A Halloween Treat….The Transylvania Twist

Baron Daemon

When I was growing up we had a local tv program here in Syracuse, NY called The Baron and His Buddies, which aired from 1963 until 1967. It starred Mike Price as a vampire named Baron Daemon and his fans were nicknamed his “Bloody Buddies”. The Baron originated as a Saturday night horror movie host but the character proved to be so popular with children that the Baron was given a daily program so parents didn’t have to let their kids stay up late to see him. The show featured the Baron and his sidekicks Very Hairy (Dennis Calkins) and Boris (the late Bill Eadie)….in between comedy bits there would be cartoons or a serial such as Flash Gordon.

Baron Daemon 2

The above photo is an example of a typical studio audience for the show….quite often the audience would be comprised of kids from various groups, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and, on one occasion, my Brownie troop. I remember this set very much and, as I recall, if you were a member of the audience and turned to your right you would see this….the Baron’s “space ship”. (This was the mid-60s, after all.)

Baron Daemon 3

About the only other thing that I remember from my visit to the show was that we all were given goodie bags that contained candy and a photo of Baron Daemon. My photo disappeared long ago but thanks to the internet, I believe that this was what we received:

Baron Daemon 4

Now for the treat. Somebody at WNYS decided that the Baron should record a novelty song, The Transylvania Twist, which featured local recording artists Sam and the Twisters and the Bigtree sisters. (Both acts were collectively billed as “The Vampires” for the record.) A wonderful piece about how the record came to be can be found here.

Trasylvania Twist

And now, from a tv special about the Baron, here is The Transylvania Twist:



Random Thought of the Day

random thought of the day

Where DO those missing socks wind up after they’ve disappeared from the dryer?

Shepard Smith: Voice of Reason

shepard smith

There has been way too much hype  by the news media over the Ebola “crisis” these past few days and on Wednesday afternoon Fox News (!) anchor Shepard Smith became the voice of reason on the subject. He very calmly explained the facts about the situation and took everybody spreading panic about the disease to task. I have been a fan of Shepard Smith for over a decade and this may have been his finest moment….kudos to him for calling out the fear mongers. Watch:


John Denver: A Celebration

John Denver

John Denver was and still is my favorite singer….it is hard to believe that it has been 17 years now since he died in that plane crash off the coast of Monterey, California. However, I choose to remember him not with sadness, but with a celebration of his career. In doing so, I thought that I would share a few video clips that I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Here is a clip of John with Cass Elliot in a duet of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on The Midnight Special  on August 19th, 1972:

I’ve posted this next clip before here but I like it so much that I just have to share it again….John and Doris Day from 1975 singing a medley of “Sunshine” songs:

Next up is the video for “Don’t Close Your Eyes Tonight” from 1985….I always enjoyed the sexiness of this one:

John worked very well with the Muppets and I love this performance of “Grandma’s Feather Bed”….”Grandma” even appears near the end:

Here’s a nice duet of “September Song” with John and Frank Sinatra:

John’s final song was called “Yellowstone, Coming Hone”….he did record it but it was never released (it was played at his memorial in Aspen)…but there is an audio recording of him singing it at his last concert in Houston, TX on October 4th, 1997:

I can’t think of a better way to end this celebration of John Denver than with a performance of my very favorite of all his songs….”Perhaps Love”. This was the very first time I heard this beautiful song….this clip is from the special that MSNBC aired after John died but it originally aired on Tomorrow on December 3rd, 1980 (despite what it says on the screen):


Saturday Morning Memories


This article made me kinda sad….for the first time in over 50 years there are no Saturday morning cartoons airing on any of the broadcast networks.

Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation’s home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid’s weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won’t find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It’s the end of an era.

Yes, The CW, the final holdout in Saturday morning animation, ran its last batch of Vortexx cartoons last weekend. This week, where you once saw shows like Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll instead find “One Magnificent Morning,” a block of live-action educational programming.

It’s the end of an era, but it’s been a long time coming: NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS followed suit not long after, and ABC lost its animated weekend mornings in 2004. The CW, a lower-tier broadcast network, was the last holdout in a game that the Big 3 left long ago.

I know that there are classic cartoons running on cable networks, not to mention the fact that kids and/or their parents can pop in a DVD….but it’s just not the same as parking yourself in front of the tv set with a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning and waiting for some of the following classic cartoon openings.

This was my all-time favorite – The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show. This begins with something that kids today know nothing about: the CBS network “tone” that was heard before the beginning of every program.

Here’s a few more Saturday morning favorites….

The Flintstones

The Jetsons


Beany and Cecil (the opening)

Beany and Cecil (the closing)

There are so many more that I could have included – maybe I’ll do a follow-up someday – but for now….

Ester Goldberg

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