April 30, 2011

25 neon signs

12 oaks motor hotel sign

There is something about a vintage neon sign that just thrills the heck out of me. I've driven a lot of Tejas (and elsewhere) to find them, and I hope to find more. But the very nature of them (vintage) makes them increasingly difficult and rare to find. Add to that factors such as the climate, like it is down along the Gulf of Mexico (where I grew up, down in Galveston). The salty air causes stuff to rapidly rust away, and the occasional hurricanes do their fair share of destroying signs from the past. So, due to my difficulty in locating them, the joy when finding or stumbling upon one is great. These are some of my favorites (out of a set of 336, taken from December 2005 to April 2011).

April 28, 2011

THE Voice

I didn't know Frankie had ever done a version of "Let's Get Lost." This recording seems to be from one of his numerous appearances on radio during the 1940s, probably at the height of "Sinatramania." It's sort of odd to hear him doing this, other than the person I've always identified the tune with, Chet Baker. I'm fairly certain Sinatra had a completely different concept of "getting lost" than Baker did (LOL)!

April 23, 2011

Rosewood Theatre

the rosewood theatre
My dad took this picture of the Rosewood Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, during the '70s or 80s. The theater as pictured is long gone.

April 21, 2011

"I Like to Lead When I Dance"

Just another day in Sinatraland.

A swellegant, elegant track from Robin and the 7 Hoods, unreleased and unheard until 2002, "I Like to Lead When I Dance" was written by the great songwriting team behind so many of Sinatra's notable tunes, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.

April 20, 2011

"Tristeza (Goodbye Sadness)"

From her 1967 album Beach Samba, "Tristeza (Goodbye Sadness)" is a song which could have been written just for Astrud Gilberto, as it fits very well her nice, yet limited vocal range. I'm also quite fond of the organ on this one.

April 19, 2011

A Heights sampler

From the Texas Historical Commission's Historic and Architectural Resources of Houston Heights (written in the early 1980s):

One of the first planned suburbs in the state, Houston Heights has retained its architectural and civic identity to an unusual degree. This has been accomplished in spite of its location in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. The Heights presents a Whitman's Sampler of turn-of-the-century architectural styles. Several notable late-Victorian mansions and substantial early 20th-century public, ecclesiastical, and commercial buildings serve as the anchors of the neighborhood. Nevertheless, the real strength of the Heights rests in its wide array of essentially vernacular, middle-class, and domestic architecture of the period 1893-1932.

April 13, 2011

April 10, 2011

Nacogdoches has come unstuck in time

For anyone who happened to make it by the Hotel Fredonia in Nacogdoches this past weekend, it was very easy to imagine what it would have been like when the hotel opened back in 1955. And guess who went over, early, to photograph the scene and pretend as if there was nothing unusual about having a parking lot full of cars from a vanished time?

April 8, 2011

Mood swingin'

Two songs, bipolar polar opposites (at least titularly). Like other recordings, I'd like to climb into each and crawl around within. And by this I mean they are indicative of an era for which I strangely yearn - nostalgia for that which I myself did not experience.