Vintage Pulp Feb 28 2015
BROTHELS AND SISTERS
Mixing business and family is always a bad idea.

Above, a cover of The National Close-Up published today in 1967, sporting the slogan “Daring Enough To Print The Facts.” That phrase disappeared from later issues, possibly because the magazine shifted, like other ’70s tabloids, from occasionally factual to totally fictional. This particular headline about a mom casting her daughters into prostitution could be true—we found mention of a few stories along those lines from the 1960s. National Close-Up falls into the category of very rare publications—in many years of looking we’ve seen only a few (exorbitantly expensive) issues for sale. But we’ll keep looking.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 22 2015
FORBIDDEN FRUIT
Seventeen ways to end up in serious legal trouble.

Above, the cover and many scans from Keyhole magazine published today in 1973. The editors push the envelope a bit in this issue with their glorification of under-17 sex, but as always, the content is just fiction spiced up with photos of a few semi-famous glamour models—all well into adulthood—including Susan Shaw, who was a regular in Keyhole’s pages. We have several more issues of thus unique publication and you can find them in our handy tabloid index by following this link. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 22 2015
COMPUTER BLUES
Love and the single robot.

This National Star Chronicle published today in 1965 doesn’t stand up well against the more colorful Keyhole (above), but it does have Julie Newmar, which is something. The photo that editors opt to use is just a handout, and it’s actually several years older than the issue, having appeared in glamour magazines as far back as 1961. When Newmar says she’s no robot, she’s referring to her role in the television series My Living Doll, in which she played an android named AF 709. In the show she’s created as a blank slate, which prompts her maker to partner her with a psychiatrist played by Bob Cummings, whose job is to program her to behave like an actual woman. We know. We know. The job should probably be given to… erm… a woman, but where’s the fun in that? Anyway, AF 709 is redubbed Rhoda Miller, given over to Cummings, and he tries to teach her things like obedience to males, and to not talk back—yes, really—but she of course develops a few quirks independent of her programming, and hilarity ensues. The show didn’t last long, shockingly, but it did contribute an enduring catchphrase to the American lexicon: “Does not compute.”

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Vintage Pulp Feb 9 2015
REICH BACK AT YA
The National Police Gazette really knew how to beat a dead Hitler.


Police Gazette sometimes faced a need for Adolf Hitler to star on their covers that surpassed available supplies of art. The February 1956 cover you see above was the first time that particular image was used, but they dug it out again for their January 1977 issue, which you see below, and which we showed you in larger size here. By now you know the Gazette’s mission post-World War II was to prove Hitler didn’t die in Berlin. In this issue George McGrath—the same writer who usually penned these stories—offers a list of reasons why Hitler was still alive as of 1956. Among them:

• The only eyewitness to Hitler’s suicide—his valet Heinz Linge—later recanted his testimony and admitted he never saw the Führer shoot himself.
 
• Hitler’s body was burned to unrecognizable ashes, but there’s no possibility that setting fire to human biomass with petrol could burn it to ashes. Most of it would remain.
 
• Despite the fact that every inch of the Reich Chancellery was searched and sifted, not a single trace of Hitler’s blood was ever found.
 
And so forth. For a thorough debunking of McGrath’s theories, you can go just about anywhere on the internet. We’ll just point out again that those who believe Americans’ receptivity to alternate theories of historical or current events is a new phenomenon haven’t read enough old tabloids. The Gazette enjoyed a quite decent readership, and during the 1950s it and other tabloids like Confidential—also a haven for occasional crackpot speculations—were among the most circulated magazines in the country.

In short—and this seems especially appropriate to point out with American news anchor Brian Williams in hot water for alleged on-air lies, and Fox News being laughed at for echoing an obviously fake story about the King of Jordan flying combat missions against ISIS—sloppy or false reporting in America’s most popular media outlets has always been a problem. The old tabloids fashioned themselves as maverick truthtellers, and that label, along with some flashy visuals, was enough to attract eyeballs. For today's cable news, the same self-labeling and eye candy visuals work the same way. We will have plenty more from the Police Gazette later.


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Hollywoodland Feb 1 2015
SMART GUY
Some decisions don’t need explaining.


