Listen on Online Radio Box! Boss Radio 66Boss Radio 66

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Make with the Shake! Thursday at 8pm eastern!

Get carried away to another world of sound with tonight's episode of Make with the Shake! Join DJ Pat K on another excursion through the sounds of vintage soul, r&b, surf, and garage on an all-new live episode! Tune in at 8pm eastern via the free WFMU app, or click here for the livestream, playlist, chat, and archive! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Mid-Week Movie Break: The Monster Of Piedras Blancas

This week we utilize our Mid-Week Movie Break to hit the beach! Not the sunny, surfer-filled beaches of Hawaii, Southern California, or Lake City, MN,  but the craggy, brackish lighthouse property on the coastal outskirts of Piedras Blancas, CA. Get your baggies on and remember — six feet apart!

A page from issue 18 of The Monster Times,
spotlighting TMOPB.
The Monster Of Piedras Blancas is a sleepy little creature feature produced by Vanwick Productions, and is largely the culmination of favors called in by producer Jack Kevan, a makeup specialist and effects engineer who worked under the infamous Bud Westmore at Universal. You can watch the trailer here, or the entire picture here. It features a bevy of familiar faces from the world of 1950s television and b-film celluloid, like Les Tremayne (The Angry Red Planet, The Monolith Monsters) and Forrest Lewis (The Thing That Couldn’t Die), and features some shocking-for-its-time gore, especially when compared to what companies like AIP and Universal-International were putting out concurrently. The story hinges on a persnickety lighthouse keeper named Sturges forming a relationship with a legendary sea monster after his wife passes away. Lonely and isolated, Sturges (John Harmon, veteran radio, television and film actor who has appeared in key episodes of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, The Rifleman and others) discovers that the rumored monster is real and starts to leave meat scraps for it. The monster grows dependent on Sturges’s offerings, so much so that years later when Sturges arrives at the local grocer’s store a day late and doesn’t get the scraps, the monster goes on a  killing spree. In the mix to add to the drama is Sturges’s daughter Lucille, back from college for the summer, and her new beau, a young scientist simply named Fred.

The opening shot to the Flipper episode "Flipper's Monster".
Our young protagonists Fred and Lucille, simply credited as “The Boy” and “The Girl”, are played by Jeanne Carmen and Don Sullivan. Carmen was a pinup queen and actress who starred with Jayne Mansfield in The Untamed Youth and was a familiar face within the pages of men’s magazines of the time. She was also an uncredited stripper in the Betty Page burlesque film Striporama and was the first female trick-shot golfer. You can hear her tell it all here. Yes, it would be criminal to neglect the fact that she was also in a Three Stooges short, “A Merry Mix-Up”, even if it was during the waning Joe Besser years. Sullivan is probably better known for his starring role in the teens vs. monster cult classic The Giant Gila Monster, which came out the same year. We get to hear Don rock out in Gila Monster with his ukulele, crooning “The Mushroom Song,” which you can see/hear here.  Carmen allegedly had some ties to the Kennedys and the mob and was advised to make herself scarce after Marilyn Monroe turned up dead, eventually moving to Arizona where she lived in obscurity for decades. Sullivan left the entertainment business to become a chemist and entrepreneur for the cosmetic hair care industry. 
Jeanne Carmen in a publicity still from The Three Stooges short A Merry Mix-Up.
Carmen is third from the left, cuddling up to Joe Besser.

The picture was produced by Jack Kevan and production partner Irvin Berwick, a one-time dialog editor for Columbia who had worked with William Castle and Jack Arnold, so he was already entrenched in the ways of the low budget sci-fi/horror/monster movie. Tired of working in obscurity in largely thankless and uncredited roles for the studios, Kevan and Berwick decided to try their hand at becoming independent producers, hence Vanwick Productions. The picture was made for around $29,000 with a number of favors and at-cost help being utilized from Kevan’s old connections at Universal. To my knowledge the only other picture Vanwick Productions ever had a hand in producing is a seedy 1966 drama called The Street Is My Beat, filmed in Texas. Kevan and Berwick did work together again however on pictures like Crown International’s The 7th Commandment (1961).

