Monday, February 29, 2016

Bat-Music #9 - The Ventures - The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme

Bat-Music #9 - The Ventures - The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme
The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme contains the Ventures' version of the Batman theme song, plus the theme songs to the TV shows The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Danger Man/Secret Agent, and Get Smart.  The rest of the album is full of Ventures originals inspired by superheros and secret agents.

Tracklist:
  1. Batman Theme
  2. Zocko!
  3. Joker's Wild
  4. The Cape
  5. 00-711
  6. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  7. Secret Agent Man
  8. Hot-Line
  9. Vampcamp
  10. Up, Up, And Away
  11. Get Smart Theme
  12. Green Hornet "66"

The Ventures - Batman Theme

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Batman, Episode 11 - A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away (1966)

Batman, Episode 11 - A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away (1966)

50 years ago...
"A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away," the 11th episode of the Batman TV series, premiered on February 16, 1966.  This episode sees the return of Frank Gorshin's The Riddler.  This time, The Riddler is leaving Riddles involving "King Boris," a visiting monarch touring Gotham City.  The Dynamic Duo surmise that The Riddler intends to steal a jewel encrusted statuette that the King has on his person.  However, The Riddler is merely using the King as bait.  His true intention is to lure Batman and Robin to their deaths.

Bat Turbine Death Trap
Look for a quick cameo by Joy Harmon as a newly crowned beauty queen.  Joy Harmon was one of the giant teenagers in "Village of the Giants," which is one of my favorite movies of all time, so it was a treat to see her here.

Joy Harmon Gets Crowned "Miss Galaxy"
Bat-Facts for A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away
Special Guest Villain: Frank Gorshin as the Riddler

Featured Gadget: Homing Receiver Scope

Cliffhanger Text: "Batman and Robin to die??!!  Things certainly are turning the wrong way for them!!  Is this really the end??  Unbelievable!!  If you care for Batman and Robin, keep hoping 'til tomorrow night!!  Same time!!  Same bat-channel!"
The Evil Riddler Plots the Death of Batman and Robin

More screencaps after the break...

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bat-Music #8 - Les Hou-Lops - Batman

Bat-Music #8 - Les Hou-Lops - Batman

Proving Batmania wasn't limited to the United States, here's a sweet version of the Batman theme with added lyrics, sung in French!  Les Hou-Lops were a band of yé-yé boys from Québec active for a few years in the 1960s.  For a while, they all had bleached white hair as a gimmick, and called themselves les Têtes Blanches (which translates to English as the White Heads, unfortunately) but had to stop doing that after getting sued by another French Canadian band with all-white hair called Les Classels (which translates to The Clash!)

The video below is a must-see, if only to check out their weirdo lead singer as he shoves the guitar player out of his way twice when he gets in between him and the camera, employs a series of bizarro dance moves, and inexplicably lip-syncs to the female vocals on the chorus of "Batman." Fun stuff.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Batman, Episode 10 - A Death Worse Than Fate (1966)

Batman, Episode 10 - A Death Worse Than Fate (1966)
50 years ago...
"A Death Worse Than Fate," the 10th episode of Batman, aired February 10th on ABC TV.
This was the second episode to feature Anne Baxter as guest villain Zelda the Great.  Like in previous episodes where Batman tangled with a female villain, Zelda ends up in love with Batman, and Bruce Wayne promises her a job working in a children's hospital after she is paroled to help with her reform.

Evol Ekdol Threatens the Batman with Magic Tricks


Bat Facts for A Death Worse Than Fate

Special Guest Villain: Anne Baxter as Zelda

Onomatopoeia: None.  This is one of the few Batman episodes to not have a fist fight.

Featured Bat Gadget: Bat Cuffs

Robin's Catchphrase: "Holy Crossfire."

Original Comic Book Story: Based on the 1965 story "Batman's Inescapable Doom-Trap!" from Detective Comics #346, written by John Broome and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff.
 
Detective Comics #346

More screencaps after the break...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bat-Music #7 - The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale - Batman and Robin

Bat-Music #7 - The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale - Batman and Robin
At first glance, "Batman and Robin," by Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale, might seem like yet another quickie cash-in on the Batman phenomena, featuring a cover version of the Batman theme, and a bunch of generic instrumentals that you would never associate with the TV show if it wasn't for Batman inspired titles.  And, honestly, that's pretty much what it is.  But what makes this album special is the musicians behind it.  Never heard of "The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale?" Well, I don't blame you because they weren't a real band, it was just the name the producers slapped on this and other cheaply produced cash-in records to make them seem more legit.  But the actual musicians that recorded this in the studio were no less than Sun Ra and His Arkestra and The Blues Project.  Which in theory, should make this a good listen.  And it does, to some extent.  The band is definitely a step above what you would hear on a record like this, and there are a few creative touches here and there.  Overall, though, a cheap cash-in record is still a cheap cash-in record, and it doesn't have a lot to offer after the novelty wears off.

