Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cold, Hard Spring :)

Happy First Day of Spring 2018! :)

Alas, the weather forecast for the next few days in my area seems more like January than March. Freezing rain followed by inches of snow is predicted. I'm ready for the soft warmth of spring sunshine, not an out-of-season reprise of the cold, hard winter!

Oh well, here's a cool vintage still of Jack Kelly and Barbara Rush (who recently celebrated her 91st birthday!) in a 1972 episode of Ironside titled "Cold, Hard Cash", followed by the original "snipe" info which came with the photo.

Now, please excuse me while I put in a "Rush" order for more spring-like weather... ;)

Vintage spring clipart courtesy of Clipart Library

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day 2018 From "TDS"! :)

Original vintage postcard from The La Bartista Kellection
"Hmmm...'The best of luck
will always
wait upon you
 if you pick up on the road a horse's shoe'.
Is that true, Goldie?"
"It's not so lucky for the horse
who lost its shoe!" ;)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Jack Kelly in "State Trooper"

Here's a yummy YouTube find: Jack Kelly in "Jailbreak at Tonopah", a 1956 episode of the syndicated TV series State Trooper, starring big ole (6' 5") Rod Cameron as Nevada lawman "Lt. Rod Blake".
JK plays small-time hood "Johnny Bledsoe". Apparently taking a cue from "Cody Jarrett" in White Heat, Bledsoe gets a splitting headache whenever he's stressed out. He gets really stressed out when he drops his box camera in a diner and a concealed weapon pops out. Lt. Blake just happens to be in the diner and suspects that Bledsoe wasn't going to "shoot" only pictures. He puts Johnny in the pokey when it turns out the hood doesn't have a permit for the gun.
Blake also checks Bledsoe's rap sheet and discovers he's tied to a robbery in Philadelphia. He visits Johnny in jail to grill him about the crime. Johnny isn't a model prisoner--the elderly guard tells Blake, "He [Bledsoe] doesn't have a headache--he is a headache".
Blake also notices a bulldozer moving earth next to the jail. The operator gives Blake a story about leveling the ground for a new drugstore, but the lawman thinks something else is afoot. He's right: the operator is actually one of  Bledsoe's cohorts and he and Bledsoe's wife (K.T. Stevens) plan to use the dozer to break Johnny out of jail. But, perhaps Mrs. Bledsoe isn't acting solely out of wifely concern...
Will Johnny get sprung from the hoosegow? Will he reveal the whereabouts of the robbery loot? Will he finally get some Excedrin? Watch the video and find out! :)
Incidentally, Tonopah NV is still a tourist attraction today. It's famous for its mining history. Because of its distance from city lights, it's also known as a perfect place to stargaze. "Jailbreak at Tonopah" is a perfect place to gaze upon our favorite star, Jack Kelly. He gives a great performance as "Johnny Bledsoe". He looks great, too.
Please stay tuned for much more about JK in TDS. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"Why I Like Country Music" Pt II :)

Howdy Y'all!
Presenting Part II of Jack Kelly's article "Why I Like Country Music", prefaced with a gorgeous photo of JK and his wife Donna. In this part, Mr. K introduces us to more of his favorite country singers and songs: 
"My personal affection developed for the guitar, for it's hard to resist the harmonious, overall effects country artists create with the instrument. Then comes the fiddle...as a matter of fact, there is something about all 'strings' which gives one that homey feeling--a desire to be real neighborly-like.

I feel 'country' means just what it says. Somewhere along the line the need was recognized to musically express the endless anecdotes uncovered during the development of this country, and a great balance of the country tunes are based on situations that actually happened. Compound the history factor with the inventiveness of modern country authors, and you find that besides instrumentation there is a story to be heard which reeks of the Americana we should all be justly proud of.

I can't say exactly who, or what, is responsible directly for my interest in country music, but I feel a simplicity and directness as the underlying basis for its appeal to me. From that sense alone I can select my likes and dislikes. I can jump from one artist to the other and get a completely different style every time. This aspect fosters an appeal that should be there for everyone to enjoy.

Take, for example, The Collins Kids. 

