Thursday, February 28, 2008

Volume, volume, volume…

As of this post, I have just put up 136 items on eBay for sale—the rest of the infamous “clutter” here at the House of Yesteryear. Until we get settled in Athens, this will probably be the last auction I’ll do for a while…so every item listed is starting out a low, LOW bid of ninety-nine cents. You heard me correctly…if you bid on an item, and you’re the only one to do so—you take it away for less than a dollar. I must also point out that though I would very much like to use the “Buy five or more get Media Mail shipping” promotion I’ve used in previous auctions, I can’t do it this time around because of these bargain-basement prices. So anyone who was hesitant about buying something but kept putting it off and putting it off…now’s your chance. ‘Cause if I can’t get rid of this stuff, chances are it’s going down to the curb for the next trash pick-up.

Radio Spirits has another new catalog out, and one of their offerings (on page 25) is a collection of Al Jolson Kraft Music Halls whose liner notes were composed by yours truly. They refer to me as a “radio historian,” which really makes me blush, because they use the same appellation to describe Anthony Tollin…and everyone knows “Texas Tony” will forget more about old-time radio than I’ll ever learn. Still, showing it to the ‘rents made me burst my buttons with pride; RS is also offering three new entries (page 13) in their Radio Spirits Presents series—Mayor of the Town, The Halls of Ivy and The Jimmy Durante Show—and if you purchase all three of these you’ll get a nifty companion guide in which I also had a hand. (Okay, okay…I’ll stop now.)

On the TV-on-DVD front, has announced that the sixth season of Bewitched is coming to DVD May 6th. It ushers in what would come to be known as “the Dick Sargent years,” providing fans and non-fans alike with fodder for an endless series of arguments centering on “Which Darrin was better?” As a Bewitched fan, I never really cared all that much—the show also had two Gladys Kravitzes and two Louise Tates, so that stuff was happening all the time—and I will probably purchase the set all the same. (You already know that I thought I Dream of Jeannie was the better show, anyway.) also has announcements that the cult sitcom Square Pegs is coming to disc May 20th; many viewers loved this short-lived comedy starring a pre-Chicks…er, Sex in the City Sarah Jessica Parker but I kind of approached it with a sort of indifference since I had already seen the program when it was called The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Still, if you’re into the music of the 80s you’ll probably enjoy Pegs—though I have a feeling they’re going to do a WKRP-number on this baby due to the music rights. TVShows also has a blurb that a collection of ten episodes of the 1995-98 sitcom Cybill (starring Cybill Shepherd) will wing its way to DVD June 24th…entitled The Best of Cybill. (You have no idea, by the way, how much I want to make a snarky comment about how The Best of Cybill can’t possibly contain that many episodes—but Pam may be reading this, so I won't.) Whatever your opinion of Ms. Shepherd’s comedic prowess, you can’t deny she’s getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop because Seasons One and Two have been available on Region 2 sets for quite some time now, and Season Three is due out May 5th. Nice work if you can get it…but you’ll need a region-free DVD player, too.

And of course, our TV-on-DVD report wouldn’t be complete without hearing from the Public Domain Poster Boy himself, BobH, who told the people at HTF that Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing a third set of public domain TV westerns…one-hundred-and-fifty episodes in all. Mill Creek doesn’t, unfortunately, provide a list of what’s on these bargain sets but from the listing there’ll be the usual suspects in shows like Annie Oakley, The Roy Rogers Show and Sheriff of Cochise…and newcomers like The Outlaws (a 1960-62 series starring Brent McKee fave Barton MacLane), Rango (a 1967 comedy-western in the tradition of F Troop with Tim Conway and Guy Marks) and Tate (which has already seen a full DVD release from Timeless Media). The great thing about the Mill Creek releases is that you can usually pick them up for a song at places like…and when it’s released May 6th, I may put the new Westerns set in my shopping cart.

One more thing before I go…future WTDY program director John sent me a link to this a long time ago, a station in Chicago that seems to have done their homework on what classic television is all about—as opposed to the once-revered-now-reviled TVLand, who apparently wrote the answers to the test on various parts of its body. (Fellas...enough with the “original series” already.) The great thing about WWME is that, as they so beautifully put it, “There’s TOO much classic television for one station!”—so they have a sister station (known as “Me Too”) and here’s the lineup for both. My hat is off to the good people in Chicagoland…you are definitely enjoying an embarrassment of riches.


Andrew said...

Always great to see one's name in print *anywhere*, but considering the field of "radio historians," however one defines it, is incredibly small, kudos to you for breaking in (in the past, I often wished I could do that, whenever I saw cast misattributions in Radio Spirits booklets). I do miss the days when Radio Spirits, whatever its faults, included booklets in their bigger or special sets as a matter of course, instead of forcing one to buy three disparate series in order to get it. But that's par for the course. Kudos again! (I've toyed in the past with trying to sell McFarland or someone on a CBS Radio Workshop book, but the problem is such a book would feel incomplete by itself, without full info on the Columbia Workshop, and that's harder to come by).

Brent McKee said...

First Gladys Kravitz, second Louise Tate (she was a hottie) and the first Durwood -er- Darrin. and for a good time call Pandora Spocks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ivan. Philip Schweier here. Once again I'minteresteed in some of your ebay offerings. Specifically, the 100 Years of American Comics and Encyclopdia of Comics (I think those are the titles of the books. I'd also like The Front Page DVD if it's still available. Being a mild-mannered newspaperman, I can appreciate a poke in the ribs at the fourth of estate.

Loved your story about the post office. Allow me to share. I showed my parents The Paper, starring Michael Keaton and Gelnn Close ina fist fight in the press room at the end. MY dad turns to me and asks, "You don't have fights like that in the pressroom at the Morning News, do you?"

I answered. "No. Not in the pressroom."

Anyhoo, gimme a call (I'm still in the book) sometime this afternoon or evening. Maybe you'll allow me and Sam to take you to dinner. Honestlym I thought you'd moved the end of December, otherwise we'd have done it long time ago.