Wanna Buy a Record?

Wanna Buy a Record

Here’s a 1951 promotional film for Capitol Records starring Mel Blanc and Billy May, Wanna Buy a Record? Mel plays a record dealer who lets Billy May and us know, in a comedic way, what went into recording a record, the process of turning that recording into actual discs and how those discs were delivered to your local record store.

Besides Mel and Billy, we also see such people as Harry Stewart (as Yogi Yorgesson), Dean Martin (in the recording studio) and Capitol Records producer/executive Alan Livingston. We also get to see what Hollywood looked like in 1951, with views of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, ABC, NBC and Wallichs Music City, the record store that Mel owns in this scenario – it was actually owned by Capitol Records co-founder Glenn Wallichs.

Enjoy this unusual film….and its bizarre ending!

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Klassic Kovacs

Ernie Kovacs

I became a fan of Ernie Kovacs in 1977 when PBS aired the 10-part series, The Best of Ernie Kovacs, which was mostly comprised of the specials that he produced for ABC from April 1961 until his untimely death in January 1962. I loved his  humor and this bit is one of my favorite Kovacs creations.

If you are unfamiliar with Kovacs’s work, this may not seem all that impressive but by 1961 standards, this was innovative. Kovacs brought a sense of imagination to television and used the medium in ways that nobody else did. I sometimes wonder what he would have done with technology as it progressed….sadly, we’ll never know. But instead of lamenting what might have been, let’s sit back and enjoy this example of the genius of Ernie Kovacs.

Ester Goldberg

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