Their brassy, impetuous, lively presentation has led them to headlining in one of the largest hotels on the Las Vegas strip. I can jump from them to Burl Ives and sit listening over and over again to 'Blue Tail Fly'.

I may be taking a little bit for granted, but for me country music spills into many areas. Ernie Ford is one of my favorites. He stirred up a storm with a little ditty called 'River of No Return'.

Then, there's Jim Brown of the Rin Tin Tin series. Yes, he has a few pop tunes working for him, but he did churn up some mighty fine country tunes for MGM. One of the best things I've ever heard Jim do is his recording of 'The White Buffalo'.

He fractures 'Wagon Wheels', not to overlook a little gem called 'Ghost Town'.

And I enjoy hearing Tex Williams narrate his misadventures brought on by smoking cigarettes; and what a job he does on another of his conversational items...'playing cards with a one-eyed, sleight of hand expert'.

Country music has offered me such a selection that I couldn't dislike it if I wanted to. I could add many more reasons for its appeal to me...the 'Hank Williams', all the 'Jimmie Rodgers', 'Eddy Arnolds', 'Red Foleys', and so forth, and in re-reading this article, I think a better conclusion to it would be a change in its beginning from 'WHY I LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC' to 'WHO DOESN'T???'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jack, your reasons are sincerely and very effectively stated. Thank you for holding hands so affectionately with our interests. We're sure that everyone who reads your story will be more proud than ever of their musical preference."

[B27: I know I am! :>]

I had a blast transcribing Jack Kelly's article for this post and listening to his favorite country songs. What wide-ranging taste in music this guy had!

I thought I knew my country and rockabilly music, but I never heard of The Collins Kids before--how did I miss this dynamic duo?! I literally had chills going down my spine when I listened to their rockin' version of "Lonesome Road" for the first time. (Thanks for the introduction, JK!)

And, I had no idea that JK's old pal Jim Brown of Rin Tin Tin fame was also a singer--what a voice!

It was a pleasure to be able to take JK's words from nearly 60 years ago and join them to today's technology so we can all listen to the country artists and songs he loved. I hope you enjoyed them, and if you weren't a country music fan before, I'm sure you are now! :)

What's next in TDS? Please stay tuned and find out!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

"Why I Like Country Music" :)


One of my favorite lines from the comedy classic The Blues Brothers comes when musicians Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Ackroyd) Blues arrive to play a gig--sight unseen--at a raucous honky-tonk bar.

"What kind of music do you usually have here?" Elwood asks a waitress. She replies, "Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western!"

What does this have to do with Jack Kelly? Well, it turns out that this city boy liked country--and western--music! Who knew? Well, I didn't until I stumbled upon an article JK penned during his Maverick heyday for a now long-defunct music magazine . I love country music and was thrilled to learn that JK enjoyed listening to many of the same artists I do.

Here's the article. I'm sure you'll recognize JK's unique way with words and be delighted by his amusing but affectionate take on the subject of:

by Jack Kelly

INTRO: Jack is "brother Bart" in the exciting Sunday night [ABC-TV] 'Maverick' series. He is a very wonderful person who, incidentally, is very partial to country music, and in his own words, Jack explains why.

In a recent issue of this magazine I read an article by Pat Boone on this same subject. Pat's love for, and understanding of, country music along with his endless knowledge of the artists concerned, is easily understandable upon taking into consideration the fact that he was practically 'weaned' on the subject by such a 'great' as Red Foley. [B27: Foley was Boone's father-in-law].

It's not so in my case. Country music was not a part of my upbringing. The appeal it holds for me was developed only through incidental exposure, beginning with a tune I loved the first time I heard it...'Home on the Range'. I was just a little fella then, but it fired my imagination immediately.

The attraction for this homespun type of singing continued to capture my fancy, as did the 'western' variety of entertainment, and as the years passed I had assumed hundreds of child-like aliases, owned numerous fictional ranches, and raised the best cattle for miles around.

I had a mighty vivid imagination; however, my association with the country trend became more realistic when there came to prominence in American hearts a loveable old character with a galvanized Rube Goldberg trombone, which we would be hard-pressed to prove was not the portable, business end of a mountain still. There he was, Bob Burns, and his crazy, fabricated family of oddballs which included his 'Hawg Callin'' cousin and 'Flannelpants', the itchy relative.

Those unending and hilarious monologues, along with the wild calamity he created while blasting away at his homemade Bazooka, certainly earned for him the deserved title of 'great'.

I have always felt that 'Bazooka Bob' was one of the originals to start the fantastic jump to popularity which country music and the country atmosphere has reached today. To a city kid like myself, Burns injected the gentle country feeling that in turn through the years has allowed me to enjoy a growing appreciation for anything 'country'. He offered country humor with such simplicity that you had to like it. His unique styling must have inspired artists who followed him on the road to success, thereby bringing tremendous variations of song styling, tunes, comedy routines and instruments into the field."

TO BE CONTINUED--stay "tuned" for Part II in TDS! :)

Clipart courtesy of Wikiclipart

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Scrap of Maverick! :)


Here's a vintage newspaper ad for Maverick, which I just salvaged and digitized from an old scrapbook page. It's advertising the episode Alias Bart Maverick, starring suave Jack Kelly as...well, you know! This episode premiered on October 5, 1958, which means it--and this rare scrap of Maverick ephemera--is nearly 60 years old.

"Bart plays tag with a wily con man and four gun-happy brothers (not to mention a Southern belle named Cindy)!"
Speaking of ephemera: In this day of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, et al, and the never ending demand for eye-catching online content, it's sometimes difficult to find JK-related material that hasn't already been shared, tweeted and pinned seven ways from sundown.

However, another bit of ephemera just joined the Kellection which I think will be new to you. (It was to me!) Like the Maverick ad above, it's nearly 60 years old. It originated in a long-defunct "niche" publication and it's not only about JK it's by JK, too! It expresses his views on a subject not usually associated with him. Oh, and it has some dreamy pix, too. It's coming next in TDS...please stay "tuned"! ;>

Monday, February 19, 2018

Another Postcard Post! :)


Two more vintage Jack Kelly postcards just joined the Kellection, including one with the quintessential JK image which adorns this blog. So, I now have five of these cool cards:

These postcards were sent by the Warner Bros. fan mail department whenever folks wrote to JK. For only fifty-cents, you could also get an 8"x 10" photo (try getting one for that price now! ;>)

The reverse side of the cards features a reproduced signature and a greeting ("You are a real friend for writing!") from JK. Helpful hint: Some sellers erroneously assume the signatures on these cards are hand-written. I way overpaid for the first JK postcard I bought many years ago because I was led to believe I was purchasing a hand-signed item. Nope: the autographs shown on the front and back of these cards are pre-printed.

WB used the postmark to advertise their upcoming or current films. This one heralds A Summer Place, a 1959 melodrama starring Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire and Sandra Dee. Postmarks on other JK cards I have advertise Auntie Mame, Sunrise at Campobello, and The Sundowners.

Yes, that's only four cards. The fifth JK postcard is "postally unused"--it has no postmark or mailing address, which means it was never sent by the fan department.

The other JK-related postcard I just received features a familiar grouping of Warner Bros. TV western stars. I've seen this pose before, but not in color like this:

Here's Clint Walker, Wayde Preston, Ty Hardin, Jack Kelly, John Russell, James Garner,
Peter Brown and Will Hutchins having a rootin' tootin' time
 on the Warner Bros. western street set
(How come JK is the shortest person on this card?!)

I think the image of Clint Walker ("Cheyenne") may have been inserted by WB into the color scene--he's usually not in other shots of this grouping I've seen, such as this one:

(BTW, this B&W photo was one of my first Kellectibles, before I actually had a Kellection! It was in a group of pix I bought at an antiques show before I "discovered" JK. :>)

The back of the color postcard has the pre-printed signatures of all the WB cowboys appearing on the front (with another pitch for A Summer Place):  

Well, I hope this post about JK postcards "sent" you. ;> Please stay tuned for more fun in TDS!