America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, passed away today at the age of 82 in Santa Monica. The cause was an apparent heart attack.
Clark continued to ring in the New Year in Times Square as part of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve even after he suffered a stroke 8 years ago.
Just about every American has rung in one New Year with Clark. Others of us grew up watching American Bandstand, the TV show he hosted from 1956 to 1989.
This photo, making the interwebs today as we scramble to offer our online condolences to a man we never met, probably best captures the forever youthfulness of the TV personality we knew.
It was taken in 1952 by photographer Phillippe Halsman and appears in his famous “Jump Book” which shows famous people from Brigid Bardot to Richard Nixon jumping. Yes, jumping in the air, which even for Nixon, is typically an act of joy.
Read more about Halsam and the Jump book here.
Happy 50th Birthday, Mets!
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the inaugural New York Mets season. The Mets played their first major league game on April 11, 1962, which makes them officially a 50-year-old franchise.
When I was growing up in southern Connecticut, which was kind of an honorary extension of New York City, the Mets were newbies not to be taken seriously. They were a team made up of has-beens and peculiar draft choices to fill a National League void left in America’s biggest city by the departure of the Dodgers and Giants to the West Coast. They weren’t going to convert any Yankee fans.
Their first couple of seasons, as anyone with a working knowledge of baseball knows, were disastrous. The 1962 Mets still hold the record for the most losses in a season - 120! They probably could have added two more losses to that column, but those rained out games were never made up.
The Mets had a few things going for them, though. They were managed by the now-doddering Casey Stengel, who a decade earlier had been the genius manager of the Yankees and their 5 consecutive World Series titles (1949-1953), followed by two more in 1956 and 1958. Revered as the Yankee skipper, by 1962 he was “washed up” in Yankee-land, but took his job with the Mets in stride. He talked all-things “Metsie”, even when he was confusing his players names and being misquoted as saying “Can’t anybody here play this game!?”
The Mets were owned by Mrs. Joan Payson - the first woman to ever purchase a baseball franchise with her own money.
Gil Hodges, a huge star with the Brooklyn Dodgers in his prime, was brought back from the West Coast to play first base.
And, the Mets, in addition to their flashy orange and blue colors, had the best theme song (still do).
Sportswriters, gamblers and champions of the underdog (many of whom seemed to live in the newly minted suburbs of Long Island and southern Connecticut) loved the Mets. They made a good story. When they won, they won big. They were proof that not everyone in the New York metro area wants a “sure thing” all the time (the Yankees).
In 1969, after years of “cellar dwelling” and never finishing better than second to last place, a miracle occurred. The Mets won their division, the league championship and the World Series in 5 games over the Baltimore Orioles! They were the Miracle Mets, yes indeed!
My father went to one of the World Series games that year. He’s a St. Louis Cardinals fan, but at World Series time, if the Cards aren’t in it, he roots for the National League team. This meant that he was pulling for the Mets.
Whenever I see this photo, I think of my Dad’s good luck at scoring a ticket to this historic World Series, even though it was Game 4 he went to, not the miraculous Game 5.
As a lifelong Met fan, this has always been one of my favorite photos of the team. No doubt taken by a professional photographer just moments after the Mets win the World Series, it looks like it was snapped with someone’s Instamatic. It perfectly captures what I remember about all of the Mets’ big games at Shea Stadium. Hotdog wrappers on the field, a crazed fan (or two) caught up in the pandemonium (note the one in the rust-colored pants coming in from the outfield), the sheer unbelievability of it all. Guess what, guys? To be a real winner, you have to know what it’s like to lose.
Note: If you know the real source of this photo, please let me know. I’d like to give credit to the photographer and maybe find out more about their experience of taking such an amazing shot.
In the 1960s Walter Matthau played sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple” on both stage and big screen. And, the Mets were Amazin’.
That moment when The Clash met Warhol.
A little look back at sidewalk surfin’, New York City-style.
From the lens of Photographer Bill Eppridge and brought to our attention by Retronaut, 1960s NYC goes skating. You get the feeling that someone just pulled up with a truck full of boards, handed them out and looked on as everyone went a little nuts. We can’t pretend we weren’t pulled in by the amazing garms some of these guys are sporting but these images are just about big fun. Respect to all the perfectly turned out ladies who don’t even bat an eyelid as out of control kids hurtle towards their ankles. Images via Life.
In 1948 LIFE photographer Martha Holmes captured the most cheerful ‘cult’ you’ll ever see — ‘Who was this Cape Cod Cult?’ You may be wondering… Let us introduce you to the Activationists.
Pictured above, Activationists gather at their Provincetown “headquarters” — an enormous piece of driftwood — in 1948.
LIFE.com offers a eulogy for and heartfelt celebration of the short-lived, playful, and (evidently) exhilarating phenomenon. (see more photos here)
He had the requisite looks, charm, and talent — but it wasn’t until 1969 that Robert Redford truly broke out, guns blazing, as a Hollywood stud.
That was the year of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and also the year that LIFE photographer John Dominis spent a week with the mustached man’s man, as the star mixed business and pleasure at his homes in Utah and New York.
Only a few of the photos Dominis captured made it into the February 1970 LIFE cover story. Here, LIFE presents an entire series of marvelous, unpublished photos of the Hollywood stud.
As freaky as they are fascinating. I came across a group of these a few weeks ago. Iconic photos we all know well in their black and white form that have been “colorized”. Makes you a little queasy, doesn’t it? Kind of like the first time you saw those old classic movies colorized by Ted Turner back in the 1980s.
Shown here (two ways) is the classic black and white photo taken in 1968 by Associated Press photographer Eddie Adams during the Vietnam War. It highlighted the senseless violence of this war literally “point blank” as South Vietnam’s chief of police Nguyen Ngoc Loan prepares to shoot a Viet Cong solider in the head.
You can see more of these, including one as far back as Abe Lincoln, who ironically met a similar fate, here.
Miss Peaches, aka Etta James, passed away on January 20, just five days shy of her 74th birthday. Her music career spanned six decades and six genres: blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Her hard-won success achieved by the ’60s was shattered by heroin addiction. Kicking the habit in 1974, she rebuilt her career, only to suffer later in life from dementia, and leukemia - which was the cause of death. You can read her life story on Wikipedia.
Photo source: Etta James, performing in San Jose, CA in 2000. Photo is by Louis Ramirez from his Flickr profile.