One Word or Two About a Few Different Things

It’s time for another seeds-and-stems post, collecting bits that don’t add up to a whole post.

—Self promotion goes first. I am going to continue plugging this blog’s companion Tumblr site until you start going over there. If the stuff you read here is of interest to you, the pictures I’m finding and reblogging with commentary are guaranteed to be of interest to you as well. The Tumblr site gets new stuff whenever I find something I like, so it updates more often than this blog does. Start by checking out this fabulous transistor radio. And this space-age London record store of the 1950s. And this picture, which explains a lot.

—It’s starting to feel like piling on to notice oddities and errors in American Top 40 shows, even as it remains mighty interesting to catch them. On the show dated February 1, 1975, Casey said that members of Styx were part of the Trade Winds, a group that hit in 1965 with “New York’s a Lonely Town.” But that group was an entirely different one. Dennis De Young and the Panozzo brothers were once in a band called the Tradewinds—one word, not two—which according to Wikipedia (so who the hell knows) changed its name to TW4 after “New York’s a Lonely Town” hit. (One of the Trade Winds—two words, not one—was Vini Poncia, familiar to liner-note readers of the 70s as a songwriter and producer and most famous for collaborating with Ringo Starr and KISS.) Introducing Barry Manilow’s “Mandy,” Casey referred to the famous commercial jingles Manilow had written, including McDonald’s famous “you deserve a break today.” Nearly everybody on the planet believes Manilow wrote that, but he didn’t. He wrote the slightly less famous “you, you’re the one” for McDonald’s.

—The right hand column of YouTube, where you see videos plausibly related to what you were searching for in the first place, is one of the most effective time-wasters there is. Thanks to a single link over there, I spent far more time than I should have watching videos produced by user Johnnyboy792, including a series devoted to various years of the 1970s. Each one is a comprehensive rundown of what we were watching on TV and at the movies, listening to on the radio, following on the news, and buying.  Because he’s somehow missed doing a video for 1976, you’ll have to start with this one covering 1974 and surf on from there. His work is professional quality with excellent video and sound, intelligently edited and absolutely worth your time. Also highly recommended there: 34 minutes of highlights from Saturday morning cartoons 1964-1976.

—In 1971, Esquire published musical advice to incoming college freshmen, which contains both solid advice and magnificent snark: “Always buy any Rolling Stones album immediately.” But avoid the Jefferson Airplane: “[T]here’s a paradox in screaming for revolution from the confines of a Bentley.”

—I haven’t been reading Living in Stereo regularly, but that’s an oversight that must be corrected. One of its proprietors, author and scholar David Cantwell, wrote a tremendous introduction to the Staple Singers for Slate recently. If you have not yet been baptized by Mavis and the family, get thyownself to the altar.

—On his last Late Night before taking over for Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon performed the Band’s “The Weight,” with a backing band of Muppets. And it was tremendous.

To find more stuff like this, follow me on Twitter. The Twitter widget in this blog’s right-hand column hasn’t been working very well lately, so it’s probably best to cut out the middleman.

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