Don Sullivan on his book The Perfect Look:
Don Sullivan's Hair Care Secrets
Jack Kevan had helped develop the Gill-man suit for the Creature From The Black Lagoon and the applications for the titular creatures in The Mole People; elements of both were used in the Piedras Blancas monster costume, as well as pieces from the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth. The Piedras Blancas suit surfaced again years later in the 1965 Flipper tv series episode “Flipper’s Monster”, where Flipper comes across a low-budget monster movie production. The episode was directed by none other than Ricou Browning, the man who wore the Gill-man suit for the underwater shots in Creature From The Black Lagoon and can be seen here. The Monster Of Piedras Blancas was directed by Berwick, whose son Wayne makes an appearance as the little boy who finds the headless grocer. The film is ably acted for the most part. If anything it’s really the pacing that keeps it from being something special, which by no means should imply that it’s unwatchable. It’s a by-the-numbers late 1950s low budget monster movie which tries to make up for its short changing you on action with a mild dose of gore vis-a-vis some decapitated heads. Berwick went on to direct low budget pictures like Strange Compulsion, Malibu High and Hitch Hike To Hell through the early 1980s. Kevan, who helped with makeup effects on everything from The Wizard of Oz to Abbott And Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde to The Incredible Shrinking Man, seems to have abandoned the Hollywood game for the most part after The Monster Of Piedras Blancas and by the mid-sixties had joined Don Sullivan in the cosmetics field, as indicated by this 1965 article (below) from the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Honolulu Star Bulletin article highlighting the career of Jack Kevan.
Though the film was largely forgotten after it’s release, it’s a fun little foam rubber monster romp that has endured mostly as an iconic still image of the titular monster brandishing one of the aforementioned severed heads, featured regularly in monster magazines of the 1960s and 70s, forcing itself onto the must-see lists of a whole generation of monster kids who were probably unlikely to find it before the advent of home video, save in a truncated 8mm print released to the consumer market. Punk aficionados will recognize the famous still of the monster and rubber head from the cover of the Angry Samoans’s 1982 debut LP “Back From Samoa”. 
Packaging of the Super 8 home movie version of
The Monster of Piedras Blancas.

While The Monster Of Piedras Blancas isn’t as strong a fish-man monster film as even the weakest of the Universal Creature From The Black Lagoon trilogy, nor nearly as revered a cult classic as Del Tenney’s The Horror Of Party Beach, I still recommend a viewing.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Let's Go Down in the Congo!!!

Well, I couldn't torture you folks (or myself) any longer, and I've got the time at the moment to whip this together. Plus, who couldn't use something cool to listen to today? Or you could use this to annoy your rug rats, or that roommate who thinks he's too cool to groove to wild vocal group sounds!

Here are all the Vocal Group 45's of the Week in a handy dandy download, in case you missed any along the way! Delete all those other files and stick with this. They've been sequenced etc so you can throw them into iTunes and be on your way. OR burn it to a CD and go from there.

This is Volume 2, Volume 1 was called Bottle Up and Go Do the Hunch! Which you can find on Ichiban if you missed it. Just use the search engine in the upper left hand corner!

So Take My Hand and LETS_GO_DOWN_IN_THE_CONGO! (download)

Thanks to the fabulous J.R. Williams for the cover!

Kogar tSA

Make with the Shake | Thursday at 8!

Tonight on Ichiban, get suited up and join DJ Pat K as he broadcasts a brand new episode of Make with the Shake LIVE from his underground bunker! Live dangerously while keeping safe, and catch a brand new set of wild soul, r&b, garage, and surf sounds fresh off the turntable! Click here for the livestream, playlist, chat and archive. Only on Ichiban!

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

SO_BLUE (listen/download)

This lovely and timely ballad concludes the 2nd volume of "Vocal Group of the Week" 45's! The complete edition will be available for download soon and features a slick cover by J.R. Williams.

