Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

August 30, 2020

two episodes of COMEDY CAPERS

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comedy capers

Silent films are timeless. They are NOT sound films without sound. They are a different medium, perfectly complete within themselves. When I was working with young composers in their 20’s with the KSE label, I met a number of people in the experimental music community who were scoring silent films, people who viewed the medium as new and exciting terrain for them.

As for people in my age group (I was born in 1958), many of us got into silent films in two ways: 1) via packages of re-edited and re-contextualized silent comedies shown as filler on local TV stations and aimed at children (and children at heart….and people who remembered silent films), with new soundtracks and over-stated sound effects, with lots of slide whistles and cymbal crashes; and 2) via public TV showings of “classic” silent features in the 1960’s and 1970’s, focusing on the major stars of the era such as Valentino and Fairbanks and Pickford and Chaplin and Bow, but also on the great film classics of the silent era, such as INTOLERANCE or SPARROWS or THE BIG PARADE.

One well-known example of the former is the early 60’s series COMEDY CAPERS, an off-shoot of an earlier and similar series called MISCHIEF MAKERS, which contained footage from silent OUR GANG comedies, re-edited and with new sound effects. COMEDY CAPERS was another series from the same producing company, National Telepix. CC contained shorts from the libraries of Hal Roach and Mack Sennett and featured a wide variety of quality material, including Billy Bevan, Harry Langdon, Ben Turpin, The Keystone Kops, Charley Chase, Billy West, Mabel Normand, etc.

There were, of course, many other similar series, some of the local produced at the station level, showing cheap public-domain silent material from 16mm and using canned music. COMEDY CAPERS was in reruns for a number of years after its initial early 60’s run, continuing into the 70’s in some markets and into the 80’s overseas. It seems to have been a big hit in Brazil, as a number of the excerpts on You Tube have Portuguese subtitles. Also, any silent film fan knows that there is a devoted following for silent films today in Latin America as a whole, and many obscure silent films from the world over can be found online with Spanish and Portuguese inter-titles. Silent films truly are the universal film language–all you need is titles translated and there are no language barriers.

I’ve included links to two episodes of COMEDY CAPERS for your enjoyment, both chock-full of silent comedy gems. Yes, the music and sound effects are a bit over the top, but only a purist could object to that, and it certainly made these films more approachable to the 6 year olds and 9 year olds out there in TV land circa 1964 (or if in Brazil, 1980!).

Maybe they can still work as an entryway for silent films today!   Enjoy!




August 27, 2020

Soft Sounds For Gentle People, Volume 5 (Pet Records CD)

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Since I shared a FADING YELLOW compilation recently, I also need to offer an entry from the other stellar compilation series of trippy pop-sike 45’s from the late 1960’s, SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE.

The first volume of SSFGP came out in 2003, and since then there have been five volumes in the main series, and some side volumes of all-female collections, male-female duets, “mystic males,” and a wonderful compilation of Bob Dylan clones called IT’S ZIMMERMAN’S WORLD…WE JUST LIVE IN IT. It seems as though the most recent release in the series was the sublime MYSTIC MALES 2, in 2014. Like the Dylan collection, MM2 was issued in a cardboard mini-LP sleeve (the earlier volumes were in jewel boxes), had few tracks than earlier comps, and was issued simultaneously on LP (the reason for the lesser number of tracks). I miss not having regular releases from Pet Records! As any listener to Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE or anyone who’s gone through some of the LOST JUKEBOX volumes I linked to knows, there is good material out there for many many more volumes of SSFGP. Soft Sounds has a unique and instantly recognizable sound, which is at once more kitschy and more overtly psychedelic than the Fading Yellow series. You won’t find early 70’s singer-songwriters here, and the late 60’s ones you find are more along the lines of Bob Ray’s ‘Initiation of a Mystic’ or Sonny Bono’s ‘Inner Views’ (and you can get a boatload of that kind of sublimity on the two MYSTIC MALES comps, which I highly recommend). An important and endlessly enjoyable series–a series that’s often playing at my home or on the road in the car.

Why not enjoy the most recent entry in the main series, Volume 5, which some kind soul has posted to You Tube. Link is below….

01. Stix & Stonz – Take a Bus
02. The Johnnys – Nothing Sacred
03. Mouse – Look at the Sun
04. The Rainy Daze – Blood of Oblivion
05. People – Ridin High
06. Wells and Fargo – Mother Goose Sonata
07. Things to Come – Hello
08. Roman Chariot – Five Sensations
09. The Delicate Balance – Autumn Wind
10. Bentley Road – Kill the Cobra
11. The Charter Members – All the Worlds Kings
12. The Carnival – The Four Seasons
13. The Phoenix Trolley – When Charleys Doing his Thing
14. Misty Morn – Summer Sunshine
15. Devils Brigade – Dreaming Is
16. The Sandals – House of Painted Glass
17. The Lollipop Fantasy – It’s a Groovy World
18. The Flower Pot – Gentle People
19. The Capes of Good Hope – Lady Margaret
20. The 1st Century – Looking Down
21. The Fraternity of Man – Wispy Paisley Skies

The CD of this album has exhaustive liner notes, as do all the volumes, and I see on Ebay you can still get Volume 5 and also Mystic Males 2, if you are so inclined, for under $15 each. The earlier volumes have gone up in price a lot, unfortunately, so act now to grab the ones you can cheaply.

The series consists of











August 25, 2020

Bobby Vee and the Strangers,”Look At Me Girl” (Liberty LP, 1966)

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bobby vee look 1

In a recent post on The Gants,  I mentioned producer Dallas Smith at Liberty Records, and about a half hour after finishing that post, I put on an album to listen to while doing my job from home, and to my surprise….it was another album produced by Dallas Smith on Liberty Records! It had been at the top of my “next to play” pile for a day or two. I own a mono LP of this somewhere, but I listened to a CDR of a stereo album I downloaded from an MP3 blog maybe ten or fifteen years ago….and I listened on headphones.

bobby vee look 2


“LOOK AT ME GIRL”   Liberty Records LP, 1966
A1 Look At Me Girl
A2 Sunny
A3 Growing Pains
A4 Like You’ve Never Known Before
A5 Summer In The City
A6 Turn Down Day
B1 Fly Away
B2 Sweet Pea
B3 That’s All In The Past
B4 He’s Not Your Friend
B5 Back In Town
B6 Lil’ Red Riding Hood

Liberty Records liked to have their artists record cover versions of other people’s hits, a practice I have no problem with because, after all, if I love a particular artist, wouldn’t I be very excited about hearing them cover a hit that I enjoy? On some occasions, a song I do not like in its original form, I DO like when it’s covered by an artist I admire. I’m one of those rare individuals whose favorite Standells albums are THE HOT ONES and IN PERSON AT PJ’s! And the latter was, of course, on the Liberty label!

