Throwback Thursday 36

One hundred years ago was, of course, a US Presidential election year just like this year. Well, maybe not like this year.

Warren Harding, long considered by most historians to be among the worst Presidents in US history, easily defeated James Cox capturing about 60% of the popular vote and 404 electoral votes to Cox’s 127. Who was James Cox’s running mate? Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Harding’s was, of course, Calvin Coolidge who succeeded Harding as Chief Executive after the latter’s death in 1923.

Harding actually “campaigned” against two-term incumbent Woodrow Wilson who, supposedly, wanted to run again but Democratic Party leaders did not want him to run given his poor health and lack of popularity. Harding’s most well-known campaign “slogan” was “Return To Normalcy,” but the slogan “America First” was also used. Everything old is new again…

On the first ballot at the 1920 Republican convention, Harding was just sixth among candidates in delegate votes. No candidate received a majority, obviously. He was not nominated until the tenth ballot. From Wikipedia:

 

“Harding’s nomination, said to have been secured in negotiations among party bosses in a ‘smoke-filled room,’ was engineered by Harry M. Daugherty, Harding’s political manager, who became United States Attorney General after his election. Prior to the convention, Daugherty was quoted as saying, ‘I don’t expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second, or third ballots, but I think we can afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after two, Friday morning of the convention, when 15 or 12 weary men are sitting around a table, someone will say: ‘Who will we nominate?’ At that decisive time, the friends of Harding will suggest him and we can well afford to abide by the result.’ Daugherty’s prediction described essentially what occurred…”

 

From rarenewspapers.com (not a secure site, which is why I didn’t include the hyperlink):

 

See the source image

 

The 1920 election was the first in which women were allowed to vote. It was also the first election after the ratification of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition Amendment.” Socialist Eugene Debs, running for President for the fifth and last time, received almost 1,000,000 popular votes or 3.4 percent of the total. He ran while in jail for advocating non-compliance with the draft during World War I.

While mass media and “social media” have changed the way messages are propagated, human nature hasn’t changed much, if at all, since 1920. Most people are still motivated by self-interest most of the time. The new means of communication have simply exacerbated the differences in society.

As I have written before, I do not vote because I disagree with most of the policy prescriptions of both parties. I cannot and will not support a candidate with whom I disagree on 65% or 75% of policy even if I disagree with the other candidate on 70% or 80% of policy. However, many of my previous posts reveal that I am not a believer in government as panacea. I am not a believer in monolithic business as panacea, either, which is why I believe that Guck Foogle and Fack Fucebook should be broken up. I DO NOT agree that Apple and Amazon are in the same situation, though, but that’s another discussion for another day.

 

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Throwback Thursday 35

On this day 50 years ago this song was in its last day as the #1 single on the Billboard Top 40/Hot 100:

 

See the source image

 

(The picture is from a blog hosted by the Evil Empire.)

By the way, despite the identical title this song is completely different from Frankie Avalon’s #1 song from 1959 with the same name. The Shocking Blue was a Dutch group and had no other songs reach the Top 40 in the US. They were more successful in their native Holland/Netherlands.

Although I don’t remember the product I know I’ve heard this song used in at least one commercial. Do you remember any of the lyrics?

 

A goddess on a mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
A summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name.

She’s got it,
Yeah baby, she’s got it.
I’m your Venus,
I’m your fire at your desire.

 

Like a lot of pre-teens during that time I grew up listening to Top 40 radio. I loved listening to Casey Kasem and the American Top 40. As I have written before, Dr. Zal and I used to make our own Top 40 charts. I have an innate need to make order out of chaos. When I worked in major league baseball, my favorite task was my season-end analysis of minor league performance. I took huge amounts of raw data and turned it into tables and charts of players ranked by various metrics, many of my own invention. I miss that kind of project very much. That’s why I include charts and tables in this blog.

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A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yeah, I hear you…little minds, alright. No reason the Throwback Thursday car has to be related to any other topics in the post.

MarkCars2014 has become a regular reader and commenter here. (Please check out his blog, which is linked in his name.) In a comment he mentioned his affinity for Buicks. Regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I also have an affinity for Buicks. My interest in these cars has moved beyond my attachment to the ’56 Century, the first car I ever drove, and the “First Generation” Riviera, one of my absolute favorite cars ever. How about this car?

 

See the source image

 

From a Pinterest page, this is supposed to be a picture of a 1950 Buick Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupe. In the context of this era, a hardtop was not just a car with a fixed metal roof, but one without a visible B pillar. Those who think the “Riviera” began in 1963 should note that this car, and others, were given the name Riviera, although not as a separate model, but as a sub-model designation.

The swooping body line is a portend of the sweep spear that would appear on Buicks soon enough. The waterfall grill had its origin in the famous Y-Job concept car of 1938.

In model year 1950 Buick built 10,732 Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupes, 2,300 in “base” trim and 8,432 in “DeLuxe” trim. The DeLuxe model cost $2,854, $30,431 in 2020 dollars. I don’t think a 2020 model-year car like this would actually cost that little. Remember that the average “transaction price” for a new vehicle in the US is about $40,000. Buicks were only behind Cadillac in prestige in the GM lineup.

The 1950 Model 70 Roadmaster was powered by a 320 cubic-inch version of the long-running Fireball inline 8-cylinder engine. Buick used the Fireball inline-8 from 1931 to 1953. The 320 cubic-inch variant produced 152 HP, but 280 LB-FT of torque. As these cars weighed about 4,200 pounds, they needed some torque to get moving.

In my OCD-addled/ADD-addled brain my thoughts move from car to car and then fixate on a few. One car that has been in my consciousness, if you can call it that, is a Buick from this period. However, my thoughts move immediately to resto-modding the car, especially if the original drivetrain no longer exists.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

 

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#1950BuickRoadmasterRivieraHardtop

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday

See the source image

 

From 45cat.com a picture of the sleeve, I presume, of the only record to reach the Number One position on the Billboard charts, fall off and then return later and reach Number One again, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, real name Ernest Evans. The song was actually written and originally released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as the B-Side to “Teardrops on Your Letter” in 1959.

Checker’s version first reached Number One in September, 1960 and then again in January, 1962. When both chart runs are added together the song was on the Hot 100 for 39 weeks.

If it seems as though I am obsessed with chart performance of 45s that is just an extension of my personality and my intense interest in such things when I was 12-13 years old. My best friend, Dr. Zal, began creating his own Top 40 way before I started although, at first, he simply rearranged the existing Billboard Top 40 to suit his preferences. I began creating my own Top 40s from scratch and he soon followed that practice.

Many of the songs to which I listened were not “Pop” but “Soul Music” and would never appear on the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40. At the end of the first calendar year in which I compiled my Top 40 charts I used a point system to create a Top 40 for the year. My Number One song for that year was a very obscure piece called “Sweet Sweet Tootie” by Lonnie Youngblood. “Outa Space” by Billy Preston was #2, presaging, no doubt, my eventual interest in jazz and instrumental music.

Although as I age I grow more impatient and, therefore, don’t listen to music as much as I used to, music has always been a very important part of my life. Remember this photo?

 

 

I would very much like to read what type of music you like(d) and how important music is to you.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#ChubbyChecker

#LonnieYoungblood

#disaffectedmusings

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Last Throwback Thursday Of 2019

Random stuff first…

 

 

Not sure why the streaks appear in the photo, the window was open, but yet another sunrise near our house. Yes, the picture is crooked. So sue me…Here’s a sunset from a place far away, but only for now:

 

 

“Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world…”

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December 26, 1947 was the second and last day of the “forgotten” blizzard, a storm that dumped more than 26 inches of snow on Central Park. Don’t think this storm was just a major inconvenience; the death toll was 77.