My next 45 of the week series has yet to be determined, but I will start that in the coming weeks!

Thanks Everyone for the positive feedback!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mid-week Movie Break

Hi there! My name is Josh and I’ve been invited to contribute a regular film feature to the mighty WFMU Ichiban blog! My goal is to do a regular weekly focus on great pop cultural artifacts from the early days of cinema through the early 1970s, likely regularly featuring the names and faces found indelibly revered on the mighty Rex’s Fool's Paradise memorial playlists.

I figured I’d utilize my inaugural post to focus on something we could all use a little of right now, and that’s levity. We’ll get to the rubber monsters, masked adventurers and secret agents later, but right now I’d like to highlight a comedy classic that works two-fold with the modus operandi of this here music-talky blog, which is highlighting great ephemera from the early half of the previous century, and providing a musical element that can be appreciated as an obscure piece of pop music history as well. The feature in question is Abbott And Costello’s Comin’ Round The Mountain; the 1951 Universal feature that follows their meeting the Invisible Man, and prefaces their being Lost In Alaska. 

Margaret Hamilton as witch Aunt Huddy in
Comin' Round The Mountain

In Comin’ Round The Mountain, Bud Abbott plays not-quite-adept talent agent Al Stewart, and Lou Costello plays bumbling would-be escape artist Wilbert Smith. When Wilbert’s debut escape attempt goes awry, Stewart’s one lucky break, singer Dorothy McCoy, realizes that Wilbert is a member of her family, the McCoy clan of Kentucky—an old hill folk family that has claim to a lost treasure secreted by clan patriarch Squeeze Box McCoy. Dorothy and the boys head back to the hills to stake a claim on the hidden treasure. In the interim, the cast runs afoul of a love potion concocted by show-stealing hill witch Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz, 13 Ghosts), forced marriages, and reigniting a feud between the McCoy clan and their rivals, the Winfields, lead by Glenn Strange in the hillified role of Devil Dan. Obviously some of the Abbott and Costello routines in the picture haven’t aged well in the eye of modern sensibilities, and the played-for-laughs running theme of child brides will likely cause some clenched teeth, but overall the humor still stands strong. The hillbilly kinfolk are portrayed in the broadest Li’l Abner stereotypes this side of an episode of Hee-Haw; this isn't a Herschell Gordon Lewis production. Think torso-long beards, shapeless felt hats and moonshine jugs corked with corn cobs. There are numerous musical pieces by co-star Dorothy Shay "The Park Avenue Hillbillie" and they are fantastic in the Spike Jones / Stan Freberg vein of humorous novelty numbers. The film also features some other recognizable faces, including character actor and dialectician Robert Easton (The Giant Spider Invasion) and singer/actress Shaye Cogan, who can be seen/heard singing “Pathway To Sin” in the 1957 Alan Freed vehicle Mr. Rock ’n’ Roll here. She also starred again with Abbott And Costello the following year in the 1952 color feature Jack And The Beanstalk

Poster for a double bill of Comin' Round The Mountain paired with the 1948
Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride (not as Ma & Pa Kettle) film Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin'.

Co-star Dorothy Shay (born Sims) had a rather ironic career trajectory: born in Jacksonville, Florida, Shay took professional singing lessons to try and lose her southern twang to find success as a professional singer. Later, after she found fame by performing a hillbilly novelty tune “Uncle Fud” with the Morton Gould orchestra, she made her way as a solo novelty act, billed as Dorothy Shay “The Park Avenue Hillbillie”. Shay recorded a handful of records, starting with The Park Avenue Hillbillie Sings on Capitol in 1946, and eventually moved to Columbia. By the early 1960s she had changed career paths to become a bit player in television shows like Adam-12, The Virginian, The Brady Bunch and The Waltons. 

You can watch/hear Shay perform "A Little Western Town Called Beverly Hills" here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We Have A Facebook Group!

WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Public group · 4,583 members
Join Group
Alternate webstream from the Freeform Station Of The Nation, WFMU. Tune in for the best in obscuro hits from the 50's and 60's mixed with vintage com...

