December 31, 2010

EBiN vs. Godzilla!

Galveston Island, 1967

"Music to Watch Girls By"

If ever there was a slice of musical heaven writ 'specially for mine own ears, it is The Bob Crewe Generation's "Music to Watch Girls By." And if there ever was a song into which I would want to climb into and crawl around within (and stay), it is "Music to Watch Girls By." Sounding suspiciously like Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass or Henry Mancini at moments, it's so beautifully rooted in 1960s-era lounge culture I can barely stand it.

December 29, 2010

Two hours in Sherman

car in shermanold sign in sherman
I found all but a couple of sixteen structures I'd mapped, as well as several additional other things I had not planned on. In chronological order (as I found them), a Herculean labor of love:

December 27, 2010

"Thru Spray-Colored Glasses"

From the soundtrack to the 1969 surf film Follow Me, this is Dino, Desi & Billy doing a groovy favorite of mine:

About the song (in case you were wondering):

A heavenly pop vocal track, one of the last tracks ever recorded by Dino, Desi and Billy. The production (by Stu Phillips, who did the Hollyridge Strings and some cool soundtracks) is dreamy and soft, perfectly matching the idealized lyrics (the world seems so wonderful...etc).

December 21, 2010

"Hallo, Mister X"

An instrumental used in the videogame Fallout New Vegas. The composer is a German dude named Gerhard Trede. He appears to have been someone from the Swing Era(?) who later got into electronic music. Or I could be completely wrong about that. Either way, I really love "Hallo, Mister X." Here is a short bio of Trede:

December 16, 2010

The "Mil cut"

saturday morning haircut
Well, I feel like a real local now. I finally managed to make it over to Milford's Barber Shop to get what, once upon a time, the college kids supposedly called a "Mil cut."

December 8, 2010

Main square at dawn

dón antonio gil y' barbo
This is Dón Antonio Gil y' Barbo, known of as being "the father of Nacogdoches." The statue is located near the spot where y' Barbo's home, the Stone House/Stone Fort, once stood. I could easily imagine him really standing there on his front porch, as he might have many times on similar, cold early mornings, master of all he surveyed.

December 6, 2010


In honor of Dave Brubeck turning 90 today, here is "Audrey," the opening track to the 1955 album Brubeck Time. Brubeck had this to say about the song and the song's co-writer, Paul Desmond:

" was Audrey Hepburn that we had in mind, and we never realized that she ever had heard this tune. There was no communication like that. And because she was so important at the United Nations for the work she did with children, when they did a memorial service for her there, her husband asked that they play what you just played.

And they said that she usually played it every night or put it on her headphones as she walked through her garden in Switzerland. So it was wonderful to hear that. I wish Paul Desmond had been around to know that she listened to it and liked it."

December 4, 2010

Hoplessly devoted to Olivia Newton-John

I've posted before about my fondness for Olivia Newton-John, dating back to when I was in 4th or 5th grade, but just let me reiterate: Wow!

I was eleven or twelve when this one came out, and I remember like it was yesterday, yesterday, yesteday....

December 3, 2010

Abandoned in Hempstead

Hempstead, Texas

"Dream a Little Dream of Me"

From his 1957 album Bing with a Beat, here is Bing Crosby's version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me." According to this source, Yoko Ono gave John Lennon an old-fashioned jukebox as a gift which Lennon "stocked" with Crosby records. This is one of the songs John played repeatedly:

November 29, 2010

November 20, 2010

Day-Lewis is Lincoln

So Daniel Day-Lewis will be Abraham Lincoln in the Spielberg film with a screenplay based on Doris Kern Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was supposedly around 6'4" "barefoot," whereas Day-Lewis is only around 6'1" (as was previously mentioned to play Lincoln, Harrison Ford). But I think he looks a bit like Lincoln, and God knows makeup and/or CGI could make up the difference. As far as height is concerned, Liam Neeson, standing at 6'4", was the closest actor/candidate to play America's sixteenth (and possibly greatest) president.

November 12, 2010

1963 Beatles fan club Christmas recording

Perhaps a little early Christmas cheer??

Information and picture from the Wikipedia entry for The Beatles' Christmas Album

"Each year from 1963 to 1969, The Beatles had recorded a short Christmas message for their fans, comprised of carols, skits, jokes, and thanks to the loyal "Beatle People". Each recording was pressed onto a 17.5 inch flexi disc and mailed free to the British members of the Fan Club.".