Tracklist:
  1. Batman Theme    
  2. Batman's Batmorang    
  3. Batman And Robin Over The Roofs    
  4. The Penguin Chase    
  5. Flight Of The Batman    
  6. Joker Is Wild    
  7. Robin's Theme    
  8. Penguin's Umbrella    
  9. Batman And Robin Swing    
  10. Batmobile Wheels    
  11. The Riddler's Retreat    
  12. The Bat Cave

The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale - Robin's Theme

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Rolling Stones on Ed Sullivan

The Rolling Stones on Ed Sullivan
50 years ago...
On February 13th, 1966, The Rolling Stones made their third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “As Tears Go By,” and “19th Nervous Breakdown.”

The Rolling Stones - As Tears Go By


The Rolling Stones - 19th Nervous Breakdown


The Rolling Stones - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Rolling Stones - (I can't get no)Satisfaction... by Michael177zx77

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Batman, Episode 9 - Zelda the Great (1966)

Batman, Episode 9 - Zelda the Great (1966)
50 years ago...
"Zelda the Great," the ninth episode of the Batman TV series, premiered on February 9th, 1966.  This episode introduces the villain "Zelda The Great," a stage magician who commits a $100,000 bank robbery every year on April 1st.  She uses the money to purchase new props for her show designed by magic trick designer Evol Ekdol.

Gotham City Police Shine the Bat Signal
Zelda uses all of her powers of stagecraft and illusion to combat Batman.  She also has the weird habit of breaking the "third wall" and telling her plans directly to the camera, which kind of breaks the "reality" of the show, but is pretty true to the old comics, where the villains used to do that all the time.


The Shadow of the Bat Falls on Zelda
Zelda is so good at what she does that neither the police nor Batman has any clue as to who she is or how to stop her.  So Batman decides to lay a trap for her by planting a story in the paper that the money she stole was counterfeit.  Then he arranges for a valuable emerald to be displayed, hoping she will try to steal that as a replacement, with Batman, Robin, and the Gotham City Police Department laying in wait to capture her.  But the plan backfires when she realizes it's a trap, and instead tries to recoup her loss by kidnapping Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet!

Bat-Facts for Zelda the Great:
Special Guest Villainess: Anne Baxter as Zelda

Featured Gadget: The Bat Signal

Robin's Catchphrases: "Holy Venezuela," "Holy Hole in the Doughnut," and "Holy Backfire."

Comic Book Origins:  Based on the 1965 story "Batman's Inescapable Doom-Trap!" from Detective Comics #346, written by John Broome and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff.

Cliffhanger Text: "Holy Backfire's right!  Aunt Harriet has just one hour!  What'll it be??  Splash or salvation??  Hold a hopeful breath for Aunt Harriet until tomorrow..  Same Bat-Time!!  Same Bat-Channel!!"

Holy Backfire!
More screencaps after the break...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Barbarians

The Barbarians
Released 50 years ago...
The Barbarians - Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?
The Barbarians - Moulty

Garage rockers The Barbarians had a brief but memorable career in the 1960s. The group formed in 1964 and quickly gained a local and then national following. They appeared in the pioneering concert film The T.A.M.I. Show alongside such artists as The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, James Brown, and the Supremes, and released one album and four singles before breaking up in 1967. The group had a hard and rough sound, and had the looks and attitude to go along with it, including very long hair for the time. Adding to their dangerous aesthetic was their drummer Moulty who had prosthetic hook in place of his left hand. 

The Barbarians first and only album was released early in 1966 and contains one classic original track, "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl," and then is filled out with a handful of typical 1960s garage rock cover songs.  The song "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl" was a humorous take on all of the insults that were hurled at the band for the way they looked and was their biggest hit, peaking at No. 55 on the Billboard charts.  A few months after the release of their album they released their other classic song, the non-album single "Moulty," an autobiographical anthem about Moulty not giving up after the loss of his hand, which made it to No. 90 on Billboard.



Monday, February 8, 2016

Bat-Music #6 - Link Wray & His Ray Men - Batman Theme

Bat-Music #6 - Link Wray & His Ray Men - Batman Theme
Raw. Freaking. Power.  One of the greatest guitar players of all time tears the Batman theme song to shreds.  "Ow!  Zap!  Ow!  Pow!  Ow!  Ooh!  Bang!  Ow!  Ooh!  Ow!  Zip!  Zap!"  Easily my favorite Batman theme cover.

