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atari-day-retro-radio-memories-ep-78

Retro Radio Memories Ep. 078 (Super Breakout)

You would be right in thinking that Super Breakout, the hit sequel to the equally successful 1976 arcade title Breakout might seem an odd choice to adapt into a storybook and record. Yet that is exactly what the Kid Stuff label did – along with Missile Command, Asteroids, and Yar’s Revenge. Which we have shared on the site once or twice before. So for this installment of Retro Radio Memories we are doing something just a little different.
atari-day-super-breakout
We are not sharing an Old Time Radio program this week but a retro record.

If it’s Retro Radio Memories why are you sharing a record?


Good question. The answer is that this is the 26th of the month. You know what that means, right?

That is right! It is Atari Day!
Image courtesy of Atari I/O's Facebook page.

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


How did they turn Super Breakout into a storybook and record?!


That too is a very good question…especially considering the gameplay of that classic title.

I won’t ruin the story for you but I will say they took an intergalactic adventure approach to it all. Inspired I suppose by the Atari 2600 game artwork they used for the cover of the book and record.

So join us on Retro Radio Memories or perhaps Retro Record Memories for Super Breakout!

If you have any comments or feedback for the show you can e-mail them to at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also reach me on Twitter and of course on Facebook.

The music on the podcast was graciously provided by Peachy! You may contact him by e-mail at peachy@Retroist.com.
Subscribe To The Retro Radio Memories Podcast:
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Directly download the Retro Radio Memories Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
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To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari IO’s site by clicking on the link here!

the-drain-projectionists-sinister-tales-of-terror-ep-7

The Projectionist’s Sinister Tales Of Terror Episode 07 (The Drain)

Hello, Dear Listeners! Does the way life treat you outside of the Retroist Vault have a similar feeling to circling The Drain?

Heh, heh.

Then I ask you to join me down here in the Vault for a small break from all of that. That heavy burden that is obviously such a drain?

Give me the chance to regale you again with some appropriately gruesome short stories from my tome of terror. Perhaps when I am finished with you, er, I mean the tale today. Why you might even leave here…and find yourself GRATE-ful?

Now then dim those infernal electrical lights and lean in closer to the glow of your radio. As I begin the seventh broadcast of Sinister Tales of Terror with The Drain.

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Directly download the Sinister Tales of Terror:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)

biff-tannen-kentucky-fried-chicken

Biff Tannen Sold Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Well, honestly it wasn’t Biff Tannen that sells some of that world famous Kentucky Fried Chicken but Thomas F. Wilson. Who played Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future trilogy.

Actually in all honesty he doesn’t even sell the chicken in this 1983 television commercial. I guess I haven’t done a very good job of this post in hindsight. I mean when you get down to it the ad is actually about the deliciousness of those KFC Buttermilk biscuits.
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Having said that – I think it is fair to say the actors in the commercial at the very least sell how tasty the food is, right?

Daves Archives
At the very least those biscuits had to taste better than what Biff Tannen normally ended up getting in his mouth in the films.
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I heard Tom F. Wilson is a stand-up comedian!


That is correct – one of his memorable skits in fact involves the types of question he normally is asked about his role in Back to the Future.

[Via] Sona

vh1-corvette-giveaway

That Time When VH-1 Gave Away Every Corvette!

What do you do when you’re the Number Two music video station in the late 1980s, and there are only two contenders to begin with? How do you bump your ratings through the roof? You start the world’s first successful reality TV show…!
the-real-world
No. Wait. That was the other channel…

You create a call-in giveaway contest on a scale that has never been duplicated…! That’s what you do.

VH-1 came to our televisions on the heels of mega-hit channel MTV more than 35 years ago on New Year’s Day 1985 under the Viacom Media umbrella. The two stations battled back and forth for viewership across several decades before both channels eventually dropped music videos from their lineup and started showing reality shows and reruns of Saved by the Bell.
saved-by-the-bell
But in the mid-1980s, viewership of Top 40 music videos is what brought in the advertisers, and advertisers paid the bills. Even though MTV and VH-1 were owned by the same company, VH-1 was targeted toward a more mature audience, and MTV was relegated to the pop and “bubble-gum pop” crowd.

So, how do you draw in a more-sophisticated audience with a more-mature taste? You give them a chance to win a Corvette.

And how do you blow that idea out of the water, and turn it up to 11…? You offer one lucky winner a Corvette from every year of production.
corvette-emblem
And that’s exactly what VH-1’s marketing guru Jim Cahill did. He used almost $1 million of Viacom’s bankroll to track down and purchase one example from all of the 36 years that a Corvette sports car had been made – from the first one in 1953, to the latest model available during the contest – 1988.

[Via] Two By Two 2
Not all the cars were what you’d consider “cherry.” Most were considered “drivers” and not all were completely “collectable.”

Of the 36 models Cahill collected, 14 were convertibles, and only 11 had manual transmissions. Cahill later told an automotive magazine reporter that he drove each of the 36 cars home – one a night for 36 nights – and some of them were “nightmarishly bad.”