When Del Shannon came to Liberty Records in 1966, Shannon–an amazing songwriter who’d written the majority of his hits and his b-sides and album tracks–was a bit taken aback when Liberty had him record two albums primarily of covers, but he did them SO well, and on some occasions he completely reinvented them and made them his own, such as his version of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.”

With Bobby Vee, Liberty felt that they had an artist who could do it all—-they could pair him with other artists on the label, such as the Crickets or the Ventures, for recording projects, they could have him record “theme” albums, they could pair him with producers with a particular vision and a stable of songwriters, and they knew he would create a quality and commercial product. At the same time, he could use the label to promote his own compositions and his own pet projects (they released A LOT of Vee records in the 1960’s)–it was a win-win situation for both Vee and for the label.

The album under discussion here is built around a recent single, a cover of the Playboys of Edinburg’s jangly classic “Look At Me Girl,” which is tailor-made for Vee, along with a collection of Vee’s own tunes, recent hits by other artists, some lesser-known songs by songwriters on the make who were happy to have the mechanical royalties from an album by an artist like Vee whose releases would sell at minimum ten thousand copies, and of course copyrights held by Liberty’s music publishing arm. For me, it’s a winning combination. This is album screams 1966, which in hindsight is a wonderful thing, though as the 60’s progressed, Vee’s albums focused more on his own songwriting and on singer-songwriter-esque albums that were more studied and weighty.

bobby poster

I’ve included two sample tracks here: first is the title track, a perfect westcoast 1966 jangle-rock single, and then Vee’s fine cover of the Cyrkle’s “Turn Down Day,” which in some ways I prefer to the original…..all in that distinctive Liberty Records almost-duophonic stereo and played by the cream of Los Angeles’ session musicians.

bobby poster 2

You should have no problem finding the rest of this album online somewhere….Liberty’s present owners, Universal Music (who purchased EMI), tend to have a lot of their back catalog on streaming services and even on You Tube (I’ll be posting a certain Tower Records LP soon, which UM has posted on You Tube for free, though with commercials), in an attempt to monetize those sleeping assets in the vault. Let’s face it–there will never be a physical reissue of an album like LOOK AT ME GIRL by Bobby Vee, unless some specialist reissue label does it, and I don’t think this is high on Ace or Grapefruit’s to-do list, and UM is not likely to reissue it on CD, at least in the present environment (maybe if/when CD’s become “collectible” in future years the way that LP’s, or as they say now “vinyl,” are now it could happen, but I would not sit around waiting for that to happen.

Also, an album like this which is not in high demand can be gotten relatively cheap in its original form—-a stereo or mono copy can be gotten for $6.00 at Discogs.

I play my copy once or twice a year and would not think of selling it. Find it online and see what you think…..yes, it’s 1966 Liberty Records product capitalizing on Bobby Vee’s fame, but it’s from the heart of the magical L.A. music scene in a truly Golden Age….and Vee could have done anything (they could have had him do the Stephen Foster songbook!) and made it sound fresh and enjoyable. I’m going to listen to it AGAIN as soon as I finish typing this! Tracks from it would fit perfectly on an episode of Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS radio show….in fact, I bet he’s played something from it!

bobby vee look 3

bobby vee look 4


Bobby Vee was kind enough to sign a copy of the UK (where he was always popular) 3-CD set of his collected singles, A sides and B sides, for Mary Anne and me….

bobby vee


bob and bobby

And of course, every Dylan fan knows that at one time, before Dylan went to NYC, he played keyboards in Vee’s band for a few months, under the name Elston Gunnn (sic). It was beautiful to see them reunited in 2013, when Dylan invited his former employer to a show in St. Paul, MN, and played Vee’s first breakout hit “Suzie Baby” in concert (I mention this period in Vee’s career in my discussion of Mickie Most, elsewhere on this blog). These two Minnesota boys… About Vee, Dylan wrote in Chronicles, “I’d always thought of him as a brother.”

That night in 2013, Dylan said from the stage, “I lived here awhile back, and since that time I’ve played all over the world, with all kinds of people. Everybody from Mick Jagger to Madonna and everybody in between,” said Dylan, usually a man of few words in concert. “But the most meaningful person I’ve ever been on the stage with was a man who’s here tonight, who used to sing a song called ‘Suzie Baby.’ ”

Here is that performance….it’s a bit ramshackle, but it brings tears to my eyes….

August 23, 2020

GUNFIGHTERS #72 (Charlton Comics, April 1982)

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gunfighters 72

GUNFIGHERS #72 (Charlton Comics, April 1982)

There is something charming about the re-purposing/re-cycling of product in the low end of the popular culture marketplace. I recently saw a collection of late 70’s newspaper ads from the South and from Texas for drive-in theaters and was surprised to learn that the 1960’s and early 1970’s films of Herschell Gordon Lewis were playing regularly in various combinations up through 1980 or so–imagine going to your local passion pit on the outskirts of town circa 1980 and getting a double-bill of THE GORE GORE GIRLS and TWO THOUSAND MANIACS. At the same time, you could go to your local Sound Warehouse’s budget bin and purchase some dodgy budget label LP for $1.99 containing the grungy Ed Chalpin-produced R&B jams featuring the pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, fifteen years after they were recorded (and who knows if Hendrix was even aware that the tape was rolling!). In the comics world, Charlton Comics was putting out new product consisting of reprints of older Charlton content (comics looked down upon and ignored by the comics powers-that-were back then, whether they were new or reprints), some going back to the late 1950’s! Why, you could potentially have bought the Charlton GUNFIGHTERS comic under review here, picked up the budget-label Hendrix album, and gone to see the Lewis films THE SAME DAY. And for most people back in the pre-Internet age, it would all have been new to you. My, what a satisfying day that would have been! Also, all of those things would have been relatively “off the radar” in terms of the gate-keepers of popular culture, and you could have experienced all of these from your small-or-medium sized town in Western Kansas, or Central Pennsylvania, or the Texas Panhandle. All you needed on top of that for a perfect day was a ‘Big Plain’ from your local Burger King and an oversized can of Big Cat Malt Liquor to wash it down.

