Posts Tagged ‘1954’

Perry Como’s Wanted Poster

Friday, March 28th, 2008


In 1954, Perry Como released “Wanted” on a 10-inch 78, with “Look Out Your Window” as the B-side; both went up in the charts quickly with Wanted hitting #1. Despite Como being in the prime of his career, RCA made sure the word got out and released this promotional flyer, perfect size for slipping in the 10″ record sleeve of Como’s other albums. Como is accused of the horrendous crime of ‘breaking out with a great new record’ — something ‘dangerous [to] all singing competitors’! Accusing the white-bread, good-natured Como of a crime was a playful turn, but a bit different from the song: Wanted’s lyrics addresses a woman’s criminal act of finding her way into another man’s arms. It seems everyone was engaging in criminal activities! The final line of Como’s crimes uses a apostrophe pun. It could mean, depending on whether the apostophe is a contraction or a possessive, either “Remember — Perry Como is Wanted”, or “Remember Wanted, by Perry Como.” That number under Como’s name? It looks like it could be the number off his jailhouse uniform…but it is, in fact, RCA’s catalog number for the Wanted record.

As a sidenote, I tried to track down Phyllis and her Western Record Shop. Sadly, I have no way of knowing where she was located. I got this flyer exactly how it was intended — stuffed in a 78 of one of Como’s other early-fifties albums — but it was purchased from a travelling Texan antique show dealer, so Phyllis could have been dealing in phonographs anywhere from here to Amarillo.

The Invisible Jet Fighter

Sunday, March 16th, 2008


No, we’re not talking about stealth fightersGrumman’s invisible jet fighter was an example of a very early flight simulator. Using a Reeves analog computer, Grumman compiled test data using models and simulations to program the computer and ‘flight-test’ imaginary aircraft’s data against actual flight information. Analog simulators had been around for about a decade, and digital simulators were gaining a foothold (although, as the advertisement says, Grumman didn’t think much of digital simulation). Analog eventually gave way to real-time digital simulation with the Navy’s UDOFT, the Universal Digital Operational Flight Trainer, which started shortly before Grumman’s ad but wasn’t completed until 1960. As you might guess, these projects eventually spawned imitators in the private sector, resulting in grainy, wireframe simulators — that ran on small personal computers.

In The Bath: November 1954

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008


I know I’ve been heavy on the analysis lately, so in today’s post I have nothing to say about the sink; I can’t tell you about the toy the baby is playing with; I don’t know where the newspaper is from, or what its articles are about; I have nothing to say about asparagus ferns being grown in drinking glasses nor the appropriate use of a roasting pan to bathe small humans. All I know is there’s some 55-year-old man who probably doesn’t want the whole world to see him naked….yet here he is.