Rock bottom is always a lot closer than you think.
This excellent promo poster is for a down and dirty little film noir called 99 River Street, the story of a boxer who was almost champion, but instead was knocked out at the moment of his seeming triumph. Now he’s a cab driver with big dreams but a wife that hates him for his low station in life and undermines him at every turn. She’s having an affair with a well-heeled criminal, and this situation leads to murder, which of course brings the cops knocking on our hero’s door. John Payne does an excellent job as a boxer with a bad eye and worse instincts, Peggie Castle is his two-timing conniver of a wife, and Evelyn Keyes is his bright-eyed and ambitious female friend—and probably his only hope for redemption. The plot takes a few twists and turns before speeding toward a nighttime dockside climax. Highly recommended. 99 River Street premiered in the U.S. today in 1953.
Some see the glass as half full. Some see it as half empty. But if you’re really smart you’re not looking at the glass at all.
Ron Vogel, who has provided quite a few nice images for the Goodtime Weekly Calendar, makes yet another appearance this week with a nice shot of a woman offering a nightcap. We can’t identify the model, which isn’t unusual, but did we ever mention that Vogel himself is a bit of a mystery? The guy contributed an amazing amount to the field of photography, pin-ups, and erotica, but he doesn’t have a website or even a Wikipedia page. Seems a shame. Anyway, we get one more Vogel next week, and it’s a really nice one, so look forward to that. Quips below.
Feb 17: “A career girl is one who gets a man’s salary without marrying one.”—Peggie Castle
Feb 18: Mature women love the simpler things in life—men.
Feb 19: “She who thinks no man is good enough for her may be right but is more often left.”—He-who Who-he
Feb 20: “It takes two to make a marriage—a girl and her mother.”—Paul Gibson
Feb 21: “One thing that ruins a girl’s chance for a fur coat is to get married.”—Alex Dreier
Feb 22: A beatnik says, “A cannibal eats three squares a day.”
Feb 23: “Money doesn’t talk anymore. It goes without saying.”—Kai Winding
When she says jump you ask how high.
Some call it cheesecake, glamour, or even smut, but we prefer to call it preserving the ephemera of history. For instance, this image by the renowned mid-century photographer Bruno Bernard, aka Bernard of Hollywood, did not exist on the internet a moment ago. And now it does. See how that works? So think of us as archivists, and yourselves as researchers. That probably won’t help if someone sees you looking at this image, but hey, it’s worth a try.
Of late, when reading the Goodtime Weekly quips, we’ve been imagining them delivered as part of a stand-up show—i.e., followed by uproarious laughter. That actually helps a bit. When we obey the two drink minimum that helps even more. Next we’re going to steal a few of these lines and try them out in the real world. After all, the true test of a quip is whether actual living and breathing, flesh and blood humans laugh at it. So we’re going to give some of these a trial run and get back to you. Stay tuned.
Oct 13: Mother Nature still blushes before disrobing.
Oct 14: “Sometimes a man pulls the wool over his wife’s eyes with the wrong yarn.”—Mitch Miller
Oct 15: “Have you heard of an elephant that went on a diet? Now he’s eating like a horse.”—Peggie Castle
Oct 16: “The ten best years of a woman’s life are between her 25th and 26th birthday.”—Jerry Lester
Oct 17: “Overheard at a restaurant: ‘She promised to love, honor, and obey. Now I’d settle for only one.’”—Irv Kupcinet
Oct 18: “Every husband knows the best time to wash the dishes is right after his wife tells him.”—Paul Gibson
Oct 19: “Husbands are like furnaces. You have to watch them or they’ll go out.”—Sam Cowling
Gowland takes his camera underwater with perfect results.
This week’s image from the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963 features glamour model Joanne Arnold and was made by Peter Gowland, whose name is probably familiar to all the photographers out there, but perhaps not to everyone else. Gowland, the son of actor Gibson Gowland and actress Sylvia Andrew, was not only one of the most famous glamour photographers of the 1950s and 1960s, but he also built highly precise cameras that are still sought after today. These cameras ranged from handheld to studio-sized, and he also built special underwater cameras, one of which we can assume he used in making the image above. Gowland’s work appeared in too many magazines to name, and he shot everyone from Tallulah Bankhead to Muhammad Ali during a career that only ended with his death in 2010. There are several more Gowland images in the Goodtime Calendar—none of which have ever appeared online as far as we know—and they’ll be coming up in due time. Calendar text appears below.
