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POLAVISION
PolavisionRichard Tolleson remarks about an earlier blog entry: "I remembered seeing 'Polavision' at JC Penney one Christmas. By the next Christmas, Sony had Betamax and RCA had Selectavision in the stores. For years I thought I had imagined that whole Polavision thing. It reminds me of an announcement that was made in the Spring of 1956. A blurb in Broadcasting magazine stated that ABC was ready to reveal a new method for delaying The Mickey Mouse Club for West Coast airing. That same week Ampex introduced videotape, and whatever method ABC was planning on using is lost to history (or at least I haven’t found it yet)."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 9:57am
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THE CARPENTERS
Although there are sublime moments, when it comes to mondo bizarro Christmas specials of the 1970s, The Carpenter's Christmas Portrait stands out amongst a crowded field (read all about The Carpenter's holiday offerings here). There was an album that was released in connection with the TV production that bombed at the time but stands today as a holiday classic. You Tube offers a look at the opening to the special:

Look for Christy and Jimmy McNichol and Fred Astaire, they were guest stars! Here's more with Karen singing with that sublime voice of hers:

Monday, December 11, 2006 - 8:09am
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HOOTENANNY
Hootenanny DVDI've just received a review copy of Hootenanny on DVD from Shout! Factory and what a thrill it is! I'm only into the first of three discs so far but if you're a folk/ country/ gospel/ jazz/ bluegrass/ world music lover then this is the ultimate early-sixties collection!

Remember the movie A Mighty Wind? This is the era and performers they were spoofing (like the Chad Mitchell Trio who open disc one with 'A Might Day'). There are also unbelievably hilarious comedy routines from Vaughn Meader and Woody Allen on the first disc. I'll do a proper review in the review section of this set when I've happily absorbed the entire thing, but wanted to give you a heads up that Hootenanny is now available for pre-order (for a January release date).

(Read about the show on TVparty!) I can't say enough good things about it - and I'm only through the first disc. If there's a more exciting eclectic mix of music on DVD I haven't seen it. Trini Lopez, Mariam Makeba, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Hoyt Axton, Ian & Sylvia, Marion Williams, Doc Watson and dozens of others. This is the it.

Monday, December 11, 2006 - 7:30am
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FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE - 10 YEARS LATER
I try to stay off the soap box here but I would like everyone reading this to become acquainted with the facts in the case of the West Memphis 3, three teens who were railroaded by their redneck local law enforcement agencies for the murder of three very young, innocent children.

There's a devastating 1996 HBO documentary called Paradise Lost (Blockbuster & Netflix have it as well as Amazon) and a follow-up film (Paradise Lost 2) that lays out the facts in a clear and concise way. If we're truly to live in a just society, we have to be sure that the people convicted of horrific crimes are caught and punished. That didn't happen in this case, and one of the young men waits on DEATH ROW for a crime he did not commit. And in that community a child sadist and killer goes free.

I feel bad that there isn't much I can do about it - except for the remote possibility that YOU are someone that can make a difference. As someone who grew up in the South - and live there now - I know how things all-too-often happen (these boys were convicted without a single SHRED of physical evidence - and the state has been dragging their feet for ten years on doing the DNA tests that could exonerate them). Although several high profile celebrities have taken up the cause, I can only imagine the horror these young person's lives must be, incarcerated as they are as child molesting killers.

Travel to wm3.org for more info.

Monday, December 11, 2006 - 7:26am
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MY NEW FAVORITE SITE
And you thought your parents were sketchy. Parents Behaving Badly is an appropriately snarky blog that looks at the many horrible parents in today's news. Somehow they make it funny.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 8:52am
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XMAS SPECIALS
When you think of Christmas, you can't help but think of - Skeletor. In this You Tube clip, Skeletor finds his Christmas spirit from the He-Man Christmas Special.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 8:43am
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YOU TUBING
Here's my favorite comic, Paul Mooney (Richard Pryor Show, Chapelle's Show), talking about Michael Richards.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 1:33pm
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CHRISTMAS MOMENT OF ZEN
From You Tube, a clip from Johnny Cash & Friends - with Johnny, June and the Carter family performing the 12 Days of Christmas. I used to like this song as a kid - but it's too damn long! I don't care if I never hear it again - but it is Johnny Cash from the 1970s.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 8:15am
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