Nat King Cole - Nature Boy

Nat King Cole Performs “Nature Boy”

In the last Retro Radio Memories Podcast I shared my appreciation of the 1948 song entitled Nature Boy, I also shared the fact that I didn’t know this was a massive hit for the legendary Nat King Cole, my first introduction to this beautiful song was thanks to David Bowie’s cover of the tune from 2001’s Moulin Rouge!

While trying to find a little more information on Nature Boy I learned some rather interesting facts about the writer of the song, a man by the name of eden ahbez and how very autobiographical the song truly is which of course lends an even greater weight to the lyrics when Nat King Cole performs it in the video below.

[Via] Hugo Marques
I mentioned this on that RRM podcast but apparently ahbez was quite enamored of Cole’s talents and wanted to gift Nature Boy personally after a performance at the Lincoln Center but was stopped by the entertainer’s manager. Thanks to Cole’s valet the music was indeed delivered to its intended recipient which began a search to find eden after Cole performed the number a couple of times with a live audience and realized how well it was received. Permission from ahbez was needed to be obtained to release the song as a single and eventually Nat King Cole located the songwriter, living under the Hollywood sign!

ahbez’s song was performed by more than just Nat King Cole and David Bowie, covers were also performed by Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Natalie Cole as well as Frank Sinatra!

[Via] Frank Sinatra – Topic

MST3K Lego Set - JMaster

In The Not-Too-Distant Future…You Could Have A LEGO MST3K Set!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 or MST3K proved from 1988 until 1999 that comedy and good friends…even if they were robotic…was the best way to get through some very, very bad movies with your sanity mostly intact. Of course there is a revival of the series just around the corner starring Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn so what better time than to propose a LEGO set for MST3K? Right?

MST3K - Football

Submitted by JMaster just a few days ago, the support needed to reach 10,000 votes to have it reviewed by LEGO has already hit 400 plus with 363 days to go. I tell you that if we can have Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who and even a set for the Big Bang Theory I can see no reason at all we MSTies can’t have a LEGO version of the Satellite of Love as well as minifigs of our favorite characters!

MST3K - Mike - Joel - LEGO

MST3K LEGO - JMaster

From the LEGO Ideas page, JMaster explains his thoughts on such a set:
“Included in the set would be both of the show’s unwilling hosts, Joel Robinson and Mike Nelson! Of course, all of the ‘Bots from the show would be included as well: Cam-Bot, Gypsy, Tom Servo, and Crow! Every one of the Mads would be included in their locations as well; including Dr. Erhardt, TV’s Frank, Professor Bobo, Brain Guy, and both Dr, Clayton and Pearl Forrester! The set would also include the Satellite of Love, the vessel that trapped Joel, Mike, and the Bots. The host room with “Movie Sign!” lights and buttons, famous hallway doors, and the theater will all be included! This show had talented writers, an original premise, and lasting pop cultural fame to this day. Thanks to Mystery Science Theater, we all take bad movies a little less seriously now, and laugh when there was nothing funny before.”

All images courtesy of JMaster and LEGO Ideas.

All images courtesy of JMaster and LEGO Ideas.

So follow that link provided up top and lend your support before the Mads hit us all with…MOVIE SIGN!!

Image Courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Check Out Travis Falligant’s Epic Breakfast Club/NeverEnding Story Mash-Up!

It’s no big secret that we have quite a bit of fondness for the artwork of Travis Falligant whether on this site or on the Saturday Frights Podcast spot over on Facebook, the talented artist has always been kind enough to let us share his artwork.

Image courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Image courtesy of Travis Falligant.

The other day though he uploaded a new illustration to his own Facebook Page, a mixing of two fantastic 80’s films. The Breakfast Club and The NeverEnding story…both are classic movies to be sure. But when take John Bender’s (Judd Nelson) iconic victory pose…

Judd Nelson - John Bender - The Breakfast Club

…and marry it to the majesty of Falkor…

Falkor - The NeverEnding Story

…why you can see how Travis just might have created a work of art that begs to be turned into an epic poster, right?

Image Courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Image Courtesy of Travis Falligant.

I don’t believe that is in the works just yet but I can tell you that Travis is right at this very second selling his Golden Girls enamel pins over on his Official Store Page, for a mere $10 you can show your love of your favorite character from the classic TV series.

Image courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Image courtesy of Travis Falligant.

So please follow some of those links provided up top to check out more of Travis’ beautiful retro artwork and nab some of those Golden Girls pins for yourself!

[Via] HDClipsMusic

atari-handshake

Do you know the Official Atari Handshake?

Have you ever had an awkward handshake that revolved around a greeting or departure? Maybe you led with the wrong hand or your handshake was too firm or too limp? Perhaps your experience was even worse and instead of a handshake you wound up hugging the person who interviewed you for a job you really wanted (this happened to me) and were then forced to be laughed at during work functions for years after taking the job?

Well all of those experience will seem like a cakewalk if you decide to employ the not-so-secret Atari Handshake during your next important handshake. Printed in the Nov-Dec 1982 of Atari Age on page 7, the Atari Handshake looks great on paper, but in practice is rather disturbing.

The handshake premise is simple. You turn a thumb into a joystick and one of the shakers grasps it and does some rotating joystick action. This should demonstrate just how much a gamer both of the handshakers are, but the presentation of the thumb joystick raises two very important questions.

How hard should one grasp the thumb joystick?

&

What level of rotation fits within the realm of acceptability?

These questions are of course not mentioned in this joystick handshake info-graphic. So we handshakers are left to fend for ourselves and if you are anything like me (remember the hug), my thumb joystick movements go from painful to downright creepy in less than 2 seconds. This causes my new Atari buddy to withdraw their paw and run for the hills.

I have spent a good amount of time considering how you could make the Atari handshake slightly less cumbersome, but no amount of finesse can make the thumb grabbing component of this hand bonding maneuver work. Which is probably why the handshake never caught on. Unless it did and I am just being kept out of the loop, which is a strong possibility.

So if you are a person who mastered this handshake, please pass along your wisdom to me. I assure you I am an Atari fan of the highest magnitude. My mitts are just better suited to roughhousing with a joystick than the delicate art of shaking hands.

Jacobsen Lawn Mowers

Stan Freberg Proved Lawnmower Ads Need Sheep

These past few weeks I’ve been on something of a Stan Freberg kick. I haven’t been just listening to his classic comedy work like John and Marsha, Cry, and The Great Pretender but also his hit fantastic parody of the Chords’ Sh-Boom.

[Via] alainc91

Thankfully YouTube has more than just a collection of Freberg’s musical gems but quite a bit of his work in television commercials as well. Like this great ad for Jacobsen Lawn Mowers in which we see the benefits of a Jacobsen mower over your garden variety sheep.

[Via] Chuck Collins

I think that even though the mower is definitely better suited for Mr. Fiendster’s lawn…it’s not as adorable as the sheep right? Right?
Jacobsen Lawn Mowers - Sheep

The Watcher in the Woods - Walt Disney

Disney Pulled The Watcher In The Woods From Theaters?

As I touched upon with the post about that awesome Black Hole T-Shirt from the other day, the Walt Disney Studios was really trying to go in a different direction with their theatrical films. Not just with 1979’s The Black Hole but 1980’s The Watcher in the Woods and even 1983’s adaptation of Ray Bradbuy’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The Watcher in the Woods was a supernatural/mystery movie directed by John Hough (The Legend of Hell House) and was based off the novel by Florence Engel Randall that first saw print in 1976. At this point it’s pretty evident that the Studio was attempting to capture more of the teenager crowd with their choice of subject matter. I believe the original trailer illustrates that point quite well.

[Via] The Trailer Gal

Apparently a week after the film made its debut back on October 24, 1980 the Walt Disney Studio pulled the film from theaters, to be honest I’ve seen various online sources saying this was actually just the test screening. Anyway what we do know is that the audience and the studio were unhappy with the ending. So they put the re-release of Mary Poppins in it’s place while they worked on re-shooting the The Watcher in the Woods. This article from Starlog pretty much states the same thing.
Starlog - The Watcher in the Woods

Legendary effects artist Harrison Ellenshaw (Star Wars, TRON) is credited with coming up with the ending audiences saw when the film was released to theaters again on October 7, 1981. He has even been quoted as saying by the end of it all they had “roughly 152 possible endings”.

In total Disney narrowed it down to three possible endings…the first one that had been planned and shot revealed an alien encounter was behind the “supernatural” goings on but they ran out of time to finish the effects shots as the studio mandated it needed to be released on the 50th anniversary of Bette Davis’ legacy as an actress.

The Watcher in the Woods - Alternate Ending

What the original audiences or test audiences saw was kind of an amalgam of that concept, but leaving Jan to explain what had occurred. Apparently it wasn’t quite clear and most audiences felt it gave no sense of closure, that the film was ended abruptly. Which is of course why it was re-shot. Thankfully this “alternate ending” can be seen below, I’m sure there was supposed to be some effects work leading Jan to look to the sky and the forest…because if not…she just looks like a crazy person. I do think the Alien, the Watcher is pretty awesome looking myself.

[Via] nikkisioux

When it came time to for the version that is more widely known Disney also began to have second thoughts about the mentions of the occult, and not only re-wrote those scenes but re-shot them as well. Which is why the Alien appears in the final release as a shaft of bright light, taking over Jan’s body to reveal that Watcher had accidentally switched places with Karen 30 years earlier.

Even with the re-shoots The Watcher in the Woods didn’t exactly connect with audiences of the day. In total it only earned five million…and I can’t locate an online source that reveals how much the Walt Disney Studios spent but bear in mind that in 1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes cost nineteen million. I think over the years The Watcher in the Woods has become something of a cult film which is kind of nice but I certainly remember wanting to see the film myself thanks to those wonderful early 1980s promos you could find when renting Disney VHS tapes (At the 1:42 mark).

[Via] VCRchivist

pac-man

Did you own any Pac-Man Collectible Arcade Figures?

Back when Pac-Mania was sweeping the nation, the Pac-Man marketing machine was in full swing. Cranking out quality items like coloring books, t-shirts, flying discs, kites, sneakers and of course “action” figures. While not exactly the perfect toyline for the figure collector who liked to tell stories when they played with their toys, these plastic gems gave me hours of pleasure.

I only had three of them, but I think they were the good three to have. The Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Blinky figures. While I probably could have scored the other three I didn’t find their theme very compelling. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man would make a good cake topper at a wedding, but I am not sure about the Pac-Angel. Is that what we think Pac-Man turns into whenever he gets nabbed by a ghost? Are you supposed to put it on top of a Christmas Tree? If they wanted me to be able to play with it they needed a true counterpoint to make it interesting. Maybe a Pac-Devil? That way Pac-Angel and Pac-Devil could be locked in an epic struggle for Pac-Mans Pac-Soul. Even now when I see Pac-Angel, I cannot bring myself to pick him up. The kid in me still doesn’t know what to do with him.

For a very long time, you could pick these figures up at garage sales and flea markets for a decently low price, but like many things retro, the price has gone up dramatically recently. So expect to spend about 20+ bucks for one still in package and about half that or more for ones out of the package in decent shape.