charlton more

Long before people attempted to document everything via the internet, daily life had a pleasurable randomness factor to it and a sense of the unknown. Things were thrown at you in the course of your everyday routine that could not be looked up on your smart-phone. When you found for a quarter a used copy of some odd paperback book from a publisher you’d never heard of, you could not look it up and get its backstory–you had to read it, and even then, you might not have a handle on where it came from and what was its context. You could stumble across an obscure film at 3 a.m. on the UHF station, something that did not appear in your local newspaper TV supplement or TV Guide, which just had LATE MOVIE listed, see it once, mention it to people afterwards and no one would have ever heard of it, even though it may have had a name star in it such as Rory Calhoun. After a while, you wondered if you were the only person anywhere who saw this….and did you REALLY see it, or was it all just a dream as you were dozing off (I have seen non-existent European movies starring Guy Madison in my dreams, and heard non-existent Kim Fowley albums in my dreams, undoubtedly constructed from known elements in my brain) and the station was in reality running an ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW re-run? It’s hard for people who were born into the internet age to understand that, the way it was difficult for me as a child to grasp the concept of life before electricity, which my grandmother who was born in 1896 lived through for her first few decades (women did not even have the vote when she turned 21!). The important thing to remember about these eras is that people got along just fine, and in some ways life was more pleasurable, or perhaps the proper term would be MORE INTENSELY AND DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED. That’s true whether we are talking about 1979, 1896, or any other random date you want to mention….1733, 1142, 212 B.C.

One thing that has always annoyed me is people who look at the past through the lens of the present and view themselves and the present age as being superior. Anyone with a sense of history, and a sense of modesty, and a sense of perspective, knows that many aspects of present-day life and society circa 2019 will make future generations cringe! I would hazard to guess that many  are already cringing today, as these things are happening! We’re no better than previous generations, and in many ways we’re probably worse. Oh, but you can watch a shitty sit-com on your phone rather than talk to the person sitting next to you, and you can find out in three seconds who led the American League in home runs in 1981….and you can take a picture of your meal and post it so people on another continent can see your tedious dinner. How advanced we are!

gunfighters 2

Fortunately, we can escape this world of people watching corporate infotainment on portable devices they are addicted to as much as (or even more than) any drug addict they’d look down upon….by picking up a cheap and unwanted late-period Charlton Comic, still available for a dollar or so in unread condition.

As with most Charlton product, I did not get this new at full price–I picked it up later (though not much later, maybe 8-12 months) in the secondary market. Many convenience stores had a used or remaindered magazine section back then (you still saw this in rural areas until a few years ago, particularly in non-chain Mom’n’Pop stores), where something like this 60-cent comic would have a 25-cent sticker on it. That section was often beside the full-price section or in a corner (or on a separate rack). I’d learned by 1982 that if a Charlton comic did not have the words ALL-NEW in big letters at the top, then it was recycled material from their archives. You could also tell that from the masthead, which did not hide the fact that the material was old. This magazine reads “all editorial material herein contained was originally published in and is reprinted from publications copyright 1960, 1961 by Charlton Publications Inc.” There was certainly no problem with that, as far as I was concerned. It was unlikely that I’d have had many 1960 comics in my collection, and if I did, I’d probably have vaguely remembered the stories. And if I didn’t, then I would not mind re-reading them. Considering that the late 50’s and early 60’s were a Golden period of westerns on TV and in comic books, I was actually happy to be getting vintage material. And Charlton had been pumping out so many series of western comics for so long that whatever this magazine contained, it would surely be worthwhile, and well worth a quarter. A broad title like GUNFIGHTERS could cover pretty much any western comic material–it would be hard to find a vintage story that did not have a gun drawn by someone somewhere in it.

What makes this issue so appealing is exactly the wide variety of material and the various “big names” of western lore who are represented: ANNIE OAKLEY, WILD BILL HICKOK, WYATT EARP, KID MONTANA….and checking out the Grand Comics Database on this issue, I see that even the cover was re-cycled from an old TEX RITTER magazine (and if you look at the cover pic we provided, you can see that yes, it does resemble the comic book version of Tex….as much as any Charlton comic “resembles” a real-life model!).

I can remember sitting on my front porch in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with the porch light on and a citronella candle burning to keep the mosquitoes away, at about 2:30 a.m. reading this.

The bar/club/restaurant I worked at closed at 1 on weeknights, we usually had it closed up and ready to go for the next morning’s day shift by 1:45-2:00 a.m. As I would walk home in the middle of the night, I would savor the silence….it provided a blank canvas on which whatever minor sounds were out there would stand out in contrast to the silence (when I met John Cage 6 or 7 years after this, I mentioned this image to him and brought up his citation of Thoreau’s line about sound being “bubbles on the surface of the silence”–Cage smiled like an uncle proud of his nephew graduating from high school, and said something along the lines of “that’s it”). After I got home, washed up, and took my copy of GUNFIGHTERS out on the porch (probably sipping one of those Big Cats), I would relax—-no more dishwashing, marinating and cooking cheap steaks, preparing plates full of nachos, and doing inventory of kitchen supplies until tomorrow….which was actually TODAY since it was after 2 a.m.!

Annie Oakley took on and defeated a sleazy and corrupt faux-Frenchman who was trying to control the entire valley, steal her ranch, AND force himself upon her. As I tuned into the middle-of-the-night silence, and looked out toward the dimly-glowing horizon west of town, I could imagine all this being played out just a few miles from where I sat.

