Jackie Blue is a track recorded by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils for their second album It’ll Shine When It Shines released in 1974: released as a single in February 1975. Jackie Blue became the band’s second Top 40 hit – their 1974 debut single If You Wanna Get to Heaven having reached #25 – and easily their career record, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 while spending two weeks at #1 (May 10–17, 1975) on the Cashbox Singles Chart. It was also a hit internationally: #2 in Canada, #9 in New Zealand, #10 in South Africa, and #27 in Australia.
Ozark Mountain Daredevils drummer Larry Lee wrote Jackie Blue – inspired by a male drug dealer he’d once known – in embryonic form at Nixa Trout Farm, where the Daredevils conceived and rehearsed the songs for their album It’ll Shine When It Shines in the final months of 1973. Lee sang producer Glyn Johns the male-focused lyrics. Johns protested, as Lee would recall: “No, no, no, mate. Jackie Blue has to be a girl.” Johns then had Lee and fellow band member Steve Cash step out to “re-gender” the lyrics from a drugged out guy to a reclusive girl. Jackie Blue was completely different than [most] of their other music to that point.
Crowned as the “worst movie ever made” back in the 1980 book The Golden Turkey Awards, this is the movies’ most famous Z-grade clunker. Despite a discernible lack of talent and resources, auteur Ed Wood Jr. staged an alien invasion epic. It’s impossible not to be amazed and somehow charmed that he tried to fulfill this ambition with an amateur cast, unrelated footage of his now-dead friend Bela Lugosi, an unconvincing stand-in for the former Dracula star, model-kit flying saucers, a cardboard cemetery, and an airplane cockpit comprised of a couple chairs and a shower curtain… among other celebrated inadequacies.
Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, with recording sessions between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Slippery When Wet was an instant commercial success. Its songs are considered Bon Jovi’s best known, including You Give Love a Bad Name (which topped the American chart and went top ten in Belgium, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands), Livin’ on a Prayer (which topped the charts in Canada, New Zealand, Norway and the U.S.), and Wanted Dead or Alive (which went top 10 in Ireland, New Zealand and the U.S.).
The album spent eight weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was named by Billboard as the top-selling album of 1987. Slippery When Wet is Bon Jovi’s best-selling album to date, with an RIAA certification of 12× Platinum, making it one of the top 100 best-selling albums in the United States.
Fun facts: According to Bon Jovi, the band named the album Slippery When Wet after visiting The No.5 Orange strip club in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to Sambora, “This woman descended from the ceiling on a pole and proceeded to take all her clothes off. When she got in a shower and soaped herself up, we just about lost our tongues. We just sat there and said, ‘We will be here every day.’ That energized us through the whole project. Our testosterone was at a very high level back then.” The cover consists of a wet black garbage bag with the words “Slippery When Wet” traced in the water. “So simple, and not very impressive”, said Sambora. The album originally was to feature a busty woman in a wet yellow T-shirt with the album name on the front of the shirt. This was swapped for the plastic bag cover just prior to release. The reasons given for the switch were record executives’ fears that dominant record store chains at the time would have refused to carry the album with a sexist cover, and Jon Bon Jovi’s dislike of the bright pink border around the photograph the band submitted. Sambora said, “Our label freaked out a bit when they saw what we’d done. They thought it would be banned by American stores, so we had to come up with something else – fast.” This cover has always been sold in Japan.
Aqua Dots were beads that you arranged into specific designs on a plastic tray. When you were happy with your design you sprayed the beads with water and they would fuse together to create a fixed design that when dried you could remove off the tray. So what was the problem? The Wangqi Product Factory in Shenzhen, China that produced Aqua Dots in some of the toys had used a cheap toxic chemical that contained a sedative that made kids suffer respiratory depression, be rendered comatose, or suffer seizures. Over four million units were recalled in 2007. Eventually it was revealed that Spin Master, the maker of Aqua Dots, was revealed to have known that their product contained a controlled substance. After multiple reports of life-threatening effects on children (and, in one case, a dog), Spin Master was forced to pay out over $1.3 million in fines.
The first drive-in movie was shown in the driveway of Richard Hollingshead’s Camden, New Jersey home. Hollingshead sat in his car while his 16 millimeter projector displayed a movie on a screen he projected. He took this concept and expanded it with the idea of allowing hundreds of people to watch a movie from the privacy of their own automobiles. On June 7, 1933, Hollingshead opened the world’s first drive-in movie theater in Camden. Within the fan shaped, tiered parking lot and inclined ramps, more than 400 cars in eight rows came to watch a movie on a 30 x 40 foot screen. The theater was an immediate success and Hollingshead and his cousin created a drive-in movie theater franchise throughout the United States. In one twelve year period, the number of drive-in theaters increased from 100 to 2,200 locations. It appeared that people were excited about being able to go out without having to dress up. At the same time, however, they didn’t mind getting out of their cars to get food, wash their cars, play shuffleboard and miniature golf or many of the other activities that theater owners devised for them. Drive-in theaters did have some problems early on, including obstructed views and poor audio. These were remedied by tiering and spacing the grounds and placing individual speakers on each car.
The success of drive-in theaters gradually tailed off in the 1970’s because of rising real estate costs and competition from cable television and video cassette rentals. For 35 years, however, they provided a family-oriented recreation opportunity that remains special for many people.
Torn is a song written by Scott Cutler, Anne Preven and Phil Thornalley in 1993. It was first recorded that year in Danish (renamed “Brandt”, Danish for “Burned”) by singer Lis Sorensen, then two years later by Cutler and Preven’s American alternative rock band Ednaswap, and in 1996 by American-Norwegian singer Trine Rein.
It became a worldwide hit in 1997 when Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia, working with Thornalley, covered the song for her debut studio album Left of the Middle (1997). Torn topped the charts in Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Sweden and the American Airplay, Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40 charts.
Francisco Franco (October 1, 1936 – NOvember 20, 1975)
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general and dictator who ruled over Spain from 1939 to 1975. During his rule Franco assumed the title Caudillo. This period in Spanish history, from the Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War to Franco’s death, is commonly known as Francoist Spain or the Francoist dictatorship.
Franco was born in Ferrol, Spain as the son of an upper-class family with strong traditional ties and several generations of high-ranking officers in the Spanish Navy. But due to the navy being crippled by the Spanish-American War Franco instead joined the Spanish Army as a cadet in the Toledo Infantry Academy in 1907, graduating in 1910. He would then go on to serve in Morocco, rapidly advancing through the ranks for bravery in combat and an assiduous attention to detail in logistics. In 1926 he became Brigadier General at age 33, the youngest General in all Europe, and two years later he became director of the General Military Academy in Zaragoza. As a conservative and a monarchist, Franco regretted the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931. He was devastated by the closing of his beloved Academy, but nevertheless continued his service in the Republican Army. For a time he was even left without posting, but his career improved after the right-wing CEDA and PRR won the 1933 election. In 1934 Franco led the brutal suppression of the uprising in Asturias, sharpening the antagonism between Left and Right in the country. In 1935 he became Chief of Army Staff, but when the leftist Popular Front won the 1936 election Franco was once again marginalized, being relieved of his position and relegated to the Canary Islands. When Calvo Sotelo, leader of the opposition, was murdered that summer it triggered a military coup which had been plotted since the election in February. Franco had initially kept his distance from the plot, but joined in the last minute with complete resolution. The coup failed and precipitated the Spanish Civil War.
