Monday, November 23, 2015

Barker's Beauties

One of my early favorite game shows was Bill Cullen's THE PRICE IS RIGHT from the early 1960s.  One of my favorite game show hosts was Dennis James. In 1972, THE PRICE IS RIGHT was revived with Dennis James hosting a syndicated nighttime version and Bob Barker hosting the daytime network version. I don't recall if they were on Dennis's short-lived version but Bob had two actress/models known for their nude scenes, Janice Pennington and Anitra Ford, as his spokesmodels.

I enjoyed watching the show and developed a minor crush on Anitra.

Dian Parkinson joined the show and later Anitra left to be replaced by red-headed Holly Hallstrom. My dad retired in 1978 after getting hit by a car while out walking one day. He became addicted to THE PRICE IS RIGHT as it slowly evolved from a half hour game show to an hour and then to 90 minutes! Since I was out of school and working nights, I joined in the daily ritual of watching the show and we both enjoyed the "antics"of the ladies, by that point known as Barker's Beauties.

In time, the whole thing fell apart--as good things too often do--with charges of harassment and discrimination flying back and forth and lawsuits everywhere. Dian claimed a long affair with Bob that she was forced into, Holly was fired and won a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and Janice just seemed a tad insane in talk show appearances with a hard to believe story about her husband's murder.

But for a time it was all great fun as far as the public saw, and a special memory for me of my dad.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Music Connection-1970

This is one of those things that I remembered so fondly but no one else seemed to recall. I would have been 11 when THE MUSIC CONNECTION premiered in September of 1970.  For all intents and purposes, it was MTV a full decade before MTV! Band videos (largely from Germany's BEAT CLUB as I recall) accompanied light shows and varying cool film and images set to songs by popular groups or performers of the day. I remember the Friends of Distinction's version of "Grazin' In the Grass" being in heavy rotation. There was even a prototype VJ--voice only--who was called a "Telejocky" according to this article. I used to have it on all afternoon on weekends when I was 11 years old, just grooving to the music and images while I read comic books.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention 2015

If you haven't already made your plans to attend this year's 10th Anniversary of Martin Grams' Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, you only have a couple of weeks left. Amongst the delights always found at Martin's shows, this year sees a reunion of Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner and Richard Anderson, the stars of TV's hit bionic shows of the seventies. Also, the Livingston brothers from MY THREE SONS reunite with their TV sister-in-law, Tina Cole. 

My friends Stu Shostak and Jerry Beck will also be heading east for this show and Jerry will be doing a Fleischer Studios presentation.

No, in case anyone is wondering, I won't be there myself. Being perpetually broke and paranoid about traveling these days is unfortunately a detriment which causes me to miss out on cool stuff like this. But you don't have to! Make your plans now.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Honeymoon Suite-1972

Nearly forgotten and even largely undocumented on the 'Net is this early seventies program. It was a 90 minute all-star romance anthology along the lines of LOVE AMERICAN STYLE only with continuing peripheral characters along the lines of the later LOVE BOAT series. Rose Marie starred as a maid and Henry Gibson as a bellboy. In later episodes of this occasional mid-afternoon ABC series, Morey Amsterdam was the bellboy and Richard Deacon the hotel manager. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sugar Time

Sugar was the name of the aspiring all-girl pop trio in James Komack's SUGAR TIME, a fun if short-lived 1977 sitcom that also served as a vehicle for Barbi Benton, the cuter than cute model/singer/comedienne equally known for her appearances on HEE HAW and for being Hef's longtime companion.

Marianne Black co-starred. I'm pretty sure I saw her in summer stock a couple of years earlier as Marianne BROWN.