "I was a poor farm boy, and with 'Shoes' I felt I had a chance but suddenly there I was in the hospital," he recalled bitterly.

Carl Perkins never attained the stardom of Elvis Presley, who, according to Perkins, "had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed, like a lot of us did, Elvis was hitting them with sideburns, flashy clothes, and no ring on the finger. I had three kids."

After Presley hit the chart with his version of "Blue Suede Shoes," Perkins became known more for his song writing than for his performing.

Carl's original version:
I prefer this one.

Elvis's cover:

* As a child, I couldn't spell suede either, I used to spell it swede. 

** My birthday!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Folly Come Lately

My week in three pictures and much waffle.

There has been a lot of Ricky Nelson here this past week as I have become somewhat obsessed with his voice. I've always had a thing for voices, speaking voices in particular but sometimes a singer comes along and makes me melt.

There has been a moderate amount of sewing too. I was ironing and pulled a freshly washed apron from the basket. It was torn, so I pulled it apart and pinned it back together. I then did the same to my other apron as it was sitting a little high when wearing it. I then spent Wednesday putting them back together and also turning Andy's tired work trousers into work shorts. I also did battle with the epic patchwork quilt cover that I started years ago now. I have absolutely had enough of it at this point and have decided that it can stay wonky and rustic, as I'm officially beyond caring.

Ann wanted to see the perfume I got after I told her that the stopper was designed by a glass designer. I may have told a fib as I have since found out the whole bottle was designed by Polish designer Bronislaw Krzysztof. I feel very fancy pants having this. I actually got this free in a goodie bag as an apology. £95 perfume as a freebie isn't to be sniffed at, well technically it is, but you know what I mean!

What else .. Oh yes, I rediscovered my white lace peignoir last weekend. There was me thinking I looked not unlike Christine from Phantom Of The Opera wearing it, but when teamed with my baby doll nightwear, Andy said I looked like I belonged in a 1950's New Orleans brothel. I believe this was meant to be a good thing.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

B-Movie Madness: The Incredible Shrinking Man 1957

B-Movie time again!
Today I'm featuring The Incredible Shrinking Man from 1957.

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

It took me a while to watch this one. It sat on the Sky+ box for a little while, with me umming and ahhing. I then finally took the plunge. 

Once it had started, I was alert and ready for business! Yes sir!
I was going nowhere. Maybe this was why ...
Isn't star Grant Williams just so extraordinarily handsome?
If I was a fifties teen, I would be sighing and declaring him dreamy.
I hear he had a Madonna complex.

Lying sunbathing on the deck of a boat, and trying to persuade her to get him a drink, he referred to his wife as wench.
This made me fall for his charms just a little more.
But then, I'm odd like that.

"The cellar stretched before me like some vast primeval plain, empty of life, littered with the relics of a vanished race. No desert island castaway ever faced so bleak a prospect. "

I'm not the biggest fan of cats, sorry cat furmums out there, I'm a bunny lady through and through, and this cat didn't help the cause, it was horrible! My word it had an attitude problem!

This scene struck a cord with me, and not because I have been trapped in a dolls house by a jerky ginger cat, but because as a child I often wondered what it would be like to walk through my own dolls house.

"I felt puny and absurd, a ludicrous midget. Easy enough to talk of soul and spirit and existential worth, but not when you're three feet tall. I loathed myself, our home, the caricature my life with Lou had become. I had to get out. I had to get away."

Apparently this spider is the same spider who starred in the film Tarantula!
Film star spider!

"I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like the closing of a gigantic circle."

"I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man's own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. "

"My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!"

Did you know ... the psycho cat in this film was named Orangey and also featured in Breakfast at Tiffanys, as Cat.


Overall I did enjoy this, though I did find myself a little deflated when it had finished.
And no, not because the film was finished and Grant Williams wasn't there in front of me anymore.
I don't like to give spoilers or endings away, so if you're interested, do watch, it's one of the better ones I believe. I sincerely cared about Williams character Scott, and do still think about the film from time to time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

More Flamingos, Gingham, Bunnies and a Bit of Normality

I am a little bit rubbish at getting round to actually taking photos off of my camera and when I have managed such, I usually recall I was meant to take a picture of something else to show too and forgot (red peignoir, scarf from Mim, for instance). I did just this today. So as not to break the habit of a lifetime, here are some random snaps with some I meant to show, missing.