The Blizzard of 1888 and the Superstorm of 1993 are much discussed by “weather geeks.” The 1947 storm, not so much. I used to love snow because it meant I might get out of school. Into my mid-50s I loved the snow because of the beauty of freshly-fallen snow on the ground and in the trees. Now, not so much.

“Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world…”

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By conventional reckoning the last Number #1 single of the 1960s was “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes. It was the group’s 12th number one single and their final release before Ross left the group to pursue a solo career. From 45cat.com:

 

See the source image

 

In terms of chart performance, Diana Ross and the Supremes were the most successful American group of the 1960s. Are “singles” even a thing in this day of digital music and streaming? Is music even a thing anymore? I will re-iterate my strong belief that the phrase “modern American music” is an oxymoron.

Not that anyone asked, but my favorite song by Diana Ross and the Supremes is “Come See About Me.” That might also be my favorite Motown song from the 1960s, period.

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Speaking of the 60s…the best-selling American car for any year of the decade was the 1965 Chevrolet Impala, of which more than a million were sold. From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 1965 Impala:

 

See the source image

 

As for Ford, the model year 1965 Mustang sold about 681,000 units, but that includes 121,000-ish “1964 1/2 cars” built from April through September of 1964. According to Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, Galaxie sales for 1963 totaled almost 593,000; the Wikipedia article claims a figure of about 648,000 for the same year. I wonder if exports are the difference. Anyway, from gaaclassiccars.com a picture of a 1963 Ford Galaxie:

 

See the source image

 

The best-selling Mopar of the 1960s? Hell if I know…not as easy to find this info on the Internet as one might think and the aforementioned encyclopedia breaks down sales of specific models into great detail, sometimes into painfully great detail. Between six- and eight-cylinder variants, more than 323,000 Dodge Darts were sold for model year 1960. Adding all variants of the Plymouth Fury “by hand” from 1966 through 1968 (in 1966, 18 different models existed including the Sport Fury and the VIP), about 318,000 were produced in 1966, slightly more than the 317,000 for 1967 and the 293,000 for 1968. From classiccars.com a picture of a 1966 Plymouth Fury since Dodges are still being produced, at least for now:

 

See the source image

 

As best as I can figure, total US passenger car production for 1960-1969 was a shade over 75 million units with a peak of nearly 9 million in 1965. I don’t have the patience to compile these figures, but I would like to see one free source with production aggregated by company, make, model and year. Does such a source already exist and I am simply unaware of it? Please enlighten me.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#SunriseSunset

#BestSellingUSCars1960s

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, It’s Cold Edition

I used to be able to tolerate cold weather. In fact, I much preferred it to hot weather. I guess with less “efficient” circulation due to aging and the fact that I have run most of the fat off my body I don’t like the cold, anymore. (My hands are freezing as I type this.) I certainly don’t like the temperature I’m about to show you two weeks before Thanksgiving.

 

 

It was warmer at 6:30 this morning; it was 22 degrees. Yes, a feeble attempt at sarcasm.

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Inspired by photobyjohnbo here is a picture of our Japanese Maple tree almost in full fall color:

 

 

This tree has survived a traumatic injury and annual assault by rats in fur coats, also known as squirrels. We live in a nice neighborhood and we will miss it after we move, but move we will. The desert beckons.

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From stampnewsonline.net a picture of a stamp featuring a very famous person:

 

See the source image

 

This is a picture of the 1983 Babe Ruth stamp. I believe another stamp in honor of Ruth was issued later. Note the cost of first-class postage, 20¢.

To honor Ruth, who was born in Baltimore as was I, and the 1983 Orioles’ World Series championship I mailed myself an empty envelope with this stamp in late 1983. I wrote some notes on the envelope about Ruth and the Orioles. That was a long time ago and qualifies as a genuine throwback. Although I don’t follow baseball I understand the Orioles are going through a rough patch.

Of course, I worked for my home-town team for six years in a full-time capacity and before that as a consultant for about a year and a half. It’s amazing how poor human beings are at predicting the future. For five years before I was hired full-time all I wanted was to work for the Orioles for the rest of my life. It’s a good thing the rest of my life has lasted longer than six years.

Like my change in attitude towards cold weather I never could have predicted that I would be completely divorced from baseball and not miss it. Once again, the only constant in the world is change. Those who cannot or will not deal with change will be unhappy and/or left behind.

 

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Throwback Thursday, Cereal Edition

I ate a lot of breakfast cereal, often not for breakfast, until I was in my late 30s. After a long period of little cereal consumption I have resumed eating a fair amount. I find myself waxing nostalgic for a cereal from my childhood. Does anyone remember these?

 

See the source image

 

A picture from someone’s Flickr account of the front and back of a box of Post Rice Krinkles. They were really just a sweeter version of that more famous crispy rice cereal made by a different cereal company.

Rice Krinkles were my favorite cereal when I was 7 or 8. Apparently, 1969 was the last year they were produced although that doesn’t jibe with my admittedly imperfect memory. If Rice Krinkles are remembered today at all, it’s because their advertising featured an Asian character that would be considered inappropriate today. I don’t remember the mascot, just that I loved the cereal.

For those of you who were/are cereal eaters, what are some of your favorites?

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It’s a sickness, I tell you, a sickness! That big, blue book under the two Corvette books is the classic Packard: A History of the Motor Car and Company edited by the late, great Beverly Rae Kimes. What you can’t see is the collection of automobile books and encyclopediae on the bottom shelf of this table. The book on top, The American Auto, is an updated version of the book that always sits on the desk where I write blog posts. I don’t really know how many automobile books I own, but I still have car books I purchased in the 1960s and 1970s.

Some of my friends and former colleagues don’t understand my disinterest in sports and my obsession with cars. Remember, the cars were first. My paper for History class in my senior year of high school was called The Development of the Automobile and its Effect on 20th-Century American Society. Yes, I attended high school in the 20th century and not in the 19th.

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A recent photo by yours truly of a Factory Five “kit” car. What do you think about cars like this? As I have stated before, I am not a fan of large wings on automobiles, but this car is not ugly.

Factory Five is a well-known company and that might make it easier for me to buy a kit car. I just doubt I have the chops to finish the assembly no matter how minor.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#RiceKrinkles

#AutoMessTable

#LongObsessionWithCars

#FactoryFive

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday

Halloween? My thoughts on the so-called holiday have been expressed before.

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On this day in 1959 a song that had been originally composed in 1928 was the Number One song on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mack the Knife” as recorded by Walden Robert Cassoto, better known as Bobby Darin, reached the top position on the charts in early October and stayed there for a total of nine weeks.

 

See the source image

 

From MusicStack a picture of the “Mack the Knife” recording. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I had quite a collection of 45s. “Mack the Knife” was not part of that collection. It did, however, sell more than two million copies and was awarded the Grammy as “Record Of The Year.”

Supposedly, Darin did not want the song released as a single. Darin, sadly, had a short life. Having been afflicted with rheumatic fever as a child he had a severely weakened heart and died in 1973 at age 37. Darin had success not only as a singer, but also as an actor and was even nominated for an Academy Award in 1963.

“Mack the Knife” was actually composed for a musical drama called “The Threepenny Opera.” The song’s lyrics were originally in German, but somehow the song became a favorite for American pop and jazz singers to record. For example, Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars released a version that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956.

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Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer.

