Saturday, October 31, 2015

Combo: FFB: The anthologies of Betty M. Owen; October's Underappreciated Music; Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links and more

25th anniversary issue; source of "Ghost Hunt"
Illustration by Lee Brown Coye
Please see below for the "Tuesday's" A/V, October Underappreciated Music, and Friday's "Forgotten" Books posts in that order...thanks to all contributors and all you readers (and viewers/auditors!) and happy Hallowe'en...

Dedicated to the memory of Ed Walker...and Maureen O'Hara.

Ali Karim: Bouchercon

Anne Billson: The Heat and its cat

Anonymous: Maureen O'Hara;  Short Term 13; The Dark Corner; The Professionals

Anonymous 4 (my early-music-loving friend) recommends:

Bhob Stewart: Jack Kerouac reads Dr. Sax; One Fast Move or I'm Gone

Bill Crider: Never Too Late [trailer]

Brian Arnold: And Now the Screaming Starts!

B. V. Lawson: Media Murder

Short Horror Films #1:
"The Empty Space In Between" (some nudity)

The Empty Space In Between from Maria Tornberg on Vimeo.

Colin: Shotgun

Comedy Film Nerds: Tyler Smith and David Bax

Cullen Gallagher: Blood and Lace

Cynthia Fuchs: Life Itself

Dan Stumpf: Malpertuis (aka The Legend of Doom House)

Dellamore Dellamorte

David Vineyard: Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man)

Diana B: Early AMC, and TCM now/#LetsMovie

Dorian Bartilucci: North by Northwest

Ed Walker: his last The Big Broadcast

Elizabeth Foxwell: The Chalk Garden

Short Horror Films #2:
"Monster" (the seeds of The Babadook)

Monster - Jennifer Kent from Jennifer Kent on Vimeo.

Evan Lewis: Nosferatu (1922) restored

Gary Deane: Hell Bound

George Kelley: Burn, Witch, Burn!

Gilligan Newton-John: There's Nothing Out There

Short Horror Films #3:
"There Are Monsters"

How Did This Get Made?: Death Spa 

Iba Dawson: NY ComicCon

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: The Great American Dream Machine

J. Kingston Pierce: origins of The Streets of San Francisco

Jack Seabrook: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby"

Jackie Kashian: Crazy Stupid Love; Breanna Conley on photobooths

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; Maureen O'Hara

James Clark: The Red Circle 

James Reasoner: The Cat and the Canary (1939 film) 

Janet Varney: All Jane Comedy Festival; Rhea Butcher 

Jerry House: Drop Dead! (Arch Oboler's 1962 album): "The Dark" 

Vincent Price reads Joseph Payne Brennan's "The Calamander Chest" (Caedmon Records)--a favorite story of Jerry Houses's.

Part 2
To hear an earlier Price/Caedmon Hallowe'en/horror-themed album (sleeve below; illustration by Leo and Diane Dillon), please click on this sentence.

John Grant: Blues in the Night; Woman Unafraid 

Jonathan Lewis: Billy the Kid vs. Dracula: The Walking Dead (1936 film); Terror Train

Karen Hannsberry: Guest in the House 

Kelly Robinson: Destiny (1921 film); The Phantom of the Opera (1925 film); Melinmontant; Die Pest in Florenz (aka The Plague in Florence); Warning Shadows (1923 film); Der Golem (1920 film); Au Secours!

Short Horror Films #4:
"The Underpass"

Ken Levine: Friday questions 

Kristina Dijan: The Uninvited (1944 film); Cloverfield; Tremors; The Devil Rides OutRodan; Underrated 1955 films; The Abominable Dr. Phibes; horror films 

Laura G.: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; Appaloosa; Palm Springs Classic Science Fiction Film Festival; Public Hero #1; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 film); Flaxy Martin

Lucy Brown: Mrs. Biggs

Marty McKee: Nightmare in Chicago (longer variation on Kraft Suspense Theater: "Once Upon a Savage Night"); The Zebra Force; The Bubble; Invasion of the Blood Farmers  (my take on "Once Upon a Savage Night" among other work)

Michael Shonk: US commercial broadcast primetime

More short surrealist than horror film:
"Thanatopsis" by Ed Emshwiller

Mystery Dave: Focus 

Patricia Nolan-Hall: 3 Bad Men; Werewolf of London

Patti Abbott: sitcoms; The Dick Van Dyke Show: "It May Look Like  a Walnut"

Pop My Culture: Scott Aukerman 

Prashant Trikannad: Million Dollar Arm

Rick: The Norliss Tapes; Universal's 1940s Mummy films; Hammer's Dracula films from best to worst 

Rod Lott: Trick or Treat (1986 film); Tales of Hallowe'en; Dark Places; The Lodger (2009 film); Hidden (2015 film); Trapped Ashes; Colour-Correct My Cock; The Vatican Tapes; I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine

More short whimsical than horror film, but still kinda: 
"When Tickling Goes Wrong"
(as far as I know, there're no further parts)

"Rupert Pupkin": Twice Upon a Time

Ruth: The Italian Straw Hat 

Salome: The Leopard Man; Asphalt; I Wake Up Screaming

Sam Juliano: City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel)

Scott A. Cupp: Count Yorga, Vampire

Sergio Angelini: Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York  (Yvette Banek on this one.)
Murder, My Sweet

Stacia Jones: Murder, My Sweet

Stephen Bowie: Serge Krizman

Steve Bailey: The Creature with the Atom Brain

Steve Lewis: Mimic; B.A.D. Cats: "Pilot" 

Television Obscurities: favorite '80s obscure series

Todd Mason recommends: "Ghost Hunt", a 1949 episode of Suspense...based on H. Russell Wakefield's story in the 25th anniversary issue of Weird Tales, and a radio predecessor of sorts to all the "found footage" films of the last thirty-forty years.

Victoria Loomes: Twin Peaks: "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer"

Vienna: Maureen O'Hara; The Unknown Man  

Yvette Banek: favorite Hallowe'en films


Harry Partch: The Outsider

Patti Abbott: Music and Songs

Brian Arnold: The Glass Prism: "The Raven"

Jayme Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos

Paul Brazill: A Song for Saturday

Jim C.: The Philly Joe Jones Sextet: "Blues for Dracula"; Dave Pike

Moondog: "Fog on the Hudson"

Steve Coleman: The Small Faces: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake; Cory Wells

Bill Crider: Song of the Day; Forgotten Hits, Local Charts; The Bobby Fuller Four

Jeff Gemmill: Melody Gardot in concert; Greta Isaac; Neil Young in Concert,1989; Top 5s

Jerry House: John McCutcheon on the hammered dulcimer; Daily Music+; Hymn Time

George Kelley: David Bowie: Five Years (1969-73)

Fanny: "Ain't That Peculiar"

Kate Laity: "I Put a Spell on You"; The Classics IV: "Spooky"

Steve Lewis, Jonathan Lewis, Mike Doran and Michael Shonk: Music I'lm Listening To

Todd Mason: A Quick World Tour; Some Television Theme Music (and songs thus employed)

Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

Charlie Ricci: Paul Desmond: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings featuring Jim Hall; Cory Wells

Blue Rose: "River of Change"


Betty M. Owen was an editor most visibly for Scholastic Book Services in the 1960s and '70s...and her most prolific contributions were of the horror and associated weird fiction anthologies she produced for Scholastic, along with some other compilations (her 1966 Christmas carol anthology, with fellow SBS anthologist Mary MacEwan, featured transcriptions/arrangements by none other than a relatively young Carla Bley) of more than passing interest, including a selection of Jack London's short work and two anthologies of fiction from the Scholastic Magazines young writers' contests. A lover of sf, as well, she produced one anthology of more or less purely science fiction content, albeit that was one I've never actually held or seen, as it appeared after I was out of the Scholastic Book Services' reach, for the most part (I was in highs school by then, and occasionally seeing their magazines in class, but for whatever reason we weren't getting the book offers). Perhaps notably, the most prominent book of hers not published by SBS is the critical survey Smorgasbord of Books: Titles Junior High Readers Relish. (Indices courtesy ISFDB.)

Her first horror antho for SBS was:
A fine start, and indicative of her lack of any sort of "purism" among selections that were sfnal, more criminous, and otherwise not necessarily horror per se, though, for example, the Blackwood qualifies by any measure. As someone already having cut his teeth on the eclecticism of the Robert Arthur "Alfred Hitchcock" anthologies, this was not unwelcome. 

This was the first I bought among her books, and it's one of the more dear to me, as it introduced me to Finney with what I still think of as one of his best stories, and generally hewed closely to its stated remit, featuring mostly, at least, true horror as I think of it (supernatural suspense fiction, essentially)...the Poe being one of the relatively few exceptions...also notable that while Owen had mixed mostly classic and relatively "slick" writers in her first book of the outre, she reached just a bit into the more "insider" work of the likes of Evans, Hughes and, still to some extent in 1969, Lovecraft. Though whether she read the Evans in William Sloane's Stories for Tomorrow or Zacherley's Midnight Stew would be a good question to ask if we had the opportunity.

Well, this is probably the best of her anthologies for Scholastic, and probably why I chose it (in 2009, how time escapes) as the only of her books I've covered so far previously among FFB selections. I believe this book, also the first of hers I read in a borrowed copy, introduced me to Lawrence, Calisher and Borges...don't know if also St. Clair and Highsmith, but quite possibly--I suspect I'd read both of them perhaps a bit earlier in Arthur's "Hitchcock" anthologies.

This was the last of Owen's books I purchased as a youth, and by the time I found it, I'd already read the Bierce stories, and a couple of the Hearn and Le Fanu stories, but decided what the hell, let's see what the balance are like. It's an oddly budget-conscious and rather lazy-seeming antho, given it's devoted to three writers whose work was all firmly in the public domain, but perhaps the selections were very dear to Owen. This would also be the last anthology of macabre fiction she placed with SBS.

As noted, I've never owned a copy of this one, published by the time I was reading essentially only books published for adults, anyway, but it, too, is a rather neat collection of chestnuts and at least one obscure selection (the Hood, previously only in a William F. Nolan anthology) and one or two arguably so (though the Felsen had been anthologized by Groff Conklin after appearing in F&SF, and Felsen was reasonably well-known for his YA writing...the Abernathy being one of those stories that people who know the author's name at all tend to think of first). Clearly, SBS was hoping to cash in on some Star Wars/Close Encounters gravy...I wonder why Owen stopped at this point (SBS's notoriously low rates of pay?). 

Below, some of Owen's other work for SBS:
1980s or later reprint.

selections from the Fitzgerald translation
edited by Owen

For more of today's books, please (as almost always) see Patti Abbott's blog.


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Hi Todd, I got a little entry this week — "Million Dollar Arm," 2014. Many thanks.


Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

What a fascinating career she had Todd - thanks for all this great detail about her work. There can;t have been many female editors in the field at the time, I would guess, or am I being reversely sexist?

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Prashant--and further apologies to you and the other contributors for the delays!

Sergio--actually, editorial work has been, in the past century onward and at least in horror and related fields has been one of the relatively egalitarian playing fields...and particularly for those anthologies aimed at younger readers from at latest the 1960s onward, if anything most of the editors were women (Helen Hoke, Manley and Lewis, Kathleen Lines and many others). Fiction editing is probably a majority-female field across the board now, but women have rarely if ever been shut out at least since the pulp days...with Dorothy MacIlwraith at WEIRD TALES (and SHORT STORIES), Mary Gnaedinger at FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES and its stablemates, and folks such as Lila Shaeffer and Bea Mahaffey in key positions at other magazines publishing fantasy and horror...and Daisy Bacon editing DETECTIVE STORY as well as LOVE STORY for Street and Smith...

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Never knew about Betty M. Owen, Todd. She opens a new world of horror and weird fiction for me.

Todd Mason said...

That would surprise me a little, Prashant, as she doesn't dig too obscurely for most of the inclusions in her books...but I forget at first how haphazard your exposure gets to be, since you're reading most of your materials from what has been posted, usually legitimately, on the web...and that is almost all material that has had its copyright lapse. Not the best way to get a well-rounded view of any literature, but an interesting one, particularly when driven by practical necessity.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

True. Without the internet I wouldn't have known about half the writers I do now, especially in sf, horror, and fantasy genres. The web has been a revelation.

Todd Mason said...

But you get to see more scraps that central work, too often, that way. Not that the relatively random nature of such posts doesn't include a lot of fascinating and unfairly obscure work...but it means you've not yet seen most of the best work.

And, in reply to Sergio above, I refer to Lila Schaefer, but misspell her surname. (She worked with Ray Palmer and Howard Browne on Ziff-Davis magazines around the turn of the 1950s, and apparently avocationally aided and encouraged a young Anne McCaffrey in the latter's student days.)

Jerry House said...

Another superb compilation, Todd. Thanks!

Re: Ed Walker. I've enjoyed his BIG BROADCAST for years on WAMU. His longevity on and enthusiam for radio is praise-worthy, from the "Joy Boys" days in college with Willard Scott until his final broadcast. When WAMU announced that October 25 would be his final broadcast and that he was retiring I was a bit surprised. When he died the following day, I was saddened but a part of me thought, "How fitting." The end of an era.

Todd Mason said...

Even before the Joy Boys, which I think was after graduation for him, he was apparently the first blind student to matriculate at American University, and part of the group that established the first radio station at AU, WAMU-AM (which, if it exists at all, is presumably low-power), which was parlayed a decade later into WAMU-FM. Walker was in and out of WAMU in the '70s while doing the Joy Boys at the NBC station (WRC I believe, eventually WWRC after sale in the '80s). WRC was also the home of Joel Spivak's show in the 1980s, a guy who apparently didn't have the best of relations with his father, Lawrence Spivak of Mercury Press and MEET THE PRESS.

Walker was in as host almost as long as the founder of the umbrella package, who also had to step back due to ill health after conducting the show from 1964 to Walker's slow replacement of him around the turn of the 90s. I suspect he wanted to hear how his final episode sounded, as he was succumbing to cancer...remarkable how such things can go...THE BIG BROADCAST is as old as I am, started only two years after CBS finally cancelled SUSPENSE and YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR on the radio network, and nine years before starting THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER...

Thank you, Jerry.