Franco took control of the Army of Africa, which was air-lifted to Spain. With the death of the other leading generals, Franco became his faction’s only leader and was appointed Generalissimo and Head of State in the autumn of 1936. By a Unification Decree in 1937 Franco merged all Nationalist parties into a single party, the FET y de las JONS. In 1939 the Nationalists had won the war, which had claimed almost half a million lives. The victory extended Franco’s dictatorship over all of Spain, and it was followed by a period of repression of political opponents and dissenters. Between 30,000 and 50,000 people died by this repression, which employed forced labor, concentration camps, and executions. Combined with the Nationalist executions during the war, the death toll of the White Terror lies between 100,000 and 200,000. Franco continued to rule Spain alone, with more power than any Spanish leader before or since, ruling almost exclusively by decree. He nurtured a cult of personality and the Movimiento Nacional became the only channel of participation in Spanish public life. During World War II he espoused neutrality as Spain’s official wartime policy, but supported the Axis — whose members Italy and Germany had supported him during the Civil War — in various ways. After the war, Spain was shunned and isolated by many other countries for nearly a decade. By the 1950s the nature of Franco’s regime changed from being openly totalitarian and severely repressive to an authoritarian system with limited pluralism. During the Cold War Franco became one of the world’s foremost anti-Communist figures and his regime was assisted by the West, particularly the United States. Spain had suffered chronic economic depression in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but by abandoning autarky and pursuing economic liberalization Franco presided over the “Spanish miracle”. Economic authority was delegated to the technocrats of the Opus Dei, leading to tremendous economic growth. The Francoist dictatorship continued to soften over time and Luis Carrero Blanco became Franco’s éminence grise, controlling the day-to-day operations of the government: this increased when Franco began showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in the 1960s. The introduction of the Organic Law in 1966 limited and clearly defined Franco’s powers and officially created the office of Prime Minister. In 1973, beset with old age, sickness, and wishing to partially relinquish the burden of governing Spain, Franco resigned as Prime Minister and was succeeded by Carrero Blanco. However, Franco remained as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. Franco died in 1975 at the age of 82 and was buried in the Valle de los Caídos. Through the power to appoint a king, granted to him by the 1947 Law of Succession to the Headship of the State, he restored the monarchy before his death, appointing Juan Carlos as his successor and King of Spain. Juan Carlos led the Spanish transition to democracy.
Franco remains a controversial figure in Spanish history and the nature of his dictatorship changed over time. His reign was marked by both brutal repression, with thousands killed, and economic prosperity, which greatly improved the quality of life in Spain. His dictatorial style proved very adaptable, which could introduce social and economic reform, and the only consistent points in Franco’s long rule were above all authoritarianism, Spanish nationalism, National Catholicism, anti-Freemasonry, and anti-Communism.
The Beach is a novel by English author Alex Garland. Set in Thailand, it is the story of a young backpacker’s search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism, and his time there in its small, international community of backpackers.
Although set in Thailand, Garland wrote the book while living in the Philippines and was inspired by similar geography on the island of Palawan. Novelist Nick Hornby referred to The Beach as “a Lord of the Flies for Generation X.” In 2000, it was adapted into a film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Alpine White was a candy bar made by Nestle in the 1980s. It had almonds covered in a white chocolate bar. Alpine White disappeared just before as the 90s were beginning. Why? Lack of sales. There is a Facebook page dedicated to bringing the chocolate bar back. However, if you’re a baker and fancy a go at making your own, try this: Get a 6 oz. bag of sliced almonds and an 11 oz. bag of white chocolate chips. Toast the almonds for 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven. As the almonds are toasting, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Mix both the almonds and the melted chips together while they are hot and spoon the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. Press out the mix to a 1/4″ thickness. Put into the freezer for 10 minutes to sit. You have now just made your own Alpine White candy bar.
The League of Gentlemen is a British comedy television series that premiered on BBC Two in 1999. The show is set in Royston Vasey, a fictional town in northern England. It follows the lives of bizarre characters, most of whom are played by three of the show’s four writers -— Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith -— who, along with Jeremy Dyson, formed the League of Gentlemen comedy troupe in 1995. The series originally aired for three series from 1999 until 2002 followed by a film (The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse) in 2005. A stage production was also undertaken in 2005 (The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You!). The BBC announced in August 2017 that three new episodes would be produced to commemorate the show’s 20th anniversary. They aired on BBC2 on 18, 19 and 20 December 2017. In total, 22 episodes of The League of Gentlemen were produced.