Top Secret packs several top celebs onto the cover of this issue published today in 1958, but gives center position to the relatively unknown Elsa Sorensen, the 1955 Miss Denmark referred to here as “that nude model.” Sorensen was indeed a nude model—she was a 1956 Playboy centerfold under her own name, and afterward continued to model nude as Dane Arden. Top Secret editors claim to know why multi-million-selling pop singer Guy Mitchell married her, but we don’t need their help to figure that out. See below:

 
The magazine also spins the tale of how the calypso/caribbean themed NYC club the African Room sued Eartha Kitt for more than $200,000. Allegedly, one night while Kitt and some friends were in attendance to see house act Johnny Barracuda, aka the King of Calypso, she flew into a rage, poured Champagne on patrons, shattered glassware, and kneed one of the owners—an ex-homicide dick named Harold Kanter—in the gonads. The lawsuit claimed Kitt shouted, “This is nothing but a clip joint! You are nothing but thieves!” Supposedly, this was all over a $137.00 bar bill. In case you’re wondering, that’s about $1,100 in today’s money.
 
Kitt’s side of the story was simply that her group ordered three or four splits (mini-bottles) of champagne—though none for her, as she never drank alcohol—and when presented with an exorbitant tab asked for an itemized bill, only to be met with major static. We’re siding with Kitt on this one, since Kanter, who somehow had enough money to leave the police force and buy a share of the African Room three years earlier at age twenty-five, had already been busted for watering down his liquor, then trying to bribe his way out of trouble. Kitt said succinctly of the episode, “To me a $137 bill was preposterous. I asked for the bill so I could have it sent to my office. They would not give it to me. That’s all there is to the whole story.”

And that’s all there is from Top Secret today, except to say that for us the most interesting part of the Kitt saga—aside from the tantalizing allegation by Kanter that she “disported herself onstage in a lewd and suggestive manner”—is the fact that she’s pasted-up on the mag’s cover with Sidney Poitier, when in fact her date at the African Room that night was Canadian actor John Ireland. Poitier was nowhere in sight. We'd love to know why Top Secret tried to drag him in, however obliquely, but we're not counting on ever getting the answer. When you dig through the past, unanswered questions are not the exception, but rather the rule.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 11 2015
NO HOLES BARRED
Keyhole warms the winter months with its special brand of shameless sleaze.

The uniquely sleazy ’70s tabloid Keyhole returns to our website with this issue that hit newsstands today in 1973, filled as always with x-rated fiction in the guise of investigative journalism, and just in time to warm the cockles of male readers’ winter-chilled hearts. Do you know when you’ve got a good tabloid on your hands? When your girlfriend takes a look at the cover, says, “Mouth master, huh?” rolls her eyes, and walks away. Yes, Keyhole has the aforementioned ninja of oral arts Vicci Labist, who wistfully describes embarking on her journey to fellative expertise when she was required—for a gang initiation, no less—to go down on nineteen guys at once.

Later in the issue we meet a group of radicals that have developed an orgy bomb (in gas form, amusingly), we’re introduced to resident seer Ixion and his Love-O-Scope, we get to know a hooker who demands that her customers get their penises tattooed with her name, and we hear from a stewardess whose last Middle Eastern layover involved a horny sheik and a pliant slave boy. And that’s the tame stuff. We have some scans below and more coming from Keyhole later. If you’re interested in the issues we’ve already posted (or in any of hundreds of tabloids), click over to our handy index at this link. Just remember that looking through Keyhole is bad for your eyesight.

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Vintage Pulp | Sex Files Jan 10 2015
GAY SECRETS REVEALED
Tabloid tells curious readers everything they always wanted to know about things that are none of their business.


The last time we checked in on Top Secret was with their October 1962 issue. Today we’re visiting January 1964 and plenty has changed in the intervening months. Foremost—the paper and printing quality have degraded to what surely must have been the lowest standard available at the time, which is why our scans are grainy. But we can still recognize June Wilkinson on the cover, who we’re told is retiring from modeling, and inside readers hear from Ursula Andress, Jack Lemmon, Brigitte Bardot, Shirley MacLaine, Mandy Rice-Davies and more.  

Editors also tout “one of the most earth-shaking advances in the exploration of outer space!” Wow. Was it warp drive? A transporter beam? A stargate? No. It was that America’s newest astronaut, Edward Dwight, Jr., was a different skin color than the other astronauts. We might deign to call that an advance in the attitudes of NASA during an age of state apartheid. Space travel, on the other hand, remained space travel, unchanged. Top Secret implies Dwight was the first black American qualified to be an astronaut, and by so doing avoids admitting that the door was simply closed before his arrival. You know this game—all backslapping, zero introspection. But we get it. “Our First Negro Astronaut!” is a bit more celebratory than, “We should have done this from the beginning.”
 
