Sunday, August 26, 2012

Backward Glance

At a heavy, black, easily breakable 78 rpm record ...and more! Warren Sparrow asks the musical question, (that's a little DJ speak boys and girls) "Whatever happened to that dancer Vaughn Monrow sang about?".....and other "Brain Pops" from the 40's and 50's.

By Warren Sparrow


It appears that neither you nor I have taken Vaughn Monroe's advice. He told Ballerina to "dance... go on with your career," he said, "you can't afford a backward glance."

At her age I suppose that was true. For you and I in August 2012, things may be different. First of all, I cannot "whirl." Remember that line? "Whirl, Ballerina, whirl." I think Monroe said "a thousand people here have come to see the show, so round and round you go."

I never saw Vaughn Monroe in person. Neither did I see Lash LaRue or Gene Autry or Trigger. I got no closer to them than the radio. Radio, ah, radio. How I loved the radio. Every afternoon I listened to Jack Armstrong, the Green Hornet, Terry and the Pirates and Superman. I almost forgot the best of all: The Lone Ranger. "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when out of the past came the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver..."

 Virginia Payne
(Ma Perkins)
That was daytime radio. Every now and then I would sneak a listen to Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins. It was from the radio that I learned that Ivory Snow was Ninety-nine and Forty-four one hundred per cent pure. It was from naughty nighttime radio that I learned of White Rose Petroleum Jelly. According to the announcer, we all needed White Rose to "cut down on friction." He encouraged us to keep some White Rose in the glove compartment of our car because we would never know when we would need to "cut down on friction."

Then there was Wildroot Creme Oil, Charlie. It was going to keep our hair "in trim." If we used it, we would have a hard time "keeping all those gals away."

My all-time radio favorite was Tom Mix. Though I never followed his advice, even today I find myself singing his commercial:

Start the morning with hot Ralston and you surely will agree,
It's a warm-up, fill-up breakfast full of cowboy energy.
It's delicious and nutritious, made of golden western wheat.
So take a tip from Tom, go and tell your mom, hot Ralston can't be beat.

Alas, Monroe had a big influence on my life though I did not realize it at the time. He sang "Ghost Riders in the Sky." What a sermon he preaches in this song. He sings of "an old cowpoke," of "red-eyed cows" with horns black and shiny and hoofs made of steel. On top of that, their "brands were still on fire and their hot breath he could feel." Yikes! No wonder a "bolt of fear went through" the old cowpoke. Let me tell you, after I heard that song, I definitely "changed (my) ways." I did not want any part of chasing "the devil's herd across these endless skies."

Thanks for listening. I hope Vaughn Monroe will forgive me for taking "a backward glance."


(Thanks Warren, Vaughn Monroe was always one of my favorite singers.  Here he is, one more time: