Retro Pop-Art Award of the Month

December 4, 2012

I did one of these posts a couple years ago and called it the pop-art award of the week.  That was a lie.   I haven’t even attempted to address this on a weekly basis.  We’ll see if  monthly is a more attainable goal.

Anyway, I found this awesome 1950’s-style Martha White muffins ad in my wife’s Southern Living magazine for December 2012.  Kinda girly, but so retro-cool!

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Tinsel & Twang

November 21, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time for Christmas music!

My EP Tinsel & Twang is now available everywhere…really. It’s a collection of unique and retro-styled renditions of 7 holiday classics. Download it today at iTunes or Amazon MP3

Includes these tracks:

1. Jingle Bell Rock
2. Happy Holiday
3. Holly Jolly/Winter Wonderland
4. Mele Kalikimaka
5. Frosty the Snowman
6. The Christmas Waltz
7. Hawaiian Sleigh Ride

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Support Anaheim Historical Society

November 12, 2012

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Anaheim is my hometown, and I think it’s great! Home of Disneyland. Home of the Angels. The list of great Anaheim connections goes on.

During the month of November, you can support this organization and its worthy cause by purchasing my song Katella – a musical tribute to Anaheim and its best known street. It’s just $0.89!

Fifty percent of each purchase during November goes to the AHS.

Let’s step up for Anaheim!

I’m Like Criswell

October 30, 2012

You’ve been asking yourself, “Self, whatever happened to Lost Transmission?”

You’ve been thinking, “How have I survived the last ten months without a new post from that retro guy?”

You’ve been wondering, “What will it it take for my favorite blog to get back online?”

Yes, like the great Criswell, I can foresee the past and read your mind.

The good news is…I’m back. And what brought me up out of a big pile of mothballs to resurface now? Commercialism. It’s Halloween tomorrow, and we all know what that means. Time to get on with Christmas!

Click me!

To that end, check out my EP, “Tinsel & Twang”. This collection of seven instrumental Christmas classics is yours to download at iTunes and Amazon MP3 for less than $7.00! I can’t believe it either!

Get in the Christmas spirit early this year with some retro-styled tunes from yours truly. There’s something for everybody, here. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, surf, country, jazz and rockabilly all wrapped up in red and green like a great big present with your name on it under a pink aluminum Christmas tree. It’s your favorite seasonal songs smokin’ hot as a flaming yule log. It’s Tinsel meets Twang! Only 55 shopping days left until Christmas!

If you’re in an extra-sarcastic Christmas mood, download my song “Christmas at Wendy’s” at iTunes. While you’re at it, buy two…make it a gift!

Check back in again soon. I’ll try not to stay gone so long this next time!

 

 

Retro Symbiosis

January 10, 2012

My symbiotic connection to the 1950’s continues to amaze even me.  I don’t honestly know how this bit of trivia escaped my notice until now, but here goes:

I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Ozzie and Harriet TV show since I was a teenager.  The early shows are undoubtedly the better shows for a variety of reasons, which include the appearance of Don DeFore as the Nelsons’ friendly neighbor, Thorny.  He has truly always been my favorite character on the show.

Don DeFore is a little-known name among most people today, but he appeared in many movies and TV shows and served as the President of the National Academy of Television Arts from 1954-1955.  He was instrumental in bringing the Emmy awards to be broadcast on television.  He has a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame, and Judy Garland was maid of honor at his wedding.

In addition to his career in Hollywood, Don DeFore holds the distinction of being the only sole proprietor to ever run a business inside Disneyland.  From 1957 to 1962, Don and his brother ran Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue in Disneyland in a space formerly occupied by a mexican restaurant called Casa De Fritos.  After 1962, the building became Aunt Jemima’s pancake restaurant, which eventually became what it is today – The Riverbelle Terrace.

Where do I fall into this story?  Well, in 1988, and 18-year-old kid (an unlikely fan of Mr. Don DeFore) got a job at Disneyland bussing tables.  Guess where my most regular assignment was.  The Riverbelle Terrace.

I sent an email to Ron DeFore, the son of Don DeFore to inquire about any existing reproductions of Silver Banjo memorabilia.  Apparently there are none…only the original sign, menu,  etc, which are in his basement.  He suggested if I was a millionaire collector, I might offer him an exorbitant sum.  Alas, I am not and cannot.

It’s cool to think that in some dimension of fate, my life is linked to the 1950’s era I love so much.  The Lost Transmission-Ozzie and Harriet connection is just the latest in my own “six degrees of separation” story to mid-century American culture.

Eureka!

January 1, 2012

Lately I’ve had some real groovy luck in my quest for cool records.  One day alone was like striking black gold (of the vinyl variety).  Let me share…

Maybe you thought $2 for Les Paul was cheap, but lay your peepers on this gem I picked up in a record shop in Alabama for $1.00!  The Rockats Live at the Ritz.  I felt like I righted a great wrong that day.  This baby was the Rockats debut album in 1981, and it’s in near mint condition…for a dollar!!   My father-in-law (who was with me) incredulously exclaimed, “How in the world do you hear about these bands?”  I just lead a charmed life, I guess.  What a great album!

