(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘tv history

Here we are now, entertain us…

Hannah and her patron (source)

Readers may have encountered the storm that’s arisen online over the release of a video of Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana in a Quito concert covering Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  It is, in fact, execrable.  But then, in fairness to Ms. Montana, so are many of the attempts to capture Kurt Cobain’s lightning in a different bottle… as is amply (if not indeed painfully) demonstrated in Flavorwire’s “10 ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Covers That Are Worse Than Miley’s.”

From the louche stylings of Paul Anka and Michael Bublé, through folk, a cappella, pop, R&B, even classical, to a stunningly-bad rendition by Limp Bizkit, there is video evidence for review.  But lest readers click away with bad tastes in their mouths, the good folks at Flavorwire conclude with “Nyevana”‘s delightful “Smells Like Air Pressure.”

(Readers may recall that RD has visited “Smells Like Teen Spirit” before– in what may be the strangest mash-up ever… some songs are just so good that no one can leave them alone…  Your correspondent’s own favorite cover: by the always-astounding Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.)

As we promise to pay our exemplars more respect, we might recall that it was on this date in 1660 that Isaack B. Fubine of the Hague patented macaroni… and thus made possible, on this date in 1947, the launch of the first-ever weekly TV series – “Kraft Television Theater.”

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The Perils of Early Adoption…

On November 26, 1936, three weeks after television transmissions began in England, Mr G.B. Davis of Dulwich (south–east London) paid 99 pounds. 15 shillings– over half the average annual wage of the day, equivalent to almost 4,000 pounds today– for the seventh television set manufactured in the UK, a Marconi “Type 702, number 1-007.”  The receiver had a 12-inch screen contained in a walnut and mahogany case, with a mirror in the lid onto which the picture was reflected.

But poor Mr. Davis (presumably along with his fellow early enthusiasts) was able to enjoy his pioneering purchase for only a few hours: three days after he took the plunge, the nearby Crystal Palace and its transmitter burned down.  The area could not receive television pictures again until 1946.

But Mr. Davis’ loss is his grandchildren’s gain.  Bonham’s is set to auction the set later this month. There are more Stradivarius violins in existence that pre-war TVs, so the auction house expects the set to fetch much more than it’s pre-sale estimate of 5,000 pounds.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.

As we summon memories of Sid Caesar and Soupy Sales, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that the first color 3-D feature film premiered– House of Wax.  Shot with a two-camera process, and viewed through “stereo” glasses with differently tinted lens, the film grossed a then-impressive $4.3 million.  It launched its star, Vincent Price, on a career in the horror genre, and goosed the careers of his supporting players, Phyllis Kirk and Charles Buchinsky (who shortly thereafter changed his name to Charles Bronson).  House of Wax kicked off the first period of enthusiasm for 3-D films (the second, a year-long period in the 70s); we are, of course, currently in the third.

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