Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Best Neutron Dancer Ever!

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neutron-Dancer

I’ve seen many improvised dances to my Pointer Sisters song “Neutron Dance” but this girl has a better time kutting loose inside the klutches of Kitch than anyone I’ve ever seen. Describing her style as “Improvisational freestyle spontaneous informal interpretive dancing” Aremisbell, real name Diana Campanella, dances to more high energy songs on YouTube than Madonna. With mouth and finger action for days and pixie-like prancing in overdrive she is, in fact, SO HAPPY doin’ the Neutron Dance. And that makes me SO HAPPY for having written it.

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Categories: Creativity, Dance, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Neutron Dance, People, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage Coppertone Suntan Oil Spray

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I used to spray this stuff on me like it was water, lay out in the sun until my skin was crisper than fried chicken and walk around all summer looking like a red patent leather purse. it was the desired toasted-by-the-sun-look for a Midwest girl in the Prehistoric 60′s when we thought sun was good and supertan and sunburnt were the most popular summer colors. Coppertone was the ONLY name in sun care products and spraying was the speed junkie route to stylish toasty flesh. No messy creme between your fingers, no sandy caps to screw back on so the next time you squirt some out it’s not like rubbing sandpaper on your burnt skin.
Coppertone hit the market in 1944. The original logo was an American Indian chief in feather headresss with matching “Don’t be a paleface” slogan. That was deemed politically incorrect in 1953 and the little trademark pin-up girl with snapping dog logo was born to replace it. When that illustration was lost in a fire the more familiar one you see on the can here was drawn in 1959 by Joyce Ballantyne Brand who won a contest to get the gig using her daughter Cheryl as the model. 
Jodie Foster made her acting debut at 3 in a tv commercial as the Coppertone girl.

I used to spray this stuff on me like it was water, lay out in the sun until my skin was crisper than fried chicken and walk around all summer looking like a red patent leather purse. It was the desired toasted-by-the-sun-look for a Midwest girl in the Prehistoric 60′s when we thought sun was good and supertan and sunburnt were the most popular summer colors. Coppertone was the ONLY name in sun care products and spraying was the speed junkie route to stylish toasty flesh. No messy creme between your fingers, no sandy caps to screw back on so the next time you squirt some out it’s not like rubbing sandpaper on your burnt skin.

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Categories: Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Corn Salt & Pepper Shakers

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Items in the shape of corn on the cob have a special place on the mantle of Americana Pop Culture. Whether plastic, ceramic, bowl, plate, S&P or cob holder, the texture of husks and kernels has fascinated mold makers since the beginning of time, elevating corn to the status of oranges and tomatoes as the foodstuffs most imitated in kitchen accessories design.
These S&P’s are devoid of any manufacturer’s mark but look to be late 70′s/ early 80′s. They have rubber stoppers, both slightly melted from being too close to corn boiling in the pot. I covet these more for their form than their function.

Items in the shape of corn on the cob have a special place on the mantle of Americana Pop Culture. Whether plastic, ceramic, bowl, plate, S&P or cob holder, the texture of husks and kernels has fascinated mold makers since the beginning of time, elevating corn to the status of oranges and tomatoes as the foodstuffs most imitated in Kitsch kitchen accessories design.

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Categories: Accessories, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Toothpick Charlie

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Throughout the 1960′s and 70′s, toothpick holders were one of the state souvenir items of choice.  Though Toothpick Charlie is devoid of any markings other than his name,  identical trinkets were churned out and stamped with state names as frequently as  shoe shaped coin purses and carved wooden jewelry boxes.  

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Categories: Accessories, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Hip Nip and Hot Nip Plastic Flasks

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No one can accuse Garvin, the designer of this drunk matching 50′s couple, for thinking small: “Hip Nip can be used for Scotch, Mouthwash, Gin, Shave Lotion, Rye, Urine-analysis, Bicarb, Bourbon, Malted, Aspirins, Deodorant, Suntan oil and Hairdressing”.  His mate, Hot Nip, only promises “to keep you warm”.

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Categories: Bar accessory, Dolls, Drink, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, People, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Disco Dancer Keyring

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3″ round tortoise shell plastic keyring from 1979 with grooves like a vinyl record and raised gold Disco dancers whose silhouettes look more like they’re on their way to an Anne Murray concert than to Studio 54. The back has a glass mirror, long broken, that says “Hot To Trot”, as if that were a slogan of the late 70′s and not property of the Bobby Soxers three decades earlier. Manufactured by Bromac, which sounds more like a company that makes antacid than Disco products. All in all, everything misses the mark just enough to make this a Kitsch lover’s dream.