Thursday, April 16, 2020

It Be's That Way Sometimes

Roger & The Gypsies: Pass The Hatchet
Naomi Shelton & The Knights feat. Cliff Driver: Wind Your Clock (pts. 1 & 2)
Nina Simone: It Be's That Way Sometimes
Dee Dee Gartrell: I Must Be Doing Something Right
Chee Chee Scott: I Can't Turn You Loose
Ella Thomas & The Starlets: If You Leave Me
Lavern Baker: Bumble Bee
Jay Stutes & C. Crochet's Hillbilly Ramblers: Sugar Bee
Della Thomas with Hopeton Jonson Orch.: Let It Roll (Everybody)
Billy Thompson: Black Eyed Girl
Gene Chandler: Mr. Big Shot
Elaine Hill: You're Gonna Get It In The Same Old Way
Hermon Hitson: She's A Bad Girl
Renee Perri: I Aim To Please
Francine King: Two Fools
Inell Young: The Next Ball Game
The Symphonic Four: Who Do You Think You're Fooling (pt. 1)
The Stone Creations: Hands On A Golden Key
Doris & Kelley: You Don't Have To Worry
The Destinations: I Can't Leave You
Alvin Christy: I Don't Know What You Got
Gene Anderson: The Loneliest One
Bob & Gene & The Inversions: I Can't Stand These Lonely Nights
Ikebe Shakedown: Kumasi Walk

Make with the Shake | Thursday at 8pm eastern!

Tonight at 8pm eastern DJ Pat K is powered up and ready to transmit another tough-as-nails episode of Make with the Shake! Tune in for a brand new set of electrifying soul, r&b, garage, and surf sounds guaranteed to blow your circuits and shake the rust off your bolts! Click here to tune into the livestream, get in on the chatboard, see the playlist, and hear the archive!

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

LIL_TIPA_TINA! (listen/download)

One more week till this compilation is finished!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

YOU_TICKLE_ME_BABY! (listen/download)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Real Nitty Gritty! This morning on DJ Roulette

The Real Nitty Gritty is up next at 11:00 AM ET on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban! Savage R&B, frantic freakbeat, gruesome garage, gutbucket blues, greasy rockabilly, sweaty soul, & sleazy instrotrash platters spun for your enjoyment. Follow the link for the live stream, playlist and comments:

Friday, April 3, 2020

Apostrophe Now!

Larry & The Loafers: Panama City '61
The Nashville Five: Walk Don't Run '64
The Kingsmen: Louie Louie '64 ... '65 ... '66
The Venture: Walk Don't Run '64
April Stevens: Teach Me Tiger 1965
Davie Allan & The Arrows: Moon Dawg '65
The Rivieras: California Sun '65
Sandy Nelson: Teen Beat '65
Johnny Preston: Running Bear '65
Hal Blaine: Topsy '65
The Motions: Bumble Bee '65
The Trashmen: Bird "65"
Jack Ely & The Courtmen: Louie Louie '66
The Shirelles: I Met Him On A Sunday '66
The Blue Comets: Blue Comets '66
New Hollywood Argyles: Alley Oop '66
Andre Williams: Pass The Biscuits '67
Del Shannon: Runaway '67
Santo & Johnny: Sleep Walk '68
Tex Williams: Smoke Smoke Smoke–'68
Donovan: Catch The Wind '69
The Shadows Of Knight: Gloria '69
Dee Clark: Raindrops '73
William DeVaughn: Be Thankful For What You Got 1980
Andre Williams: Just Because Of A Kiss '86
Larry & The Loafers: Panama City Blues '62

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

TELL_THE_tRUTH!! (listen/download)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


W/ Nathaniel Mayer

Meet Masayo, aka Grouchy Moose!  She is the voice you hear on all of the WFMU Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban jingles.  From "Do the Popeye with me" to "Get Lost Squares" and everyone's favorite, "Ichiban-Saico"!

You've probably also heard Sato & Jonny's #1 hit on Ichiban: Take The F Train.