This blog is devoted to all those pieces of 20th century culture too often pooh-pooh'ed by the so called 'high brow' crowd. The stuff that conjoures words like 'vibrant', 'garish' and 'lurid'. Cheap paperbacks, b-movies, exploitation, fantasy, horror and hokey sci-fi - all have a place on this blog where the trash of yesterday is recognised as the classics of today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What was Christmas Like... 40 Years Ago?


The three highest-grossing movies of December 1970 were;

Christmas Number Ones

Top of the charts in the US
was Smokey Robinson and The Miracles with The Tears of a Clown.

And in the UK; Dave Edmunds with the decidedly un-seasonal blues classic I Hear You Knocking.


Nerf Ball
Another reminder of a more simpler time, the Nerf ball was a simple foam ball. Yep, that was the big seller for Christmas in 1970. Created by Parker Brothers, the ball was declared 'the world's first indoor ball!' and came with a promise that it would not break lamps or windows when hurled about indoors (which surely sounded like a challenge to most kids). Nerf products remained popular for years afterwards with the company producing various sports balls made from the foamy, squashy material and later, in the '80s, 'Nerf Blasters' which fired foam darts.


This simple electronic musical instrument was big news in the UK. With Australian artist/TV personality Rolf Harris as its spokesperson, the Stylophone was a popular Christmas gift for 1970. By pressing each metal note with a stylus, a circuit would be completed and result in an electronic 'beeping'. There were several play along records also released and David Bowie even used it on his 'Space Oddity' single.

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