Twilight Zone – The Bard

★★ May 23, 1963 Season 4 Episode 18

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This show closed out the 4th season and the one hour long experiment was over. The Bard is my least favorite episode of the entire series. I’ve seen some lists where it’s the bottom or near the bottom. On the other hand, I’ve seen some have it high. It’s a comedy episode that just doesn’t work. One thing that is interesting about this episode is the appearance of Burt Reynolds playing a Marlon Brando character. That added a star in my rating but even Burt couldn’t save this one.

Jack Weston plays Julius Moomer and the character is a no-talent writer who uses black magic to bring William Shakespeare back to write a television program. Even typing it sounds cringe-worthy. The plot had some good elements of a Twilight Zone but Weston’s character is just not likable. It might have worked in a shorter format with a different script.

Some may think this is a hilarious episode…I just never did.

From IMDB: William Shakespeare (John Williams) quotes lines from his plays nine times with a trumpet flourish sounding each time, and most of the time, him telling what play, act, and scene the quote came from. Three from ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ two from ‘Twelfth Night,’ and one each from ‘Troilus and Cressida,’ ‘As You Like It,’ and ‘A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream’, plus a partial one from ‘Hamlet’ (cut short when Shakespeare forgets the end of the “To be or not to be” line.

Cora (Judy Strangis) looks at the book , “Ye Book of Ye Black Art”, Julius (Jack Weston) is using to conjure black magic and refers to him as Faust. In a classic German legend based on Johann Georg Faust, he makes a pact with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The devil sends his representative, Mephistopheles. He makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a set number of years, but at the end of the term, the Devil will claim Faust’s soul, and Faust will be eternally enslaved.

Burt Reynolds’s character is clearly an amalgam of Marlon Brando and Paul Newman.

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

You’ve just witnessed opportunity, if not knocking, at least scratching plaintively on a closed door. Mr. Julius Moomer, a would-be writer, who if talent came 25 cents a pound, would be worth less than car fare. But, in a moment, Mr. Moomer, through the offices of some black magic, is about to embark on a brand-new career. And although he may never get a writing credit on the Twilight Zone, he’s to become an integral character in it.

Here is a clip that I could not embed becasue it’s on Dailymotion.

Summary

Julius Moomer, a talentless, but relentless, self-promoting hack who dreams of becoming a successful television writer, uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare to write dramatic teleplays that Moomer will pass off as his own. Shakespeare becomes irritated by Moomer’s lack of appreciation and is even more appalled when he discovers the changes wrought on his plays by cynical television executives.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Julius Moomer, a streetcar conductor with delusions of authorship, and if the tale just told seems a little tall, remember a thing called poetic license, and another thing called the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Jack Weston … Julius Moomer
John Williams … William Shakespeare
Burt Reynolds … Rocky Rhodes
Henry Lascoe … Gerald Hugo
John McGiver … Mr. Shannon
Howard McNear … Bramhoff
Judy Strangis … Cora
Marge Redmond … Secretary
Doro Merande … Sadie
William Lanteau … Dolan
Clegg Hoyt … Bus driver
John Newton … TV interviewer
John Bose … Daniel Boone (uncredited)
Rudy Bowman … Robert E. Lee (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Passage On The Lady Anne

★★★★1/2 May 9, 1963 Season 4 Episode 17

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

The story is not really scary but the setting will remind you of a horror movie. It takes place on a ship that is surrounded by fog. Mix that with black and white and the Wolfman film comes to mind. This is the first hour-long episode I watched many years ago.  This episode benefits from the hour format. You see a couple who are teetering on breaking up decide on a cruise. Throughout the episode, you see the gradual healing and the companionship replacing turmoil. Their older fellow passengers help them both along the way. This story could not have been made as well in a half-hour-long format. 

I would strongly recommend this and there is a twist but the twist is a little ambiguous. This is not an episode where a bad person gets cosmically punished for doing bad things. It does show real-life problems that you can relate to today. The cinematographer and set designers deserve praise in this episode. 

From IMDB: Because of the large number of well-known actors in this episode, the closing theme featured a credit roll of cast names instead of the usual still frames. The remaining non-cast credits were then done with standard still frames. This was the only episode of the series to ever use a credit roll.

This was the last Charles Beaumont Twilight Zone screenplay to be actually fully written by Beaumont himself. Around the time this episode was made, Beaumont (then only 34) began suffering from the rapid onset of a degenerative neurological disorder (believed to be either Alzheimer’s and/or Pick’s Disease) which affected his speech, memory, and concentration, as well as causing him to physically age very rapidly. As the disease progressed, Beaumont was soon unable to meet his writing commitments. A number of his writer friends, including Jerry Sohl and William F. Nolan, supported Beaumont by ghostwriting stories with or for him and submitting them in his name, although Beaumont insisted on splitting the fees with his helpers. His last screen credit (also probably ghostwritten) was in 1965, by which time he was too ill to work at all, and he died on 21 February 1967, aged only 38, although his son later recounted that his father “looked ninety-five” at the time of his death.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Portrait of a honeymoon couple getting ready for a journey – with a difference. These newlyweds have been married for six years, and they’re not taking this honeymoon to start their life but rather to save it, or so Eileen Ransome thinks. She doesn’t know why she insisted on a ship for this voyage, except that it would give them some time and she’d never been on one before – certainly never one like the Lady Anne. The tickets read ‘New York to Southampton,’ but this old liner is going somewhere else. Its destination – the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Eileen and Alan Ransome’s marriage is going through a bad patch and they decide to go on a holiday to London. Eileen insists on traveling by ship and they book passage on the Lady Anne, an old ship that is not recommended by the travel agent but is leaving quite soon. When they arrive at the port terminal another passenger, Mr. McKenzie, insists strenuously that the young couple has made a mistake and tries to discourage them from coming along on what is a “private cruise”. Mrs. McKenzie keeps her own counsel but clearly shares her husband’s sentiments. Another passenger, Burgess, tries to warn them off as well. He and McKenzie offer them money, eventually $10,000, to leave immediately. The Ransomes take umbrage and refuse. The couple finds that all of the other passengers are quite elderly but unsurprisingly have a good deal of wisdom to dispense to the young couple. Alan and Eileen are just beginning to really enjoy the trip when the captain suddenly puts them off the ship at gunpoint with provisions and a promise to notify the authorities of their location. They are rescued but as for the Lady Anne and her other passengers — well, there’s the rub

