Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mr. Ghost Goes to Town - The Five Jones Boys

I wasn't able to find any specific information on The Five Jones Boys, the band that voiced this 1936 version of Mr. Ghost Goes to Town (yes, 1936 not 1938 as the video implies). I only know the date of the recording due to the good work of Mike the Barber and his wonderful weekly WFMU radio program, The Ragged Phonograph Show. I thought it'd make a good Halloween tune, though!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Funnies Bonus: Economies (1914)

Life Magazine, December 31, 1914

Something to consider when going to the polls this election day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Funnies - New York (1901)

"Excuse me, is his Majesty in?"
Clerk: "No sir, he's in New York."
"When do you expect him back?"
"We don't expect him back."

Life Magazine, August 22, 1901

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Funnies - A Taste of War (1914)

If those who bring about war were given a taste of it.
Life Magazine, October 1, 1914

A special 100 Years Ago comic from the pages of Life Magazine. History has given World War I the moniker "The Great War", but clippings of the time show a much different sentiment as men and material were fed into the meat-grinder that was trench warfare. All the patriotic songs and star-spangling can't change the fact the trenches and no-man's land of northern France was a blood-soaked killing ground for the world's youth. The sad thing is it would remain so for another four years.

I'll be airing another update on the anniversary of World War I in the near future, stay tuned!

Earl Motors

Earl Motors of Jackson, Michigan never rose to the level of Studebaker, Nash, or Packard. It came into being with the automobile fad of the jazz age, incorporated in 1921 and it died a quiet death in 1924 having produced less than 2000 cars. Earl sprang from the Briscoe Motor Company, offering touring cars for $1285 and offering extras such as linoleum floorboards and front and back carpets.

Benjamin Briscoe appointed Clarence Earl as president of his Briscoe Motor Company in March of 1921 and abandoned the automotive business that same year. Earl renamed the company, announcing that the opening salvo of the newly minted Earl Motors would be a brand new four-cylinder car which actually was just the Briscoe with a new name and a few modifications to improve power and make the automobile larger.

The troubles that had driven Benjamin Briscoe didn't leave when he abandoned his company. Earl found himself saddled with a large debt and a board with which he clashed. In November of 1922, Earl resigned and turned Earl Motors over to its board which drove the company into the ground. In Early 1924 Earl Motors was sold to Standard Motor Parts Company of Detroit and mothballed.

This ad comes from the August 1922 issue of Automobile Topics, a time when Earl was at the helm and locked in a battle with his banker board members. This was before the board took charge and began trimming Earl's offerings to low-cost models. It's a spare ad, nothing like you see from Dodge or Ford during this same time. There are no image of feckless youth, no idle rich, no feel for the Earl brand. Just copy and line drawings, lingering like ghosts at the margins.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Monster Mashing: Flying Saucer Baby

Halloween always has been good for a few monster-related songs and, being a writer of horror and fantasy, I couldn't avoid adding a few to the trick-or-treat bag this year. So, we'll kick things off with some rockabilly, The Slingshots with Flying Saucer Baby.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Ragtime Goblin Man

Just a quick little kickoff for October. I have the sheet music for this ragtime novelty tune and I thought it'd make a nice tune to get the Halloween season started. So, why not have a listen?

Quote for October

“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.”
~ Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

100 Years Ago - Hallowe'en Party Planning

A little party planning from The Woman's Magazine October 1914 issue. Pardon the small print, there's only so much magnifying that can be done before it stops making the words clearer and begins turning them into an ink-blot test!

Grape Nuts!

I don't know, personally I think there's something wrong with your choice of friends if they're willing to openly mock your digestive problems - especially while one of them actually is dressed as a jackass.