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill

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No rule says that the Throwback Thursday car has to be from the same year as any other subject of the post. As I do from time to time, here is a chart:

 

Top Ten Selling US Makes, 1950
Chevrolet 1,498,590
Ford 1,208,912
Plymouth 610,954
Buick 588,439
Pontiac 446,429
Oldsmobile 408,060
Dodge 341,797
Studebaker 320,884
Mercury 293,658
Chrysler 179,299

 

Note Studebaker’s position as the only non Big-Three make in the Top Ten. Also note that Studebaker is one of five companies that no longer exists. Although not shown here, the #11, #12, and #13 positions were also held by now-defunct makes. (Nash, DeSoto and Hudson)

 

See the source image

 

From smclassiccars.com a picture of the best-selling vehicle for the best-selling make in 1950. This is a Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe four-door sedan. By the way, I think the word “Styleline” is awkward to pronounce, but what do I know?

Chevrolet produced more than 316,000 of these in 1950. Note that number would have ranked in the top ten among makes in 1950. Chevrolet produced 14 different offerings across four model lines in 1950. At $1,529 the Styleline DeLuxe four-door was in the middle of the Chevrolet price range.

Chevy offered only two engines in all of those cars: a 216 cubic-inch inline six with an output of 92 HP/176 LB-FT of torque for cars equipped with a manual transmission and a 235 cubic-inch inline six with 105 HP/193 LB-FT for cars equipped with the Powerglide automatic.

This car doesn’t really do anything for me, but for much of the automobile era four-door sedans were the bread and butter for American car companies. Those days are over, probably for good, as SUVs and pickup trucks have become the most popular vehicles.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#MackTheKnife

#BobbyDarin

#WinstonChurchill

#SayNoToSocialism

#1950USAutoMarket

#1950ChevroletStylelineDeLuxe

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday and Power Corrupts

I used to be a member of a union. I made a couple of commercials (one TV and one radio) for a local bank; they and the ad agency liked me enough so that they wanted me to do more. In fact, I continued to make commercials for the bank even after I moved to the other side of the country. Anyway, I was not allowed to make more than two commercials without joining the union. (Even though only one relevant union existed at the time, I will refrain from naming them explicitly.)

If any of the commercials aired even once in any 13-week block of the year, then I received a residual check. The money was good especially considering how little time it took for me to record any of the commercials. However, at least half of the checks I received were not for me, but for someone with whom I shared a last name. Literally dozens of calls to the union local office never corrected the problem. My compensation was controlled by the union local where I had originally lived and not where I was living after I moved. When I stopped making commercials (the bank was purchased by a larger one) and the residuals ended I ceased paying union dues.

This article from Automotive News is titled, “6th ex-UAW official pleads guilty.” Here is the beginning of the article:

 

“A former high-ranking UAW official in the union’s General Motors department pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and fraud.”

“Jeffery Pietrzyk, who was an assistant to former UAW-GM Department Vice President Joe Ashton, is the 10th person to plead guilty as a result of an ongoing federal probe into misuse of union funds. Six of the 10 are former UAW officials.”

“Prosecutors said Pietrzyk conspired with other union officials to take bribes and kickbacks related to vendor contracts for watches, backpacks, jackets and other items. The UAW said it has changed its purchasing procedures since the contracts Pietrzyk was involved with were awarded.”

 

I can’t believe I have to write this, but UAW is the United Auto Workers union. It boggles my mind how anyone has blind and complete faith in any institution of people, be it unions, governments or private companies. Power corrupts.

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See the source image

 

OK, why did I show this portrait of Bonanza from TV Guide? Fifty-five years ago this month (or 1964 for those of you who are bad at math) was the beginning of the 1964-65 TV season. For the first time in over a decade NBC would have the highest-rated show for an entire season and that show was Bonanza. I have never watched an episode, by the way.

