January 2018


Excellent and Erudite Local Television Broadcasts
Article By: Flora Carbons

Don't Leave That Girl Alone With a Spray Can of Aqua Net!

Fifteen years ago the Carbons and The Leytes were all crammed into a three room apartment in the Minneapolis and St.Paul area. We were all girls and we loved to watch intellectually beneficial programs. Like those typically shown on Showtime and others like Surfside 6 and Movies starring the immortal Vincent Price. Movies like "Two on a Guillotine". I recall from childhood "It's Vincent Price at his most terrorific!

Showing through fall with Matinees at Leow's midtown! Don't miss out! That's no way to get ahead!" And Surfside 6 which was a detective show on ABC-TV in 1960-1962. Oh,it's the aesthetics of it all. For instance,me and my cousin Samantha Byrne Leyte were knob twiddling on the mutually shared Motorola black and white TV in the apartment and we got lucky! On channel 27 in St.Paul where "I Dream of Jeannie" "Hogan's Heroes" "Green Acres" followed by an encore of "Pete Kelly's Blues" and "Mchale's Navy Joins The Air Force"! Our enthusiasm was short lived when Aunt Agatha burst into the room and told us she had tuned up the TV earlier for a drama which the ladies auxiliary would be over momentarily to watch. So me and Samantha could see it was no use. We went out a few minutes later to shoplift a bottle of ripple.

From a lifetime of hard work at watching TV I will tell you all about two cool shows,one was a movie and the other one was a TV series. Remember to always watch the right kind of Television for wholesomeness,patience and prudence. Remember if your Mom threw out your skin mags and there's nothing on the Top 40 that day,go loaf with TV! Here's some things we hope you'll really like!

Surfside 6 aired from 1960 to 1962 and logged up 74 black and white classics in a 60 minute time slot for 3 years. The show went off the air in something like May or June of 1962 due to pretty heavy(by the standards of 50s and 60s TV)competition from other networks in The form of The Andy Griffith Show and other popular old standbys in the same time slot as Surfside 6. Anyway,the show centered around a Miami Beach detective agency set on a beachfront houseboat. Surfside 6 was an actual mailing address of a different but nonfictional beachfront houseboat in Miami Beach. Warner Bros.had four detective TV series going at once. "Surfside Six" "77 Sunset Strip" "Hawaiian Eye" "Bourbon Street Beat". Troy Donahue played Sandy Winfield,Van Williams was Kenny Madison, Lee Patterson as David Thorne,Mousie Garner as Mousie,Divine McBain played Daphne Dutton, Margarita Sierra was Cha Cha O'Brien. Cha Cha worked at the Boom Boom room at The Fontainebleau Hotel. Well,I think you TV addicts and Video collectors get the idea just from reading this. I think that in order to better understand what you are getting into when you watch shows from the 50s and the 60s like Surfside 6 you need to understand that you are entering a space filled with "brought to you by Oasis cigarettes and the brand new king size cokes in the handy portable carton". The theme and soundtrack music from Surfside 6 was popular on radio and records in those days. The show's theme song was written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David. The show is fairly easygoing with lotsa incidental comedy relief but stuff happens like shootings,etc. Daphne and Cha Cha are very sexy. It's all a bit subdued in the spirit of cold war Americana and baseball,hotdogs,apple pie,Chevrolet,and buy U.S.Savings Bonds!

Some of the video catalogs online like the videobeat.com probably have full length DVDs of these shows for sale:

"Two on a Guillotine"is a 1965 horror classic(kind of a sequel to "The Pit and The Pendulum") It stars Vincent Price and Connie"Sealy posturepedic"Stevens. A Magician has died and his wife seemed to disappear many years earlier and no one seems to know what happened to her.The magician has another trick up his sleeve.He left behind a fortune to his daughter with the stipulation that in order to collect she had to spend seven days and nights in his spooky mansion and brave it out with evil spirits and the comeback of her father's Guillotine. As I mentioned,it stars Vincent Price and Connie Stevens. It Also stars Dean Jones and Ceasar Romero. One more plus is "Two on a Guillotine" is directed by William Conrad who was the narrator and announcer for "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle". Conrad played TV detective "Cannon" for four years in the 70s. Lotsa unsissored Guillotine stuff for zany folks who like to see "blood,guts and gore". I gotta say delightfully and appalingly a nicely horrific movie.

For those who are curious,the Guillotine was developed under a committee led by Joseph Guilloten in 1791. They were commissioned by The French National Assembly in The French Revolution to come up with a new method of capitol punishment in France. This new method was to be very humane and quick,yet horrific and strange enough to entertain the huge crowds who hung around at executions like buzzards and it would also be operable for a small execution squad of 2 or 3 men to execute 100 people in about 3 hours! Louis The 16th and Marie Antionette were not criminals. The leaders of the Revolution wanted them and anybody of aristocratic ancestry hauled out and killed so they wouldn't be around to be the rallying center of a monarchist counter revolution.That was many,many years ago. Paris and France in general are one of the most peaceful,balloons and ice cream spots on the map you could ever want to visit. It's amazingly picturesque. So we were on a bus just like a city bus in New York,LA,Chicago and before long we were going through electric stoplights onto The Rue Du Concorde and a very old city square. In that maze of roads and walkways is a small cement or concrete area roughly the size of a living room floor plan of one of those 50s/60s styled"three bedrooms with a picture window" houses. It's the site of where the Guillotine stood in the Rue Du Concorde. City planners and the people in France who plan transportation and build roads don't want to celebrate guts,gore and beheading but to this day they don't know what to do with this peculiarly small section of centuries old road paving after all these years. When you drive by it,you need to know what to look for. There's no signs or pointing it out!

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