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Daily Archives: July 18, 2011

Who Loves Old Movies?

I find myself watching TCM (Turner Classic Movies) more than any other channel on the television. A lot of the newer movies have to keep your attention with special effects and explosions and all kinds of razzle dazzle. The older movies keep your attention with good ole story telling. If you don’t ever take time to consider an old movie or just don’t know what to consider I can give you a couple of suggestions. By watching these terrific films you keep them alive. In most cases they have more to offer than any film made today.

Night of the Hunter:

North by Northwest:

Cool Hand Luke:

A Face in the Crowd:

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre:

Key Largo:

This is a good start. Like I said before these have more on the ball than anything out there.


Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Lazy Susan Coffee Table M1576

Anybody who is into mid-century furnishings knows Heywood-Wakefield. They have been in business since before the turn of the century. Their design and quality is unmistakable. Recently we were able to piece together a living room table set off of Craigslist. We had to drive all over the central valley and the bay to acquire all four pieces. We ended up finding two matching end tables, “lazy susan” coffee table & also a corner table. As is normal for original used Heywood-Wakefield pieces the finish was peeling and there were stains on the surface. This did not concern me because I knew that they were made of solid wood. I could sand off any imperfections and it will look like new. My intention was to sand all pieces and then stain them with Minwax “Ipswich Pine” stain. After I had applied a few coats and they had dried I then used a spray on polyurethane with a semi-gloss finish. Once the polyurethane had dried I light sanded and then applied another coat. I did this about 3 times. Since I do not have a paint booth it is nearly impossible to get a perfect finish. Not to worry, all you need is some “0000” steel wool. I then took some car wax and applied a good amount to the steel wool and began to rub in the direction of the wood grain. I let it dry then buffed it off. The finish was nice and smooth and the semi gloss finish compliments these pieces well. Here are some pictures of the process and how it turned out.

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Seeburg Library Unit 1

I purchased this off of Craigslist a while ago and finished the restoration not too long ago. It had the original blond finish but it was flaking off and just didn’t look good. I decided I wanted to refinish the piece with a really nice teak veneer. I went to a specialty wood shop and put a sheet on order (cost around $200). I then swung by Lowes and picked up adhesive for the veneer and awaited its arrival. While I waited for arrival of the veneer I found a man by the name of Ryan Seal who is well-known in the Seeburg community to restore all the mechanics in it. He showed up and took the whole unit to his house to start the mechanical restoration. He called me when I could come get the cabinet to restore it while he worked on the mechanics of the jukebox. When I got the cabinet back I sanded it and cleaned it up. Not too long after my veneer arrived and I began to apply it. I decided to paint the front trim black so it would look richer with the gold and the color of the wood grain. I also ordered new Seeburg and control decals and applied those. I am lucky that this jukebox had its original stand and external amp.

Here it is before resto (excuse the poor quality of the photo).

I also found some external Seeburg satellite speakers on Craigslist that I am in the process of restoring. I have finished one so far.

I think this unit looks great and sounds even better. Let me know what you think.

Click Images to Enlarge

Melody recently traveled to Memphis and went to Graceland. We had been told that both Elvis and Frank Sinatra had one of these units in their homes. Melody located it in the “Yellow Room” of Elvis’s home. It is in the corner of the room to the right of the T.V.’s built into the wall.


Here you can see where Elvis had the same jukebox placed in the wall of his TV room in Graceland.


Bill Haley and the Comets! Man those cats can really go!

Man I wish I could swing like that but I think I would tear something! I was born in the wrong era.

Here is some background on Bill and the Comets. He did so much more then the theme to “Happy Days”:

Bill Haley and his Comets was a rock and roll band of the 50s led by guitarist Bill Haley, one of the earliest groups of white musicians to record rock and roll bring it to the attention of white America and the rest of the world. Haley was a country performer who converted to rock and roll almost before there was such a thing.

Although several members of the Comets became famous, Bill Haley was the star. With his spit curl and the band all in plaid dinner jackets jumping about, many fans consider them to be as revolutionary in their time as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones were in theirs.

The band was formed as Bill Haley and the Saddlemen c.1949-1950, and performed mostly country and western songs, though occasionally with a bluesy feel. Many Saddlemen recordings would not be released until the 1970s and 1980s, and highlights included romantic ballads such as “Rose of My Heart” and western swing tunes such as “Yodel Your Blues Away.”

Haley began his rock and roll career with a cover of “Rocket 88” in 1951 which sold well and was followed up a cover of a 1940s rhythm and blues song called “Rock the Joint” in 1952. Both songs were released under the increasingly incongruous Saddlemen name. It soon became apparent that a new name was needed to fit the music the band was now playing. A friend of Haley’s, making note of the common alternate pronunciation of the name Halley’s Comet to rhyme with “Bailey”, suggested that Haley call his band The Comets.

The original members of the Comets when the band officially received its new name in the fall of 1952 were Johnny Grande (piano/accordion), Billy Williamson (steel guitar) and Marshall Lytle (string bass). Grande usually played piano on record, but switched to accordion for live shows as it was more portable than a piano and easier to deal with during musical numbers that involved a lot of dancing around.

In 1953, Haley scored his first national success with an original song (co-written by an uncredited Marshall Lytle) called “Crazy Man Crazy”, a phrase Haley said he heard from his teenaged audience.

Later, he added Joey Ambrose on tenor sax and Dick Boccelli (aka Dick Richards) on drums. Along with the other original Comets, plus session musicians Danny Cedrone on electric guitar and Billy Gussak on drums (standing in for Boccelli), this was the group that recorded “Rock Around the Clock” for Decca Records on April 12, 1954. Haley’s biggest hit, and one of the most important records in rock and roll history, “Rock Around the Clock“, started slow but eventually sold an estimated 25 million copies and marked the arrival of a cultural shift.

Bill Haley and the Comets history information provided by:

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