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

The Lady Anne never reached port. After they were picked up by a cutter a few hours later, as Captain Protheroe had promised, the Ransomes searched the newspapers for news – but there wasn’t any news. The Lady Anne with all her crew and all her passengers vanished without a trace. But the Ransomes knew what had happened, they knew that the ship had sailed off to a better port – a place called the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Gladys Cooper … Millie McKenzie
Wilfrid Hyde-White … Toby McKenzie
Cecil Kellaway … Burgess
Lee Philips … Alan Ransome
Joyce Van Patten … Eileen Ransome
Alan Napier … Capt. Protheroe
Cyril Delevanti … Officer
Jack Raine … Officer
Colin Campbell … Addicott
Don Keefer … Spierto
Frank Baker … Otto Champion (uncredited)
Sam Harris … Mersia Jones (uncredited)
Freda Jones … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Colin Kenny … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Scott Seaton … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey … Ship’s Greeter (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – On Thursday We Leave For Home

★★★★★ May 2, 1963 Season 4 Episode 16

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a not just a great episode…it’s a classic one. The episode takes place in 2021.  James Whitmore plays Captain William Benteen and his acting in this is top notch. The writing also is one of Rod Serling’s best scripts. Captain Benteen reminded me of a cult leader…he doesn’t make the Jim Jones jump but he is similiar. Loving, caring, power hungry, narcissistic, and dictatorial. You see all phases and you also see regret but only when it’s too late. 

The people in this episode are a remnant society who left the Earth looking for an Eden, a place without war, without jeopardy, without fear. What they found was quite different. They have been here 30 years. The planet is a nightmare place of two suns, unending day and terrible meteor storms. Despair prevails among the 187 survivors of the original colony and suicide is not uncommon. Their thirty-year survival is attributable to one source: the iron leadership of Benteen, their self-appointed Captain. 

If you only watch one hour long episode of the Twilight Zone…make it this one. Human nature is on full display in this episode…both the best and the worse. This is a science-fictional examination of the positive and negative uses of power.

From IMDB: The cave that the colonists use as their meeting hall was originally the underground lair of the Morlocks in The Time Machine (1960).

When the rescue ship from Earth arrives, several colonists ask about various places on Earth during a meeting between the ship’s crew and the colonists. One of the questions is about the Finger Lake District of New York. This area had a special significance to script writer Rod Serling. It is located close to his home town of Binghamton, he and his family vacationed there frequently, and Serling named his company that produced “The Twilight Zone,” Cayuga Productions, after one of the lakes. He later taught at Ithaca College for the last five years before his death.

The striking diorama backgrounds of the planet, the model and the large-scale prop of the rescue ship sent to bring the colonists home, and the uniforms of the rescue crew were all originally created for Forbidden Planet (1956). This was a recurring feature on “The Twilight Zone” which was frequently filmed at MGM Studios, and often prominently featured recycled props and set pieces from “Forbidden Planet”. The previous episode, “The Incredible World of Horace Ford” featured copies of the original blueprints of designs for Robby the Robot, created by MGM production designer Robert Kinoshita.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is William Benteen, who officiates on a disintegrating outpost in space. The people are a remnant society who left the Earth looking for a millennium, a place without war, without jeopardy, without fear, and what they found was a lonely, barren place whose only industry was survival. And this is what they’ve done for three decades: survive; until the memory of the Earth they came from has become an indistinct and shadowed recollection of another time and another place. One month ago a signal from Earth announced that a ship would be coming to pick them up and take them home. In just a moment we’ll hear more of that ship, more of that home, and what it takes out of mind and body to reach it. This is the Twilight Zone.

Summary

The colonists of Pilgrim I, Earth’s first space colony, have spent 30 years on their new home. It’s a lonely, barren place more akin to hell then Eden. Now, they’re awaiting the arrival of a ship to take them to Earth. Some colonists are at their wits’ end; another – the 9th in 6 months – commits suicide. Their leader, William Benteen, a tough drill sergeant-type, who they call Captain, does his best to keep them together. When the ship arrives, they’re given 3 days to prepare to leave. As the day of departure approaches, Benteen’s assumption that the community will stay together on Earth, is wrong; most will go their own way once on earth. Hearing this, Benteen decides they should stay. When the group decides otherwise, Benteen’s left with only one option.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

William Benteen, who had prerogatives: he could lead, he could direct, dictate, judge, legislate. It became a habit, then a pattern and finally a necessity. William Benteen, once a god, now a population of one.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
James Whitmore … Captain William Benteen
Tim O’Connor … Colonel Sloane
James Broderick … Al
Paul Langton … George
Jo Helton … Julie
Mercedes Shirley … Joan
Russ Bender … Hank
Danny Kulick … Jo-Jo (as Daniel Kulick)
Madge Kennedy … Colonist
John Ward … Colonist
Shirley O’Hara … Colonist
Tony Benson … Colonist (as Anthony Benson)
Lew Gallo … Lt. Engle

Love Valley Rock Festival…1970

What a festival this was and what a town it still is. It happened in Love Valley North Carolina. The headliners were The Allman Brothers who at that time only had one album out and were largely unknown to the masses. This huge festival was soon known as Woodstock South.  Between 100,000-200,000 showed up.

A man named Andy Barker always wanted to live in a western town. When he was 29 years old he bought some land in 1954 and moved his family there. The land was in Iredell County and he he built the town and it was chartered in 1963. It has a saloon, hitching posts, a small church and more. No cars are allowed in town…you can walk or ride a horse through.

It’s the place for riding horses, rodeos, and hiking trails with 2000 acres to cover. The population of Love Valley is right now at 96. Through the years it seems to stay around 100.

Love Valley: The Town Where Cars Aren't Allowed, Only HorsesLove Valley, NC - Town With No Cars, Only Horses

In 1969 Andy’s daughter Tonda wanted to go to Woodstock but he thought she was too young. So he asked her and her 16 year old brother Jet Barker to organize a festive concert in Love Valley. While in college she had worked with an entertainment coordinator at college and knew the ropes. She managed to secure the Allman Brothers Band who at the time were known in the south but that is about it. They also got some more local bands to fill it out…it was a large bill. It took place Thursday July 16-18, 1970.