But wait, there’s more!  Next I found a 1957 original in the same $1.00 bin as the Rockats.  Louis Prima’s classic album “The Wildest!”  This is 1950’s adult cool at its best.  The cover’s not in the best shape, but I think it gives it character.  Whoever bought this item in ’57 played it, and it still sounds great today!  Also check out the cool ’50’s Las Vegas graphics from the flipside cover.

 

But this ain’t over by a long shot.  Next up is a rockabilly band even I had never heard of, but just spotting the cover of this platter was all I needed to know I was hot on the trail of another tasty rock and roll morsel.  Kevin Fayte and Rocket 8.  What?!  On Nervous Records from 1985.  Wasn’t sure this looked too promising.  This album had 20 songs on it!  I figured, how good could this be?  Know what?  It’s not bad!  I was pleasantly surprised.  For $5.95, I picked up an ’80’s rockabilly band I’d never heard of on a near-mint original LP, and enjoyed some good rockabilly to boot!

 

Well, that’s all for now.  I have a few more little items to share from this adventure.  All in good time.

Keep rockin’!

Capitol H416

December 3, 2011

Antique stores are a mixed bag.  Sometimes they’ve got junk at exorbitant prices.  Sometimes they’ve got treasures at dirt cheap prices.  This week I encountered the latter.

Check out Capitol Records EP H416, Les Paul and Mary Ford * The Hit Makers.  This record is vintage 1953 and the cover is in superb condition.  Awesome guitar and jukebox graphics on the reverse side and a rockin’ font type.

I snatched up this wax for $2.75.  The record has a crack through one side, but plays like a dream anyway.  The cover was worth the purchase alone.

It’s ok to drool, daddy-o.

 

Taco Casa

September 20, 2011

Pretty awesome modern-day, retro-style signage in Birmingham, AL.

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Going to Adventureland

August 9, 2011

I’ve always been fascinated by the old Disneyland attraction posters that hang in the tunnels under Main Street Station as you enter Disneyland. Nothing was more exciting as a kid than seeing these great pieces of art beckoning me to ride the Columbia, set sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, brave the Jungle Cruise, bobsled the Matterhorn, etc.  The images still give me butterflies in the stomach.  Even reproductions of these posters are quite expensive, so I’ve set my mind on a previously-unattempted feat for me.  I’m entering an “Adventureland” of sorts.  I’m going to try to paint my own poster – acrylic on canvas.

Perhaps I’m crazy, but it’s worth a shot.  Just for a teaser and to get me in the zone, I free-handed a copy of the old Jungle Cruise (Jungle River) poster tonight using pencil and Crayon on a piece of off-white construction paper. Check it out and compare with the original below.  Not bad for an accounting major, huh?

Some of the details are missing in mine (the bird on the hippo’s tooth and splashes in the water at the bow of the boat), my scale is off (my boat canopy isn’t positioned quite right), and the small wording at the top is off-kilter, but I did this pretty fast.  Besides, this was just my trial run.  The colors aren’t quite perfect either, but hey, I raided my kids’ crayon stash. I was somewhat limited to colors like “Burnt Sienna”,  “Maize”, “Gray” and “Green”.  I’ll do my best to get the lines and colors dead-on for the final product.

Overall, I am very happy with how this turned out, so this will probably be the first poster I attempt. However, I’m not as confident with paint and brush. I’ll post the results when I’m done.

Wish me luck…

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Cut Paper and Stuff

August 7, 2011

This week I’ve been reminded how many kindred spirits there are out there who are obsessed with mid-century American pop culture – the happy, whimsical and colorful images from commercial advertising, entertainment, tiki culture, and Disneyana.  Some other folks just don’t see these images the same way.  To them, mid-century art is just old.  They might easily toss out as trash an old magazine or candy wrapper from the 1950’s, but not me.  For me, it’s home. Maybe it’s a sign of the time of my birth.  Being born in 1970 placed me pretty close to those golden days – the stuff was all around me.  Maybe it’s a southern California thing, where the art and architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s seemed to take a special foothold.  Maybe it’s a combination of both time and place.  I recorded a song about this called “Katella“, if you’re interested in hearing it.  If not, keep on reading.

Anyway, one particular artist who absolutely gets it is another southern Californian and a Disney designer/artist – Kevin Kidney. If you haven’t seen this talented gentleman’s artwork, go here.  I’ve also added his blog to my favorite blogs on the right hand side of the Lost Transmission blog.

He seems especially drawn (no pun intended) to work in tiki artforms, which is how I first discovered his work.  He has recreated many of the figures and images from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in various forms.  Incidentally, the Tiki Room is my top favorite Disneyland attraction.  A close second is the Haunted Mansion.  I have waffled for years between these two for this place in my heart, and I always come back to the Tiki Room in the end…but I digress.

Mr. Kidney does incredible work in cut paper, and his blog includes links to some other incredible artists and Disney sites.  I asked him a question about his paper art, as my 7-year-old son is currently fascinated with creating paper images of nearly everything.  Kevin was very gracious in his reply and very encouraging to my son, who’s latest creation was a construction paper version of Brainy Smurf (I’d prefer Deputy Dawg, but at least he’s trying).

I hope I’m raising a budding mid-century-inspired artist.  I’ll keep you posted.