I would come out on the main street from the frontier café where I worked as cook and bottle-washer, and I would wave at and applaud Annie Oakley as she rode down the street after gunning down the Frenchman and turning him over–wounded, bloodied, and defeated, with his head down in shame– to the Sheriff. I could then go back to my daily life–in the Old West or in Oklahoma circa 1982–and feel a sense of victory. Thank you, Annie Oakley….thank you, Charlton Comics….thank you, Big Cat Malt Liquor!

gunfighters 3

August 22, 2020

New Century Edition of Swedenborg’s SHORTER WORKS OF 1763 now available

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The Swedenborg Foundation’s long-term NEW CENTURY EDITION series of new translations/editions of Emanuel Swedenborg’s voluminous spiritual works has been doing an amazing job, with scholarly rigor, in making Swedenborg’s work current and relevant to the present generations of readers. I’m not sure that Swedenborg will ever be widely read (and I certainly do not want to see him dragged into the dreaded New Age arena—-something that some of the persons who mention his name in recent years have been doing, alas—-which is the spiritual equivalent of an actor doubling in hardcore porn). His writing is too dry for most, and the classification/categorizing aspect of his work would be off-putting to some. Personally, I have always considered Swedenborg as a comrade of Dante, in terms of giving a detailed and methodical study of the afterlife and the nature of divinity. Perhaps Swedenborg’s not presenting his insights as literary work or speculative writing, but as matter-of-fact cataloging of the spiritual world  based on his own personal visits there , has put up a barrier for some readers. It should not. The cosmology presented in Swedenborg’s work is something we can look at with awe. Who really cares if it’s “true.” No one will know any “truth” in that area until it’s too late to report back to the living.

Swedenborg (1)


If Swedenborg is just a name for you, do a little reading about him and his work….even the Wikipedia entry would be fine….and you’ll know if you would find his “world” (and there’s no other word for it than that) is one you’d like to enter and spend some time in.

I’m not a card carrying Swedenborgian or a member of a Swedenborgian church, but he does present a fascinating and quite large piece of the puzzle, and he shines a light on the unexplainable elephant in the room from a unique angle. The more illumination from different angles we expose ourselves to, the more sets of metaphors for the inexpressible we step into, the more likely we are (perhaps….) to catch a flashing glimpse of the indescribable….

Below you’ll find an audio introduction (running 3+ hours) to the new NCE Edition of  Swedenborg’s THE SHORTER WORKS OF 1763, from Rev. Dr. Jonathan S. Rose, if you are so inclined….

You can order THE SHORTER WORKS OF 1763 by Emanuel Swedenborg direct from the publisher here:


NEW JERUSALEM….my poetic attempt to deal with some Swedenborgian concepts in the setting of Natchez, Mississippi, originally published in 2017 as a KSE chapbook. This piece has since been republished in my poetry book SATORI IN NATCHEZ, which you can get at Amazon here in the US, or pretty much anywhere else, as a local purchase with local postage.



August 21, 2020

Tom Conway as The Saint on radio (3 episodes, 1951)

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conway saint

It all makes perfect sense somehow: Tom Conway’s brother, George Sanders, played the Saint in a number of popular feature films at RKO; later, when RKO started another series with a similar suave and witty detective character, The Falcon, they brought back Sanders, but he left the series to be replaced by his brother Tom Conway, and Conway became most associated with The Falcon, with his own unique style and flair for comedy. That series made Conway a star in his own right, and after the Falcon series concluded, he played a number of other suave but witty detective roles based on his Falcon fame.

Thus, when the star of the radio version of THE SAINT, Vincent Price, needed some time off the series for some other commitments in the more prestigious and better-paying world of feature films, who better to take over the role for a while than Tom Conway, who’d never played The Saint, but who was known and loved by millions as the very similar character, The Falcon. And yes, Conway was tailor-made for The Saint. Many people today know The Saint via the successful 60’s TV series starring Roger Moore—-and Moore certainly made the role his own, the same way he did ten years later with James Bond—-but the character goes back a long way, to 1928, from author Leslie Charteris.

While Vincent Price was a magnificent Saint on radio (and you can easily find many of the Price shows online….and you should), I’ve always had a soft spot for the short run with Tom Conway in the role of Simon Templar, aka The Saint.

Below are links to three episodes of the Conway Saint, each running approximately 29 minutes. Enjoy!

saint conway





–PETER THE GREAT (June 24, 1951)


–MY DARLING DAUGHTER (July 15, 1951)


By the way, it’s comforting to know, as we’re informed at the closing of each show, that “The Saint comic book is available at all newsstands.” I have a number of issues myself, and I can do a post about the various comic book incarnations of the character at some future date.


August 18, 2020

Fading Yellow, Volume 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:22 am
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fading yellow 1


Hard to believe it’s almost 20 years since the first CD compilation in the seminal FADING YELLOW popsike compilation series (an LP came out in the 1990’s prior to the CD’s). I reviewed a volume in Ugly Things magazine a while back and then reviewed the most recent entry, Volume 17, here on the KSE blog a while back. You can read that write-up here:

Here is a key section from that, in case you are unfamiliar with the FY series: Curating compilations is truly a complex art–a quality compiler with a consistent aesthetic and a knowledge of deep tracks that others have overlooked can create a masterwork from songs that, taken individually, might not blow anyone away. Through sixteen volumes, the Fading Yellow (the name taken from a Mike Batt song on the first volume) series has staked out a unique territory–not really psychedelic, though with some trippy elements; not really sunshine pop, though with some elements from that genre too. There tends to be a moody, melancholy feel to the best tracks on these albums, and even when the series moves too far into the 1970’s and some of the pieces sound like groups such as America or England Dan & John Ford Coley, those tracks tend to complement the overall atmosphere of the album and provide a change of pace among the trippier tracks that helps create a varied mosaic of sound that’s instantly recognizable as a Fading Yellow comp. The albums can transport you to a place where you are looking upon a field of flowers illuminated by moonlight at 2 a.m., with a mellow wine buzz….assuming that’s what you want!

