I love cereal. Dan Goodsell of the wonderful A Sampler Of Things shared some vintage boxes of Alpha Bits from 1961-72. Yum. Alpha Bits has always been one of my long time favorites, but Post doesn’t seem to stock them in stores anymore. My local Safeway carries many inferior Post cereal brands (like the super-sweet Pebbles cereals), but never Alpha Bits. Seriously, what is up with that? I want my Alpha Bits, dammit!
I don’t know why, but I’m attracted to this Betty Crocker frosting commercial featuring a pre-Knots Landing Joan Van Ark. It’s very 1973 housewifey. The person who uploaded this to YouTube, Larynxa, has a bunch of other ’70s commercials and groovy early Sesame Street segments there for all to enjoy.
The Storybook Series: Winnie The Pooh is a current L.A. art show that I’d so love to see in person. Children’s drawings of scenes from a Winnie the Pooh story were hung alongside interpretations of those drawings by adult artists. The results are both funny and whimsical, although it’s interesting how the Disneyfied Pooh characters are so indoctrinated in these children (via Cartoon Brew).
The folks at Criterion designed a nifty package for their edition of the low budget monster movie Equinox. At first I thought Charles Burns drew the art, but it looks like it was appropriated off the movie’s poster art (or maybe a bitchin’ back issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland). The type treatment is very effective. Man, it would be a dream come true to design stuff for them.
Dazed and Confused is another recent Criterion title that got a great box design. The DVD packaging was made to look like a 1970s high school notebook covered in doodles — perfect. I remember, when that movie came out, being disappointed that whoever designed the poster used Emigré’s Template Gothic for the title font. A hip choice back in 1993, but utterly wrong for that film!
My reviews of the Valley of the Dolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls DVDs have been posted at Mindjack Film. The writeup is my happening and it freaks me out.
Since doing that I’ve become sort of obsessed with Dory and Andre Previn’s song “I’ll Plant My Own Tree”, which Susan Hayward memorably performed in the original Valley of the Dolls. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly calls it the world’s worst song — obviously they don’t know about Lil’ Markie’s “Diary of an Unborn Child”. Personally, this “Tree” invigorates me into making wild drag queen poses with my arms all akimbo every time I hear it. All told, I’ve found that versions of the song were recorded by Judy Garland (originally cast in Hayward’s part), Margaret Whiting (dubbing Hayward in the film), Eileen Wilson (when Whiting couldn’t appear on the soundtrack LP for contractual reasons, Wilson stepped in), and Valley stars Patty Duke and Tony Scotti. If anybody might possibly know of other recordings, I’d love to hear of them!
I came across a couple of deliciously mod music performances from YouTube to share here. First off, how groovy are The 5th Dimenion doing “Paper Cup”? Bedazzled uploaded this video a few months back. Love the choreography and their vivid red, white and blue outfits. This Jimmy Webb tune peaked at #34 in late 1967.
Our second clip is cool, real cool — singing duo Jackie & Roy performing “The Word”. Jackie Cain and Roy Kral are special faves of mine, the epitomy of a certain kind of swanky jazzy hipster supper club ’60s vocalese. This particular number is atypical for them (pop/rock covers weren’t their usual bag), but they acquaint themselves with The Beatles pretty well. And I didn’t know that Roy played keyboards until seeing this clip! Check them out.