Sunday, March 21, 2021

Spring Is Here

Began a glorious sunny morning with perfectly fluffy Lemon Ginger Pancakes for breakfast and Tune Up for Spring. This is another Columbia Special Products seasonal album, with at least one number (the instrumental "Younger Than Springtime") that repeats from Magic of Spring. Polly Bergen figures into two of the most memorable numbers, "Spring Is Here" and "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year," the latter with Frank De Vol and His Orchestra. We also get a really vintage recording of Al Jolson singing "April Showers."

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended; arrived right on time. We were a bit steadier this time, sometimes very busy, but not as bad as we usually get on Sundays. I had a few annoying customers, including my last one. I wish the WIC Checks, the government checks that allow low-income mothers to get the food and formula needed for their young children, we easier to deal with. The well-meaning lady got the wrong cheese for the check. I had to get the right ones. I also had to drag the formula cans out of the locked displays in the front of the store. Thank heavens they got the head bagger to go in for me. I got out just in time.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road, mainly to enjoy the day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny, breezy, blue skies, probably in the mid-50's. Just what it should be in late March. I couldn't have gotten my bike at a better time. Crocuses and jonquils waved to me on the roadsides; trees show the first seedling signs of leaves and blossoms.

Saw a huge Amazon box waiting for me on the front porch when I arrived. The new basket for my bike came a day ahead of schedule! While it's not as wide as the old one, it's deeper, taller, better-made, and the narrower handles fit better over my new handlebars. Once I got it put together, it only took me a minute to get it on the bike. 

Changed when I got back inside, then went into writing. I'm just not satisfied with the opening to the western sequence. It's not moving fast enough. I had Richard come into the bar for a drink, but cut the men at the bar and had Charles the bartender point him over to Gene across the way at the jail.

Put on a couple of records while eating crab cakes, cole slaw, and pasta for dinner. The soundtrack to the 1968 film version of Finian's Rainbow features at least one song, "Necessity," that was cut from the movie. It also has Petula Clark's gorgeous "How are Things In Glocca Morra?" and Fred Astaire's very funny "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich," along with Clark and Tommy Steele's adorable "Something Sort of Grandish."

The Roaring 20's is the soundtrack to a crime show about a couple of cops after gangsters and bootleggers. Dorothy Provine's covers of hits from the era like "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Don't Tell Lulu," and "It Had to Be You" were apparently popular enough to rate at least two albums. 

Finished the night on YouTube with game shows mainly based around picture or word puzzles. Concentration began on NBC in 1958 with veteran newscaster Hugh Downs as host. I went with one of the earliest existing episodes. There's numbers running on the bottom, but that only somewhat distracts from seeing the original rebuses and simpler game play. 

Since Buzzr for some reason only runs syndicated Concentration episodes from 1976, I went with a somewhat earlier one from 1973. The game play is largely the same, but there's more wild cards and "pick one"-type cards added. We also now have a bonus round, where contestants have 10 seconds to answer two rebuses and win a car.

Catch Phrase from 1985 was one of the cutest game shows I've ever seen. Two contestants guess the phrase illustrated on a computer screen, often by a robot named Herbie. If they guess the Catch Phrase, they reveal a panel in a "Super Catch Phrase." If they can guess the Super Catch Phrase, they win a jackpot, then go on to the Bonus Round, where they have to guess the catch phrases of a row of letters and win a prize. It's kind of like a cross between Blockbusters and Concentration, and it's adorable. It seems to have gone over far better in England, where it's run almost continuously since 1986. 

Camouflage from 1962 is also pretty cute. Here, contestants have to find the object hidden in a picture. It's a lot harder than it looks, especially in black-and-white! Chuck Barris tried reviving it in color in 1980, but that version doesn't seem to have gone over nearly as well.

Stumpers! brings Allen Ludden back in for another word association game. Instead of describing words, this time, two celebrity contestants (Dick Gautier and Robert Reed in the premier episode) use clues to describe celebrities or other pop culture phrases. Too bad this show was very short-lived and the tape on YouTube of one of only two existing episodes is nearly unwatchable. It's actually a pretty fun game, and Gautier is certainly enjoying himself.

Dick Clark's first game show was The Object Is from 1964. Here, the celebrity panel name an object related to a person, like "kite" for Benjamin Franklin or "New Year's confetti" for Clark. Surprisingly, given it was also very short-lived, it's one of the few daytime game shows of the 60's to survive intact. I'm not surprised it didn't last long. The game play was slow and a little bit dull.

Comedian Arte Johnson had his only shot at hosting with Knockout. Three contestants are shown words, one at a time. They have to guess which phrase doesn't belong with the others. That will net them one letter on the word "Knockout" on their podium. If they successfully dare an opponent to guess what category the words refer to, they can get six letters on the podium. The bonus round was the same, only this time, they won decreasing money for each phrase added. If they needed all five words to guess the category, they got nothing. Alas, the show didn't work out and is now mostly lost, and Johnson never hosted again. He looked like he had a great time and had a lot of fun with the contestants.

See if you can "concentrate" enough to solve these word and picture puzzles! (Look for bonus commercials on The Object Is, Camouflage, Catch Phrase, and Stumpers!)

1 comment:

Linda said...

I think I remember CAMOUFLAGE from when I was a kid. It was like that feature they had in "Highlights" magazine where you had to find things in a drawing.