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Categories: Accessories, Dance, Disco, House, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Grand Funk 7/11 Slurpee Cup

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Being one of the earliest Hard Rock bands, panned by critics and shunned by radio until they released “We’re An American Band” in 1973, Grand Funk Railroad seems like a strange match for early corporate sponsorship let alone being wrapped around a Slurpee. Which makes this one of my Kitschiest Slurpee Cups as pop acts like Smokey Robinson and The Fifth Dimension, who also snuggled up to 7/11, made more sense as a commercial match. For a moment at least, Grand Funk was singing “We’re An American Brand”.

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Categories: Celebrity, Drink, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Karatist Preacher” Deals God’s Power In One Mighty Blow

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Man of greased-Beatles-bowl-haircut and beauty-parlor-cape-karate suit chops styrofoam looking concrete blocks in efforts to deliver the mighty message of God. But 14 slices of prime LP cheese in the name of the Lord later, Crane is the real deal, a Preacher and master of Kung-Fu and Karate for 45+ years with a 10th degree black belt equivalency. 
Called ‘the hard-headed preacher’ for his talent of breaking things like 1,950 pounds of ice using only his body, Crain is also famous for his “Human Sandwich of Death” feat in which he broke a 1,675 pound concrete slab with a 20-pound sledge hammer while laying between two beds of nails with the concrete on top. But the Karatist Preacher is perhaps best known for his samurai skills, sending Michael Jordan to the hospital for three stitches after his sword slipped while slicing a watermelon laying on Jordan’s stomach. No lie. 
In the ultimate master business plan Crain uses Kung-Fu and Karate to attract an audience to the church sponsoring him and then follows his martial arts demonstrations by preaching the Gospel that started with this amazing LP.

Man of greased-Beatles-bowl-haircut and beauty-parlor-cape-karate suit chops concrete blocks in efforts to deliver the mighty message of God. But 14 slices of prime LP cheese in the name of the Lord later, Crane is the real deal, a Preacher and master of Kung-Fu and Karate for 45+ years with a 10th degree black belt equivalency. 

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Categories: Cheesy LPs, empowerment, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, Religion

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Talking Julia Doll

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In 1968, not only did Julia become the first African American career woman on television but Diahann Carroll became the first African American lead ever in a TV series. Although it was dismissed by some for not being political enough and reflecting a more radical Civil Rights stance, Julia ran for 86 episodes and finally broke the color barrier on television.
I loved Julia most for all the memorabilia it spawned. I have the pull string talking doll shown here, the 3′x4′ promo poster that accompanied it’s release in 1970, three Viewmaster reels, Colorforms and four lunchboxes.
There’s another version of the doll called Julia Twist that comes dressed in a less elegant dressed in a nurses uniform and with a turnable waist. I used to own her but I twisted her too far and now am left with only upper Julia and lower Julia. Additional outfits, all Barbie fashions, had names like Brrr-Furrr, Candlelight Capers, Leather Weather, Pink Fantasy and Leather Weather and could be added to both Julia dolls, turning the reserved medical assistant into a bumpin’ party gal.

In 1968, not only did Julia become the first African American career woman on television but Diahann Carroll became the first African American lead ever in a TV series. Although it was dismissed by some for not being political enough and reflecting a more radical Civil Rights stance, Julia ran for 86 episodes and is credited with breaking the color barrier on television.

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Categories: Afro, Clothes, Dolls, empowerment, Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage Oscar Mayer Wienerwhistle

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To honor Oscar Mayer’s passing yesterday at age 95, here’s an original 1952 Wienerwhistle, 1 and 3/4 inches long and plenty of toot left. In the 50′s these were given away at Wienermobile appearances and in ’58 were packaged with the wienies themselves. In ’64, Wienerwhistles were sold in vending machines at the New York World’s Fair for two cents. 
What’s really bizarre is that I’ve looked at this Weinerwhistle in my kitchen for years. Since I’ve been doing Kitsch O’ The Day, 119 days now, there’s not a day that’s passed that I haven’t thought ‘I should do the Wienerwhistle.’ Yesterday, before I learned that Oscar Mayer had passed away and despite having already written my Fat Superman Kitsch O’ The Day post, I got the sudden urge to finally write about the whistle. After I finished it I decided to go with Fat Superman anyway as I realized I had just done a hot dog post last Saturday for July 4th. When I went to my Facebook home page to make sure Fat Superman actually posted – FB has been having TONS of tech malfunctions lately – there was a post from a friend saying that Oscar Mayer had just passed away within the last hour. I don’t know if it’s me or my Wienerwhistle that has psychic powers but something was going on somewhere….

To honor Oscar Mayer’s passing yesterday at age 95, here’s an original 1952 Wienerwhistle, 1 and 3/4 inches long and plenty of toot left. In the 50′s these were given away at Wienermobile appearances and in ’58 were packaged with the wienies themselves. In ’64, Wienerwhistles were sold in vending machines at the New York World’s Fair for two cents each. 

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Categories: Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Products

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