Burger Chef and Jeff - Drinking Glass

Retro Records: Burger Chef and Jeff Meet Cackleburger

Burger Chef and Jeff, does that name ring a bell? For those of us that grew up in the 70s of course it brings to mind the Funmeal. A boxed kids meal that provided puzzles and stories. Focusing on the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff of course. The Funmeal also generally contained a toy or small collectible as well.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Funmeal Theatre

These were the mascots of the Burger Chef chain of fast food restaurants. Obviously. It bears pointing out that in addition to beating McDonald’s to the idea of the Happy Meal. Burger Chef was also quick to land the licensing for a little 1977 movie called Star Wars!
Burger Chef and Jeff - Star Wars

I will get to the subject of our Retro Records for this week in just a second. However I felt I should share a little more information about Burger Chef first. The restaurant got it’s start back in 1957, opening in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Fast Food

Thanks in no small part to focusing on smaller cities, for example my neck of the woods, they quickly expanded their reach. Furthermore in 1968 the chain was scooped up by General Mills which of course faciliated the expansion. By 1972 in fact they had 1,200 restaurants across the United States. It is important to realize that in that same year McDonald’s only had 400 more locations at the time.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it wasn’t a small operation. Now Burger Chef and Jeff were more than mascots, at least that was the case for me. I have mentioned before that growing up my Father and I didn’t have much. So generally once a month when I was taken to Burger Chef it was certainly a treat. One of those reasons I said they were more than mascots to myself is thanks in part to the TV commercials.

[Via] Eye 8h NBC

Burger Chef and Jeff - Mascots
I believe I have stated on more than one occasion that I was in fact a monster kid growing up. The kooky characters that Burger Chef and Jeff came into contact with like Wolfburger as well as Count Fangburger, the talking ape Burgerilla, and Cackleburger the Witch! I feel confident in saying these characters were certainly right up my alley!

You might want to listen to my first introduction to The Wolf Man in episode 53 of the Saturday Frights Podcast

Which indeed means I was very excited when Burger Chef was offering on of their 33 1/3 records. For this installment of Retro Records we are sharing Cackleburger Casts A Spell. I have hard a rather hard time tracking down the exact date but a few sources online point to 1976. You might also notice that the spelling on the record is different than the spelling for the character.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Cackelburger

Also of interest is that Burger Chef is voiced by the late and great Paul Winchell. Whose voice I think you might recognize from the massive animated series he was affiliated with. Paul provided the voice of Gargamel in the Smurfs, was Fleegle Beagle in The Banana Splits, as well as Dick Dastardly for many of the Hanna-Barbera shows.

So please join us on Retro Records as we listen to the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff!

[Via] James Will

The Lurch

Retro Records: Ted Cassidy’s The Lurch (1965)

Normally on Retro Records we share one of the vintage Power Records or the like. Today however we are taking a look at the 1965 novelty record The Lurch. Which was of course a song based on Ted Cassidy’s character from The Addams Family television series.

[Via] Essential 3883

Read: For More Addams Family Fun – Check Out Their Stretching Room Portraits

The B side of The Lurch featured a song entitled Wesley. Both songs were performed by Cassidy on the 1965 musical variety show Hollywood a Go Go. I do apologize, while the video and audio quality is excellent. You will in addition have to contend with the “For Research Only” label.

Having said that I feel it is worth the ‘hassle’ for a chance to watch a vintage piece of television history.

[Via] Bill Aa

Ted Cassidy’s booming bass voice lends itself surprisingly well to that country tune. At least I thought so. The Lurch was written by Gary Paxton, the same man who produced both Alley Oop and The Monster Mash. With Wesley being written by Cliffie Stone and Scott Turner. Here is a fun fact for you – Stone who was an accomplished recording artist himself happened also to be the manager of Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Lurch
Cassidy, while perhaps best remembered as Lurch also had a successful career playing the heavy in film and television. Such as Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Read: Did You Know The Six Million Dollar Man Was Based On A 1972 Novel?

In addition to the occasional novelty song, Cassidy was prolific in doing voice over work for both live action and animated series. Beginning with Hanna-Barbera he provided voices for Space Ghost, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and Godzilla to name a few. I knew him best however as both the villainous Black Manta and Braniac from the Challenge of the Superfriends!

[Via] Super Villain Television

Logistics

Retro Records: Star Trek – The Logistics Of Stampede (1975)

Welcome back, friends. To a new installment for Retro Records featuring 1975’s Star Trek: The Logistics of Stampede. Another one of those fantastic Power Records offerings – which of course allowed all manner of famous writers to tell abridged tales. Case in point with The Logistics of Stampede which so happens to have been penned by Alan Dean Foster.

Foster is pretty well known for writing numerous novelizations for films. Alien, Star Wars, Alien Nation, The Thing, Star Trek and many more. As well as his own standalone novels like Cat-a-lyst, Cyberway, and Slipt to name a few.

Power Records was of course a spinoff label so to speak of Peter Pan Records. One that was geared towards an older audience. Moreover this is why we saw Power Records book and records fare featuring Kojak, Planet of the Apes and Star Trek.

Which brings us to this offering for Retro Records. The Logistics of Stampede finds Kirk, Bones, and Spock beaming down to Ribol II. An agricultural planet that is in fact facing destruction of their precious crops by Dranzers. A cow-like beast that every six years becomes overpopulated and then stampedes across the plains. Destroying seventy to ninety percent of the grain crops!

Can our trio of heroes come up with a solution to halt the Dranzers? Can they protect the grain on Ribol II – which in addition helps to feed other planets in the Federation? Let’s find out as we listen to The Logistics of Stampede on Retro Records!
Logistics

[Via] Doctor Del

Having listened to The Logistics of Stampede perhaps you now need more Star Trek goodness?


Well, in this case how about the great and late Leonard Nimoy’s cover of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town? Which might be better known from Kenny Roger’s take back in 1969 – written by Mel Tillis of all people.

[Via] Soren123

ALF Drops In

Retro Records: ALF Drops In – Book And Tape (1987)

What can make a morning better? ALF can do that very thing, of course! Now it’s no great secret that those of us here at The Retroist enjoy 1980’s ALF. We have been known to share once or twice…or more, our appreciation of everyone’s favorite Melmacian.

Having said that, I will have to admit I wasn’t aware that ALF had any Read-Along Books and Tapes back in the day. But lo and behold there were at least four of them produced. Besides ALF Drops In that we are sharing today. There was Super-ALF, ALF Plays Detective, and ALF Goes Wild as well.

I found it equally important that they were all released by Buena Vista. Indeed, the same company also known for book and record combos like last week’s The Black Hole!

In this instance, ALF Drops In retells how Gordon Shumway met the Tanner Family. In addition to some great artwork throughout the storybook. It appears that all of the cast provided their voices to their characters from the TV series. Either that or they took audio from various television episodes – but I highly doubt that was the case.
ALF Drops

The narrator for ALF Drops In is none other than William “Bill” Woodson. Who narrated a great deal of those books and records for Buena Vista. As well as providing all manner of voice work – which I might add included a very famous line from the Super Friends!

[Via] Brian Young

Seeing that this is in fact a book and cassette tape. I certainly hope you will forgive me for lumping it in the Retro Records category. So without further ado let us join ALF and the Tanners for ALF Drops In!

[Via] Cat Jay Bird

You enjoyed ALF Drops In but are needing more information?


I am very happy to inform you that you are in luck. As the Retroist himself has already recorded a podcast on ALF – which you can listen to below!
Retroist ALF Podcast

The Black Hole

Retro Records: The Black Hole Book and Record (1979)

It’s turning out to be a Black Hole kind of weekend. I mean – just look at Earl Green’s excellent Cygnus model post from the other day. A fan made piece of art that blew us away to say the very least. And now in addition we have this offering. The book and record adaptation of The Black Hole from 1979!
The Black Hole

Thanks to this video upload by Old Disney Records we can thrill once again to the exploits of the crew from the U.S.S. Palomino. Crossing paths in the darkness of space with the crazed Dr. Hans Reinhardt and the dangerous Maximilian. Aboard the mysterious Cygnus and the very real threat of the ravenous Black Hole.

I have an incredible amount of fond memories concerning the Walt Disney Productions’ book and records. I still have many of those I grew up with including this record. TRON, Davy Crockett, Mary Poppins, and more. Granted not all of them are in as good a condition as the one you will hear in the video below.

While the book and records were well known in their adaptations of trimming the fat for a story. Of course I will remind you they only had a small amount of time on the 33 and 1/3 records. The fact is the total running time for The Black Hole is a little over 9 minutes. To help in this process the adaptation of the Black Hole cuts loose two crew members of the Palomino.

For example Ernest Borgnine’s role of Harry Booth, the engineer, has been excised.
The Black Hole

As well as Anthony Perkins’ part as Dr. Alex Durant.

Having said that it is still a solid package. Managing to keep the main gist of the story and exciting moments intact. They even use some of John Barry’s excellent soundtrack as well as sound effects from the film.

The most interesting aspect of it is how it tackles the ending of the movie. For those of you that haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing The Black Hole the conclusion is…equal parts terrifying and subject to interpretation.

Now without further ado, joins us on Retro Records as we listen to 1979’s The Black Hole!