This is the locket Andy got me for Christmas (amongst other things) and as Kezzie expressed an interest in seeing it, here it is! Inside are teeny tiny little charms.

And here are the charms he chose for me.
A black scotty dog. I generally like big dogs, like Irish Wolfhounds, salukis, borzois, that sort of thing, but I really like basset hounds and black scotty dogs. My scotty would be named Mr McCready as I have mentioned before.
A bunny.
A flamingo and a bee.
All things he knows I love.

There on the left is Larry, my Christmas flamingo, next to Pantoni my meetiversary flamingo from last year from Andy and Alexander, my Longleat flamingo. 

The key box we got as a joint gift for Christmas.
It was cream and shabby chic, but Andy painted it for me.
It has since taking this photo, fallen off the wall, hit me and broken the dustpan.

And at last, at last, at last!
Two years ago I started making this 1950's nightwear set.
Two years ago!

You may recall I could not make head nor tail of the pattern for the bloomettes. I wrote and asked my aunt for help and she, well she ignored me.
They sat waiting in my unfinished projects drawer until late last year when I gave them another go and bingo! I finally figured it out!
But then I put them away as it was nearing Christmas.
Recently I got a new sewing box in the sales, which I also forgot to photograph, and as I was gathering up my scattered sewing bits, popped the elastic for the bloomettes inside in the pocket and evidently forgot as I then turned the place upside down looking for the aforementioned elastic.

If any more proof is needed that I have the attention span of a lemur, well I don't know what to say.

I am now struck by just how much they look like something a baby would wear, hence the baby doll nightie label I suppose! Funny how you know it's called that but don't see it till it's right there in front of you!

It's been a noisy old day here so far, yesterday too actually. Workmen have set up camp outside, something to do with water pipes I believe. Consequently I haven't been able to hear myself think. Once the pneumatic drill has stopped I am able to put on some music though, as it quietens considerably to a dull roar.
Speaking of music, I made up a modern music playlist for myself and was playing it at the weekend. "This is modern to you is it?" asked Andy, as The Byrds were playing.
Yes. Yes it is, now hush.
I'm back to my usual music today, all those new sounds were starting to rattle me.

Belle had to go to the vet Sunday morning with suspected GI Stasis and we appear to have been lucky and nipped it in the bud as she was not only eating by the evening, but also getting in everywhere. She's also back to doing a double lap of honour when given a treat, as usual without the treat, as she's far too excited about the whole thing and doesn't realise she hasn't actually got it with her.

Some furniture was moved around Sunday, leaving quite the mess for me yesterday. I got the hall looking pretty good then realised all the moving about of furniture had blocked the convenient plug sockets so, I had to drape the vacuum lead across the bunny tent we made up and into the kitchen. Luckily the schmoos were napping, otherwise it would have been fun and games keeping them away from the Danger Worm aka vacuum lead. Then once finished, I realised I had nowhere neat to put the vacuum cleaner when I had finished (1950's Housewife Problems). This was also when flamingo key box took a tumble.

I've had a hankering to sew, to finish off another item at least from my unfinished projects drawer, this time, the patchwork quilt cover I am making, but in the upheaval, Yarn Crate, which is also where my sewing machine pedal lives, had vanished. So, as I was feeling creative, I decided to sit down and edit some of my novel. Such a novelty doing some writing, it seems an absolute age since I even attempted to do such a thing. There was crochet too, two squares were finished before Bob got his needy knickers on and decided he wanted endless stokes because evidently he was feeling insecure.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

B-Movies Madness: It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)

Oh look, it's another b-movie! This time, 1955's, It Came From Beneath The Sea.
I must say, I especially love this first poster, it's a beauty!

"Operation sea beast
Clear golden gate!"

A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.

