that's great!!! yes, this needs to be preserved...!
we need to get a nice bronze sculpture going of YOU for willis wonderland, allee! i've even got the connection, as dean k's brother brett works at this famous bronze foundry in kalamazoo - http://www.alchemistfoundry.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=32 - they're responsible for many of the bronze statues you'll see around the country...dean's brother was recently out here to deliver their statue of broadcaster chick hearn to the staples center: http://www.staplescenter.com/doublecol.php?section=about&page=news_article&news_id=759
better that you art direct it now rather than someone else many many many years from now who'll surely put you in the wrong clothes and mess up your hairstyle!!!
even though i have the pleasure of visiting willis wonderland in person quite frequently, it's been a true treat seeing it in 24 parts through your lens, denny! encore!
apparently, the "aunt carmela" on the cover of this record is actually a guy named "paulie 'teardrop' ciaurella" of the group "the teardrops," a band which appears on this record. evidently paulie teardrop did well with his "aunt carmela" character, as "her" image was once featured on a half-million six packs of soda as a promotion for this album.
as of a couple years ago, paulie teardrop was still performing regularly at an italian restaurant at caesars in atlantic city. here's an interesting story i found on him (the actual url with a recent photo of him is http://www.shorenewstoday.com/columns/music-first.htm -scroll down to the second story on the page) :
Living legend Paulie Teardrop strolls Caesars
(Music First with Jennifer Scott)
February 18, 2008
Paulie Teardrop, named the ‚ÄúToast of Atlantic City‚Äù by radio host Joe Ranielli, has been performing in Atlantic City for years, a real legend right here in our own back yard. His storied career makes him one of the last of his kind.
Paulie ‚ÄúTeardrop‚Äù Ciaurella, and his brother, Tony, started making music in the early 1950s as the Teardrops. Born in East Harlem, they would pack up their instruments, and take their show on the road.
‚ÄúI was about 15 and my brother Tony and I would take the train to Orchard Beach,‚Äù Paulie said. ‚ÄúI played guitar and Tony played accordion and we‚Äôd both sing and play until the police kicked us off the beach. Somehow it caused a commotion that they were not used to, but we loved it.‚Äù
The Teardrops became known for their Italian songs and show, unique to the era. From opening at New York‚Äôs Copacabana Club in 1953, to Las Vegas and ultimately Atlantic City, The Teardrops were a fixture. They recorded ‚ÄúAunt Carmella‚Äôs Italian Favorites‚Äù for RCA and Laurie Records in 1961 and the rest, as they say, is history.
‚ÄúTill‚Äù became a hit and the album was RCA‚Äôs top selling ethnic album that year. One million copies later, a gold record was presented to The Teardrops. The album is a mix of Italian songs and a little bit of comedy thrown in. Paulie‚Äôs ‚Äúcharacter,‚Äù Aunt Carmella, showed up on 500,000 Manhattan Soda six packs hawking the album. It had a tear off mail in coupon with a special ‚ÄúManhattan Soda‚Äù discount, all for $5.98, areal 1960‚Äôs celebrity sponsorship.
Soon after, another album with Aunt Carmella, a.k.a. Paulie Teardrop, was recorded, ‚ÄúMore Italian Favorites,‚Äù and the success continued. More high profile gigs and shows, over 20 albums, two Rolls Royces, pink Cadillacs, celebrity romances and the years pass in a whirlwind of lights and action.
Many things are evident as you walk into Paulie Teardrop‚Äôs home. The gold record for the Teardrop‚Äôs song ‚ÄúTill‚Äù is displayed proudly, along with ‚Äúcollectors‚Äù gold records by Elvis Presley, Tony Orlando, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. There are posters and programs with the Teardrops and other headliners. Autographed baseballs, vinyl records, videocassettes and books abound. There are walls of photos, many of them signed, by every known entertainer from the 1950s through the present, people and celebrities that The Teardrops shared the stage with or just came to enjoy their legendary show. All stars on the rise, all posing with their friends The Teardrops, Paulie and Tony. Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Durante, Red Buttons, Johnny Carson, Connie Francis, Tony Bennet, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Dinah Washington, and so many more.
Paulie has an amazing memory for dates and many stories to go with the pictures.
‚ÄúOne of the proudest days of my life was on September 23, 1983 when I sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium,‚Äù he says as he points out a picture of two very young Yankees, Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin, at the Copa with their friends The Teardrops.
The stories include one about the Beatles,
‚ÄúIn 1963 while touring the Guild Company guitar shop, Paul McCartney saw the personalized ‚ÄòPaul‚Äô rod cover on my guitar that was being built by Carolo Greco,‚Äù says Paulie. ‚ÄúHe had to have it. So Carolo took it out and gave it to him. I got another, but I share more than a name with Mr. McCartney.‚Äù
The mate to that guitar, constructed of tiger spruce with inlaid ebony and pearl ‚Äúteardrops‚Äù now resides in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. A recognized national treasure, the guitar is named ‚ÄúThe Teardrop.‚Äù
Sadly, Tony passed away in the early 1980s, but Paulie Teardrop carried on.
‚ÄúI moved to Atlantic City on June 13, 1984 to perform at Primavera Restaurant with Peter ‚ÄúFingers‚Äù Girardi on accordion. I‚Äôve been in Atlantic City ever since,‚Äù Paulie said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve been through all the changes, all the ups and downs. I had an offer in the 1990s to move to Las Vegas for double my salary, but Atlantic City is home. I couldn‚Äôt leave.‚Äù
Paulie Teardrop is the one of the last strolling musicians performing anywhere, certainly the last in Atlantic City. You can see this living legend as he strolls through Primavera in Caesars Casino singing and playing his Italian songs every Saturday night at from 7-11 p.m.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve performed every single New Year‚Äôs Eve for the last 58 years,‚Äù he says.
Truly, a legend.
Primavera Restaurant is located inside Caesars Casino, 2100 Pacific Ave., in Atlantic City. Call 800-223-7277 for more information.
yes, allee, you need a line in target!
wow, this guy who made it, erick erickson, has an interesting story - it says he got his start by designing prizes for cracker jacks!
this is indeed a really ugly dog! nice! i love that the colorist couldn't be bothered with any facial details whatsoever...
thanks, yes, i guess the top part is technically a shirt, but i often wear it as a jacket. the pants were way too small from the very beginning, but i had to get 'em anyway, naturally, to maintain the integrity of the complete jungle outfit. perhaps i need to see about letting them out.
i'm not sure what kind of material it is - there are no tags of any kind remaining, but it seems like full-on cotton, kinda thick (almost denim-esque), not at all slippery like it has any (or much) polyester involved.
yes, i am baffled about the ankle-pockets - never seen that before and can't think of any logical strategy behind it other than sheer kitschy decoration.
i was in detroit visiting a few friends there, early-90s this particular trip - and of course i always like to explore a thrift shop or two when i'm traveling anywhere...can't remember the name of the store...
yes, wanna see 'em!!!
ah yes, my older brother had this, i sort of inherited it as a kid, but the whole camp granada thing was before my time and i remember being baffled (and yet intrigued) by it...i'm pretty sure this is still in our attic back in s.c....
i love the expression on his face...are they fighting or dancing?
are these the old boxes that had little cardboard wheels that actually folded down so they could stand? i don't think they make those anymore....
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