But we must move on, because the real gem in this issue comes later, in the story you see announced in the cover’s blazing red banner: Hidden Homos—How To Spot Them! Goodness, where to begin with this? First, we’ll say we would dearly love to reproduce this entire article as an artifact of an intellectual dark age, but it’s Saturday, and time is fleeting. Just know that the language is baroque in its viciousness. The story beginswith the tale of a company president who unknowingly hired a gay man and had no idea until several years later when the hiree—now a manager—got drunk at a company party and began slapping and scratching another man. Soon four employees were involved in this spat. The company president exclaimed: “My God! Those men are all queers!”
 
Top Secret explains: “Once the camouflaged homosexual has gotten himself a snug berth, he starts easing others of his ilk into the office. Before long, most of the straight male employees are out on their ears and the camouflaged fags have taken over.” Editors then list the eight most common types of gay men against whom normal, red-blooded Americans must be vigilant (by refusing to hire for any sort of job, potentially harassing out of the neighborhood, and possibly reporting to the authorities). Ready? Here we go with a few highlights:
 
1: The Overly Fastidious Dresser—obsessive interest in clothes is a feminine trait, and in men it may well be a danger signal.
 
2: The Overly Hygenic Type—their faces are invariably too-closely shaven. They make a fetish of washing their hands.
 
3: The Uriah Heep Type—he seeks to prove how very humble and insignificant he is by heaping praise upon others.
 
4: The Maiden Aunt’s Delight—these men associate with older women because such women make no heterosexual erotic demands upon them.
 
5: The Solitary Drinker—although he is not gregarious or even friendly, his eyes are constantly roving, covertly peering at others in the bar, particularly other men, seeking a sign of recognition from another secret swish. When he sees one he will give a signal in return and soon both fruitcakes will depart to enjoy a “courtesy exchange.”
 
6: The Octopus—they put their hands on other men’s shoulders, dig them in the ribs, slap their thighs…
 
 
7: The Middle-Aged Mama’s Boy—such an obvious Oedipal situation may indicate homosexual tendencies or homosexuality in adult men of any age, married or single.
 
8: The Youth Lover—he is constantly engaged in youth work, organizing clubs, leading outings, playing the part of the jolly, ebullient uncle.

It would be interesting to do the opposite of everything on this list and see how long it takes our social, family and sex lives to fall apart. Just a thought. Anyway, Top Secret finishes the article with this bomb: “These are by no means the only types of secret swishes but they are the ones the average person is most likely to encounter.” So basically, the list is all well and good, but anyone can be gay. To which your average non-Neanderthal would reply, “Yes, anyone can be gay. And?” Well, and the editors of Top Secret suggest that anyone displaying suspicious behavior should be investigated more closely. Hmm… we wonder what depth and form those investigations should take? More scans below.


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Vintage Pulp Jan 3 2015
CONFIDENTIAL HANDLING
Confidential dishes dirt but tries not to cross the line.


Confidential gives Kim Novak the cover and Lili St Cyr the inset on an issue published this month in 1965. Inside, the editors offer readers mostly lukewarm rehash, as was Confidential’s usual approach during its fangless mid-1960’s years, but there are also a few interesting tidbits. We learn that Lili St. Cyr took more than thirty Nembutals during her 1958 suicide attempt, yet still managed to survive though as few as three pills can be fatal. Ramfis Trujillo’s wild Parisian parties are detailed, including the time he and his entourage shot up the lobby of the Hotel George V. And we find out that Frank Sinatra paid a $400 fine in Spain for disturbing the peace when he blew up after a woman threw a drink on him.

But make no mistake—the once mighty Confidential was walking on eggshells after being on the wrong end of some costly lawsuits. Maverick owner Robert Harrison had sold the magazine to Hy Steirman, who realized the easiest way to avoid litigation was to take on targets that either wouldn’t fight back or couldn’t be bothered to care. Ramfis Trujillo, for example, was a mass-murderer and likely found articles about his crazed partying flattering. Thailand’s dictator Sarit Thanarat is also slammed in this issue, and you can bet he gave less than a shit about the write-up—if he was even aware of it. Editors sling mud at Marilyn Monroe, who was dead. Amorphous group targets, like the “limp wrist set,” the Mafia, real estate swindlers, and escaped Nazis make up the rest of the subject matter.

But even if Confidential wasn’t kicking ass and taking names in 1965, its visuals were still quite nice, with those impactful black, white and red graphics, and that super hip language that’s so much of its time but which is still amazing to read today. Try this on for size: “Call the men in the white coats and get the whacky wagon rolling, your favorite swinging correspondent is ready for Flipsville!” We’re always ready for Flipsville, and we’re always ready for mid-century tabloids, too. How many of these do we have left in our collection? You wouldn’t believe us if we told you. We’d sell some, but how could we possibly part with them? We’re stuck with them. And so are you. Twenty-plus scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 23 2014
TABLOID WONDERLAND
You’ll be amazed at the things you see there.