May 12: Mother’s Day. Today a fella can tell his wife truthfully that he’s off to see his best girl.
May 13: “A lot of self-made men should deny it.”—Henry Morgan
May 14: A girl used to get her good looks from her mother; now from the beauty parlor.
May 15: Parents used to worry when their teenagers were out driving—now it’s their parking.
May 16: “In Hollywood many a girl carries a torch for a man… she doesn’t trust him in the dark.”—Peggie Castle
May 17: “We doubt that swimming is good for the figure. Ever take a good look at the whale?”—Alex Dreier
May 18: “A deep sea diver got a message: ‘Come up quickly—the ship is sinking!”—Simmy Bow
Are you still planning to catch and release?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. In celebration here’s our second posting from the Good Time Weekly Calendar of 1963, featuring a net-draped model we can’t identify shot by a photographer named Shulman who we also can’t identify. So there. Calendar text is transcribed below. Boy they sure knew how to get a laugh out of people back then. Or not.
March 17: “Ladies’ evening dresses are getting more daring. The front is now daring the back.”—Leslie Uggams
March 18: “Running into debt isn’t so bad; it’s running into your creditors that’s embarrassing.”—O.G. Zimmerman
March 19: “Would you call a girls’ baseball team ‘swatter girls’?”—Sam Cowling
March 20: Sweater girls are divided into two classes; those who knit them and those who fit them,”—Paul Fogarty
March 21: “Most men lack imagination and that’s why dress designers leave so little to it.”—Peggie Castle
March 22: Two things make women slow… first she must make up her mind and then her face.”—Keith Preston
March 23: Short dresses do not affect women’s appearance much; they just make the men look longer.”—Sam Cowling
So, who were all these people? We found nothing on O.G. Zimmerman, Paul Fogarty, and Keith Preston. We already knew Leslie Uggams and Peggie Castle—singer and actress respectively—and they have Wikipedia entries if you’re curious. So that leaves Sam Cowling. It’s Cowling who gets the lion’s share of quotes in the Good Time Calendar, so we expected him to have been quite famous and he was. He was a member of a vocal group called The Romeos, but later became a regular cast member of a radio variety program called The Breakfast Club. The hourlong program, hosted by Don McNeill, ran from 1933 until 1968, and Cowling (below right) came aboard in ’37, havingby then transformed himself from a singer into an improvisational comedian. Working off the cuff was a good fit for his new gig, since apparently The Breakfast Club was mostly unscripted. The extemporaneous format was a big success, and helped set a mold for morning radio shows that holds even today. It also made the leap to television as a special event in 1948. Wanna hear The Breakfast Club? Go to the bottom of this page. For video check here. We’re off to have a glass or several of green beer.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1901—William McKinley's Assassin Executed
Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley, is executed at Auburn State Prison in Auburn, New York by means of the electric chair. Czolgosz had shot McKinley twice with a cheap revolver and the President had lingered for several days before dying. After Czolgosz is executed, he is buried on prison grounds and sulfuric acid is thrown into his coffin to disfigure his body and result in its quick decomposition.
1982—Lindy Chamberlain Convicted of Murder
In Australia, Lindy Chamberlain is found guilty of the murder of her nine-week-old daughter. The baby was killed during a camping trip in the Australian interior. Chamberlain claimed a dingo had taken the baby, but a jury decided Chamberlain cut the infant's throat and buried her. The body was never found, but forensic experts played a large role in the conviction. Four years after the trial the baby's jacket is found inside a dingo lair, backing up Chamberlain's claim, and she is released from prison.
1919—Volstead Act Passed
The U.S. Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, paving the way for alcohol Prohibition to begin the following January. The Act, named for Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Andrew Volstead, was supposed to create a better society but instead helped lead to the rise of violent organized crime gangs. The law wouldn't be repealed until 1933.
1922—Mussolini Comes Into Power
During the second day of the event known as the March on Rome, Fascist leader Benito Mussolini officially takes control of the Italian government when King Victor Emmanuel III cedes power. Supported by a coalition of military, business, and right-wing leaders, Mussolini remains in power until 1943, when defeat in World War II begins to look inevitable.
1994—U.S. Prison Population Reaches Milestone
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history. By 2008 the U.S. Justice Department pegs the number of imprisoned at 2.3 million, and the overall U.S. correctional population, i.e. those in jail, prison, on probation or on parole, at 7.3 million, or 1 in every 31 adults.
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