|Feb. 9, 1980: Robert Hilburn writes, “This production, which continues through Wednesday before moving to New York for its only other American staging, is more than just another night of rock 'n' roll. It's something the band's fans will long remember.'”|
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Don Page features Stan Freberg's "Payola Roll Blues."
Jan. 10, 1960
Don Page did not dig rock 'n' roll music.
How else can you explain these opinions, looking ahead to radio in the 1960s.
"There are signs (if my mail is an indication) that the teen-ager is getting smart and realizing there are other things in life besides rock 'n' roll and hot rods," Page wrote. "If this is true, then radio is in for a swingin' era during the 60s. The accent will be on good music, top sports and expanded news coverage."
Man, he must have been disappointed. Any 1960 teens out there who were giving Mr. Page the wrong idea?
Jan. 3, 1960: Don Page, The Times' longtime radio critic, compiled end of the year lists that ran at the start of the next year about the bests in L.A. radio. So I compared the columns from 1960 and 1970 to see how his view changed from 1959 to 1969.
Let's look at three categories awarded by Page -- best disc jockey, best newscaster and best sportscaster.
Newscaster: Hugh Brundage of KMPC in '59, Ben Chandler of KMPC in '69.
Sportscaster: Vin Scully in '59, Dick Enberg in '69. Wonder how many years Scully won it in between.
Disc jockey: Dick Whittinghill of KMPC in '59, Jimmy Rabbit of KRLA and Paul Compton of KGIL in '69.
Page said the biggest development in 1959 was "the return of good music and the diminution of that terrible musical cancer known as rock 'n' roll." Ten years later, he wrote that radio was "still alive ... but the state of its health is questionable."
Any Daily Mirror readers out there remember any of these folks not named Scully or Enberg? And any guesses what Rabbit's real name was?
Death in December The National Safety Council has focused its apprehension this Christmas on the office party. Before me as I write this is its Drinking and Driving Fact Sheet, a sobering document.
It begins, "During 11 months of the year, drinking is a factor in approximately 30% of all fatal accidents. In December the figure jumps to 55%."
Another punch line, "It takes at least three hours to oxidize (eliminate) one ounce of pure alcohol (about two cocktails)."
And then this one, "Coffee or other stimulants will not offset the effects of alcohol."
NOW JUST A MOMENT, NSC. Are you telling us that drinking black coffee won't bring someone out of his alcoholic lassitude? Are you stating that we've been wrong about its well known medicinal values?
You know, gentlemen, this could be heresy. Don't you realize that black coffee is the traditional prop on which tottering humanity has depended for generations? Why, it's as basic as the movie scene in which the unfrocked doctor, prevailed upon to perform a delicate operation or deliver a baby in a wilderness cabin, shouts hoarsely, "Boil water! Boil all the water you can!"
Come to think of it, the safety people may have the problem upside down. Why not simply urge people to drink coffee instead of liquor at office parties?
NOT LONG AGO reporter Don Dwiggins wrote about an L.A. inventor.
The other day he received a handsome Christmas card from him with this personal message: "Thanks for the nice article about me. My next item will be a button radio operated by the sun. No larger than a dime. You will write about me again in about 8 years. What I want to make will be a ray that will destroy anything within a mile. Merry Christmas."
Now that disc jocks can
no longer beguile,
Perhaps music will come
back in style.
A WEST L.A. householder wishes to add his complaint to those recorded recently by telephone users before the state public utilities commission.
His phone bill last month was unreasonable and on his indignant inquiry he was told there was a $40 charge for a call to Covina. He'd made the call, he said, but not $40 worth. Someone checked and found there'd been a tabulating machine mistake -- it should have been 40 cents -- and he would be credited for the amount.
But when he got this month's bill the $40 charge was still on it. Screaming like a wounded eagle, he said he wouldn't pay it and wanted to know why such a mistake couldn't be corrected in a month.
"Well, after all," he was told, "these things take time!"
MOST FRUSTRATED parents in town are the Ed Hardings. He's a child welfare and attendance worker. They took their 4 1/2-year-old daughter to see Santa Claus and afterward her mother asked, "What did you tell Santa you wanted for Christmas?"
"You'll see!" was the mysterious response.
AN enterprising radio reporter decided to broadcast "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" in 12 foreign languages and was going along fine, with the co-operation of UCLA foreign language departments and consulates, until he came to Thailand.
"I'm sorry we have no such greeting," a man at the Thailand consulate said. "We're Buddhists, you know."
AT RANDOM -- Lady on the phone asks a typographical posy for Robert Burke, driver of a 42 bus. A woman passenger left her briefcase on the seat when she got off at Clinton St. The driver found it when the bus reached Melrose and he stopped, ran the block and gave it to her and ran back. His explanation: "It looked important" . . . There's a gripe about the parking meters springing up all over town. Some people think the fees -- 1 cent for 6 minutes, 5 cents for 30 and a dime for an hour -- are exorbitant . . . Mike Molony overheard an actor type fellow in a Beverly Hills bat cave say to his companion, "So this joker is bucking for Hamlet like always!"
Akron has remote-control dachshunds -- “a zany plaything.”
Johnnie Ray says he just invited a friendly undercover officer up to his room for a nightcap. Nothing indecent about that.
Mr. Flynn, would you like gold plating on that nude statue of your “protege?”
Three of bookstores accused of selling obscene materials are in the 500 block of South Main.
The Fiat Bianchina ($9747.94 USD 2008) gets 40 mpg and has a heater!
“I could have a baby now, but I prefer to wait until I’m 100,” says Dr. Barbara Moore.
Brigitte Bardot in “A Woman Like Satan.” Free Bardot hairstyles and makeup to the first 25 women who attend the showing at the Iris Theatre matinee!!
Ernie Bushmiller -- An early influence on Bill Watterson?
Is Sid Gillman leaving the Rams? And who might take his place?
One of the true pleasures of contributing to The Daily Mirror is reading old columns by Don Page, The Times' longtime radio critic.
I regularly check his work, these days for 1959 and '69. Some things change—by 1969 he no longer wondered whether rock stations will survive or be the end of radio. But there are some constants, such as complaining about too many commercials, too many boring stations and too many stations that sound too similar. Seems to me Page complained a lot and I like that. A reader knew how he felt.
For me, radio in 1969 was Scully and the Dodgers, Dick Enberg and the Angels and KRLA (I'd switch to KMET in a couple of years). How about you?
Nov. 7, 1959: A U.N. group finds no proof that Laos had been invaded by communist troops from North Viet-Nam but discovers that Laotian rebels were supplied by Viet-Nam Reds. You may hear more about Viet-Nam in the days ahead -- much more.
A House committee investigating rigged TV quiz shows turns its attention to payola. Here's a clip from a wonderful satire by Stan Freberg (with Jesse White). Stan Freberg, Payola Blues
Students swarm Vice President Richard Nixon during an appearance at Los Angeles City College, The Times says.
A little more than a week later, Vincent Stones' father, Kenneth, was killed in a car accident. In March 1960, Joanne Elizabeth Selby was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning of her nephew.
Girls go bad in two foreign films, "Night Girls" and "Flesh and the Woman."
Carving a turkey is more difficult than it looks for Ferd'nand.
"Powell 47-Sec. Kayo Victim" and "Indians 4-Point Pick to Scalp Bruins Today." Now there's two headlines you won't see anymore ... and "Cuppers?"
A.A. Allen stages a tent revival in El Monte, with faith healing.
|Oct. 17, 1959: Dear True Love, wait until the Shangri Las release “The Leader of the Pack.” |
|Elvis says of being in the Army: "It was quite a change, of course. But for me, it was a test to prove to other people that you're a man who can take it. I didn't want anybody to think that this is the man who had it easy. I was determined to go to any limits to make this clear. I hope I have."|
Marichal, infamous for taking his bat to Dodger catcher John Roseboro, hit Willie Davis in July and this was the first time since that incident Davis and Marichal met. Nothing happened when Davis was hitting but Marichal was unhappy that a couple of pitches during one of his at-bats were too close.
"The Dodgers, they are dummies if they think I threw at Davis," he told The Times' Ross Newhan. "Sure I am not perfect. Some people say I should have great control and should never hit a batter. Yes, but I am not a rifle. Even a great shooter will miss."
Dodger Manager Walter Alston wasn't buying.
"He is the sensitive one if he thinks he can throw at other people and not be thrown at in return," Alston said. "I can name you a dozen hitters who bear Marichal's scars. He stuck it in Willie Davis' ear and he did it on purpose."
Makes me think twice about the designated hitter.
Aug. 17, 1969: I suppose we at the Daily Mirror HQ should be talking about "Amerika" and how the military-industrial complex sucks the blood of the Woodstock Nation. But we're not. The only thing up against the wall here are the filing cabinets. Coming up in October: The Moratorium peace march!
South African golfer Gary Player is pelted with ice by civil rights protesters at the PGA championship ... and the Fire Department has fewer blacks than it did in 1956.
Nancy becomes a stalker.
Maury Wills returned to Canada for the first time since leaving the Expos so he could return to the Dodgers. There were plenty of boos to go around, almost all of them directed toward Wills, who in the long run didn't let it bother him.
""It's as if the fans here thought I played poorly because I wanted to be traded and now I'm playing good because I was traded," Wills told The Times' Ross Newhan. "Unfortunately I'm not that good of a player to do one thing one day and another thing the next. I also have too much pride."
There was plenty to be proud about against the Expos. Wills singled twice, scored two runs and stole a base in the Dodgers' 9-2 victory in the first game of the series. Then he hit the first grand slam of his career in a 9-3 victory.
Gene Mauch, the Montreal manager and future Angel manager, had an interesting perspective on Wills' short stay with the Expos: "When Maury first came to us from Pittsburgh the fans expected him to be perfect. They booed him when he wasn't and he became tense. Then he tried to meet it with indifference and that certainly isn't Maury Wills."