One interesting thing that happened was that the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws showed up to do battle with each other. According to witnesses Andy Barker stopped them and confiscated a chain and ax from each and told them there would be no trouble here. They seemed to respect this man because after that the gangs dispersed and some camped out with no reported trouble. The festival went off without any major hitch.

Tonda: “It was perfect, it was like a dream. We had worked so hard and we could finally just sit down and enjoy it.”

Andy planned to make a documentary of it but it didn’t happen. All we have to look at is some grainy footage but that grainy footage shows Duane Allman a year before At Fillmore East was released. They were finishing up their second album Idlewild South at this time. Some very nice bootlegs are out there from their multiple sets.

Along with the Allman Brothers, the line up consisted of these bands: Big Brother and the Holding Company (without Janis), Radar, Peace Core, Wet Willie, Johnny Jenkins, Tony Joe White, Hampton Grease Band, Donnydale, Catfish Freedom, Sundown, Chakra, Hot Rain, Kallabash, Warm Stone Blind, Captain John’s Fishmarket. There were over 40 bands over that weekend.

Some like Wet Willie would go on to have a few hits. Tony Joe White had a top ten hit with Polk Salad Annie the year before.

Ed Buzzell was a UPI stringer and took these photographs...they are amazing. They don’t show many bands…just the people…you feel like you are there.

Twilight Zone – The Incredible World Of Horace Ford

★★★1/2 April 18, 1963 Season 4 Episode 15

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

Pat Hingle who plays Horace Ford is emotionally little more than an oversized child, lives with his wife Laura and his mother. He spends most of his time reminiscing about what he recalls as an idyllic childhood that was all play and no responsibility. This one is similar to “Walking Distance” but just not as effective…Horace isn’t as mature as the Martin Sloan characer in that episode. He fails to get the viewer’s compassion because of his imaturity. 

When looking back on childhood with rose colored glasses… Horace may get a chance to peel back the nostalgia and find out what really happened in his youth. It does have a good story but some will be put off by the exaggerated aspect of Pat Hingle’s performance. I liked it and the more times I’ve watched this episode the more I appreciated it. 

I have to ask this before I end. Pat Hingle who plays Horace Maxwell Ford…does he not look like Nick Nolte? It’s too bad when Hingle got older he didn’t play Nolte’s dad in a movie. 

The writer to this one is Reginald Rose who wrote the great 12 Angry Men. 

Reginald Rose: What I meant to do with The Incredible World of Horace Ford, was to tell a simple horror story about an everyday man with a somewhat exaggerated but everyday kind of problem and, in so doing, point out that the funny, tender childhood memories we cling to are often distorted and unreal. What happened to Horace when he finally made it back to his childhood was typical of what actually happened to so many of us again and again when we were children. He was ridiculed, rejected, beaten up. These are all familiar experiences to us, yet somehow we tend only to remember, as Horace did, the joys of swiping pomegranates from Ippolitos.

From IMDB:

This was not an original screenplay for The Twilight Zone (1959). It’s a remake of Studio One: The Incredible World of Horace Ford (1955), which was a live TV version starring Art Carney and Jason Robards.

This episode revisits themes used in The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance (1959) and The Twilight Zone: The Trouble with Templeton (1960) – namely, a person’s propensity to romanticize and try to relive a past that may not have been at all as good as they like to remember it.

The blueprints of Harold’s new robot toy are copies of the actual blueprints Bob Kinoshita made for the design of Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Reginald Rose

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Mr. Horace Ford, who has a preoccupation with another time, a time of childhood, a time of growing up, a time of street games, stickball and hide-‘n-go-seek. He has a reluctance to check out a mirror and see the nature of his image: proof positive that the time he dwells in has already passed him by. But in a moment or two he’ll discover that mechanical toys and memories and daydreaming and wishful thinking and all manner of odd and special events can lead one into a special province, uncharted and unmapped, a country of both shadow and substance known as the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Toy designer, Horace Ford’s very enthusiastic about what he does, and his memories of childhood are beginning to become an obsession. But, those childhood moments which brought him great joy aren’t remembered by anytime else – even his mother. She doesn’t recall their time living on Randolph Street as such a great time. Horace goes to visit the old neighborhood, but when he gets there, he seems to have stepped back in time, and the past starts to spill over into the present. He returns to the street several times, and the scene repeats itself. He begins to realise -his childhood wasn’t the wonderful one he remembered

The COMPLETE episode

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Exit Mr. and Mrs. Horace Ford, who have lived through a bizarre moment not to be calibrated on normal clocks or watches. Time has passed, to be sure, but it’s the special time in the special place known as the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Pat Hingle…Horace Maxwell Ford
Nan Martin…Laura Ford
Ruth White…Mrs. Ford
Phillip Pine…Leonard O’Brien
Vaughn Taylor…Mr. Judson
Jerry Davis…Hermie Brandt
Billy Hughes…Kid
Mary Carver…Betty O’Brien
Jim E. Titus…Horace…a boy

REM – Everybody Hurts

When I heard this song in the 90s…I knew then it was one of those songs that would become an instant classic.

Most of this song was written by R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry. It is an anti-suicide song. Berry wanted to reach out to people who felt they had no hope. He quit the band in 1997 shortly before recording their album Up after an aneurysm. After that album, the band almost broke up, but decided to continue as a trio.

While he wrote this, he did not actually play on it. They used a Univox drum machine. R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills claims he bought Univox drum machine for $20, but it was perfect for the song’s metronome-ish feel.

It was on the album Automatic For The People, considered by some as the best album they ever released. The album peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in the UK, #4 in Canada, and #1 in New Zealand.

The album title was inspired by Weaver D’s soul food diner in Athens, Georgia. They had a sign that said “Delicious Fine Foods – Automatic For The People.”

The song peaked at #29 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, #7 in the UK, and #12 in New Zealand in 1993.  I’m shocked now that it wasn’t in the top 10 in Billboard.

The string arrangement was done by no other than Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Michael Stipe: “It saved a few. People have told me. And I love hearing that. That’s for me, that’s my Oscar, that’s my gold on a shelf right there… that something we did impacted someone’s life in such a profound way. That’s a beautiful thing.”

Mike Mills: Mike (Stipe) and I cut it live with this dumb drum machine which is just as wooden as you can get. We wanted to get this flow around that: human and non-human at the same time.”

Peter Buck: The reason the lyrics are so atypically straightforward is because it was aimed at teenagers.