Only a numbers nerd like me would find the Nielsen ratings interesting. As I have written before I considered writing a book in which I would reveal the most popular prime-time TV shows in history based on an analysis of the ratings. I would not have been able to simply use an “unadjusted” rating, however. Why? OK…

 

1964-65 Rating
Bonanza 36.3
Bewitched 31.0
Gomer Pyle, USMC 30.7
The Andy Griffith Show 28.3
The Fugitive 27.9
   
   
2004-05 Rating
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 16.5
American Idol-Tuesday 15.7
American Idol-Wednesday 15.3
Desperate Housewives 14.5
CSI: Miami 12.4

 

The average rating that pushed CSI to the top of the Nielsens in 2004-05 would not have made the top 30 in 1964-65. Using methodology I used in my books about the greatest baseball and football teams of all time, I was going to use standard deviations from the mean as a way to be able to compare shows from different eras. No one in the publishing business with whom I spoke thought the book was a good idea so I didn’t pursue it. Courtesy of someone at Nielsen I had collected data on TV ratings from 1960 (when the rating methodology was significantly changed) through about 2005.

I can tell you, as I believe I have before, that for one season the most popular TV show was the last season of Seinfeld, with a rating more than four standard deviations above the average for that year. When NBC executives tried to convince Jerry Seinfeld to do one more season (at a reported $5 million per episode) one of their points was to ask him if he wasn’t curious about how much higher the ratings could go. He answered that the only way to know if you’ve hit the top is when the ratings start to decline.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#PowerCorrupts

#Bonanza

#NielsenRatings

#Seinfeld

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Throwback Thursday and A Quarter Of A Million

Somewhere in this post is the 250,000th word I have written on Disaffected Musings. (Maybe it’s this one or this one.) If in the roughly 21 months I have been writing this blog I had half as many views as words then I would be happy, well maybe less unhappy.

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While my wonderful wife and I were at the National Corvette Museum I entered a raffle to win a 2019 ZR-1. Here is the car, picture from the NCM website:

 

 

A maximum of just 1,500 tickets will be sold. Here is a question: if I actually win the car do I keep it and sell my 2016 Z06 (I don’t have room for and don’t want two Corvettes AND I will have to pay taxes on the ZR1) OR do I sell the ZR1—for somewhere north of $100,000—pay the taxes and then upgrade my Z06, etc.? What would you do?

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On this day in 1964 the number one single on the Billboard charts was “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. By the way, that is the correct title of the song.

Orbison was very popular in Great Britain. From August, 1963 through December, 1964 he was the only American artist to have a number one single in Britain; he actually had two, “It’s Over” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.” He toured the UK in 1963. His opening act, although some times he opened for them, was the Beatles.

Of course, 1964 was the year the Beatles entered the consciousness of the US. I am not a big Beatles fan, but I appreciate their significance and the fact that they changed popular music forever. On the April 4 Billboard Hot 100, the Beatles occupied every position in the Top 5! In the next chart, April 11, they had 14 songs in the Hot 100. Between January 18 and October 24 the Beatles had 28 different titles on the Hot 100.

When the Beatles phenomenon began their former record labels realized they had quite a treasure trove. While their first “big” American label was Capitol Records, “She Loves You” was recorded and released by Swan Records and “Love Me Do” on Tollie Records, a subsidiary of Vee Jay. (By the way, much of this information is from The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson.)

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Of course, 1964 was the debut model year for the Pontiac GTO, considered by most to be the first modern muscle car. Also of significance in the auto industry (some understatement never hurts) was the debut of the Ford Mustang in April, 1964. However, continuing my obsession with defunct American makes I am going to show this car, instead:

 

See the source image

 

From classicregister.com an obviously recent picture of a 1964 Studebaker Daytona convertible. Apparently, I have shown a picture of and written about a car like this before. I guess after 250,000+ words I can’t remember everything I’ve written.

