Low Kung Fu!
I was talking with a friend of mine last night and about how much things cost these days, and I jokingly said I’m going to start wearing English Leather or Clubman Pinaud rather than continue shelling out close to $100 for a bottle fancy-schmancy, froo-froo smelling “mens” cologne. She replied by telling me after her father passed away her family found a few unopen bottles of the old aftershave and cologne Hai Karate, the classic 1960s and 1970s product for men.
Discontinued in the early 1980s, Hai Karate was one of those beginner colognes on the same level as Brut and Old Spice, but had one the coolest advertising campaigns of the era. As you see in this television commercial, Hai Karate caused women to go so crazy, that each bottle came with a set of detailed self-defense instructions. Proof that the marketers of Axe know that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, Hai Karate’s tag line was a good one: “Be careful how you use it.”
Since Hai Karate has disappeared from drug store shelves and, also, since the world is in a constant state of retro fever, bottles of Hai Karate are a collector’s item, going for some good money on ebay. It might be worth rummaging through your father’s - or grandfather’s - old boxes in the attic.
Sixteen Tons And What Do You Get …
Blast from the Past!
I’m currently working on an idea for a magazine article I want to pitch about the more bizarre instances in the history of soccer in America. This video is a short highlight reel from the United Soccer Association championship match way back in 1967. The final matched the Los Angeles Wolves against the Washington Whips in an incredibly high-scoring affair with Los Angeles winning 6-5, scoring the winning goal after over 30 minutes of overtime.
The United Soccer Association (USA) is interesting for another rather odd reason, however. The league was originally scheduled to begin play in 1968 but after another star- up league - the National Professional Soccer League - planned to begin play in 1967, USA officials made the decision to move their start up date a year earlier. In order to get teams on the field, league officials imported entire teams from Europe and South America to represent teams in various cities. For instance, the aforementioned L.A. Wolves were actually the Wolverhampton Wanderers from the English Premiere League and the Washington Whips were represented by Aberdeen F.C. from Scotland.
It may come as no surprise that the USA only lasted for one season - as did the NPSL. The rival leagues morphed into the North American Soccer League (NASL), which was America’s only true professional soccer league from 1968 until the league folded in 1984.
Mystery Solved: Trio Los Panchos Explained
A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about the Latin musical group Trio Los Panchos. I snapped a photo of their albums I saw in a discount rack outside of Reed Books here in downtown Birmingham, and mentioned that I had never heard of this group before. Fortunately, a faithful reader of my blog sent me a note recently with the scoop on this interesting and talented group of musicians. Here’s the 4-1-1.
“Trio Los Panchos were an internationally renowned Latin-American group from the 1940s and 1950s. The founding three members were Alfredo Gil and Chucho Navarro (both from Mexico) and Hernando Aviles from Puerto Rico. All of their songs are in Spanish, but they’re beautiful even if you can’t understand them .
The group is known for its romantic love songs/boleros, vocal harmonies, and requinto (smaller and higher pitched) guitars. They recorded a version of the famous Spanish-language song “Besame Mucho” which is wonderful! Anyways, throughout the years the group underwent several changes in its lineup, most notably the addition of Johnny Albino on lead vocals from 1958 until 1968. Their records from this time are some of their most popular.”
For your listening and viewing pleasure, Trio Los Panchos performing Ensalada De Boleros.
I saw this album cover in the $2 discount bin in front of Reed Books, perhaps the greatest resource for old, pop-culture curiosities located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Alabama. I don’t know anything about this group or this record, but it sure looks like these gachós are the life of the party. The photo cover should serve as a motto for every man with sights on being suave and debonair: When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a white tuxedo and a black tie.
I’m dying to hear what this sounds like, but, since I got rid of my record player soon after getting my first Ipod, I’m out of luck. Send me a note if you have any mp3s of these guys or if you’re at all familiar with this group. I’d like to know who they were and to be able to tell a little about their history in a future post.
We have been led to discount, and often to forget altogether, the bearing of taxation on the problem of individual freedom. We have been persuaded that the government has an unlimited claim on the wealth of the people, and that the only pertinent question is what portion of its claim the government should exercise
From The Conscience of a Conservative, by Barry Goldwater.