From Songfacts

On many R.E.M. songs, Michael Stipe purposefully sings indecipherably. He sang very clearly on this one though, because he didn’t want his message getting lost. “I don’t remember singing it,” he noted in Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011, “but I still kind of can’t believe my voice is on this recording. It’s very pure. This song instantly belonged to everyone except us, and that honestly means the world to me.”

The Nevada legislature commended R.E.M. for “encouraging the prevention of teen suicides,” noting this song as an example (Nevada has a high rate of teen suicide).

The music video was directed by Jake Scott, son of movie director Ridley Scott, famous for movies like Blade Runner (1982) and Gladiator (2000). Filmed on Interstate 10 in San Antonio, Texas, the clip is set during a traffic jam where people’s thoughts are revealed through subtitles.

The video won four MTV Video Music Awards: Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. When it won for Best Direction, Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who were nominated for “Sabotage,” got to the podium before Michael Stipe. Dressed in character as his Swiss alter ego Nathanial Hornblower, he went on a rant, calling it a “farce” before being ushered off.

Disrupting an award for such a somber song is in poor taste, but it was hard to take this awards show seriously. Hosted by Roseanne Barr, it is best remembered for a cringe-worthy kiss between newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. MTV didn’t harbor any resentment: they gave the Beastie Boys the Video Vanguard award in 1998.

This was used on an episode of The Simpsons when Marge is walking in a thunderstorm and thinks she has no friends. 

In February 2010 a charity cover was recorded by a collection of artists, Helping Haiti, to raise money for the victims of the earthquake that devastated the country. It sold over 200,000 copies in its first two days making it one of the quickest selling singles of the 21st century in the United Kingdom. Joseph Kahn directed a music video for the cover that features cameos from the performers and footage from the earthquake’s aftermath. Kahn is known for directing clips for the likes of Eminem, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift.

This topped a poll compiled by PRS For Music, which collects and pays royalties to musicians in the UK, of the songs most likely to make a grown man cry. Second in the list came Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” followed by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” PRS chairman Ellis Rich said: “From this chart, it is clear that a well-written tear-jerker is one that people can relate to and empathise with. It is this lyrical connection that can reach deep down emotionally and move even the strongest of men.”

In a rare authorized comedic use of this song, Mayim Bialik’s character on The Big Bang Theory plays this on the harp when she is upset over being left behind by her two girlfriends, who are shopping for bridesmaids dresses. Her “boyfriend,” played by Jim Parsons, comes by to cheer her up, resulting in an awkward cuddle scene.

Peter Buck likens the vibe of this song to Otis Redding’s “Pain in My Heart.” He wrote in the liner notes for Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011: “I’m not sure if Michael would have copped that reference, but to a lot of our fans it was a Staxxy-type thing.”

This was used in the 1992 film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry and Rutger Hauer. Speaking of the subsequent TV series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Peter Buck said: “I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.”

Pink and Kelly Clarkson sang this to open the 2017 American Music Awards. They were introduced by Jamie Foxx, who said the purpose was to “pay respect to all those affected by the events of the past year,” meaning the hurricanes, shootings and hate rallies that took place.

Another comedic use was on The Office in the season 2 episode “The Fire,” where Dwight retreats to his car and blasts the song after Michael takes Ryan’s side in a business discussion.

Everybody Hurts

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on

‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone

If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts

You are not alone

Twilight Zone – Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville

★★★★ April 11, 1963 Season 4 Episode 14

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a good episode. It has two plot lines that I love…time travel and deals with the Devil. If the devil looked like  Julie Newmar…there would be a lot of deals signed. Albert Salmi as the greedy Feathersmith is fantastic. He is one of my favorite chacter actors of that time. You may recognize John Anderson as Deidrich…he was a character actor until his death in 1992. He had 246 acting credits on various tv shows. 

If you could go back knowing what you know now. Would it be something small or  large you would miss because you were so excited? Chances are yes…and that little something could start a chain reaction…and you might just regret it. 

The special effects in the Twilight Zone are usually great. The only bad thing I can say about them in this one is Salmi’s “old” makeup. I believe though it’s a product of our times. With high definition tv now…you can see it clear but back then on 60’s tv…it was probably fine. This one is marked low in IMDB which I totally disagree with. It does have it’s faults but is an enjoyable episode. 

From IMDB: Ms. Devlin’s Travel Offices are on the 13th floor. This is unusual in the US (and suitable to her nature) as most buildings before the 1980’s skip the 13th floor when numbering floors in their buildings. The number 13 has long been considered unlucky.

Albert Salmi previously appeared in The Twilight Zone: Execution (1960) and The Twilight Zone: A Quality of Mercy (1961), all of which involve time travel. In “Execution” and “Cliffordville” his characters are very unlikable, although that is not the case in “Quality.”

This show was written by Rod Serling and Malcolm Jameson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness a murder. The killer is Mr. William Feathersmith, a robber baron whose body composition is made up of a refrigeration plant covered by thick skin. In a moment, Mr. Feathersmith will proceed on his daily course of conquest and calumny with yet another business dealing. But this one will be one of those bizarre transactions that take place in an odd marketplace known as the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. William J. Feathersmith, tycoon, who tried the track one more time and found it muddier than he remembered, proving with at least a degree of conclusiveness that nice guys don’t always finish last, and some people should quit when they’re ahead. Tonight’s tale of iron men and irony, delivered F.O.B. from the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Albert Salmi … Feathersmith
John Anderson … Deidrich
Wright King … Hecate
Guy Raymond … Gibbons
Christine Burke … Joanna
John Harmon … Clark
Hugh Sanders … Cronk
Julie Newmar … Miss Devlin
Mary Jackson … Miss Pepper (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – The New Exhibit

★★★★★ April 4, 1963 Season 4 Episode 13

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This episode of the Twilight Zone is really good. It has everything…some horror, mystery, and a great twist at the end. It could have been a 50’s type horror movie. You expect Vincent Price to come on at any time. Martin Balsam plays Martin Lombard Senescu and he is fantastic. He is a sympathetic character that loves his job at the wax museum…maybe a little too much. Will Kuluva as Ernest Ferguson plays the owner of the museum who sees the writing on the wall, the museum is not as popular as it was and will have to close. He is a kindly older gentlemen who cares… and gently lets Martin go…but not without granting Martin a favor. 

The pacing in this one is good. They use the hour to breathe life to the characters.  The story builds nicely and there is a good payoff in the end.  