But, as we retro collectors sometimes say, “They existed,” and the contest to determine one sole winner was underway.

To enter, a person had to call a 900 number at a charge of $2 per entry. For each call, VH-1 pocketed $1.49.

More than 190,000 people called the number on the first day with more than 1.3 million folks registering altogether. I’ll save you from doing the math. In the first two weeks of the promotion, VH-1 almost doubled their $1 million investment.

The winner of the contest didn’t have to try very hard. Dennis Amadeo only made one call to the contest, and the New York carpenter became the poster-boy of every teen male in the country.

Amadeo flew out to California to take ownership of all his sports cars, and when presented with all the keys by ex-Beach Boy Mike Love, the bag weighed five pounds.

[Via] Jim Cahill
And that’s the end of the story, right? Amado kept all the cars and still has a garage full of vintage and highly-collectable sports cars in his Long Island garage?

Of course not. And that’s where the story takes a drastic left-turn into Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and things get crazy.

Shortly after taking possession of the Corvettes, Amadeo sold them all to a psychedelic artist of the 1960s, Peter Max. The sale price was $250,000 in cash, $250,000 in artwork and a portion of the proceeds should the cars be sold again.
peter-max
Max had a vision to turn all 36 Corvettes into a work of colorful art, but life events got in the way of beginning the project, and the cars were stored in the basement of a Brooklyn apartment building.
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And time took its toll on the Corvettes. None of the cars were prepped for long-term storage, and soon became non-functional.
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In 2005, a group of Corvette enthusiasts searched for the cars and found them, and lost them again after Max refused to listen to their pleas to let the cars be saved and restored.
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Now, more than 28 years after the cars were given away, Max wanted to purchase additional cars to use for his “project,” but eventually agreed to sell the lot to a family who intend to restore and sell the cars. Many have already been brought back beyond their condition when given away in 1988.
very-dusty-ride

the-mutant-saturday-frights-ep-60

Saturday Frights Podcast Episode 060 (The Mutant)

Welcome back friends to the Saturday Frights Podcast! Each podcast my co-host, the Projectionist and I will discuss a particular horror movie or horror themed TV episode from the Retroist Vault. On this show we discuss a 1964 episode of The Outer Limits entitled The Mutant – which stars The Wild Bunch’s Warren Oates!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in the future or comments, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.

The Music normally at the beginning of our show was provided by Peachy (The Harry Lubin of Wales), if you have musical needs why not contact him at peachy@Retroist.Com. And be sure to “Like” him on his Facebook Page before he takes a rocket to Annex One…

Our intro was graciously provided by the one and only MetaGirl!

The ending music for the show is entitled “Twisted Toys” and was provided by Tony Longworth, you can visit his site by clicking that link provided or hopping over to his SoundCloud Page!

Theater Curtains
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Directly download the Saturday Frights Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
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stella-parton-joyriding-with-the-duke-boys

“My Date With A Duke”

As I have said in other blog entries, returning to the United States in 1979 after spending three years in Germany was like stepping out of a time machine and leaving 1916 to appear in 2016.

In the United States, video games were new, fast-food restaurants were everywhere and there was more than ONE channel on the television.

My first full day back in the states was a Friday. How in the world could I remember that fact more than 36 years later? Simple…My cousins sat me down that evening to watch The Dukes of Hazzard on CBS.

I was very reluctant at first to take a seat in front of the television with them that night. I knew that being a “duke” involved the British monarchy, and that was the last thing I wanted to do after spending the last three years confined to Central Europe.

And then, with the twang of an electric guitar lick, it began. I spent the next 60 minutes asking my cousins all sorts of questions about the show – and getting few answers during the commercial breaks.

[Via] BygHoss
I tried to catch the previous episodes during the re-run season, and remained a faithful follower of the show through the remainder of the Dukes’ seven seasons on television – even during the infamous “Coy and Vance” period. It was a show like no other before it, and although many have tried to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” the show produced, nothing has come close since then.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the mid-1990s.

I was selling Internet service at Rivergate Mall in a northern suburb of Nashville, Tenn., in 1996. My job involved selling dial-up and ISDN Internet connections to people wandering through the mall on their way to purchase an Orange Julius smoothie.

stella-parton-rivergate-mall

The Internet of 1996 had only recently been expanded thanks to the World Wide Web, and more people were anxious to try it out. So, to help feed their need, we sold a floppy disk with setup programs to install our dial-up service onto the beige boxes in Grandma’s kitchen across the country.

Internet In A Mall will probably be the topic of a future Retroist Blog offering, but I included it here because it was the catalyst to this entire story.

Two of my first Internet customers were a woman named Jett Williams and her husband, Keith Adkinson. After purchasing our service, they offered to pay for my time if I could drive out to their home and install their software. With nothing on my calendar, and the prospect of newly-acquired pizza money in my pocket, I agreed.

When I arrived at their country home, I quickly realized things were not as they appeared. It turns out that Jett is the daughter of country music legend Hank Williams, and half-sister to Bocephus himself, Hank Williams Jr. She has an amazing story, and I’d recommend checking out the Wikipedia listing about her to learn more.

After hooking up their Internet, they were pleased with the job, I was asked to create a website for her and some other tech stuff. I accepted, and they invited me to listen to Jett perform the next night at the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville – located at the back door of the original home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Ryman Auditorium.

My boss, Dennis Thibodeaux, and I both went to the show together. We found a table in the back and proceeded to enjoy a couple adult beverages when a blonde female approached us and asked if she could sit in the empty seat at our table.

We graciously asked her to join us and introduced ourselves.

“Hello, my name is Stella. Stella Parton.”

stella-parton-1996

My lower jaw fell open and I’m sure it was far from indiscreet.

“You mean like the Stella Parton from the Dukes of Hazzard television show?” I asked, while stumbling over every word.

“Darling, I want to hug your neck,” Stella said. “”It seems like everyone’s first sentence to me is to ask about my sister Dolly when I first meet them, but you’re one of the first to mention my own career..!”

stella-parton-dolly-parton-2015

Yes, friends…I was sipping an adult beverage in a Nashville honky-tonk with the beautiful sister of Dolly Parton, an actress who appeared on one of my favorite TV shows, and a well-known country entertainer.

It turns out that Stella and Jett were friends and she was at Tootsie’s to hear Ms. Williams perform. I didn’t waste the opportunity, and she happily answered questions from me between performances.

Stella appeared in Season 1, Episode 10 “Deputy Dukes” which aired April 13, 1979. She played Mary Beth Malone – a ruthless criminal who sees the error of her ways by the end of the episode.
stella-parton-looking-for-trouble
stella-parton-armed-and-dangerous

I asked about Denver (Uncle Jessie) Pyle, and she said he was funny, smart and a delight to work with. She said the same about her scenes with James (Rosco) Best, Tom (Luke) Wopat and John (Bo) Schneider.

Our evening together ended with Jett’s rendition of her father’s hit song, “Your Cheating Heart” and Stella Parton gave me another big hug before we parted ways. She autographed the label from her beer and gave it to me before leaving.

Stella has made other television appearances through the years, and has received several awards during her singing career.

[Via] Brandstrans

But, I will always remember her for the hugs and kind words – just because I remembered her as my favorite Duke…
stella-parton-deputy-dukes

tom-whalen-autobots-acidfree-gallery

Tom Whalen Has Released Transformers Miniprints

I may not know art but I know that I like Tom Whalen’s artwork. I bet if you do a quick search here on The Retroist you will see we dig his style. The Wolf Man, Popeye, The Great Pumpkin, The Goonies, The Twilight Zone, Gigantor, and even Soundwave from the Transformers.

They have all been subjects of Tom Whalen and to a one are beautiful illustrations. He has managed to capture the spirit – the essence of each subject perfectly. The other day at the Acidfree Gallery they began to sell limited edition prints of Tom Whalen’s take on the Transformers. Some of the iconic Generation One Transformers that is!

Makant88

So which Transformers made the cut?


Tom Whalen has split the miniprints into two different sets. The heroic Autobots and the dastardly Decepticons of course. First up let us take a look at which of the Autobots were chosen…
Optimus Prime. Hey, can you really pick a more iconic character than the leader of the Autobots?
All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.


Prowl
tom-whalen-prowl-acidfree-gallery
Ratchet
tom-whalen-ratchet-acidfree-gallery
Bumblebee
tom-whalen-bumblebee-acidfree-gallery
Jazz
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Also included and as the Acidfree Gallery states on their site – Tom Whalen’s illustration for Ironhide will be randomly inserted. Only twenty of the Ironhide miniprints will be made by the way. So he is the chase miniprint I guess you can say?
tom-whalen-ironhide-acidfree-gallery

Which Decepticons did Tom Whalen choose?


I think that the artist went with some rather interesting choices with the ‘Decticreeps’. It is completely understandable of course that Megatron was picked – especially with Prime chosen for the Autobots.
All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.


Starscream is a solid choice as well…
tom-whalen-starscream-acidfree-gallery
As is Soundwave. Three solid characters that make up the core of the Decepticon forces.
tom-whalen-soundwave-acidfree-gallery
Tom Whalen might have went with another of the Seekers like Thundercracker or even Skywarp but chose Shockwave
tom-whalen-shockwave-acidfree-gallery
The artist also chose to shine the spotlight on Rumble instead of say Laserbeak or Ravage.
tom-whalen-rumble-acidfree-gallery
For the Decepticons it is Frenzy that has been given the honor of being the chase Miniprint.
tom-whalen-frenzy-acidfree-gallery

So that makes actually three of the illustrations for the Decepticons that involved Soundwave in one form or another. Which if Transformers: The Movie taught us anything is logical as Soundwave is superior…

Karulovecat

Each set of five miniprints will cost fifty dollars and there are some variant versions that run a little higher. I can only tell you that there are differences in what looks to be the material it is printed on. Although some of the higher priced sets include original sketches by Tom Whalen. So if your home or office need some beautiful Transformers artwork I suggest you hop on over to Acidfree Gallery.