Betamax

Check Out This 1978 Tour Of A Betamax Collection!

Ah, Betamax. There have been many times when technological formats that are sort of similiar must go head to head. Like in the case of HD DVD versus the Blu-Ray format. Of course if you go back a little further there was the competition between Video High Density video discs vs LaserDisc and VHS. And if you are of a certain age you might recall when it was the VHS format versus Betamax fighting for your hard earned money.
Betamax

I wasn’t aware that Betamax actually ceased being made way back in…2016?! That is the truth though – which means it lasted for 40 years. Not to shabby a legacy for the “loser” of the videotape format war.

I was only in contact with a Betamax unit once in my youth. You have to remember this was back when both it and the VHS units were quite beautiful. In addition to being incredibly large with myriad buttons and dials as well as featuring top-loading mechanisms.

As I was saying though – I only once had any sort of experience with a Betamax. This was in 1982 and my Father rented Star Wars. I want to point out this was during the time when renting a Betamax or VCR unit was a bit of an ordeal.

First of all you needed to have the membership to the video store which required the usual identification. However you also needed to literally leave a deposit on top of the rental fee – generally a $100 dollar bill or at least a check if you were trusted by the store.

Now having said all of that, thanks to the Retroist who pointed this video out to me. We can travel back in time to 1978 to visit Ray Glasser. In the almost ten minute video he gives those of us from the future a personal tour of his Betamax collection.

The television and movies in his collection are rather staggering. Everything from Star Trek, to King Kong and the Burns and Allen show, to name a few. So without further ado let us join Ray Glasser back in 1978 and enjoy his Betamax collection tour!

[Via] Videoholic Returns

Now then. You’ve seen the tour of Glasser’s Betamax tapes. But why not watch Bill Hammack aka Engineer Guy briefly explain why the VHS format won out?

Whenever I Call You (My Other) Friend

Yes, this is about Kenny Loggins.

Did I mention I have OTHER Kenny Loggins articles on this site?

Kenny Loggins (And Michael McDonald)…on PBS!

Kenny Loggins and David Foster Brag, Then Perform “Forever”

And the Only Way to Start Your Set at a David Foster Concert? Heart to Heart!

I started to write this in the middle of listening to a triple threat of Kenny Loggins songs – “Playing with the Boys,” “Heart to Heart” (my personal favorite Kenny Loggins song), and the song that serves as this article’s title (ok, this is a play on the song’s title), which was the song that set off the whole triple threat. And this article.

Who says you can’t find inspiration in the strangest of places? Though if you ask me, iHeart Radio is a perfectly fine place to draw inspiration from!

“Whenever I Call You ‘Friend'” is a single from Loggins’ 1978 album Nightwatch. The single was releasd in July 1978, and reached #5 in the fall of that same year. It was co-penned by Loggins and singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, and was inspired by their chance meetings in various places and pairings at televised awards shows. They managed to keep running into each other, and Loggins asked Manchester to write a song with him.

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And so they did. The result of that collaboration (and a salute to their chance meetings) was Whenever I Call You “Friend.”

But they never actually sang it together.

No really, they wrote it, but they apparently never had a chance meeting to record it together.

The actual story behind why this never happened all comes down to record labels – Loggins was signed to Columbia Records (still is), and Manchester was signed to Arista Records. So if they wanted to collaborate, their labels would never have allowed it to happen.

So Loggins found a “friend” who could record with him – Fleetwood Mac’s own, Stevie Nicks.

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This is their version.

Uploaded by Sue581000

Oh, and he did this version with his band. And it doesn’t sound bromance-like at all.

Uploaded by KennyLogginsVEVO

Meanwhile, Melissa Manchester recorded a separate version with Arnold McCuller.

Uploaded by MrPurser

I don’t know, this version just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it is the Kenny Loggins bias, but I really like the version everyone seems more familiar. Manchester chose not to include it on her 2012 retrospective, Playlist, citing that she doesn’t feel like her version is satisfactory as compared to Loggins’ version. However, her version was more critically acclaimed, with AllMusic saying Manchester’s version is a far more “elegant and supple song.”

Which version is forever doing it for you?

You’ve never seen such a beautiful site, until you’ve seen Allison’s blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and call her “friend” on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. 

Go on, give her a reason to carry on…with her writing!

Did you go as TV’s FANGFACE for Halloween?

In 1978, you could have gone trick or treating in this Collegeville Halloween costume as the title character from the Ruby-Spears Productions cartoon, FANGFACE.

fangface_box_top_bottom

FANGFACE premiered in the ABC network’s 1978 Fall Saturday morning lineup. Fangface is the moon-induced alter-ego of Sherman “Fangs” Fangsworth, a tall, lean, awkward teen who reluctantly helps solve crimes with his friends Biff, the handsome leader, Kim, the smart and attractive girl and Puggsy, a short and stocky tough guy. They drive around in the Wolf-Buggy, their open-top dune buggy.

The plastic, vacuformed mask to this costume is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

This plastic, vacuformed mask is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

Unlike the typical lycanthrope who is affected only by the light of the full moon, Sherman transforms into a werewolf by simply seeing a picture of a moon. The crime-solving gang use his easy trigger to their advantage in order to replace the cowardly Sherman with the more aggressive Fangface. The flip side though is that Fangface can just as easily change back into the bumbling Fangsworth by seeing any kind of representation of the sun.

Here’s the show’s opening to acquaint yourself…

[source: youtube.com/user/cronocari }

The vinyl costume, usually worn over top your regular clothes as you headed out to score candy, has a sleeveless top with yellow pants which end just above the knees. As with most boxed costumes depicting licensed characters, the costume itself helped identify exactly who or what you were supposed to be dressed up as. This one is definitely no exception what with a full body image of the goofy werewolf and the title FANGFACE emblazoned across the top of your chest.

fangface_costume_topThe FANGFACE title deserves a closer look. There is some really nice illustration work going on in it, much more than seen in your average dimestore Halloween costume.

fangface_costume_title

The original series ran for 16 half-hour episodes for the ’78 season. It was retooled for the 1979 Fall season by adding Fangsworth’s baby cousin, Fangpuss.

Wonder if Collegeville bothered to follow-up with a Fangpuss costume as well?

Other Retroist post about FANGFACE:

There Was A Fangface Novelization?!

May the 4th Be With These 1978 Commercials!

There’s a bit of an overkill vibe of “May the 4th Be With You” floating around the interwebs today. You’d think it’s some kind of official holiday, wouldn’t you?

I think we can all agree to disagree,The Star Wars Holiday Special made a great case for why we don’t celebrate Life Day, but actual Star Wars cannon makes a great case for why we celebrate May 4th as Star Wars Day.

Another thing we can all agree on? How great these 1978 commercials that aired during the holiday special are…when riffed by Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame.

Both uploaded by Torgo Fury

Oh, and…you want Tobor. Because he’s probably some long-lost scrapped Star Wars character who got his own toy, complete with not-so-subliminal advertising pitch from Michael J. Nelson!

Allison is the collector of commercials, and commercials with RiffTrax commentary on them? They’re even better! She’d love for you to stop by her blog, Allison’s Written Words to see some of what she has in her collection, and would love for you to follow her blog on Facebook, if you like a little randomness and geekiness in your Facebook feed. And who doesn’t? You can also find her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Allison doesn’t want Tobor.

Buster Crabbe Appears At Science Fiction Film Awards

It is common knowledge that Star Wars was influenced by the Flash Gordon serials of the 1940s. So how cool was it that Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon in the serials) appeared on stage with Mark Hamill during the Science Fiction Film Awards telecast? It aired in 1978 to recognize achievement in science fiction film for the year 1977.

Hamill shows up at 3:46 of Part II to introduce him. The entire show is worth watching from the beginning, especially to see the opening song and dance number.

I’m just posting Part I and II just to show the flow leading to the Crabbe and Hamill appearance. The special itself is split into 10 parts on YouTube. Rather than blow up the blog with 10 embedded videos just search for “Science Fiction Film Awards 1978” on YouTube if you’d like to watch the entire special. This was the fifth annual but first televised broadcast of the ceremony.

Here is the entire award show in 10 parts:

or if you want to jump straight to Buster…here is part 2.

Are you a fan of Flash Gordon? Follow HAIL FLASH on Facebook to appreciate the history of the character.