There was a sad story behind the scenes. Charles Beaumont (his real name was Charles Leroy Nutt) was credited as writing this but Jerry Sohl had started ghostwriting for him by this time. Beaumont was only 35 and had been the top writer for Playboy and he wrote some of the very best Twilight Zones. He was probably the best writer the Twilight Zone had besides Rod Serling.

He was starting to forget things and could not concentrate. He was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease or Picks Disease…they could not know which one until he passed. He passed away at 38 years old in 1967 and his son said he had the body and mind of a 95 year old. 

Jerry Sohl helped him out and split everything 50/50 and did all the writing in his name. He wrote for Hitchcock, Route 66 and Playboy under Beamont’s name. Sohl would write more Twilight Zones but not be credited. They had to keep this a secret because it was against Writers Guild rules.

Sohl’s script went before the cameras virtually unchanged, with no rewrites at all. This was the case with most of the scripts he ghosted. They went right in, and the reason is that Chuck Beaumont scripts were always so great that they didnt have to do anything.

Jerry Sohl on visiting the set:

Here I am standing with Chuck Beaumont, he recalls, and John Brahm, the director, comes up, puts his arm around him with the script that / did and says, Chuck, youve done it again! And here I am, standing right next to Chuck, unable to say a word!

This show was written by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Jerry Sohl (uncredited)

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Martin Lombard Senescu, a gentle man, the dedicated curator of murderers’ row in Ferguson’s Wax Museum. He ponders the reasons why ordinary men are driven to commit mass murder. What Mr. Senescu does not know is that the groundwork has already been laid for his own special kind of madness and torment found only in the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Martin Lombard Senescu is a gentle man and the curator of Murderer’s Row in Ferguson’s wax museum. He loves his work and is fascinated by what drives men to commit the crimes that they do. He’s informed by his boss Mr. Ferguson that the property is being sold to developers who will raze the building and erect a supermarket. Martin brings 5 of of wax figures home but after a year his wife is at her wits end. Martin spends all of his time in the basement with his beloved friends and the cost of keeping them is eating into their already limited income. When Martin finds Emma dead in the basement he buries her there. When her brother Dave shows up, he too is apparently killed. After Mr. Ferguson finally finds a buyer for the wax figures, Martin reluctantly agrees to let them go. There is a new addition to the exhibit however.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

The new exhibit became very popular at Marchand’s, but of all the figures none was ever regarded with more dread than that of Martin Lombard Senescu. It was something about the eyes, people said. It’s the look that one often gets after taking a quick walk through the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Martin Balsam …Martin Lombard Senescu
Will Kuluva…Ernest Ferguson
Margaret Field…Emma Senescu (as Maggie Mahoney)
William Mims…Dave
Phil Chambers…Gas Man
Leonard Bremen…Van Man (as Lennie Bremen)
Eddie Barth…Sailor (as Ed Barth)
Craig Curtis…Sailor
Milton Parsons…Henri Desire Landru
David Bond…Jack the Ripper
Bob Mitchell…Albert W. Hicks
Robert McCord…Burke (as Robert L. McCord)
Billy Beck…Hare
Marcel Hillaire…The Guide

Twilight Zone –  I Dream Of Genie

★★1/2 March 21, 1963 Season 4 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This episode is one of the light ones. You will notice the star of this episode right off the bat if you are a fan of the Andy Griffith Show. It’s Howard Morris…who is better known as Earnest T Bass. He does what he can do with the script. It’s slow paced and dull in spots. It does have a good moral to the story and a good twist at the very end…getting there is the challenge in this one. I feel like a broken record in a few of these longer episodes…but the hour works against itself in this one. One thing I will say…Howard Morris and Jack Albertson as the Genie are good in their parts. 

The best moments in I Dream of Genie is when Howard Morris is in the fantasy roles imagining how a wish would turn out if he made it. There are some funny moments but the journey is too long to get there. A thirty minute version of this still wouldn’t save much. 

 

This show was written by Rod Serling and John Furia

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Meet Mr. George P. Hanley, a man life treats without deference, honor or success. Waiters serve his soup cold. Elevator operators close doors in his face. Mothers never bother to wait up for the daughters he dates. George is a creature of humble habits and tame dreams. He’s an ordinary man, Mr. Hanley, but at this moment the accidental possessor of a very special gift, the kind of gift that measures men against their dreams, the kind of gift most of us might ask for first and possibly regret to the last, if we, like Mr. George P. Hanley, were about to plunge head-first and unaware into our own personal Twilight Zone.

Summary

A smart aleck genie appears from a lamp to a meek man, George P. Hanley. Hanley is so used to bad luck, he imagines how each of three possible wishes could go very wrong – but the genie will grant him only one wish.

 

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. George P. Hanley, former vocation; jerk. Present vocation; genie. George P. Hanley, a most ordinary man whom life treated without deference, honor, or success, but a man wise enough to decide on a most extraordinary wish, that makes him the contented, permanent master of his own altruistic Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
George P. Hanley…Howard Morris
Ann…Patricia Barry
Watson…Loring Smith
Starlet…Joyce Jameson
Genie…Jack Albertson
Roger…Mark Miller[1]
May…Molly Dodd
The P.R. Man/Scientist were played Milton Parsons
Masters…James Millhollin
Sam…Bob Hastings

Muddy Waters – Hoochie Coochie Man

What a great song by the one and only Muddy Waters.

The song was written by the great blues writer Willie Dixon. Muddy Waters recorded this song in 1954. Before Waters recorded it, he tested it out at the Chicago blues club Zanzibar. Willie Dixon gave Waters some advice before the band hit it: “Well, just get a little rhythm pattern, do the same thing over again, and keep the words in your mind.”Muddy recorded it a few weeks later with Dixon on bass.

Record label head Leonard Chess went south to bolster sales, and
partner Phil Chess told the magazine that the record had sold an astounding 4,000 copies in a single week. It became Muddy’s top selling single, and spent three months in the national charts, where it peaked at #3 in the R&B charts in 1954.

Willie Dixon would bring Muddy other songs that solidified his hoochie
coochie image: “Just Make Love To Me,” “I’m Ready,” and “Natural Born Lover.”

What a band backing Muddy! The musicans on the recording were Muddy Waters on lead vocals, guitar, Little Walter on harmonica, Otis Spann on piano, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass and Fred Below on drums.

British blues musician Long John Baldry named his 1964 band Long John Baldry And His Hoochie Coochie Men in honor of this song.

Willie Dixon: “People believe in mystic things. Like people today believe in astrology. That’s been going on for generations, since biblical days. People all over the world believe in it. Even before Jesus was born, according to the Bible. The wise men saw the stars in the East and were able to predict about things. All of these things are mystic. They say, ‘Hoochie coochie people are telling fortunes.’ You know, like the wise men of the East. They call them ‘voodoo men’ or ‘hoochie coochie men.’ They used to call them ‘hoodoo folk’ and ‘two-head people.’ They got many names for everybody.” (this appears in Zollo’s book Songwriters On Songwriting)

Wilie Dixon: “There was quite a few people around singing the blues,” 
“But most of ’em was singing all sad blues. Muddy was giving his blues a little pep, and I began trying to think of things in a peppier form.”

Author/musician Roger Reale: “The stark realism, the drama, and especially the vocal delivery are what do it for me on ‘Hoochie Coochie Man.’ It’s half conversational; Muddy gets your attention without overdoing it. And those lyrics about ‘a gypsy woman’ always felt kind of fascinating.”

Hoochie Coochie Man

Gypsy woman told my momma, before I was born
You got a boy-child comin’, gonna be a son-of-a-gun
Gonna make these pretty women, jump and shout
And the world will only know, a-what it’s all about

Why’know I’m here
Everybody knows I’m here
And I’m the hoochie-coochie man
Everybody knows I’m here

On the seventh hour, of the seventh day,
On the seventh month, the seventh doctor said:
“He’s born for good luck, and I know you see;
Got seven hundred dollars, and don’t you mess with me

Why’know I’m here
Everybody knows I’m here
And I’m the hoochie-coochie man
Everybody knows I’m here

Gypsy woman told my momma
Said “Ooh, what a boy,
He gonna make so many women,
Jump and shout for joy”

Why’know I’m here
Everybody knows I’m here
And I’m the hoochie-coochie man
Everybody knows I’m here

Gypsy woman told my momma, before I was born
You got a boy-child comin’, gonna be a son-of-a-gun
Gonna make these pretty women, jump and shout
And the world will only know, a-what it’s all about

Why’know I’m here
Everybody knows I’m here
And I’m the hoochie-coochie man
Everybody knows I’m here

I got a black cat bone, I got a mojo too
I got John the Conqueror, I’m gonna mess with you
I’m gonna make you, pretty girl, lead me by the hand
Then the world will know, the Hoochie-Coochie Man

Twilight Zone – The Parallel

★★★★1/2 March  14, 1963, Season 4 Episode 11

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

I kept saying that the 4th season was not a great season of the Twilight Zone. As someone (Paul) pointed out…there are some really good to great episodes. He was right…there are some great episodes in the season. This is one of them. After watching this season over…it’s much better than I gave it credit for. Is it as good as 1, 2, 3, or 5? No, it’s just different with the hour format. Not apples to oranges, just different.

This could be a 5 star…I went back and forth with the rating. The small details in this episode keep it interesting. 

This one is about a Parallel world. Steve Forrest who plays Major Robert Gaines is an astronaut that returns home from a troubled mission. He notices things wrong when he gets back…a different president, a gate around his yard that wasn’t there before, and small things that are wrong. His family also starts noticing little things…little things that only a loved one can see. 

From IMDB: Steve Forrest played the protagonist, Major Robert Gaines, in this episode while his elder brother Dana Andrews played the protagonist, Paul Driscoll, in the preceding episode The Twilight Zone: No Time Like the Past 

There is a moment after Maj. Gaines has spent the night with Mrs. Gaines where they attempt to embrace and she gives him a hard, questioning stare. According to producer Bert Granet, the intent of this interchange was to imply that sexual relations on the parallel world were slightly different from those of Maj. Gaines’ world, and that this had told Mrs. Gaines that he was no longer her husband. Unfortunately, in 1963 no direct mention of sexual behavior, even between spouses, was permissible, so that the scene is really too subtle to communicate this implication.

In the parallel universe, no one has ever heard of John F. Kennedy. The identity of the President of the United States in that universe is not revealed.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

In the vernacular of space, this is T minus one hour. Sixty minutes before a human being named Major Robert Gaines is lifted off from the Mother Earth and rocketed into the sky, farther and longer than any man ahead of him. Call this one of the first faltering steps of man to sever the umbilical cord of gravity and stretch out a fingertip toward an unknown. Shortly, we’ll join this astronaut named Gaines and embark on an adventure, because the environs overhead—the stars, the sky, the infinite space—are all part of a vast question mark known as the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Astronaut Major Robert Gaines is the latest to orbit the Earth but something happens while there. Ground control loses all contact with him and although he returns safely, he apparently blacked out and has no recollection of what may have happened. Nor can he explain how the craft landed on land – completely undamaged – when it was meant to splash down in the ocean. When Gaines returns home he finds that little things are different: he’s now a full colonel and has been for some time; his house now has a picket fence; he no longer seems to take sugar in his coffee; and even his wife senses he is different after she kisses him. It is soon apparent that Gaines has returned to an Earth in an alternate universe

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Major Robert Gaines, a latter-day voyager just returned from an adventure. Submitted to you without any recommendations as to belief or disbelief. You can accept or reject; you pay your money and you take your choice. But credulous or incredulous, don’t bother to ask anyone for proof that it could happen. The obligation is a reverse challenge: prove that it couldn’t. This happens to be the Twilight Zone.

 

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Steve Forrest … Major Robert Gaines
Jacqueline Scott … Helen Gaines
Frank Aletter … Colonel William Connacher
Paul Comi … Psychiatrist
Shari Lee Bernat … Maggie Gaines
Morgan Jones … Captain
William Sargent … The Project Manager
Philip Abbott … General Stanley Eaton
Fred Crane … News Anchorman (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – No Time Like The Past

★★★1/2 March 7, 1963 Season 4 Episode 10

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

I love time travel episodes. I wanted so much to love this one. No Time Like The Past has it’s charms but the hour long format works against it. It’s 4 time travel stories in this one. It could have been split up into two 30 minute episodes with the first three time jumps and the second episode the final jump. I think it would have been better for the hour long format to flesh out the first three time jumps. 