A nuclear submarine on manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean, captained by Commander Pete Mathews comes into contact with a massive sonar return.

The boat is disabled but manages to free itself and return to Pearl Harbour where tissue from a huge sea creature is discovered jammed in the submarine's dive planes.

 Marine biologists, Lesley Joyce (Faith Domergue) and John Carter (Donald Curtis) are called in and they identify the tissue as being a small part of a gigantic octopus.

The military authorities pooh pooh this notion, but are finally persuaded after receiving reports of missing swimmers and ships at sea being pulled under by a large creature.

Both scientists conclude the sea beast is from the Mindanao Deep, having been forced from its natural habitat by hydrogen bomb testing in the area, which has made the giant creature radioactive, driving off its natural food supply.

Dun, dun, daaaaaaah!

The local sheriff, Bill Nash takes Pete and Leslie to the site of an attack, where they find a giant suction cup imprint in the beach sand; they then request that John join them.
My absolute favourite bit here has to be when Leslie arguing her case at being able to stay with the men: "You underestimate my ability to help in a crisis."
Bill is then attacked by the giant octopus right in front of them and cue Leslie showing her ability to help ...
"Aggggghhhhh!" shrieks Leslie, in a high pitched hysterical b-movie kind of way.

And it just goes from bad to worse ...

But again, not much in the way of panic.
How calm would you be when faced with this?

Anyway, it was good fun and you'll have to watch to see how it ends.

Did you know ... Because the budget was so low, Ray Harryhausen saved money by building his octopus model with six rather than the correct eight tentacles. He tried to pose the creature so this lack of the right number of arms wasn't apparent.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

B-Movie Madness: Earth Versus The Flying Saucers (1956)

Largely due to my early exposure to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and because I purchased a book about said film when I was ripe for obsession, I have always had a fascination with old science fiction.

Extraterrestrials traveling in high-tech flying saucers contact scientist Dr. Russell Marvin
as part of a plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth.

I was thrilled to find over the Christmas period that many fifties and sixties science fiction films were being shown. Every single day there was one on it seemed.
Of course, now I have a taste for them and am actively searching them out.

Scientist Dr. Russell Marvin, played by Hugh Marlowe and his new bride Carol (Joan Taylor) are driving to work when a flying saucer appears overhead.

Overall, they seemed remarkably calm about this.
I can tell you this for nothing ... I would not be the same. I would panic, there would be hysterical tears and likely scrabbling for cameras in amongst all the squinty eyes and swiping of tears and blotting of noses.
Too much information there?

 This was the closest I saw to panic, when the saucer came over the front of their Ford Mercury.

Without proof of this encounter, other than an accidental tape recording of the ship's sound, Dr. Marvin is hesitant to notify his superiors. He is in charge of Project Skyhook, an American space program that has already launched 10 research satellites into orbit. Carol's father, General Hanley informs Marvin that many of the satellites have since fallen back to Earth.

Marvin admits that he has lost contact with all of them and privately suspects alien involvement. The Marvins then witness the 11th falling from the sky shortly after launch.

When a saucer lands at Skyhook the following day, oddly, nobody seems particularly phased by these extra terrestrial visitors ...

See. Just looking. No panic to be had here.
We are military and science type menfolk, we know not fear, only LOGIC!

and guns ...

 Finally the action you expect from a sci fi film! Aliens in metallic suits exit the saucer, prompting the military to open fire (huzzah for the military being predictable!)  

this results in the death of one alien, while others and the saucer are protected by a force field.

The aliens proceed to kill everyone at the facility but the Marvins

As to not give the plot away for those who might like to see this film too, there is running ...

And alien action a-plenty.

And did I enjoy this?
Yes, yes I did!

Did you know ... The scene of a "destroyer" blowing up is actually stock footage of the sinking of HMS Barham, which occurred on 25 November 1941. To not upset the British public, the Royal Navy decided to withhold an announcement until later; however, in late November 1941 a Scottish medium, Helen Duncan, who had heard of the sinking through a friend, disclosed the sinking during a seance. She was eventually tried under the British Witchcraft Act, the last person before it was repealed.