Sunday, June 30, 2013

Johnny Crawford-A Boy's First Lesson in Love-1963

Meet Johnny in person this September at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. Click the banner at the bottom of the page for details!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Donna Douglas

She wasn't really an early crush of mine and I'm not sure exactly why not. She was gorgeous, funny and, in her signature role of Elly Mae Clampett on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, she could kick your butt!

She wasn't quite a one-hit wonder but she was close. He other big claim to TV fame is her role in the classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.

A shot at big screen success opposite Elvis in one of his lesser films, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, made for some nice eye candy for both sexes but her charm simply didn't play that well in movies.

With Elly Mae, though, during the decade-long run of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, Donna embodied such a wonderful character. She was the ultimate animal lover on the show and apparently became the same in real life.  

In one early seventies episode of NIGHT GALLERY, she was downright sexy! Most of the time, though, physical looks aside, she just came across as wholesome.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Skelton

One of my Dad's favorites and thus one that we watched every week was THE RED SKELTON SHOW. It was old-fashioned silliness, maudlin and manipulative at times, but one can't deny it was funny. I remember being bitterly disappointed when Red's show was canceled after having been on my entire life, then happy to see it revived on another network in a half-hour time slot...only to be bitterly disappointed again as his heart just didn't seem to be in it anymore. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dark Shadows

On today's date in 1966, my babysitter and I tuned in to watch a new soap opera called DARK SHADOWS. Well, to be exact, SHE tuned in to watch. I was reading or playing or coloring over on the couch. But I was in the room and I remember thinking what a stupid show it was for a soap--no hospitals, no kissing, no divorces. Even at 7, I knew what to expect in a soap and this wasn't it. If I saw more than a handful of episodes that year, I can't recall any more. But 3 years later it had somehow morphed into a cult show for kids and I had to hurry home to catch it every day after school! 

Last year, a friend gave me the box set with every single episode from 1966 through 1971 and lots of fascinating extras. I'll probably never get around to watching them all but we WILL write more about DARK SHADOWS in the future.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Do These Actors Have In Common?

Did you guess it? That's right! They are ALL performers I grew up enjoying on television in the sixties and seventies! They're good actors and funny comedians and enjoyable personalities. Isn't that really all that matters?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

R.I.P. Gary David Goldberg

FAMILY TIES was one of those series that I liked when I didn't expect to. I liked pretty much everything about it from its turn the traditional sitcom on its ear characterizations to its breakout star, Michael J. Fox. And that was all thanks to its creator, Gary David Goldberg, who passed this week of cancer. Rest In Peace...and thank you for the entertainment, sir!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Here is a selection of the movies that aired on TV in the Cincinnati market for the week ending February 6th, 1976. Some good, some bad...but still better than you find on an average week on cable these days (TCM excepted, of course). Just some of the films that were available to 17 year old film buff me to watch that week.
Tarzan's Magic Fountain-Lex Barker

It Came From Outer Space

Soldier of Fortune-Clark Gable

Klute-Jane Fonda

Tarzan, the Ape Man-Denny Miller

The Big Mouth-Jerry Lewis

The Wackiest Ship in the Army

Sergeant Ryker-Lee Marvin

The Conquerer Worm-Vincent Price

Dakota-John Wayne

Flamingo Road-Joan Crawford

Your Money Or Your Wife-Ted Bessell

Please Don't Eat the Daisies-Doris Day

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Watusi-George Montgomery

Bringing Up Baby-Katherine Hepburn

Monkey Business-Cary Grant

The Stranger Within-Barbara Eden

The Power-George Hamilton

Mary, Mary-Debbie Reynolds

Dark Victory-Elizabeth Montgomery

River of No Return-Marilyn Monroe

The Getaway-Steve McQueen

Scream of the Wolf-Peter Graves

The Mad Room-Stella Stevens

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Mickey Mouse Club

THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB was before my time but continued for reruns well into the 1960s which gave me the chance to fall for Annette Funicello just like the kids of the previous decade. My own son, born in 1996, also enjoyed it even though it was, at that point, on at Midnight and clearly aimed at nostalgic older viewers. He would stay up to watch ZORRO and THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB before falling asleep. Seen here is an article from back when it was originally on.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Unaired/Unsold Rarities For Sale

As much as I love my favorite shows, I've always been fascinated by what MIGHT have been. Our BOOKSTEVE RARITIES is a DVD sale site where we offer the single best selection of hard to find movies and TV shows, all at $7.00 each plus $6.00 postage for however many you order unless otherwise listed on the site. Some of my favorite things we offer are the multiple volumes of unsold or unaired TV pilot films. Take a look at these and try to resist. Ordering information is at this link:  


THE PHANTOM  (1954)  Stars Lon Chaney, Jr. and Paulette Goddard
ARCHIE ANDREWS  (1961)  Stars William Shallert
THE SHADOW  (1954)  Stars Tom Helmore as Lamont Cranston


THE GLASS PALACE  (1961) with Anne Francis, Ricardo Montalban and more!
COURT OF LAST RESORT  "The Frank Clark Case"
MANN OF ACTION  (1958)  Unsold pilot with John Ireland
N.O.P.D.  "Revenge"  Stars Stacy Harris in the pilot episode!


The Secret Life of James Thurber  (March of 1961)
The Adventurer  (1964 version)
The Adventurer  (1971 version with Gene Barry)


Sea Divers  (1956)
David Harding, Counterspy  (1958)
Witchcraft  (1958 with Franchot Tone and Darren McGavin)
Who Goes There?  (1963 with Pat Hingle)


Johnny Ringo  (1959, part of the Zane Grey Theater)
The Man From Galveston  (the full 57 minutes long!)
Western Union  (1958)


The Fat Man (1958) Robert Middleton plays the role of the Fat Man, based on the popular radio series of the same name.  Just to fill in the fun, this 2-disc set also features the 1951 movie featuring J. Scott Smart, who played the role on the radio program.  This was the only two times the series was filmed, so now you can watch both versions!


BLACK BART  (1970s)  This was the only attempt at bringing BLAZING SADDLES to the boob tube.  Louis Gossett plays the lead!  Also Included is the DICK POWELL THEATER episode with Mickey Rooney and a cast of others in the pilot for BURKE'S LAW (so you get to see Dick Powell in the role of Amos Burke)!

"The Great Merlini"  An amateur magician played by Jerome Thor, tries to solve the mystery of a murdering ghost. "Cool and Lam" The creator, Earl Stanley Gardner (creator of Perry Mason), appears on camera for this pilot, about a missing woman. "Las Vegas Beat" Shot on location in Vegas, Peter Graves plays a private eye who is hot on the trail of a gang that robbed an armored car.

Four classic unaired TV pilots for programs that never got aired as a regular series.  “Daddy-O” stars Don DeFore in a pilot known for having overblown laugh tracks. “The Dennis Day Show” with Dennis Day, popularly known as Jack Benny’s Irish tenor. “Little Amy” don’t miss a young Jack Nicholson in this rarely-seen pilot. “Time Out for Ginger” stars Candy Moore in as comedy that hasn’t been seen in forty plus years.

Tales of Frankenstein  (1957)
Here Comes Tobor  (1958)
Operation: ESP  (1957)
Destination Space  (1958)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

R.I.P. James Gandolfini

Almost ashamed to admit that I've never seen an episode of THE SOPRANOS but I have seen Gandolfini in other things as well as in various interviews and he always seemed a nice guy and a good actor. Rest in Peace, sir.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Here's a dorky 1983 series that I kind of liked. The always personable Desi Arnaz Jr starred. Never a great actor but a fun presence. He creates the world's first "automatic man," a living computerized hologram programmed to be able to do just about anything and everything. AUTOMAN! Chuck Wagner with an odd accent played the title role with TRON spfx and was much like a human version of the car in KNIGHTRIDER.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Men of Steel

Over at Facebook, I've started a new group in tribute to ALLof the actors who have portrayed Superman over the years on television, radio, movies, cartoons, Broadway, etc. Thanks to Derek Tague for the idea. If you're a Facebooker, join us here: 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

RCA Color TV Ad with Jack Benny and Johnny Carson

We didn't get ours until the summer of '68 but the writing was on the wall in this 1966 ad. Color was IN!