Top Tweets – for the week ending May 31

The WJR (Detroit) Transmitter Building – Designed by Cyril Edward Schley

For us radio folks, transmitter buildings are religious artifacts. Here’s the WJR transmitter site in Riverview. Cyril Edward Schley designed the art deco structure in 1935. He apprenticed with theater architect, C. Howard Crane. Schley, also designed Detroit’s Rio and Telenews theaters. Originally, WJR had a diamond shaped Blaw-Knox antenna, similar to the one that still exists at Cincinnati’s WLW. When a storm blew the 733 foot structure down in 1940, it was replaced by the 700 foot tower array that stands today. You can see the original structure in this Jam Handy film, created for Chevrolet in 1937.

1 in 4 of us get up at least once a night to check our phones. Studies show that our smart devices interfere with our rest. Now Pokemon is trying to change that. You heard that right.. Pokemon. They reportedly have and iPhone app that helps you sleep. Although it’s not yet on the American Sleep Association’s list of Top 7 apps to help you sleep, as one who sat through the Detective Pikachu movie with my grandson this week, I can tell you.. It works!

And guess who’s talking about you while you sleep? The Washington Post reports that your iPhone spews 1.5 gigabits per month of personal data to companies like Microsoft, Intuit’s, Nike, Spotify, and the Weather Channel. 5,400 in one week, gobbling half of reporter Geoff Fowler’s basic wireless service plan from AT&T.

Image: Wikipedia

How many remember Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoon about the Thagomizer: the distinctive arrangement of spikes on the tails of stegosaurid dinosaurs. Turns out that those things originally had no distinct name; scientists have always been big Gary Larson fans and the term Thatomizer gradually was adopted as an informal term within scientific circles, research, & education.

Here’s a quote worth re-quoting from Sarah Silverman that I heard on a podcast last week: “If you don’t look back on your old stuff and cringe you’re not necessarily growing.”

This past week in 1969, The Beach Boys started a two week run at ?1 on the US singles chart with ‘Help Me Rhonda.’ The session was interrupted by the Wilson brothers’ father and manager, Murray, who criticizes the boys, ultimately leading to Brian firing his old man. The tape of that debacle still circulates among fans. The elder Wilson died on June 4, 1973 at the age of 55.

On May 29, 1984, Tina Turner began her comeback with the release of the ‘Private Dancer‘ album, her first in five years. In 1989, it was ranked #46 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the ‘80s.

Did you know that Del Shannon‘s cover of the Beatles‘ ‘From Me to You’ became the first song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney to appear on the American record charts. Check it out on YouTube. It sounds a lot like the original.

Were you one of the thousands who bought Van Morrison’s 1971 hit Tupelo Honey? It’s more than just the name of a song. It’s the most expensive sweet thing on the market. The NYT says that Hurricanes, blights and encroaching development have cut into the harvest in Florida and Georgia, but a small cadre of beekeepers still fiercely pursues this lucrative prize.

On May 29 1886, The first advertisement for Coca-Cola, touting the drink as ‘Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!,’ appeared in The Atlanta Journal – Constitution. You can see it on the ScottOwensShow Twitter Feed. It was just 32 words in length and promoted the fact that the soft drink contained the, “wonderful properties of the coca plant”. Now THAT’S true Coca Cola Classic!

Coming soon for Saturday cartoon fans: Warner Brothers  is releasing 200 brand new Looney Tunes cartoons in Europe produced in the classic style. I wonder if they’ll be neutered for today’s ultra sensitive audiences. There better be lots of Acme anvils dropping on coyote heads!

Paul Winchell with “Jerry Mahoney”

Dr. Henry Heimlich is credited with introducing his famous maneuver on June 1st 1974. Did you know his uncredited co-creator was the same man who first patented the first artificial heart. Children of the 60s know him as one of the great cartoon voicers, notably “Tigger” in Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh”, ventriloquist Paul Winchell.

Singer Leon Redbone passed away this week. The mysterious character revived old-school vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley-style music and was a unique presence on stage, film and television during his eclectic career. He kept his personal backstory a secret and it took Variety’s investigative reporters to learn more about the man who claimed he “died at the age of 127”.

Randolph Roberts & Gavin O’Herlihy

Happy Days super-fans know that Ritchie had and older brother. “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome” came to be associated with disappearing acts on TV. Richie’s older brother was portrayed by two actors, first by Gavin O’Herlihy and then by Randolph Roberts. Henry Winkler’s growing popularity as “Fonzie” made the Chuck character unnecessary. He simply disappeared from the story without explanation. There were many other disappearing acts on classic television shows that most of us may have forgotten. Here are 25 cast changes and the backstories behind them.

Christmas in May? Last week in 1942, Bing Crosby recorded Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers. It took just 18 minutes to lay down the track for Decca Records on May 29, 1942. White Christmas became the biggest-selling single of all time until Elton John surpassed it with ‘Candle In The Wind (Princess Diana Tribute)’ in 1997. The version we hear today was re-recorded in 1947 after the 1942 master was damaged. Here’s the original, taken directly from the 78.