Link Wray & His Ray Men - Batman Theme

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Sonics - Boom (1966)

The Sonics - Boom (1966)

Released 50 years ago...
The Sonics - Boom

The Sonics are one of the most powerful, hardest, and dirtiest sounding bands of the 1960s, and are often credited with inventing what we now call "punk rock."  In 1966, they followed up their explosive 1965 debut lp "Here Are the Sonics!!!" with their second album, "Boom."  While Boom doesn't have any tracks that stand out to the level of "Strychnine" or "The Witch" from their first album, it is still loud, powerful, monster of a record.

The Sonics - He's Waitin'


The Sonics - Louie Louie


The Sonics - Cinderella

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Batman, Episode 8 - Rats Like Cheese (1966)

Batman, Episode 8 - Rats Like Cheese (1966)
50 years ago today...
"Rats Like Cheese," the eighth episode of the Batman TV series, premiered on February 3rd, 1966.  This episode saw Batman and Robin continue their battle against Mr. Freeze, as introduced in the previous episode.  Mr. Freeze is even LESS exciting in this episode, as he spends all of his time in his refrigerated headquarters, so he never wears his costume, or uses his freeze gun.  Basically he's just a weird German guy in a smoking jacket.  Yay.

Batman and Robin Trapped in Mr. Freeze's Lair

Bat-Facts for Rats Like Cheese: 

Special Guest Villain: George Sanders as "Mr. Freeze"

Featured Gadget: Mr. Freeze's Room Temperature Remote Control Box

Onomatopoeias: "Biff!!!  Whamm!!  Sock!  Pow!!  Zam.  Crunch!  Zlonk!"

Comic Book OriginsBased on the 1959 story "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero" from Batman #121, written by Dave Wood and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff.
The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero
More screencaps after the break...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Batman, Episode 7 - Instant Freeze (1966)

Batman, Episode 7 - Instant Freeze (1966)
50 years ago today...
"Instant Freeze," the seventh episode of the Batman TV series, premiered on February 2nd, 1966.  This episode saw the premiere of "Mr. Freeze," the Batman villain known as "Mr. Zero" in the comic books.  DC Comics would later rename the character "Mr. Freeze" in the comics as well, to match with the show.  Mr. Freeze has a great gimmick for a themed villain. His body must be kept at 50 degrees below zero, and he commits ice-themed crimes with the aid of his Freeze Gun. George Sanders doesn't imbue the character with a striking personality the way previous villains Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, and Cesar Romero did.  Aside from some odd German pronunciations, he is a pretty bland character.  This and the following episode were the only ones where Sanders would portray Mr. Freeze.  Freeze would reappear for a pair of episodes in Season 2 played by Otto Preminger, and again fro a pair of episodes in Season 3, this time played by Eli Wallach, both of whom would inject a bit more life into the character.

Mr. Freeze in his temperature controlled hideout.
Bat-Facts for Instant Freeze:
Special Guest Villain: George Sanders as "Mr. Freeze" 
Featured Gadget: Mr. Freeze's Freeze Gun

Robin's Catchphrase: "Leaping Lumbago!"

Weirdest Sign or Label: "Giant Lighted Lucite Map of Gotham City"

Onomatopoeias: "Pow!!  Crash!  Thwapp!  Ooooff! Biff!!!  Pow!!"

Comic Book Origins:  Based on the 1959 story "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero" from Batman #121, written by Dave Wood and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff. 

Giant Lighted Lucite Map of Gotham City

Human Popsicles!
Check back later today, when I'll be posting about the next Mr. Freeze epsiode, "Rats Like Cheese."

More screencaps after the break...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bat-Music #5 - The Invisible Burgundy Bullfrog - Batman Rides Again

Bat-Music #5 - The Invisible Burgundy Bullfrog - Batman Rides Again
This psychedelic oddity was released as a single in 1969 on Panther Records.  Very little is known about the The Invisible Burgundy Bullfrog, aside from that they hailed from Greensboro, North Carolina, and released Batman Rides Again as the b-side to their only single, a cover of "Cry Me a River."  The song was written and produced by Panther Records owner Will Hammond.  Musically, it sounds like a mash-up of Pink Floyd's Lucifer Sam and Johnny Rivers' Secret Agent Man.

The Invisible Burgundy Bullfrog - Batman Rides Again

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