The Daytona was one model that survived the closing of the main Studebaker plant in South Bend, Indiana in December, 1963. The wonderful Avanti and Gran Turismo Hawk were not as fortunate. I think these cars (the Daytona) have quite an appealing design. Only 702 1964 Daytona convertibles were produced, 647 with a V-8 and 55 with an inline six-cylinder engine.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#250000Words

#CorvetteChoice

#1964

#RoyOrbison

#TheBeatles

#1964StudebakerDaytonaConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, All Over The Place Edition

See the source image

 

If you follow the NFL at all it is likely you have read that the Miami Dolphins are being accused of “tanking” in order to acquire the highest possible draft pick in 2020. They are so bad (their record is 0-4 and they have been outscored 163-26) that commentators and fans are already talking about a winless season.

Winless seasons are not as rare as they used to be in the NFL. Just two seasons ago the Cleveland Browns finished 0-16 and in 2008 the Detroit Lions did the same. However, one winless season seems to garner the most attention: the 0-14 record compiled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first season of existence, 1976. The picture above is of that team and is from espn.com.

You may not know that in their first year of existence the Bucs were in the AFC. Their fellow expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, were in the NFC. The following season they would switch conferences. The Seahawks returned to the NFC in 2002 with the addition of the Houston Texans and the major realignment that followed.

In each of their first two seasons the Bucs and Seahawks played every other team in their conference once and played each other once. The schedule was still 14 games in 1976 and 1977. That schedule and the fact Tampa Bay was in the AFC in 1976 meant they played the Baltimore Colts, who were defending AFC East champions, and that meeting was in Baltimore.

My best friend, Dr. Zal, and I attended the game between the Bucs and the Colts, which was the fourth of the season. We were not amused when Tampa Bay scored first on a field goal although they had led 6-0 the previous week against Buffalo. That field goal seemed to wake up the Colts who proceeded to score the next 42 points. However, Dr. Zal and I were also not amused when Tampa Bay scored their first touchdowns of the season (and in their existence) in the fourth quarter. The Colts outgained the Buccaneers 458 to 89 and made 31 first downs to Tampa Bay’s six.

Tampa Bay was outscored 412-125 in 1976, an almost unfathomable differential. The worst point differential last season was amassed by the Arizona Cardinals who were outscored 425-225 in a 16-game season. Tampa Bay started the next season 0-12, setting the all-time record for an NFL losing streak, before winning their last two games in 1977. However, by 1979 the Buccaneers were a playoff team winning the NFC Central Division. Does that mean hope exists for Miami? Who knows…

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Some car enthusiasts lament the development of what they call “nanny” aids like ABS and traction control. They say those systems have taken away “road feel” and real control of a car. Well, all that may be true, but it is also true that automobiles and other “light” vehicles are safer than ever, for the same level of driving skill and attention. Here’s a relevant passage from the excellent book, Steve Magnante’s 1001 Corvette Facts. If you are a Corvette fan or hope to learn more about them I highly recommend Steve’s book. Anyway, from fact #714:

 

“Without computer-controlled handling systems…there was no way Corvette or Detroit’s other automakers could put such powerful cars in the hands of the general public. Today, every high-performance muscle car has some form of an active-handling system to preserve order and help keep less capable drivers out of harm’s way.”

 

Of course, modern safety systems make all cars safer and not just performance cars. Trying to tie a car to the first year of the Buccaneers existence is not easy as 1976 was not a good year for American cars given the denuding of performance caused by government regulations and insurance companies. From supercars.net a photo of a car that could still scream:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1976 Lamborghini Countach. The Countach is a legendary car, posters of which were on the bedroom wall of countless teenage boys. No doubt, far more posters were sold than cars. Only about 2,000 of the Countach were produced despite a long production run from 1974 to 1990.

In 1976, the Countach was powered by a 3.9 liter/240 cubic-inch V-12 that produced 370 HP/266 LB-FT of torque. As a comparison, the more powerful of two Corvette engines that year produced just 210 HP although the torque output was close to the Countach’s at 255 LB-FT.

As I and others have written, the golden age of automobiles is now. Enjoy it before the electric automatons take over.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#1976TampaBayBuccaneers

#1976LamborghiniCountach

#somanycarsjustonelife

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