Sunday, October 31, 2010

more press on the Road Movies book

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Letters to Louise Brooks

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ladies & gentlemen, Ms. Beverly Washburn!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mr. Druxman says:

I just came across this on an website that I visit. It's from the documentary that accompanies THE MALTESE FALCON Special Edition DVD & Blu-Ray.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Van's book wins recognition

2010 ARSC Awards for Excellence

The Association for Recorded Sound Collections is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers of books, articles, liner notes, and monographs, to recognize outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound. In giving these awards, ARSC recognizes outstanding contributions, encourages high standards, and promotes awareness of superior works. Two awards may presented annually in each category—one for best history and one for best discography. Certificates of Merit are presented to runners-up of exceptionally high quality. The 2010 Awards for Excellence honor works published in 2009.


Best Discography:

Chuck Berry International Directory, by Morten Reff (Music Mentor)

Certificates of Merit:

Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, by William Ferris (University of North Carolina Press)

Hand Me Down My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, by Michael Gray (Chicago Review Press)


Best History:

Kirill Kondrashin: His Life and Music, by Gregor Tassie (Scarecrow)

Certificate of Merit:

Othmar Schoeck: Life and Works, by Chris Walton (Rochester University Press)


Best History:

Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times, by Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean (Gotham)

Certificate of Merit:

The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Legacy in Country Music, by Jocelyn R. Neal (Indiana University Press)


Best Discography:

La Musique antillaise en France discographie 1929-1959 / French-Caribbean Music in France a discography 1929-1959, by Alain Boulanger, John Cowley and Marc Monneraye (AFAS)

Best History:

The Wild Man of Rhythm: the Life and Music of Benny Moré, by John Radanovich (Florida University Press)

Certificate of Merit:

Ramblin' Jack Elliot: The Never-Ending Highway, by Hank Reineke (Scarecrow)


Best Discography:

American Dance Bands on Record and Film, 1915-1942, by Richard J. Johnson and Bernhard H. Shirley (Rustbooks)

Best History:

Perry Como: A Bibliography and Complete Career Record, by Malcolm Macfarlane and Ken Crossland (McFarland)

Certificates of Merit:

Sonic Boom: the history of Northwest Rock, from “Louie, Louie” to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Peter Blecha (Backbeat)

Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of Independent Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneers, by John Broven (University of Illinois Press)


Best History (tie):

Jade Visions: the Life and Music of Scott LaFaro, by Helene LaFaro-Fernández (University of North Texas Press)

The Ghosts of Harlem: Sessions with Jazz Legends, by Hank O’Neal (Vanderbilt University Press)

Certificate of Merit:

From Harlem to Hollywood: My Life in Music, by Van Alexander and Stephen Fratallone (Bear Manor)


Best History:

Three Score and Ten: Topic Records at 70, by David Suff (Topic)

Certificate of Merit:

King of the Queen City: the Story of King Records, by John Hartley Fox (University of Illinois Press)


Best History:

How Does it Sound Now? Legendary Engineers and Vintage Gear, by Gary Gottlieb (Course Technology PTR)

Certificate of Merit:

Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music, by David Suisman (Harvard University Press)


John Bolig wins the ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual in recognition of his or her life’s work in published recorded sound research. The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to John Bolig. John is the author of two discographies of Enrico Caruso and a series of discographies (six to date) outlining releases by the Victor Talking Machine Company. His books are the result of collecting, research conducted in Victor's archives for more than fifty years, consultation of Victor catalogs, and correspondence with fellow collectors and discographers. They provide comprehensive documentation of Victor's early output, including recordings dates, dates when recordings were first released and then deleted from catalogs, and uses of masters on subsequent Victor 78s and HMV releases. John's publications are of consistently high quality. He is renowned for his thorough research, strict adherence to that which can be documented in print and archival sources, and his generosity to other researchers and discographers. His bibliography includes:The Recordings of Enrico Caruso: A discography (1973), Caruso Records: A History and Discography (2002), The Victor Red Seal Discography (2004), The Victor discography: green, blue, and purple labels (1910-1926) (2006), Gems : the Victor Light Opera Company discography (1909-1930) (2005), The Victor Black Label Discography : 16000-17000 Series (2007), The Victor Black Label Discography : 18000-19000 series (2008)

Steve Smolian Recieves the 2010 ARSC Award for Distinguished Service to Historical Recordings

The Award for Distinguished Service to Historic Recordings is presented annually to an individual who has made contributions of outstanding significance to the field of historic recordings in forms other than published works or discographic research. The 2010 ARSC Distinguished Service Award was presented to Steve Smolian. Steve has been a leading expert on audio preservation, restoration, and consulting for over 40 years, serving major institutions, smaller archives, and the public at large. He has successfully completed substantial restoration projects for major musical aggregations- the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestras- and organizations emphasizing the spoken word- the George Meany Memorial Archives, the Maryknoll Mission Archives and the American Jewish Archives. Recently he has performed preservation-related services for the Library of Congress, the National Archives Advisory Committee on Preservation (including consultation on the Nixon White House tapes), the Department of Justice and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as two of the Presidential Libraries. He has done appraisal work for the Library of Congress, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Steve is also involved with NPR’s Lost and Found Sound, restoring materials submitted by Quest for Sound callers. Steve is a long time member of ARSC, and serves on AAA committee and the Copyright and Fair Use committee, among other activities.