It was an interesting concept…to go back to the atom bomb dropping in Japan, the Lusitania sinking, and to try to kill Hitler. One of the flaws in this episode is he only gives himself a small amount of time to accomplish his tasks. In this case too much wasn’t a good thing. To sum it up…I wish they would have focused either on Hitler, Japan, and The Lusitania or the 1881 small town of Homeville, Indiana. The most interesting part of the episode is the 1881 Indiana story. 

Dana Andrews who played Paul Driscoll was a star in the 1940s in movies with Henry Fonda, Tyrone Powers, and more. 

From IMDB: Dana Andrews played the protagonist, Paul Driscoll, in this episode while his younger brother Steve Forrest played the protagonist, Major Robert Gaines, in the succeeding episode The Twilight Zone: The Parallel .

This episode takes place in 1963, in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, in Berlin, Germany in August 1939, aboard the RMS Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland on May 7, 1915 and in Homeville, Indiana from July 1 to July 3, 1881.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Exit one Paul Driscoll, a creature of the twentieth century. He puts to a test a complicated theorem of space-time continuum, but he goes a step further, or tries to. Shortly, he will seek out three moments of the past in a desperate attempt to alter the present, one of the odd and fanciful functions in a shadowland known as the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Paul Driscoll does not much like the way the 20th century has developed thus far and decides to go back in time to change mankind’s future. He first travels to Hiroshima and tries to warn an English-speaking policeman of what is to come, but to no avail. He then travels to Nazi Germany and attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler but is thwarted when his rifle misfires. He then finds himself aboard the Lusitania but again is unable to convince the ship’s captain to alter course before it is torpedoed. When he returns to the present, he agrees with his colleague Harvey that the past cannot be changed. He still does not like the present, so decides to go back to July 1881 to live his life in the small town of Homeville, Indiana. Unfortunately he learns yet again that past events cannot be changed

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Incident on a July afternoon, 1881. A man named Driscoll who came and went and, in the process, learned a simple lesson, perhaps best said by a poet named Lathbury, who wrote, ‘Children of yesterday, heirs of tomorrow, what are you weaving? Labor and sorrow? Look to your looms again, faster and faster fly the great shuttles prepared by the master. Life’s in the loom, room for it. Room.’[1] Tonight’s tale of clocks and calendars in the Twilight Zone.

 

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Dana Andrews … Paul Driscoll
Patricia Breslin … Abigail Sloan
Malcolm Atterbury … Prof. Eliot
Robert Cornthwaite … Hanford
John Zaremba … Horn Player
C. Lindsay Workman … Bartender (as Lindsay Workman)
Marjorie Bennett … Mrs. Chamberlain
Tudor Owen … Captain of Lusitania
James Yagi … Japanese Police Captain
Robert F. Simon … Harvey
Adolf Hitler … Self (archive footage)
Gene Coogan … Fire Spectator Restraining Driscoll (uncredited)
Peter Humphreys … Steward on Lusitania (uncredited)
Robert McCord … Man Hearing About Garfield (uncredited)
Bobs Watson … Man at Dining Room Table (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Printer’s Devil

★★★★★ Febraury 28, 1963 Season 4 Episode 9

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

I’ve always liked sell your soul to the devil stories. This one has Burgess Meredith and that means chances are it’s a great one. Three out of four Twilight Zones he is in are classics. Time Enough At Last, The Obsolete Man, and this one are remembered episodes of the Twilight Zone. His eyebrows were pointing slightly upward, a twisted cigar in his mouth, he certainly looks the part. He is a grinning, leering Devil, full of subtleties. His interpretation goes well beyond the lines. Meredith is also listed as one of the writers. 

Robert Sterling plays Douglas Winter, a down on his luck newspaper owner who is about to get pushed out by a larger paper. Pat Crowley plays Jackie Benson who is Douglas’s much more acute girlfriend. The hour format doesn’t hurt this one at all…in fact it helps a bit. The fourth season is not full of classic episodes but I have always considered this one…one of the best. 

Ralph Senensky directed this episode. I want to use this opportunity to tell everyone who is interested that he has a blog and talks about all the shows he directed. The Waltons, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone, and much more. His memories are insightful about those old shows. He still posts and he is around 98 years old. 

Ralph Senensky: Actors like Burgess Meredith fascinated me with the preparation they brought to their roles. They didn’t just memorize their lines. As Beulah Bondi once said to me, “After the lines are learned, that’s when the work begins.”  I’m sure Burgess took his cue for how to work at the linotype machine from one of Jackie’s lines: “If he doesn’t play Chopin’s Polonaise, I’m going to be disappointed.”

This show was written by Robert Sterling, Pat Crowley, and Burgess Meredith

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Take away a man’s dream, fill him with whiskey and despair, send him to a lonely bridge, let him stand there all by himself looking down at the black water, and try to imagine the thoughts that are in his mind. You can’t, I can’t. But there’s someone who can—and that someone is seated next to Douglas Winter right now. The car is headed back toward town, but its real destination is the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Douglas Winter, the editor of The Courier, a failing newspaper, feels there is nothing to live for after a number of employees quit, including the Linotype operator. On a bridge while drunk, he looks down into the inviting water below. When he is going to commit suicide, he is approached by one “Mr. Smith”, who comments that it’s a short fall and probably wouldn’t do a very good job. He then asks Doug for a light, and, if he wasn’t quite ready, a ride into town. Amused and forgetting about suicide, Winter gives him a lift to a café, where Mr. Smith agrees to provide the editor with money to pay off debts and continue the operation of the newspaper. Mr. Smith also signs up to replace the linotype operator and be the sole reporter. With nothing to lose, Doug agrees to the proposition.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Exit the infernal machine, and with it his satanic majesty, Lucifer, prince of darkness—otherwise known as Mr. Smith. He’s gone, but not for good; that wouldn’t be like him—he’s gone for bad. And he might be back, with another ticket….to The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Burgess Meredith…Mr. Smith
Robert Sterling…Douglas Winter
Pat Crowley…Jackie Benson
Ray Teal…Mr. Franklin
Charles P. Thompson…Andy Praskins
Doris Kemper…Landlady
Camille Franklin…Molly

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! We always have our Christmas on Christmas Eve night. Some of the family comes over and we all celebrate. My nephew has three children and one is only 3 years old so we will have a good time. This year my son is in Germany visiting his girlfriend so it’s our first Christmas without him…that part is hard but we will enjoy this Christmas Eve.

Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer every year is the same as setting up the tree. Every year I would look forward to seeing this along with the others but what a fantastic durable show this has been. When I hear Burl Ives in anything…I think of him as the narrator Sam the Snowman of this program.

I’ve marked out some time to watch this tonight during our Christmas Eve party.

The characters are wonderful. Well except those other young reindeer who really come down on Rudolph when his nose lights up.

Hermey the elf who wants to be a dentist
Clarice – The reindeer who likes Rudolph just as he is red nose and all.
Yukon Cornelius the prospector who loves silver and gold and has a tongue that can find his silver and gold.
Abominable Snowman – The bad guy of the show who only needs a dentist to make him a good guy.
Head Elf – He leans on Hermey to get his elf self-act together and discourages him from being a dentist…I never liked him too much.

Throughout the special, Yukon Cornelius is seen throwing his pickaxe into the ground, taking it out and licking it. It turns out that he is checking for neither gold nor silver; Yukon was actually searching for an elusive peppermint mine. In a scene right at the end of the special’s original broadcast, deleted the next year to make room for the Misfit Toys’ new scene, Cornelius pulled his pick from the ground, licked it and said, “Peppermint! What I’ve been searching for all my life! I’ve struck it rich! I’ve got me a peppermint mine! Wahoo!” The scene was restored in 1998 and has been reinstated in all the subsequent home video release except for the 2004 DVD release. However, this scene is still cut from recent televised airings.

The Island of Misplaced Toys got to me when I was a kid. I really felt sorry for these lonely toys. King Moonracer was over the island and tried to convinced Rudolph to tell Santa about them so he could pick them up and find kids who would play with them.

Related image

The original 1964 airing did not include the closing scene where Santa picks up the misfit toys. That scene was added in 1965, in response to complaints that Santa was not shown fulfilling his promise to include them in his annual delivery.

The stop animation in this works really well.

The songs are really good. Silver and Gold, Holly Jolly Christmas, Jingle Jingle Jingle, We Are Santa’s Elves, There’s Always Tomorrow, We’re a Couple of Misfits and The Most Wonderful Day of the Year.

https://christmas-specials.fandom.com/wiki/Rudolph_the_Red-Nosed_Reindeer_(Rankin/Bass)

Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

Merry Christmas Everybody… for all of the UK readers…I know I know…you are so tired of it. I’ve only heard it for the past three years or so. There are a few Christmas songs along with Alices Restaurant that I reblog every year…and this is one of them. I have this on our music list at Christmas and we love it.

This is fast becoming my favorite rock Christmas song second only to John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

This is a great Christmas song that was released in 1973 and ever since it re-enters the charts every December in the UK. The song never hit in America but it went to #1 in the UK Charts. I first heard it on a Doctor Who episode in the mid-2000s and have liked it ever since.

This was based on a psychedelic song, “My Rocking Chair,” which Noddy Holder wrote in 1967. In 1973 the Slade vocalist decided to convert it into a Christmas song after a night out drinking at a local pub.

He and the band’s bass player and co-writer Jimmy Lea camped out at Noddy’s mother’s house and got down to changing the lyrics to make them more Christmassy. Jimmy Lea incorporated into the verse parts of another song which he was then writing and Noddy re-wrote the words incorporating different aspects of the Christmas holiday season as they came to mind.

This went straight in at #1 in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies on the day of its release, making it at the time the fastest ever selling record in Britain. It eventually became Slade’s best-ever selling single in the UK, selling over a million copies.

In the UK this has become a standard, and it is usually reissued in its original form each Christmas. On several occasions, the song has re-entered the Top 40.

UK copyright collection society and performance rights organization PRS For Music estimated in 2009 that 42 percent of the earth’s population has heard this tune.

The song was written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea of Slade. It was produced by Chas Chandler formerly of the Animals.

Noddy Holder: “I wrote the original verse with the lyrics, ‘Buy me a rocking chair, I’ll watch the world go by. Bring me a mirror, I’ll look you in the eye,’ in 1967 in the aftermath of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper,” I was being psychedelic. Dave (Hill) wrote another part to the song but it didn’t work so we put it away. Then in 1973 he remembered my verse one day when we were trying to write a Christmas single. We changed the words to, ‘Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall?’ and the rest fell into place.”

From Songfacts.

When Noddy Holder wrote the line “Look to the future now, it’s only just begun,” he had in mind the strikes that were blighting Britain at the time. He told the Daily Mail On Sunday November 10, 2007: “We’d decided to write a Christmas song and I wanted to make it reflect a British family Christmas. Economically, the country was up the creek. The miners had been on strike, along with the gravediggers, the bakers and almost everybody else. I think people wanted something to cheer them up – and so did I. That’s why I came up with the line.”

The harmonium used on this is the same one that John Lennon used on his Mind Games album, which was being recorded at the studio next door.

This was recorded at the Record Plant studios in New York while the band were on a tour of the States in the summer of 1973. When they recorded the vocals, they sang the chorus on the stairs in order to achieve the echo that they required. Guitarist Jimmy Lea recalled to Uncut magazine in 2012: “All these Americans were walking past in their suits thinking we were off our rockers singing about Christmas in the summer.”

Producer Chas Chandler opened the song with a howl recorded during some of Noddy Holder’s vocal exercises.

A few months before Slade recorded this song, drummer Don Powell was badly injured in a car crash. Though his physical recovery was quick, the mental scars took longer to heal. Noddy Holder explained to The Daily Mail December 18, 2009: “The doctors told us to get him playing drums again as soon as possible to boost his confidence. But he was suffering from short-term memory loss – he could remember our old songs, but not the new ones. So, instead of recording live, we built up Merry Xmas Everybody layer by layer. That gave it a more poignant, restrained sound. It was something new for us. But the fates were with us and it became our biggest hit.”

Noddy Holder’s earliest childhood memory served as inspiration for one of the song’s lines. He recalled to the Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine: “As a lad we used to knock sleds with old orange boxes and go tobogganing down this big old quarry in the snow at Christmas. It was the inspiration for the line ‘are you hoping that the snow will start to fall.’”

I want that hat he starts off with… in this video…very subtle.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ‘ton up’ on his sleigh
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya that the old are the best?
Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the rest

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

What will your daddy do
When he sees your Mama kissin’ Santa Claus?
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?
Do you ride on down the hillside in a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head then you’ve been slayed

Chorus (4x)
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun