I had a totally different blog post planned for this week and then this appeared on Google….
Frankie Manning the founding father of Lindy Hop would have celebrated his 102nd birthday today (he lived to be 94) and after years of emailing Google they finally made all Lindy Hoppers over the world happy…Frankie Gets/Got to be Google Doodlefied (not even sure that is a word lol). Isn’t it awesome??!!
Now you may think..”who cares, it’s just a Google Doodle”. Well one of Frankie’s Missions was to spread the love of Lindy Hop around the world and he worked very hard in the later years of his life to do this. Today marks the day that Frankie’s dream became a reality in the digital world, Frankie’s dream just went viral 🙂
Another reason this is such a milestone is because of events like the one I’m part of this weekend. Toronto Lindy Hop is running a big swing weekend with 2 big bands and lots of fun activities called ‘Toronto Celebrates World Lindy Hop Day‘ and none of this would be possible if it were not for this man and the other Savoy/Whitey Lindy Hoppers that just went out on that Savoy Ballroom floor and danced the danced they loved…the Lindy Hop.
Check them out in action in the video below (featuring Frankie Manning).
Here are I am years ago at my first swing event, with the man himself..Frankie.
Happy Birthday Frankie, I sure do hope your Swingin’out somewhere in the great beyond on your special day!
There is a women’s lifestyle magazine in Canada that I really enjoy reading called ‘Chatelaine‘, which has been in publication since 1928, yes you heard that right…1928. That is a fantastic achievement and I applaud their savy business sense to remain so popular over all these years.
Today’s post I wanted to show off some of the fantastic vintage covers that they have had since the late 1920s up to early 1950s and give you a brief overview of the history of the magazine.
Chatelaine was first published in March 1928. It was created by the Maclean Hunter Publishing Company as a means to reach a different demographic than its other publications, Maclean’s and the Financial Post.
It’s title refers to the ring of keys which housewives long ago would use to get into every part of the house. The winning name was chosen from 75,000 entries and the winner ( A rancher’s wife from Eburne, British Columbia) won, $1000 cdn.
Chatelaine’s original price was ten cents per copy, and this price did not change until 1950, when it increased to fifteen cents (source).
The magazine never shied away from controversy and important subjects for women. Topics like:
An article in December 1929 entitled “Now That Women Are Persons, What’s Ahead?”, that was based on the Persons Case—a famous Canadian constitutional case that decided that women were eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.
In its first years, the magazine served as a sounding board for women at the end of the first wave of feminism. In 1928 and 1929, article topics included panic over the rising divorce rate, “Wages and Wives” (April 1929), and the high maternal mortality rate in rural Canada (July 1928).
However during the 1930s, the magazine became less political. Popular parts of the magazine included monthly budget meal plans and romantic fiction.
WW2, the mag participated in the media and propaganda frenzy by publishing cover images of young women in uniform, working on farms, and contributing to the war effort.
In the 60s early 1970s there were articles about the pill, sex and women’s rights (source).
In the past, the magazine has named a Woman of the Year, honouring a Canadian woman for her achievements in the previous year. Honorees have included Prime Minister Kim Campbell.
The Covers (some of my favorites)
August 1932. Can I have all the outfits in this image?
August 1938-“What did your husband give up for marriage?” This is the less political time in the magazines career.
February 1940-Nice Hat!
June 1941-Travel Canada…
February 1941. Make Do and Mend?
September 1942-Do your part for the war effort.
January 1948-It would not be a Canadian magazine if you did not have a skiing cover (this is one of many covers with this theme).
I wanted to share with you this week one of my favorite (and I mean favorite) female Rockabilly singers, that you may or may not of heard of – Janis Martin-the Female Elvis.
Janice was one of the few women working in the male-dominated rock and roll music field during the 1950s and one of country music’s early female innovators.
The Early Days:
Born March 27th, 1940 in Sutherlin, Virginia into a musical family (her father and uncle were both musicians and her mother a stage mother), Janis quickly became a hard-working performer. Even at the tender age of 4 she was playing the guitar by standing it up like a fiddle as she was too small to hold it on her lap and by age six, had mastered the basic chords and began singing. Although she was small her voice was loud and strong.
At age 8, she entered her first talent contest and placed second. For the next two years, she entered eleven contests over a three-state area, winning first place in each one, and winning over 200 or more contestants in a statewide talent show that took four days of elimination (Source).
At age 11, she began her career as a member of the WDVA Barndance in Danville, Virginia. The show was on every Saturday night and was broadcast from an actual barn and after the show was done all the chairs would be pushed back and actual dance would take place. Hence how it got its name “WDVA Barndance”.
Janice continued to focus on Country music in her early days, moving from MDVA onto the road with Glen Thompson (mentioned in the image above) and then eventually being invited to be a regular member at the 3rd largest Barndance in the nation – the Old Dominion Barndance in Richmond, Virginia, ranking only behind the Grand Old Opry and the Wheeling, West Virginia Barndance (source).
Eventually though by her mid-teens Janice was growing tired of the slow ballads of country music and wanted to get into Rock n Roll. She was about to get lucky….
Janis becomes a recording artist at the age of 15
Two staff announcers at WRVA (the station that carried the Barndance over the CBS network) were successful songwriters and wrote the song “Will You, Willyum”. They asked Janis to sing it on the Barndance for audience reaction, where they would cut a demo tape to send to their publisher in New York. When the demo tape arrived at Tannen Music in New York, the publisher not only accepted the song but sent the song to Steve Sholes, producer at RCA Victor and asked whether Sholes had an artist to record “Will You Willyum”. Apparently Sholes replied, “Well, who’s the girl doin’ the demo?”
At age 15, Martin signed with RCA Victor in March 1956, just two months after Elvis Presley joined the label. She recorded “Will You Willyum” on March 8, 1956, backed by her own composition, “Drugstore Rock ‘n Roll“.
The song became the biggest hit of her career, selling 750,000 records and hitting the country and pop charts. Soon Martin was performing on American Bandstand, The Today Show and Tonight Starring Steve Allen. She also appeared on Jubilee USA, and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, becoming one of the younger performers to ever appear. In 1957 Billboard named her Most Promising Female Vocalist of that year (source).
Elvis Presley and RCA were so impressed with her stage presence, they dubbed her the Female Elvis. A nickname that would come to haunt her.
Ironically, “The Female Elvis” only had two brief encounters with her male counterpart. “I said hello to him backstage at a show in Danville, Va., once,” she recalls, “and later I ran into him in New York at RCA’s studio. He said, ‘How’s it goin’?’ I said, ‘Fine, how about you?’ He said, ‘It’s rough!’ That’s about all the words we ever exchanged. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that impressed with Elvis at first. I’ve always liked Carl Perkins better.”
In fact, Martin says, she was never all that keen on being cast in Presley’s mold. “I think ‘The Female Elvis’ bit was a hindrance–the audience expected a lot of hip gyrations like he did, and I got kind of tired of being called vulgar. It put a lot of pressure on me (source).”
Janis was chosen by RCA to tour as a member of the Jim Reeves show and continued recording rock and roll and country material that ended up being successful on both charts, including “My Boy Elvis“, “Let’s Elope Baby“, her cover of Roy Orbison’s song “Ooby Dooby”, and “Love Me to Pieces” (source).
In 1957 after a USO tour in Europe it was reveled that Janis Martin at the age of 15 (2 years earlier) had secretly married a young US paratrooper who was stationed in Germany. They kept their marriage secret (only their parents knew) until the USO tour where she met up with her husband and ended up conceiving. RCA discovered the pregnancy and dropped their “Teenage Star” from the label in 1958.
Fall from Stardom and a Career Resurgence
For all of her early success, Martin was never able to sustain a rock & roll career, her gender and changing times hindered her success. Her stage moves and lusty delivery appeared unseemly appeared vulgar to a lot of people. Additionally, the country shows on which she was booked usually put her on bills and in front of audiences that weren’t overly enamored of rock & roll to begin with, and Martin found herself caught between conflicting currents. Her record company and management wanted her to keep pushing rockabilly in her stage act, while promoters doing the bookings preferred that she do straight country.
By 1960 she was now on her 2nd marriage to a man who did not approve of her being in the music business, so she faded out of sight until 1970. After divorcing her husband she formed the band ‘The Variation’ and began performing again in the Southern Virginia area where she has always resided.
Then, in 1979, European tour offers started coming in, after Bear Family Records had reissued her complete 1956-60 recordings on two LP’s. Martin then would go onto perform in Europe and at major rockabilly shows across the United States for some time after that.
At first Martin could hardly believe it and it took her a few years to gather her nerve and return to the road. But in 1982, on her 42nd birthday, she played her first date in England and was stunned. “I wasn’t prepared for what I found there! I looked down and saw kids with crew cuts and leather jackets and the big ‘poodle’ skirts. It was really weird. Like stepping back twenty-five years in my own life!” After that, she became a regular visitor to Europe (source).
Sadly Janis died of cancer in 2007, leaving a powerful legacy of recordings and fans worldwide (source).
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Janis is absolutely one of my all time favorite female singers. Her music is always in my mix of music, I tell anybody who would listen about her (it’s true!) and after I saw Rosie Flores (who actually did a duet with Janis in 1997) and Marti Brom perform her music at VIVA I have been incredibly hooked. If I had any sort of musical ability, Janis would be my inspiration.
I will now leave you with one of the performances from VIVA 16 that Rosie and Marti performed. Enjoy!
Mother’s day is almost here again and 2 years ago I did a blog post showcasing some great vintage images of mothers that I found. I decided to do a part 2 for this year, so please enjoy and Happy Mothers Day to all the mom’s out there (including mine)!
I love when I see images in colour, especially when you have images like the one below where the little girl is all in red. She really stands out in a sea of blah colours. Don’t you agree?
Picnic in the Woods with mom.
Cute family alert! Don’t you just want to hug that little girl? I don’t know how her mom is keeping a straight face for the picture (Maybe it was take 500 and she just wanted it done).
House Hunting in Roswell-Spring 1953
Beach day! In 1920s Beach Style.
The Best Dressed family award goes too…..THIS FAMILY (and a shout out to that great wallpaper in the background)!
What an adorable young mother, circa 1948.
Reading time is very important for young children. I wonder what the book was?
This image caught my eye because of the poor child that looks like it was forced into getting her photo taken with her mother. Mom looks so pretty, her child while also pretty does look like she is about to fall off the banister (gosh I hope she did not).
Last but not least, I left the best image of all till last (at least I think so). 1940s Glamour and style from mother and daughter. Look at the little girls hat and the beautiful dress on her mother…Fantastic! I love everything about this photo.
Today is my husband and I’s 4 year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful man on earth, who I know reads my blog when I remind him (Right Now as he reads this I can hear him say “I read it without you telling me too”. Okay dear.. lol!). 4 years has gone by so fast and it feels like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle towards each other to begin our life together. Jay is the love of my life and I’m very lucky to have him in my life.
Okay Okay…enough with the romance 🙂 Time for my blog post.
Keeping with the Wedding theme for today’s post, I wanted to share some Ads from the 1940s & 50’s that would have been directed right at the future bride. Keeping in mind that we are talking about a different time here, so the ads will feature mostly domestic items and outdated advertising.
First up to ensure you even get married, you need to wash with ‘Woodbury Soap’, like our Toronto bride has done in the ad below.
Or maybe Camay is more your kind of soap.
This pre-WWII ad invites young brides or brides-to-be to consider their sheet selection carefully before guests critique their home (organdie gown by Milgrim).
It’s the Queen’s 90th Birthday today and to commemorate this special day I am doing a roundup of 5 fabulous posts I have found over the years on the “Early Days” of the Queen’s life (aka The vintage years). Happy Birthday to the Queen!
Next week I leave for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend! I can’t wait! This will be my last one for a while as my husband and I would like to take other trips and try other events, so I’m going to make the most of out of it this year.
The vintage clothing is HUGE at Viva (one of my favorite parts) and I love seeing all the lovely pieces of that everyone brings. I’m always happy with the items that I bring but I do like to dream that if I won the lottery and or had size 24″ waist, what would be my ultimate VIVA wardrobe?
So that is what today’s post is all about, what would I bring if I had the means? Let the dreaming/drooling begin!
1940s Green Gingham Sundress-SO ME! If you have a 27″ waist this could be yours (the price is actually pretty good). I would totally wear this dress to the car show.
Another day dress for wandering around the hotel, hitting up the strip or just lounging by the pool – A 1950s Mr. Mort Gingham (I’m in gingham mode right now) sundress. The top of the dress is so different and really cool.
I love Tiki and I love Tiki Dresses like this beauty of a dress from the 1950s and perfect to wear to Frankie’s Tiki Room. The pattern is a novelty tiki cat print.
Mexican Handpainted skirts are very very popular in the Rockabilly/Vintage world and this one is a perfect example of why they are, simply stunning! This skirt is a good choice for any evening of the event.
Vintage 1940s Evening Dress. Perfect for dancing in, to all the amazing bands that play all weekend long. Possibly a super Saturday night dress.
Here is another Saturday Night Dress – A Emma Domb 1950’s dress french blue satin. Isn’t it dreamy?
One more option for Saturday Night (or really any night of the event). 1940s Vintage Crepe Gown (this is my favorite).
The Pool Parties at VLV happen all weekend but on Sunday they have the women’s vintage swimsuit contest. If I had a lot of money, I would buy this suit and enter – A 1950s Novelty Rooster Print Catalina Swimsuit. The print is just so fun and I think you would have a good chance of winning.
Shoes! I very rarely wear awesome shoes at this event because I’m normally dancing…a lot and my shoes are usually built for comfort over style. However, if I could have some dream shoes these would be in my suitcase.
1940s sling back, peep toe heels. Cute with a bit of danger to them.
Another pair of fantastic peep toe 1940s shoes (I adore the 40s shoes).
And then the ultimate wish list shoes (and my top pin on Pinterest)……1940s Platform heels, very Carmen Miranda and sold to some lucky person in this world.
Accessories. Once again, since I’m a dancer my accessories are usually limited to items that won’t fly off my body when dancing (brooches, earrings, hair flowers) but we are talking “My wish list” so I would wear Bakelite Bracelets! Up my arm and down the other. Ha Ha, not really but I would wear more than just one like many of the lovely ladies I have seen do.
1930s red Bakelite carved clamper bracelet.
And here are all the bracelets ready for my arm. The carved ones are truly my favorite (I currently only own smooth Bakelite).
And there is my Ultimate VLV Wardrobe wish list. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the things that make me drool or wish I had one the lottery.
This will also be my last weekly post till I’m back from my trip (I will only be gone for one week, friends so don’t worry). You can follow my adventures on Twitter and of course Instagram.
Have a super week friends and see some of you at VLV!
While scouring the internet for all things vintage and interesting I stumbled upon a cool article about the history of everyone’s favorite Ginger drink..”Canada Dry’s Ginger Ale“. Well maybe it’s not everyone’s favorite but it sure is a fav of mine and also TRULY Canadian (not just using the name here). And since I love sharing cool Toronto history with you, today’s post will be highlights from the beginnings of this drink and then showcasing a bunch of my favorite vintage ads I found from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
The beginning (the Highlights):
In 1890, Canadian pharmacist and chemist John J. McLaughlin of Enniskillen, Ontario opened a carbonated water plant in Toronto after returning from Brooklyn where he is was working in the pharmacy business.
McLaughlin set himself the goal of developing a pale, dry ginger ale, ostensibly as a non-alcoholic rival for champagne but more likely in the hope of surpassing the popular ginger ales then on the market (Source).
In 1904, McLaughlin created “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale”, which was a refined version of their long produced “McLaughlin’s Belfast Style Ginger Ale”.
“It has a snap and a tingle; a smart spry taste,” early ads claimed. It was known as “the champagne of ginger ales” for its light taste and was marketed with a beaver icon and a map of Canada (Source).
Rapid growth and popularity quickly followed after it’s launch, with plants opening up in other areas of Canada and the trade name registered in 1907.
The sweet drink was even appointed to the Royal Household of the Governor General of Canada where the label featuring a beaver atop a map of Canada was replaced with the present Crown and shield.
Canada Dry stayed in the family business till the 1920s, where growing popularity in the United States had the family expand into New York City (Note: McLaughlin died suddenly in 1914).
It was sold in 1923 to P. D. Saylor and Associates, who renamed it Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. and forever removing the ties to Toronto.
It has been in United States hands ever since (being purchased by several companies over the years).
Side Note: His brother, Samuel McLaughlin, was busily growing their father’s business into what would eventually become General Motors of Canada during the beginnings of Canada Dry.
For a full detailed history lesson on Canada Dry make sure you check out the ‘BlogTO’ article HERE.
The vintage ads:
1937-So many “Remedies” from one drink.
1930s Ad- Kids love it, it’s made thru a scientific process, it’s great at parties and served at fancy exotic hotels. Canada Dry is truly the Best!
1935 Ad- “Against the brilliant social background, it’s Canada Dry”.
“Cool Off with Canada Dry” (cute swimsuit!)
1940s- Canada Dry says “Keep up the good work”
Keeps his Ginger Up? I do marketing for a career and even I don’t know what that means.
1950s Ad-The Ginger-Upper 🙂 This is better then the above use of the words ‘Ginger’ and ‘Up’.
Esther Williams for Canada Dry, 1956. Do you think those are her kids (according to the ad) or “fake kids”?
Hi everyone and welcome to my first book review! I’m very excited about this because it’s for a book that is an area of subject that I enjoy..Rockabilly Music.
I was contacted by the author Sheree Homer to see if I would mind doing a read over and review of her book ‘Dig that Beat! Interviews with Musicians at the Root of Rock ‘n’ Roll‘. I quickly jumped at the chance and after a bit of slow start due to my work schedule I was finally able to sit down and read this fantastic book.
About the Author:
Sheree Homer was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During her formative years, her mother introduced her to rock and roll, thanks to her impressive 45 rpm record collection. Sheree became a fan of Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. She discovered rockabilly music and its artists in 2001. A year later, she attended her first rockabilly festivals, the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Rockin’ 50’s Fest in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After the spectacular Stomp and graduation from the University of Wisconsin- Parkside with a degree in writing, she decided to start her own rockabilly magazine. She desired to give recognition to the forgotten foot soldiers of rock and roll. Eight issues followed. In 2006, she began writing for the largest rockabilly/roots magazine in the country, Blue Suede News. Catch That Rockabilly Fever: Stories of Life on the Road and in the Studio is her first book (Source).
Dig that Beat Overview:
Disc jockey Alan Freed coined the term “rock and roll” in the 1950s. Rooted in rockabilly, rhythm and blues, country and western, gospel, and pop, the genre was popularized by performers like Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. Rock and roll’s originators and revivalists continue to entertain crowds at roots music festivals worldwide. This book presents stories about performers’ lives on the road and in the studio, along with the stories behind popular songs. Informative biographical profiles are provided.
Foreword written by Smilin’ Jay McDowell. Thirty-nine artists are profiled: Buck Owens and his Buckaroos, Rusty York, Bobby Crown, Sleepy LaBeef, Eddie Bond, Miss Mary Ann, Lil’ Esther, Mars Attacks, Dale Hawkins, James Intveld, Rosie Flores, Janis Martin, Conway Twitty, Billy Swan, Leroy Van Dyke, Vernon Taylor, Andy Anderson, Alton and Jimmy, Eddie Angel, The Paladins, Ronnie Mack, Ray Campi, Big Jay McNeely, The Orlons, Clyde Stacy, Al Ferrier, Don Woody, Alvis Wayne, Glenn Honeycutt, Ace Cannon, Dodie Stevens, Robin Luke, Carl Dobkins, Jr., Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms, Jai Malano, Jerry King and the Rivertown Ramblers, Billy Hancock, Junior Marvel, and Jack Baymoore.
As a blogger who enjoys a good piece of vintage history, you can’t get any better than this book, especially if you are interested in the roots of Rock n Roll. Each section is like a mini detailed biography of each artist featured in the book and you literally FEEL like you are living in the moment being described.
Some I knew and some I will be honest I never heard of till this book and now I’m richer in knowledge for reading it. It was also really cool to see how the rockabilly/rock n roll world seemed to become smaller and smaller as you read each bio and discovered that Buddy Holly was friends with Dale Hawkins and Dale was friends with Eddie Cochran etc etc. Cool tidbits like that.
Sheree also does a great job of bringing you bios of the artists from the early days right thru to musicians of today, so that you can get a real idea of how the music is evolving and growing. Some of the modern day artists featured were: Jai Malano and Lil’ Esther ( to name a few).
I actually had the pleasure of hearing Jai Malano, at VIVA a little while back with her band at the time ‘The Royal Rhythmaires’. If you want to hear a powerful voice, then you need to listen to Jai..WOW! My friend and I were in the back of the room and could not see the band come on and then all of a sudden we heard this voice that was a mix of the Blues and Soul and it instantly captivated us. We never left the dance floor that night and that record with Jai on it, is on repeat in my car.
One of my favorite sections was on Janis Martin who I have been plugging away on a blog post for a while now (I just ADORE Her). The details on her career were just marvelous and made me appreciate her music even more than I already did. There is just something about getting an insight look into their lives/careers that really changes how you listen to the music.
In the end, I 100% recommend this book as it was engaging, informative and darn right interesting. If you love Rockabilly and Rock N Roll history (or just a lover of music) then pick this book up today. AND as a special bonus at the end of the book, Sheree has painstakingly put together a selected Discography of the artists featured, so you don’t have to try to figure out what music each artist played, it is already done for you. Fantastic!
Opps I did it again, I missed a few months of sharing my favorite things from Pinterest with you (I been so busy lately). Well don’t fear friends, all my favorite vintage images, vintage outfits and other vintage goodies are here today for your viewing pleasure.
Lets spy on my online finds….
I recently stumbled up this fantastic set of vintage booklets every college student at Oregon State College (now University) in Corvallis would have needed to know, on where to go, what to do and how to behave in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I especially adore the “Save your Blushes. A guide to Campus Etiquette”. Which features info about table manners, dating, gossip, living with others, bad language, smoking, parties, and everything that comes up in college (in 1939).
Also at the CNE Grounds in 1954, the Famous ‘Striporama’!
The ‘Apron Club’. And on a personal level, I need to join this club. I have so many vintage aprons that I have collected over the years I need to show them off to someone. Where is my time machine?
Last week I attended an event at City Hall all about a top-secret munitions plant during WW2 outside the city limits of Toronto in the rural community of Scarborough called GECO. 17,000 women worked there during the war and the fantastic Barbara Dickson has spent years writing a book all about these “Bomb Girls” of Toronto (avail for purchase). It was an extremely interesting event and I look forward to reading more about these woman.
Below is an image of ‘Miss GECO Finalist Phyllis Topping’ (I’m going to guess that is the first woman).
Milk does a body good 🙂 Toronto Mayor Hiram E. McCallum and Ice Follies performers drink milk at civic reception, Old City Hall.
Mandatory reading for some of the women in college in the 1940s: A Vintage 1940s Secretary School Books Set Of Two 1942 Typewriting Technique And 1943 Secretarial Practice For Colleges.
Looking for the next vintage outfit? Here is a collection of goodies I have pinned recently.
1940s peplum dress with Horses, Elephants and Soldiers. I would LOVE to know the history on this piece.
Spring is around the corner and this 1930s vintage gown would be perfect to ring in that special day. Isn’t it gorgeous?!
With VIVA around the corner I would have loved to of walked into the ballroom in this dress but since it’s been sold, it is now possible that someone else will be doing that. Stay tuned!
I LOVE this 1950s sweater top and skirt combo and I wish it was in my size. Perfect for a night out.
I just finished watching Season 2 of ‘Agent Carter‘ and this 1940s dress reminds me of something she would wear.
And there we have it friends, some of favorite vintage Pinterest pins from the last 2 ‘ish’ months.
Did you have a favorite from the batch posted here?