Winners are chosen by the ARSC Awards Committee: five elected judges representing specific fields of study, the ARSC President, and the Book Review Editor of the ARSC Journal. The members of the 2010 ARSC Awards Committee are:

Roberta Freund Schwartz (Committee Chair)

Brenda Nelson-Strauss (ex-oficio)

Vincent Pelote (ARSC President)

James Farrington (Book Review Editor, ARSC Journal)

Dennis Rooney (Classical Music Judge)

Cary Ginnell (Judge-At-Large)

Dan Morgenstern (Jazz Music Judge)

William L. Schurk (Popular Music Judge)

Richard Spottswood (Judge-at-Large)

Additional information about ARSC, including lists of past ARSC Award Winners and Finalists, may be found at

Friday, October 1, 2010

MANC was a hit!

BearManor Media sold a lot of books at Martin Grams' MANC con last weekend! Here's what Martin has to say about the event:

Once again, the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention was a tremendous success. The attendance grew in size as usual and almost topped 1,000! While most conventions are getting smaller every year (no doubt due to an aging fan base and slow economy), MANC has continue to grow in size. The convention promoters received feedback from the fans after the event, and half of them are saying the same statement, one of whom phrased it best:
Lily and I were especially impressed that you developed this conclave with a genuine compassion for nostalgia.

Joel Blumberg of Silver Screen Audio, and co-author of the up-coming Lloyd Nolan book through Bea Manor, hosted the interviews with most of the celebrities, including Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND), Marsha Hunt (Hollywood actress), Mark Goddard (LOST IN SPACE), Will Hutchins (SUGARFOOT), Geri Reischl (THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR), Ed Nelson (PEYTON PLACE), and Roy Thinnes (THE INVADERS). Joel Blumberg has done commentaries and features for several DVDs, including those released through VCI Entertainment. He made his debut at the Nostalgia Convention last year and referred to it as "one of the his most enjoyable events."

A new addition to this year's event was the program guide. In lavish color, slick and glossy, attendees were able to read up on the weekend celebrities, review the schedule of events and given a sneak peak at next year's guests which include Tony Dow and Davy Jones. Complimentary issues of nostalgia magazines were available to the public, as well as plenty of promotional flyers, brochures and postcards. Alpha Video was one of the sponsors and some of their DVDs were used as giveaways in the goody bags for those who pre-registered instead of paying admission at the door. VCI Entertainment was set up to display their wares, which included the two GREEN HORNET cliffhanger serials. This reviewer was able to ask VCI when season two of BURKE'S LAW was scheduled for release and I am pleased to say it won't be long.

A charity auction raised money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Some of the merchandise sold included autographed memorabilia. A drive-in movie theater outside the hotel offered a screening of THE BRAIN EATERS from 1958, with weekend guest Ed Nelson. The 1954 Vincent Price classic, HOUSE OF WAX, was screened inside the hotel on Thursday night in 3D and glasses were provided. Attendees agreed that the paddle ball sequence was worth watching. Old time radio recreations of THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER and THE LONE RANGER added carrots to a meat and potatoes event. THE LONE RANGER was unique because the recreation was from a "lost" 1934 radio broadcast and featured a rendition of The Lone Ranger that most fans are not aware of -- the Masked Man even goes in guns blazing to shoot all the villains dead and ride off into the sunset.

The new hotel, the Hunt Valley Marriott, was a welcome addition this year. The size of a convention center, large enough for the convention to continue to grow, the new hotel also has a shuttle that costs only $1.60 for those flying in to the nearest airport and need transportation. The room where the seminars were held was larger than last year, but not good enough. Some of the seminars were standing room only but the convention promoters ensure us that they will be renting a room three times the size starting next year. Seminars included the history of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., rare Buster Keaton
film shorts (hosted by Rob Farr of Slapsticon), the life and screen career of Harry Langdon (courtesy of Anne Dawson), the history of ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE, Nancy Drew in book form and other girl detectives of the times, and the pulp magazine art of H.J. Ward. Among the other seminars was Fran Striker Jr. who discussed how his father created THE LONE RANGER and THE GREEN HORNET.

Movies screened in the movie room varied from Bob Hope's 1956 Christmas Special, Shirley Temple's first motion picture, Crusader Rabbitt cartoons, Howdy Doody, unaired TV pilots with Dale Robertson and Roy Thinnes, THE SCENE STEALERS from 1965 with Jimmy Durante, Ed Wynn and Buster Keaton, rare film noir movies such as CITY THAT NEVER SLEEP (1953), the TruColor print of SPRINGTIME IN THE SIERRAS with Roy Rogers, and the extended preview print of Laurel and Hardy's PARDON US (which I timed and it was indeed longer than any print I have ever seen).

Original documentaries were screened. THE DOUBLE LIFE OF MOE BERG by Alex Flaster was magnificent. Leah Biel's FOR THE RECORD was an enjoyable view. THE POET LAUREATE OF RADIO, a documentary about Norman Corwin, makes me really want to meet the man in person and the convention promoters said they are working on having Corwin as a guest next year.

With celebrities signing autographs, talking with fans and generally reminiscing about life on the silver (or TV) screen, enough vendors to spread over two floors of the hotel, seminars every hour on the hour, and a growing attendance that is noticeable to those who have attended past years, the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention has certainly become the destination convention of the year. Next year's dates, according to the program guide, is September 22 to 24, 2011. For more information, check out the convention web-site at