Saturday, June 26, 2010

I See Spots! Or Is It Dots?

Dots were the craze in the 1950's and 60's. Even Bob Dylan loved polka dot shirts!
But, where did the name polka dot come from? Believe it or not, it is thought that the name came from the dance, the Polka. No one really knows why, but maybe it's because you dance around in circles. Do you think that people who polka wear polka dot outfits?
At any rate, the world went "dotty" back in the 50's and 60's. Buddy Guy plays a signature Fender that is black with cream dots. I bet you remember the song, "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini",
by Brian Hyland. It was a hit and made the dots even more popular.
Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball wore polka dot dresses. Jackie O and Grace Kelly wore them too. It's very tricky though.  How can you  wear polka dots and not look like a clown?
Other than the fashion world, there were dots galore. There were kitchen items, games like dominos and tidley winks, and the movie 101 Dalmations, just to name a few.
Believe it or not, I had an aunt named Dottie. I just loved saying aunt Dottie. I didn't really know if it was her real name, but thought she was lucky to have it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

See It, Hear It, Get It!

I bet this brings back some memories! Remember
falling asleep with that earplug dangling out of your ear listening to rock and roll  under the covers?
The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially sold transistor radio. It was designed and manufactured in the United States. For just one year in 1954, about 100,000 were sold for $49.95. That was alot of money back then, but that radio was a must have.
The transistor was invented years earlier at Bell Telephone Labs but the non-military application was limited to the hearing aid market. So, in 1954, the sweet innovative radio, the first of it's kind hit the streets.
This little radio could fit in your pocket and how cool it was to ride your bike and listen to tunes. This invention was a significant achievment since it included a high fidelity, high volume speaker and a single battery supply! Designed for AM broadcasts only as FM was not in the picture.
The four colors, black, cloud grey, mandarian red and ivory were the standard colors. For a little more money, you could get the pearlescent colors like lavender, pearl, white, turquoise, shell pink and lime. The optional earphone was an extra $7.50, but we all know we had to have that.
Regency president, Ed Tuder had a market stategy for these radios. He figured that wilth the cold war going on and the fear of a nuclear attack (the bomb) from the USSR, these transistor radios were going to be an essential life survival item. I suppose you could get a good signal while sitting in your bomb shelter.
I don't think we stuck that earplug in our ears to hear the news of the bomb. We just wanted our rock and roll. We became "transistorized." We could play our music and our parents couldn't even hear it!
Walter Brahaun, the co-inventor of the transistor, complained that his only regret was that it stimulated rock and roll.