Since it’s holiday season, and the site will be idle for a few days, we want to point you toward some of our tabloid entries. We’ve made a half-assed alphabetical index with links below, and it will allow you to see the posts without slogging though six years of archive. Some of the entries are just the covers and brief commentary, while others feature detailed rundowns of the contents and multiple scans. All are worth visiting—if we say so ourselves. There are about 250 of them, which we’re pretty sure makes us the number one site for tabloids on the internet. We are well aware, after receiving many e-mails, that some of you want to read these magazines. That would require us putting larger scans on the site. We're thinking about it, but we can’t do a major redesign now, because BB is plowing through the last months of a graduate degree and PSGP is busy funneling white wine through his bodily systems. We'll see what happens. Enjoy your holiday. 

Bare: 1
Behind the Scene: 1, 2
Broadway Tattler: 1, 2
Candid Press: 1, 2
Close-Up Extra: 1
 
 
Confidential: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Daily News: 1
Exclusive: 1
Exploiter: 1, 2
Exposed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Final: 1
Flick: 1
He: 1
Hush-Hush: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Hush Hush News:  1
Inside: 1, 2
Inside News: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Inside Story: 1, 2, 3, 4
It's Happening: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Jour et Nuit: 1
Keyhole: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Keyhole Confidential: 1, 2
La Fouine: 1
Limelight: 1
 
 
Lowdown: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Midnight: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
National Bulletin: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
National Close-Up: 1, 2
National Enquirer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
National Examiner: 1, 2, 3
National Free Press: 1
National Graphic: 1
National informer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
National Informer Weekly Reader: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
National Insider: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
National Mirror: 1, 2, 3
National Spotlite: 1, 2, 3
National Star Chronicle: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
National Tattler: 1, 2, 3, 4
New Weekender: 1
Nouvelle et Police Judiciare: 1
On the Q.T.: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Pic: 1, 2
Philadelphia Briefs: 1, 2
 
 
Police Gazette: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63
Private Lives: 1, 2
Rampage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Sepia: 1
Sir!: 1, 2, 3
Spotlite Extra: 1
Suppressed: 1, 2, 3
Top Secret: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Uncensored: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
V.I.P.: 1
Vice Squad: 1, 2
Whisper: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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Vintage Pulp Dec 21 2014
SHLOCK AND KEY
Unlocking the door to all your darkest and dirtiest thoughts.

Keyhole’s slogan is “for mature adults.” We think it’s more for horny high schoolers, but there’s no doubt it’s a bold tabloid. This issue published today in 1972 has everything from swinging sex safaris (“Make sure your gun is loaded for bare”) to gay frat houses (“They don’t swallow goldfish anymore”). None of it’s real, of course. The frat house story is a firsthand account of a new pledge at a Harvard fraternity who doesn’t discover the members dress in drag until he goes under the skirt of a blonde lovely and gets a handful of nutsack. The article features a photo of a bearish model with a volume of Shakespeare over his willie. The sex safari story features British model Susan Shaw in what could easily be someone’s unweeded back garden. But while the stories are phony, they’re at least funny—not on their merits so much, but because people actually got paid to write them. Quite a way to make a living. What’s even funnier? People bought Keyhole. We have a few scans below, and sharp-eyed readers may recognize American glamour model Sylvia Bayo, aka Lucienne Camille as the Keyhole Cutie for the month.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 02
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
March 01
1912—First Parachute Jump Takes Place
Albert Berry jumps from a biplane traveling at 1,500 feet and lands by parachute at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. The 36 foot diameter chute was contained in a metal canister attached to the underside of the plane, and when Berry dropped from the plane his weight pulled the canopy from the canister. Rather than being secured into the chute by a harness, Berry was seated on a trapeze bar. It's possible he was only the second man to accomplish a parachute landing, as there are some accounts of someone accomplishing the feat in California several months earlier.
1932—Lindbergh Baby Is Kidnapped
The twenty-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped from the family home in East Amwell, New Jersey. Over two months later the toddler's body is discovered in woods a short distance from the home. A medical examination determines that he had died of a massive skull fracture. A German carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann is arrested, tried, and convicted for the crime. He is sentenced to death and executed in April 1936.
February 28
1953—Watson and Crick Unravel DNA
American biologists James D. Watson and Francis Crick tell their friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA. The formal announcement takes place in April following publication in Nature magazine. In 1968, Watson writes The Double Helix, a non-fiction account of not only the discovery of the structure of DNA, but the personalities, conflicts and controversy surrounding the work.

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