While I (literally!) keep my FADING YELLOW CD’s on the same shelf as my SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE comps, FY has a unique and consistent aesthetic….SOFT SOUNDS tends to go more for kitschy West Coast faux-psych, while FY tends to go more for trippy late 60’s (and eventually early 70’s) singer-songwriters or florid studio-pop that could have been played at a record-label press-party announcing the release of, say, The Yardbirds’ LITTLE GAMES or the Bee Gees’s ODESSA (if you get my drift), but there is also an appealingly eclectic quality to the series so those generalities don’t really hold when you look at the entire series. Certainly, anyone who enjoys Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS internet radio show or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE will appreciate the FADING YELLOW series. I certainly do, and every year I bring a stack of FADING YELLOW CD’s with me when I go on my poetry writing vacations (as I did just last week!) because you can’t get much more “atmospheric” than Fading Yellow (I also have allusions to lyrics of some of the songs in some poems, for you trainspotters our there and for future scholars to unpack).

So, here is VOLUME 1 from the Fading Yellow series for you, from You Tube. It should play the songs in order. This is the volume that started it all! There is a primarily UK orientation here (volumes would often alternate their focus….one volume would be UK/Europe, the next would be North American, etc., though some mix that up), though the net is cast wide enough to include Ronnie Bird (from France) and the Aerovans (Americans who recorded in the UK in a very British style).

Put it on while you are doing something around the house….and then repeat it, and you may well be hooked….

note: some of the songs on the original CD have been deleted on You Tube (no doubt due to rights issues…..these comps are not authorized and are more visible on You Tube than on the “private pressing” CD’s distributed through specialist dealers), so I’ve deleted them from the line-up below–you can tell from the missing numbers.


Fading Yellow Vol. 1
Timeless Pop-Sike and Other Delights

CD version originally released 2002.

• • • • •

1. Kate – “Strange Girl” (3:04)
2. Dean Ford and the Gaylords – “That Lonely Feeling” (2:41)
3. Eddy Howell – “Easy Street” (3:01)
4. Mike Batt – “Fading Yellow” (3:45)
5. Steff Sulke – “Oh, What a Lovely Day” (3:04)
6. John Williams – “Flowers in Your Hair” (2:42)
7. Zephyrs – “I Just Can’t Take It” (2:31)
8. Jon – “Is It Love” (2:52)
9. Koobas – “Woe Is Love My Dear” (2:27)
10. Orange Bicycle – “Competition” (2:40)
11. Gremlins – “The Only Thing On My Mind” (2:06)
12. Quintin E. Klopjaeger & the Gonks – “The Long Way Home” (2:28)

16. Paul & Barry Ryan – “Madrigal” (2:17)
17. Phil Cordell – “Red Lady” (2:25)
18. Ronnie Bird – “Sad Soul” (2:52)
19. Ronnie Bird – “Raining in the City” (2:37)
20. Elliots Sunshine – “‘Cos I’m Lonely” (3:08)
21. Peter Janes – “Do You Believe (Love Is Built on a Dream)” (2:54)
22. Bliss – “Lifetime” (2:47)

24. Members of Time – “Dreamin'” (2:38)
25. Aerovons – “World of You” (2:24)



August 16, 2020

Wednesday Happy Hour with ROSIE FLORES…every week!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:52 pm
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San Antonio native ROSIE FLORES is a Texas treasure—-though she did live in California for a while, she’s been Austin-based for a number of years now, and Texas is better off for it. Mary Anne and I went to a Rosie Flores concert on our first date, decades ago (we were both fans already, before we met), and we’ve tried to catch her each year ever since….in some years we’d see her monthly. In the recent pre-COVID era, she had a number of residencies at different Austin clubs….most recently, her Wednesday night jazz sets at the upstairs Continental Club Annex, and Friday rockin’ shows at C-Boys Heart and Soul (also on S. Congress in Austin). Her eclectic taste and warm, personal style with an audience make every show a unique event.

Now, during the COVID lockdown, Rosie is doing a weekly three-song set (usually running 20-25 minutes) Wednesday nights at 630 US Central Time, live from her home, via Facebook Live. Many of the shows have been themed, focusing on a singer or songwriter important to her, or a genre, or something like songs from her first album from the 80’s on Reprise (which is where I discovered her—- a great album, still sounding fresh and exciting today), songs from her recent blues album, etc. I’ve included the posters from some of the recent shows. Her show next Wednesday will be devoted to songs by Chuck Berry.

Besides the exciting music–and you never know exactly what you’ll get or how she will perform it–Rosie’s wit and personal charm come through really well via these internet concerts. Mary Anne and I never miss these Wednesday Happy Hour shows and it’s almost like she’s a member of our extended family, someone whose visit we always welcome.

It’s easy to tune in on Wednesday night.

Go to the Mule Kick Productions Facebook page around 630 pm (CT) on Wednesday, and a few minutes after 630 refresh the screen if the show doesn’t appear….and you’ll get an entertaining and refreshing dose of the Rockabilly Filly herself, MS. ROSIE FLORES.

Here’s the direct link:

And don’t forget the tip jar….

Every year at our home, Rosie is a regular musical guest because the day after Thanksgiving, we take out her wonderful Christmas album CHRISTMASVILLE (see pic below), full of fun originals (the San Antonio-based ‘Christmas on West Mistletoe’ we all sing along with, and whenever I cross Mistletoe here in San Antonio, I think of the song) and classic covers, some unexpected. That and the Booker T. and the MG’s Christmas album are always in regular rotation at Casa Shute-Bernal!

I’ve included a link to Rosie’s video for Christmas on West Mistletoe below….enjoy, even though it’s another 5 months to Christmas.

Don’t forget, Happy Hour with Rosie, Wednesdays at 630 central time at the Mule Kick Productions Facebook page….see you there!

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August 15, 2020

Tab Hunter on “Match Game ’78” (1978)

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TAB HUNTER in ‘SHOTGUN’ (Italy 1968)

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TAB HUNTER (left), with Yvonne DeCarlo and George Montgomery in ‘HOSTILE GUNS’ (1967)


I’ve had the urge recently to do some kind of tribute to Tab Hunter here on the KSE blog. Though most of his films are not on You Tube, I could have provided a link to the ones that are, or links to some of his songs, or some of the interviews related to the documentary film TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL, but instead, what we have on offer here are some Hunter items most people will not have seen, and which are exactly the kind of breezy, upbeat and entertaining content we need right now.

So….here is an entire week of MATCH GAME ’78 programs, from September 1978, featuring Tab as one of the celebrity contestants. It’s a refreshing taste of Tab Hunter out of character for a film and in his public persona, the witty and amiable and charming Tab Hunter, celebrity. I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Hunter, but during my years in Virginia, I did have a friend who had a friend in the horse world (horses were Tab Hunter’s great passion, from his teenage years on, and much of his time was spent raising and breeding horses) in Virginia who know TH well from the horse world and had dinner with him a number of times, and that lady gave my friend some stories and anecdotes to tell me about her experience with Tab Hunter, Horseman.

The various 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s MATCH GAME shows were always among the most entertaining of game shows, both because of the nature of the game/questions and of the panel of six celebrities, all loose and informal and in a playful mood (they’d shoot a week’s worth of shows in one day, and supposedly the Thursday and Friday shows each week were done after dinner and drinks, and thus had an even looser and wilder feel to them due to the alcohol consumption), and seeing Tab Hunter outside of a film role, having fun and radiating his inimitable charm, is a wonderful way to remember him.  Enjoy!

I’ve also included his comments on the 1965 film WAR GODS OF THE DEEP, taken from the DVD extras. This was an interesting period in Hunter’s career, post-major studio contract, working as a freelance actor-for-hire, which he discusses, along with working with Vincent Price, shooting in England, etc. It’s another opportunity to visit with Tab Hunter out of character, as he discusses the specifics of a quirky and unique film project.

You may have noticed that we’ve moved to 2 or 3 posts per week here at the KSE blog (we had daily posts going for a while in June and July!), and I will try to keep this pace up, as the response has been excellent. Also, as long as the COVID pandemic continues, I will continue to offer a lot of links to online material to keep you occupied while stuck at home when you are not working. There is a lot of quality lesser-known material available online and I would like to share some with you….








Tab Hunter’s DVD commentary for the 1965 film WAR GODS OF THE DEEP

August 13, 2020

behind the scenes with Tom Conway on the set of THE LAST MAN TO HANG (UK, 1956)

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Mary Anne and I are planning to watch the 1956 UK courtroom thriller THE LAST MAN TO HANG, starring TOM CONWAY, tonight (directed by the great Terence Fisher) and in doing a little online sleuthing about the film in advance, I see that there is footage online from a 1956 Pathe Newsreel (Film Fanfare) of some lady and a friend getting a tour of Nettlefold Studios, where the film was being shot, and meeting its stars, Tom Conway and Eunice Gayson, as well as director Fisher and other unnamed persons employed at the studio. Director Conway is the shortish man with glasses on the set wearing a rumpled coat.

This kind of footage, even though it is just silent with a canned music track, is a priceless window into a working 1950’s UK low-budget film studio, something we probably would not have been able to see in person even if we’d been in Britain in 1956.

Conway appears again near the closing when the lady and her friend are finished at the studio and waving goodbye, in a quick but charming bit of physical comedy, starting at 4:08. Unlike Conway’s many detective films, THE LAST MAN TO HANG is not a film that offers him comic situations, so it’s nice to see that side of him represented here.

Below you’ll find a brief (and recent) trailer for the film and then the Pathe newsreel footage. I have a blog post on Tom Conway’s radio work as Sherlock Holmes (replacing Basil Rathbone for the 46-47 season) coming up soon….stay tuned!

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trailer for a 2018 TV showing of THE LAST MAN TO HANG


1956 British Pathe newsreel footage, backstage during the filming of THE LAST MAN TO HANG, runs approximately 4:40

Film Fanfare #5, 1956 (British Pathe newsreel footage)

There are hundreds of hours of fascinating vintage newsreel footage available for free viewing at the British Pathe website. I remember that it was considered quite an event when this material went online a number of years ago. Footage spans from 1910-1984! Check it our here:


postscript: after watching THE LAST MAN TO HANG tonight, I must say that it was excellent, intelligent, thoughtfully written, and well-acted by all….until the last 3 minutes. I’m not going to give a spoiler, but let’s just say that it has to be among the top 10 most absurd and illogical tacked-on endings I’ve ever seen to a film…in 50 years of watching crime/mystery/legal-thriller features. No wonder the film has never been reissued on DVD and is not discussed much, even though it was released in the US by a major studio, Columbia. Still, Tom Conway was his usual masterful self, and the young Anthony Newley (as one of the jurors) possessed magnetism even in 1956. Also, the film’s structure (let’s forget the last three minutes) is quite novel, as before we really get to know Conway’s character at all, we see the home-lives of all the jury members (who will sit in judgment on him), and to call their home lives unpleasant would be an understatement. While THE LAST MAN TO HANG is nothing like the 2003 film THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE, viewers will have the same WTF reaction at the end of LAST MAN as they did with the DAVID GALE film, and probably get angry at the film’s writers. However, in 1956, this was just a throwaway programmer, in circulation for a few months and then mothballed. And the first 68 minutes of it are excellent, so 95.7% of THE LAST MAN TO HANG is excellent–that’s not a bad percentage, and most people coming out of the theater in 1956 could remember that “on the whole, it’s pretty good” and move on. The film is based on a novel, and if that has the same trick ending, it must surely be set up better than it is in the film, where a few small details in a very early scene (that most viewers will not pay attention to) vaguely suggest a possibility that is never developed or explained at any point in the film, and the odd and illogical conclusion takes for granted without explanation. In fact, I’d guess half of a typical audience of above-average intelligence viewers would not even make the connection, if it indeed IS a connection. I didn’t intend to discuss this at such length, but to say the last few minutes were bizarre and unsatisfying would be putting it mildly….

August 12, 2020

Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman, “City” (1980 LP)

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“CITY” (Capitol Records LP, 1980)


Former Byrds ROGER McGUINN, CHRIS HILLMAN, and GENE CLARK reunited for an album in 1979, ‘McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman,” which had a hit single and was rather well received. It’s a professional piece of work, but not something I play often.

McGuinn and Hillman reunited for a second album (Gene was initially a full partner on that, but dropped in and out of the sessions and sings on only two tracks, hence the “featuring Gene Clark” tag) called CITY in 1980, which had no hit single, but was a solid album that did have the drawbacks production-wise of typical 80’s albums. I had a cutout cassette of it and enjoyed it from time to time.

McGuinn and Hillman later did a third contractually-required album, released in 1981, imaginatively called McGUINN-HILLMAN. It had producer Jerry Wexler moving the boys into more of an R&B style, and it’s not something that Roger or Chris are that proud of, though professionals that they are, they do what they can. It’s not essential. After you’ve got every one of Roger’s self-issued albums (including the one of Sea Shanties) and all of Chris’s bluegrass and Desert Rose Band albums, you might want to track it down if it’s only a few dollars.

CITY, if you can accept the 80’s production (something I have to do any time I play Dylan’s EMPIRE BURLESQUE or George Harrison’s SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND or GONE TROPPO), is well worth listening to, at least once. I was wanting to hear it other day but had no idea where my cassette was, and it’s long out of print on CD (it came out briefly on One Way in the mid 90’s). Thankfully, it’s up on You Tube, and I believe that if you use the link below, it should stream the album for you, track by track.

Put it on while you are doing something….for me, pretty much anything McGuinn and Hillman have done is worthwhile. And you can get a taste of what the 80’s were like…thankfully, they are long gone…. Oh, it does not start with the best track, so just go along for the ride….

(sorry for the You Tube ads you’ll have to sit through, but the label has put up this album for us for free, so I’m going to let them get their 1/1000 of a cent for each play and just ignore the annoying ads….I guess whoever owns Capitol Records now figures 1/1000 of a cent per play is better than nothing)

August 9, 2020

Duke Ellington: four live performances, 1958-1969

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Duke Ellington’s body of recorded work runs from 1924-1974. Ellington music, of all eras, has always been a part of my life, as long as I have been able to choose my listening environment. As I’ve been sharing links to music and film during this Covid lockdown, it seems inevitable that I should offer some Duke Ellington live performances, since so many were recorded and previously uncirculated recordings continue to appear.

Below are four live recordings, dating from 1958 through 1969, to give you hours of Ellington, and there is no better musical friend to have alongside you. I’ve also included likely personnel for each performance.

You can access a very thorough Ellington discography (including known-to-be-recorded but unreleased live recordings) at




from You Tube: “April 29, 1969:: President Richard Nixon threw a 70th birthday party for Duke Ellington at the White House, where he awarded the maestro the Medal of Freedom. The Voice of America’s Willis Conover organized the band and performers for the occasion, which included Bill Berry, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Urbie Green, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Billy Taylor, Hank Jones, Dave Brubeck, Earl Hines, Milt Hinton, Louie Bellson, Joe Williams and Mary Mayo. Ellington himself performed an original called “Pat,” in honor of the President’s wife. Narrated by Willis Conover.”



Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams, Rolf Ericson, Herbie Jones (tp) Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors (tb) Jimmy Hamilton (cl,ts) Russell Procope (as,cl) Johnny Hodges (as) Paul Gonsalves (ts) Harry Carney (bar,cl,b-cl) Duke Ellington (p,talking) Major Holley (b) Sam Woodyard (d)


November 3, 1969. Bergen, Norway

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Harold “Money” Johnson (t); Lawrence Brown (tb); Chuck Connors (btb); Russell Procope (cl,as); Norris Turney (fl,cl,as,ts); Johnny Hodges (as); Harold Ashby (ts,cl); Paul Gonsalves (ts); Harry Carney (cl,bcl,as,bar); Duke Ellington (p); Wild Bill Davis (o); Victor Gaskin (sb); Rufus Jones (d); Tony Watkins (v)


February 4, 1958 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Johnny Hodges – Alto Sax…. Russell Procope – Alto Sax, Clarinet…. Paul Gonsalves – Tenor Sax…. Jimmy Hamilton – Tenor Sax, Clarinet…. Harry Carney – Baritone Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet…. Cat Anderson – Trumpet…. Harold “Shorty” Baker – Trumpet…. Ray Nance – Trumpet, Violin, Vocal…. Clark Terry – Trumpet…. Quentin Jackson – Trombone…. John Sanders – Valve Trombone…. Britt Woodman – Trombone…. Duke Ellington – Piano…. Jimmy Woode – Bass…. Sam Woodyard – Drums…. Ozzie Bailey – Vocal….


August 6, 2020

MURDER ON APPROVAL (UK, 1955), starring Tom Conway

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MURDER ON APPROVAL (UK, 1955), released in Britain as BARBADOS QUEST

starring Tom Conway as Tom “Duke” Martin, a role he played after this in the 1956 feature BREAKAWAY

directed by Bernard Knowles, produced by Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman

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Though Tom Conway played a variety of roles in his career, he is probably best known as THE FALCON at RKO in the 1940’s, and the various detective roles he played after that which traded on his Falcon fame and persona. He also played detective Mark Saber on television and was a superb Sherlock Holmes on radio, taking over for Basil Rathbone for the 1946-47 season, paired with Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Conway is the equal of Rathbone, which is high praise indeed coming from someone who considers the Rathbone/Bruce team as one of the all-time great screen detective/sidekick pairings.

The two films Conway made in the UK in 1955 as detective Tom “Duke” Martin were the actor’s final go-round as an above-the-title star turn riding on the wave of his work as The Falcon. Interestingly, the Baker-Berman production team here later were behind THE SAINT television series, starring Roger Moore. Perhaps if Tom Conway had been 15-20 years earlier, he could have landed that part. Clearly, the choice of Conway was Saint-related…. he was the brother of the best-known Saint film actor, George Sanders;  he played the Falcon, who was not unlike The Saint, in many popular and well-loved films; he played The Saint on radio, replacing Vincent Price in a number of episodes. He still radiates that same Saint/Falcon class and wit, though in more mature form here.

MURDER ON APPROVAL is a tight (67 minutes) and entertaining British crime programmer, which moves quickly, has a unique plot situation involving rare stamps and stamp counterfeiting….it’s not a murder mystery really, though there are people killed in the final third. Most of all, it benefits from the seemingly effortless wit and charm and elegance of star TOM CONWAY, who is teamed with a comedic ex-con sidekick Barney, played wonderfully by Michael Balfour, who fortunately returned in the second film in this series.

If you enjoyed any of Conway’s post-Falcon detective films or television work and you enjoy classic B&W British crime programmers, then you are sure to enjoy MURDER ON APPROVAL.

The good news is that it’s available in a beautiful print (under its UK title); the bad news is that it is divided into five parts, though that is not much of a hurdle to overcome.








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If you are a Tom Conway fan (and who isn’t!), there is a review of his NORMAN CONQUEST (1953) UK detective film elsewhere on this blog. Just use the search box to find it.

Also, the serious Beatles fan will know that the director of MURDER ON APPROVAL, Bernard Knowles, was involved with the making of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. Perhaps he was the “professional” kept on the set to somehow bring the surreal stoner ideas of the boys to fruition on film. I’ll have to research that more….I do have a book on the making on MMT in the garage somewhere, which I have not looked at for 20 years. I’ll have to refresh my memory.


August 3, 2020

64 Volumes of LOST JUKEBOX (approx. 1728 songs from 60’s vinyl 45’s!)

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Longtime fans of MP3 blogs devoted to obscure 60’s music know and love the LOST JUKEBOX series of albums, compiled by the late Jeffrey Glenn, a series that eventually ran to 225 volumes, each with approximately 27 tracks. I downloaded 20 or so volumes and burned them to CDR maybe 10 years ago.

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This series documented a mind-blowingly diverse collection of non-hit 1960’s music on 45 RPM records, all pop music of one kind or another, with some garage bands, some sunshine pop, some lounge-y instrumentals, but mostly studio pop/beat of one kind or another. It’s not unlike the kind of thing collected on the UNCHARTED WATERS series, but with the net cast even wider. Nothing else I’ve ever encountered captures the joy of record hunting in the 1970’s and 1980’s, grabbing unknown things from the dime or quarter racks before there was an internet, when all you had to go on was song titles, producers, songwriters, and the general “look” of a record. Since the rise of the internet and Ebay, everything is “collectible” in one way or another and one cannot go out with a $10 dollar bill and come back with a stack of unknown 60’s 45’s that were not collectible or “in demand”  in any way. I would sometimes make mix cassettes of that kind of thing, but I was just a dabbler compared with Jeff Glenn and his LOST JUKEBOX series.

There are various places online where one can download many of the 200+ volumes from dodgy file sharing services, but I’m happy to say that the first 64 volumes are available for listening, with no need to download, now on You Tube.

The following link presents the music in the order found on the original Lost Jukebox collections, starting with Volume 64 and working backwards–that’s approximately 1728 songs!!! With so many of us working at home, and then the rest of us trying to stay home as much as possible, this kind of random but tastefully assembled collection of (and there’s no crap whatsoever, something that wouldn’t be true after a day of junkstore buying!) 45’s is just what one needs to fire the imagination while the toes are tapping. Enjoy! And thanks for Jeff Glenn for assembling these collections in the first place, from his massive archive….

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August 1, 2020

Won By A Sweet (1929, silent)

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Recently, Mary Anne and I watched an interesting and entertaining 1929 silent short as part of a Zoom presentation from Washington University of St. Louis. Washington U was responsible for restoring the short from a 16mm print (though clearly, it was shot in 35mm) and the academic presentation included a screening of the film along with comments from the scholars involved in the restoration and research and also a person involved with the excellent new music score.

The film was commissioned by the National Confectioners Association to extol the benefits on candy, yet it was not a documentary, but a light comic action-adventure film, running about 23 minutes. Made in California by R. P. Young Productions, of Burbank (a name unknown to me), it very much resembles the low-budget productions of indies such as Rayart or Weiss Bros—-a competently made Hollywood product, with a professional cast, good editing, and competent direction. Alas, the film has no cast or crew credits, though some of the actors look vaguely familiar (the stocky man eating the meal, especially, I’m sure I’ve seen in comedy shorts). It’s very much in the style of the “collegiate” light comedies of the 1920’s, with the plot centering around two college track teams and how one of them learns the many beneficial qualities of CANDY and it helps them win. Only about 4-5 minutes of the film deal specifically with candy, and frankly, if you edited those out and the filmmakers shot a few scenes twice, once without the inclusion of candy, they’d have a superb 2-reel light action comedy.

As it was, the film was distributed in 16mm form free to schools, church groups, civic organizations, Boy Scouts, YMCA’s, etc. through the early 1930’s, and I’m sure it went over well. The two of us really enjoyed it….although we watch multiple silent films and shorts per week, so perhaps we aren’t representative of the general audience!

Washington University has made the film available online, so I hope I’m not violating anyone’s rights by making it available for you all here at the KSE blog. Acknowledgement should also be given to the National Film Preservation Foundation, who provided funding for the restoration.

It’s a fine way to kill 23 minutes, and any fan of low-budget silent cinema should enjoy it.

Wait until you learn about the “dental benefits” of candy. It certainly looks at that question from a perspective that no one other than a candy company or the most mercenary dentist would ever consider!

WON BY A SWEET (silent short, 1929, 23 minutes, two reels)


If you’ve got some more time on your hands, you might want to watch another entertaining film financed by a sweets company, Coca-Cola: ALWAYS TOMORROW, from 1941.

I was engaged by a video company (thankfully, no longer in business!) to write a description of this back in 2005 for their catalog/website and (presumably) for the video box, which they did use but never paid me for, so I published the write-up online in 2006. Here is that write-up:


strange in-house Coca-Cola dramatized documentary, plays like a Monogram or PRC feature
7 March 2006
ALWAYS TOMORROW, made in 1941 for the Coca-Cola company and presumably aimed at bottlers and potential investors in bottling plants and distributor-ships, belongs to that curious genre of film, the Corporate Feature. This is not a documentary or a training film, but a Hollywood-made narrative drama featuring a cast full of familiar B-movie faces (led by comedian Johnny Arthur as a fussy, worrywart accountant for a local Coca-Cola bottling plant), and it plays like a typical Monogram or PRC feature, except for the lectures to the audience (in the style of an exploitation film) about business philosophy. The film’s structure is strange in that it begins in 1941 with the story of Coca-Cola distributor Jim Westlake, and then works backward step-by-step until we reach the beginning of his career! You’ve probably never seen a film like this before, and you’ll learn a lot about the history of the soda business while being entertained.


And here is the film, which runs 51 minutes, MAYBE TOMORROW from 1941.

Enjoy….stay safe, at home watching films financed by candy and soft-drink companies!

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