November 8, 2010

A couple of things in Houston

globe theater
The Globe Theater, c. 1935; Because it looks a little bit like this one, I'd say it is Art Moderne

Here is one of he last remaining examples of the original Jack in the Box building concept, designed by Southern California Googie architect, Russell Forester. I remember there being ones like this down in Galveston, where I grew up. I think one was up on the Seawall, down near the East End of the Island. It's surprising to find this one in Houston still standing:

mod jack in the box

November 5, 2010

"I Let a Song Go out of My Heart"

Ev'ryone has a favorite song,
my heart has one too;
but I lost my favorite song,
that's why I'm so blue.

by Duke Ellington, 1938

November 4, 2010

What is old is new again

So, the great old Mize Department Store (openened in downtown Nac in 1925, moved to its last location in 1961) has been closed for over three years now. Nonetheless, I was distressed (to say the least) to drive by it on North Street about a month ago to see this sign being dismantled and taken down, leaving an ugly, plain scarred brick wall:

mize department store neon sign in sunlight
mize department store neon light
I nearly turned around to take a picture of the workmen taking it down, but I was so sickened and horrified by the scene, I thought f*ck it, nobody else cares, so why should I? It seemed like just another bit of old Nacogdoches being thrown onto the scrapheap of forgotten history.

But I was slightly relieved when, upon a Sunday walk downtown, I went by the storefront and saw the very same sign hanging on the wall inside. So, I thought, at least, it's still around! Perhaps I could even go inside someday what is a soon-to-be-open insurance company, which moved into the empty department store and ask them to let me take a picture of it.

Well, imagine then my pleasant shock when, upon an evening run in the same area this past weekend, I see this:
Holy sh*t! And what is weird, is the old sign (the one which was dismantled and taken down) is still hanging on a wall inside the soon-to-open insurance company. So, they went to the trouble to not only carefully remove the old sign (which had broken neon tubing), but they also completely created an authentic replica. I may just have to give those people some business! I.....I love them. Sniff.

November 1, 2010

Seek and ye shall find (in the Rose City)

Arranged chronologically, as I found each site in Tyler:

jenkins-harvey super service station and garage
Jenkins-Harvey Super Service Station and Garage, c. 1929, Art Deco; this place has also been known either as Firestone Auto Supply and Service Store or Griffin Auto Storage

On the sunny side of the street
(so grab your coat and snatch your hat):
jenkins-harvey super service station and garage
jenkins-harvey super service station and garage

sun behind the smith county courthouse
Another shot of the 1955, Moderne Smith County Courthouse

courier times neon sign

whitaker-mcclendon house
whitaker-mcclendon house
Whitaker-McClendon House, c. 1880, Eastlake/Stick, Italianate; r. 1910, Classical Revival front porch

williams-anderson house
williams-anderson house
Williams-Anderson House, c. 1900, Queen Anne; I somehow found this place much more appealing than the preceding monster

borden's neon sign
Got this sign in the sun this time.

the john b. douglas house
the john b. douglas house
the john b. douglas house
John B. Douglas House, c. 1873, Italianate, Second Empire

I'd planned on finding all of the previous structures, including the John B. Douglas House; I had not counted on the two homes on lots just to the right (left in my photos) of the Douglas House (sweet!). What a neighborhood this must have been (along Fannin Avenue):

residence at 310 south fannin avenue
residence at 310 south fannin avenue
310 South Fannin Avenue, c. 1885, Queen Anne

And unsuccessfully trying to hide from me:
residence at 306 south fannin avenue
306 South Fannin Avenue, c. 1885, Queen Anne
I was reminded of this place (similarly hidden and pink).

October 29, 2010

A return to Henderson

I've been through Henderson a few times before, and I stopped there again on the way home from a trip to Longview this past weekend. The main objective in Henderson was this:

100 west ragley street
100 west ragley street
100 west ragley street
100 West Ragley, c. 1870, Gothic Revival

But there was also:

art deco gas station in henderson
art deco gas station in henderson
art deco gas station in henderson

305 east main street in henderson
305 East Main Street

306 east main street in henderson
306 east main street in henderson
306 East Main Street